It’s election day, and while the consensus among the pro-Democrat mainstream media is that Democrats will retake the House of Representatives while Republicans hold the Senate, the real outcome isn’t as clear. Ryan Lizza of Esquire interviewed a dozen Democrat campaign veterans about what would happen if the Democrats actually lost, and their predictions are very dire.

The most important midterm election in history?

The stakes in today’s midterms are obvious for Republicans. Democrats taking back control of either chamber of Congress would be a concrete threat to Trump’s agenda. Calls for impeachment would be inevitable, and the Russia hysteria would see a resurgence, too.

But for Democrats, the stakes are even higher. As one analyst in Esquire noted, even if Democrats take back to the House, they likely won’t be cutting into Trump territory in the districts they win:

A failure to win back the House would mean that not only could Democrats not reach elusive rural and working class white voters who have flocked to Trump, but that Democrats couldn’t even consolidate the votes of their most natural allies in the era of Trump.

House Intelligence Committee Democrat Jim Himes warned of “apocalyptic” consequences for Democrats if they fail to retake the House: “If we cannot take the House, it means we can’t compete in purple districts, which would suggest we didn’t adequately absorb the lessons of 2016,” he observed.

Philippe Reines, an adviser to Hillary Clinton, also said that a loss would be devastating.

It would force us to completely rethink House leadership,” said a chief of staff to a Democratic member, who found some upside in such a catastrophe for Democrats. “If we don’t take back the House, Steny Hoyer, Jim Clyburn and Nancy Pelosi—the three top House Democrats— are all gone. The House would get a new face. Younger members would get to move up. It would be appalling but there is this political upside from a crass cynical political perspective.”

I can’t say I’d mind having Pelosi out either. 

Above all, Democrats are most worried about the lasting effects another defeat would have on their base’s enthusiasm. Could they possibly hope to recover from a second loss to Trump? Even they don’t seem to think so.

Republicans take 11th hour lead

The conventional wisdom that Democrats would retake the House has been based on generic polling averages, which show how favorable a “generic Republican” fares against a hypothetical “generic Democrat.”

According to Rasmussen Reports:

“The final Rasmussen Reports Generic Congressional Ballot before Election Day shows Republicans edging ahead by one point.” More specifically, “46% would choose the Republican candidate if the elections for Congress were held today. Forty-five percent (45%) would vote for the Democrat. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate, and six percent (6%) remain undecided.”

Just one week ago, Democrats led 47% to 44%. Republicans also have a lead with independents. That’s a last-minute shift in favor of the GOP – and Democrats have no time to recover from it.

The early voting figures are also all favorable for Republicans in key battleground States.

While this midterm cycle has shown a surge in early voting, it hasn’t been the kind that Democrats need.

Dire consequences if Democrats lose

Above all else, it’s bizarre seeing Democrats admit now that they may not win the midterms, and that they’re frightened. Shouldn’t the stakes of these midterms been something they’d been campaigning on all year? Republicans realize the threat that Democrats pose to Trump’s agenda, hence why they’re willing to put their money where their mouths are. Republicans have been campaigning on the economy, tax cuts, and immigration, but what have Democrats been campaigning on? Based off the local TV ads I’ve seen, I get the impression Democrats legitimately think campaigning on “not being Donald Trump” is a viable strategy.

Perhaps Democrats are simply talking about “doomsday” scenarios now because they’re hedging against embarrassment. After all, we all remember how the last elections turned out….

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