Seven Big Differences between the 2010 Big Red Wave and the expected 2018 “Big Blue Wave”

by Datechguy | April 12th, 2018

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Seven Big Differences between the 2010 Big Red Wave and the expected 2018 "Big Blue Wave"

Local Elections

Facts are stub­born things; and what­ever may be our wishes, our incli­na­tions, or the dic­tates of our pas­sion, they can­not alter the state of facts and evidence.

John Adams

As we con­tinue to see the GOP head for the hills while the left braces for what they believe is going to be a ban­ner year it’s worth not­ing the sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences between what is expected to be the great blue wave of 2018 to the big red wave that actu­ally hap­pened in 2010.

#1 Oba­macare vs the Tax Bill

The Big red wave of 2010 took place after the pas­sage of Oba­macare, one of the most unpop­u­lar laws in the his­tory of law­mak­ing by a con­gress. Democ­rats were assured by their lead­er­ship and the media that one the law was passed it would become more and more pop­u­lar with the pub­lic come elec­tion day. That was not the case. Repub­li­cans (falsely it turns out) promised to repeal Obama if given the chance and the vot­ers decided to give them that chance.

The most sig­nif­i­cant law that was passed by this con­gress was the tax bill of 2017. It was exco­ri­ated in the media and we were assured by the Democ­rats and the left that it’s unpop­u­lar­ity would con­tinue to grow the oppo­site has been the case. Many Democ­rats are run­ning on the idea of repeal­ing this bill and rais­ing taxes. I sus­pect that will not be as pop­u­lar as repeal­ing Oba­macare but in fair­ness to the Democ­rats I have no doubt that they will attempt to do so if elected.

#2. The 2002 map vs the 2012 maps

In 2010 the year of the big red wave the Repub­li­cans tax ran on the same con­gres­sional maps that the Democ­rats had won big on it 2006 and 2008, how­ever the wave of 2010 extended was not lim­ited to con­gress but took place over the entire nation giv­ing the GOP an unprece­dented num­ber of seats at the state level just before redis­trict­ing. This means that the sup­posed “big blue wave” is going to have to break on a set of maps that specif­i­cally favor repub­li­cans in the house.

#3 The 2010 Sen­ate Land­scape vs 2018 Sen­ate Landscape.

In 2010, the year of the big red wave the split of seats up for elec­tion was unre­mark­able 19 repub­li­can seats were up vs 18 demo­c­rat seats (count­ing spe­cial elec­tions) but the Democ­rats had a huge major­ity (5941 count­ing the two “inde­pen­dents” who voted with dems). The end result was the Democ­rats still held that major­ity but it shrunk to 5247. In 2018 the repub­li­can major­ity is only 5149 an even split in a divided coun­try but only 9 GOP seats are up for re-​election this year vs 24 for the Democ­rats, many of them in states that Pres­i­dent Trump won. Democ­rats to take the major­ity will have to win 26 races out of 33.

4. 2010 Retire­ments vs 2018 retirements

In 2010 the retire­ment ratio of repub­li­cans to democ­rats was 2017. Once again 17 Democ­rats are retir­ing but 38 repub­li­cans over 15% of the cau­cus have decided to give this elec­tion a miss. Given that the Democ­rats only need 24 seats this would seem a great advan­tage, but given that the GOP base is unhappy with the cur­rent con­gress’ inabil­ity to act (in fair­ness the Sen­ate is mostly to blame here) the removal of incum­bents asso­ci­ated with a “do noth­ing” con­gress might actu­ally work in the GOP’s favor, or to put it another way, how many seats might the Democ­rats saved in 2010 if 38 Democ­rats who voted for Oba­macare decided to retire in 2010 rather than run for re-​election?

5. The 2010 Econ­omy vs the 2018 Economy

In 2010 the Democ­rats had over­whelm­ing majori­ties in both the House and Sen­ate and were pre­sid­ing over one of the worst economies in liv­ing mem­ory and that was before the effects of Oba­macare began to take effect. The Democ­rats had to run blam­ing said bad econ­omy not on Pres­i­dent Obama but on Pres­i­dent Bush and the promise of pros­per­ity just around the cor­ner. In 2018 the econ­omy is grow­ing like gang­busters, the strong stock mar­ket is way up vs elec­tion day 2016 and peo­ple surg­ing back into the work. Mem­bers of the GOP can run on keep­ing the good times rolling while Democ­rats are run­ning on a com­bi­na­tion of impeach­ment and rais­ing taxes, in effect killing the goose that laid the golden eggs. It remains to be seen how pop­u­lar that mes­sage is going to be.

6. The 2010 expec­ta­tions vs the 2018 expectations.

With a few excep­tions like the blog­gers on the ground absolutely nobody saw the 2010 red wave com­ing. The warn­ing shot of the Scott Brown elec­tion was con­sid­ered by many an out­lier and the Tea Party move­ment that drove the 2010 elec­tion was dis­counted by the media which assured us that the pas­sage of Oba­macare along with what they claimed was an improv­ing econ­omy would spell good news for Democ­rats and the party believed it. It wasn’t until the week before the elec­tion, some­times the day before, that the media real­ized that there was some­thing rot­ten in Den­mark. In 2018 the media, the pun­dits and even some in the GOP, despite the roar­ing econ­omy, see trou­ble ahead. Despite the favor­able econ­omy, their money advan­tage and favor­able maps absolutely nobody in the party is tak­ing this elec­tion for granted and while you are see­ing a few pro-​forma state­ments about retain­ing the major­ity you aren’t see­ing the over­con­fi­dence that the Democ­rats and media showed in 2010 and 2016 right up to the final week. The GOP sees the rocks ahead with a full six months to do some­thing about it.

7. A Trend­ing down Incum­bent in 2010 fail­ing expec­ta­tions vs an Trend­ing up Incum­bent sur­pass­ing expec­ta­tions in 2018

No pres­i­dent was ever elected with Higher expec­ta­tions than Barack Obama, the expec­ta­tions for him were so high that he won a Nobel Peace prize sim­ply for exist­ing. 2010, the sec­ond year of his pres­i­dency was when real­ity started to creep in.

In 2010 Barack Obama started with an approval rat­ing of 5143 (Gallup weekly). This was pretty low point for him at the time as he had held a pos­i­tive approval rat­ing for all of 2009 spend­ing the first half of the year in the 60’s and all but two weeks in the fifties to end it. He held a pos­i­tive approval rat­ing until the week of June 21st where his rat­ing dropped to 4546 July. While he would have one “even” week (Sept 6th) he would keep an approval rat­ing he aver­aged an approval rat­ing was –2.2 (4547) from that point to elec­tion day which was a stark con­trast to where he started on elec­tion day 2009 (6713). Dur­ing this entire time Pres­i­dent Obama was con­stantly lion­ized by the press.

By con­trast no pres­i­dent came to office with lower expec­ta­tions that Don­ald Trump. The pre­dic­tions were dire for the econ­omy and the world with peo­ple lit­er­ally expect­ing to be put into camps and the media and the world stok­ing such fears. In 2018 once again real­ity started to creep into this narrative.

Gallup ended its pres­i­den­tial approval polling in Jan of 2018 how­ever Ras­mussen con­tin­ued daily track­ing polls (no option for unde­cid­eds like gallup) and also runs an “approval index” based on those who “strongly approve” vs “strongly disapprove”

That “approval index” has not been a pos­i­tive num­ber since March 3rd 2017 and spent most of 2017 in the high teens to low 20’s. 2018 has seen a dif­fer­ent trend Pres­i­dent Trump reached sin­gle neg­a­tive dig­its in feb and has remained in the low teens to high sin­gle dig­its chiefly from the “Strongly approve” num­ber now being con­sis­tently in the 30’s rather than the 20’s

In terms of raw approval on elec­tion day Don­ald Trump had 5644 approval rat­ing. By March 17th he had dropped to 4951 and with the excep­tion of a sin­gle day (April 21st 2017) did not have a dis­ap­proval num­ber below 50% and man­aged to reach as high as 62% dis­ap­proval.
In 2018 things have lev­eled off he has had sev­eral days where he has hit 50% approval and this month has aver­aged a 4951 split.

And all of this is in the face of a press that has been pound­ing him from day one.

A clos­ing thought, every point here, from the state of the econ­omy to the maps to the polling num­bers are based on either ver­i­fi­able his­tor­i­cal and/​or the cur­rent num­bers, or put sim­ply the facts.

The GOP has real­ity on its side, can they leave their bub­ble long enough to see it?

Next: The MSM’s 2018 Tet Offen­sive on the GOP


If you think real­ity based report­ing and com­men­tary is worth your while then please con­sider hit­ting DaTip­Jar below



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Finally might I sug­gest my book Hail Mary the Per­fect Protes­tant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excel­lent Gift.

Local Elections

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

John Adams

As we continue to see the GOP head for the hills while the left braces for what they believe is going to be a banner year it’s worth noting the significant differences between what is expected to be the great blue wave of 2018 to the big red wave that actually happened in 2010.

#1 Obamacare vs the Tax Bill

The Big red wave of 2010 took place after the passage of Obamacare, one of the most unpopular laws in the history of lawmaking by a congress. Democrats were assured by their leadership and the media that one the law was passed it would become more and more popular with the public come election day. That was not the case. Republicans (falsely it turns out) promised to repeal Obama if given the chance and the voters decided to give them that chance.

The most significant law that was passed by this congress was the tax bill of 2017. It was excoriated in the media and we were assured by the Democrats and the left that it’s unpopularity would continue to grow the opposite has been the case. Many Democrats are running on the idea of repealing this bill and raising taxes. I suspect that will not be as popular as repealing Obamacare but in fairness to the Democrats I have no doubt that they will attempt to do so if elected.

#2. The 2002 map vs the 2012 maps

In 2010 the year of the big red wave the Republicans tax ran on the same congressional maps that the Democrats had won big on it 2006 and 2008, however the wave of 2010 extended was not limited to congress but took place over the entire nation giving the GOP an unprecedented number of seats at the state level just before redistricting. This means that the supposed “big blue wave” is going to have to break on a set of maps that specifically favor republicans in the house.

#3 The 2010 Senate Landscape vs 2018 Senate Landscape.

In 2010, the year of the big red wave the split of seats up for election was unremarkable 19 republican seats were up vs 18 democrat seats (counting special elections) but the Democrats had a huge majority (59-41 counting the two “independents” who voted with dems). The end result was the Democrats still held that majority but it shrunk to 52-47. In 2018 the republican majority is only 51-49 an even split in a divided country but only 9 GOP seats are up for re-election this year vs 24 for the Democrats, many of them in states that President Trump won. Democrats to take the majority will have to win 26 races out of 33.

4. 2010 Retirements vs 2018 retirements

In 2010 the retirement ratio of republicans to democrats was 20-17. Once again 17 Democrats are retiring but 38 republicans over 15% of the caucus have decided to give this election a miss. Given that the Democrats only need 24 seats this would seem a great advantage, but given that the GOP base is unhappy with the current congress’ inability to act (in fairness the Senate is mostly to blame here) the removal of incumbents associated with a “do nothing” congress might actually work in the GOP’s favor, or to put it another way, how many seats might the Democrats saved in 2010 if 38 Democrats who voted for Obamacare decided to retire in 2010 rather than run for re-election?

5. The 2010 Economy vs the 2018 Economy

In 2010 the Democrats had overwhelming majorities in both the House and Senate and were presiding over one of the worst economies in living memory and that was before the effects of Obamacare began to take effect. The Democrats had to run blaming said bad economy not on President Obama but on President Bush and the promise of prosperity just around the corner. In 2018 the economy is growing like gangbusters, the strong stock market is way up vs election day 2016 and people surging back into the work. Members of the GOP can run on keeping the good times rolling while Democrats are running on a combination of impeachment and raising taxes, in effect killing the goose that laid the golden eggs. It remains to be seen how popular that message is going to be.

6. The 2010 expectations vs the 2018 expectations.

With a few exceptions like the bloggers on the ground absolutely nobody saw the 2010 red wave coming. The warning shot of the Scott Brown election was considered by many an outlier and the Tea Party movement that drove the 2010 election was discounted by the media which assured us that the passage of Obamacare along with what they claimed was an improving economy would spell good news for Democrats and the party believed it. It wasn’t until the week before the election, sometimes the day before, that the media realized that there was something rotten in Denmark. In 2018 the media, the pundits and even some in the GOP, despite the roaring economy, see trouble ahead. Despite the favorable economy, their money advantage and favorable maps absolutely nobody in the party is taking this election for granted and while you are seeing a few pro-forma statements about retaining the majority you aren’t seeing the overconfidence that the Democrats and media showed in 2010 and 2016 right up to the final week. The GOP sees the rocks ahead with a full six months to do something about it.

7. A Trending down Incumbent in 2010 failing expectations vs an Trending up Incumbent surpassing expectations in 2018

No president was ever elected with Higher expectations than Barack Obama, the expectations for him were so high that he won a Nobel Peace prize simply for existing. 2010, the second year of his presidency was when reality started to creep in.

In 2010 Barack Obama started with an approval rating of 51-43 (Gallup weekly). This was pretty low point for him at the time as he had held a positive approval rating for all of 2009 spending the first half of the year in the 60’s and all but two weeks in the fifties to end it. He held a positive approval rating until the week of June 21st where his rating dropped to 45-46 July. While he would have one “even” week (Sept 6th) he would keep an approval rating he averaged an approval rating was -2.2 (45-47) from that point to election day which was a stark contrast to where he started on election day 2009 (67-13). During this entire time President Obama was constantly lionized by the press.

By contrast no president came to office with lower expectations that Donald Trump. The predictions were dire for the economy and the world with people literally expecting to be put into camps and the media and the world stoking such fears. In 2018 once again reality started to creep into this narrative.

Gallup ended its presidential approval polling in Jan of 2018 however Rasmussen continued daily tracking polls (no option for undecideds like gallup) and also runs an “approval index” based on those who “strongly approve” vs “strongly disapprove”

That “approval index” has not been a positive number since March 3rd 2017 and spent most of 2017 in the high teens to low 20’s. 2018 has seen a different trend President Trump reached single negative digits in feb and has remained in the low teens to high single digits chiefly from the “Strongly approve” number now being consistently in the 30’s rather than the 20’s

In terms of raw approval on election day Donald Trump had 56-44 approval rating. By March 17th he had dropped to 49-51 and with the exception of a single day (April 21st 2017) did not have a disapproval number below 50% and managed to reach as high as 62% disapproval.
In 2018 things have leveled off he has had several days where he has hit 50% approval and this month has averaged a 49-51 split.

And all of this is in the face of a press that has been pounding him from day one.

A closing thought, every point here, from the state of the economy to the maps to the polling numbers are based on either verifiable historical and/or the current numbers, or put simply the facts.

The GOP has reality on its side, can they leave their bubble long enough to see it?

Next:  The MSM’s 2018 Tet Offensive on the GOP


If you think reality based reporting and commentary is worth your while then please consider hitting DaTipJar below



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Finally might I suggest my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.

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