Tuesday, October 27, 2020


This has been an anything-can-happen year in general, so
is not surprising that, at the end of the 2020 election cycle
campaign, almost anything could happen.

The least likely outcome would be a Republican takeover of
the U.S. house. The GOP would need a net gain of 18 seats
to accomplish this, and although conservatives seem poised
to pick up seats in Minnesota, Iowa, Pennsylvania, NewYork,
and California and a few other states,  a net gain of 18 is a
problematic goal unless there is a Republican landslide.

About 30-40 U.S. house seats are in play. Establishment
pundits and pollsters, in many cases, are asserting that
Democrats will actually expand their lead, but that, like
GOP control, might be more partisan wishful thinking
than political realism. In any event, many close races are
tightening, and might well depend on turnout generated by
the presidential campaign.

Control of the U.S. senate, on the other hand, remains very
uncertain. On paper, Democrats have the advantage of
having much fewer incumbent seats up for election, and
have more pick-up opportunities in competitive races.

The two-best GOP pick-up races are in Alabama and
Michigan. A third, and late-breaking, senate race in
Minnesota has been complicated by the emergency (but
successful) surgery for the Republican challenger a week
before the election.

Democrats are eyeing 6-8 GOP incumbents, but will likely
have to settle for less as Republicans appear to be
rebounding in several close contests. As in some house
races, the presidential race might well determine senate
winner and losers. The very best liberal opportunities
are in Arizona, Colorado and Maine, and  Democrats
must probably win all three of these, plus 2-4 others to
offset GOP pick-ups --- and take control.

At the very end, each side has advantages. Democrats have
had much more money from donors to spend, including
money from big business and big labor unions, as well as
smaller contributions from its ActBlue organization. But
Republican door-to-door contacts and voter ID efforts have
far exceeded what their opponents have done. The two
parties have also had contrasting voting strategies. The
Democrats have strongly pushed mail-in voting, while the
Republicans, led by the president, have encouraged
in-person voting.

Both parties are counting on their political bases. But one
characteristic of the 2020 cycle might be significant
desertions from thee bases, In the case of the Democrats,
they could lose a critical percentage of their black,
Hispanic, Jewish, Catholic and union member majorities.
For Republicans, they might lose (as they did in 2018)
suburban women voters.

At the very end, there is considerable suspense about the
outcome of the 2020 national elections. Voters’ attitudes
are always affected by the economy, but this cycle was
distorted by the pandemic. Every election has a few
surprises, but this one has gone from one surprise to

Perhaps the final surprise of the 2020 election will come
when the votes are counted.

Copyright (S) 2020 by Barry Casselman. All rights recerved.

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