Don't Write Off the Republicans Yet

Donald Trump Jr. prepares for stepped up role in 2018 midterm elections

Donald Trump Jr. prepares for stepped up role in 2018 midterm elections

In addition to the competitive races taking place across the state Tuesday, Ohio political observers were watching another statistic: turnout. He points to a divisive Republican primary. That was no different on Tuesday, when GOP voters outnumbered Democrats who cast ballots. While the seat is not normally in play for Democrats, the party hopes it can add to a recent string of success in special elections. Democrats cast 4,437 ballots; Republicans, 4,035; and there were 336 non-affiliated ballots submitted. In West Virginia, where primaries for U.S. Senate topped the ballot, turnout was at 25.9 percent. Watson will face Republican Congressman Trey Hollingsworth on election day.

About 45 percent of respondents say they're extremely or very enthusiastic about voting in November; slightly over half say they're less enthusiastic.

Do primary results show one party has momentum going into the general? The impact of the trend toward party-line votes has been limited by the fact that presidents have mostly been dealing with allied Senate majorities.

OH has a semi-open primary. Only 6,816 of the county's 38,311 registered voters participated in this election.

CNN is justifiably hyped about its new poll offering a surprising assessment of this November's congressional races. According to Politico, it came after the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan (who announced last month that he would not seek reëlection) and other senior Republicans flew to Las Vegas and "laid out a case to Adelson about how crucial it is to protect the House".

That makes it hard to compare party turnout election to election, said Paul Beck, a political science professor emeritus at Ohio State University.

Also on the Republican ticket for Dawes County voters are three candidates for treasurer. Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly and Sherrod Brown.

Democrats and advocates for fair maps said the changes would allow Republicans to slip in more of their ideological allies, and could lead to less minority representation in the state legislature. Trump won OH, but nothing like his margins in IN and West Virginia. He possessed all the glittering qualities except, alas, the crucial support of the president himself, who recommended a vote for either of his opponents.

Beck agreed: "There is really no good baseline". He lost about 30 percent of the vote and did even worse in some of the state's coal counties, which are full of the sort of ancestral Democrats he will need to hold onto in November.

But Dawson said it's easy for either side to look at statistics through "rose colored glasses". Pruitt won the votes of only two Democratic senators.

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The boost in Democratic Party votes was not significant.

Kyle Kondik watches politics for a living. Republicans are more positive toward Ryan (67% favorable) than Democrats are toward Pelosi (57% see her favorably).

Maybe Ohio voters, overall, weren't enthused about Tuesday's races, Kondik said.

"After those two guys destroyed themselves to the voters, he came in and cleaned up the mess and there you go", said Rick Ryfa, Griffith Town Council President.

Republicans didn't have a "surge" either.

Anyone choosing the Green Party ballot can not vote for any candidates in Republican or Democratic primaries. The voting included 2,791 Democrats, 1,989 Republicans and 75 non-affiliated voters. "Don't let it happen again, '" Israel said in March.

Virginia is one of 18 states where voters don't register as a Democrat or Republican if they want to take part in primary elections. Meanwhile, the Republican side had DeWine and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor calling each other names, invoking Barack Obama and doing "whatever Republicans do in red meat primaries to gin up their base".

"I think that you can make a conclusion from these states that we should now be alert to in future states", said Kelly Dittmar, who wrote CAWP's analysis. In February, Democrats were significantly more likely than Republicans to consider the issue important (87% to 72%) and now there is no meaningful difference between the two parties in the share who consider the issue important (79% of Democrats and 76% of Republicans call it important). Race moves from Lean Republican to Toss-Up.

So far, presidents have usually gotten their way on Cabinet appointments even as the opposition has become more united in trying to block their nominees.

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