2018 Free-For-All

The government of the United States is literally up for grabs this year.  If you think your vote doesn’t matter you may have been right at one time, but not in 2018.  This is a tweet from probability guru Nate Silver describing the competitive nature of Congressional races this year:

Here’s a follow-up explaining why this is occurring:

You can track these exact trends at the state level in North Carolina, with a sticking point:

1.  There have been multiple NC GOP retirements, especially in the NC House.

2.  NC Democrats are actually raising money this time, from internal and external sources.

3.  NC Democrats are running a candidate in almost every legislative race.

BUT…..

The National environment may be good enough for Democrats nationwide, but where does it stack up in North Carolina?  Can Democrats win in districts that were meant to be “safe” Republican seats thanks to gerrymandering?  I’m not so sure.  Remember, only a select few of these districts were significantly re-drawn to accommodate federal court orders.

On top of all this, we are more polarized than ever as a result of the national political scene and President Trump.  Trump’s NC approval rating consistently beats his national average.  Moreover, Trump will not let anyone sit this one out.  He’s firing up his base as he aggravates the daylights out of his opposition, and it’s showing up in the data.  We’ve seen a surge in the Republican early vote this year.  Democrats are not taking the huge early-vote leads they anticipated because Republicans are energized as well.

In sum, it’s a free for all in 2018, with a whole lot on the line across the board.  It’s chaotic right now, but therein lies the opportunity for Democrats.

There is still time for North Carolina Democrats, but this one is going to be close.  They better get out and vote!

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