— In Texas, Ted Cruz still holds a lead, although the most recent poll puts Beto O’Rourke down by only 5 points, which you might think is insurmountable in any other race. However, the turnout campaign for O’Rourke is solid as hell in Texas. As we noted before, there is a record-breaking turnout in El Paso, which is 80 percent Hispanic and solidly O’Rourke territory. It’s young voters who are leading the way, too, and if O’Rourke is going to win, he’s going to need a large turnout among young and Hispanic voters. So, it’s … possible, although Nate Silver only gives him a 22 percent chance of winning. I feel strangely good about Democratic enthusiasm in Texas, though, and I know that Cruz is favored, but I just can’t imagine anyone feeling enthusiastic about voting for him.
Compared to the same time period in '14, voters under the age of 30 in Texas have increased their turnout by 508% (not a typo). Voters over the age of 65 in TX increased their turnout by 96%.— Tom Bonier (@tbonier) October 30, 2018
Hispanic voters in Texas have surged in early vote turnout by more than any other race/ethnicity, with a 214% increase. This is compared to a 165% increase among white voters.— Tom Bonier (@tbonier) October 30, 2018
— Meanwhile, in Iowa, things are looking up for J.D. Scholten against white supremacist Steve King. King is getting obliterated in the media by his ties to white supremacy, and Intel and Land O’Lakes have pulled their support for him (why were they supporting him in the first place). It’s a Congressional district that Trump won by 27 points, and that Steve King won by 23 points. It should not be a contest. But the latest poll shows Scholten down by only one point, and here’s the kicker. There’s lots of enthusiasm for him, while Steve King has a 48 percent unfavorability rating. That may very well dampen voter enthusiasm, and without Trump on the ticket, Republicans in that district might stay home, giving Scholten a shot at defeating the most openly racist Congressman in America.
This headline won’t help King.
Pressure building to expel Steve King from Congress https://t.co/r5fUpTxhqv— Simon Romero (@viaSimonRomero) October 30, 2018
— Devin Nunes — the guy who has been lying/protecting Trump from the Mueller probe — is in a dark, dark red district in California, and this should not be a close race. But it’s closer than he might want it to be. His opponent, Andrew Janz, has closed the gap from 11 points to a 5 point deficit in the last month, but he is going to need a huge turnout from younger voters and Latinos to have a shot in hell. He’s basically in the same boat as Beto O’Rourke — the demographics do not favor him, but voter enthusiasm does, and there is a lot of money being spent in this campaign.
— There’s better news in another red district in California, where Dana Rohrabacher — who has very close ties to Russia — looks like he might be on his way to defeat. He’s currently down two to three points to Harley Rouda in a seat that Rohrabacher has basically held for almost 30 years. (If he’s defeated, I’m sure Trump will welcome him into the Administration).
— Beyond Congress, I’m feeling good about Andrew Gillum’s chances in the Florida governor’s race, where he holds a 6 point lead against Ron DeSantis in the latest poll, and I feel like that’s much more difficult to overcome given Democratic enthusiasm. Likewise, Bill Nelson has a small but solid lead over Republican Rick Scott in the Florida Senator’s race.
— I’m not feeling as optimistic about Stacey Abrams’ campaign for governor in Georgia, which is still a red state, and she is running against Brian Kemp, the Secretary of State, who is pulling out all the stops to suppress the vote in Georgia. To some extent, I think that might backfire, but there can only be so much backfiring if Democratic and Black voters CAN’T VOTE. Kemp’s leading in the polls by one to two points, and I suspect that this one won’t be decided until November 7th, the morning after the polls close.
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