The president’s party has lost ground in 36 of 39 midterms since the Civil War; what will happen this time?
「The dynamic of this midterm definitely resembles midterms of the past. 」
The outlook of the House map does not look too desirable to the Republicans, but they still have a natural advantage to pull it off.
Kyle Kondik: 「so the median House district is 4 points to the right of the nation, which I think is a good way to illustrate this Republican advantage.」
A number of Republicans are running on the negative effects of Democrats’ progressive policies. Will people relate to that?
Andrew Delamar:「 Almost every aspect of this state is poorly managed because of government. 」
A.J.: 「I’m a political science major, a former leftist — a former radical leftist — I’m a convert. Today I’m a proud conservative.」
How will this midterm affect the president?
「 Well, the big question is whether or not – if the Democrats regain control of the House of Representatives, whether they will move to impeach the president.」
Andrew Delamar:「 I don’t want to be dramatic, but I really think that’s push it towards some kind of civil war。
President Trump’s 2016 presidential election win was a surprise to many, especially those in the media. Now, with the midterms coming up, many are again anticipating that Democrats will win big. Public opinion and polling experts predict Republicans will lose the House of Representatives and many state governor races. But will we once again be surprised this November when the midterm results come in? There’s been growing discontent with the effects of progressive policies in deep blue states like California, and some say Republicans still have a fighting chance in the House. On the other hand, if Democrats do win a majority in the House, what will that mean for American politics, society, and the president? We’ll discuss these questions and more in this episode of Zooming In.
U.S. midterm elections are coming up on November 6. All seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and a third of the Senate seats will be contested. In addition, 36 states will elect their governors. Many states and local governments will also elect officers.
Midterm elections are often difficult for the incumbent parties. In the House, the president’s party has lost ground in 36 of 39 midterms since the Civil War, losing an average of 33 seats. Since World War II, they’ve lost an average of 26 seats.
共和黨目前在眾議院擁有237個席位。 民主黨擁有193個席位。 掌控眾議院需要218個席位。
Republicans currently hold 237 seats in the House of Representatives. Democrats hold 193 seats. It takes 218 seats to control the House. They need 23 seats to win the house.
the 435 House seats, Democrats and Republicans are almost evenly matched, with 35 toss-ups.
在國家新聞俱樂部新聞發布會上，弗吉尼亞大學政治中心的Kyle Kondik表示民主黨贏得眾議院的可能性更大，因為總統的支持率很低，而民主黨在總體民調中的領先達到了他們的預期。 然而，他也認為共和黨有可能繼續掌控眾議院，他認為這是因為公眾普遍親共和黨。
At a National Press Club press conference, Kyle Kondik from The University of Virginia Center for Politics said that Democrats will have a better chance to win the House because the president’s approval rating is low and the Democrats’ lead in the House generic ballot is where they want it. However, he also sees a scenario where Republicans can hold onto the House. He attributes that to a generic public lean to the Republicans.
Kyle Kondik: 「If you would line up all 435 House seats from Clinton’s best district to Trump’s best district, and you find the one that’s precisely in the middle, it is a district that Trump won by two points. Clinton won the national popular vote by two, and so the median House district is about four points to the right of the nation, which I think is a good way of sort of illustrating this Republican advantage. overall, the Republicans have a built-in advantages of the house map which if they do in fact hold on that could be part of the reason why. 」
But Tom Del Beccaro, author of 「The Divided Era」, argues that the Generic Congressional Ballot remains fluid and Trump’s polling remains close to his all-time high. That indicates the outcome of the control of the House is in play and if Republicans can “nationalize" the election by offering a game plan for 2019 that contrasts with the tax hikes and socialism offered by the Democrats, Republicans can still hold onto the House.
至於參議院競選，益普索地圖顯示民主黨處於劣勢。 在今年改選的35個參議員席位中，屬於民主黨的有26席，其中包括兩位加入民主黨議會黨團的無黨派議員。 此外，幾乎所有民調不高的民主黨參議員都面臨改選。 事實上，今年參議院民主黨人所面臨的選舉格局，是參議院選舉開放選民投票以來最差的之一。在35個改選的席位中屬於民主黨的有26席。
As to the Senate race, the Ipsos maps show the Democrats are at a disadvantage. They are defending 26 of the 35 seats being contested this year, including two independents who caucus with the Democrats. Additionally, almost all of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats are on the ballot this year. In fact, Democrats have one of the worst Senate maps in the history of popular Senate elections this year. They are defending 26 out of the 35 seats that are up.
The gubernatorial map is the mirror opposite of the Senate map. The Republicans are defending 26 out of the 36 governorships in this election season. Geoff from the University of Virginia indicated that this election could have an impact on the Republican Party as well.
Geoffrey Skelley: 「Now, on the governors’ side, Republicans are very much on the defensive. And a lot of the gubernatorial contests are going to take place in important states, a lot in the Midwest, that are very important when you think about the next redistricting cycle — Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio — these were all states where Republicans were able to really draw very, very sharp gerrymanders that favored their party. So if you’re thinking about the next redistricting cycle in those states, I think the governorships are a key part of that. In a lot of these states where Republicans are defending governorships, their incumbents aren’t running for reelection. 」
I also discussed the prospects for this year’s midterm elections with Karlyn Bowman, senior fellow polling expert at the American Enterprise Institute. Here is what she has to say.
「 Does the dynamic of this midterm resemble that of the previous ones?」
「The dynamic of this midterm definitely resembles midterms of the past. The expectation is that the Republican Party will certainly lose seats this November. We don’t know what the number will be, but the ranges are very large, and much larger in many cases than the historical average. For example, some are suggesting that the Republicans could lose as many as 40 to 50 seats overall. I expect it will be lower than that, but I think it will probably certainly follow in the past historical pattern.」
「 So if that’s the case, what’s the likelihood that Democrats will take over the House?」
「Yes, the Democrats would then take over the House. They need to pick up 23 seats, and the expectation among most of the analysts at this point is that they will do that. 」
「 How about the Senate?」
「 The Senate is a different body, and most people think that the Republicans will maintain control of the U.S. Senate and may even possibly pick up a seat or two. 」
蕭茗（Host/Simone Gao）：「據RealClearPolitics報導，目前川普總統的支持率為42％。這將如何影響中期選舉？ 他的背書對候選人是利還是弊呢？」
「According to RealClearPolitics, President Trump’s approval rating is 43 percent now. How will that impact the midterm? Will his endorsement help or hurt the candidates?」
Karlyn Bowman（美國企業研究所公眾輿論民意調查高級研究員）：「我認為川普總統會為那些急需借重他的影響力的候選人背書。他的背書必須要能正面影響選情。但是他不會輕易參與今年秋季的大部分眾議院競選，甚至大部分參議院的競選。川普是一個箭靶，在大多數民意調查中，他的支持率僅介於40％到44％之間，這個支持率是歷史新低。對於一個上臺不滿兩年的總統， 我認為作為箭靶的他，在今年秋季只會在那些他能發揮影響力的選區出現。」
「 I think President Trump will endorse some candidates where he thinks he can make a difference, where he thinks he can make a positive impact. But I think we will not see him venturing into most House races this fall or even most Senate contests. He’s certainly a lightning rod. His support level is about 40 to 44 percent in most polls. That’s historically low at this particular time, and he’s such a lightning rod that I think that only in those districts where he could make a difference will he appear in the fall.」
Coming up, Republican candidates are running on the negative effects of progressive policies.
Although the midterm maps don’t look promising for Republicans, they still have a chance, and many constituents are hopeful for a red wave. Besides pushing for turnout, Republican candidates are focusing on the negative effects of Democrats’ progressive policies.
In Florida, the unabashed progressive Andrew Gillum unexpectedly won the Democratic primary, but his Republican opponent, House Representative Ron DeSantis, said that a socialist agenda will 「monkey this up」. In California, Republican candidates are all running on the failure of the progressive policies. When asked why he thinks he has a chance in a deep blue state, John Cox, the Republican gubernatorial nominee, said this:
John Cox（共和黨州長候選人）：「因為加州人民不堪高物價的重負。這裡的人們得不到應有的生活品質。他們買不起汽油、買不起住房。加州的公立學校質量在全國排倒數第四，公路上盡是大大小小的坑。目前的州政府只給每人每天配給50加侖的水，這沒法過日子，太苦了。 租一套5百平方英尺的公寓就得花3千美元，這令人無法接受。我不得不指出，有人就是因為負擔不起工作地點附近的公寓，而被迫每天來回驅車4個小時上下班，這就是加州。只有一小部分人過的好，就好比Gavin Newsom。大部分人生活艱難，我認為人民要求改革。 」
John Cox:「 Because the people of California are suffering under unaffordable lifestyles. The quality of life in this state is just not what it should be. They can’t afford gasoline. They can’t afford their house. They are going to schools that are 47th in the nation. They’re driving on roads that are full of potholes. They’re being told by the political class in Sacramento that they’re only going to have 50 gallons of water a day. That’s not livable. That’s not a quality of life. It’s not a quality of life to pay $3,000 for a 500-square-foot apartment. I’m sorry, driving two hours in traffic trying to get to a job that’s a long way away because you can’t find an apartment that you can afford. That’s California. And there’s a thin layer of people who are doing fine, like Gavin Newsom, but there’s a whole lot of other people that are really struggling. And I think people want a change. Help is on the way to those people. 」
在John Cox先生8月底的籌款活動中，他的政見得到了與會的共和黨人的認同。 29歲的企業老闆 Andrew Delamar說，加州的嚴峻情形是他支持共和黨人約翰•考克斯的原因。
At Mr. Cox’s fundraising event in late August, Republicans echoed his concerns. 29-year-old business owner Andrew Delamar said the dire situation in California is why he supports Republican John Cox.
Andrew Delamar: 「Almost every aspect of this state is poorly managed because of government. And the government’s answer for its inefficiencies and ineffectiveness is always more government, which never works. It’s like that old quote that the bureaucracy is expanding to meet the expanding needs of the bureaucracy. That’s where we’re at. I mean, we don’t have enough water because we haven’t built a reservoir since 1979, and our population has doubled since then. So our governor is fond of always blaming climate change or global warming, why we don’t have enough water. And the fact is that we’ve doubled the amount of people drinking our water and using our water, and we haven’t done anything to expand how we capture water or how we use it. And that has a huge impact on the Central Valley and on our economy, especially being mostly ag based. And our infrastructure is poor. I’ve driven – in the last year I’ve been in 15 other states, and we, by far and away, have the worst highways that I’ve driven. It’s terrible.」
Henry Philany（民眾）：「加州是魚米之鄉。我們知道，加州發生了很多不可理喻的事情，局勢都快失控了。但是我們相信主、我們相信聖經，我們真的相信上帝已經對加州做了安排，就像他把美國從邪惡手裡拉回來一樣，他也會把加州引向光明。加州， 其實美國在很多領域引領世界，而加州引領美國。所以我們真得要把加州的局面扭轉過來，我相信我們正在這樣做，我們到這裡來支持回歸傳統，我們要來個大掃除，你們知道這是什麼意思，加州有太多不好的東西需要被清理出去。我真的相信，變革的大潮正從東海岸湧過來。就像是川普原來幾乎不可能贏，甚至是投票日之前的晚上和投票當天早上，一切都對他不利，我們一定會扭轉局勢，我相信共和黨會從新掌權，我相信John Cox會當選州長。」
「 California is literally the land of milk and honey. As we know, there has been a lot of craziness going on, and it’s gotten pretty nuts out there, but we are believers in the Lord, and we believe the Bible, and we really believe that God has a plan for California. Just like he’s taking America back, he’s going to take California back. California — actually, America leads the world in so many areas, but then California leads America. So it really comes down to that we’ve got to get this thing turned around here, and I believe we’re doing it. And we’re here to support that. And we’re all in favor of cleaning out the barn, and you know what that means. There’s a lot of stuff in that barn that needs to go out. I really believe that the wave is coming this way from the East Coast. And just the same way it was almost impossible for Trump to win the presidency, even the night before and the morning of the election, that the odds were all against him, I really believe this thing is going to turn around. And I believe the Republicans are going to take it back. I believe John Cox is going to win the governorship. 」
One member of the「WalkAway Movement」was also present at John Cox’s event. When asked why he walked away from the Democratic Party, 29-year-old A.J. said he was misled.
A.J.（脫離運動成員）：「和保守派人士的交流促成了我的轉變。我本來對保守派人士有成見，我覺得他們是種族主義者、偏執狂、愚昧、重利輕義。但是當我開誠佈公的與他們交流過之後，我改變了自己原來的看法，我開始認真審視他們的政策，我開始了大量的研究、大量的閱讀，最終倒向了他們一邊。事實上完成這一轉變的人有成千上萬。說到『脫離運動』，如果你上臉書、社交媒體、YouTube，你就會驚奇的發現脫離左翼的人數是如此之多，甚至包括合法移民。合法移民對於非法移民得到種種福利感到不滿， 他們反對政府把納稅人的錢花在非法移民身上，因為合法移民經過了艱難的申請過程，繳納了不小的費用， 而非法移民卻得到了所有福利，所以援助，和所有支持。」
「 What changed my mind is one thing: when I actually sat down with conservatives. I always had pre-assumed judgements on conservatives that they were racist, that they were bigots, ignorant, that they didn’t care about the people, but rather about the wealthy. But just when I decided to have an open mind, to have an open dialogue with conservatives, it literally changed my mind. And I began looking into their policies. I began researching a lot, I began reading a lot, and ultimately I crossed over. Actually tens of thousands of people have crossed over. And the #WalkAway Movement, if you check it on Facebook, on social media, on YouTube, you would be surprised by the amount of people that are walking away from the left, and even foreign-born people that came into this country legally. For someone that came into this country legally and seeing how illegal aliens are being given all these handouts out of taxpayers’ money, reaping the benefits out of taxpayers’ money when legal immigrants go through a hard process, and they pay a ton of fees, and it’s literally a very difficult process. And, yet, illegal aliens get all the benefits, get all the support and all the help.」
The「WalkAway Movement」was started by New York hairdresser Brandon Straka, who published a confessional video in May 2018 that went viral.
Some 5 million people on Facebook and YouTube have watched the video. In an Epoch Times interview, Mr. Straka said he receives over 1000 testimonial letters, videos, and emails a day.
There is no official number of how many people have joined the 「WalkAway Movement」. Interestingly, there hasn’t been an equivalent movement from the opposite side.
Coming up, what impact will the midterms have?
If Democrats regain control of the House, many expect they will move forward with impeachment proceedings. Other results of a Democratic House majority could include subpoenas, more investigations, and a further divided government, resulting in increased difficulties passing legislation.
蕭茗（Host/Simone Gao）：州長選舉和國會選舉將對美國政治和川普政府產生何等影響？ 讓我們再次請教卡林•鮑曼女士。
How will the governors’ races, along with the House and Senate races, impact the Trump administration and the American politics in general? Here’s Karlyn Bowman again.
「 You said the governors’ races will be especially interesting to watch. Can you elaborate on that?」
「 Well, I think it might be interesting for your listeners and for your viewers to think about the governors’ races because here — these I think will be very important in the fall, and I think Republicans are going to lose a significant number of governorships this fall. That’s very important because our governors tend to be more outward looking. They tend to work a lot on trade within their states overall. They tend to work a lot on other issues. And they answer to the voters fairly often in the United States, and so those races are going to be particularly important. But overall, I expect Democrats to do well in the House of Representatives and, unfortunately not, from their point of view, to take back the U.S. Senate. 」
「 So if the map is like this and the Democrats take the House and the Republicans hold the Senate and a lot of the governorships will go to Democrats, how will this new map affect President Trump?」
Karlyn Bowman（美國企業研究所公眾輿論民意調查高級研究員）：「一個大問題是民主黨能不能重新控制眾議院，然後他們會不會試圖彈劾總統。很多民主黨人認為事情會是這樣，認為他們應該彈劾總統。但是也有很多人在這個問題上非常謹慎，所以在競選活動中你聽不見多少關於彈劾的討論。但是一旦選舉結束，如果民主黨重新控制眾議院，他們就會對新的議長，Nancy Pelosi 或是別的誰，施加巨大的壓力去彈劾總統，並且去進行一系列的調查，讓總統難堪。」
「 Well, the big question is whether or not – if the Democrats regain control of the House of Representatives, whether they will move to impeach the president. Many Democrats around the country think that that should be the case, that they should move to impeach Trump. But many others are very wary about that, so you don’t hear a lot of discussion on the campaign trail about impeachment. But once the election is over, and if the Democrats regain control, there will not only be just enormous pressure on the speaker, if it’s Nancy Pelosi or someone else, to move ahead on impeachment and also to move ahead on a series of investigations that could embarrass the president.」
「Is there any chance that the Republicans will still hold the House?」
Karlyn Bowman（美國企業研究所公眾輿論民意調查高級研究員）：「當然有。我必須得說，有些逐個分析各選區選情的專家得出結論，這次中期選舉不會是民主黨大勝，這讓我印象深刻。這些人對於預測選舉結果都很謹慎， 在華盛頓的大部分圈裡人都不會去具體分析各地的選情，少數幾人會關注，但是絕大部分不會。我們並沒實地接觸選民，所以我們對整個選情很有可能會出現大的誤判，共和黨還是有可能繼續掌控眾議院。」
「 There is certainly a chance that the Republicans will hold the House. And I confess I’m impressed by some of the people who watch individual races who are suggesting that this is not going to be a Democratic sweep. They’re much more careful about what they think will happen. And because most of us in Washington don’t analyze individual races, a few of us do, but most of us do not. And we’re also not on the ground, so it’s quite possible that we’re missing something big in the country, and the Republicans could continue to hold the House of Representatives.」
Candidates only have nine weeks before the midterms to convince voters that they’re the right person for the job. This year’s results could have an even bigger impact than normal for the country and the presidency. Stay tuned.《Zooming In 》will bring you unique perspectives on current affairs that matter to today’s world. Thanks for watching. I am Simone Gao. See you next week.
Writer：Simone Gao Jess Beatty
Reporter: David Zhang Laurie Gorham
Editors：Julian Kuo Bonnie Yu Melodie Von
Narrator: Rich Crankshaw
Transcription: Jess Beatty
Translation：Grey Yang Xiaofeng Zhang Juan Li Michelle Wan
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Assistant producer：Sherry Chang Bin Tang Merry Jiang
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