What a difference a few months makes. During the spring, it looked as though the GOP was poised to make huge gains in the House and retake the Senate. Now, with inflation concerns, especially gas prices, abating, and Democratic enthusiasm post-Dobbs rising, the GOP is – according to the Washington Post, in utter disarray, with intra-party divisions over Trump’s handpicked candidates and serious fundraising issues, all of which threaten to upend plans to flip Congress. At this point, even though it’s more likely than not that the GOP will retake the House, it is not a given, and Democrats are slight favorites to win the Senate. The GOP is in turmoil.
According to the Post:
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) put out calls this past week for his fellow GOP senators to unify and focus on fundraising, after spending much of the last month on the phone with donors attempting to make up for party shortfalls. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) has been rallying his members to refocus their message around policy arguments that he plans to formally introduce on Sept. 19 to create a clearer contrast between his party and President Biden on issues like immigration, crime and the economy.
Yes, as opposed to this spring when gas prices and the terror of inflation loomed, Democrats can expect a heavy dose of accusations of border mismanagement, a tough issue for Democrats, though far more manageable than five dollars per gallon prices at the pump and a stronger economy, issues that touch every American on a daily basis.
As always, Trump and his issues, in particular his handpicked candidates, play a huge role in the trouble:
The messages of unity were meant to dampen distracting divisions that have emerged within the party over controversial Senate candidates backed by former president Donald Trump and the ability of the party to fully fund campaigns in the face of an enormous Democratic financial advantage in key states.
Astonishingly, Herschel Walker has come from ten percentage points behind to be Nate Silver’s most likely Republican pick-up, but the fact that the race is even, along with trouble in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Arizona, all driven by Trump-picked candidates, continues to haunt the Republicans.
Trump himself continues to drag the party down as he represents what many believe to be “yesterday’s GOP” and has nothing to offer looking forward.
“This is yesterday’s kind of crew running on yesterday’s issues, with zero personality and zero optimism,” said one Republican strategist, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to provide a candid assessment. The strategist was referring to candidates like Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, Blake Masters in Arizona and J.D. Vance in Ohio, all of whom were pushed to victory in brutal primaries by a Trump endorsement.
There is no question that Trump’s handpicked candidates are a massive problem. Mitch McConnell himself essentially admitted as much last month. But the bigger issues are more intractable. The economy is improving. In the same way that voters were constantly reminded of the difficulties imposed by gas prices in the spring. Now, voters are continually reminded that prices have shot down and will likely continue to fall as we enter “the Fall.” Moreover, the Supreme Court is more unpopular than at any point in history. Voters tie the SCOTUS directly to MAGA extremism and the loss of women’s rights to bodily autonomy. Voters will likely worry about what the MAGA extremism may lead to next.
But Democrats will likely concentrate on the positives that they’ve brought to the nation. First and foremost is simple stability. The more that Donald Trump rages about significant and self-evident problems, the more voters are reminded that nearly every Republican on the ballot still supports this man to a shocking degree. Additionally, Democrats and Joe Biden have managed to amass astonishingly impressive legislative victories that will pull the nation into the 21st Century, proving that government can be of service to the people. And yes, the Democrats are suddenly leading in the culture wars as the public is increasingly turned off by MAGA efforts to suppress women’s rights and aggravate race relations, along with progress along the LGBTQ front.
Expect Biden and the Democrats to counter GOP efforts to focus on the border and crime by announcing new policies geared to help qualm concerns.
In sum, the article notes that the GOP is terrified that their expected wave may lead only to a small majority in the House and perhaps even the loss of a Senate seat, or even two (an extremely significant number), which would put Democrats in a far stronger position entering 2024, when control of at least one side of Congress may defeat GOP plans to make presidential elections less about the vote and more about the states’ legislatures.
Meanwhile, Democrats merely need to continue what they’ve been doing for the last two years, appearing to be the adult party, the stable party, the responsible party, and the party concerned about democracy—fitting for the “Democratic party.
@JasonMiciak believes a day without learning is a day not lived. He is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is a Canadian-born dual citizen who spent his teen and college years in the Pacific Northwest and has since lived in seven states. He now enjoys life as a single dad of a young girl, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He loves crafting his flower pots, cooking, and currently studies philosophy of science, religion, and non-math principles behind quantum mechanics and cosmology. Please feel free to contact for speaking engagements or any concerns.