Handicapping November’s ‘Blue Wave’

Member Group : Jerry Shenk

Despite a hyper-active 24 hour news cycle in which a week can be multiple political lifetimes, Democrats and their media enablers are salivating over their prospects for a “Blue Wave” mid-term election that’s eight months away. Democrats haven’t been this excited this early since…2016!

Politico warns of a 2018 Republican bloodbath. Washington Post reporters predict a “politically difficult 2018” for Republicans. From the Los Angeles Times: “’[O]pposition to [President Donald] Trump has generated energy among Democrats.’ said Joe Trippi, veteran Democratic consultant and media strategist for Doug Jones’ Alabama Senate upset.”

Forget the hopefulness of self-interested veteran Democratic consultants; discount the Democrats’ “energized” alt-left base; disregard gubernatorial victories in Virginia and New Jersey where Democrats were expected to win; and dismiss a special election “triumph” over an eccentric candidate largely rejected by Alabama Republicans: A 2018 Blue Wave is as certain as “President Hillary Clinton” was two years ago.

In Alabama, the Democrat beat a fatally-flawed opponent. Democrats ignore that Jones’ win didn’t change Alabama’s overwhelming political conservatism. Even adding Jones, Democrats will probably have fewer Senate seats in 2019, because, in November, Democrats must defend 26 Senate seats, Republicans only eight. Eight of those Democratic seats are in states President Trump won, some handily.

It’s possible House races could be friendlier to Democrats, but, to win, Democrats need more moderation, more discipline than they possess. The party’s obsession with class- and identity-based politics will make nominating moderates difficult and their success problematic in red America. Fly-over country voters clearly remember 2007: After Democrats retook a House majority, every “moderate” Democrats’ first official act was to vote unanimously for Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Congressional Democrats self-immolated on two recent votes. The reliably-liberal Tax Policy Center conceded that, in 2018, the highly-stimulative December, 2017 tax bill will lower taxes for Americans in all income groups and increase their after-tax income. Not a single Democrat, House or Senate, voted for tax relief. Some will suffer voter retribution. Then, in January, foolish Senate Democrats memorably shut down the government, shafting the military and needy Americans, to accommodate illegal aliens.

Granted, midterm elections often — but don’t always — favor the party out of the White House. Generic preference polls which ask, “If the election were held today, would you vote for a Democrat or Republican for Congress?” are usually considered reliable predictors of the electorate’s mood approaching midterms. Since paychecks and President Trump’s polling numbers have improved, Democrats’ 13-point December generic polling advantage has been erased.

Hillary Clinton lost Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, while winning their largest liberal cities and college towns. Except for Massachusetts and Vermont, the same urban/suburban/exurban/rural political divide exists all over America. 2016 county-by-county election maps show generally-modest Clinton outposts in a vast red Trump “wilderness.”

For every Philadelphia, Detroit and Milwaukee, there are hundreds of Lebanons, Port Hurons and Manitowocs, and many thousands of smaller communities populated by normal, decent, sensible people whom the left would rather insult than persuade.

Democrats will be a tough sell in those jurisdictions.