October 24, 2018

Midterm Watch

We're officially on Insta! Did I throw on a blazer at 5 am for all you lovely people? You bet I did!

“With two weeks until the election, the White House is battling against historyas it tries to defend a lengthy slate of seats held by congressional Republicans.”

AP News

As of early Wednesday morning, FiveThirtyEight gave Republicans an 81% chance of holding the Senate and a 15% chance of holding the House.

FiveThirtyEight



Both sides are skeptical of early voting numbers:

  • “There’s a perception that high early vote turnout is good for Democrats and bad for Republicans, but that drastically oversimplifies things... Back in 2014, some liberals looked at higher numbers of registered Democratic voters participating in early voting and insisted the polls showing their preferred candidates trailing had to be wrong. They were deeply disappointed on Election Night.” National Review


See past issues

From the Left

The left is highly critical of Trump and the GOP’s “‘scare-avan’ strategy," claiming that they are heading into the midterms with “zero policy goals other than targeting Pelosi, refugees, and [the] media."

Chicago Tribune, DailyKos

“Republican politicians wouldn’t be scrambling to announce their support for key parts of the Affordable Care Act—and President Trump wouldn’t have fabricated a middle-class tax cut—if the party weren’t aware of the necessity of a viable economic message... Candidates need to deliver more than outrage, and that’s all Trump has this time.”

Slate

“Following the blueprint that brought him to victory in 2016, he’s relying on the power of immigration fears, enhanced by blatantly false rhetoric...

“He claimed Democrats are for open borders; for the most part, they are not, nor is Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, against whom Trump was campaigning. He claimed Democrats were to blame for asylum seekers traveling to the United States; the migrants are fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries. Trump also claimed—without evidence—that Democrats started the ‘caravan’ of refugees currently wending its way northward through Mexico.”

The Atlantic

There is “no evidence that Democrats are paying for the migrant caravan snaking its way north toward the southern border... But that has not stopped the president from repeating such false or misleading claims." Regarding Trump's claim thatMiddle Easterners are ‘mixed in’ with the caravan, a NYU professor who studies authoritarian rulers observes that “this is the way propaganda works. You put different enemies together that really have nothing to do with one another.“

Washington Post

Despite the last minute scramble by Trump and the GOP, many note that “history is on the side of Democrats. Since the Civil War, there have only been three midterm elections in which the president's party didn't lose seats in the House. THREE! Could this be the fourth? Sure. But it's not the likeliest outcome -- especially when you consider Trump's approval rating is in the mid-40s.Historically, that means losses of 30+ seats for the president's party."

CNN

“In theory, there’s no reason why a bad businessman can’t go on to become a good president. But a commander-in-chief whose signature legislative achievement expanded tax loopholes that he himself describes as grossly unfair is pretty much a bad president, by definition.”
Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

From the Right

The right is optimistic about recent polling numbers, and argues that the Democrats’ position on immigration and focus on political correctness will backfire.

From the Right

The right is optimistic about recent polling numbers, and argues that the Democrats’ position on immigration and focus on political correctness will backfire.

Corry Bliss, executive director of the Congressional Leadership Fund, states, “For the first time in months, we have the wind at our backs. Now we have to figure out a way to keep it up for two weeks... In the last 30 days, the president has done the hardest thing in American politics: to both excite and unite the Republican base."

Washington Examiner

Republicans are on the offense on the issue of immigration by focusing on sanctuary cities and liberals’ calls to abolish ICE... With just two weeks until Election Day, the migrant caravan represents what is wrong with our nation’s immigration system. President Trump and Republicans should welcome this political gift with open arms and use it to score electoral wins by focusing on immigration."

Fox News

It’s worth noting that “one of the emerging lessons of the midterms is that if you’re a Democrat running statewide in Trump country, you have to run as a Trump Republican to have a shot at victory... incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly [D-IN] is running an ad campaign attacking ‘the radical left,’ touting Trump’s border wall, and boasting about how often he splits from his own party."

The Federalist

Many also argue that “by [focusing] on the Kavanaugh confirmation... [Democrats] showed themselves willing to take partisanship to its limits... and beyond... Races in Indiana and Florida are too close to call but have moved in the GOP’s direction since the Kavanaugh hearings... [and] Trump’s approval rating is now higher than it has ever been since he became president."

Western Journal

“The trouble for Democrats is that the activists who now run the party come from the PC activist camp. It’s virtually impossible to oppose them, as President Bill Clinton once did, in an effort to reach out to mainstream America. But with 80 percent of America opposed to PC culture, it’s easy for Republicans to make Democrats sound crazy just by quoting PC rules regarding everything from Halloween costumes to the number of genders then watching the Democrats rabidly defend them."

USA Today

Others posit that “the reason Kim is developing missiles that can strike Seattle or LA is that 28,000 U.S. troops are in South Korea… If we cannot persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons in return for a lifting of sanctions, perhaps we should pull U.S. forces off the peninsula and let China deal with the possible acquisition of their own nuclear weapons by Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan…

“After an exhausting two weeks [between North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and others], one is tempted to ask: How many quarrels, clashes and conflicts can even a superpower manage at one time? And is it not the time for the United States, preoccupied with so many crises, to begin asking, ‘Why is this our problem?’”
Pat Buchanan, Townhall

“The Democrats want to talk to Don McGahn, and maybe they will ultimately prevail in court to get his testimony, but what’s the point? McGahn talked extensively to Mueller, and surely everything remotely damaging is already in the report

“Congress has the report, and now it is up to it to decide. But it doesn’t want to. It’s too painful to admit that the Mueller report was a bust on Russia and that the obstruction material, while damaging to Trump, is hardly a slam dunk; that the public doesn’t support impeachment; that if the House goes through with it anyway, it will end with a whimper in the Senate; and that it’s better for Democrats to focus on beating Trump in 2020 than a forlorn impeachment.”
Rich Lowry, National Review

A libertarian's take

“The scoop reflects poorly on Trump, who willfully misled the public for a decade in hopes of fraudulently representing himself as a man with a Midas touch. But he could not have succeeded without the assistance of many Americans, some mercenary, others over-credulous, who helped to spread the deceit and deception, generating countless newspaper articles, magazine stories, and TV segments that misinformed the public about the publicity hound’s record in business. New evidence of his staggering losses in that decade therefore provides an apt occasion to reflect on the media’s complicity in Trump’s brazen deceit and deception… Let [this] be a lesson for today’s tabloids, gossip columnists, over-credulous or mercenary journalists, and reality-television producers.”
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

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On the bright side...

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