The Thinker: Rich Galen


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I Was Right, This Time

Rich Galen

Friday November 16, 2018

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  • As of this writing (Friday morning) it is clear that Republicans have maintained control of the Senate and, when the spitting and fighting is finished, will have picked up a net two seats. That means on or about January 3, 2019, the GOP will control the Senate 53-47 (up from its current 51-49).

  • In my pre-election prediction column (And Down the Stretch They Come) from November 5, I predicted (guessed, really) that "Republicans will pick up two seats in the U.S. Senate."

  • The Dems flipped two Republican seats, Arizona and Nevada. Republicans took (so far) Indiana, North Dakota and Missouri from Democratic Senators.

  • The U.S. Senate race in Mississippi is headed for a run-off on Nov. 27 between Republican incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democratic Congressman Mike Espy. This being Mississippi, it is difficult for me to believe a Democrat can win here.

  • The Senate race in Florida is still too close to call. As of this morning, outgoing Republican Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, leads the incumbent Democratic Senator from Florida, Bill Nelson, by about 12,600 votes which, according to is a percentage lead of 0.15%.

  • Under Florida law (about which many political types still have nightmares from the 2000 election) a machine recount is automatic if the margin is less than 0.50%; a hand recount is required if the margin is less than that.

  • The betting line is still on Scott to flip that seat to the GOP, but we'll have to wait and see.

  • I also predicted that "Democrats will pick up 30-35 seats and take control of the U.S. House.

  • According to, as of this morning Democrats have picked up a net 39 seats with nine races (three in California) still undecided. Of those "Democrats are in a good position to win five of them."

  • Orange County, California used to be a bastion of red in an otherwise bright blue state, but no more. Democrats control all the U.S. House seats there now.

  • On the Governor front, I guessed "Democrats will pick up six Governorships." Going into the election the split was 33 Republican Governors, 16 Democrats and one (Alaska) independent.

  • As of this morning, that line-up now reads: 25 GOP/23 Dem with two - Georgia and Florida (again!) still undecided. Assuming the Republican candidates who are leading in both states hold onto those leads, the final lineup will be 27 Republicans and 23 Democrats or a net gain of seven seats (as opposed to my prediction of six).

  • As you have heard a hundred times, these Governor's races are crucial (as will be the 2020 races) because they will have a great impact on drawing district lines for U.S. House as well as state legislative seats for the 2022 elections.

  • The 2020 Census will be the starting point. The Commerce Department owns the Census Bureau and after all the noses are counted, they will decide how many House seats each state receives.

  • Every state gets at least one Representative and sometimes the arguments about how many seats are assigned to each state become brutal fights.

  • Since 1911, the number of U.S. Representatives has been set at 435. Each Member represents approximately 700,000 constituents.

  • After a state knows how many Members of Congress they will have, then the state government takes over and draws the district lines. That's redistricting and how it differs from reapportionment.

  • Remember, these new data are not in effect for the 2020 elections, even if the Census is completed before November. They will guide the 2022 (through 2030) elections.

  • Returning to my dislocating a shoulder patting myself on the back, I know my predictions for the mid-terms don't wipe out my minor miss in the Presidential election of 2016, but they do mean I can reclaim my corner seat at the bar during meetings of the National Association of Political Pundits.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to the Mississippi runoff and the Florida recounts. Also to the House results and the Wikipedia page for Reapportionment.

    The Mullfoto is a striking shot from my 10th floor hotel window in New York City the other night.

    -- END --

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