Carlyle’s David Rubenstein on why Republicans just might win the mid-terms

“It’s going to be very, very close.”
“It’s going to be very, very close.”
Image: Heidi Gutman/CNBC
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David Rubenstein hasn’t worked in politics since the Carter administration but he’s still a creature of Washington. Speaking at CNBC’s Delivering Alpha investor conference in New York, the co-founder of the DC-based private-equity firm The Carlyle Group gave a rundown of what to expect from US congressional races in November.

“Historically in the mid-term elections, the House of Representatives goes against the president in power, the party of the president, by 22 or 23 House seats,” Rubenstein said today (July 18). The Democrats will need slightly more than that, however, to flip the House.

“It’s going to be very, very close,” he said. Declining to make a prediction—”It’s just too hard to say,” he explained—he had a sobering message for anyone betting that Donald Trump’s recent series of unprecedented diplomatic gaffes had somehow sealed the election for the Democrats. In graphical terms, his point could be summed up this way:

The US has now racked up jobs gains for 93 consecutive months, an astonishingly long—and strong—stretch of growth, as Quartz’s Eshe Nelson recently noted.

Said Rubenstein, “Whatever you think of the president, one way or the other, there’s no doubt that the economy is in good shape. Unemployment is at a record low, a lot of people are making money—not as much as they might want at some parts of the economic strata…But right now the economy is doing very well, and I don’t think it’s going to slow down between now and November.”