Most of you are familiar by now with the concept of Coattails, since I have written several times that I’ve never seen a politician with shorter ones than Trump. Briefly, the concept is that a popular candidate, usually an incumbent at the top of the ticket, such as President, Governor, or Senator can whip out the vote, and since people are voting for them, they tend to also votre for the Democrats down ballot. Everybody wins.

This midterm cycle is going to be incredibly intense. For one thing, we have more than the usual number of open Senate seats, all GOP, in what are normally considered swing states. This automatically makes them more competitive, since there is no name recognition, organization, of incumbent fundraising. PA, NC, and OH are all critical to Democrats, and should be within reach for the Democrats.

Which is where the concept of reverse coattails comes in. I’ll explain. All of these races figure to be incredibly tight, likely with a winning margin of 1-2.5%. Turnout is going to be key. The question is, who will drive the turnout?

I want you to watch for this in your own home districts and states. My MOC out here in Vegas is Democrat Dina Titus. She secured my loyalty long ago when her office was so helpful to Teri when she was having problems getting her unemployment activated.

The neighboring district has another Democrat, Susie Lee in office. In the GOP primaries, Lee drew a Trump friendly, pro life opponent by the name of April Becker. And ever since the GOP primary ended, Lee has been pounding Becker like a milk fed veal cutlet on abortion.

Historically, accurate polling in Nevada is nigh on impossible, it’s too spread out, and the population is too transient. So I don’t know if Lee is hammering Becker to strike while the abortion iron is hot, branding her opponent going into November, or if her internal polling shows the race a little closer than she would like.

But hammer her she is. I’m usually tuned to MSNBC all day, and at least once, if not twice an hour, Lee has a 15 or 30 second spot slamming Becker for wanting a total ban on abortion, with no exceptions. In all that time, I’ve seen a grand total of 2 puff piece commercials on Becker’s behalf.

From where I’m sitting, this is what reverse coattails looks like. If Lee is monolithically pounding Becker on her abortion stance, then her internal research and polling must show it as a strong motivational issue, even for independents and soft GOP voters as well.

And if Lee is doing it, I find it hard to believe that other Democratic incumbents and challengers aren’t going to do the same thing, branding their opponent on an easy issue. And as the primaries roll on, watch for Democrats to use the same tactic to hammer GOP incumbents and challengers for their pro NRA positions. These issues are short, sweet, and a simply binary choice.

So where does reverse coattails come in? Right here. I’m going to use Vegas, where I live, and Reno for my example, simply because they’re the two largest cities in Nevada, as well as heavily Democratic. Imagine Democratic House incumbents and challengers spending 3 months running on hot button, emotional issues like abortion, gun control, marriage equality, and voting rights. Properly motivated, do you think they’ll drive out an increased Democratic turnout? I do.

And when they go into the booth, are they just going to vote for their House candidates, or do you think they’ll vote up the ballot for Democratic Senators, Governors, Secretaries of State, and Attorney Generals, as well as down the ballot for state House and Senate members? Sufficiently elevated voter turnout for those House races could be enough to tip those Senate and gubernatorial races. Especially since the GOP will have to make that up in more sparsely populated districts.

And that my friend, is what I call Reverse Coattails. Normally we think of the top of the ticket cascading downwards. As Ursula likes to say, A rising tide lifts all boats. But in this scenario, in largely urban and suburban, high population density Democratic strongholds, Democratic House members could provide the buffer that drags pretty much everybody else on the ticket over the finish line with them. As Rachel Maddow likes to say, Stick a pin in this one. 


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