With less than a week until the 2022 election day, the data increasingly suggests a good night for Republicans.
How do Republicans find themselves in this position when the situation looked uncertain just a few weeks ago?
A rare combination of tone-deafness, reading the public wrong, and bad decisions led to Republicans gaining momentum during the final countdown to Election Day. We have yet to determine how Democrats’ eleventh-hour decisions to change arguments will impact the outcomes.
Since June, Democrats have made abortion nearly the sole focus of their messaging. Democrats enjoyed their summer romance, especially with suburban women. Initially, it appeared the issue of abortion might prove a successful tactic as Democrats saw their polling numbers increase.
READ MORE — Andy Bloom: Oz will win Pennsylvania Senate race after debate with Fetterman
As the days cooled, so did voters’ enthusiasm for Democrats and their concern about abortion. Democrats, however, stayed locked on their abortion message to the exclusion of everything else.
Poll after poll shows that the economy and inflation are the most important issues — even among Democrats. Prices are going up. Wages aren’t keeping pace, and investors have watched the gains earned over the past several years evaporate as the market has fallen.
President Biden, administration spokespeople, and most Democrat politicians initially denied inflation existed. Then they called it transitory. They blamed Putin — even though most people were painfully aware that prices were increasing sharply long before Putin started the assault on Ukraine.
During the campaign, didn’t Biden tell us he was better equipped to deal with Putin than Trump? How’s that working out?
Biden blamed the pandemic for issues with the supply chain. He also appointed Pete Buttigieg as transportation secretary, who then took an extended maternity leave immediately upon getting sworn in. Apparently, supply chain issues weren’t so critical that the newly minted Secretary of Transportation couldn’t afford to take several weeks away.
Biden reappointed Jerome Powell as Chairman of the Federal Reserve less than a year ago. If the Fed was on the wrong track, why didn’t Biden make a change?
In mid-October, Biden traveled to Portland, Oregon. In a moment that demonstrates his tone-deafness while licking an ice cream cone, he told a reporter: “I’m concerned about the rest of the world. Our economy is strong as hell.” Adding, between licks, “inflation is worldwide. It’s worse off than it is in the United States. So the problem is the lack of economic growth and sound policy in other countries, not so much ours.”
Oregon is poised to elect Christine Drazan — a Republican — governor. If she wins, it would be the first time the state has elected a Republican governor since 1978. Further, Oregon benefited from the 2020 census and will have a sixth Congressional district for the first time in 2022. The non-partisan Cook Political Report rates it as a toss-up, along with the fourth district. The fifth district is rated as “leans Republican.” Oregon may go from a delegation of four Democrats and one Republican to one Democrat and five Republicans.
Oregon illustrates why Democrats don’t want Joe Biden to come and campaign for them, as does Pennsylvania.
Because of his Scranton roots, Biden has campaigned with Pennsylvania candidates more than anywhere else.
Currently, the Pennsylvania delegation is split equally between Republicans and Democrats. The state’s delegation will shrink by one after this year as part of reapportionment following the 2020 census. Three seats now held by Democrats are rated “leans GOP,’ and another, the sixth district — which includes Pittsburgh – is rated “leans Democrat.”
New York is another deep blue state where Republicans stand to make gains in the House.
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney is the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). Usually, a member assuming those duties is in a strong enough position to afford to spend time helping less secure party members win elections.
Last week, The Cook Political Report moved Maloney’s race from “lean Democrat” to “toss-up.” If he does lose, it would be the first time since 1980 that the sitting chair of either party lost a general re-election bid.
Four additional opportunities for Republican pick-ups in New York are now in the “toss-up” or “leans GOP” categories.
Biden and his policies are not wholly to blame for what’s happening in New York. Kathy Hochul became New York’s governor after Andrew Cuomo resigned amid sexual harassment scandals. She’s running against Congressman Lee Zelden.
After inflation and the economy, crime is among the most important issues. It’s easy to understand why when you learn there have been over 1,000 carjackings in Philadelphia before the end of September, smashing the city’s record. In 2019 the city reported only 225 carjackings.
Crime has become real, not just statistics, as cellphone videos reveal the lawlessness and lack of regard for human life that people in big cities across the nation are experiencing.
Hochul also displayed remarkable tone-deafness in her only debate with Zelden. When he said she wasn’t locking up criminals, Hochul’s retort: “I don’t know why this is so important to you,” was a revealing moment. If Kathy Hochul doesn’t understand why it’s important to lock up the people committing mayhem in New York, the people she wants to govern do. It may cost her the election and help Republicans win several U.S. House seats in the state.
As polls showed Zelden closing in Hochul, reporters asked Biden about the impact of crime on the midterms, “I think it’s real important, and I think we have a great record on it,” he said, showing a lack of awareness and empathy.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Republicans gerrymander districts. That’s how they hold so many seats. It’s a media narrative, but both parties gerrymander as much as possible.
In an act of arrogance, the New York legislature, heavily controlled by Democrats, attempted to gerrymander the state to its overwhelming advantage. It may end up costing the Democrats several seats in New York.
Last May, The New York Times reported: “A state court formally approved New York’s new congressional map drawn by a neutral expert that could pave the way for Democratic losses this fall and force some of the party’s most prominent incumbents to face off in primary matches.” The Times adds, “The map…effectively unwinds attempted Democratic gerrymander.”
Among the primaries the Times referred to was one pitting two members who had been in Congress since 1993. Both held powerful Committee Chairs. Jerold Nadler took out Carolyn Maloney after a bitter campaign.
Donald Trump might have exhausted you as president, but he’s not on the ballot now, and everybody should feel secure that whatever happens in this election, no coup is forthcoming.
You can tell when a political campaign, or in this case, a party, is in trouble because it changes its message with limited time left. In the final weeks of this campaign, Democrats have dragged Barack Obama out of retirement and sent him to as many places as possible, even while the sitting president has minimal campaign appearances.
When Biden makes a speech, it’s filled with inaccuracies or statements that lack backing. He claims Republicans will raise inflation, but other than saying they will cut taxes for the rich — a favorite Democrat trope — and something impossible if the president doesn’t sign a bill into law.
Recently, Democrats began changing tactics as they realized abortion was not the winning issue they thought it was during the summer. One of their new leading lines is how Republicans will cut Social Security and Medicare.
Sometime soon, Democrats and Republicans alike are going to address the issue of funding Social Security and Medicare. In June, the annual report by the trustees of Social Security and Medicare reported that the fund won’t be able to pay full benefits as soon as 2035. Structural problems with both programs will require difficult choices, but neither party will suggest taking away benefits from those already promised them.
A Washington Post fact-check headline read: “The false claim that Senate Republicans plan to end Social Security and Medicare” earned four Pinocchios. It’s the kind of desperate lie a campaign uses when they’ve got nothing else to excite voters.
Democrats, including the president, are trying to scare voters by saying Republicans threaten democracy. The more truthful statement is: Republicans threaten Democrats. It has been Democrats who have told people they must get an experimental vaccine, whether they want to or not. My family and I are fully vaccinated, but it was our choice, not the government’s.
The FBI falsely used FISA warrants to spy on American citizens. Mark Zuckerberg claims that the FBI asked Facebook to filter stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop because they were “Russian propaganda” days before the 2020 election. Fifty members of the U.S. intelligence apparatus signed a letter used as an ad campaign stating this was true — when there was never any evidence to suggest it was so.
Liberals have used the term “content moderation” as a euphemism for censorship. No matter what you think of a sitting president, it’s hard to imagine restricting their speech, as Twitter did to Trump. We had the “Truth Ministry,” and while it quickly went away, recent reports are that the government is working with social media companies to stop what they call “disinformation,” and others call a difference of opinion. Regardless, when the facts come out, I am confident it will be a violation of the First Amendment.”
Liberal and Democrat answers to crime are to restrict the Second Amendment rights while allowing cashless bail, letting criminals — including some who are violent — out of jail (such as John Fetterman did in Pennsylvania).
And if the argument is that Republicans are “election deniers,” then can anybody produce a video of Stacey Abrams conceding to Brian Kemp in the 2018 governor’s race and explain Hillary Clinton’s repeated claims that she had the election stolen from her?
Republicans who objected to Biden’s electoral count only did what Democrats did to George W. Bush and Donald Trump. And if you think it’s different because of the Jan. 6 riot, consider that many people involved looked at the riots that took place over the prior Summer and thought it was a perfectly acceptable idea.
That anybody believes Republicans threaten democracy and Democrats are protecting it is ridiculous. Donald Trump might have exhausted you as president, but he’s not on the ballot now, and everybody should feel secure that whatever happens in this election, no coup is forthcoming.
What’s truly scary is going to the grocery store and buying food for your family or filling the car with gas; standing on a subway platform in New York, or driving a nice car in Philadelphia.
In the final days before the election, Democrats are shifting from the abortion message and instead attempting to scare voters. I don’t think it will work and that Republicans will end up with approximately 225 to 230 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 52 in the Senate (although it might require runoffs to determine the final number).
AndyBloom is president of Andy Bloom Communications. He specializes in media training and political communications. He has programmed legendary stations including WIP, WPHT and WYSP/Philadelphia, KLSX, Los Angeles and WCCO Minneapolis. He was Vice President Programming for Emmis International, Greater Media Inc. and Coleman Research. Andy also served as communications director for Rep. Michael R. Turner (R-Ohio). He can be reached by email at email@example.com or you can follow him on Twitter @AndyBloomCom.