The odds are shifting in the favor of Republicans holding the Congress – literally. The betting odds show that Democrats are a major underdog in the Senate, with only a 29% chance of taking control. Democrats do have a slight edge when it comes to their odds of retaking the House, but generic Republicans/Democrats are still polling within the margin of error.
After Tuesday’s primary in California, it’s clear that the odds of Republicans holding the House are higher than everyone is expecting.
According to Fox News:
The odds of Democrats capturing a House majority are worse today than they were before the primary votes came in.
Democrats see their path to control of the House running through two dozen districts across the country that sent a Republican to Congress in 2016, but voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. A full seven of those districts are in California.
Most news accounts are focusing on how Democrats are breathing a sigh of relief. California’s quirky “top-two” open primary system – also known as the “jungle primary” – throws all of the candidates into the same pool. The top two candidates regardless of party advance to the November election.
This system threatened to create scenarios in which Democrats could have been boxed out in some districts, with two Republicans running against each other in the November general election. That didn’t happen in any of their targeted seven districts.
Democrat State Senator Josh Newman was recalled and replaced with Republican Ling-Ling Chang. Republican John Cox made it to the general election as a Republican candidate for governor, to face off against Gavin Newsom. Most excitingly though, is that every incumbent GOP Congressional seat except 1 received 50+% of the vote in their contested primaries, some “targeted districts” going as high as earning 58-70% of the vote for the Republican contender.
And that’s in California of all places.
But how predictive is all this when it comes to the actual midterm elections? According to one of Fox’s analysts, the “Democratic two-party percentage in the top-two primary and the Democratic two-party percentage in the general election were almost perfectly correlated in 2012, 2014 and 2016.”
President Donald Trump celebrated the primaries and dismissed any hopes Democrats have for a “blue wave” in November. “Great night for Republicans! Congratulations to John Cox on a really big number in California. He can win. Even Fake News CNN said the Trump impact was really big, much bigger than they ever thought possible. So much for the big Blue Wave, it may be a big Red Wave. Working hard!” Trump tweeted out Wednesday.
Great night for Republicans! Congratulations to John Cox on a really big number in California. He can win. Even Fake News CNN said the Trump impact was really big, much bigger than they ever thought possible. So much for the big Blue Wave, it may be a big Red Wave. Working hard!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2018