The Thinker: Rich Galen


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Mullings by Rich Galen ®
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End Game

Rich Galen

Tuesday October 2, 2018

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  • Two things. Three things, really. The annual MULLINGS Subscription Drive is on and I would very much like you to invest $30 to help keep this going.

  • Second, we are now inside of 36 days until the mid-term elections.

  • And, third, Brett Kavanaugh will likely wake up next Monday and drive to work to take his seat as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

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  • If those choices make you nervous, and you want to pay by check there is a slight change from prior years.

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  • The midterm elections will be held on November 6. In many jurisdictions, early voting has already begun.

  • As we've discussed many times, my political predictive skills came under some scrutiny in 2016 when, as late as 7 PM on election night I still thought Hilary Clinton would win.

  • So. No predictions here.

  • But, let me point out that what many people consider an important data point: The generic vote for U.S. House.

  • This is the figure arrived at when pollsters ask "If the election were held today would you vote for the Republican candidate for Congress or the Democrat candidate." Pollsters will actually rotate the order of Rs and Ds in that question to try and remove any advantage for having mentioned one party ahead of the other.

  • This number moves around based upon what voters have "heard, seen, or read" about the election. As of today, the average of generic vote results has the Democrats leading by 48.4 - 41.0.

  • 7.4 percentage points is a fairly large spread but, not as large as the lead Republicans held heading into the 2010 midterms (Obama's first) which was +9.4 percentage points. That shrunk to +6.8 percentage points on election day.

  • In 2010, Republicans picked up 63 seats - and that was before the massive gerrymandering effort that preceded the 2012 elections.

  • Also, when I write that this number "moves around" consider that (again, according to as recently as August 12, 2018 the Democrats lead was only 3.9 percentage points: 44.2 - 40.3, so it is likely to bounce around over the next five weeks.

  • I still think Democrats will win control of the House, but I'm not ready to bet our pet cat on the prospect.

  • As to Brett Kavanaugh.

  • I now believe he will be confirmed. Since the riveting hearing last Thursday that pitted the testimony (and memory) of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford against the impassioned testimony of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

  • Retiring Republican Senator Jeff Flake (R-Az), having been trapped in an elevator by two women who demanded he listen to their emotional recitation of having been sexually abused, joined the Judiciary Committee Democrats in demanding an extra week for the FBI to go back and see if there were any disqualifying issues in Kavanaugh's background.

  • There don't appear to be any and Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced there will be a vote of the full Senate later this week on Judge Kavanaugh's nomination.

  • If I were a sitting Senator, I wouldn't lead the charge, but neither would I stand in the way.

  • After, like you, going through the wrenching experience of last week, I would come to the conclusion that Brett Kavanaugh's background and 13 years' experience on the D.C. Circuit Court is good enough to warrant his promotion.

  • As I wrote last week, notwithstanding his demeanor last Thursday when he was fighting for his personal reputation and professional life, there has never been a suggestion of his being other than fair, impartial, and respectful to his colleagues and to the lawyers who have come before him.

  • Is he the best possible choice? Probably not, but maybe having at least one Justice on the Supreme Court who likes beer is probably good for the Republic.

  • I would vote "Aye."

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring today: A link to the RealClearPolitics generic vote table. The Mullfoto is another in the license plate series and may be among the best ever.

    -- END --

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