November 05, 2018

Final pre-election thoughts

First, here in Texas, per Kuff and others, I expect a fair, but not necessarily humongous, turnout on election day. We've already, through early voting alone, broken all state midterm election numbers. And, Texas isn't alone on that. How this surge benefits, and whomever it does, are still TBD.

I expect Texas to wind up with turnout halfway between a midterm and a general election. Will Beto O'Rourke get enough suburbanites in metro ring counties to augment a moderate but not (yet?) huge Hispanic surge? Possibly. I wouldn't be surprised if he wins on a plurality, with Libertarian Neal Dikeman getting some late votes from people disgusted at Cruz.

Will the surge helps others? The two unscientific polls at right expect Lupe Valdez to get smoked by Greg Abbott worse than Wendy Davis, not just worse than Bill White. Her only chance of not doing that badly is flying so low under the radar to pick up votes on the sly.

Nationally? I expect Dems to regain control of the House with a 10-12 seat margin. Senate? I guess it remains 51-49. An interesting way that happens? Sinema, Rosen and O'Rourke flip seats to Democrats while Donnelly, Heitkamp and Manchin lose theirs. In both cases, the first two are more likely than the third.

Texas Lege? I predict Senate stays 21-10 while House tightens to something like 90-60. That might be enough tightening for a Dennis Bonnen to jump in the race and represent the Joe Straus faction in the Speakership hunt.

The House projections looked at least silver if not gold. As of 10 p.m. Tuesday, the Trib was saying at least four seats had been flipped. Per Kuff, we've got a 12-seat flip, it seems.

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