So far, despite my optimistic predictions, I have not subscribed to a “red wave” theory, mainly on the grounds that the House is going to be tight and many of the Senate races (AZ, MT, OH) could be within 5 points either way. I see very few blowouts, but a general scale tipping to the Republicans across the board.
But there may be a canary in the silver mine in Nevada.
As with many states, Nevada has unique election laws. It has early voting, but on the first weekend only the two population centers of Las Vegas (Clark County) and Reno (Washoe) are open. The “red rurals” are all closed. A false picture thus unfolds after the first two days. However, there was still room for concern at first: Democrats were doing better in Washoe County than they have historically.
What a difference a few days makes. Once the red rurals opened, Republican early votes flooded in and at the same time Clark began to see a dropoff. In fact, the shift has been so stunning that Nevada Democrat analyst John Ralston of the “Ralston Report” went from all but popping the champagne on Sunday to now warning that Democrats will need a “Clark firewall” to prevent a total disaster.
There won’t be a firewall. My confidante and analyst on Nevada, “The Dentist,” has run the numbers and they are shocking. Keep in mind Trump only lost the state by 27,000 votes, and that Republicans have gained 29,000 net new registrations in Nevada since 2016.
What the Dentist found was the the rate of return for the Democrats has crashed, literally last night plummeting from a dropoff of 73% from the 2016 totals to 79%. Put another way, right now the Democrats are projected to get only 21% of their 2016 totals. In terms of numbers of votes, the Dentist calculates that Jackie Rosen, the Democrat senate candidate, will be a whopping 35,000 votes short of winning! Dean Heller would win more comfortably than anyone imagined if these numbers hold up. Adam Laxalt would likewise win the governorship, and it would mean both NV3 and NV4 congressional districts would be once again seriously vulnerable.
But let’s jump from Nevada’s silver mines to the Iron Range of Minnesota where similar developments are unfolding: it now appears that Cong. Keith Ellison is crashing so hard he may take down the entire Minnesota establishment with him. Right now my sources in Minnesota are confident that Ellison will lose the Attorney General race, and by more than 5 points. But the news gets better for Republicans: all state candidates are including Ellison in their ads, and it is having a serious impact. Not only is Karin Housley now well within the margin of error, but suddenly Jim Newberger is just outside the MOE in his race with Amy Klobuchar—a seat until last week considered entirely safe! The governor’s race is now very close. More!? Word is that all the red districts are turning out at 2016 levels and above, and that virtually every candidate except Erik Paulsen now has the wind at his or her back. Paulsen, of course, was a neverTrumper who is paying for it, as all neverTrumpers nationally are.
It’s too bad, because there is an opportunity for the old Vikings’ Sweep in Minnesota. Now Paulsen may be on the bench.
These “canaries” suggest, for the first time, that the massive early and absentee advantages the Republicans are piling up may translate into the House races and seriously open up the possibility of the Republicans actually gaining a seat or two in the House.
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