Dem 49
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GOP 51
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New polls:  
Dem pickups vs. 2012: (None)
GOP pickups vs. 2012: (None)

Takeaways from Tuesday's Elections

As usual, many news outlets have made lists of takeaways from Tuesday's elections. Here are some of them:

New York Times
  • Suburbanites are more fired up than rural voters
  • The revolution was not televised, or, the Sanders/Ocasio-Cortez candidate in Michigan was crushed
  • Conor Lambs do not grow on trees and his performance won't be so easy to replicate everywhere
  • Women break through in governor's races
  • It was a big night for labor in Michigan (Whitmer) and Missouri (right-to-work law struck down)
Washington Post
  • A wave appears to be building for House Democrats
  • Most special elections have shifted appreciably to the Democrats
  • Women are being nominated for governor at a record pace
  • Unions won a huge victory in Missouri, where a right-to-work law was overturned
  • Trump's endorsement may not be worth much, even in primaries
  • Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn't have a great night
  • John Conyers' dynasty ended with him
  • It's time for Republicans to panic about the House
  • If Kobach wins, he could lose the general election; if he loses, it's a black eye for Trump
  • Missouri right-to-work law ploy backfires on the Republicans
  • Progressive push hits a snag in the Midwest
  • The cavalry came for Balderson, but come November, the weak will be left on the battlefield
  • Republican suburban problem continues
  • Tuesday was a bad day for the far left
  • Trump's endorsements don't seem to matter that much
  • Washington State is becoming an even bigger problem for Republicans than it already was
USA Today
  • House Republicans Are in Trouble
  • Ohio Democrats are cursing Green Party candidate Joe Manchik for defeating O'Connor
  • More and more women are winning Democratic primaries
  • Unions won a rare victory in Missouri
The Hill
  • Democrats put up a strong fight in the Ohio special election
  • The GOP may be in genuine trouble in the suburbs
  • Trump's impact on races is uncertain
  • Sanders' and Ocasio-Cortez' impact on races is also uncertain
  • Women had a strong night
Fox News
  • The big blue wave is not materializing
  • President Trump can still get the vote out and his endorsement makes a difference
  • The civil war in the Democratic Party between the left and the far left is getting closer to the boiling point

In summary, the topics that came up repeatedly in the lists are House Republicans are in trouble, suburban voters are energized, endorsements don't help much, and women did well. And then there is Fox News, which is doing its best impression of Kevin Bacon in Animal House. (V)

Gates' Testimony Concludes, Bank Fraud Likely to Be Next Up in Manafort Trial

The (first) trial of Paul Manafort concluded its seventh day on Wednesday, and the prosecution is nearing the finish line with its case. That is the good news for the defendant. The bad news is that Wednesday's testimony was, by nearly all accounts, devastating.

The day began, as expected, with the defense trying to undermine Manafort's turncoat former associate Rick Gates. Counsel managed to squeeze in a few salacious questions about Gates' extramarital dalliances, but were largely shut down by Judge T.S. Ellis III. And beyond that, it was basically a repeat of Tuesday, with the defense accusing him of many different shady behaviors, and Gates frankly admitting to all of them. The general consensus is that, when Gates left the stand, his accounting of events had withstood scrutiny, and Manafort's team did not succeed in cutting him off at the knees.

The basic problem here, as CNN legal analyst Laura Coates points out, is that hoodlums do not associate with nice people like Mother Teresa. She writes:

Do you know who testifies against pimps? Prostitutes. Do you know who testifies against drug dealers? Drug users. Do you know who testifies against conspirators? Their co-conspirators. In the imperfect contest of credibility, juries don't hear from the criminally pristine, they hear from two evils and choose to believe the lesser. In this case, the jury will choose between the admitted liar and the accused one.

In other words, defense attorneys almost always try to impugn the integrity of the prosecution's witnesses. And, because the jury knows what kind of people they are hearing from, such efforts rarely succeed.

Following Gates, the jury heard from IRS revenue auditor Michael Welch and FBI forensic accountant Morgan Magionos, who laid out in detail the path that Manafort's money followed, from Ukraine to offshore accounts to the fancy stores where he purchased ostrich- and python-skin jackets and a $20,000 karaoke machine. The sums involved are staggering: $65 million in income, and at least $15 million of that going to luxury purchases.

It is not clear what Team Mueller will begin with on Thursday, although it appears that the first part of the prosecution's case is basically complete. That is to say, they began with the vast outlays of cash on luxury goods, and now they have come full circle, showing where the money came from, and how it eventually turned into ostrich-skin jackets. It's likely that the next phase of the prosecution case will focus on bank fraud, and how Manafort allegedly inflated his income and his credentials to get loans for which he should not have qualified.

So, does Manafort have any hope at this point? Well, to the extent that he has anything to cling to, it is probably the behavior of the Judge. On the whole, the notoriously cantankerous Ellis has been tougher on the prosecution than on the defense, and has compelled Team Mueller to skip some evidence they really wanted to introduce. It is possible that the jury will take a cue from this, and will conclude that the Judge's behavior speaks to the weakness of the prosecution's case. On the other hand, his crankiness could benefit the prosecution by creating sympathy for them. Or, it could have no effect at all, other than persuading the jury that Ellis runs a tight ship and that they should feel free to reach whatever conclusions they are going to reach. In short, Ellis' conduct may give Manafort something that allows him to sleep better at night, but it's only a small ray of hope, at best.

On the other hand, the indirect help Ellis has been giving the defendant may hurt Manafort in an appeal. The prosecution will be able to argue that not only did Ellis not do anything to harm the defendant, but he bent over backwards to enforce the principle "innocent until proven guilty." In an appeal, it is nearly impossible to reargue the facts of the case. It has to be based on errors in procedure, a judge biased against you, an incorrect reading of the law, etc. With an obviously pro-defendant judge, that will be harder. (Z)

Michael Cohen Isn't the Only One with a Tape Recorder

Well, more likely an mp3 recorder, but close enough. Anyhow, on Wednesday we learned of yet another jilted former Trump associate who was apparently in the habit of recording conversations with the President. This time it is Omarosa Manigault-Newman, who achieved her 15 minutes of fame as a heel on various incarnations of "The Apprentice," then followed Trump to the White House as Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison, and then got fired in contentious fashion.

Manigault-Newman has not, at this point, released any actual recordings. Wednesday's announcement was clearly a tease in advance of the release of her upcoming Trump tell-all, Unhinged. "Without commenting on the specific contents of Unhinged," said a spokesperson for publisher Simon & Schuster, "we are confident that Omarosa Manigault Newman can substantiate her highly-anticipated account of life inside the Trump White House." The book comes out Tuesday, so presumably the juiciest recordings will be made public very soon. Our guess is Sunday afternoon, so as to make sure to dominate the Monday morning headlines. (Z)

China Makes Tit-for-Tat Official

On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced 25% tariffs to be imposed on an additional $16 billion worth of Chinese goods, set to take effect on August 23. On Wednesday, the Chinese announced—you got it—25% tariffs to be imposed on an additional $16 billion worth of American goods, set to take effect on August 23. Among the products being targeted by the new Chinese tariffs are diesel fuel, automobiles, and fiberoptic cabling. Maybe those things are disproportionately made in Trump-voting states, like the first round of targeted goods were, or maybe the Chinese are running out of products that allow them to laser-target Trump voters.

Whatever the case may be, some American workers are already starting to feel the pinch from the emerging trade war. On Wednesday, Element Electronics, a South Carolina firm that assembles televisions, announced that the tariffs would compel a reduction in workforce from 126 people down to 8. There have also been layoffs at Mid-Continent Nail (makes nails with imported Mexican steel; 60 employees gone), REC Silicon (makes polysilicon for solar equipment; 100 employees gone), and Harley Davidson (makes motorcycles; number of layoffs unclear). Needless to say, if Trump sticks to his guns, this will be only the tip of the iceberg. (Z)

Trump Administration Hits Russia with More Sanctions

On Wednesday, the Trump administration announced a new round of sanctions against Russia. Set to take effect on or around August 22, the new sanctions will limit the export of electronics equipment and other technologies.

What is Russia being punished for? If you guessed "election interference," go stand in the corner for 10 minutes with the dunce cap and think about what you've done. No, it's in response to the poisoning of Russian expatriate (and current London resident) Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Vlad Putin has denied responsibility, declaring that it is "unthinkable that we would do such a thing," but British and American intelligence have confirmed the Russians' guilt.

Team Trump is, of course, trying to have its cake and to eat it, too. The sanctions allow the President to claim that he is being "tough" on Putin without in any way acknowledging past, current, or future Russian meddling in American elections. One might ask why Trump believes the intel pros and rejects Putin's lies in this situation, but not when it comes to the 2016 election. Fortunately for the President, his base generally does not concern themselves with questions like that. (Z)

As Many as 66 Republican Districts Could Flip

Troy Balderson will probably eke out a narrow victory over Danny O'Connor in the OH-12 special eleciton, but Donald Trump carried the district by 11 points in 2016 and the Republicans put in a massive effort (money, surrogates, etc.) to save Balderson. This suggests that districts that Trump won by 10 points or less are probably in play. And then there are the 23 Republican districts that Hillary Clinton won, which are definitely in play. Here are all the Republican-controlled House districts that Trump lost or that he won by fewer than 11 points sorted on his margin of victory (negative means a Trump loss). Columns 4 and 5 refer to the congressional vote; columns 6 and 7 refer to the presidential vote in the district. In some cases the arithmetic in the last column appears to be wrong, but that is due to rounding.

District Representative PVI Dem % 2016 GOP % 2016 Clinton % Trump % Trump - Clinton
FL-27 OPEN (Ileana Ros-Lehtinen) D+05 45% 55% 59% 39% -20%
FL-26 Carlos Curbelo D+06 41% 53% 57% 41% -16%
CA-21 David Valadao D+05 43% 57% 55% 39% -15%
VA-10 Barbara Comstock D+01 47% 53% 52% 42% -10%
MN-03 Erik Paulsen D+01 43% 57% 50% 41% -9%
CO-06 Mike Coffman D+02 43% 51% 50% 41% -9%
CA-39 OPEN (Ed Royce) EVEN 43% 57% 51% 43% -9%
CA-49 OPEN (Darrell Issa) R+01 50% 50% 51% 43% -7%
IL-06 Peter Roskam R+02 41% 59% 50% 43% -7%
CA-25 Steve Knight EVEN 47% 53% 50% 43% -7%
CA-45 Mimi Walters R+03 41% 59% 49% 44% -5%
AZ-02 OPEN (Martha McSally) R+01 43% 57% 49% 44% -5%
NY-24 John Katko D+03 39% 61% 49% 45% -4%
TX-23 Will Hurd R+01 47% 48% 49% 46% -4%
CA-10 Jeff Denham EVEN 48% 52% 48% 45% -3%
WA-08 OPEN (Dave Reichert) EVEN 40% 60% 48% 45% -3%
PA-07 OPEN (Pat Meehan) R+01 41% 60% 49% 47% -2%
TX-32 Pete Sessions R+05 0% 71% 48% 47% -2%
CA-48 Dana Rohrabacher R+04 42% 58% 48% 46% -2%
TX-07 John Culberson R+07 44% 56% 48% 47% -1%
KS-03 Kevin Yoder R+04 41% 51% 47% 46% -1%
NJ-07 Leonard Lance R+03 43% 54% 49% 48% -1%
PA-06 OPEN (Ryan Costello) R+02 43% 57% 48% 48% -1%
PA-08 Brian Fitzpatrick R+02 46% 55% 48% 48% 0%
NJ-11 OPEN (Rodney Frelinghuysen) R+03 39% 58% 48% 49% 1%
MN-02 Jason Lewis R+02 45% 47% 45% 46% 1%
GA-06 Karen Handel R+08 38% 62% 47% 48% 2%
FL-25 Mario Diaz-Balart R+04 38% 62% 48% 50% 2%
NE-02 Don Bacon R+04 48% 49% 45% 47% 2%
VA-02 Scott Taylor R+03 39% 61% 45% 48% 3%
IA-01 Rod Blum D+01 46% 54% 45% 48% 4%
IA-03 David Young R+01 40% 53% 45% 48% 4%
IL-14 Randy Hultgren R+05 41% 59% 45% 49% 4%
MI-11 OPEN (Dave Trott) R+04 40% 53% 45% 49% 4%
NJ-02 OPEN (Frank LoBiondo) R+01 37% 59% 46% 51% 5%
IL-13 Rodney Davis R+03 40% 60% 44% 50% 5%
NJ-03 Tom MacArthur R+02 39% 59% 45% 51% 6%
TX-24 Kenny Marchant R+09 39% 56% 44% 51% 6%
GA-07 Rob Woodall R+09 40% 60% 45% 51% 6%
NC-02 George Holding R+06 43% 57% 45% 51% 6%
VA-07 Dave Brat R+06 42% 58% 44% 50% 7%
OH-01 Steve Chabot R+05 41% 59% 45% 51% 7%
MI-08 Mike Bishop R+04 39% 56% 44% 51% 7%
NY-19 John Faso R+02 46% 54% 44% 50% 7%
UT-04 Mia Love R+13 41% 54% 32% 39% 7%
PA-16 Lloyd Smucker R+05 43% 54% 44% 51% 7%
OH-10 Mike Turner R+04 33% 64% 44% 51% 7%
WA-03 Jaime Herrera Beutler R+04 38% 62% 43% 50% 7%
PA-15 OPEN (Charlie Dent) R+04 38% 58% 44% 52% 8%
TX-22 Pete Olson R+10 41% 60% 44% 52% 8%
MI-06 Fred Upton R+04 36% 59% 43% 51% 8%
NY-02 Peter King R+03 38% 62% 44% 53% 9%
TX-10 Michael McCaul R+09 38% 57% 43% 52% 9%
FL-18 Brian Mast R+05 43% 54% 44% 53% 9%
NC-13 Ted Budd R+06 44% 56% 44% 53% 9%
TX-02 OPEN (Ted Poe) R+11 36% 61% 43% 52% 9%
CA-22 Devin Nunes R+08 32% 68% 42% 51% 9%
MI-03 Justin Amash R+06 38% 60% 42% 52% 10%
NY-11 Daniel Donovan R+03 37% 62% 44% 53% 10%
TX-21 OPEN (Lamar Smith) R+10 36% 57% 42% 52% 10%
AZ-06 David Schweikert R+09 38% 62% 42% 52% 10%
FL-15 OPEN (Dennis Ross) R+06 43% 58% 43% 53% 10%
NM-02 OPEN (Steve Pearce) R+06 37% 63% 40% 50% 10%
ME-02 Bruce Poliquin R+02 45% 55% 41% 51% 10%
WI-01 OPEN (Paul Ryan) R+05 30% 65% 42% 52% 10%
MO-02 Ann Wagner R+08 38% 59% 42% 53% 10%

Sixteen of the districts are open, and open seats are much harder to defend than seats with an incumbent running. To be more precise, it looks like in open-seat districts (like Tuesday's race in OH-12), Democrats have moved the needle by 10 points, so they have a good chance to flip the 16 open seats that Trump lost (or won by less than 11 points). This means the blue team needs to beat Republican incumbents in only 7 districts if they can take all the easy open seats. From the data, there are 16 districts with a Republican incumbent that Hillary Clinton won. So the Democrats' path to victory in the House is to win all the open seats in districts Trump won by 10 points or less plus all the occupied seats in districts Clinton won. Together they represent 32 seats, which is enough to flip the House with a fair margin in case they lose a few. Both sides have surely made this analysis by now (or read it here), so a lot of money is going to be spent in these 32 districts.

There are other ways to slice and dice the data though. For example, OH-12 has a PVI of R+7 and Balderson (probably) won it by less than one point. That could mean that all districts that are R+6 or bluer could go to the Democrats. There are 255 such districts. Currently Democrats hold 193 seats plus they held two vacant seats, so going from 195 to 255 would be a gain of 60 seats, just under the 63 seats the Republicans won in the red wave of 2010. So at least two analyses put the best-case scenario at a net pickup of 60-66 seats for the Democrats. To pull this off, the Democrats would need a wave as big as the Republicans' 2010 wave. If you want the raw election data for both the 2016 congressional elections and the presidential election by district in csv format so you can run your own analysis, here it is. (V)

Why Trump Wants to Talk to Mueller

Donald Trump's lawyers will all walk barefoot over broken glass to prevent their client from being interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller, because they know the likely result is a perjury charge. Oddly enough, Trump seems eager to talk to Mueller. Why is there a disconnect? Politico has taken a close look at Trump's history as a real estate developer and come up with a plausible explanation. In 1980, Trump was subpoenaed in connection with the prosecution of a mob boss who could speed up or impede the construction of Trump Tower. Trump met the prosecutors alone and talked his way out it, claiming he was a victim of the mob boss, not a partner.

He has done this many times since. By going one on one with his adversary, he has been able to talk his way out of trouble innumerable times. Sometimes it didn't work and then he had to unleash the dogs of war (his lawyer Marc Kasowitz), but frequently schmoozing with his adversary worked. Politico interviewed many people who have known Trump for a long time, and the consensus is that he genuinely thinks he can cajole Mueller into a favorable deal by force of personality. His lawyers know that Trump is no match for the hard-as-nails Mueller (who has the further advantage of having already collected a lot of information from many sources, so he can ask questions to which he already knows the answer), but Trump thinks he can worm his way out of trouble if he can just talk to Mueller man-to-man. We may soon find out if Trump is going to try it.

Or maybe we won't find out that soon. As The Hill's Morgan Chalfant points out, Mueller may have something of a deadline looming. Customarily, people in the Special Counsel's position try to remain as quiet as is possible in the 60 days (or so) before an election, so as to avoid influencing the outcome (exception: people whose name rhymes with "Cames Jomey"). Mueller had no problem indicting a gaggle of Russians right before Donald Trump's summit, so maybe he will pay no attention to the electoral calendar. But the odds are that he will.

Team Trump—specifically, TV lawyer Rudy Giuliani—is certainly aware of the (potential) time pressure here. Early in the day on Wednesday, "America's (former) mayor" was rattling his saber, and demanding that Mueller conclude his work by September 1. Later in the day, possibly after he had his nap, Giuliani had changed his tune, telling CNN that dragging things out would help the GOP in the midterms:

When I first got involved, I would have told you not testifying would be the right legal strategy but then hurt politically. Now I'm thinking the continuance of the investigation would actually help because people are getting tired of it, and (the President) needs something to energize his voters because the Democrats look like they're energized. Nothing would energize (Republicans) more than, 'Let's save the President.'

With Giuliani these days, it's hard to tell what his game is. Or if he has a game at all. However, one wonders if this remark is not meant for an audience of one. When Ty Cobb was in Giuliani's shoes, he managed to rein in Trump's desire to talk to Mueller (or to fire the Special Counsel) by telling the President that the investigation was almost over, that he wouldn't have to wait much longer, etc. Maybe this is Rudy's way of getting Trump to hold off until after the midterms. Then, if it works, Giuliani and Jay Sekulow can get together on November 7 and cook up some other diversion. In any event, at this point, it is anyone's guess when Trump will talk to Mueller. It could be tomorrow, it could be next year, it could be never. All outcomes are possible. (V & Z)

Republican Congressman Is Charged with Securities Fraud

Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), best known as the first sitting congressman to endorse Donald Trump, has been charged with fraud in connection with insider trading of stock in an Australian biotech company. The charge is that Collins had inside information on the company (he is a member of the company's board of directors) and passed it to his son, who gave it to his fiancee and her father. This tidbit allowed them to dump the stock before a negative test result became public and caused the stock to crash.

Collins denies the charge and is continuing his campaign as if nothing special happened yesterday. The district is in upstate New York, south of Lake Ontario. It is mostly rural, with no big cities, but some of the suburbs of Buffalo and Rochester are in the district. The PVI is R+11, making it the most Republican district in the Empire State. After the news broke, election forecaster Nathan Gonzales changed his rating from solid Republican to likely Republican. Nevertheless, the charge gives the Democrats a different line of attack than hitting Collins' Trumpiness: Your congressman is a crook.

Still, being a crook isn't always fatal. In 2014, Michael Grimm won re-election in Staten Island despite facing charges of tax fraud. In 2006, William Jefferson was reelected in Louisiana after the FBI raided his home in a bribery probe and found $90,000 in cold hard cash—stashed in his freezer.

The Democrat in the NY-27 race, Grand Island Town Supervisor Nate McMurray, had only $82,000 cash on hand at the end of Q2, to Collins' $1.3 million. The big question here is whether Democrats want to pour money into an uphill campaign when there are so many more promising ones (see above). (V)

Republicans Are Worried about Losses in State Legislatures

While most election news is focused on Congress and the governors' races, thousands of seats in state legislatures are also on the ballot in November, and Republicans are deeply worried about them. While everyone knows who the president is, most people know who their senators are, and some people know who their U.S. representative is, very few people know their state senator or state representative (assemblyperson in some states). That means when people vote for them in November, the only thing they will have as a clue is that little (D) or (R) after the name. If the Democrats are more enthusiastic about voting in November than Republicans, there could be blood on the floor of many state legislative chambers.

Currently, Republicans control 68 of the country's 99 state legislative chambers (Nebraska has a nominally nonpartisan unicameral legislature, but that doesn't fool anyone: Republicans control it). In 31 states, Republicans control the entire legislature, compared to only 15 states where Democrats control both chambers. The Republicans' strong position comes from the enormous gains they made during the Obama years, in which they picked up 958 seats in state legislatures (not to mention 62 U.S. House seats, 11 U.S. Senate seats, and 12 governorships). Republicans fear that come January, those numbers, especially the state legislatures, could be very different. Insiders know that the state senates of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, and Wisconsin are very closely balanced. A gain of only 17 seats total in these eight states distributed properly could give the Democrats control of all eight state senates.

The sense of dread the GOP is experiencing isn't just summer jitters. There have been over 40 special elections for state legislative seats since Donald Trump took office. Democrats have flipped 24 seats and Republicans have flipped only five. If that pattern continues, Democrats could pick up dozens of chambers. In addition, history is on the Democrats' side. Since 1902, in 27 of the 29 midterm elections, the president's party lost seats in the state legislatures, averaging 412 seats. Such a win for the Democrats would erase 43% of their Obama-era losses. And in a blue wave, more than 412 seats could flip. In the Republican wave of 2010, the GOP picked up 680 seats in the state legislatures.

Democrats are also poised to win governorships in Illinois, Maine, and New Mexico, and have a decent shot in over half a dozen other states, such as Michigan. The combination of Democratic wins in state legislatures and also governors' mansions will mean that the Republicans' power to gerrymander congressional districts after the 2020 census will be much less than it was in 2010. This, of course, will affect control of Congress from 2022 to 2032. So while few people are tuned into state legislature races, they could be the key to power in Congress for a decade. (V)

Which Trifectas Are Within Reach for the Democrats?

To put a finer point on the struggle for statehouses, here is a breakdown of the eight states where the Democrats have an outside chance (or better) to claim the trifecta (governor's mansion, both chambers of the state legislature), and with it (potential) control of the 2022-2030 district maps. Cells are color-coded based on which party is currently in power, and the number in parentheses shows the current balance of the various chambers:

State For the House, Dems need: For the Senate, Dems need: For the Governor's Mansion, Dems need:
Arizona To gain 6 seats (35-25) To gain 3 seats (17-13) To bring down unpopular Gov. Doug Ducey (R)
Colorado To hold their majority (36-29) To gain 1 seat (18-17) Rep. Jared Polis to maintain his big polling lead
Illinois To hold their majority (67-51) To hold their majority (37-22) J.B. Pritzker to unseat unpopular Gov. Bruce Rauner (R)
Maine To hold their majority (74-70) To gain 1 seat (18-17) State AG Janet Mills to replace outgoing Paul LePage (R)
Michigan To gain 9 seats (63-46) To gain 9 seats (27-10) To win what is likely to be a very close race
Minnesota To gain 11 seats (77-56) To gain 1 seat (33-33) To stop Tim Pawlenty (R) from regaining his old job
New York To hold their majority (104-41) To gain 1 seat (32-31) Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to cruise to reelection
Wisconsin To gain 15 seats (64-35) To gain 2 seats (18-15) To unseat moderately unpopular Gov. Scott Walker (R)

Some of these are clearly tall orders. However, when it comes to resisting gerrymandering, all it takes is one of the three. And gaining (or holding) one of the three is clearly viable in all of the states above. Meanwhile, let's add to this the list of six states where a blue trifecta is almost certainly out of reach, but breaking up a red trifecta is possible:

State For the House, Dems need: For the Senate, Dems need: For the Governor's Mansion, Dems need:
Florida To gain 18 seats (76-41) To gain 4 seats (23-16) To win what is likely to be a very close race
Iowa To gain 10 seats (59-41) To gain 5 seats (28-20) To unseat moderately popular Gov. Kim Reynolds (R)
New Hampshire To gain 23 seats (214-170) To gain 3 seats (14-10) To pull off a miracle, and beat popular Gov. John Sununu (R)
South Carolina To gain 19 seats (80-44) To gain 6 seats (28-18) To unseat moderately popular Gov. Henry McMaster (R)
Texas To gain 21 seats (95-55) To gain 5 seats (20-11) To pull off a miracle, and beat popular Gov. Greg Abbott (R)
West Virginia To gain 15 seats (64-35) To gain 6 seats (22-12) A revolution, since Jim Justice (R) is not up in 2018

On the whole, the Democrats can reasonably hope to pick up two or three more trifectas to go with the eight (Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii, New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, and Rhode Island) that they already have. There's also a good chance they can crack five or six GOP trifectas, which would drop the Republican total down to about 20. That's still a pretty big edge for the red team, but the blue team would presumably be thrilled to go from 26-8 to 20-11 (or so) in a single election. (Z)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Aug08 Overall, a Solid Night for the Democrats
Aug08 Gates Continues to Dish on Manafort
Aug08 Next Round of Tariffs on Chinese Goods Revealed
Aug08 Cohen Is Under Investigation for Tax Fraud
Aug08 Trump Has Raised $135 Million, Much of it for His Reelection
Aug08 Corporations Have Discovered the Democrats
Aug08 Nearly Half of Republicans Want the President to Be Able to Ban News Outlets
Aug07 Gates Levels Manafort from the Witness Stand
Aug07 Trump Reinstates Some Sanctions on Iran
Aug07 Trump Endorses Kobach
Aug07 Big Tech Declares War on Alex Jones
Aug07 Trump Scorches Jerry Brown
Aug07 West Virginia to Introduce Smartphone Voting App
Aug07 Karl Rove: Trump Shouldn't Be Talking about a Red Wave
Aug07 There Was a Small Blue Wave in Tennessee Last Week
Aug06 Trump Throws His Son Under the Bus
Aug06 Trump Doesn't Seem to Get It
Aug06 CIA and NSA Know What Trump and Putin Discussed
Aug06 Four States Will Hold Primaries Tomorrow
Aug06 How Is the "Year of the Woman" Going?
Aug06 Biden Leads in 2020 Presidential Polls
Aug06 Takeaways from the First Week of Manafort's Trial
Aug05 Trump Knows It's No Hoax
Aug05 This Is Why Trump Hates Judges, Part I: Mueller's Investigation Is Legitimate
Aug05 This Is Why Trump Hates Judges, Part II: DACA Must Be Reinstated
Aug05 Panel Member: There Was No Voter Fraud
Aug05 LeBron James Tweet Not Working Out So Well
Aug05 Time to Stop Covering Trump Rallies?
Aug05 Former Representative: Trump Wants the Democrats to Win
Aug04 China Threatens Retaliation if Trump Imposes More Tariffs
Aug04 Manafort's Accountants Testify
Aug04 Democrats Are Hoping for a Blue Wave, But Are Experiencing a Green Wave
Aug04 Trump to Visit Ohio Today
Aug04 Trump Slams LeBron James
Aug04 Butina Connected with Trump Campaign
Aug04 Manhattan Madam Met Mueller
Aug04 FBI Can't Keep Top Computer Security People from Leaving
Aug03 Coats: The Russians Are Coming
Aug03 The Trumps and the Nazis, Part I: Don Jr.
Aug03 The Trumps and the Nazis, Part II: Don Sr. (and His Base)
Aug03 Not Many Surprises in Tennessee Primary
Aug03 Last Bellwether Election Is Next Tuesday
Aug03 Why Has Congress Ceded All Its Power to Trump?
Aug03 RNC Tells Donors to Drop the Koch Network
Aug03 The Democrats Are Having an Identity Crisis at an Inconvenient Moment
Aug02 Trump Demands that Sessions Fire Mueller Right Now
Aug02 The Manafort Trial: Day 2
Aug02 Manafort Is Facing Long Odds
Aug02 Senate Rejects Proposal to Beef Up Election Security
Aug02 Trump Continues to Chip Away at Obamacare