On Fox News’ “Varney and Co., the co-founder of Real Clear Politics questioned whether Democrats can rely on a so-called blue wave to sweep them into power on November 6. Tom Bevan told show host Stuart Varney on Wednesday that political observers would expect to see a “cresting” of such a blue wave at less than two weeks before Election Day. In contrast, President Trump’s approval ratings are rising. And, while he said that the “generic ballot number is holding,” Democrats have the advantage but are not “building.”
Bevan said on Wednesday, “Look if you were talking about a blue wave you would expect it to be cresting. Right? If a wave was coming you’d expect it to be building and building. Here we are 13 days out from the midterms and that’s not what I’m seeing. We’re seeing the president’s job approval rating going up. We’re seeing the generic ballot number holding, Democrats in the advantage but not building. And certainly in some of these swing districts we’re seeing a hand-to-hand combat, a race-by-race battle in these House districts around the country. And obviously in the Senate it seems to be moving in the Republicans’ direction… Democrats may take the House but this is certainly not shaping up to be a big blue wave.”
On Tuesday, he told show host Brian Kilmeade of Fox News “Fox & Friends” that interest in the election is “surging” across all demographics, it does not necessarily translate into votes. Noting that polls show higher than usual interest in a mid-term election, Bevan said both Republicans and Democrats are “really primed” this year.
Partial transcript follows:
BRIAN KILMEADE: Do you think that is because they care or because the parties have done a better job contacting them?
TOM BEVAN: Good question, I think part of it is there’s just no escaping politics in our everyday lives now. Everybody is tuned in, locked into what is going on in a way they haven't in the past, and that’s partly the Trump effect, he is driving the news every day, whether you love him or don’t, you can’t get away from him. He evokes strong reactions on both sides.
BRIAN KILMEADE: A lot of people think big turnout is good for Democrats, do you still believe that?
TOM BEVAN: Not necessarily, no. It depends on the district and state... Again, each one of these races matters. If you have a lot of Democrats turning out in blue districts, that is not going to help Democrats in some of these swing districts.
Republicans will totally protect people with Pre-Existing Conditions, Democrats will not! Vote Republican.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 24, 2018
Earlier this week, political pundit Nate Silver of 538 claimed on ABC’s “This Week” that the essential "X-factor" in in determining the outcome of the midterm elections is voter turnout. Turnout, he said, is determined by what he termed the "Trumpian news cycle." Silver predicted that the electorate will experience "an October surprise or two" before November 6.
Here follows a partial transcript:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: OK, let’s look at the House as well... You see a seven in nine chance – six in seven chance the Democrats would control, one in seven chance Republicans keep control.
So there it comes down to 85 percent chance that Democrats win control. That sounds a lot bigger than it is, right?
NATE SILVER, 538: Yes, look, I mean if you were running a business and I told you there’s a 15 percent chance or a 20 percent chance that you key supplier won’t make it’s delivery, you would treat that as a very tangible, real-world risk and you would do things to hedge against it.
The thing about the House is that you cannot circle 23 districts where you say oh I know for sure Democrats will win these. Maybe 10, 12, 15 look very likely. However you have a field of maybe 80, 90, 100 potential pickups, mathematically probably the dice come up good enough for Democrats in those districts.
But like, there are not a lot of guarantees and the House is very much fought at a district by district level.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And only a handful of seats where the Democrats could lose the seat.
SILVER: And that’s why – I mean it’s – it really is the mere image of the Senate where Democrats have so much exposure in the Senate. All these incumbents, you know, all these very red states, just a reverse of that in the House where Democrats are kind of in a no lose situation almost literally in the House where they might have four or five seats they could lose versus 100 GOP seats in play.
Not a lot of guarantees, but that’s why we show like a very wide range, anywhere from a 20 seat gain, the Democrats have a disappointing night which is not quite enough, up to 50, 60 seats if the turnout is – is very high.
STEPHANOPOULOS: What are the biggest X-factors that increase the uncertainty in your model?
SILVER: It is turnout, I mean it’s – turnout is always difficult for pollsters to forecast and the fact that you have a lot of districts that have not had competitive races in a long time, turnout is even more difficult to forecast there than in a state like Florida for example.
And we have two weeks to go, you know. I would not put it past us to have – for us to have another October surprise or two in the era of Trumpian news cycles.