With the Kavanaugh confirmation outcome as an unknown, here are a few thoughts on the mid-terms.
President Donald Trump barely won the election.
In a lot of swing states he barely won.
It will not take much of a swing to bring him and the GOP down.
- Colorado 72,000 9 Votes
- Florida 120,000 29 Votes
- Michigan 12,000. 16 votes
- Minnesota 44,000 10 votes
- Pennsylvania 68,000 20 votes
- Wisconsin 27,000 10 votes
Less than 350,000 votes decided 94 electoral college votes. This is hardly a resounding victory. And he was running against the worst Democratic Party candidate in a generation. And she was still leading in the polls with a couple of weeks to go. The Comey intervention was a pivotal October surprise. Clinton was despised by most Republicans. She should have been more than enough to ensure a huge Republican turnout and resounding victory. It did not.
My question therefore is – has the electoral climate got better for the GOP in 2018? I will answer that last.
The next question is will Trump supporters come out in force? The answer to that question is most likely yes. At close to 2016 levels.
The follow on question is, is that enough? The answer to that question is hell no in any district or state where the GOP holds a seat by less than 10% and possible less than 15%. They will also need moderate Republicans, independents, and those Dems that voted for Trump in 2016. And that’s where trouble comes into Paradise. To understand how these groups vote you have to look at the demographics:
The GOP is down in many key categories include college educated men and women, most women in general, and anyone under the age of 40.
What other demographics will hurt? Well the death of hundred of thousands of baby boomers since 2016 does not help as they are replaced on the electoral role by 18-20 year olds who are overwhelming Democrats.
Will the economy help? I don’t accept that it will. The Economy only matters in elections when it’s bad. When it’s good people focus on other issues. Plus some people who voted for Trump are still not doing better. They have or are loosing their health care and they had seen no increase in their salaries at even close to the rate of inflation.
Will the tough stance of tariffs help or hurt? Most likely hurt a bit. The effects of counter tariffs on American business and jobs are almost immediate but the benefits take time to work their way through the economy inclusive of new jobs.
Will the Kavanaugh nomination help or hurt? Much depends on the testimony and how quickly the GOP rush through his nomination. But I think they have played it really dumb and it’s going to hurt. If Ford looks credible, they have a problem. The other two accusers are not heard in committee, never mind the huge negative about them, the media is not reporting that. If the vote is pushed through regardless, that will alienate a lot of women. Times are changing and the GOP is behind those times.
They should have allowed an FBI investigation to exonerate Kavanaugh. They should have shown the Dems up as the ones using these women and asked the electorate to give them the chance to confirm Kavanaugh after the mid terms. They have been played by the Dems. It’s possible the prosecutor will make Ford look bad but she could also make Ford look even more credible. If she is hard on Ford but easy on Kavanaugh that will make the GOP look bad. Having heard Ford’s evidence first she could also be hard on Kavanaugh. This is another huge and unnecessary risk.
The Committee lacked the balls to ignore Ford and confirm Kavanaugh last week. There would have been damage but nowhere near as bad as it will be given Ford's performance. Anyone who knows anything about these cases knows that once someone makes an accusation of this kind, more people come forward. Either because they were also victims and now have the courage because the first accuser came forward. Or they want to ride the band wagon for notoriety. I predicted that last week.
I could go on but hopefully I have made my point.
I think, with no polling evidence, but based on basic research and experience, that this is going to be a really tough mid term for the GOP.
Possibly not a disaster. But bad.