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Where we stand 74 days out from the November 8 elections

by | Aug 25, 2022

By Dave Andrusko

Many of the media heavyweights are already gleefully pronouncing that when the Supreme Court overturned Roe that decision turned what was going to be a banner year for pro-life Republicans into a scrum. We’re being told if the Republicans do take the House it’ll be by a much smaller margin that thought and the Senate is completely up for grabs.

What to say?

Five things.

#1. It’s August 25. There are 74 more days until the November 8 elections. Count on there being several more cycles in the prediction game.

#2. These same media heavyweights have convinced themselves of the truth of their predictions because it’s what they want to believe. It’s not exactly the wish is father to the thought but close.

#3. After months of gloom and doom (for their friends in the Democrat party), suddenly there seems to be light ahead. Doesn’t matter that the country overwhelmingly believes we are headed in the wrong direction (74%) or that President Biden’s approval numbers are (at best) 40-42%. The abortion issue will carry the day for pro-abortion Democrats—or so they believe.

#4. Speaking of cycles, we’ve been told repeatedly that Pennsylvania senatorial candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz and gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastroiano are toast. The latest polls from Trafalgar and Emerson say otherwise.

According to Trafalgar “Oz trails by a skosh less than five points in a survey with a ±2.9% MoE,” Ed Morrissey reports. “Mastroiano is even closer, trailing by less than four points.”

Emerson has “Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman with a 4-point lead over Mehmet Oz, 48% to 44%.” In the race to replace term-limited Governor Tom Wolf, “Attorney General Josh Shapiro leads State Senator Doug Mastriano 47% to 44%.”

#5. Writing in The Transom, Ben Domenech offers keen insights. For example, the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade “fueled an immediate surge in donations to Democrat candidates and an uptick in blue voting activity during primaries.” Well, of course!

But… some hefty “caveats.”

“First off, the red voter surge was already at historic highs and has been throughout the primary process,” Domenech writes. “The Democrat surge is rising to meet a pre-existing wave, not happening by itself.” 

He then quotes Josh Kraushaar

Republicans have also been turning out at historically high levels throughout the primary calendar.

In battleground states like Arizona and Florida, where Democratic primary turnout increased from 2018, Republican turnout in those states was even higher — driven by issues including the economy, immigration and competitive primaries where former President Trump was involved.

Democrats may not be able to control that, but if they can give their own base a reason to turn out, they can at least remain competitive

Furthermore, the issues that have plagued President Biden for months—rampant inflation, the soaring cost of gas/groceries, etc.—are not going away. For a couple of weeks they might subside in importance but they are the kind of issues that people are reminded of every day of the week.

In perhaps his keenest insight, Domenech writes

much of the coverage of this abortion dynamic has happened in a vacuum, as if nothing else has moved in this cycle post-Dobbs. That’s blinkered thinking in my view. This student loan forgiveness decision strikes me as potentially a huge own goal pre-midterms — upping unsympathetic resentment for overeducated liberals among working and middle class voters, depressing progressives as insufficient, depressing moderates as illegal and irresponsible, and making everyone worry about the inflation ramifications. 

Again, 74 days until the elections; underlying causes of unhappiness with President Biden not going away; and what appears to be an unforced error of the first magnitude—student loan forgiveness.

Stay tuned.

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