Hidden polls show Trump’s defense against impeachment

Summary: The Democratic Party’s activists believe the news about Trump’s associates means that they will win big in November – a Blue Wave – followed by impeachment in the House. The polls tell a different story.

Donald Trump - fired

The news media keep us posted about Trump’s low job approval, a prerequisite for impeachment and conviction. They seldom compare Trump’s job approval to that of Democratic presidents at this point in their term. See the surprising results below, from Gallup’s Presidential job approval polls.

Compare Trump vs. Obama

Job Approval: Trump vs Obama

Compare Trump vs. Bill Clinton

Job Approval: Trump vs Bill Clinton

Compare Trump vs. Carter

Compare Trump vs. Carter

More vital information journalists seldom say

“Another such victory over the Romans and we are undone.”
— King Pyrrhus of Epirus after the Battle of Asculum, an unaffordable expensive win against the Romans.

For two years RussiaGate has been the primary attack on Trump (although secondary attacks are numerous as the stars in the sky). Partisans, such as Paul Krugman, talk as if the most extreme accusations have been obviously proven. Yet polls show that the public does not care. Seldom has so much political capital been expended for so little result.

The strong economy is one reason for the resilience of Trump’s support. The economic acceleration that began in Obama’s time continues, to Trump’s benefit. See the key metrics of per capita real GDP and jobs (nonfarm payrolls).

Robert Merry explains another reason “Why Trump’s Approval Numbers Won’t Budge.

“Because this isn’t about the fate of Trump so much as the future of America. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump opened up a series of fresh fault lines in American politics by advocating new directions for the country that no other politician would discuss. They included a clamp-down on illegal immigration and a serious reduction in overall immigration after a decades-long influx of unprecedented proportions; an effort to address the hollowing out of America’s industrial capacity through trade policies; an end to our nation-building zeal and the wars of choice spawned by it; and a promise to curtail the power of elites who gave us unfettered immigration, an industrial decline, endless wars, years of lukewarm economic growth, and an era of globalism that slighted old-fashioned American nationalism. …

“Before Trump’s 2016 emergence onto the political scene, many liberals believed the American future belonged to what political analyst Ron Brownstein called the “coalition of the ascendant” – including racial minorities, immigrants, Millennials, and highly educated whites residing primarily along the nation’s two coasts. They were convinced this ascendant force would eventually overwhelm the declining white majority and usher in a new era of globalism, open borders, identity politics, free trade, cultural individualism, foreign policy interventionism, and gun control.

“Trump interrupted the coalition of the ascendant on its way to U.S. political hegemony. In the process, he touched off an epic struggle over the definition of America.

“For those committed to the new world envisioned by the coalition of the ascendant, it is easy to see Trump, with all of his crudeness and vulgarity, as evil. After all, he’s personally distasteful and he wants to destroy the America of their dreams. But for Trump supporters, he represents their last hope for preserving the old America. These people view the stakes as so high that the president’s personal indecency and civic brutishness simply don’t register as problems. They may wish for a more wholesome leader, but no such person has emerged to take up their cause.”

Unless more damaging information emerges, impeaching a president supported by 40% of Americans risks igniting a political crisis. That might enrage and energize conservatives to a degree not seen since the 1960s. Democrats might rue the day of their success.

But I doubt they will try, although the pressure from their base would be immense. They might attempt to cripple Team Trump by a barrage of House investigations, producing a blizzard of “incriminating” leaks. That might work to the GOP’s advantage, distracting the Democrats from pushing a policy platform that benefits most Americans.

About impeachment

See “Will Trump be impeached – or is it just a liberal fantasy?” by Tom McCarthy in The Guardian — “Only two presidents in history have been impeached, but murmurs continue to surround Trump. Here’s how the process would work – if it would at all.” He does not say why liberals fantasize about having the competent and far-Right Pence as President.

Allan Lichtman’s The Case for Impeachment, released in April, describes the various reasons Congress could remove Trump from the White House – and how it might be done. He is a professor of history at American University.

For More Information

Ideas! For shopping ideas see my recommended books and films at Amazon.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about RussiaGate, about the Trump years in America, and especially these …

    1. Important: The GOP might impeach Trump, changing our politics forever – for the better.
    2. What Trump told Russia, why it matters, and why journalists ignore the smartest man in Washington.
    3. Status report on Trump: a president in peril.

Tw of the first crop of books about the Trump years

Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic by David Frum (2018).

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff (2018).

Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic
Available at Amazon.
Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
Available at Amazon.

39 thoughts on “Hidden polls show Trump’s defense against impeachment

  1. The mid-terms are going to be very interesting. I have happened to be in the UK for three election nights in recent years at which the shock and dismay of the pundits was clearly visible as the results came in totally at odds with what the polls had forecast. You could have a quick nap at 9.55 at the last General Election but one, and then wake up at 10.05 when the exit polls were allowed to be released and see it. Same thing when the Brexit results came in.

    I agree with you that a rational Democratic Party, even if it gained heavily in November, would not take it to impeachment. If they had a smoking gun in the form of Russian collusion, maybe, but if they had that, we would know it by now. But don’t underestimate the tendency of fanatics to self destruct! There will be ultras who will urge them on, and they might carry the day.

  2. I don’t suppose it matters much. Even if it’s only marginal Democrat gains it’ll be portrayed as a massive electoral indictment of Trump and everything Trumpian, marking the end of the GOP as they stand in disarray with no plan ‘B’. All of this being a prelude to the impeachment of Trump and his untimely exit from the White House thereby saving the US economy, democracy, human rights, the climate and several endangered species of newt by pulling the US back from the brink of catastrophe.

    Or something like that. It just looks too far gone for any hope of reasoned, reasonable debate. Things aren’t as bad as that over here, but they’re heading that way. Sometimes, I wonder what on earth is the point in any of it…

    1. Steve,

      “Or something like that. It just looks too far gone for any hope of reasoned, reasonable debate”

      That’s sad but true. Journalists have gone bonkers.

      “Sometimes, I wonder what on earth is the point in any of it…”

      The news in the US and Britain have a long history of excitement over fact & logic. The 19th C British press was famously nuts. The US press in the first few generations of the Republic described a nation gone mad, on the edge of ruin. Jonathan Swift wrote scurrilously news articles in 1700.

      Adjust your expectations down, calibrated to history. Heaven has a good press, but I doubt there is much to report — and you must die to get a subscription.

  3. I agree with the polls up to November. If the Democrats make a serious showing and take at least either the Senate or the House things start changing, especially between November and January when a number of Republicans who despise Trump will still have a say in things.

    That said, I also doubt that Trump will be impeached, there are too many really uncomfortable unknowns about the consequences of the act for both parties.

    Assassination might be a safer way out at this stage if it could not be connected to your party. I don’t think I’ve ever considered that possibility for a US political/corporate entity before.

    1. To go further down the rabbit hole (I’m warning you right now, this a lot further down the rabbit hole)…

      When I speak of assassination, I’m not just speaking of “bang, you’re dead” assassination. There’s also:
      – Character assassination (physically hands clean but morally, oh boy). McCain played that game a bit
      – Poison that affects the brain but not the body (I’ve wondered about that with some of Trump’s comments lately)
      – The inevitable effects of time. Rome and Athens are unique in that they established something that was admired 2,000+ years later. China is astonishing because its Imperial bureaucracy is still in effect after 5,000 years (read the first few chapters of China’s “Great Wall of Debt” to see it in action). The US is highly unlikely to be remembered as anything but insane by 3100. Perhaps a few scholars will remember our greatest moments, like Hannibal’s challenge to Rome.

    2. Another comment, many Democratic party leaders realized a LONG time ago that they are best off while Trump is still in power. Then all they have to do is to fan the flames he causes and say “Oh my, we’d NEVER do something like that.”

      Good government is a lot harder and beyond 95% of the Democratic party leadership. It’s also beyond 90% of the Republican party leadership, in case you were wondering.

      Sadly, nothing FM says or does will change the current dynamic until at least one of the 2 statements above are fundamentally no longer true.

    3. Pluto,

      “many Democratic party leaders realized a LONG time ago that they are best off while Trump is still in power.”

      Do you have the slightest evidence for that astounding statement? It makes no sense whatsoever. Politicians run to gain power, not for TV time.

    4. Pluto,

      “Assassination might be a safer way out at this stage if it could not be connected to your party. ”

      Where did that come from? Why would you say such a thing? That would put America on the fast track to hell.

      “I don’t think I’ve ever considered that possibility for a US political/corporate entity before.”

      Why would you do so now?

    5. “Assassination might be a safer way out at this stage if it could not be connected to your party. ”

      Where did that come from? Why would you say such a thing? That would put America on the fast track to hell.

      “I don’t think I’ve ever considered that possibility for a US political/corporate entity before.”

      Why would you do so now?
      —————————–

      I’ll tell you why, FM. Because the impeachment process is undoubtedly going to backfire on whomever initiates it. That’s why leaders of both parties have been avoiding it like the plague. But in Trump you’ve got the least qualified person since Warren Harding and, unlike Harding, he’s becoming more and more active in his putting his hands on the controls of government in ways that are messy and nonconstructive. The man’s behavior in the last couple of months is beginning to lead me to wonder if he’s only partly delusional or completely delusional.

      FM: “That would put America on the fast track to hell.” I completely agree with you on that point.

      But the leadership of both parties is already in hell. They’ve got an unpredictable Twitter-bot that can do enormous damage to their causes without realizing or caring about it. With Impeachment completely off the table, what’s left other than hunkering down and taking the abuse for another couple of years?

      Pence isn’t showing any interest in helping the Republican leadership, he’s obviously waiting for 2020.

      How many US/World corporations has Trump messed with from the Bully Pulpit.? A solution will find itself in the right place and the right time. I just don’t what when/what that will be and we will all sit down to a nice meal of consequences.

      Pass the salt please…

    6. Pluto,

      Wow. That’s quite a crazy comment. You’ve been reading too many fringe websites. Such delusional nonsense was said about Clinton, Bush Jr, and Obama. Yet the Republic still stands, pretty much in the same condition as it was in 1992.

      The only difference is that I see more crazy talk like yours about assassination and other extreme stuff. It makes me more sympathetic to the Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies watching the fringes for violent crazies.

  4. And if it works, we have President Pence. This is starting to sound like the Underwear Gnomes from South Park, Step 1 is collect underwear, and Step 3 is profit. Step 2 is a bit vague, but we’re sure that there’s profit at the end of this.

    It wouldn’t be all that hard to put together an agenda calculated to win back those Trump voters who deserted in 2016. If you want to find things in Trump’s record to criticize, well, it’s pretty much a target rich environment. Instead they’re running on a platform of enforced executive branch paralysis. Because something good’s going to come out of that.

    Anyway, I wonder if maybe we were always going to be here, and Trump is merely the last grain of sand that starts the avalanche. Clinton, Bush The Lesser, and Obama all had problems with an opposition that never entirely saw them as legitimate. The Republicans made a serious run at taking down Clinton, but didn’t have the active complicity of the security agencies. Investigations are what we have when the major parties agree on too much for there to be a meaningful debate.

    1. The Man,

      “Clinton, Bush The Lesser, and Obama all had problems with an opposition that never entirely saw them as legitimate.”

      I don’t believe that was true of Clinton. Certainly true of Bush Jr and Obama.

      “Investigations are what we have when the major parties agree on too much for there to be a meaningful debate.”

      Exactly.

  5. https://news.gallup.com/poll/125066/state-states.aspx There are some interesting things to note from this poll when thinking about impeachment and conviction by the Senate. Below what I mean by the word general, is to not use real numbers of republicans and democrats, but just what I see as political opportunity. With the green color of the map and what appears to be low numbers, i.e. 38%, the map might lead one to think that trump at 38% is close to being in trouble with an impeachment. I think it shows the opposite.

    I assume that Trump will fight impeachment but currently is working at running the country. This means that if Trump has to fight, he will fight and his focus will mean improved odds of stopping the impeachment conviction.

    I assume a base of about 44% for Trump switching his focus, +1 over Jimmy Carter. I assume that the breakpoint is 7% or half of the typical neutral swing vote. What does this translate to? Using the general outcome indicated from the 125066 state-states poll:

    In general, he has 38% approval. Of the states at 44%+ approval currently also equals 38%. That is 19 of fifty states. Looking at the map, it is unsurprising that it corresponds to states that he did well in. I used 44%, because that seems to me to be a good base number for judging political capability of holding one’s party. I also use it as an estimate of potential political fallout.

    This means Trump already has more than enough to defeat impeachment in the Senate without using political capital by just holding on to his base. It also indicates that an engaged Trump will likely have a few Democratic Senators in split states that will not want to fight a mobilized adverse political force at 44%. The reason is that their future opponent needs but a 7% swing vote to unseat them. This also means that to be successful at conviction, Trump’s opponents will have to hold all the democrats and swing almost every Republican senator in the 38% to 44% states in order to get the two thirds necessary for conviction.

    Though the number of votes to swing for conviction appears to be small, IMO, the political likelihood of getting those votes looks to be even smaller.

    1. John,

      “With the green color of the map and what appears to be low numbers,”

      The point of this post: his job approval numbers are average — not low.

      “This means Trump already has more than enough to defeat impeachment in the Senate without using ”

      Two-thirds approval is needed in the Senate to remove a president. Nobody gives the Democrats a prayer of getting that many seats in the Senate in November. The only way to remove Trump is for his support to collapse so that a substantial number of Republican Senators vote against him.

      “Though the number of votes to swing for conviction appears to be small, ”

      The number of votes necessary to get 2/3s of the Senate blue is massive, not small. Unimaginably massive unless something big happens that changes public opinion.

    2. No disagreement Larry, that is why I used the word “appears” rather than a more definite word. I was doing a go/no go analysis. One thing I was attacking was the message that seems to be coming from some of the media about Trump’s unpopularity. Sorry I did not make that clearer. I also was trying to get a handle on how likely is it that Trump would lose his Senate support. I think the analysis indicates that the Democrats will be eating their own to pursue it. They will have senate defectors.

      I think that this highlights what I don’t understand about the Democrats. I remember seeing similar self destruction with Carter and the aftermath of the run to the left at that time by the democrats.

      Even using a worst case GNG approach, it indicates that the democrats are worse than leaderless if they pursue the impeachment angle; they are creating additional fault lines and making the Big Scary Chasm both wider and more tanglesome. Tanglesome as in you can’t jump very well with your feet tangled up in your own people fighting each other.

      IMO, the result of recent polls, and Trump’s win indicate that, at present, Trump and his allies are doing much better strategically than the democrats. I also think the quiet dismantling of government that is going on indicates it is not just about votes. They are changing government despite opposition, and distraction. I don’t believe in luck at this level. To me to believe in luck at this level is to believe that professionals in large and high-profile businesses make silly or even stupid mistakes.

      I was using the map to support the thought that the big blue wave looks to be a big blue bust. The only caveat I have is that I was glancing at some opinions about the real number of swing votes as 10% or less and that modern elections were mostly about getting out the vote. If that is the reality of voting, the democrats may do better than I think they will, and a claim of impeaching, that is a lie, may well help them. I don’t know. I am reading the Voter trends of 2016 by Center for American Progress to try to get a better feel based on better evidence.

      Do you know if the evidence strongly supports either swing or the get out the vote scenario? It appears to me that it would depend on the cohesion of the two parties, and the reaction of voters to the messaging of the two.

    3. John,

      “if they pursue the impeachment angle; they are creating additional fault lines and making the Big Scary Chasm both wider and more tanglesome.”

      I suggest caution when assuming professionals are making obvious mistakes. Since the Dem’s first used investigations and hearings to paralyze an administration, this has been perfected into an effective art form. IMO this is a strategic mistake unless accompanied by an issues-based branding campaign. Otherwise the Dems will be again running on the “not Trump” platform, which I suspect can only make small gains against the headwinds of a strong economy.

      On the other hand (there’s always another hand), the Dems might have little choice. Running on the more transgenders – open borders – more crime (see their cities) – lottsa free stuff platform might not work well, either.

      “Do you know if the evidence strongly supports either swing or the get out the vote scenario?”

      The current polling data at Real Clear Politics implies that the Dems are highly likely to take the House. Their Senate data suggests it is too close to call.

    4. I do believe in caution when naysaying the experts. It is just the more I look into it, using impeachment approach appears wrongheaded. I find typically that I am missing a counter intuitive reason that has good explanatory power in such cases. So, I am curious as to what it is. After reading what Voter trends of 2016 concluded, I am left even more puzzled. One thought from the scenarios is that the democrats cannot expect someone like Clinton to have historic levels of black vote. Another was that certain numbers left both parties, and the democrats should woo them. Also, that there were populations that were concerned about economics that could not be ignored due to their size.

      From: https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/democracy/reports/2017/11/01/441926/voter-trends-in-2016/

      we have argued in the past that Democrats must go beyond the “identity politics” versus “economic populism” debate to create a genuine cross-racial, cross-class coalition that supports economic opportunity, good jobs, and decent social provisions for all people and makes specific steps to improve the conditions of people of color,

      which I translate as a specific means to grow the number of people under their tent.

      I know that impeachment plays well with the party faithful. It is easy to setup and maintain. But will it give the results they need? In particular, are they setting themselves up for a Trump rush near election time that can stop the red hemorrhaging. I don’t know and don’t see what is missing.

      Your thoughts would be appreciated.

  6. The more presidents that get impeached the less impeachment means. It really had no effect on Clinton.

    Trump could start a new trend and from now on every president will just be impeached as a matter of course.

    1. “It really had no effect on Clinton.”

      If you asked most people on the street if Clinton was impeached, they would say no.

    2. Jay,

      Great point! The only ones damaged were the Republicans, in one sense.

      But — the impeachment hearings and publicity consumed a vast amount of Clinton’s political capital — and the time of him and his senior staff. So the GOP did benefit.

      Feminists were collateral damage. Their support of him showed massive hypocrisy.

  7. The “Coalition of the ascendant” as defined actually is the white elites co-opting the racial minorities, immigrants and Millenials for as long as they are needed and exploiting them. They all get thrown under the bus in turn. Obama deporting record numbers of Latinos, African-americans really not having a great improvement under Obama and Millennials being herded into the gig-economy like Romans herding galley-slaves.

    The scales fell from the eyes of the WWC first as they were first under the bus to feed the “globalisation” that made the Elites into Uber-elites. Eventually the Elites have run out of suckers (sorry, Coalition partners) in the US, Britain, Italy and wider Europe and Australia next.

    1. Pundit,

      “The “Coalition of the ascendant” as defined actually is the white elites co-opting the racial minorities, immigrants and Millenials for as long as they are needed and exploiting them.”

      That’s a vital and ignored point. But that’s just now. I believe the future will be different. This is from a post about France, but also applies to the US.

      “These immigrants are not pawns. They are proud people, albeit mostly undereducated and poor, from cultures with histories as long as Europe’s. Many are Muslim, with a history as glorious as that of the Christian West. The come from many nations. But inevitably if slowly they have recognized that they have more in common with each other than with their rich arrogant hosts, whose political leaders seek to use them. They feel their power as their numbers grow, especially as they see the spiritual weakness of Europe’s senescent society. They see themselves as the future.”

  8. The biggest problem for the left and center candidates in both parties is that they are slowly realizing that they have no persuasive or compelling political or economic message to the middle-of-the-road voters.

    Gee, they are finding out that feminism, inventing racial hatred and amplifying a gender war doesn’t resonate as a priority for most voters and is not a recipe for political victory. What a shocker!

    1. Constrained Locus,

      That’s an important point, seldom mentioned. Neither party – R or D – has much interest in the welfare of Americans. Each sees that clearly when looking at the other side, but seldom when looking at their own side. That’s what makes it work so well.

      That’s a natural result of our disengagement from the responsibilities and burdens of citizenship. Farmer’s are not interested in the welfare of their sheep, except in a utilitarian sense.

  9. Hi Larry,
    If you replace muslim with hispanic in your paragraph and Europe with the US, here is what you get:
    “These immigrants are not pawns. They are proud people, albeit mostly undereducated and poor, from cultures with histories as long as the US. Many are hispanic, with a history as glorious as that of the US. They come from many nations. But inevitably if slowly they have recognized that they have more in common with each other than with their rich arrogant hosts, whose political leaders seek to use them. They feel their power as their numbers grow, especially as they see the spiritual weakness of America’s senescent society. They see themselves as the future.”

    It almost fits. That said, I wonder if the “Blue Wave” will weaken from a Tsunami to waves at high tide by November.

    Florida could easily become the state that keeps at least one house of Congress red given how well Rick Scott is doing and with the Governor’s race helping Republican turnout.

    1. AC,

      “It almost fits.

      Exactly so.

      “That said, I wonder if the “Blue Wave” will weaken from a Tsunami to waves at high tide by November.”

      That’s possible. Most people care a lot more about 3.6% per capita real GDP growth than they do about most of the scandals that the Democrat’s scream about.

  10. Pluto :“many Democratic party leaders realized a LONG time ago that they are best off while Trump is still in power.”

    FM: “Do you have the slightest evidence for that astounding statement?”

    FM, here is the tip of the articles that support my statement. There’s a LOT more where that came from
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/…democrats…impeachment/566636/

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/…democratic…trump-impeachment/5b63ba061b326b0…

    https://www.sfchronicle.com/…/Democrats-not-using-word-impeachment-in-1317585…

    https://www.npr.org/…/democrats-not-in-any-hurry-to-call-for-impeachment-proceeding..

    https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article217582805.html.

    To reiterate what I said earlier, Trump is the absolute BEST tool in the Democratic Party arsenal for a clean sweep in 2020:
    1. He energizes the base
    2. He energizes the donations
    3. Key point: The Democratic Party leadership doesn’t have to do ONE DAMN THING to benefit from this. The party leadership is weak and divided and still haven’t worked out what they want to do after Obama (who came as a shock to most of them).

    Hell, at the rate he’s going they might win 60 votes in the Senate, not that it would do them any good because they’re so disorganized. You have correctly pointed out that Trump’s base holds at least a 40-45% in all states. While that is true, that would not keep them from losing significant votes in both houses. Personally, I expect Andrew Gillum to win in Florida.

    2018 is NOT going to be a good year for the establishment candidates in EITHER party.

    1. Pluto,

      (1) Only the last of your links works.

      (2) You are conflating two entirely different things. That Democrats believe that “impeaching Trump is bad politics” is NOT the same as saying they are better off with Trump in power. Rather, impeachment is a serious business — overturning an election. The GOP suffered from its impeachment of Clinton — although he was clearly guilty of an actual crime (something not so for Trump at this point) — because even a large fraction of Republicans believed it was inappropriate.

      Another way to see your logic: a jury believes Joe is not guilty as charged is NOT the same as saying we’re better off with Joe on the street.

      (3) “Hell, at the rate he’s going they might win 60 votes in the Senate”

      Trump’s popularity is pretty stable. The polls show that the balance in the Senate remains a toss-up. I’ve seen no expert who believes that the Dem’s have any reasonable chance of taking 60 seats in the Senate.

      (4) “not that it would do them any good because they’re so disorganized”

      What is the evidence that the elected Democratic Party officials in DC are “disorganized”? I don’t see it.

    2. FM: ” Only the last of your links works.”

      True, I didn’t see the extra spaces that somehow inserted themselves into the links until after I saved my entry and now I do not believe I can change it.

      As for the Democrats being anything but a mess, look at the following articles:
      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/05/the-democratic-party-is-in-a-murky-mess

      https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2018/04/01/why-these-democrats-side-trump-more-than-their-own-party/477144002/

      https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/05/who-does-the-democratic-party-stand-for/560417/
      “If you ask people what the Democratic Party stands for, they can’t tell you,” he said. “As soon as you get beyond anti-Trump, nobody seems to know.”

      I cannot find a single coherent policy position in the Democratic party except “We hate Trump” that would win more than 50% of the Democratic leadership vote.

      For example, they are getting heavily in bed with the Corporate Leaders for the money. Except there’s also the increasingly powerful Progressive wing who hate the Corporate Leader. This is same conflict is true of almost every issue facing the Democrats. They have built an incoherent coalition of not-Republicans.

  11. I was looking at losses in the house by a first term president in the house election immediately after his election. I have heard about how presidents usually lose some of the House and it is true. What is not being talked about are the averages. Starting with Carter, the Democrats lose an average of 44.33, the Republicans lose an average of 9.33 house members. The average of both is 26.83. If Republican lose at the Democratic average or the composite average, they lose the house. But if Trump can hold Republican seats as well as the average of Republican presidents, he hold the House. However, if he loses as Reagan did (26), he will lose the House.

    The average and a Reagan like loss will give a 221 D vs 214 R House +/-1. The Democrats would have to cater to swing district candidates in order to hold the actual voting power of the House, IMO, for the coming 2020 elections.

    This election may have as many twists as any previous election. And the aftermath as telling as the 2016 election.

    Though I did it by hand, I hope I did not mess up. In a couple of cases wasn’t sure how to do the handle Independent and midterm losses etc.

    1. John,

      Elections are too complex for averages to be useful. Factors such as the degree of economic growth are decisive.

      To mention just one factor relevant to the mid-term elections — Investment banker Tracy G Herrick wrote Power and wealth: How presidents cause stock market crashes and rallies (1988). He was the first (I believe) to notice that presidents tend to administer the harsh medicine soon after election — spending cuts, tax increases, new regulations. These tend to depress the economy. Then in the middle of the term they apply juice, boosting the economy into the vital 18 months before the election. That accounts for a big part of the mid-term losses.

      This applies, albeit less strongly, to the second terms.

      There are, of course exceptions. War, recessions, and other factors often prevent smooth administration of this program. But it shows why single factor models are pretty useless (e.g., mid-term vs presidential elections).

    2. Larry: I agree about “Elections are too complex for averages to be useful. Factors such as the degree of economic growth are decisive.” I was just tired of persons talking about historical averages as though the Republicans have lost the house already. Just one additional factor Republican versus Democratic on averages changes the whole average story to the opposite result. Just think of the witches brew when you add economics, scandals, personal appeal, etc.

      But I note that Trump has a growing economy heading into the 2018 elections.

    3. John: “But I note that Trump has a growing economy heading into the 2018 elections.”

      Agreed, for now. Not sure how fast that might turn though. November is still 3 months away. Compare Aug. 1929 with Nov. 1929 for example.

    4. Pluto,

      “Compare Aug. 1929 with Nov. 1929 for example.”

      That’s absurd. Just because extraordinary events occur, that does not mean you should expect them every day.

      It’s also wrong. The depression began in rural America in the mid-1920s with the collapse of ag prices (the farm sector was a much larger part of the economy back then). We have little data about the 1929 economy (the govt began collecting most economic stats in the late 1930s and esp during WWII). But we know the economic distress began in March. The major indicator tracked, industrial production, peaked in July.

      The August peak in stock prices was, as usual, a lagging indicator. It was also a less important indicator, since public corporations were a smaller part of the economy today.

      For another comparison, real GDP growth peaked in Q3 2003, long before the great recession began.

      Now the economy is roaring. Could it crash in the next 2 months? Yes, if something bad happens (e.g., trade war, real war). But it is unlikely, since the economy has considerable momentum. The GDPnow estimate for Q3 is 4.1%.

    5. Pluto99. I agree but point out that 1929 is not a time period that looks like today in terms of economic fallout.

      The question I am looking at is “Are the predictions from polls missing what was missed in 2016?” In particular, Trump won where he had to. The question to me is can the Republicans win what they need to in the House in 2018. I don’t know.

    6. John,

      ““Are the predictions from polls missing what was missed in 2016?”

      That is, like so much commonly known info these days, a myth. The public opinion polls did not miss anything. Hillary’s majority of the public vote was within their margin of error (details here).

      Accurate prediction of electoral college outcomes using polls (50 seperate polls) requires a lot more money than anyone is willing to spend (roughly 80 thousand votes gave the EC win to Trump).

      “that 1929 is not a time period that looks like today in terms of economic fallout.”

      That’s an understatement. “Having almost nothing in common” would be an accurate description.

  12. Larry, sorry if I was not clear. It was the predictions that I was faulting, not the polls. The best example I can think of in the 2016 election was some one on TV that started with Hillary at 290 and soared to something like 327 for the electoral college vote.

    The question I still consider valid: Can Trump concentrate on winnable toss ups and stop the hemorrhaging? The election results will show this.

    1. John,

      My apologies. You were clear. I didn’t read closely. You said “Are the predictions from polls missing what was missed in 2016?” – which clearly points to the predictions, not the polls.

      “Can Trump concentrate on winnable toss ups and stop the hemorrhaging?”

      My guess: he’s a clown, and can’t do much. His staff and cabinet are working their own agendas. Esp the Secretaries — diligently working their far-right and corportatist programs. But most of those are either unpopular or very unpopular. Not much help for GOP candidates there. Their only possible salvation is the strong economy and the Democrat’s incompetence (eg, focusing on RussiaGate instead of the many unpopular actions by Team Trump).

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