The Senate is Very Much in Play for the GOP

Corporate media is at it again, shilling for Democrats. The spin heading toward Labor Day is that Republican chances of winning a Senate majority are fading.  A GOP takeover of the U.S. House hangs by a thread.  Nonsense.  In fact, Republicans are going to win a House majority and have a good shot of doing the same in the Senate. 

Of course, there are no guarantees -- life is like that -- but swallowing Mitch McConnell’s trash talk is foolish.  McConnell is dissing some Republican Senate candidates as low quality.  Mitch is being sly. 

McConnell is a notorious inside player with practically zero feel for voter sentiment (McConnell went to D.C. as an intern in 1964.  The Swamp is in his blood).  Old Man Mitch wants a GOP caucus he can control.  Add Trump-endorsed senators to the mix and McConnell may face unwanted challenges to his leadership.  McConnell, like most pols, is about power and money.  Mitch doesn’t want the applecart upset with more Trump loyalists in his caucus.          

Right-thinking Americans should be hopeful about the GOP capturing the Senate.    

Campaigns don’t gear up until after Labor Day.  Most voters don’t start focusing on politics until summer ends and kids are back in school.  Horse race numbers before Labor Day are sketchy and the pastime of the political class. 

Midterm contests are about to begin in earnest, and voters have plenty of reasons to go the GOP’s way.

Have you seen Joe Biden’s favorable/unfavorable numbers lately? 

As of this writing, Real Clear Politics’ job approval average for Biden shows the president underwater by 14.4%.  41.2% of voters approve Joe’s abysmal performance, while 55.6% sensibly disapprove.   

But get a load of these RCP averages for Biden’s handling of… the economy (35.6% approve/61% disapprove)… crime (36.7% approve/58.7% disapprove)… “immigration” -- meaning the border (34% approve/57.5% disapprove)   

What do you think?  Do Biden’s wretched numbers bode well or ill for Democrat candidates running in even marginally competitive states and districts?       

How about the direction of the country?  That’s right track/wrong track numbers.

Again, the RCP average: Right Track: 23.4%.  Wrong Track: 70.4%.  That’s a whopping 47% gap in perceptions. 

With less than one out of every four Americans believing the country is a-okay, how does that help ruling Democrats?  Do such bleak numbers make Democrats feel more or less confident about their election prospects?  

Biden’s job approval numbers have been underwater for months.  He’s rivaling Jimmy Carter for bragging rights as the most unpopular president in modern times.   

Why are Americans so sour about the nation’s direction?  Simple.  Their daily lives are awful, the results of the Biden administration’ and congressional Democrats’ policies and governance. 

The big three issues vexing Americans have been mentioned: the economy, crime, and the border.  Mix in government corruption for good measure.  Add Merrick Garland unleashing the FBI on Mar-a-Lago.  Add more than doubling the size of the IRS and arming its agents

Biden’s -- not Putin’s -- inflation and Biden’s -- not Vlad’s -- high energy costs are cutting deeply into paychecks and family budgets.  Tens of millions of Americans are struggling to pay mortgages or rents, buy groceries, and gas up cars and trucks.  Those are real world troubles. 

Voters are gearing up to throw out the rascals.  In wave elections, voters sack the governing party without sweating much about the bona fides of the challengers.  Wave elections tend to break late.  Hence, the astonishment when a wave sweeps in larger numbers of out-party candidates than expected. 

That doesn’t mean that every Democrat will lose and every Republican wins.  It means, on balance, Democrats are heading for a world of hurt.  They’re nearly slam-dunk certain to lose the U.S. House.  The GOP’s margin of victory is the question.  A 35-seat gain for Republicans is realistic despite Fox News’ absurd hedging.  Fox News claims that Republicans might win anywhere from 2-30 House seats.  Two seats?  Bull manure.      

From the Fox News report:

In those same weeks, Democrats have enjoyed a polling boost. The latest national Fox News Poll showed the Democrats and GOP tied at 41% each on the "generic ballot" question, which asked registered voters whether they would vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate in their district. Several other high-quality polls are showing similar shifts. Throughout July and August, gas prices have eased a little; the Supreme Court’s abortion ruling remained a top story; and Democrats took victory laps over computer chip manufacturing legislation and a climate, health care and tax package. It all has amounted to a late-summer swell for the left.  

What’s wrong with the Fox News analysis?  Everything.

First, Republicans traditionally trail Democrats in generic ballot polling.  The Fox poll was conducted for registered, not likely, voters.  Plenty of registered voters won’t vote.  That Republicans are tied with Democrats among registered voters prior to Labor Day should worry Democrats. 

Second, Fox mentions that “Gas prices have eased a little.”  Gas prices remain, on average, a whopping $2.00 a gallon higher today than when Trump left office.  Does anyone seriously believe average income Americans are feeling any relief by a slight dip in sky-high gas prices?                        

Third, Fox cites SCOTUS’ abortion ruling.  Will it swing elections?  Maybe in San Francisco, New York, and D.C.’s upscale suburbs.  But it won’t be the decider for hard-pressed Americans.  That includes Hispanics, Asians, and, perhaps, more blacks.        

Fourth, computer chip manufacturing legislation changes the equation for Democrats?  Can working- and middle-class voters eat computer chips?  Fill their gas tanks with them?  Pay their mortgages or rent with them?        

Finally, any Democrat-backed climate measure translates into higher energy costs.  How many Americans really trust Democrats with healthcare after having ObamaCare foisted on them?   

Look, Republicans need to pound away at the economy, crime, and border woes to persuade a lot of voters to come their way.  They can and should raise Biden’s fitness to lead.  They must discuss Biden’s and Democrats’ abuse of power.  They need only remind voters that Democrats are going to sic the IRS on them.    

What about Democrats rigging elections?  Depends on the state.  States like Georgia and Wisconsin have made some reforms.  Other states have tightened up.  Pennsylvania -- an important swing state -- is a concern.  Keystone State GOP lawmakers are suing to undo wide opened mail-in balloting, but that won’t matter now.  Arizona has issues, too.       

But “No Questions” mail-in balloting in Pennsylvania, and it’s potential for abuse, is a separate question from whether or not Dr. Oz can defeat John Fetterman.  Though Oz is a lackluster candidate -- to Oz’s credit, he’s been indefatigable, crisscrossing Pennsylvania campaigning -- he most certainly can beat Fetterman, who’s a kneejerk leftist and hampered by a recent stroke.  Trafalgar Group has Fetterman up by only 4% as of August 18.  Again, we’ll need to see polling post-Labor Day to get a truer read.           

Nonetheless, the GOP has good shots at converting Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire.  Arizona and Pennsylvania are tougher gets, in part, for the reasons mentioned.  Ron Johnson is always underrated in Wisconsin.  Ohio should go to J.D. Vance.  Budd wins North Carolina.  Worth watching: Colorado.  It may be a surprise GOP conversion.          

Got it: Republicans have no killer instinct.  They possess an exquisite capacity for tripping over their own feet.  Yes, election rigging could tip against the GOP.  Other unknowns could influence outcomes.  But Republicans may be swept into congressional majorities despite themselves.  Believe it or not, it happens. 

J. Robert Smith can be found regularly at Gab @JRobertSmith.  He also blogs at Flyover.               

Image: Thegreyanomaly 

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