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High turnout for first day of early voting in Texas; the Midterms Minute

High turnout for first day of early voting in Texas; the Midterms Minute

High turnout for first day of early voting in Texas
The lines for the Donald Trump rally in Houston were almost matched by the lines at an early voting location on Monday. It’s a sign of voter enthusiasm as early voting begins not just in Texas but in Florida as well.
So far, over 5 million people have voted already across the country including over 500,000 people in California alone.
Yes, turnout is significantly higher than 2014 in many places and rivaling a presidential year in some.
Trump barnstorms the country before the midterms
Donald Trump has held 27 different rallies across the United States this year in advance of 2018 elections with more to come over the next 15 days.
Trump’s stops have invariably been in areas he has won and a third have been in or near Appalachia, where Trump strongly over-performed in the 2016 election.
Yes, but there are limited places that he can be helpful. Trump has held three rallies this year in Montana and only one in Florida.
Democrats play defense in the Senate
In the aftermath of the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation fight, Democrats have gone from hopes of perhaps even regaining the Senate to trying to play defense and minimize their losses. The struggle now focuses on ensuring that marginal Democrats in red states, such as Indiana’s Joe Donnelly, can hold on.
Does the size of the Republican majority matter? Yes, not only does it determine how much wriggle room Mitch McConnell has in the next Congress, it also matters for 2020. The more seats Democrats lose now, the tougher it is for them to regain the majority then.
Poll of the day
In Vermont, Bernie Sanders is cruising to re-election by a margin of 60%-19% according to a poll from Vermont Public Radio. At the same time, the state’s incumbent Republican governor, Phil Scott, is expected to win re-election as well.
Sanders was always expected to be a shoo-in but the expected ease of his win is one factor why he is spending the next week crisscrossing the country for other candidates.
Republicans haven’t laid a finger on Sanders and other potential 2020 candidates running in safe blue states, such as Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand. A messy re-election campaign could have potentially bloodied them up in advance of the presidential primary.
Ad of the day
In a new ad, Democrat Joe Manchin touts the endorsement of three major sports figures, Alabama football coach Nick Saban, NBA legend Jerry West and West Virginia basketball coach Bob Huggins. The blue dog Democrat is in a tough fight for re-election to the United States Senate against Republican Patrick Morrisey.
All three are strong surrogates with blue collar white men in the state. It’s just a question of whether of the impact of celebrity endorsements in any race.