I usually don’t make predictions with regard to politics.

But I keep hearing a lot about the blue wave that’s coming in November.

The blue wave, of course, is the notion that Democrats will win control of the U.S. House of Representatives for sure, and maybe even the U.S. Senate in the November election.

The narrative foisted upon us by the vast majority of media is that Donald Trump has destroyed the Republican Party. They are talking about Democrats winning up to 70 House seats. (See story, page 2A.

I’m just not so sure about that.

I know the history. The party controlling the White House loses an average of 30 House seats in the first midterm election following a presidential election.





Heck, President Barack Obama’s Democrats lost 63 seats in 2010 and Bill Clinton’s Democrats lost 52 seats in 1994. Even Ronald Reagan’s Republicans lost 26 seats in 1982. (An exception was George W. Bush’s Republicans in 2002 who actually gained eight seats, but then again, Sept. 11, 2001, was a bit of a game changer in that election.)

As of Tuesday, President Trump’s approval rating sat at 47 percent (Rasmussen daily tracking) as compared with Obama’s 44 percent in the same poll on the same day in 2010. Clinton’s approval rating was 40 percent at the same time in 1994.

The generic ballot tracker at Real Clear Politics shows the Democrats with a 9.5 percent edge. This is an average of more than a dozen polls, which show everything from a tie to a 14-point lead for Democrats.

(The generic ballot poll simply asks whether you are more or less likely to vote for a Democrat or a Republican in your district.)

A 9.5-point lead seems pretty significant. But Republicans control state legislatures in a lot of places and gerrymandering has taken place in most of those places.

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law recently measured how much harder gerrymandering will make it for Dems to take control of the House.

According to the report, “even a blue wave election akin to 2006 would be far from enough. Maps drawn after the 2010 tea-party wave to favor Republicans, particularly in big swing states like Michigan, North Carolina and Ohio, mean Democrats would need to win the national popular vote in 2018 by the biggest margin in a midterm since 1982.”

They add, “To attain a bare majority, Democrats would likely have to win the national popular vote by nearly 11 points. Neither Democrats nor Republicans have won by such an overwhelming margin in decades. Even a strong blue wave would crash against a wall of gerrymandered maps.”

So, basically, that 9.5-point generic ballot advantage tends to evaporate. This helps explains how Hillary Clinton carried a 2.1 percent lead in the popular vote to a 304-to-227 electoral college defeat.

This also shows why history is not much of an indicator.

Then there’s money.

According to CBS News, the Republican National Committee raised $14.2 million in July – the most it has ever raised in that month in a non-presidential year – bringing its total haul for the cycle to $227.2 million. Despite historic odds and voter enthusiasm favoring Democrats, the RNC is finding record-setting support among its donors. The RNC raised more in July of this year than it did in 2010 and 2014 combined.

According to its last FEC report at the end of June, the RNC has nearly $42 million in cash on hand and no debt –  more than five times as much as the Democratic National Committee.

It’s true, according to reports at the FCC, 43 House Republicans raised less money than Democratic challengers in the first three months of 2018.

In individual races, Democrats are fairing pretty well, but the Republican National Committee will have exponentially more money to throw at those races come election time.

From Politico.com:

“I don’t want to sugarcoat it: Republicans have a major financial advantage and it keeps me up at night that the advantage could blunt the wave that’s building for 2018,” said Jesse Ferguson, a Democratic strategist who previously worked for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told CBS the flood of money into the RNC was the result of "unprecedented" grassroots support for Trump and the GOP.

"We've built the biggest field program we've ever had to defend our majorities in the House and Senate. History might be against us, but we're making sure every voter knows we're the party of results. All the Democrats have is resistance," McDaniel said in a statement.

That’s overstated, but at least kind of true. Democrats seem to be running on an anti-Trump platform: impeachment, abolishing ICE and repealing tax cuts. Sure, Democrats stand for a lot more than that – voting rights, ethics laws, campaign finance, environmental regulations – but it’s mainly the anti-Trump stuff you hear about.

Problem is, it’s tough to campaign against an improving economy. And it’s tough to convince people to vote for change when they’ve got cash in their pockets.

I’m not sure large swaths of Americans hate Trump as much as the media tell us they do.

Then there are just little meaningless things I see here and there.

Like Kanye West’s album breaking records – even after he came out as a MAGA guy.

And remember that restaurant in Lexington, Va., that tossed out Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her family because she worked for Trump?

Seems the town is attempting a reputation makeover.

According to the Roanoke Times, “The area's regional tourism board is pulling together emergency funds to boost its digital marketing campaign,” the Roanoke Times reported Sunday. The money is normally saved, however, officials agreed the region is in desperate need of positive coverage after the Sanders controversy.

“Following the incident, the tourism board was flooded with thousands of calls and emails – and the complaints are still coming. The office received a letter Aug. 30 from a Georgia family that wrote to say it would never return because of what happened.”

Blue wave?

I’m just not so sure.