Nate Silver over at FiveThirtyEight floats the idea that the YUGE fundraising that Democrats have done going into the upcoming midterms could just add up to the bigger number of gains forecasters are estimating….
The fundraising numbers are so good for Democrats — and so bad for Republicans — that it’s hard to know quite what to make of them. From a modeling standpoint, we’re extrapolating from years in which fundraising was relatively even, or from when one party had a modest edge, into an environment where Democrats suddenly have a 2-1 advantage in fundraising in competitive races. Moreover, this edge comes despite the fact that a large number of these competitive races feature Republican incumbents (incumbents usually have an easier time raising money than challengers) and that most of them are in red terrain.
If Democrats beat their projections on Nov. 6 — say, they win 63 House seats, equalling the number that Republicans won in 2010, an unlikely-but-not-impossible scenario — we may look back on these fundraising numbers as the canary in the coal mine. That data, plus Democrats’ very strong performances in special elections, could look like tangible signs of a Democratic turnout surge that pollsters and pundits perhaps won’t have paid enough attention to. Right now, in fact, the polls are not showing a Democratic turnout advantage. Instead, based on a comparison of likely-voter and registered-voter polls, they’re projecting roughly equal turnout between the parties, with Republicans’ demographic advantages (older, whiter voters typically vote at higher rates in the midterms) counteracting Democrats’ seemingly higher enthusiasm. If turnout among Democratic-leaning groups actually outpaces turnout among Republican-leaning ones, Democrats will beat their polls and our projections…..
Voter interest in the midterm elections has surged to record highs within both parties, helping to drive up President Trump’s approval rating while maintaining the Democrats’ lead as the party most preferred to lead Congress, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll has found….