2018 Midterm Election Forecast

Although the outcome of the US Congressional midterm elections won’t be known until November of this year, the rhetoric is already heating up to an almost unbearable pitch. I decided to do a GT to see which of the two major US political parties will have the best chance to prevail. I used the Burning Serpent Oracle and its two Man cards – the right-facing one for the Republicans and the left-facing one for the Democrats – and removed the Woman card for the purpose of this reading. The layout is notable as much for the big-picture perspective it gives as for its specific answers.

2018 Midterm Election Annotated.JPG
All images copyright Robert M. Place, Hermes Publication

Right off the bat, the first three cards in the spread (the “message for the querent”) are illuminating. Garden (public) + Bear (power) + House (at home) suggest that issues of national self-interest and protectionist policies will be central to the debate. The Heart following those three cards adds the idea that this is a subject “dear to the hearts” of many on both sides.

The four corners continue the saga. Garden + Dead Tree/Coffin + Mountain + “left-facing” Man are telling me that the public wants something to end (Garden + Coffin), but the Mountain is replying “Good luck with that!” and the Man isn’t able to do much to help. Although the Democrats look like the answer to the public’s malaise, Man mirrors Mountain, showing that nothing important is likely to change any time soon to relieve the widespread frustration. As Ronald Regan once famously said, “Government isn’t the answer, it’s the problem.” (On a side note, I can’t figure out when “populism” became such a dirty word, since it’s basically a synonym for “democracy:” the populace deciding what it wants rather than the government telling people what they should think.)

As might be imagined from the current “spin,” the incumbent Republicans face the stiffest challenge. Their “message” (Letter), which in an election year stands for “platform” or agenda, is under attack from all sides, with Whip, Mice and Scythe touching. The Republican’s optimism is fading (Sun behind “right-facing” Man) and they are confronting the “writing on the wall” (Book) with the possibility of a disaster (Cross) looming. The Man is also in the house of the Mountain, a significant obstacle to progress. Some of the more vulnerable incumbents have already headed for the exit (ostensibly to make way for stronger Republican candidates), and the Storks could be showing more of them packing their bags and leaving town. Storks knights to Scythe, looking like a “cut-and-run” scenario in the making.

Man knighting to Heart shows that their objectives are still favored by many, but Man also knights to Crossroads, indicating a need to change course before they sail right into a dead-end (Ship + Coffin). With Crossroads over Scythe and Scythe sitting between Man and Ship, their options and maneuvering room may be limited. Man knighting to Fish and Key above him seem to be saying that enormous amounts of money will be spent in paving the road to victory. Stars and Moon below Man imply that their best shot at success with the voters is in hand, but Man and Moon both knight to Clouds, adding uncertainty and difficulty that is exacerbated by Mountain following Clouds. It looks like an uphill battle through a dense fog of doubt. Their collective reputation (Moon) would seem to be their greatest liability.

In the Democrats’ case, the series Garden + Fox + Bouquet + “left-facing” Man smells like “false promises” to me, especially since Fox knighting to House has a “fox in the hen-house” vibe to it. The Man knights to the Snake, so the Democrats will likely do whatever it takes to win, underhanded or otherwise. The Man and the Fox knight to the Tree, which could mean that, if the public gets too strong a whiff of deception (Garden + Fox), it could be damaging to the health of the party. The Democrats are more fortunately situated than the Republicans; the Man is in the house of the Ring and touching the Ring with Clover + Lilies following, and the Dog implying a loyal supporter (probably George Soros, whose fingerprints seem to be all over the party) to bring them a solid win with the Stars and the Anchor. (For the Republicans, the Man is touching the Dog, the Star and the Anchor, putting them closer to the action; for them that “loyal friend” may be the ultra-wealthy Koch brothers, but Man + Dog + Tower could also mean that they will parlay the President’s successes into renewed popularity in Washington) Overall, Man knighting to Tower bodes well for the Democrats to take the reins of legislative governance. The diagonal line Man + Ring + Fish + Heart suggests they may be able to “buy their way” into the public’s favor after all (Garden knights to Ring and Fish).

In summary, I give the Democrats a slight edge in the November elections as long as they don’t shoot themselves in the foot too badly.

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