Democrats in the United States have three reasons to feel optimistic about this year’s congressional elections, argues Ruy Teixeira at his blog, The Optimistic Leftist.
- Off-year elections are a good predictor of performance in the midterms, as reported by Daily Kos. Democrats won several special elections in 2017, notably in Alabama and Virginia. That bodes well for 2018.
- Republicans don’t have a turnout advantage, at least not with a Republican president, according to Harry Enten of FiveThirtyEight. Republican voters are usually more motivated when a Democrat is in the White House.
- Donald Trump is hugely unpopular. Nate Cohn writes in The New York Times that the president is far less popular than the state of the economy would suggest — and when presidents are unpopular, their party often loses.
Teixeira admits it’s still possible Democrats will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
They could nominate a slew of poor candidates, as Jonathan Bernstein has noted at Bloomberg View.
An unexpected economic boom could elevate Trump’s approval rating and with it his party’s prospects.
But right now, a Democratic wave looks like a good bet.