The Sweep: October Surprise

Campaign Quick Hits

It’s Gonna Be a Bumpy 34 Days: As our own Nick Catoggio said when he posted this in our Slack channel, “​​The polls are catching up to ‘the vibes.’

But, But, But: Nate Cohn at the New York Times puts down a marker that Democrats could maintain control of the House. Sure, the fundamentals of a midterm election with high inflation favor Republicans, but there are plenty of races where Republicans picked divisive candidates and Democrats did a better job on redistricting. As a result, Cohn noted that “on average, Democrats are running a net 3.9 points behind President Biden — a number that’s essentially consistent with a tied national vote (Mr. Biden won by 4.5 points in 2020) — across the 29 districts where there have been polls since Aug. 1.” If that polling holds steady, it would be a tied ball game going into Election Day and Republicans need to pick up five seats to take the House. 

On the other hand, he also added that “Republicans have gained three points across 19 post-Labor Day polls of the key Senate battleground states,” meaning that the Senate is still a jump ball. And what about that generic ballot question we were paying so much attention to over the summer? “Over the last few weeks, there haven’t been a lot of generic ballot polls, which ask voters whether they prefer Democrats or Republicans for Congress,” Cohn cautioned. “But there are mounting signs of a rightward shift on this measure.” 

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