2018 looks like a different midterm to me

We've heard for years about "first midterm blues" -- the president losing seats after his election.  Recently, we saw it with President Clinton in 1994 and President Obama in 2010.  We did not see it with President Bush in 2002 but maybe that was an outlier or related to the patriotic reaction after 9/11.  

What happens in 2018?  For some time, we've been hearing about "the blue wave". However, in recent days, we are hearing of a GOP enthusiasm boost that could make comparisons to the past useless.

The first obvious sign of a GOP boost is the U.S. Senate.  As of today, Nevada is the only seat that the Democrats could flip.  On the other hand, North Dakota and Missouri look like GOP flips.  Indiana and Montana could flip to the GOP, too.  In a worst case scenario, the GOP could end up with 52, or 55 in a best case scenario.  I won't mention New Jersey, Michigan, and Florida where a surprise could also bring us a GOP victory.

Over in the House, it appears that the Democrats have the edge today but the election is Tuesday.  I hear from many that there are a lot of close contests. So let's wait for the voters to answer the question.  Turnout could make a huge difference in many of those close elections.

Another interesting factor is early voting.  It looks as if the GOP is leading, but it's an uncertain measurement.  At the same time, they say that the GOP is more disciplined to vote on election day.  If so, then the head start on early voting may be a good sign for the GOP.  

So what happens on Tuesday?  I think that the experts are missing the fact that 2018 is different.  I agree with Mark Penn that we are navigating in different waters this year.   President Trump is making this midterm about ideas.  He has many and the Democrats have none:

There is no question that President Trump is the most disruptive force in politics today.

The president has torn up every political playbook. His political survival after two years in office is a modern-day miracle, and his polling numbers are even running ahead of where Presidents Obama and Clinton were at this point.  

President Trump’s most powerful weapon so far has not been the insult -- which he certainly has been willing to use -- but the idea.

Yes, what is happening is that Trump is running on ideas and finding that a lot of Americans agree with them.  

The Democrats say that President Trump is running on fear about the caravan, for example.  At the same time, they present no idea as to how to deal with it.

On "birthright citizenship", the Democrats play the fear card.  At the same time, not one is willing to introduce legislation saying that a baby born to a woman without papers should be declared a citizen.

On the economy, Trump has the latest jobs report.  The Democrats have more resistance.

So we will see a clash of waves.  My money is that the GOP wave will be bigger.

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