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Tim Mack. And Danielle Kurtz Laban in the studio everybody. Hey, so let's start with the. Fact that historically and given some of the big picture trends Democrats really do have the wind at their backs. Let's walk through. Why exactly that is when presidents are in their first midterms? They lose a heck of a lot of seats on average is just as a matter of. And we've heard President Trump actually posit publicly. Why that is now they get complacent not here. In some of it has to do with frankly with the fact that people got their guy over the line. They got their president. And then they sort of back off and the. Perhaps it contentment settles in and the people who are most motivated are the people who are most upset with the policies that the new president is putting in place fun facts on that. So Gallup crunch the numbers a little bit earlier this year, and they found that when the president's approval rating going into the midterms is below fifty percent and Trump's according to our latest poll is thirty nine percent. The president's party averages a loss of thirty seven seats in the house, which by the way, Democrats need fewer than that in order to take the house. So when the president has approval of over fifty percent, his party tends to lose only fourteen seats stole loss, but not nearly as huge one Democrats have been incredibly enthusiastic all year ever since President Trump took office. But in recent weeks, we've seen Republicans finally getting engage getting enthusiastic as well. Yeah. And as you get closer to the election that tends to happen and Republicans the advantage that they wind up. Having is is a there are a couple of advantages that Republicans have these elections are mostly taking place. On Republican turf in the house. You know, most of these places are at least Republican-leaning because Republicans have run up the score when it comes to state legislative chambers and governor's seats, which are the ones that control redistricting. So they won so many they are in control, correct? So the interesting point here is that so much that redistricting was only possible because so many state legislatures went to Republican majorities greater Republican majorities because of the Republican wave in Obama's first mid term in two thousand ten right and the other advantage that Republicans tend to have is the demographic makeup of turnout is usually older whiter voters. More likely to go to the polls, and they make up a larger share of the Republican party, then for Democrats. Daniel the other thing that Republicans should have working in their favor. But if you've looked at the polling, so far it hasn't really materialized is the fact that by most metrics the economy is doing really well right now. Right. Yeah. So I mean, what we can say about that is that it's not. Going to hurt Republicans this year. They're in power in the economy is doing well, that's that's great for them. But when you look at how the economy interacts with midterms at least as far as several analyses over the years of shown, it doesn't seem to at least by the big headline metrics, we tend to use think about if you try to plot. The unemployment rate, for example against the number of house seats gained or lost by the president's party. It really doesn't show much of any correlation. It's just kind of all over the map so to speak. So so election day is about a week and a half out at this point all of us have been covering the midterms in one way or another for for almost two years. Now at this point we've all been on the road and a lot of these districts. Let's just take a moment to walk through some of the big themes that we've been seeing all along in terms of what voters are thinking. In terms of what campaigns are looking out or who the candidates are. But a lot of these races are taking place in suburban districts, so first and foremost, you have to start there when you look at the twenty five seats, for example that Hillary Clinton. One in two thousand sixteen but have Republicans representing them in on the congressional level? A lot of those places happen to be in suburban areas like outside Los Angeles, Kansas City, Philadelphia Dallas, those are places where you're seeing a lot of these races play out. You're also seeing women be a big part of the few of fueling the opposition. To President Trump suburban women, for example, women who live in the suburbs have a much lower approval rating of President Trump than others. But this is where I would jump in and get on my high horse about the phrase suburban voters, especially suburban women voters because it's kind of a euphemism that we use in political reporting. It's not that like living in a medium density area outside of a city. That's not terribly walkable naturally makes you more democratic or Republican or more swing even so who specifically really talking about them. So I asked a few pollsters earlier this year about this. And they said, you know, listen often when we are when we. Sort of talk about this. We're often talking about white college educated or otherwise affluent because she thinks tend to go hand in hand voters. That's that's a lot of it to be honest. And there's there are certain other cultural associations, people tend to put with suburbs. Right. You know, like perhaps married parents white picket fence all of that stuff. And those are people who by the way are relatively likely to vote, and we pay a lot of attention because recently, those college educated white men and white women have swung more towards the Democratic Party. And that was even before President Trump sped up that shift. Yes. And that shift has been happening among both white college educated men are roughly split evenly at this point white. College educated women have swung way hard towards the Democrats in the district. I'm I'm really interested. In is California's forty eighth which is in Orange County. It's a suburb of Los Angeles. You've got this congressman named Dana Rohrabacher. He's been in office. He was first elected thirty years ago in the eighties. He's a surfer. Campaign has some sort of a wet ages. Just watching him in his suit. Most people don't know him as a survey know him as the Republican that is perhaps the most pro-putin pro Russia congressman in Washington DC his district was actually won by Hillary Clinton by two points in two thousand sixteen and he's being challenged by a local businessman, so it's one of those key races in a Los Angeles suburb that will show us whether this trend is definitive the local businessmen used to be a Republican himself. Right. And so like there he may arguably have some bipartisan appeal, right and polls show that racist super close. If you're just joining us. You're listening to the politics show from NPR. I'm Scott detro-. We're focusing on the race for the house of representatives with NPR's. Domenico Montanaro, Daniel, Kurtz, Laban end, Tim Mack. Dominica take me to the future of you. And I sitting in the studio and election the tabs of your browser will be open to. I'm old school. I don't use tabs of browsers I use paper, and I've got my list here that and because I'm political editor. I am going to take some liberty zoom out and grab a bunch of races in one big bucket. Assignee's fine. This. Everybody subtle in. Here we go. This is the Obama Trump districts, okay? From Obama to Trump, right? These are districts that President Obama won in two thousand twelve but President Trump wound up winning in two thousand sixteen not gonna talk about all these races. But I wanna talk about where they are. Because it's really indicative of how well Trump did. And what Democrats need to do to win the house on election day or for Republicans to hold it. Most of these places are either in the midwest. And if you look at all of them globally there in New York and New Jersey, the Philadelphia suburbs all the way up through upstate New York. A lot of these districts. There's one that's just outside Saint Louis on the Illinois side, you look at all of those places and to me if Democrats can do well in the half a dozen or so toss up races that are within this Obama Trump bucket, then they probably take back. The house fun fact three out of four Iowa district's therefore, I would district three. Of them were obama-trump districts and two of them are pretty close toss up races right now part of that might have to do with the evenness of redistricting. But that's a conversation for another fun to put out for Iowa out there. That's all I'm gonna go with Amy McGrath and Kentucky's sixth district. She is running against Andy bar. He is a Republican. Of course, she's a democrat. This is a district that has been pretty hardcore Republican Trump went up by fifteen points. But Amy McGrath is a marine veteran, and she is one also one of those democratic women candidates that has gained a lot of prominence on the national stage. One of many one of many women veterans running on the democratic side this time. Yes. Absolutely. I mean, we have quite a few at least historically speaking women combat that's running for congress. She raised three times. What Andy did in the third quarter this year? Part of what I'm watching his first of all if she can flip this kind of a district. That's really stunning. But I'm also watching a lot of these combat. That's because what we do know from polling is that voters tend to give women and democratic women perhaps especially much less of an edge on things like national security, and so on as they might give a Republican, man. And so this is sort of a test case for that. So we've been saying all along that the Democrats are feeling confident that they can retake control of the house. But of course, we don't know what's going to happen on election day. We've talked before on this show about the legislative stakes. What could congress do next year depending on who's in charge? What are the political stakes? What does it mean for the Democratic Party? If it at the end of the day, they don't retake control of the house and for the second election cycle in a row. They've they've missed their Mark. And and they've lost. It'd be an earthquake within the Democratic Party. No question about it. You know, right now, there's a lot of younger democratic activists who are quietly talking about the fact that the leadership within the Democratic Party. Is in their seventies. And if the party doesn't if the Democrats aren't able to take back the house, then they're going. They're going to be a lot of questions to ask about who. That leadership will be in. Tim take the flip side of that. If Republicans somehow keep control of the house of representatives, what are Republicans talking about the next day? Well, the president has alluded to more tax relief for middle income Americans. And on the left is there's going to be a lot of questions on the blame game. Like who's responsible? You know, much like what happened with the Republicans after Mitt Romney lost in two thousand twelve whether they'll put together some sort of introspective. Autopsy of what happened during this election? We know one thing is for sure if Republicans hold the house, they will not pump the brakes they're going to be stepping on the gas. Right. Exclamation point NPR's, Domenico Montanaro, Danielle Kurt Slaven, and Tim Mack. Thanks, everybody. Thank you. You're welcome into Mexico. Stick with us. Because now it is time for race of the.