WASHINGTON, D.C. – Polls are a dime a dozen this time of year. They are used to gauge support, but also to push narratives and effect voters yet to cast a ballot, so they should always be taken with a grain (or two) of salt. Even so, there is little else to use in an effort to form a forecast for political races. It is in that spirit that we share Five Thirty Eight’s forecast for the most uncertain outcome of 2018 – control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Overall, the poll crunchers at Five Thirty Eight give Democrats more than an 85 percent chance of winning the House. So what about North Carolina’s key congressional races?
Rep. George Holding, though in the closest race he’s faced in a while, seems to be favored for another term. That may explain the easing of national interest in this race, compared to two other North Carolina Republican candidates that have featured in Trump rallies – Mark Harris and Rep. Ted Budd.
Those two races are much closer according to Five Thirty Eight.
Budd, a one term incumbent and solidly conservative Freedom Caucus member has the stronger hand in his race against Democrat Kathy Manning in the 13th District. Budd has been graced with Trump headlined fundraisers and last week’s MAGA rally in Charlotte, and has in 3 chance of winning as you see here.
The 9th District race between Harris and Democrat Dan McCready is the least certain of the bunch, though, being a true toss-up according to these metrics. Harris really got the crowd roaring at the Bojangles Coliseum on Friday evening as he took the stage with the president, championing Trump’s record of ‘getting it done.’
He defeated incumbent moderate Republican Congressman Robert Pittenger in the primary to make this a race for an open seat. His challenger, a former Marine, has been a tough opponent in a district that includes some Democratic leaning areas.
So with any luck, the Old North State will do it’s part to hold the Republican House Majority. The rest of the nation, however, is quite an uphill climb for the GOP.
Assuming the House is lost to the Democrats this year, though, will that be a better set up to the presidential elections in 2020?
See more midterm forecast graphics from Five Thirty Eight here.