The Midterms

All the signs are beginning to point to a big midterm rebuke of Biden Administration polices—and may be more. Much more. One election cycle is not the be all and end all. But this one may set the stage in 2024 for a full scale rejection of the radicalism that has taken over the Democratic Party. 

That will depend on Republicans acting like adults assuming they take power. That is always a shaky bet. And speaking of acting like adults, it assumes that ex President Donald J. Trump remains ex President Trump; that he does not run for the Republican presidential nomination, and if he does so he fails to get it. Otherwise, all bets are off.

It is fairly routine for the party that controls the White House to lose seats although not necessarily the control of the House in midterm elections. Over the last 100 years, the president’s party loses about 28 contests in the House and 4 in the Senate.  Over the last 100 years, the president’s party has picked up House seats only 3 times; in the Senate 6 times. Only twice has the president’s party picked up seats in both Houses of Congress.

In 2020 the Republicans gained a net of 12 seats even while losing the White House. That was a clear rejection of Donald J Trump’s conduct as President. Partly as a result of Republican pickups in 2020 and partly because of Democratic Congressmen taking jobs in the Biden Administration, the Democrats now have only about a 5 seat margin in the House. It is therefore a virtual certainty that the Republicans will hold the Speaker’s gavel in the next Congress.

The Republicans seem to have developed momentum over the last few days. The issues that favor them—crime, inflation and the border are at the top of voter’s minds. The issues that favor Democrats—abortion rights and climate change—are slipping rapidly down the priority scale. Plus, parents are hopping mad about the state of public schools and are in the mood to punish Democrats who side with teachers unions versus Republicans who have emphasized parental rights. 

Put it all together and there is the real possibility of a red tsunami on November 8. Expect the Republicans to pick up 30 to 40 seats in the House.  

The Senate is a bit trickier. The Republicans are poised to pick up 3 Senate seats and maybe 5—even with some relatively low quality candidates. Speaking of which, Herschel Walker is beginning to pull ahead in the polls even though he has no political experience, various (plausible) allegations of scandal have been leveled against him, and his son, a conservative activist, has denounced him. 

It is starting to look like Adam Laxalt (R) is beginning to pull away from incumbent Catherine Cortez (D)  in Nevada.  The polls have also tightened considerably in Arizona and New Hampshire.  The contest between incumbent Mark Kelly (D; AZ) and challenger Blake Masters is separated by 1 or 2 percentage points—well within the margin of error. 

After having a comfortable lead of 8 to 11 points in September, the incumbent Democrat from New Hampshire, Maggie Hassan is up only 3.4 points in the average of published polls in October. She is running against retired General Don Bolduc (R), a Trump style candidate whom the DNC backed in the primary on the theory he would be easy to beat. 

There are a couple of potential surprises lurking out there. In Colorado the DNC is working overtime to label Republican Joe O’Dea a Trump acolyte even though Trump has denounced O’Dea because of his refusal to kiss the ring. For instance he has called O’Dea a RINO (Republican in Name Only). Referring to O’Dea he said  “MAGA doesn’t vote for people with big mouths”. 

So why are Colorado Democrats trying to tie Trump around O’Dea’s neck? The only reasonable conclusion is that they believe the Democratic incumbent Michael Bennett is more vulnerable than he seems.  Similarly there have been one or two polling scares for Democratic incumbent Patty Murray in Washington State. 

Then there is Pennsylvania where the Democratic candidate John Fetterman imploded on the debate stage Tuesday night. He is obviously struggling to recover from the stroke he suffered from just before he won his primary. While any decent human being wishes him well and hopes for a full recovery, the fact remains that the debate ripped away the shield that the press protectively wrapped around him.  That is worth thinking about. 

The mainstream press was well aware of Fetterman’s condition. And they covered it up. They did so deliberately in order to influence the election. That much is obvious. It is pretty much what they did with the Hunter Biden laptop story. And so the real take-away from the Pennsylvania election is this question: what else is the press lying about? 

The press has consistently downplayed the surge in crime, especially in big cities run by Democrats. They have played footsie with the CDC and its ever changing policy dictates concerning COVID-19. They have pretended that shutting the schools down at the behest of the teachers’ unions was a costless exercise. And of course, every time there is a change in the weather they ring climate change alarm bells.   

The net of it is that in all probability the Republicans are going to win somewhere in the vicinity of 30 to 40 House seats and 2 or 3 Senate seats. Surprises will be in the upside for Republicans. That won’t mean that the voting public has signed onto Republican orthodoxy, primarily because there isn’t one. But, at least temporarily,  there is the possibility that it will put a halt on the ongoing public policy fiasco that is the Biden Administration. 


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