Remember those graphs on Election Day in 2016 showing Hillary Clinton with a nearly 90 percent chance of victory – even late into the evening?
They ended up reversing abruptly, and Donald Trump was the victor.
The graphs were pulling a similar stunt on Tuesday, showing the developing results of the 2018 midterms. The GOP had been given a good but not solid chance of retaining control of the Senate, through which President Trump’s judicial nominees must travel.
Suddenly about mid-evening, before the Rocky Mountain and West Coast polls even closed, the ABC News forecast gave the GOP a 94.7 percent chance of maintaining control of the Senate. The forecast indicated the GOP would pick up two seats and end up with a 53-47 advantage.
And the House? That’s where the Democrats earlier in the week were declaring victory. There, the ABC chart showed the GOP with a surprising 40 percent chance of maintaining control.
That was after earlier assessments this week suggested the Democrats had an 80 percent chance of taking over.
The assessment projected that at the end of the night the Democrats would win another 26 seats, which would barely be enough to given them the majority.
But some analysts have suggested that if the Democrats win control of the House and launch investigations of the administration, it would only end up helping Trump’s re-election chances in 2020.
He would have a ready-made target, a Democratic-controlled House, to blame for blocking progress.
ABC projected 223 House seats were solid or likely Democrat victories, enough for control of the House.
While a Democrat House could block some of Trump’s legislative plans, a GOP majority in the Senate enables the president to continue restocking the American judiciary with judges that rule according to the Constitution rather than social agendas.
He’s already appointed dozens, including two justices on the Supreme Court, and has many more in the pipeline that could influence the nation for decades after Trump completes his presidency.
Mid-evening, Republicans had 43 seats in the Senate, with a pickup in Indiana, to 32 Democrats, with 25 results to be determined. Most of those are Democrats trying to keep their seats.
The chart shows 98 Republican winners in the House, and 86 Democrats, with 251 races to be determined.
Trump on Monday admitted the GOP could lose control of the House.
“And do you know what you do? My whole life, you know what I say? ‘Don’t worry about it, I’ll just figure it out.'”
One Washington Post writer pointed out that Democrats in the House would “give Trump a boogeyman” and he would have “a ready-made foil for his 2020 re-election campaign.”