By Dave Andrusko
As we close on next Tuesday, today’s collection of headlines is extremely encouraging:
*Democrats fear midterm drubbing as party leaders rush to defend blue seats –The Washington Post
*The bottom is dropping out of the 2022 election for Democrats– Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large
* The GOP Wave the Pundits Didn’t Want to See—Jim Geraghty, National Review
* Final Yahoo News/YouGov midterm poll spells trouble for Democrats—Andrew Romano
* Two Dem Strongholds Report Huge Early Vote Numbers…for Republicans—Matt Vespa
* As voters are making up their minds, Republicans are benefitting–Philip Bump, Washington Post
And this is not cherry-picked. Commentators, journalists, and officeholders alike see everything from an electoral bath to an electoral tsunami.
A common theme is that this was baked in. By that I mean, historically, the party that holds the White House almost uniformly loses seats in the first midterm. And to that President Biden’s dismal job approval numbers (roughly 42%), a balky economy, a greater Republican enthusiasm and you have the ingredients for a crushing Democrat defeat.
As the Washington Post’s Toluse Olorunnipa wrote, “[T]here’s a growing sense among Democrats that there’s little they can do at this point to combat the combined forces of history and economics.”
*The generic ballot has turned against Democrats. Anthony Romano wrote
In August, Democrats were ahead on the so-called generic ballot question — which asks respondents which candidate they would vote for in their congressional district if the election were held today — by 6 points (45% to 39%). As recently as late September, they were ahead by 4 (45% to 41%).
According to Yahoo News, Democrats still lead 46% to 44%. But FivethirtyEight shows the Republicans up by a little more than a point. Everyone agrees, however, that this is an artifice tilted toward Democrats for many reasons including Republicans reluctance to participate in polls.
*Who will vote and for which party? According to Romano
All told, 74% of registered voters on the Democratic side have either already voted (24%) or say they will “definitely” vote (50%). But that number is 7 percentage points higher among Republicans (81%), with 18% saying they’ve already voted and 63% saying they will definitely vote by Tuesday.
One other point, among many that could be made. Michael Barone talks about the caliber of the Republican candidates for the House:
Republicans are profiting from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) sterling recruitment efforts. “Seventy percent of Republican challengers in the most vulnerable Democratic seats are women, minorities, and/or veterans,” wrote National Review’s Dan McLaughlin. “There are even two nominees who are all three of these things.”
Please read Part One. Talk to you Monday.