The simulator is primarily derived from the data-driven 2018 U.S. House Midterms Election Forecast from The Crosstab by G. Elliott Morris. However, it also takes into consideration the consensus projection of a number of long-time expert forecasters. This has the effect of limiting extremely unlikely outcomes, as there is an extra hurdle districts considered 'safe' by all the experts must overcome before they will change parties in a given simulation. However, the net effect of this 'governor' across many thousands of simulations is relatively small.
We're hoping to add a feature in the days ahead that will list all the district flipped when a simulation is run.
* The simulation occurs before the map is populated, so this choice doesn't affect the outcome
Although still about 45 days away, early voting for the 2018 midterm elections began Friday in Minnesota and three other states. New Jersey follows tomorrow, with Illinois next Thursday. Several more states will follow in early October, with over 30 states offering some form of early voting by late in the month. Note that requirements vary by state; some require a valid excuse to avoid voting on Election Day. Also, in some states the early voting period varies by location.
Minnesota is notable due to the number of competitive races it has this year. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton is not seeking a 3rd term. While the races leans Democratic, it is no sure thing. Likewise, in Minnesota's special election for U.S. Senate, incumbent Democratic Sen. Tina Smith is favored, but polling for this race has been much closer than for the 'regular' Senate election held by fellow Democrat Amy Klobuchar.
The congressional races are particularly interesting. Three of the state's 8 districts (MN-1, MN-2 and MN-8) are currently considered toss-ups, with the GOP-held 3rd hovering between toss-up and leans Democratic. MN-7 is considered likely to vote with 14-term incumbent Democrat Collin Peterson, but Donald Trump won here by 31% in 2016, his largest margin of victory in any district that elected a Democrat to Congress.
Minnesota's early voting continues through the day before the midterms. We're a bit conflicted by this. Early voting is a great way to get a higher percentage of registered voters to cast a ballot. That said, people voting well in advance of Election Day do so without complete information. This shrinks the pool of voters left to be persuaded to consider another candidate and/or react to developments in the campaign.
On the advice of his attorneys, GOP Rep. Chris Collins (NY-27) will remain on the November ballot. Collins was indicted for insider trading back in August and he subsequently suspended his campaign. However, efforts to remove him from the ballot - a tough thing to do in New York state - have proven unsuccessful.
The change further improves the Democratic outlook for this previously safe Republican stronghold between Rochester and Buffalo. Donald Trump won here by nearly 25% in 2016, his largest margin of victory in any of the state's 27 congressional districts. Kyle Kondik, of Sabato's Crystal Ball, indicates the race will move from Likely to Leans Republican.
Sheesh. Assuming this happens we'll downgrade NY-27 from Likely R to Leans R - same rating as CA-50, another R seat with a legally damaged R incumbent running https://t.co/oIL2jDuyX9
We're following the Democratic primaries for governor and attorney general. Polls close at 9:00 PM Eastern Time. Live results will be available on this page after that time. Reload for the latest totals.
Incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo is seeking a 3rd term. He faces a challenge from actress and activist Cynthia Nixon. While the race has generated quite a bit of publicity, the polls indicate that Cuomo should prevail rather easily. Assuming Cuomo moves on, he should have little trouble winning reelection. The Republican nominee will be Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro. (We are pleased to see that perennial candidate Jimmy McMillan, of the Rent is Too Damn High party, is also on the November ballot).
New York Democratic Primary for Attorney General
In a race that could impact President Trump down the road, four candidates are vying to become the state's next attorney general. A recent poll showed no clear frontrunner. The 2018 race opened up when Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned in May after abuse allegations became public. The acting AG, Barbara Underwood, is not running. The Republican nominee will be Keith Wofford.
Democratic Gina Raimondo is attempting to win a 2nd term. In the 2014 gubernatorial election, she defeated Republican nominee Allan Fung by about 4.5%. A 2018 general election rematch is a distinct possibility, although both must first get past primary challengers. The centrist Raimondo is facing a more liberal opponent, former Secretary of State Matt Brown.
Rhode Island Senate Primaries
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse is heavily favored to win a 3rd term in November.
The final week of the 2018 primary calendar has arrived. Three days, three Northeastern states; although for one of those it is the completion of a split primary. New Hampshire kicks things off Tuesday; see below for a preview and live results. Rhode Island holds its primaries on Wednesday. The party primaries for governor are what we'll be watching there. New York wraps things up Thursday, with primaries for non-Federal offices. For our purposes, that is just the high-profile Democratic gubernatorial primary featuring incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo and actress/activist Cynthia Nixon.
New Hampshire Primaries
Most New Hampshire polls close at 7:00 PM Eastern Time, with the remainder closing at 8:00 PM. Live results will be available on this page after that time. Reload for the latest totals.
New Hampshire and neighboring Vermont are the only two states where governor serve for two years instead of four. Republican Gov. Chris Sununu is seeking a 2nd term. He will face the Democratic primary winner, either former State Sen. Molly Kelly or Steve Marchand, the former Mayor of Portsmouth. Marchand ran for governor in 2016, losing the Democratic primary. There has been no recent polling. Sununu will start out the favorite against whichever Democrat wins.
New Hampshire House Primaries
The state has two congressional districts, both held by Democrats. District 1 is particularly competitive in general elections. That district alternated between Democrat Carol Shea-Porter and Republican Frank Guinta in the four elections from 2010 through 2016. In 2016, Shea-Porter bested Guinta by about 1.3%, while Donald Trump won here by 1.6%. It was one of just 12 districts nationwide that elected a Democrat while voting for the president.
Neither Shea-Porter or Guinta are running in 2018, with the open seat generating a very crowded primary field in both parties. Most of the Democratic establishment has endorsed New Hampshire Executive Council member Chris Pappas. The notable exception is Rep. Shea-Porter, who has gotten behind her former chief of staff Naomi Andrews. Pappas and Maura Sullivan, a former Marine captain and Pentagon official, are the frontrunners, although Andrews is also in the mix. Levi Sanders, son of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, is also on the ballot. On the Republican side, State Sen. Andy Sanborn or Eddie Edwards, a former police chief, seem to have the best chance to move on.
Democratic incumbent Rep. Ann Kuster is likely to win a fourth term regardless of which Republican is nominated in the 2nd district.
DeSantis recently won the Republican nomination for governor, helped along by the strong support of President Trump. He will meet Democratic Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum in one of the marquee races this November. Incumbent Gov. Rick Scott (R) is termed out; he is running for Senate against incumbent Sen. Ben Nelson (D).
DeSantis was in his third term representing Florida's 6th congressional district; he and Trump both won here by about 17% in 2016. The district is seen as likely to stay in Republican hands, although it could prove more competitive if there's a strong Democratic wave. The party nominees are Republican Michael Waltz and Democrat Nancy Soderberg.
Sen. Tom Carper is facing a primary challenge from the left by a political novice, Kerri Evelyn Harris. While Carper is likely to win, we have seen Democratic House incumbents ousted by progressive insurgents this year, most recently this past Tuesday in the Massachusetts 7th district. There has been no recent polling of the race. Assuming Carper wins, he will be heavily favored to win a 4th term in November.
Delaware House Primary
The state is one of seven with a single at-large congressional district. Incumbent Democrat Lisa Rochester is expected to win a 2nd term against whichever Republican emerges from Thursday's primary.
Ayanna Pressley, who serves on the Boston City Council, defeated 10-term Rep. Michael Capuano in Tuesday's Massachusetts primary. The district, once represented by John F. Kennedy, is one of the most liberal in the country. As with Capuano in 2016, Pressley will have no Republican opponent in November. Capuano is the fourth House member to be ousted in a party primary this year.
All other U.S. House incumbents that faced primary challenges were victorious, and are expected to win re-election in November. In the 3rd district, where Rep. Niki Tsongas is retiring, a 10-way primary remained undecided. Daniel Koh and Lori Trahan were separated by fewer than 100 votes as of Wednesday AM.
Turning to the U.S. Senate race, Republican Geoff Diehl easily won a three-way primary. He will face incumbent Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren in November.
Massachusetts GOP Gov. Charlie Baker won renomination; he will face Democrat Jay Gonzalez.
Both Warren and Baker are expected to easily win reelection.
There's a competitive three-way primary on the GOP side. Regardless of who wins, incumbent Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren is expected to easily win a 2nd term in November.
Massachusetts Gubernatorial Primaries
Despite the strong Democratic lean of the state, incumbent Republican Charlie Baker is one of the most popular governors in the country and is expected to easily win a 2nd term this fall.
Massachusetts House Primaries
The state has 9 congressional districts, all held by Democrats. It is the state with the largest number of districts under single party control. All nine seats are expected to stay in Democratic control, so the real question is whether any incumbents lose in the primaries. Keep an eye on the 1st, 7th and 8th districts for possible upsets. There will definitely be a new Democratic member of Congress in the 3rd district; 10 are competing on the ballot to replace retiring Rep. Niki Tsongas.