October 2, 2022

The usual election spin has begun.  “Biden’s not really so bad.  Democrats will retain the House and Senate.  Newsom will step in for the ’24 presidential election.  Dems will win everything…”

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Only it’s worse this time.  The spin began the moment Trump won in 2016, and it has never stopped.  It began with the Russia-gate hoax, then the two false impeachments, the Jan. 6 committee, the raid on Mar-a-Lago, and now it culminates with the confident predictions that Dems will retain the Senate and the House.

Nate Cohn, writing in the New York Times, suggested that “this time may be different” and the party in power may actually gain seats.  Or as CNN’s Chris Cillizza put it in early September, “Democrats have the edge in the fight for Senate control.”  Or as Newsweek’s Jack Dutton had it back in the summer, “Democrats favored to win Senate for the first time as polling improves.”  And again and again, from MSNBC to CBS to the Washington Post, “Democrats will win.”

Don’t believe it.

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The midterm elections are only three weeks away.  In almost every midterm election since 1934, the party out of power gains seats (in the House, the exceptions were 1998 and 2002, when Democrats picked up 4 seats under Bill Clinton and Republicans won 8 seats under George W. Bush), and in times of dissatisfaction, they gain a lot of seats.  Barring a miracle, Republicans will take the House, and the Senate is up for grabs.

Biden’s popularity is low, and dissatisfaction with the Democrat-controlled Congress is greater than ever (60% have an unfavorable opinion of Nancy Pelosi).  The media will try to cover it up, but the public is angry.  The events of Jan. 6 were a symptom of that anger, and things have gotten worse since then.  Inflation is not going away, the border is out of control, and foreign policy is a disaster.

 As Michael Barone wrote on Sept 30, “usually, in midterm elections, the president’s party loses a few seats if his job approval is above 50% and many seats if it’s below.”  As for the Senate, Barone notes that recent polls show GOP candidates just slightly behind in Wisconsin, Georgia, and Nevada (other polls show Johnson and Laxalt ahead in Wisconsin and Nevada), but he stresses that “Wisconsin is only one of many states in which polling has consistently shown Democrats running far better and Republicans far worse than they actually have when the results were counted.”

In other words, the polls always lie.

If polls show Republican Senate candidates practically tied with Democrats, it means that the GOP candidates are actually ahead by a convincing margin.  If either Laxalt or Walker win and other seats remain with the same party, Republicans will retake control.

And even some of the polls that always underrate Republicans’ chances now show GOP candidates pulling ahead.  As of Sept. 24–29, GOP candidates lead in Wisconsin and Nevada and are close in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire.