In November, a Blue Wave Is Unlikely. A Blue Ripple? Maybe.

By Rob Schwarzwalder Published on August 9, 2018

The tale of a wave, as told by three races:

Democrat Joel Ossoff ran for Congress last year against now-U.S. Rep. Karen Handel. He spent about $31.5 million. That’s about 4 times as much as Handel spent. Ossoff lost.

Handel got a nice boost from outside groups that ran ads supporting her ($18.2 million v. about $8 million for Ossoff). But the math stands: Ossoff still had Handel beat by about $40 million to $26 million.

Earlier this year in Pennsylvania, Democrat Conor Lamb defeated Republican Rick Saccone by two-tenths of one percent — in real terms, 627 votes. In this case, Lamb was outspent by Saccone by a margin of 2-1. He won and did so in a district that went for Donald Trump by nearly 20 points.

And yet: Take a glance at his website. Lamb emphasizes his service as a U.S. Marine. He lists seven priorities, not a one of them dealing with the inflammatory issues of the Left (abortion, “transgender rights,” redistributing income, etc.). In appearance, he is so clean-cut he makes Beaver Cleaver look like a hippie. He even admits that Obamacare has flaws.

It’s possible the GOP will lose a number of seats in Congress and state races in the fall. But will there be sweeping changes? I don’t buy it.

Finally, the election Tuesday in Ohio looks like it has come up for the Republican, Troy Balderson. As of this writing, it looks like he won by about 1,700 votes.

Donald Trump came in and seems to have pulled Balderson across the line. The candidates seem to have spent about the same amount, although outside spending is unclear.

And now, the question: This is a “wave?”

An Upcoming ‘Blue Wave?’

Yes, more than 40 state legislative seats have gone from the GOP to the Democrats since November 2016. But bear in mind that more than 900 went from Democratic to Republican during Barack Obama’s eight years in office. As CNN reports, “Republicans grew their numbers massively at the state legislative level during the Obama presidency,” which means “there is considerable fat to trim from Republican ranks before you come anywhere close to cutting to the bone.”

I don’t want to whistle past a political graveyard. It’s possible the GOP will lose a number of seats in Congress and state races in the fall. But will there be the kind of sweeping changes we saw in 1994 or 2006? I don’t buy it.

I am by no means the ultimate authority on these things, but I’ve been involved in presidential, state-wide, and congressional races for more than 30 years. After a while, experience joins with instinct to give one a healthy sense of things. And, for me, that sense is anything but one of panic.

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In the seven “toss-up” upcoming U.S. Senate races, there are at least seven current Democratic seats at risk, some seriously. The GOP is almost in a lock to retain 46 of its current 51 seats, meaning the Democrats would have to win no less than five seats to recapture the upper chamber. This is tough sledding any time, but especially in mid-term elections, when public interest is much less acute than a presidential election year.

Moreover, there is a very strong possibility that Republicans might actually pick up seats in Florida, North Dakota, and Vice President Pence’s home state of Indiana.

As to the House, Republicans currently enjoy a 42-seat advantage over the Pelosi party. Could the GOP lose 25 seats and give the House to the Dems? It’s conceivable, but unlikely.

Why?

Good Signs for the GOP

The economy is booming. The President just held a White House summit with 20 corporate business leaders (oh — you read about that in the mainstream media, right?) about how to get more skilled workers.

Think about that for a second. America’s companies are trying to find enough people with the training they need to fill jobs. Is that a good problem to have, or what?

In this kind of environment, one in which employment is soaring and American economic dominance in the international marketplace is re-emerging, it will be hard for the Left to trot out its typical message of doom, gloom, division and demagoguery. Bernie Sanders is weeping somewhere.

Things can change very quickly in politics. But right now, there seems to be no gathering wave.

Most Americans are looking around and seeing prosperity. As ever in a fallen world, not everyone is prospering equally in every neighborhood in the country. But most Americans are doing well or at least doing better. In the words of that great philosopher Chico Marx, “Who are you going to believe? Me, or your own eyes?”

The looming Kavanaugh battle. It will be surprising if Democrats don’t overplay their hands, pummeling Kavanaugh to energize their very liberal base. But in doing so, they will arouse the ire of conservatives, who will again be reminded of why a Republican majority is needed. The Democrats will, I suspect, help with their own undoing.

Kavanaugh is an originalist. He has the audacity to claim, in an era of relativism and judicial activism, that words mean what those who use them say they do. Applied to the Constitution, that’s a dagger aimed right at the heart of liberalism. In their frantic efforts to stop him, the Left will expose its foolishness, not to mention its scariness. Extremists on full display is a great visual — for Republican candidates.

Finally, President Trump’s base is incredibly loyal. After 500 days in office, 87 percent of Republicans say they like what the President is doing. That’s ten points higher than Ronald Reagan’s approval rating at the same point of his historic presidency.

This extends not only to candidates the President endorses but to the profound dissatisfaction with “business as usual” shown by millions of Americans in the 2016 election. Discounted by political professionals and much of the media, these voters show up. And liberals wonder who they are and where they came from. Again and again and again.

I am no prophet. Things can change very quickly in politics. But right now, there seems to be no gathering wave. If anything, it’s a ripple.

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  • TheSaint4JC

    Never assume anything… Conservatives need to show up even stronger than the 2016 election…. This is not won by a long shot… to assume that is to allow them to win with lower voter numbers.

  • Patmos

    Considering the behavior of the Democrats the past 2 years, it would be a disaster to give them control of anything.

    • Jacob Miller

      And Trump’s unprecedented erratic and unprofessional behavior is A-OK with you?

  • Sapient

    A vote for a Democrat—any Democrat—is a vote for the burning of the Constitution, the strafing of free speech and religious liberties, the accelerated seizure and redistribution of our wealth, the opening of our borders and the decay of citizenship, and the rapid and unalterable advancement of judicial tyranny, the Administrative Deep State, and cultural Marxism. It’s just that simple…

    • Jacob Miller

      A vote for a Democrat is a vote for accountability in Washington.

      The Republicans have abdicated their responsibility to defend American against enemies, foreign and domestic.

      And calling Democrats Marxists is just silly. Do you know what Marxism is?

      • Sapient

        I know Marx very well. I find Democrats usually come in one of 3 categories: 1) those who know Marx’s writings and champion his cause openly, 2) those who know Marx’s teachings and champion same—but are careful to cloak their efforts in deceitful misleading language, and 3) useful idiots that are taken in by the deceitful rhetoric. But, I’ll be the first to admit that Democrats also subscribe to certain elements of fascism. Obama’s schemes to move the entirety of the healthcare system under government control (ie single payer) is Socialism. Most Democrats champion single payer, punishingly high and progressive taxes, restrictions on free speech, etc. All of that you’ll find in Marx’s writings. I could go on and on and on. But, if you’re in category 1 or 2 above, then you know all this anyway. And, if you’re a “3”…it’s pointless. (Not sure where you are in all that.) With respect to the whole “abdication” thing—that’s just nuts. Trump openly and proudly touts an America First agenda. The Democrats are openly and aggressively against putting America first (if you’ll recall you guys always call those of us who want to put America first racists and bigots, etc), and the Democrats have made this nation vulnerable (Obama drastically cut military funding and hurt our readiness enormously, Dems refuse to secure the border or enforce immigration law, HRC operated a server in the bathroom in some guys home and ran classified information through it, Obama communicated with her on that server, DNC and Wasserman-Schultz made themselves vulnerable to the Pakistani bros that hacked and stole information off their servers, Benghazi, the rise of ISIS, etc.). When it comes to defending this country—the Democrats are shamefully disinterested. To the contrary, their little enforcement wing (Antifa) demands an end to the USA.

      • Sapient

        BTW, having re-read my comment to which you replied…I think you are not aware of what “cultural Marxism” is. Now I’m thinking category 3 all the way…

      • Sapient

        I stand by my original statement about the effects of voting for a Democrat. Re Democrats defending America…Have you heard of ISIS? Benghazi? Fast and Furious? Open borders? Abolish ICE? HRC’s private email/national security breach? DNC/Awan/Pakistani security breach? John Podesta giving away password? Re Democrats as Marxists…You’ve got to b kidding me! Heard of Single-payer? Restricting free speech/banning speech? Restricting religious liberty? Your Senators and Reps are climbing over each other to out Socialist each other.

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