In the US, conventional wisdom states that when a new President is elected, the opposition party gains a number of seats in the next midterms. A few months ago, Democrats were predicted to lose a whole whack of congressional seats in the upcoming November midterms. There were predictions that the Republicans would have majorities in both the House and Senate.
Everything was going the Republicans’ way. Biden was tanking in the polls. Trump was gaining support as a martyr. Inflation was running amuck. The Republican base was supposedly engaged while the Democrat base was getting disillusioned.
Then, a few funny things happened. Roe vs Wade was overturned. The Republicans in the Senate voted against a bill that would provide health services for veterans affected by burn pits. Gas prices were going down. Trump backed election deniers won a number of primaries. Furthermore the Trump legal woes have turned him from a martyr to a villan. I was going to say scheming villan but that would give Trump too much credit.
The first sign that the tide was turning and that Democrat voters were getting engaged again was Kansas. The number of voters that turned up to vote for protection abortion rights far exceeded expectations. To help this increasing tide, the spotlight turned brighter on those Trump backed candidates who won their primaries. A prime example is Herscel Walker, running for Senate in Georgia. He is a football legend. In high school, when I was playing left bench, our football coach would shout out “Football players are not dumb.” Well, there are exceptions, and Walker is one of them. Mitch McConnell said it best the other day when he said that the Republicans might not win the Senate due to “the quality of candidates”. This was a jab at the Trump backed primary winners. Trump reacted badly to Mitch’s statement.
The person in the image above is Pat Ryan. He ran in a special election in a New York congressional district, last night, given that the previous incumbent resigned to become Lieutenant-Governor of the state. The district Ryan ran in is a so called bellwether district that follows the mood of the country. He ran, priimarily, on one issue, that being reproductive tights. He won.
While Democrats are getting more engaged, Reublicans are getting less engaged. How could they not? Every day, the news gets worse and worse on Trump. Just a few weeks ago, the conversation was, will Trump go to prison. Now it is more and more of, how many years will he get.
At times, the football analogy, mentioned above, can be used for the electorate. There was a Republican primary in Matt Gaetz’s congressional district. The alledged pedofile and sex trafficker won 67% of the vote. Go figure.