Mid-Term Elections 2014: The Forecast Less Than 3 Weeks Out

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Transcript Mid-Term Elections 2014: The Forecast Less Than 3 Weeks Out

Mid-Term Elections 2014:
The Forecast Less Than 3 Weeks Out
Rare Disease Legislative Advocates Meeting
October 16, 2014
Nick Manetto
Faegre BD Consulting
What We Know
Some (relatively) Safe Bets
► We
will continue to have divided government. The question is how
divided will the Congress be.
► Republicans
► Democrats
► There
will gain House seats. The question is how many.
will lose seats in the Senate. The question is how many.
will be very limited opportunity for legislating in 2015 before
everyone is focused on the 2016 Presidential cycle, and the final two
years of Presidential terms are not known for major actions. Will this
cycle remain or will leaders find a way to address issues of national
Some Key Questions & What to Watch For
► Watch
the polls closely including sample size, type of voter, etc. Pay
attention to trends and don’t put too much stock in an outlier.
► Watch
where the national parties and outside groups are putting and
pulling their money. Candidates will try to spin in their favor, but pull
outs often are bad news.
► Consider
the larger climate and factors, such as the impact of other
races, voter turnout, etc.
► Will
a national climate in favor of Republicans be realized at the state
level, or will Democrats be successful in keeping their distance from
the Administration and Senate leaders?
The National Map Today
Where Have We Been Since Late February?
► ~10
or so Senate races remain pivotal and the list has remained pretty
consistent with a few real surprises (Kansas, maybe South Dakota).
► Republicans
have been able to avoid self-inflicted wounds that
plagued them in 2010 and 2012. No Republican incumbent has been
defeated, but some, notably Sen. Thad Cochran and Sen. Pat
Roberts, have been bruised.
► While
the math simply is against the Democrats this cycle, many of
the key races remain close a little more than two weeks out.
The Senate Today
A Safe Bet
seats now held by Democrats – West Virginia and Montana – very
likely to flip to Republicans.
► Brings
us to 53 Democrats (Counting King and Sanders) and 47
Battlegrounds or Bust?
► South
Dakota has long appeared likely to go Republican, but two
most recent polls trend against former Gov. Mike Rounds, and a
unique three-way race involving former Sen. Larry Pressler makes it
quite interesting.
► Michigan
looked like more of a Republican pick-up possibility earlier
in the year, but Democrat Rep. Gary Peters seems to have a stable
Republican Seats In Question
► Kansas
certainly a surprise to Republicans. Big questions – will
voters in a deep red state cast votes to potentially keep the Senate in
Democratic hands, and how will the gubernatorial race and schism in
the state GOP impact this race? GOP rescue effort appears to be
working with Greg Orman’s lead going away.
► Georgia polls have David Perdue lead of Michelle Nunn narrowing.
Are polls under-representing traditionally Democratic constituencies,
and could this race head to a post-New Year’s run-off?
► In Kentucky, Minority Leader McConnell has led most polls. Will he
pull it out like Harry Reid in 2010, or will Democrats “Daschle” him?
DSCC pull out bodes well for McConnell.
Democrat Seats in Question – Slide 1
► New
Hampshire, Colorado and Iowa are all examples of Republican’s
success in widening the map.
► New
Hampshire: Recent polls show Scott Brown gaining, but a big
question is whether or not he will have enough time with a just a little
more than two weeks to go.
► Iowa:
Joni Ernst continues to lead but by very narrow margins. Will it
be enough to turn a long-blue seat red?
► Colorado:
Very similar to Iowa – can Rep. Cory Gardner maintain a
lead in a state that has been increasingly purple?
Democratic Seats in Question – Slide 2
► North
Carolina: Sen. Hagan has held leads between 1 to 4 percent in polls
over the past month. In the end, will this be enough, and will voters mobilize
to turn out for her?
► Alaska: Dan Sullivan has led all polls since winning the nomination in early
August and recent polls have him up between 3 to 6 percent. How accurate
is the polling?
► Arkansas: Recent polls show Rep. Tom Cotton maintaining his lead. Given
the red hues of the state, will this be too much for Sen. Pryor this go-around?
► Louisiana: With Sen. Landrieu firing her campaign manager, the big
question appears to be run-off or no run-off?
► Pryor and Landrieu may end up like Lincoln Chafee, Nancy Johnson, and
Chris Shays – generally well-regarded lawmakers defeated because their
party label just did not fit their state and region.
So What Do I think Happens?
► We
start at 55-45.
► Republicans pick up West Virginia and Montana (53-47).
► Republicans hold Georgia, Kansas & Kentucky and Democrats hold
Michigan, New Hampshire and North Carolina (53-47).
► Republicans pick up Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana & South Dakota (4951).
► Parties split Colorado and Iowa.
► 114th Senate: 52 Republicans, 48 Democrats.
What Might We See in 2015?
► Certainly
expect an early dose of ACA/Obamacare related votes.
► A new
“Majority Leader” McConnell will likely face continued
challenges managing a very diverse caucus.
► At
the same time, in 2016 the tables will be turned on Republicans as
~6 or so Republican Senators from blue or purple states elected in the
2010 ACA backlash year will be up for re-election (Toomey, Johnson,
Kirk, Rubio, Portman, Ayotte).
What Does It Mean for Our Community?
► Rare
disease and patient advocacy groups more broadly are fortunate
to have strong champions and supporters on all sides. This goodwill
should continue going forward.
► Fiscal challenges, notably the scheduled return of sequestration,
continue to have a significant impact on the sector. One big question –
will or how will sequestration be addressed going forward?
► Will the energy and momentum behind 21st Century Cures remain or
will it fizzle? Can something happen near-term with thornier issues
positioned for PDUFA VI?
► Enactment of targeted and narrowly focused bills remains a real
possibility, such as modest updates or reauthorizations (muscular
dystrophy, autism, etc.) or modest new programs (pediatric research