By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Here’s Taibbi’s drinking game. Here are live updates from the Times, Politico, and FOX.
The conventional wisdom seems to be — handicappers, please add your comments! — that this is not a “wave year” for Republicans. Democrats will lose the House, but not much, and retain the Senate. Normally, my heuristic would be that the conventional wisdom is wrong, but my current heuristic is that this is the stupidest timeline, and that would be the stupidest outcome, since the Democrat gerontocracy’s pasty white fundamentals would remain firmly planted in the seats of power (“If only a few votes in a few states hadn’t flipped by Putin!”) Not that the color of the pasty fundamentals matters much, if the Congressional Black Caucus takes over. Amy Cook expresses the conventional wisdom well:
Ultimately, however, I’m a big believer in the fundamentals. And right now, the mood of the electorate is dour. The president is unpopular. And inflation remains a persistent and unrelenting pressure point in the lives of average Americans. Those fundamentals alone give Republicans an outsized advantage. Keeping the bottom from dropping out on Democrats, however, are some structural fundamentals of their own: an optimal Senate map with weak/flawed GOP opponents in those key races; a House map that is also pretty well-sorted; a polarized electorate that rarely defects from its partisan leanings; and a Democratic base that is more engaged than we’d expect to see in a ‘tsunami’ year.
“Dour”? My shorter OED defines “dour” as “gloomily taciturn; sullen.” I don’t know about that; but I’m not sure there’s a word for “incandescent rage so deeply impacted that it turns to boredom”; perhaps the Germans have one.
In any case, here are some bellwether races to watch in case you need to get to bed early: Cook Political Report suggests the PA Senate, since if Fetterman wins, that means Democrats can afford to lose another incumbent, and OH-13, a district Biden narrowly carried in 2020. Blake Hounshell suggests three House races in Virginia, ordering them from most to least vulnerable: Elaine Luria (VA-2), Abigail Spanberger (VA-7), and Jennifer Wexton (VA-10), as indicators that a Republican victory is a “Red Ripple,” a “Red Wave”, or a “Red Tsunami” respectively.
Readers, if you have races that you consider especially important or interesting, please add them in comments!
On the bright side, The 2024 Presidential campaign begins tomorrow. Bottoms up!