We've also been monitoring a few of the gubernatorial races, and while the results are not nearly as close as the Senate races, there are still a couple that will go down to the wire.
We see relatively easy wins for Doug Ducey (R) and Bill Lee (R) in Arizona and Tennessee respectively, and Rich Cordray (D) has a significant edge in Ohio. Nevada and Florida are two states where we see virtual ties at this point.
In Florida, DeSantis (R) had a brief moment in the lead over the past few days, but Gillum (D) has the momentum in his favor over the past 24 hours. Sisolak (D) in Nevada is barely hanging onto his lead as Laxalt (R) has recovered from a rocky campaign to surge heading into today's vote.
Just as in the case of the Senate races, healthcare is playing a big role in determining how the electorate votes. Florida's interest in taxation and Ohio's focus on voter suppression are unique in the races we are monitoring.
What impact is the President having on races for governor? We can see some connections in our limited sample regarding Trump's approval ratings and the outcomes of these campaigns.
Democrats are leading or tied in the three states where Trump has been discussed negatively as of late. In the states where he has been discussed positively, it is the party or candidate that is the focus of the voters.
Today is the big day, and we've been watching a number of Senate races that will determine if the Republicans maintain control or if the Democrats can swing enough states to put them in charge. So let's get to it!
First, the numbers...
We have been monitoring a number of the "races to watch", and almost all are extremely close. In other words, it's going to come down to who can best get their supporters to the polls today.
Below we show the candidates in the lead, and the short-term trend that indicates whether they are building a lead or fending off an opponent on the rise.
It's not the economy...
While the media has been focused on issues such as Kavanaugh and migrant caravans, we found in all but two states Healthcare was the topic that was first and foremost with voters, and in the two states where it wasn't the most discussed, it was the second most discussed.
This finding is surprising given the coverage of Kavanaugh and immigration issues over the past months, but given the uncertainty facing many people due to healthcare costs, it seems to be overtaking purely economic issues as the leading issue upon which individuals are consistently basing their voting decisions.
The Trump Effect
Finally, we were able to determine the role the President was having on these races by looking at whether the discussion focused on candidates and parties or if the President was the main subject. We also looked at the overall opinion of the President based on sentiment of Trump-based discussions.
Looking for correlations, we have a hard time seeing that Trump is truly driving the narrative in these races. In the 5 states where the President is viewed positively, only 3 Republicans are leading and in 2 of those races, the main focus is on the candidate or the GOP. It is only in Indiana where Trump "trumps" the party, is viewed positively and the Republican candidate is leading.
When races are this close, it is all about the ground game on election day and if the campaign team can get out the vote. A well run campaign can easily overcome margin of error leads so it will certainly come down to the wire tonight.