In response to An Oversimplified Theory, Surely
In a piece Michael cited this afternoon, The Federalist’s Joy Pullman finds it strange that Donald Trump could lose the presidency in an election in which Republicans will gain some House seats (but fail to obtain a majority) and lose Senate seats in Arizona and Colorado while likely keeping their majority.
“It would be mystifying if Republicans won more seats in the House, retained the Senate, and picked up state legislative seats, all while the same voters voted against Trump,” Pullman writes.
But there’s no mystery here.
We don’t yet have the granular data breaking down the presidential vote by U.S. congressional districts or state legislative districts, but GOP House gains are exactly what should be expected if Trump loses the popular vote by four to five percentage points.
When Republicans lost the House in 2018, Democrats bested Republicans by 8.4 points in House races nationwide. In 2012, Republicans held their House majority even as Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney by 3.9 percentage points in the national popular vote.
What’s more, a quick look at the vote totals for Trump and GOP Senate candidates reveals that there’s very little ticket-splitting going on.
In fact, Trump has won more votes than GOP Senate candidates in almost every state.
Here are the vote totals (as of this afternoon, according to Decision Desk HQ) for GOP Senate candidates and Trump in the six states where the pre-election polls showed a competitive race for both the presidency and the Senate:
The same pattern plays out in red states where polls only showed close Senate races (but ended up being blowouts):
In two blue states where incumbent Republican senators were running, one Republican lost while the other Republican won:
It’s not surprising that Susan Collins was the only Republican Senate candidate in the country to run far ahead of Trump. In 2008, she ran 40 points (on net) ahead of John McCain. In 2016, she’s running 19 points (on net) ahead of Trump.
Pullman’s article is meant to justify concerns about election fraud. It’s understandable that some Americans are confused about the late vote counts, and elected officials in many states could have lessened the confusion if they had passed laws ensuring a quick vote count. In many cases, they could be doing a better job of explaining what is happening now. But election fraud is a very serious crime, and serious crimes should be alleged only with evidence. Pullman’s article provides no evidence at all.