In an appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe Wednesday, economic analyst Steve Rattner discussed the potential "blue wave" headed for the 2018 midterm elections. He charted several factors that could contribute to a red to blue flip in Congress during voting on November 6, 2018.
Overall, based on previous midterm election results dating back to 1970, things looked better for Democrats than Republicans.
Voter apathy, which Rattner did not specifically address, also contributes heavily to midterm election results. More people vote during presidential election years than during the middle of a presidential term.
On @Morning_Joe today I presented charts showing why the odds are high for a blue wave in the House https://t.co/3PNrKFswKJ— Steven Rattner (@Steven Rattner)1533736592.0
First, Rattner charted the relationship between presidential approval ratings and midterm election results in the House of Representatives. When presidential approval is lowest, the House—which puts all 435 members up for reelection every 2 years—loses more seats from the President's party.
In years the opposing party holds more seats than an unpopular President, fewer seats are lost by that opposition party. An unpopular President also motivates more voters to go to the polls during midterms.
At 41%, Trump’s approval rating suggests the GOP will lose 60+ seats in the midterms. My @Morning_Joe chart: https://t.co/gtIPfXllHp— Steven Rattner (@Steven Rattner)1533726808.0
Rattner then discussed the rash of retirements among Republican incumbents leading up to the next election cycle. Incumbents enjoy an 85 percent reelection rate over their challengers.
Those incumbents not seeking reelection include Speaker of the House Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. Ryan announced his retirement in April.
Some speculated Ryan intended to distance himself from Washington so he could run for President in 2020. But others wondered if Ryan knew he faced not getting reelected, a defeat which would damage his future in politics.
At 41 Republican retirements, an historically high number Rattner stated to the best of his recollection, Democrats gain an advantage.
Surge in GOP retirements has created a Dem midterm advantage. My @Morning_Joe chart: https://t.co/0g7qQUHVj7— Steven Rattner (@Steven Rattner)1533727120.0
Lastly, Rattner shared an analysis done by The Economist. The magazine ran 10,000 simulations based on multiple variables to try to predict the November election results.
Based on their number crunching, The Economist predicted a 71 percent chance of the House going from Republican control to Democratic control during the midterms.
Odds are high that Dems will regain control of the House according to @TheEconomist. My @Morning_Joe chart: https://t.co/KwCyjCvpT7— Steven Rattner (@Steven Rattner)1533727235.0
If Democrats retain all of their current House seats, they need to pick up only 23 more seats to flip the House of Representatives from red to blue.
Some online were cautiously optimistic about Democratic chances in November in these Twitter responses to Rattner.
@SteveRattner @TheEconomist @Morning_Joe I sure hope you are right. This is the biggest election of my life and my first vote was Reagan.— JMC (@JMC)1533727692.0
@SteveRattner @TheEconomist @Morning_Joe And let’s face it, there is a lot more potential bad news for Republicans… https://t.co/wBpvrvxaks— Stephen Miller’s Bride 🆘 (@Stephen Miller’s Bride 🆘)1533736093.0
@SteveRattner @Morning_Joe I hope so— debdlund (@debdlund)1533727267.0
@SteveRattner @Morning_Joe In midterms that difference in retirements correlates with the division of the vote in t… https://t.co/ptKgyjp8Uf— Peter Lemieux (@Peter Lemieux)1533735891.0
@SteveRattner @Morning_Joe Your charts to God’s ears @SteveRattner— JN Hensley (@JN Hensley)1533728981.0
@SteveRattner @Morning_Joe Lord I hope so. 🙏🏼— Josh Long (@Josh Long)1533741619.0
Others brought up factors Rattner only touched on, such as gerrymandering and voter apathy.
@SteveRattner @TheEconomist @Morning_Joe I really appreciate your number crunching. I wish some analysis would be… https://t.co/2673Jthj0o— Jeff Thigpen (@Jeff Thigpen)1533731587.0
@WillHitchUVA @SteveRattner @TheEconomist @Morning_Joe I think it's imperative that the left as a whole remember th… https://t.co/bdwA8QuQOh— Bren (@Bren)1533730148.0
@SteveRattner @TheEconomist @Morning_Joe @SteveRattner Enjoy your numbers, stats and charts. My concern is the FlaG… https://t.co/8H3iZFGKGc— Marty Shimansky (@Marty Shimansky)1533729098.0
@SteveRattner @TheEconomist @Morning_Joe @dccc @DNC Dems need to make sure they don’t take this for granted.— Kristen Steffen (@Kristen Steffen)1533727870.0
@SteveRattner @Morning_Joe The effect will blunted by extreme gerrymandering. Case in point, OH-12. Look at that… https://t.co/xeXwXCk6u1— LiberalDocKY (@LiberalDocKY)1533735559.0
One thing is indisputable, however. People who don't vote, don't influence elections. Midterm elections take place Tuesday, November 6, 2018.