JE - thought your post was fine.

For me, the REAL question for these mid-terms is will there be a change of party leadership in either the House or Senate. If that doesn't happen, then things stay just as they are (for the most part). If it does, then things really change. If the Dems take the House, then they get the control all of the committees. They could choose to investigate Trump more. They could, at least I think they could, demand (for example) that Trump release his taxes. I guess they could subpoena them at the very least.

So, to me, all that matters here is whether or not that happens. Not from a personal stand point (though obviously I have a way that I would like for things to turn out), but just from an overall political structure and environment.

And that then turns to - will it happen?

I think many of you will remember that 2 years ago I was the one consistently saying that Trump had a legitimate shot to win, and then (by September), saying that he was going to win. I based this on the enthusiasm at his rallies and then on some pretty big missteps by Hillary. If you had asked me back in March of 2018, I would have said the Dems win the House in enormous fashion. 70 plus seats switching over. I would have based that on Trump's approval ratings, and on some of the special elections (Alabama Senate race, Virginia primaries last November, New Hampshire results last November, special elections, etc). Now? I'm not nearly so sure. Trump's approval ratings, while still pretty historically low at this point for a first term President, have ticked up. The economy (by most measures) is doing well. A few things that were dinging him months ago (North Korea, China trade war) now don't seem nearly as bleak. And the one thing we learned from his President race is that there is a solid group that supports him.

This will come down to turnout. I still predict the Dems take the House, but it will be close. I predict this for two reasons, really. One - because historically when one party controls the Presidency and both chambers of Congress, in the mid-term elections that party pretty much always loses (see 2010). And two, throughout the last 30 years, the party that has controlled the Presidency has lost the House in the mid-term elections every single time except one (that being in 2002, a year after 9/11 when things were in no way normal, and Bush Jr had insanely high approval ratings). These changes don't really occur because one group is really dissatisfied, but rather because of enthusiasm. The party not in control is fired up. They get people to show up. The party in charge is less enthused and people stay at home. Of course Trump knows this (as does the GOP) and they are already saying how important it is for people to show up and vote for the Republicans in November...but every party says that every time, and it almost never matters. We will see if it does. I think also think the gerrymandering decision in Pennsylvania helps their cause greatly, as they are almost certain to pick up 3 seats just from that change alone. But the special elections (and last November) have shown that - for now - the Democrat voters are fired up about voting. If they come out in large numbers, then the House is all but a slam dunk.

I don't think the Dems take the Senate. In fact, they could lose seats here. This is a brutal year for the Dems if you look at states where Trump won last time. That doesn't mean everything (Alabama for instance), but it makes the road much tougher. And the Florida Senate race is going to be crazy competitive. In fact, I then the Republicans take that seat. The Dems could take Nevada and Arizona...but then Missouri and North Dakota will be tough to maintain. Another wildcard situation is McCain in Arizona. From all accounts it sounds like his prognosis is really grim. If he were to die before the end of May, then his seat would be open as well this November. If it's June 1 or later, then that special election would not happen until 2019.

It's really odd for me personally. I don't remember being all that excited about mid-term races in the past. This may actually prove my point. I supported Obama, and he was in office for 8 years, so for the mid-terms I was kind of "blah, does it really matter?" I was also in Massachusetts during that time and it's pretty blue as well. I'm sure there were plenty of voters in "red" states and that were Republicans, where it really did matter, and they were amped to get to the polls and vote, which is part of the reason why the GOP gained seats in the House pretty much every single election from 2008 on. This time, I'm pretty I would guess a lot of Democrats are. The question, of course, will be if the enthusiasm is matched. Turnout, as usual, will determine everything.