It took forever to get here, but November finally arrived, which means we’re only one week away from the long anticipated and copiously discussed 2022 federal midterm elections.
It’s funny how political commentators of all ideological stripes are obsessing on late polling gains made by Republican candidates in key spots as the political horse races head into the home stretch, but all in all, I believe this election season was eminently predictable from the outset. In fact, unlike 2020, this year has been easier to forecast than most.
2020 was leaps and bounds harder to forecast because of the mandatory changes brought on by nonsensical COVID-19 restrictions, which were very difficult to assess. By nature, mail-in balloting is challenging to police, and it wasn’t known in advance just how much difference this method would deviate from a “normal” election. It turned out to be quite a bit.
Last week I wrote on what I call the “Political Common Sense Quotient” and how eventually, most voters wade through the noise created by the campaign apparatuses of both parties to arrive at the voting booth prepared to do what makes sense to themselves and their families. And that’s definitely happening now – or at least it looks like that’s what’s taking place.
Sports books supply odds for football games, basketball games, baseball games – you name it. If there’s a ball or a winner and loser involved, chances are someone is wagering on it. Various betting operations similarly provide “odds” for political races, though I’m not sure if they’re based on polls or some paid prognosticator’s view of the momentum on the ground. No matter – practically everyone has an opinion about what will happen next week, and the vast majority of the visions see the U.S. map turning into something resembling a radiant red fire engine with little blue dots here and there.
“The issues that about 70% of voters consider most important — the economy, crime, border security — are the same issues on which voters most trust Republicans and are most skeptical of Team Biden. Moreover, there is a sense of gathering economic gloom among voters. Across a range of surveys, between 60% and 80% of survey respondents believe that we are already in a recession.
“Republicans have an advantage on voter enthusiasm and clear momentum in most if not all House and Senate races. While the Democrats will spend more this cycle, Republicans have had enough cash to compete in the closing weeks. It is important to remember that the law of diminishing returns is especially true in political campaigns. After the first dozen or so ads, people stop paying attention. Given the durable Republican advantage among likely voters (about 7 percentage points on average) on the generic ballot test, it seems safe to assume that the Republicans will win the national House vote by at least 2 or 3 percentage points. That suggests they will win about 230 seats…
“In short, after the election, Republicans will control at least 230 votes in the House and 53 in the Senate and hold at least 32 governorships. Whether all that leads to any positive, durable results is another matter entirely.”
Yes indeed. For those unfamiliar, McKenna works with polling data, so his word carries greater weight than most commentators hired by media companies to try and influence opinion rather than merely presenting the numbers. If the Washington Times columnist believes the GOP will have 53 senators – at least – there’s a good possibility he’s right. Others, such as Newt Gingrich, have suggested Republicans will do even better. We only have a week to discover who nailed it.
But why the red wave? I’d argue it’s been building for more than two years, and maybe even longer. 2010 and 2014 brought congressional chamber switches, but the Republican momentum didn’t last. 2016 gave the GOP the presidency and kept the party’s congressional advantages only to have the media’s assault on Trump cause a brief dampening in the fervor in 2018 and 2020.
The vehemence is back… and there are several reasons why Republicans will do well this year.
First, there’s a tremendous latent ocean of conservative discontent left over from the 2020 fiasco. Liberals and Democrats also sensed the angst, but they speculated it would be all in one direction – towards Donald Trump and the Republican Party. Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordained the January 6 Committee in hopes of sustaining the citizens’ raw emotion long enough to keep the Democrats in power, but the more liberals talked about the four hours’ worth of “mostly peaceful” unrest – and the harder they tried to spin the disorganized mob into something bigger and more sinister – the more the 75 million Trump backers primed themselves for revenge at their first opportunity.
Many politicians have said it – “Facts are stubborn things”. As the truth was slowly revealed about the protesters’ lack of weaponry – or “conspiracies” – at the Capitol that day, the more absurd the Democrats’ notion of a Republic-threatening “insurrection” it became. As I recall, only one pro-Trump supporter was caught with a gun, and he wasn’t even inside the building. The only shooting victim was the wrong-place-at-the-wrong time military veteran Ashli Babbitt.
Then there were numerous inferences that the FBI and various other federal law enforcement authorities were involved in fanning the delirium, or even initiating it. The stupid January 6 Committee didn’t bother touching on the provable instances of federal police abuse. The one-sided nature of the narrative sucked all the credibility out of an investigation that theoretically could have yielded useful conclusions.
Being lied to gets people angry. Being lied to by the government gets voters aggravated. Want to know why conservatives have waited anxiously for Election Day all this time? This is the reason. Two, thanks in large part to Donald Trump, the issue of election integrity has not faded away. Democrats snidely call anyone who questions the disaster that was the 2020 count an “election denier”, but this arrogance only served to amp up millions of conservatives who now take to the “denier” label with the same sense of ownership that they adopted “deplorables” from Hillary Clinton.
You can additionally add “bitter clingers” to the growing list of Democrat insults that only ticks good people off and doesn’t make the already queasy leftist base any more likely to turn out to vote. And I’m still seeing quite a few “Let’s Go Brandon!” t-shirts that basically express the same kind of hostility towards elitist snobs.
At each one of his public appearances, Trump repeats his claim that he “ran twice and won twice” and hasn’t backed off one inch from his insistence that something went terribly wrong in the early morning hours of November 4 two years ago. Somewhat boosting his case are the horde of former Trump officials – such as Bill Barr – who repeat the lie of “no evidence” blah, blah, blah. There was plenty of substantiation, but the establishment honks just didn’t want to look at it.
Essentially, we’re all “deniers” now, and we’re not even talking about “climate change” here.
Three, as McKenna alluded to in his piece, the issues aligned for Republicans this year almost like never before. It’s almost as though Democrats recognized what was coming and tailored their policies to exacerbate the problems. Rampant inflation? Let’s print lots of money! A global shortage of fossil fuels? Let’s accelerate “climate change” scaremongering! There are American parents freaked out by the “woke” cultural agenda? Let’s double down on accommodations for transgenders, Critical Race Theory and then sic the FBI on parents showing up to school board meetings!
Crime in the streets? Let’s push defunding the police! Illegal immigration by the millions? Let’s put Kamala Harris in charge of the issue and send her to Latin America to make a fool of herself! Want to pull out of Afghanistan? Let’s make sure that it’s a total disaster and leave $80+ billion in military hardware behind!
Need to unify the country? Let’s have senile Joe Biden make speeches where he calls his political opposition “semi-fascist” and then insinuates they’re little better than goosestepping Nazis and followers of Benito Mussolini! Let’s forget that MAGA means “Make America Great Again!” And if that’s not enough, then let’s write an executive order forgiving hundreds of billions in student loan debt! Raise a middle finger to the working class!
Let’s patronize minorities by calling them “Latinx” and then imply that black voters aren’t smart enough to obtain an ID to vote! Let’s double down on the “voter suppression” nonsense when early voting is setting records in numerous states this year!
Democrats are just plain stupid. They’re going down – and we just can’t stop it anymore.
Fourth and last, Joe Biden has proven to be a unifying figure, but not in the way liberals envisioned he would be.
During every presidential campaign, Democrats go to extremes to depict Republican nominees as a “friend to the wealthy” and/or an “enemy of women” and “dangerous to minority rights”. In 2020, Democrats went so far as to blame Donald trump for the (then) hundreds of thousands of Americans who died with the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Their plague hysterics and hyperbole is now coming back to haunt them as senile Joe Biden first called for stronger and stronger restrictions and then recently declared that the pandemic was over. He told parents that kids needed to be vaccinated and backed Dr. Anthony Fauci’s scientifically unsupportable mandates. Then he got COVID himself – twice --` within the span of two weeks.
Joe Biden is worse than incompetent. He’s the worst president ever, bar none. The only thing he accomplished in his nearly two years was to give Republicans a reason to vote against Democrats. And that’s exactly what’s happening this year and why there’ll be a new boss in Congress come January.
Joe Biden economy
Biden cognitive decline
January 6 Committee
Build Back Better
Marjorie Taylor Green
2024 presidential election