The Rushmore Report – Predicting Today’s Elections

The day has finally come. Today’s the day for the 2018 midterm elections. At stake are control of the House and the Senate. For months, a massive “blue wave” has been predicted by most media outlets. Democrats continue to lead in generic congressional polls. But nothing counts until the votes are counted. So what will likely happen in today’s elections? We have pored over all the most recent polls and assessed every race. You don’t have to wait for the voting results tonight. Here is what will happen . . . we think.

The Polls

We have considered the most reliable polls of recent days: Rasmussen, Gallup, Quinnipiac, NPR/Marist, and more. The data to follow is a conglomeration of these findings.

Presidential Approval Rating

President Trump is sitting at a personal high, with an average approval rating of 44.4 percent. The Rasmussen Report has him at 51 percent.

Generic Ballot

Democrats lead Republicans by about eight points, 49.5 to 41.9 percent. This has not changed much over the past three months.

The Senate

Republicans have solid leads in 50 states, compared to 44 for Democrats. When considering each of the remaining six races (Indiana, Montana, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Missouri), we will make our best guess based on polls just out. Democrats will win Florida and Montana; Republicans will carry Arizona, Nevada, Indiana, and Missouri. This translates to a Republican controlled Senate by an increased margin of three seats, 54 to 46. This increase from 51 to 54 for Republicans is significant for any pending close votes on healthcare, taxes, or the Supreme Court.

The House

The most recent polling has led FiveThirtyEight to give Democrats an 86.1 percent chance of retaking the House of Representatives. The Real Clear Politics map has Republicans winning 200 seats to 205 for Democrats, with 30 toss-ups. So Republicans would need to win 60 percent of those contested seats (18 of 30) to retain control of the House. This is unlikely. Say it with me – “Speaker Polosi.”


While Republicans are favored to win the majority of governor races, Democrats will make a net gain of about four governorships.


This will be a split decision. Republicans will extend their lead in the Senate. In the House, Democrats will take a narrow majority. But their gains will be much less than typical for the party not in control of the White House in a midterm election.

Media Reaction

The mainstream media will pronounce this a “Blue Wave” of great proportions – regardless of the actual outcome. In fact, I’m pretty sure the headlines have already been written.

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