CBS News Pollster: I Don't Think We'll See A Blue Wave

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Posted: Aug 23, 2018 2:05 PM
CBS News Pollster: I Don't Think We'll See A Blue Wave

We’ve been hearing it for months: the blue wave is coming. The Democrats are going to retake the House. The Democratic ballot advantage is significant. Well, if that does occur, a blue wave, congressional Democrats will move to impeach President Trump on bogus charges. There is still zero evidence to suggest the president’s campaign colluded with the Russians. Oh, what about campaign finance? The Obama campaign was fined for violations. Did he ever face impeachment charges? It’ll be a circus, a pervasive parade of nonsense, hyperbole, and liberal whining the likes of which we’ve never seen. And we’ve seen a lot of tantrums since Hillary Clinton’s epic loss in 2016. So, what can the GOP do to avert a blue wave? Well, GOP pollster Frank Luntz said the GOP should force a vote on speaker to force Democrats on the Hill to vote for Nancy Pelosi; their names will be on record. The second thing is to pass another piece of legislation, like tougher accountability measures for food stamps. That narrative was torpedoed when moderate Republicans joined Democrats in backing a discharge petition to hold a series of votes on immigration. If they found 218 signatures, it would have allowed votes on this issue without going through the GOP House leadership. They were reportedly two or three votes shy of successfully triggering this legislative maneuver, which prompted Speaker Paul Ryan to strike a deal on the matter, which further divided the party in the midst of a critical election year. The whole episode was a dumpster fire. Yet, one thing that has bolstered GOP chances is the economy. It’s booming, especially in the competitive districts Democrats hope to flip—all of this thanks to the Trump tax cuts. The ballot advantage has shrunk to six points; it was in the high double-digits after the holidays last year. 

Over at CBS News, their pollsters and number crunchers are more bearish on the prospect of a blue wave. The series of special election wins Democrats have clinched this cycle mean nothing. The national polls don’t matter, just the ones in the handful of districts, which are being targeted this year. They see this whole thing as a toss up. They can see Democrats gaining 20 seats, but with the GOP remaining in control of the House. So, one of the Big Three (CBS, NBC, and ABC) is saying blue wave could end up being low tide

Anthony Salvanto was imprisoned in a windowless office on Nov. 8, 2016. His phone was confiscated; guards escorted him to the bathroom. And all he had to look at were numbers, numbers and more numbers.

[…]

Salvanto is relying more on CBS’s ongoing tracking poll and less on random-sample telephone polling, ahead of this year’s midterm elections.

“That decision is very much informed by 2016,” Salvanto said.

[…]

This year, the CBS Battleground Tracker “is concentrating on the districts that we think will make a difference,” he said. “Remember, in a midterm, you have to watch each congressional seat — don’t pay attention to national numbers.”  

[…]

For 2018, the CBS News Battleground Tracker has gathered a panel of nearly 5,700 registered voters. Almost all of them live in the 50 to 60 districts that might switch from Republican to Democrat, or vice versa, in November — the only races that matter, when it comes to control of Congress.

Salvanto’s polling currently indicates that few House seats will change hands in November — and that the GOP could very well hold its majority in the House. “In this era, a district’s voting patterns from the past tend to stay that way,” Salvanto said. “Not as many partisans today are willing to cross party lines.” Of the nation’s 435 House districts, fully 85 percent will almost certainly stick with its current party affiliation come November, Salvanto projects.

[…]

“Overall, the districts in play tend to be more suburban and more affluent than the rest of the country,” he said. “But no single district will tell the national story.

“Right now I think this election looks like a toss-up,” Salvanto said. “We see a Democrat pickup in the House of Representatives in the 20-odd seat range, but Republicans could certainly hold on to the House.” The GOP holds a slim 43-seat House majority, with six vacancies.

“Even though Republicans have not fared well in special elections so far this cycle, it does look like they will be turning out for the midterms,” Salvanto said. “So far we do not see a large number of Republicans saying they will flip and vote for a Democrat.”

GOP voters in the past have been much more likely than Democrats to turn up and cast ballots in midterm elections, regardless of each party’s enthusiasm level ahead of Election Day.

So Democrats are literally betting the House on their ability to capture large numbers of voters who don’t normally vote in midterm elections. “They have to bring new voters in,” Salvanto said.

Salvanto said that anti-Trump anger could bring in those new voters, but being against the president is not enough for them. They want some meat on the policy bone. And the meat the Democrats are serving is straight trash. They want to increase our taxes, abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement, you have local fights over straw bans, homeless people crapping all over cities, gun bans, Russian hysteria, and impeachment nonsense. There is nothing. They say they’re for the middle class—the Trump tax cuts benefit the working and middle class, you witless losers. In fact, they can’t be for the middle class anymore—they don’t know any of them. Right now, the Democratic Party is the party of Silicon Valley, the coasts, and the Acela Corridor, all of which are inhabited by well-to-do over-educated, emasculated, snobby, and condescending urban-based professional elites. When you mock a $1,000 bonus check to a working class family as insignificant, and then make fun of the family for being too dumb to save or invest it because you played no part in offering that cash to them—you’re out of touch. When you scoff at a family going to McDonald’s with that money, you’re out of touch. Newsflash: a family going out to dinner anywhere is a treat in most corners of America. Sorry, not everyone can afford the tuna tartare, prime rib, and lyonnaise potatoes on the side. Oh, and the multiple bottles of Caymus and other drinks. 

The media overreach is another issue. For even the most skeptical Republican, the media overreaction has caused them to move closer to the Trump camp. The man won the election. Give him room to govern. He’s not bringing about the next apocalypse. He’s actually lifting the economy to new heights. We’re at four percent economic growth, U.S. worker pay is at its highest in 10 years, the U.S. has regained its position as the world’s most competitive economy, three million news jobs, over three million workers receiving bonus checks averaging $1,000 or more, the highest consumer and small business confidence numbers in years, and the lowest unemployment rating in 18 years; black unemployment has dropped to historic lows. Donald Trump is a good president. He’s surprised me for the better in almost every major fight. In doing so, the return on investment is a booming economy. That’s fine by me. And for people, especially within the GOP who are still put off by his rhetoric or how he says things on Twitter, just get the hell out. Go re-register for the Democratic Party because if you still don’t get it, you’re in a bubble denser than that of Hillary-land. 

I don’t know about a red wave, I think toss up is a logical place to be due to the depreciating reliability of poll data. But a blue wave—not even CBS News can say it’s a sure thing. In fact, they think it’s probably not going to happen. If that occurs, prepare for another epic election night filled with liberal tears.