Worksheet for the 2018 Midterms (How Big Does “The Wave” Have to Be?)

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Here is latest iteration of my “Table 1” for the 2018 primaries. The structure is the same as the last iteration (‘Worksheet for the 2018 Midterms (More of “The Wave”, but Only Ripples?)’. As usual, the horserace information is the latest available from the Inside Elections tipsheet (last updated June 1). All the districts even remotely in play are listed. There are 82, and surely, if the Democrats are to win the 23 seats they need to win to take control of the House, those 23 are in that 82.

I’ve also improved the data, to a degree. (Thanks very much to alert readers Allan, Big River Bandido, DonCoyote, Eddie Torres, and Utah for pointing out errors, which I corrected.) To a degree, because although I’ve greatly improved my workflow by being clever about what SQL can do, instead of trying to do everything in a text editor with brute force, there’s still a lot of data entry to do, and sometimes, like this time, I miscalculate the running start that I need. For example, because the California Democrats weeded their field so brutally, I needed to add candidates who had withdrawn, and not just in California, but everywhere. And their bios, which includes their policy commitments! And although I love candidate bios, they are time-consuming. Next round, however, I will have finished them, and they’re a one-time thing. I did, however, put in all the backers. Note that Indivisible has finally weighed in! And the DCCC and Emily’s list also increased their haul.

Herewith the table, which gives us one important result (which is the same as the result two weeks ago, and two weeks before that, with caveats, but more emphatically.

Table 1: Worksheet on House Races, Election 2018 (06-11).

District Primary Date Party Status Incumbent Horserace Horserace (Previous) Challengers
AR-02 05-22 R Hill Likely-R Likely-R Gwen Combs (Women’s March; more.) [ m, e, w], Jonathan Dunkley (more) [ e][M], Paul Spencer (Rural broadbamd.) [ e][M], Clarke Tucker (More.) [DCCC, DP][fM]
AZ-01 08-28 D O’Halleran Tilt-D Tilt-D Miguel Olivas [DP; ]
AZ-02 08-28 R Open McSally Tilt-D Tilt-D William Foster , Matt Heinz [DP; h], Ann Kirkpatrick (more, more; but see here.) [EL, DCCC, DP; ][fM], Billy Kovacs , Mary Matiella (more) [JD; m][M], Barbara Sherry (more) , Bruce Wheeler (more) [DP; ][M], Yahya Yuksel [DP; ][M]
AZ-08 08-28 R Special VACANT Likely-R Likely-R Judith McHale (McHale dropped out of the race prior to the filing deadline) , Bob Musselwhite (More.) [DP; e], Bob Olsen [ m, l], Hiral Tipirneni (More; more.) [IN; h][fM], Brianna Westbrook (More; more.) [JD, OR][M]
CA-04 06-05 R McClintock Likely-R Likely-R Regina Bateson. (More.) [ o], Roza Calderon (More. Also DSA-endorsed.) [BN, JD, OR; s][M], Robert Lawton (More.) [M], Richard Martin (More) , Jessica Morse (More; more.) [ m][fM], Rochelle Wilcox (More.) [ l]
CA-07 06-05 D Bera Likely-D Likely-D [No challenger]
CA-10 06-05 R Denham Tilt-R Tilt-R Mike Barkley [DP; m][M], Lisa Battista , Mateo Morelos Bedolla (More.) [DP][M], Michael Eggman , Josh Harder [ e][M], Virginia Madueno [EL][fM], Dotty Nygard , Dotty Nygard [M], Seth Vaughn , Sue Zwahlen [DP]
CA-21 06-05 R Valadao Likely-R Likely-R TJ Cox (More.) [DCCC], Emilio Huerta (More.)
CA-25 06-05 R Knight Tilt-R Tilt-R Bryan Caforio [JD, OR][M], Kelan Farrell-Smith (More.) , Daniel Fleming , Diedra Greenaway (More.) [DP], Katie Hill [EL][fM], Michael Masterman-Smith (More.) [ h], Scott McVarish (More.) , Mary Pallant (more) [DP], Jess Phoenix [OR]
CA-39 06-05 R Open Royce Toss-Up Toss-Up Jay Chen (More.) [ m, in, s, e][M], Gil Cisneros (more; more) [DCCC; m], Sam Jammal (more) [DP; ][M], Phil Janowicz (More.) [ e], Suzi Park Leggett [DP; ], Ted Rusk , Cybil Steed (more) [ e], Andy Thorburn (more) [OR; e][M], Mai Khanh Tran (more, more) [EL; h]
CA-45 06-05 R Walters Lean-R Lean-R Brian Forde , Brian Forde [DP; s], John Graham , Kia Hamadanchy [DP][M], Dave Min (CAP.) [DP], Katie Porter [EL][M], Greg Ramsay , Eric Rywalski , Ron Varasteh
CA-48 06-05 R Rohrabacher Tilt-R Tilt-R Hans Keirstead [ h][fM], Michael Kotick , Laura Oatman , Rachel Payne (Googler; more) [EL; s], Harley Rouda [IN, DCCC], Deanie Schaarsmith , Omar Siddiqui [ in][fM], Tony Zarkades [ m][M]
CA-49 06-05 R Open Issa Toss-Up Toss-Up Douglas Applegate [JD; m][M], Sara Jacobs (more) [EL, DP; ][M], Paul Kerr (more ) [ m][M], Mike Levin (more) [DP; ][M]
CA-50 06-05 R Hunter Likely-R Likely-R Pierre Beauregard (More.) [DP], Josh Butner [ m], Ammar Campa-Najjar. (More; more; more.) [IN, JD, OR, DP][M], Gloria Chadwick (More.) [ h, w], Glenn Jensen (More) , Patrick Malloy (More; more) [M], Alex Spilger (more)
CO-06 06-26 R Coffman Tilt-R Tilt-R Jason Crow [DCCC, DP; m], Erik Stanger , Erik Stanger [M], Levi Tillemann [OR, DP][M]
FL-07 08-28 D Murphy Lean-D Lean-D Chardo Richardson [BN, JD; m][M]
FL-13 08-28 D Crist Likely-D Likely-D [No challenger]
FL-26 08-28 R Curbelo Tilt-R Tilt-R Demetries Grimes [ m], Ricky Junquera (more) , Steven Machat [DP][M], Debbie Mucarsel-Powell [EL, DCCC], Steve Smith [ m]
FL-27 08-28 R Open Ros-Lehtinen Lean-D Lean-D Mary Barzee Flores [EL; ], Kristen Rosen Gonzalez (more) [DP; e], Matt Haggman , Michael Hepburn (more) [BN, JD; e], Mark Anthony Person , David Richardson (more, more) [DP; ][M], Jose Javier Rodriguez (more) [DP; ], Ken Russell [DP; ], Donna Shalala (more; more) [EL, DP; ]
GA-06 05-22 R Handel Likely-R Likely-R Kevin Abel (Runoff, July 24. Abel.) , Steven Knight Griffin [ h][fM], Bobby Kaple (More; more. ) , Lucy McBath (Runoff, July 24. More; more.) [EL]
GA-07 05-22 R Woodall Likely-R Likely-R Kathleen Allen (More) [ h][M], Carolyn Bourdeaux (Run-off July 24. More; more.) [EL, DP; e], Melissa Davis (More.) , David Kim (Run-off July 24. More. ) [ e], Ethan Pham [fM], Steve Reilly
IA-01 06-05 R Blum Toss-Up Toss-Up Abby Finkenauer [EL, DCCC, DP], Thomas Heckroth [DP], George Ramsey [ m, l], Courtney Rowe [JD; m][M]
IA-03 06-05 R Young Likely-R Likely-R Cindy Axne (More.) [EL][fM], Pete D’Alessandro (More; more.) [JD, OR; s][M], Eddie Mauro
IL-06 03-20 R Roskam Tilt-R Tilt-R Becky Anderson (Becky Anderson) , Sean Casten (more) [DCCC][fM], Carole Cheney [DP], Grace Haaf (More) , Amanda Howland [DP; e], Ryan Huffman [DP][M], Kelly Mazeski (“A Medicare-for-all public option.”) [fM], Geoffrey Petzel (More) , Austin Songer , Becky Anderson Wilkins (more) , Jennifer Zordani
IL-12 03-20 R Bost Lean-R Lean-R David Bequette [ m], Brendan Kelly (more) [DCCC; m, in, l]
IL-13 03-20 R R. Davis Likely-R Likely-R Jonathan Ebel (More.) [ m, in], David Gill (More; more.) [ h][M], Erik Jones (More; more.) [DP; l][fM], Betsy Londrigan (More.) [EL, DCCC, DP; w][fM], Angel Sides (More) [M], Benjamin Webb (More.) [ e], Mark Wicklund (More.)
IN-02 05-08 R Walorski Likely-R Likely-R Aaron Bush , Douglas Carpenter (More) [ h][fM], Pat Hackett (More) [fM], Mel Hall (More.) [OR, DP; h], Yatish Joshi (More) [DP][fM], Roland Leech , John Petroff (More)
KS-02 08-07 R Open Jenkins Lean-R Lean-R Paul Davis [DCCC, DP], Nathan Schmidt (more) [DP]
KS-03 08-07 R Yoder Lean-R Lean-R Sharice Davids (More; more) [EL], Chris Haulmark (More) , Reggie Marselus , Mike McCamon (“Create a single-payer Option”) [ s], Tom Niermann [ e], Andrea Ramsey (More.) [EL], Jay Sidie , Brent Welder [BN, JD, OR, DP][M], Sylvia Williams
KY-06 05-22 R Barr Lean-R Lean-R Jim Gray (more) [DP], Theodore Green , Daniel Kemph , Amy McGrath [DCCC, DP; m], Reggie Thomas [DP; e], Geoff Young (perennial candidate)
ME-02 06-12 R Poliquin Lean-R Likely-R Jared Golden , Craig Olson , Lucas St. Clair
MI-06 08-27 R Upton Likely-R Likely-R David Benac [BN, JD], Paul Clements , George Franklin , Rich Eichholz , Eponine Garrod , Matt Longjohn
MI-07 08-07 R Walberg Likely-R Likely-R Steven Friday , Gretchen Driskell [DCCC]
MI-08 08-27 R Bishop Lean-R Lean-R Elissa Slotkin (Money race; “the real deal”; Biden endorses.) [EL, DCCC, DP; m, in][fM], Chris Smith
MI-11 08-27 R Open Trott Toss-Up Toss-Up Tim Greimel (Site not responsive.) [DP], Suneel Gupta , Dan Haberman [fM], Fayrouz Saad [JD, DP][M], Haley Stevens [DP]
MN-01 08-14 D Open Walz Toss-Up Toss-Up Johnny Akzam [M], Dan Feehan (more, more, more) [DCCC, DP; m], Vicki Jensen [DP; ], Bob Ries (more) [ m], Joe Sullivan , Rich Wright (more) [DP; m, l][M]
MN-02 08-14 R Lewis Toss-Up Toss-Up Angie Craig (more) [EL, DCCC; ], Jeff Erdmann (more) [ e][M]
MN-03 08-14 R Paulsen Lean-R Lean-R Brian Santa Maria [M], Adam Jennings (more) [ m], Dean Phillips [DCCC]
MN-07 08-14 D Peterson Likely-D Likely-D [No challenger]
MN-08 08-14 D Open Nolan Toss-Up Toss-Up Kirsten Hagen Kennedy (more) [DP; ], Michelle Lee [][M], Jason Metsa (more) [DP; ], Leah Phifer (more) [ in][M], Joe Radinovich [DP; ]
MT-01 06-05 R Gianforte Likely-R Likely-R John Heenan [BN], Grant Kier , John Meyer , Jared Pettinato , Kathleen Williams
NC-09 05-08 R Pittenger Tilt-R Tilt-R Christian Cano , Dan McCready [DCCC]
NC-13 05-08 R Budd Likely-R Likely-R Adam Coker , Kathy Manning [EL, DCCC]
NM-02 06-05 R Open Pearce Lean-R Likely-R Madeleine Hildebrandt , Xochitl Torres Small
NE-02 05-15 R Bacon Tilt-R Tilt-R Brad Ashford [DCCC, DP], Kara Eastman (On her conversion to #MedicareForAll; more.) [JD; e][M]
NH-01 09-11 D Open Shea-Porter Tilt-D Tilt-D Mark S. Mackenzie (more, more) [DP; ], Deaglan McEachern (more) [DP; ], Mindi Messmer (more) [BN; s][M], Terence O’Rourke [ m, l][M], Chris Pappas (more) [DP; ], Levi Sanders (more; more) [M], Lincoln Soldati [ l], Maura Sullivan (more) [EL, DP; m]
NJ-02 06-05 R Open LoBiondo Tilt-D Tilt-D Will Cunningham (more) [DP; ], Sean Thom (more) [ e][M], Jeff Van Drew (more) [DCCC, DP; ], Tanzie Youngblood (more) [ e]
NJ-03 06-05 R MacArthur Likely-R Likely-R Rich Dennison , Katherine Hartman , Andrew Kim [DCCC], Frederick John Lavergne
NJ-05 06-05 D Gottheimer Lean-D Lean-D [No challenger]
NJ-07 06-05 R Lance Tilt-R Tilt-R Peter Jacob (On the Justice Democrats; Congressional candidate plans ‘Medicare-for-all’ town hall in Bedminster) [BN, JD, OR][M], Goutam Jois , Tom Malinowski [DCCC, DP]
NJ-11 06-05 R Open Frelinghuysen Tilt-D Tilt-D Mitchell Cobert [ l], Jack Gebbia (more) [ m], Tamara Harris (more) , Alison Heslin , Mikie Sherrill (more) [EL, DCCC; m, l][M], Mark Washburne [ e][M]
NV-03 06-12 D Open Rosen Tilt-D Tilt-D Richard Hart , Susie Lee (more; more)) [EL, DCCC; e], Jack Love [M], Guy Pinjuv (more) [ s], Steve Schiffman , Eric Stoltz , Michael Weiss (more) [M]
NV-04 06-12 D Open Kihuen Likely-D Likely-D John Anzalone (more) [ e], Steven Horsford (more) [DCCC, DP; ], Patricia Spearman (more) [DP; m][M], Allison Stephens (more) [DP; e], Amy Vilela (more) [BN, IN, JD; ][M], Sid Zeller [ m, in]
NY-11 06-26 R Donovan Likely-R Likely-R Michael DeVito, Jr. , Zach Emig , Radhakrishna Mohan , Max Rose [DCCC], Paul Sperling , Omar Vaid
NY-19 06-26 R Faso Tilt-R Tilt-R Jeff Beals [JD; in, e][M], David Clegg [M], Erin Collier (more) [EL, DP], Antonio Delgado [fM], Brian Flynn [M], Gareth Rhodes [DP], Pat Ryan [ m, in]
NY-22 06-26 R Tenney Tilt-R Tilt-R Anthony Brindisi [DCCC, DP][fM]
NY-24 06-26 R Katko Likely-R Likely-R Dana Balter [IN], Juanita Perez Williams [DCCC]
OH-01 05-08 R Chabot Likely-R Likely-R Robert Barr , Aftab Pureval [DCCC], Laura Ann Weaver
OH-12 05-08 R Special VACANT Tilt-R Tilt-R Ed Albertson , Danny O’Connor , Jackie Patton , John Peters , John Russell , Zach Scott , Doug Wilson
OH-14 05-08 R Joyce Likely-R Likely-R Betsy Rader [EL]
PA-01 05-15 R Fitzpatrick Tilt-R Tilt-R Steve Bacher [DP; e][M], Rachel Reddick [EL; m], Scott Wallace (more) [DP]
PA-05 05-15 R Open Meehan Likely-D Likely-D Larry Arata [ e], George Badey (more) [DP; ], Shelly Chauncey (more) [ in][fM], Margo Davidson [DP; ], Thaddeus Kirkland [DP; ], Richard Lazer (more) [DP; ][M], Lindy Li (more) , Ashley Lunkenheimer (more) [ l], Dan Muroff (more; more) [DP; ], Mary Gay Scanlon , Molly Sheehan (more) [ s][M], Greg Vitali (more) [DP; ], David Wertime , Theresa Wright
PA-06 05-15 R Costello Likely-D Likely-D Chrissy Houlahan (more; more) [EL, DCCC; m]
PA-07 05-15 R Open Dent Tilt-D Tilt-D David Clark , Rick Daugherty [DP; ], Greg Edwards [JD; ][M], John Morganelli [DP; l], Roger Ruggles (more) [ e], Susan Wild (more; more) [EL; l]
PA-08 05-15 R Cartwright Likely-D Likely-D [No challenger]
PA-10 05-15 R Perry Likely-R Likely-R Shavonnia Corbin-Johnson , Eric Ding , Alan Howe , George Scott
PA-17 05-15 R Rothfus Toss-Up Toss-Up Conor Lamb [ m, l], Ray Linsenmayer (Dropped out (oddly). More; more; more.)
TX-07 03-06 R Culberson Tilt-R Tilt-R Joshua Butler [ h, e], James Cargas [DP; ], Lizzie Pannill Fletcher [EL, DCCC], Laura Moser (more) [JD, DP], Ivan Sanchez [DP][fM], Alex Triantaphyllis , Jason Westin (background; reflections on his loss) [ h]
TX-21 03-06 R Open Smith Likely-R Likely-R Derrick Crowe , Joseph Kopser , Elliott McFadden , Mary Wilson
TX-23 03-06 R Hurd Toss-Up Toss-Up Gina Ortiz Jones [EL, DCCC, DP; m, l][M], Rick Trevino [JD, OR, DP; ][M]
TX-32 03-06 R Sessions Likely-R Likely-R Colin Allred [DCCC], Ron Marshall , Todd Maternowski , Ed Meier , George Rodriguez , Lillian Salerno , Brett Shipp
UT-04 06-26 R Love Lean-R Lean-R Sheldon Kirkham (more) , Ben McAdams [DCCC, DP], Darlene McDonald [JD; s][M], Morgan Shepherd , Tom Taylor [ s][M]
VA-02 06-12 R Taylor Likely-R Likely-R Elaine Luria [EL, DCCC], Karen Mallard
VA-05 06-12 R Garrett Likely-R Likely-R Leslie Cockburn [EL], Roger Dean Huffstetler , Andrew Sneathern
VA-07 06-12 R Brat Lean-R Lean-R Abigail Spanberger [EL], Dan Ward
VA-10 06-12 R Comstock Toss-Up Toss-Up Shadi Ayyas [DP; h], Julia Biggins (more) [ s], Alison Kiehl Friedman (more) [DP; in], Daniel Helmer (more) [ m][fM], Julien Modica , Paul Pelletier (more) [ l], Michael Pomerleano (more) , Lindsey Davis Stover (more) [DP; ], Jennifer Wexton (more) [DP; l]
WA-05 08-07 R McMorris Rodgers Likely-R Likely-R Lisa Brown [EL, DCCC], Matt Sutherland
WA-08 08-07 R Open Reichert Toss-Up Toss-Up Poga Ahn , Thomas Cramer [M], Shannon Hader (more) [ h], Robert Hunziker (more) [M], Brian Kostenko [M], Jason Rittereiser (more; more.) [IN; l][M], Kim Schrier (more) [EL, IN; h]
WI-01 08-14 R Open Ryan Lean-R Lean-R Randy Bryce (more) [JD, DCCC][fM], Cathy Myers (more) [ e][M]
WV-03 05-08 R Open Jenkins Likely-R Likely-R Paul Davis [DCCC], Janice Hagerman , Shirley Love , Richard Ojeda
  • Bio keys are m, i, l, and o) for Military, Intelligence, Law Enforcement, and Other (except I didn’t find any Others this time[5]). A candidate who worked for the CIA is keyed i. A candidate who worked in Law enforcement and the military is keyed “lm.” “Law Enforcement” is conceived broadly, including not only police but district attorneys.
  • Backer keys are BN, EL, IN, JD, OR, and DCCC, Brand New Congress, Emily’s List, Indivisible, Justice Democrats, Our Revolution, and (of course) the DCCC. In addition, there is a DP key, for members of the Democrat Party network, elected and otherwise, and S, for challengers inspired by Sanders.
  • Policy keys are M, fM, for Medicare for All, and any of the various bait-and-switch alternatives proposed by think tanks like CAP, or centrists like Merkeley. Some judgement is involved, based on the verbiage. “Single payer” always merits an “M,” for example.
  • Bio keys are m, i, l, and o) for Military, Intelligence, Law Enforcement, and Other (except I didn’t find any Others this time[5]). A candidate who worked for the CIA is keyed i. A candidate who worked in Law enforcement and the military is keyed “lm.” “Law Enforcement” is conceived broadly, including not only police but district attorneys.
  • Backer keys are BN, EL, IN, JD, OR, and DCCC, Brand New Congress, Emily’s List, Indivisible, Justice Democrats, Our Revolution, and (of course) the DCCC. In addition, there is a DP key, for members of the Democrat Party network, elected and otherwise, and S, for challengers inspired by Sanders.
  • Policy keys are M, fM, for Medicare for All, and any of the various bait-and-switch alternatives proposed by think tanks like CAP, or centrists like Merkeley. Some judgement is involved, based on the verbiage. “Single payer” always merits an “M,” for example.

Figure 1 summarizes our most important result (which we can do, now that we have the complete universe — or at least the universe according to Inside Elections — in our database. Sorry it’s so long, but needs must!

Figure 1: The Path to 23

As we know, the Democrats need to win 23 Republican seats to take control of the House (and all the seats in Figure 1 are held by Republicans). As we can see, to achieve this, the Democrats need to win all Likely-D, Tilt-D, and Toss-Up seats, while losing none of their own. They also need to win six of the 14 Tilt-R seats. (I’ve highlighted the key states of Pennsylvania and California in yellow and white, respectively, but you can see that the map is national, not coastal.)

Can the Democrat Party do this? We’ll see. More precisely, can this Democrat Party do this? I don’t think it’s likely. True, the helicopters full of donor class money have scarcely been seen, but I think the cliché “You can’t beat something with nothing” applies. Do the Democrats, as a party or a brand, stand for anything? I don’t think so, because every claim to the moral high ground they want to make is riddled with exceptions, especially for insiders, and always in contexts that undercut their claim to be the “coalition of the ascendant.” Women (Bill Clinton). Latinx (Obama’s deportations). Blacks (Blue Lives Matter support). It’s the same on policy. Corruption (Clinton Foundation; Cuomo). Wages (“Why $15? Take 12!”). Health care (“Access,” blah blah blah). Income inequality (lol no). “The Resistance” (please). And of course there’s the distinctly non-triumphalist body language of the Democratic subclass of the political class and their creatures in the press, after the California primaries, which could be summarized thus: “[wipes brow] We didn’t blow it!” Needless to say, that’s not the attitude that pervades a party on the march to victory (and certainly wasn’t the zeitgeist in 2006).

I’m coming to the conclusion that the only thing that will save the Democrats this time round is “Events, my dear boy, events.” I remember going to the circus when I was young, and one of my favorite acts was the drunk who appears from the audience, clambers up the pole holding up one end of tightrope, and flailing and staggering and stiffing and blinding, makes his way across the wildly swinging to the other pole. (The reveal: The drunk is a performer, of course). That’s Trump. Flailing and staggering, and waving his bottle. And it’s true that Trump might actually fall off the tightrope! Nevertheless, a strategy that amounts to waiting for your opponent to make a mistake seems a bit weak. (Note that I don’t have a dog in this fight. Since I believe that gridlock is our friend, I’m fine with the Democrats winning the House. And if they lose, that’s egg on the face of the party Establishment. So it’s all good!)

* * *

Let’s take a look at California, now that we have a result. (Data entry for the status column is not complete, which is why its not in Table 1. But I did complete it for California.)

Figure 2: California Results

Figure 3: California Results (Winners and Medicare for All)

Figure 4: California Results (Withdrawals and Medicare for All)

Evidently, support for #MedicareForAll is not a barrier to winning a primary in California. Even more interesting, support for #MedicareForAll among candidates who withdrew (or were forced out) is disproportionally low.


When poking about the DCCC site to find their “Red to Blue” candidates, I came across this:


For more than 200 years, our party has led the fight for civil rights, health care, Social Security, workers’ rights, and women’s rights. We are the party of Barack Obama, John F. Kennedy, FDR, and the countless everyday Americans who work each day to build a more perfect union. Take a look at some of our accomplishments, and you’ll see why we’re proud to be Democrats.

2018 – 200 = 1818. Let’s talk about Civil Rights:

The Democrat Party actually split into two parties, over slavery, in 1860.

Democrat “progressive” President Woodrow Wilson resegregated the Federal government in 1913.

This passage is nomenklatura-driven historical falsification on the scale of The Great Soviet Encyclopedia. It’s hard for me to see how such a level of preening self-delusion is compatible with victory, in 2018 or any other time, or even with thinking straight.[1]


[1] You’d think the DCCC would have excised the Clinton-esque “everyday Americans.” Surely they’re not going to run on that again.


Shout out to Emily’s list for directing a donation stream toward Donna Shalala (FL-27). I’m sure she really needs the money!

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. allan

    Lambert:DCCC :: Hercules:Augean Stables

    To pick two nits: Brindisi in NY-22 and Perez-Williams in NY-24 both have DCCC backing
    (assuming that being on the Red to Blue list actually means anything other than
    agreeing to spend the rest of your life fundraising).

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Perez-Williams was a data entry error, however, brilliantly, Brindisi exposed a logic error in the query that produces the table (the empty string is not the same as NULL!) Thank you.

  2. dcblogger

    Howie Klein made an excellent point on the Nicole Sandler show, that Democrats continue to sweep the special elections. So, whatever the generic polls say, Democrats keep winning actual elections. This is not without significance.

    1. DonCoyote

      Lost AZ-08 at the end of April. Doug Jones squeaked by a child molester. And of course Ossoff lost despite a ton of money. Like “districts that HRC won in 2016”, I think this is not a meaningless indicator, but the importance is being overrated. Special elections are not the same as midterm elections are not the same as general elections.

    2. Darthbobber

      “Sweep” is a bit of an overstatement, and the relative success in local elections may simply illustrate the point that your chances increase the less “help” you have from the beltway geniuses.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      Winning a special election isn’t the same as beating an incumbent, though. I can’t find the link, but some are quite skeptical of the predictive value of special elections.

  3. Carey

    What *is* a Democrat, exactly, and if more of them are elected, for whom is that a good thing?

    1. DonCoyote

      Democrats are the Wall Street wing of the Military Industrial Complex/Permanent State (MIC/PS) party.

      Dem leaders endorse pay-go. Because that’s how you fire up your base and engage independents–virtually pledging that you will make no significant changes to anything because that would not be “budget neutral”. And who cares if Team-R just gave a huge giveaway to Big Business that was not even close to budget neutral–no, Team-D will be the party of fiscal responsibility and austerity.

      1. edmondo

        Team-D will be the party of fiscal responsibility and austerity.

        It worked so well for them in 2016.

      1. edmondo

        This should help:

        The DNC and members of Congress “are turning to Hollywood for help with voter turnout and messaging ahead of the midterm elections and 2020 presidential campaign, quietly consulting with a group of actors, writers and producers here,” Politico reports.

        “DNC Chairman Tom Perez…met with the group, formed by members of the entertainment industry …, complete with producers of such programs as Veep.”

        Said writer and producer Alex Gregory: “It really is focused on what do we stand for?

        The Democrats are hapless and hopeless

      2. The Rev Kev

        Had the same feeling with the Labour party in Australia about twenty years ago. They are the local equivalent of your Democrat party and during one election back then I asked myself the question – “What do they stand for?” and for the life of me I could not answer that question.

        1. pretzelattack

          as far as i can tell, keeping the latest iteration of tammany hall going; that’s the overriding purpose, and whatever camouflage they need to adopt to effect that is just a tactic.

          1. pretzelattack

            damn, i didn’t realize tammany lasted until the mid 1960’s, and was largely brought down by fdr and eleanor.

  4. DonCoyote

    Thanks as always Lambert for the massive amount of work required. Looks much better even as it has grown.

    Minor nit: MN-03 has the candidates all listed twice.

    Red to Blue (DCCC) Not listed : CA-21 TJ Cox; CA-48 Harley Rouda; NE-02 Brad Ashford; IA-01 Abbie Finkenhauer; UT-04 Ben McAdams; IL-06 Sean Casten; IL-13 Betsy Londrigan; Paul Davis (KS-02); MI-07 Gretchen Driskell; MN-03 Dean Phillips; NC-09 Dan McCready; NC-13 Kathy Manning; NJ-03 Andrew Kim; NJ-07 Tom Malinowski; NY-11 Max Rose; NY-22 Anthony Brindisi; NY-24 Juanita Perez Williams; OH-01 Aftab Pureval; TX-07 Lizzie Pannill Fletcher; TX-32 Colin Allred; VA-02 Elaine Luria; WA-05 Lisa Brown

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      MN-03 is fixed (I only got as far as Iowa in reviewing the incumbents. On the DCCC:

      L = logic error (fixed above)

      D = data entry error

      Thank you!

      [D] CA-21 TJ Cox
      [L] CA-48 Harley Rouda
      [L] NE-02 Brad Ashford
      [L] IA-01 Abbie Finkenhauer
      [L] UT-04 Ben McAdams
      [L] IL-06 Sean Casten
      [D] IL-13 Betsy Londrigan
      [L] KS-02 Paul Davis
      [D] MI-07 Gretchen Driskell
      [L] MN-03 Dean Phillips
      [L] NC-09 Dan McCready
      [L] NC-13 Kathy Manning
      [L] NJ-03 Andrew Kim
      [L] NJ-07 Tom Malinowski
      [L] NY-11 Max Rose
      [L] NY-22 Anthony Brindisi
      [D] NY-24 Juanita Perez Williams
      [D] OH-01 Aftab Pureval
      [L] TX-07 Lizzie Pannill Fletcher
      [L] TX-32 Colin Allred
      [L] VA-02 Elaine Luria
      [L] WA-05 Lisa Brown

  5. DonCoyote

    CA results–unsurprisingly, both of the winners who are not for Medicare for All are Red-to-Blue (DCCC) candidates.

  6. edmondo

    I can see a lot of people sitting on their couches come November. I know I will be. There is no reason to choose between Republican and Republican-lite. Why bother?

    In other news, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee just reserved $14 million in TV time to support every Blue Dog Democrat running in November, including Joe Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Donnelly (you know those Resistance Fighters who keep approving Trump’s nominees) as well as Kirsten Simena (Blue Dog-AZ) and Jackie Rosen (Corporatist-NV). Oh yeah, you can bet I’ll be out there to vote early and often in November – NOT!.

    1. dcblogger

      sez you, there will be an army of Medicare for All candidates running in November and you can best believe people will turn out to vote for them.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        It is true that Pelosi et al didn’t manage to squelch Medicare for All in California. I think “army” is stretching it.

        Adding, this year. I bet 2020 will be different.

      2. edmondo

        “…you can best believe people will turn out to vote for them.”

        And yet they never turned out to vote for them in the primaries. I can hardly wait for this Great Awakening you believe is coming in the next 5 months.

      3. Big River Bandido

        Everyone knows that the Democrats in Washington won’t even consider real reform. By vocally backing “pay go” Pelosi copped to the fact that any Democrat candidate who campaigns on reform is lying.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I can’t suggest a good way to do it — other than voting for a minor office to assure your ballot must be counted and leaving the rest blank or write-in — but I’ve always liked the story about the “No” vote that toppled Pinochet in Chile. What spin could the ‘Wise’ put on an election where the majority of the total number of ballots counted made no vote for an office?

  7. Arizona Slim

    And, right on cue, the Arizona Democrat party just sent me this e-mail.

    Subject: We don’t really talk anymore

    Hi there,

    Here at the Arizona Democratic Party, we are working around the clock to put Democrats in office this November. But we can’t do it alone. That’s why we’re so glad to have someone like you on our team.

    I know we haven’t talked in a while — which is why I’m reaching out today. It’s important to me that you are only hearing from us when it’s necessary. So, let me walk through some of your options to stay engaged with the party:

    Contribute Today


    Text Us

    Thanks for being on this team.

    Herschel Fink
    Executive Director
    Arizona Democratic Party

    For the record, I Demexited in the early hours of Wednesday, March 23, 2016. That was the day after our state’s presidential primary, which included a lot of voter suppression. Remember those stories about people standing in line for five hours? That happened. And the Democrat party didn’t do jack to stop it from happening.

    I had changed my independent status to Democrat so I could vote for Bernie Sanders. Fat lotta good that did.

      1. Arizona Slim

        I’m saving that e-mail. Why? Because, as a printout, it would make a great wraparound for my next NC donation check.

        Recycling for the win!

        1. Arizona Slim

          I also unsubscribed from the Arizona Democrats’ mailing list.

          Not the first time I’ve done so, but this time, I gave them my reason for unsubscribing. All I had to do was copy and paste the final paragraph of the post that started this thread. Ahhh, that felt good.

  8. Lambert Strether Post author

    I would be very interested to hear from readers in the districts numbered 18 – 31 in Figure 1. Does it seem plausible that the Democrats can flip your district?

    And by Democrats, I mean these Democrats. So far as I can tell, at the national level, the Democrat leadership remains unchanged in every respect (personnel; attitude; strategy). But we know from Shattered and Chasing Hillary that they’re out of touch and have terrible judgment. So does it matter that they’re using the party as a pass-through to the same group of consultants and strategists again?

    1. edmondo

      I would bet that the d’s have a better chance of taking WI-01 and WV-03 (Ojeda is my one big hope for Dems to see what a real populist looks like – Bernie should be down there. This race is winnable.) than they do of beating the CA Republicans.

      Don’t you live on ME-02? Do you see Poliquan in distress?

      1. Lambert Strether Post author


        I don’t, but I’ll know better, soon. (Hilariously, Emily Cain, who lost to Poliquin, is now heading Emily’s List. Failing upward….)

    2. UserFriendly

      While I don’t live there I used to work in #39 MN-3 and I would absolutely say it is flippable, IMO more flippable than MN-2. MN-3 is richer, went much more for Hillary, and has a perfect milktoast rich guy back by the DCCC in Dean Phillips to appeal to the anti-Trumpers in that entirely suburban district. Plus MN has something going for it now that will actually make me (and others like me) turn up and vote. With Ellison on the Ballot for AG in the primary and a few decent progressives running for his seat I will actually vote in both elections, his coattails will help everyone else down ballot who otherwise wouldn’t have bothered to vote for any of the totally uninspiring candidates for gov and senate. I could see Ellison pulling a Krasner which would be GREAT!

    3. DonCoyote

      OK, I don’t live in any of the districts 1-31. But I used to live in 5 (AZ-02) and I live close to 15 (TX-23) {fun fact–my work/home commute runs through five different US House districts}. So here are some predictions.

      1) Team-D will overall gain House Seats (that’s a pretty safe bet).
      2) Team-D will not win all the seats in #1-17.
      3) Team-D will lose at least one seat somewhere and probably more than 1.
      4) Team-D will get more than one seat below #31

      2&3, taken together (and, of course, if true) means Team-D needs more than 6 out of 14 in #18-31 (and/or needs some below 31)

      OK, my specific predictions:

      TX-23 Gina Jones (D) defeats Hurd. D’s had at least 15% more overall primary voters, and her military background counters his being on Homeland Security. Not an exciting candidate, but he’s only been in two terms.

      TX-07 Culberson (R) defeats Fletcher. R’s had at least 15% more overall primary voters, and he is a nine-term incumbent. And Fletcher is not an exciting candidate either.

      AZ-02: Coin flip. I mean, the primary hasn’t even happened yet, but assuming the two big money candidates (Kirkpatrick and Peterson) get in, then I don’t think either is going to resonate with the Independents, who may sit this one out. Kirkpatrick has the fundraising edge, for now, but also previous time in office that I think will hurt her. No incumbent, and no energy.

      So can the D’s get a 23+ gain and win the House? My last prediction is that it’s going to come down to those candidates below #31. In other words, Team-D is going to need a handful of “upsets” in Lean/Likely R seats, because they have a significant number of coin-flips/soft spots in the easier seats.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        That’s an interesting scenario. You could be right. In today’s Water Cooler, I find a lot of money spent in ME-02, under the radar. So it would be interesting to know if that’s going on elsewhere in the 31+ range.

  9. pretzelattack

    i’m not sure gridlock is our friend; the tammany hall democrats and the republicans seem to agree on militarism, not doing enough about climate change, and pushing policies that exacerbate inequality. i hoped trump would shake things up more, but hope in one hand, etc.

  10. Gina

    Red wave coming everywhere. IG report will be de-classified and 100% of the Democrat corruption will be shown to the American people…might even be live streamed….read it and weep. Biggest surprise of 2018? It is a tie between denuclearization of NK OR WHEN J. Assange will testify. Democrat party is a dead man walking. Be sure to stock up on food and water as riots/Marshall law may occur? Those in denial will be melting down!

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