Monday morning, (August 23rd) Investigative Journalist Steve Baker joins us in our first hour. Steve has blockbuster NEWS regarding the January 6 “Insurrection” that he will be sharing with us. You don’t want to miss it! To join live, click here at 9 AM Central. If you can’t catch the show live, you can always grab it later along with any and all of our “TNN Live!” Shows at Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify Podcasts or any other place you go for your podcasts. Don’t miss Tuesday’s show!
If you’ve been following the political chatter for the last month or so, one common theme being pushed by the press and data nerd Twitter is the idea of a Democrat “comeback” before the mid-terms.
Historically, every headwind is against Joe Biden and his party, but as the story goes, things will be different this time. After all, the Democrats passed the “Inflation Reduction Act” that doesn’t actually reduce inflation, and Democrats have taken some leads on the generic ballot since the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Newsweek explained this miraculous comeback-in-the-making this way:
Democrats now enjoy a small but notable lead over Republicans in the generic congressional ballot with less than three months before crucial midterm elections, according to analysis from poll tracker FiveThirtyEight. FiveThirtyEight’s latest figures show Democrats with 43.9 percent support for control of Congress compared to Republicans’ 43.4 percent as of August 15 – a margin of 0.5 percent.
Though the gap is small, it represents a clear shift in Democrats’ favor over the past month. On July 15, the poll tracker found that Republicans enjoyed 44.7 percent support to Democrats’ 42.9 percent. For months, it had been widely believed that Democrats were facing potential major losses in the November midterms and could lose control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. However, it now appears President Joe Biden‘s party may be more competitive than previously thought. FiveThirtyEight currently rates Democrats as “slightly favored” to win the Senate and their analysis cites “weak” Republican candidates in some key races.
Nonetheless, the poll tracker still rates Republicans as favored to take the House in November despite the recent Democratic success in the generic congressional ballot. That analysis raises the prospect of the House and Senate being controlled by different parties and potential legislative gridlock for the two years leading up to the 2024 presidential election.
That last occurred from 2019 to 2021 when Democrats controlled the House and Republicans held the Senate – it now appears the opposite situation could prevail after November. This would be far from the Democrats’ worst-case scenario, however. Though the party would prefer to retain control of both chambers, a divided Congress may reduce the risk of Republicans impeaching President Biden or attempting to pass legislation the president would veto. However, Democrats are very unlikely to be able to pass their own legislation if Republicans gain control of either chamber and polls suggest Biden’s party will not retain both the House and Senate.
Things — when looking at what’s going on “underneath” the surface — are a bit different. The generic ballot has often understated Republican support in environments that don’t favor Democrats (i.e. not 2018).
On this day during the 2014 cycle, Democrats led by 1.4 percent. The final result was Republicans by 5.7 percent. On this day in 2016, Democrats led by 5 points on the generic ballot. On election day, Republicans won by 1.1 percent and kept control in Congress Even in 2020, the generic ballot overstated Democrat support by 3.7 percent, which is why Republicans actually gained a lot of ground in the House.
The point is simple: Summer polling is notoriously bad and typically favors Democrats (at least post-2012). Those using it to make bold proclamations that Republicans have blown the election before it has even happened are deluding themselves.
Further, the closer we get to September, the more you can expect the GOP to start gaining ground again because those that are going to break typically break to the out party. Sure enough, the latest NBC News poll is out, and it’s everything the election bros on Twitter told us wasn’t supposed to be happening.
NBC Poll: Midterm enthusiasm
(% of voters rating their interest as a "9" or "10" on a 1-10 scale)
==> May: 69-61% GOP
==> March: 67-50% GOP
Final NBC/WSJ polls in:
— Steve Kornacki (@SteveKornacki) August 22, 2022
The GOP has actually gained on the generic ballot in this poll compared to before the Dobbs decision came down. That’s completely counter to the media narrative that abortion is going to be the deciding factor in this election. Further, Biden’s job approval remains completely stagnant, with the president actually dropping to 55 percent disapproval while his approval remains at an abysmal 42 percent.
Things don’t get better for the Democrats when you dive into the issue-level polling. Here’s what respondents think of the supposedly game-changing “Inflation Reduction Act.”
NBC POLL: 71% of Americans believe the "Inflation Reduction Act" will either make things worse or not make a difference at all pic.twitter.com/JkwEULzcMM
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) August 21, 2022
This poll follows on the heels of another good poll for the GOP showing Republican senate candidate Adam Laxalt leading his Democrat opponent in Nevada. It’s also worth noting that the NBC News poll is not an outlier. The two prior generic ballot polls also gave Republicans high marks, each showing a 5-point lead for the GOP.
Lastly, it should be mentioned that we haven’t even seen the major pollsters switch to likely voter screens yet. Because enthusiasm is high for Republicans, as evidenced by comparisons of primary turnout, likely voter screens should further shift these results toward the GOP, and they have historically done so.
Congressman Mike Johnson (R-LA) was on our show “TNN Live!” Monday morning (August 22, 2022). I asked him what his sense is about the likelihood of the midterms being a tight race and what the GOP prognostications are for the House of Representatives. I’ll paraphrase his response:
There will be a butt-kicking by the GOP which will bring a large majority for Republicans when the new Congress is seated in January! You can listen for yourself to my 15-minute conversation with him at the very beginning of the show by clicking on the link below in which we discussed the midterms plus several other items you certainly need to hear. (the link is to the entire 2-hour show. Congressman Johnson joins us for the first 20-minutes):
Let’s be honest: things in the nation are tougher than I’ve seen before in my lifetime. I won’t pound you with those details. You know them all yourselves. We cannot change the president in the midterm elections. But we MUST regain a conservative majority — in at least the House, but hopefully in the Senate as well — to stop the barbaric and rampant unlawful acts of President Biden. Also, we MUST have that House majority for oversight of the Biden Administration going forward.
Don’t worry: there’s nothing you can do about all this but cast your votes in November and let everyone know how critical it is for the nation that conservatives win back Congress.
If we don’t do it, then who will?
And it MUST happen in November to save the United States for the generations which follow.