University of Florida associate professor Michael McDonald, who oversees the Election Project, told “Red & Blue” on CBSN Thursday that the early vote totals could indicate 45 to 50 percent turnout by eligible voters on election day.
“In the last three decades, weve had about 40 percent of those eligible to vote participating in midterm elections. If we get in the upper end of that range, if we can beat the 1966 49-percent turnout rate, youd have to go all the way back to 1914 to get a turnout rate above 50 percent,” McDonald said.
Trump is already backtracking on his promise for a very major tax cut before the midterms
A number of states that have seen higher than normal early voting turnout — including Arizona, Nevada, Indiana, Missouri, and North Dakota — have critical elections that could determine the balance of power in the Senate. In Texas, which is home to another crucial Senate race, the early voting total has surpassed the total 2014 vote, including early voting and election day.
Florida and Georgia, two more states with early voting turnout higher than in 2014, have close gubernatorial races as well, each with strong Trump-supporting Republican candidates facing progressive African-American Democrats. Both races have the potential to be history-making: Andrew Gillum of Florida could be the third black man elected governor, and Stacey Abrams of Georgia could be the first black woman elected governor in the country.
Several of these states have been accused of encouraging voter suppression, particularly for minorities. In Georgia, 53,000 voting applications have been suspended, with 70 percent of those belonging to black voters. In North Dakota, a restrictive voter ID law which primarily affects Native Americans has been upheld by the Supreme Court.
McDonald noted that even states without “marquee” elections in the Senate and for governor were seeing high early voter turnout, with Democrats having an edge. In states which have those close races, “everyone is voting,” meaning that one party does not necessarily have an advantage.
High-profile political figures have been visiting several states with close races. In the final week before the election, President Trump is rallying for Republican candidates in Florida, Missouri, West Virginia, Indiana, Montana, Georgia, Tennessee, and Ohio. Former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden are also visiting several of these states to rally for Democrats in the run-up to election day.
President Donald Trump dropped a shocking piece of news during a visit to Nevada on Saturday: Republicans, he said, were aiming to roll out another tax cut for the middle class by the midterm elections on November 6.
“We are looking at putting in a very major tax cut for middle-income people,” Trump said. “And if we do that, itll be sometime just prior, I would say, to November.”
The idea that any major tax legislation could pass, or even be introduced, in the two weeks before the midterm elections is far-fetched at best and most likely impossible.
For one thing, Congress is not in session until after Election Day, as most members are out on the campaign trail.
And any plan would be likely to get blowback from lawmakers — even Republicans — who were concerned that the GOP tax law passed in December, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, was rushed and expanded the federal deficit by too much.
Finally, to pass any more tax legislation, the GOP, to avoid a filibuster, would need to get a handful of Democrats on board with the plan, which would be highly unlikely.
Amid the confusion, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin clarified in an interview with The New York Times on Sunday that the administration and GOP leaders were working on a plan for another middle-class tax cut that would be released, but not passed, by the midterms.
On Monday, Trump told reporters that the plan would be a resolution that would aim to give middle-income earners another 10% tax cut on top of the reductions from the new tax law. It was not clear whether Trump was referring to a symbolic resolution or actual legislation.
While the ambition for the new tax plan is quickly being dialed back, the goal in talking about one is most likely to drum up support for GOP candidates before the midterms.
The GOP tax law still polls poorly, and Republican groups have largely stopped advertising around the cuts. Rolling out another tax plan just before the elections could be an attempt to energize the base and boost turnout among Republican voters.