As we listen to the number of attendees at Donald J Trump (R) rallies across the nation there is an interesting assumption—one we are skeptical about—that comes along with media reports, and that is the Republican voting base is equal to or competitive with the Democratic base. This election will come down to a simple fact, turnout. The early voters number here, as of yesterday, 539,806, only 28,390 of the highwater mark in 2016, and it is worth noting more will be counted from late yesterday and today. We expect we will exceed the total from the last Presidential election year.
Traditionally, high turnout favors Democrats and low turnout favors Republicans, as the bevy of reports come in trying to measure the expectations of turnout, the enthusiasm factor, gap or otherwise, the sentiments continue to make claims of parity. We think this is largely a hedge by Mainstream Media trying to avoid the Trump effect they missed two years ago.
Additionally, one factor discussed, which might be a better indicator is why negative campaigning works, and that is people are more willing to vote against something that they are for something, and in this case, the prime motivator is a vote against Trump. To us, this means Democratic votes will be higher than Republican votes.
Now granted this may not be a universal constant in every place across the nation, but since the vote for President is the only collective vote our nation has, and this election is viewed from all quarters as a referendum on Trump, it begs the question. If the Democratic vote increases by five percent and the support for Trump falls four points because his vote is a vote for, then cumulative is a nine-point advantage.
Of course, this will occur in a cookie cutter fashion across the nation where different pockets operate in their own unique fashion, but the point Is made. History, shows incumbent Presidents lose on average 30 seats in the US House and four US Senate seats. Trump has proven to buck historical trends but this election will determine if that trend continues.
Here in Minnesota, the best measure will be seen in the US House races, of the four toss-up races in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 8th, if all go to the DFL candidates the Trump effect will have been met and conquered in the two districts that represent one quarter of the state’s population of 2010. If the mix is 3-1 or 2-2 then we expect it will reflect the rural and urban divide, because it will be likely the loses are in the 8th first and the 1st second.
The impact will also be felt in the legislative contests, since the DFL has one shot in the Special election in Senate District 13 to regain control of the Majority, the vote between DFL candidate Stearns County Commissioner Joe Persky and Rep Jeff Howe (R-13A, Rockville) like the 8th Congressional District will provide a telling of the Trump effect in Greater Minnesota. In the state House, the rural-urban divide that is already present will likely continue, but the question is will the DFL have enough wind in its sails to gain back 12 seats to foster inter own Majority.
Remember, the DFL does start with the likelihood of one seat, because of the end of the campaign of Rep Jim Knoblach (R-14B, St Cloud) because of the sexual abuse allegations rendered by his daughter, which we, not MPR first brought to light in 2017.