Turning the So-called ‘Blue Wave’ into a Ripple
If one were to listen to the left wing media, GOP voters might as well not even show up to the polls in November, because the “blue wave” is coming, and it will wipe out all Republican gains. The U.S. House of Representatives will soon be in the hands of the Democrats, and the Senate might dump the GOP as well… that is, if you believe everything that is being said on the nightly news. But is it real?
Conservatives need to realize that President Trump is running against history. It is almost a given that the party holding the White House will lose seats in the mid-term elections. In fact, 2002 was the only year that bucked the trend, and the country was united in its fight against bin Laden and al-Qaeda. But what about now?
Let’s be clear: the media are “all in” on the “blue wave” talking points. The Washington Post, CNN, ABC News, and NBC News have all written about the topic, including NBC News’ headline “Voter registration data suggests Democrats’ longed-for ‘blue wave’ will crash over Republicans in November.”
As NBC News points out, “In every election since 1946 when the president’s approval rating is under 50 percent at the time of a midterm, the party that controls the White House has lost an average of 37 seats in the House of Representatives.” With losses like that, the House would fall under Democrat control, and the party of Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, and Charles Rangel would put a halt on all of President Trump’s initiatives (not that the GOP has been a mountain of help so far, but that’s a different story). With prognostication like that, should Republicans even bother? The answer is an emphatic YES!
First, let’s take a look at the Senate where Republicans hold a 51-49 majority. The talk of the “blue wave” not only winning the House but also potentially taking the Senate is just plain wrong. It’s not going to happen. We can thank Trump’s accomplishments, the Kavanaugh fallout, and state demographics for helping keep the Senate in GOP hands after the November elections. In fact, there is a good chance that the GOP will gain seats after the ballots are counted.
In the left-leaning Cook Political Report, nine Senate races are considered toss-ups, but that is far from reality. The states in the toss-up list are Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Arizona, Nevada, Tennessee, and Texas.
Let’s look at the last four states first. Those are the ones that are currently in Republican hands. Despite liberals’ dreams of challenger Beto O’Rourke unseating Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, it’s just not going to happen. Cruz wins. In Tennessee, the race is on to replace retiring Sen. Bob Corker, and Marsha Blackburn (once behind in the polls) is now looking strong. In Nevada, Sen. Dean Heller is now leading his Democrat opponent in most polls. This one is still iffy, but definitely winnable. Finally, there’s the Arizona senate race which will fill the open seat of Jeff Flake. The Republican nominee, Martha McSally has seen her outlook rise since the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. A recent ABC News poll has her up six points, while others are showing a very tight race. This is in contrast to her being down six points in July according to Real Clear Politics. If Republicans can hold serve on these seats, it forms a very strong foundation for gains in the GOP majority.
Looking at the toss-up states currently held by Democrats, incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is toast. She’s done. She voted against the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, and that put an even bigger hole in her already-sinking ship. Plus one for the GOP. In Indiana, Democrat Sen. Joe Donnelly has seen his lead evaporate. Fox News had Donnelly up two points at the end of September, and a recent Ipsos poll has Donnelly up three points. These are within the margin of error and show that challenger Mike Braun has a real chance. In Missouri, Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill appears to be in big trouble to challenger Josh Hawley. Most polls (except one from CNN) show Hawley leading McCaskill, and this could be plus two for the Republicans.
In Montana, incumbent Democrat Sen. Jon Tester is up by around three points, but polling data are from the middle of September and do not reflect the post-Kavanaugh feelings of a state that voted for President Trump over Hillary Clinton by 56% to 36%. That twenty-point spread could spell doom for Tester.
When the dust clears, Republicans should be able to build on their Senate majority, but what happens to the U.S. House? That chamber is where those on the left are saying the “blue wave” will wipe out the GOP. Right now, Republicans hold 235 seats to 193 for the Democrats with an additional seven seats being vacant (five of those held by Republicans and two held by Democrats). The magic number of House seats is 218. That’s the number required for majority control.
The Democrats need twenty-three seats to gain control of the House. According to the media, not only can it be done, but it WILL be done. Many Pundits are banking on the fact that there are twenty-five seats currently held by Republicans but whose district voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. The Democrats believe that if they can bring a number of those districts with them, along with some other pickups such as from the redistricting fiasco in Pennsylvania, then the majority will be theirs. Not so fast.
There is a natural energy within the party out of power in the mid-term elections. This enthusiasm is tracked in polls and has been consistently in favor of the Democrats for months. However, the blowback from the Brett Kavanaugh hearing has erased this lead. On October 3, NPR reported that in July, the Democrats had a ten-point advantage over Republicans in whether the upcoming election was “very important.” NPR noted that the edge had evaporated into a statistical tie. On October 10, Rasmussen Reports noted that their “generic ballot” poll showed a tie between Republicans and Democrats. This type of poll seeks to find out if voters, in general, would pick a Republican candidate or a Democrat candidate. This tie represents only the second time the Democrats have not led in the “generic ballot” polling since May.
The Democrats may be counting on Republican districts that voted for Hillary Clinton, but in doing so, these pundits are ignoring several keys facts. The overall being that that was then, and this is now. It is quite understandable for voters to have been leery of Trump, but now, the voters in these Republican districts can see the record. Taxes have been cut; Unemployment is at a 50-year low; Regulations have been cut; President Trump is appointing conservatives to the bench; The economy is booming. All any Republican candidate has to ask his or her voters is “Do you really want this to stop? Or do you want us to do even more?”
I can’t say where the House will end up yet, but I’m more optimistic than I was. The GOP can lose around 20 seats which will continue the historic trend — not an anti-Trump mandate that the media are promoting — and still keep the House.
The “blue wave” can certainly be turned into a ripple, but it won’t happen by itself. Angry Democrats must be countered by energetic Republicans. Radical leftists must be countered by committed conservatives. In order to keep the Trump policy accomplishments moving, there must be action at the grassroots level.
Bobby Eberle is a professional race car driver, former aerospace engineer, political commentator, and president of GOPUSA.com. He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Rice University.
Reprinted with the permission of The Washington Times.