Here it is, the final countdown to the 2018 midterm elections.
Since the polls are all over the place, here are a few dark-horse candidates from both parties who may shock a lot of people on election night.
Bob Hugin in New Jersey may not win, but he’s giving his Democratic opponent Sen. Bob Menendez a run for his money.
New Jersey, by most projections, was thought to be safe blue. However, in the last two weeks of October, Democratic super PACs have poured $5.8 million into New Jersey. Why would they pour that much money into a seat that’s safe for Democrats?
Well, there are a few reasons for that. For one, Menendez’s lead went from double digits to single digits in the polls. Hugin raised over $26 million and spent $22 million of that on the race. Others might look at Menendez’s track record and his recent indictment as a reason, but it could also be his Justice Brett Kavanaugh schtick:
Just read the FBI report on Kavanaugh - if that’s an investigation, it’s a bullshit investigation. pic.twitter.com/9D8oeVMEoU— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) October 4, 2018
Either way, Menendez is feeling the heat.
For Democrats, it’s a toss-up of the Joes. Sen. Joe Donnelly is fighting for his life in Indiana against Republican Mike Braun and Sen. Joe Manchin is clinging to a decent lead against Republican Patrick Morrissey in West Virginia.
Both of them are considered moderate Democrats. While Donnelly didn’t vote for Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, Manchin did. Manchin helped his chances by appearing to be cooperative with President Trump, so Donnelly is trying to win over moderates and independents with this ad.
The one problem is that it looks like a direct rip-off of this ad in the HBO show "Veep," in which character Jonah Ryan is running for Congress:
Honestly can’t tell if that will help or hurt him. Be that as it may, both Manchin and Donnelly have a very good chance of keeping their seats.
Although it looks like the Republicans might lose the House, there are still seats that are ripe for the picking for the GOP. Look no further than New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District.
There, Republican challenger Jay Webber is surging in the polls against Democrat Mikie Sherrill in an open seat where Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen is retiring. Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by less than one point in 2016 in this district, and Sherrill has held a solid lead. However, in the month of October, that lead has shrunk from double digits to single digits. This is a key race to watch.
In California, Democrat Harley Rouda might end up unseating Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher who serves the 48th District. Rohrabacher has represented Orange County, a Republican oasis in a deep-blue state since 1989, and recently has been noted for his strong pro-Russia and pro-President Vladimir Putin views. That might be the window Rouda needs to strike, who actually used to be a registered Republican and donated to Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s 2016 presidential campaign. The race is neck and neck, so expect fireworks on election night.