OnTheIssues predictions for 35 Senate races: Democratic takeover, but not on Election Day!
The partisan balance in the United States Senate currently stands at 53 Republicans to 47 Democrats.
We predict a net gain on Election Day of 3 seats for the Democrats, yielding a 50-50 partisan split.
HOWEVER, we also predict that the Georgia Special Senate Election will not be decided until a runoff on January 5. The Nov. 3 election is a "jungle primary" in which we predict no candidate will exceed 50%, so it'll be "all eyes on Georgia" for two months.
Surprises might come in the following six races, which are too-close-to-call two weeks out:
AK, GA-6, IA, KS, NC, SC
All six of the too-close-to-call races have Republican incumbents. Hence if any surprises occur on Election Day, the surprise will mean that the Democrats gain a majority of the Senate. We predict no surprise victory declarations on Election Day but ONLY because....
HOWEVER, the pandemic will cause slow election counting, and hence we predict that these six races will all take several days to decide the winner. We predict that one or two of the too-close-to-call races will result in a Democratic takeover, and hence a safe majority for the Democrats come January, but not until later in the week, and hence "all eyes on the Carolinas."
Note that the Arizona race is also a special election; we predict that the Democrat will win,and will be seated for the lame-duck session of Congress. That would also apply to the Georgia special election, but we predict "no winner" until after the lame-duck session ends.
Note that the Lousiana race is also a "jungle primary", but we predict a clean Republican victory and hence no later runoff race, as we predict in Georgia.
The second debate between Biden and Trump was cancelled because the two sides could not agree on virus protective conditions after President Trump exited Walter Reed hospital for a coronavirus infection. Accordingly:
Vice President Biden participated in a Town Hall on ABC in Philadelphia, moderated by George Stephanopoulos.
President Trump participated in a Town Hall on NBC in Miami, moderated by Savannah Guthrie.
The "Dueling Town Halls" took place at the same time, on opposite TV networks.
When the two candidates addressed the same topic, we excerpted as if the two candidates were on the same stage, responding
The first debate was moderated by Fox News' Chris Wallace, on Sept. 29, at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland. Wallace selected the following topics for the first debate:
The Trump and Biden Records
The Supreme Court (and the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett)
Preparation for Senate prediction: Sept. 25-28, 2020
Why do the House and Senate differ by majority party control?
OnTheIssues will predict every Senate race outcome next month; this is our preparation for that coming prediction.
Our prediction will include which party will control the Senate in 2021-2022; and which party will control the House in 2021-2022.
People wonder why the Senate differs so much from the House (the Senate is majority Republican; the House is majority Democratic); the chart below explains why.
Control of the House reflects the popular vote nationwide; control of the Senate does not!
We added up the votes in each state for each Senator, and we tally them below....
68,717,282 votes for all incumbent Democratic and Independent senators (54.0% of all votes for Senators)
58,577,901 votes for all incumbent Republican senators (46.0% of all votes for Senators)
Source: fec.gov for 2014, 2016, and 2018
So how is it that the Republicans control the United States Senate, 53-47, when the Democrats won the popular vote for all Senators, 54-46 the other way?
Because the Senate is not elected by popular vote -- it's not supposed to be "democracy" -- it's "The Great Compromise of 1787", working as intended for 230 years!
The Great Compromise of 1787 assured smaller-population states that they would have representation in the Senate even though larger-population states would overwhelm them in the U.S. House of Representatives.
That is exactly the situation in the current Congress, from 2018-2020: the House represents larger states proportional to the popular vote, and the Senate represents smaller states.
This same "Great Compromise" is why the Electoral College gives extra weight to smaller-population states in the election of the President -- it is intended to do that!
The only real difference since 1787 is that today we say "red states" for smaller-population states, and we say "blue states" for larger-population states!
Democratic and Republican Town Halls: Sept. 15-17, 2020
Trump and Biden participate in separate Town Halls
The two major party candidates participated this week in "Town Halls," with a single moderator directing questions from a live audience,
and broadcast live. Basically, this was "warm up" for the upcoming debates! Our excerpts include:
The two major parties completed their conventions this week, and the third parties already have.
The results of the conventions is the long list of choices that may appear on your ballot
(most of the third parties will appear on only SOME of the 50 states' ballots).
Following is our coverage of the Veepstakes contenders.
Biden's process will likely take all of June and July, with a nominee announced prior to, or at, the Democratic National Convention on Aug. 17.
With links to their issue-based coveraeg, the contenders are:
We report on the nomination races for several third-party candidates throughout the election.
We also report on party platforms, and will update them for 2020 as they become avbailable.
Following is our list of parties and candidates:
Former Rep. Kweisi Mfume to be sworn in immediately
Kweisi Mfume, Former President of the NAACP, won a special election in Maryland's 7th House district, and will join the 116th Congress immediately upon being sworn in.
Mr. Mfume replaces U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, who passed away last October.
Following is a list of special elections that have taken place during the 116th Congress (with three more to follow later this spring!):
District / Election date / New member of Congress
Previous member of Congress / reason for leaving Congress
Senator Bernie Sanders ended his campaign after losing a series of primaries, including the Wisconsin primary run with low voter turnout amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Vice President Joe Biden is now the presumptive nominee.
Some of our book reviews and excerpt collections from Sen. Sanders:
We present below the delegate totals from Super Tuesday primaries in 14 states.
Biden has taken the lead in delegates (the only number that matters). He stands at 628, or 31% of the total delegates needed to secure the nomination.
Sanders, in second with 556, fell to second place, with 28% of the delegate total needed.
Bloomberg withdrew after a poor showing (he did get 57 delegates, including a win in American Samoa, solidly placing him in fourth place in delegate count).
Warren withdrew after coming in 3rd place in her home state of Massachusetts, and 3rd or below everywhere else (falling to 4th place in delegate count).
We also list below the PLEO "Superdelegates", who will mostly vote for the establishment frontrunner (Biden). Counting those, Biden is halfway to the nomination.
Sanders' only hope is a huge turnaround next Tuesday and the following Tuesday, which seems very unlikely, given that the demographics match states Biden already won.
The only question remaining is whether Sanders will stick it out until he is mathematically eliminated (which could be "never", causing a "brokered convention", where the superdelegates decide the nominee, which would mean Biden anyway).
Bottom line: It's over; Biden has won the nomination.
Super Tuesday delegate counts:
Super Tuesday Total
TOTAL Dem (1,991 to win)
TOTAL GOP (1,276 to win)
Source: See The Green Papers for delegate counts; see Joe Biden's page for full issue excerpts; each state winner highlighted in bold; delegate figures as of 3/12/20.
South Carolina primary, Feb. 29, 2020
Republicans cancel primary; Trump gains 50 delegates by party acclamation
Democratic South Carolina primary:
Toward 4,750 delegates: (1,991 to win + superdelegates)
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi ripped up her official copy of the speech while the audience was filing out.
A motion to censure Rep. Pelosi for that action was filed in the U.S. House of Representatives (her action is not a crime, but can warrant censuure, if the House so votes).
Many investigators carefully watched footage recorded during the speech, and found her pages "pre-ripped" (i.e. she planned the event for the end of the speech)
When President Trump handed Pelosi the official copy at the beginning of the speech, he snubbed her handshake when she accepted it.
In addition to the "viral image" aspects, there were a series of staged events incorporated into the speech
(inviting guests to personify the president's points has long been a staple of SOTU speeches; staging actual events during the speech is new):
Rush Limbaugh received a Presidential Medal of Freedom during the speech.
A member of the military was rejoined with his wife, who did not expect his return that evening.
A young student was granted an Opportunity Scholarship after being denied entrance to a charter school in Pensylvania.
Juan Guaidó, the "shadow president" of Venezuela was introduced to America (Guaidó is recognized as the president by the U.S. but his opponent Nicolás Madurom controls the government).
There were also numerous policy points in the speech, and in the numerous responses, which we excerpt.
But the images and events are what this speech will be remembered for!
1,700 caucuses statewide for delegates to Democratic and Republican National Conventions
Both major parties held caucuses to elect delegates to their National Conventions.
The Iowa Democratic Caucuses were plagued by technical snafus; we'll report the results when available.
As a result of those problems, many people are calling for Iowa to replace their caucus with a normal primary election.
OnTheissues agrees, for the simple reason that primaries are better for democracy.
About 202,000 people participated in the 2020 Iowa caucuses (170,000 Democrats and 32,000 Republicans) -- that is under 10% of the registered voters of Iowa (2.1 million as of January 2020).
In a typical primary, such as New Hampshire in 2016, 535,000 people voted (250,000 Democrats and 285,000 Republicans) -- that is over 50% turnout of the registered voters of N.H. (980,000 as of January 2020).
Caucuses discourage voter participation, for reasons that were obvious to anyone watching the shenanigans nationally televised from Iowa -- few people want to go stand in a gymnasium for two hours straight!
The Republican Iowa caucuses went smoothly, with three candidates on the ballot. Results listed below. 40 national delegates will be awarded, towards the total of 2,550 delegates.
Bottom Line for Republicans: Trump's challengers did make a showing, with Weld getting one committed delegate. Walsh withdrew after these results.
The Democratic Iowa caucuses will award 41 national delegates (estimates below) and then hold two more rounds of gymnasium-standing events over the next two months to finalize those estimates, towards the total of 4,750 delegates.
Bottom Line for Democrats: Sanders won the popular vote on the first round, and also won the "second alignment" but by a smaller margin. Buttigieg got the most "state delegate equivalents," 564-562, and the most national delegates (14-11).