As we inch ever closer to Election Day on November 8, fans of American politics are witnessing what I label the “political common sense quotient” in full force.
What is meant by the “political common sense quotient”, is, the more ordinary people are compelled to consider the choice between two alternatives in a very important life-impacting dilemma – such as this year’s elections -- the closer they will gravitate towards the side of practicality and common sense on the politics continuum. Simple, huh? If human beings are inherently selfish creatures, they’ll always act in their own best interests; and America’s humans’ best interests this year involve sending a message to senile president Joe Biden and his heinous band of congressional Democrat socialists, communists, global climate scaremongers, “woke” transformation-ists and grifters that we’re mad as hell and won’t take it anymore!
For far too long pundits and pollsters overplayed the tight nature of this year’s inter-party horse race. The establishment media has been singularly focused on bypassing the issues that truly matter to people in order to pretend that everyone thinks the same as the hags on “The View” – namely, that real folks out in flyover country give a lick about the January 6 Committee hearings or hard-working wage earners are so upset over the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision that they’ll drop everything else, morph into single-issue “What if my health plan doesn’t cover birth control?” feminist voters and reflexively drop the Republican’s name from ballot consideration.
The same ruling class media that obsesses over “candidate quality” fans the flames of apathy by perpetuating such fables. As usual, Democrats are doing everything possible to frighten low-information gullible people into believing their “reproductive rights” are being threatened when instead it’s the liberal party’s candidates who can’t articulate a “moderate” abortion position. And when voters hear about what Democrats really think – that there should be no restrictions on abortion, whatsoever – then the Republicans’ reasonable limitations make much more sense.
And the “political common sense quotient” reigns supreme again.
Despite the heavy tug of common sense, some polling industry experts still maintain there’s room for Democrats to make a comeback if the political squalls make another sudden switch closer to Election Day. In a piece titled “The Midterms May Come Down to the Last Gust of Political Wind”, political analyst Charlie Cook wrote at The Cook Political Report:
“A hallmark of midterm elections is that those in or leaning toward the party of a sitting president are lethargic, complacent, or at least a little disappointed, and less likely to vote in the general election. True to form, that is the situation Democrats had going into this past summer. Republicans were just more motivated. That gap closed during the second half of the summer and into September. Indeed, the Fox News poll released [last] week shows Democrats now just as motivated as Republicans.
“The extreme partisan polarization in recent years has yielded fewer ‘true independents,’ ones who do not identify with or even lean toward either party, and fewer people voting split tickets. Indeed, few Democrats will now even consider voting for a Republican for anything, nor Republicans cast a ballot for a Democrat. With the party lines so rigorously followed, we now have higher floors and lower ceilings, meaning that in most competitive states and districts, the margins are rarely more than low- to mid-single digits and the trailing candidate usually remains within striking distance of the leader, hoping that circumstances or a key event will enable them to close the gap and surge or just edge ahead…
“Voters are deeply conflicted this year. Watch for that last gust of wind: Whichever way it goes can make a huge difference in so many of these really close races.”
Or so the establishment political gurus – of which Charlie Cook is definitely one – want you to believe. It’s almost as though these biased (and hopeful) guys and gals look only at the raw numbers from polls based on formulas that some statistics crunching pencil neck geek compiled, and they fail to read the sample size and identity of the respondents. And the individual issue responses in addition.
The numbers might look different if they did, don’t you think?
But of course, liberal pollsters pay no mind to the “political common sense quotient” when it leads away from their prognostications. They’re far more focused on keeping the horse race alive and purposely avoid seeing that one “horse” has separated himself from his competitor in a two-horse match race where only the one who crosses the finish line first earns the winner-take-all prize money. So what if the trailing rival can rely on certain factors to possibly make up the distance, the end result is still the same, isn’t it?
This is not to assert that Republicans should be overconfident. Far from it. GOPers have merited their reputation for finding ways to screw up a sure thing (Chris Christie’s “hug” of Barack Obama after Hurricane Sandy in November, 2012) and there are always a stable full of Republican establishment mouths who could say something nonsensical and stupid before the final hour.
There’s also the possibility of an “October Surprise” that Democrats may impose on Americans to try and turn the last few fence-sitters into enthusiastic liberal lever-pullers. For months the establishment media has been salivating over the possibility that Merrick Garland’s in-Justice Department will take some tidbit of January 6 committee sleaze and issue an indictment of former president Donald Trump.
Would this make a difference? I’m guessing such a blatantly obvious political move would only backfire on the Democrats, but they’ve never shown much ability to recognize bonehead moves, have they?
Besides, there aren’t too many singular events that could move people away from the political common sense quotient once folks have set their minds towards assessing what’s best for themselves and their families. Therefore, the more TV ads Democrats run on abortion or climate change or Donald Trump, the less likely it is that these side issues will knock good people off their preoccupation with highly elevated gas prices or food items that they once could afford but no longer fit within their budgets now.
A few weeks ago, I gave the example of how a trip down the soda aisle at a local grocery store shocked me upon discovering that a 2-liter bottle of Diet Pepsi now commands $3, whereas just last year it wasn’t even half that. What consumer can shop these days without jaws agape at staple items having gone up so quickly that one can’t keep track of what’s what and who’s who?
Meanwhile, household bills don’t get smaller to ease the pain of inflation at the gas pump and grocery store, though the IRS did announce that it will incrementally elevate the standard deduction for married couples and individuals to account for huge jumps in cost of living under Joe Biden. Wouldn’t this move suggest that even the government is acknowledging rising prices are out of control, so much so that the IRS bureaucrats are agreeable to providing a de facto tax cut (lower net income equals lower tax liability) to taxpayers?
These things don’t occur in a vacuum, and folks would have to be deaf, dumb, blind and asleep not to take in what’s going on around them. The “political common sense quotient” can’t be switched off, and no hurricane-sized wind will get voters turned in the other direction.
To their credit, Democrats have done a respectable job of trying to mask the multitude of problems that they’ve created. There’s still a segment of the American public who takes it at face value that government subsidies and “relief” checks actually assist people through a rough spot. These unenlightened souls make no connection from such “help” to the prices skyrocketing in every area. A family member just told me that she’s planning to move from her apartment because the landlord announced a $200 per month increase in rent.
For the math challenged, that’s $2400 more for a year-long lease. Does the quality of the accommodations improve as well? Is there an additional $2400 in value that goes along with writing larger checks to the landlord for the same amount of space? Uh-uh. It’s the same with paying more at the gas pump due to the Democrats’ inane energy policies. That one gallon of fuel takes you only so far, no matter if you’re paying one dollar or five bucks for it.
Therefore, there are no “winds” that would change between today and Election Day. Democrats like Rafael Warnock (Georgia), John Fetterman (Pennsylvania), Mark Kelly (Arizona) and Catherine Cortez Masto (Nevada) will feel the heat blowing in their faces.
There are also growing possibilities that the political common sense quotient is making headway in such longshot races as the Washington state U.S. senate contest, where conservative Republican outsider Tiffany Smiley could upset the old and stale 30-year incumbent liberal Democrat Patty Murray. Who would’ve ever guessed that the same state that permitted leftist Antifa miscreants to take over entire city blocks in Seattle could produce a dramatic upset?
Arizonans seemed to get their shot of political common sense earlier this year when conservative Grand Canyon Staters nominated fireball Republican Kari Lake to be their gubernatorial candidate (against the Democrats’ awful moribund loser Katie Hobbs). Lake is providing exactly what common sense voters want to hear – and she’s likely to win.
This late in the 2022 federal midterm election campaign, it’s very improbable that a new dynamic – or “wind” as Charlie Cook put it – will be introduced to change the outcome of this year’s races. The trends are set in motion and Democrats will feel the pain in two weeks. The “political common sense quotient” almost always carries the day. It will this year, too.
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