As the nation pauses to look back tomorrow on the events of twenty years ago, we want to take a moment here to remember and honor too. Remember those we lost that day and in the years that followed from the aftermath. Honor those who took up the fight, tracked down Bin Laden and proudly sought justice for our citizens. We fear that with the events of this month there may be more to come, but are assured our people will arise to the challenge with the right leadership.
With that in mind we promised yesterday a look ahead to the 2022 election and what might be and what can impact it.
The Consensus Is A Change – But
The consensus looking out to the 2022 mid terms is that as is most often the case, the party of the incumbent President will lose seats. In a body like the House where a five seat switch would turn control, it is almost universal that will occur in 2022.
In the Senate, the Republicans have more seats up, more retirements and more in question. Thus, it is rated a toss up.
A large number of experts, judging by the state of affairs today think Republican control of both houses is a sure thing.
Here’s some thoughts:
First off, fourteen months away is a lifetime in politics and anything can happen. The state of the nation, the economy, war and peace, jobs, viruses, any world event at the time can make any look today a poor one. Keep that in mind.
But, assuming all things are equal to today, then what?
Well, in a normal election cycle the House would switch control by 15-20 votes. The Senate would be close, but likely tip because the turnout for the party out of power (The White House) is always far more motivated and greater.
The idea for the party out of power is let events unfold, motivate your voters and avoid at all costs any material that would drive your opponents to the polls.
Two Things That Could Change The Outcome
There are two things in the news today that could change the 2022 election because it would motivate and drive the Democrats. It doesn’t appear they will rush to the polls to vote and support the Biden agenda. As of this writing that is getting beat upon. It doesn’t appear that traditional issues of more spending or higher taxes would be a good positioning. So what can change the direction of the election?
These two factors:
1. The abortion decision in Texas and upcoming one in Mississippi.
2. Donald Trump.
Let’s take them one at a time.
On the first, it’s simple. There are more people bought into the my body, my choice on abortion than not.
If the Texas law holds and Mississippi gets the okay from the court, that will result in a deluge of Democratic funding, registration and turnout. This issue alone has the ability to alter the 2022 mid terms.
Now, if the Supreme Court in the Mississippi case rules the attempt to limit is too restrictive, then the issue goes away. It’s important to note that despite the coverage, the court in the Texas case did not rule against Roe V. Wade. That decision is yet to come.
One note here:
We are not passing judgement on the issue in either way, just presenting the fact that it is a hot issue that can impact turnout to the point it can effect the election.
No matter what, the Supreme Court will decide the impact of this when it rules on Mississippi.
Issue two is Donald Trump. He may well decide the election and congressional control.
His supporters will turn out to vote. They are angry about 2020, many feel cheated. They may well be more motivated than the average off year electorate. That is bad news for the incumbent party. But, Donald Trump may well save them.
He alone, by getting active, going around the country telling people he was cheated and planning to run again will not drive up Republican votes, as they are already going out to vote, but will drive up anti Trump voters who would sit it out That is problem one. Don’t motivate the opposition when your team is already motivated.
Problem two is he will divide the party somewhat. To win the Republicans must be united. They lost key states in 2020 because they were divided. Donald Trump holds the key to this. Right now I see division.
He is going to play out his vendetta against anyone who won’t agree he was cheated (see states like Georgia and Arizona), and idolizing him. Look at how he is dividing Georgia again. He is going after the incumbent (and running again) Governor by endorsing an opponent. He is supporting a candidate for one of the two lost senate seats (Herschel Walker) who cannot win. (Below you see the issues he brings to the campaign). This is true across the nation as he is thinking Donald Trump first, winning the House and Senate last. It’s the opposite an experienced political figure would do.
Here’s a reprint from Punchbowl on the havoc he is causing. Now this is a left of center publication but it gives a feel of what the left will be saying.
It begins with an unneccessary statement from the former President on the Robert E. Lee statue coming down in Richmond, Va thus week. Take a read through this, noting that some of these candidates are more admirable and worthy than Punchbowl portrays.
“Just when we thought it was no longer possible, DONALD TRUMP has topped himself again — this time with a statement Wednesday celebrating Robert E. Lee, the Southern insurrectionist who fought to preserve slavery. Trump lamented the “desecration” of Richmond, Va.’s “beautiful” bronze statue of “genius” Lee, whom Trump imagines would have led America to a “total and complete victory in Afghanistan” if only he’d been born 150 years later. Trump’s megaphone has been muffled by the loss of his Twitter account, and the media has mostly tuned out the firehose of outrage he issues via email. Normally we’d ignore this one too. But lest anyone forget, he is the leader of the Republican Party and might well run for president again in 2024 .
Trump’s influence is seen the most in key GOP Senate primaries in Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. In each of these states, Trump is backing a candidate with substantial political baggage. These Trump endorsements are also a problem for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who very much wants to win back the majority in 2022.
Yet the negative headlines don’t stop there. Trump-endorsed candidates for smaller statewide offices are attracting scrutiny over their past behavior as well.
Here’s a breakdown of scandal-tarred candidates endorsed by Trump so far this year:
→ Herschel Walker (running for Senate in Georgia): It wasn’t long after Walker announced he’d run that the former NFL star’s turbulent past came to light. In December 2005, Walker’s ex-wife secured a protective order against him, alleging violent behavior and receiving multiple death threats from Walker. Although Walker has been very open about his past struggles with mental illness, it is unclear how he will address the topic as a candidate. Walker is currently facing more recent controversies too. His current wife is being investigated for potentially voting illegally. Also, the exaggerated claims on the size of Walker’s company are being called into question. Walker asserted that his company employed hundreds of workers and grossed more than $70 million in income. That AP report disclosed that Walker reported only eight employees when applying for a federal Paycheck Protection Program loan last year. In a recent court case, Walker was said to have made an average of $1.5 million a year in profit from 2008 to 2017.
→ Sean Parnell (running for Senate in Pennsylvania): The Philadelphia Inquirer reported this week that Pennsylvania officials issued two temporary protection-from-abuse orders against Parnell in 2017 and 2018. Parnell was forced to give up his guns in both cases and had to leave leave his home in 2017. Parnell also applied for a protection order against his estranged wife in 2018 and was denied.
→ Ted Budd (running for Senate in North Carolina): In late August, the Washington Post reported that a business deal Budd’s father conducted cost farmers millions of dollars. Court documents allege Budd’s father, Richard, improperly transferred millions of dollars in assets to the Budd family, including to Ted. In a subsequent bankruptcy case for the company, AgriBioTech, farmers and creditors were paid less than half the amount initially earmarked for them.
→ Rep. Mo Brooks (running for Senate in Alabama): Brooks addressed Trump supporters at the Jan. 6 rally at the White House Ellipse, telling the crowd that “Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass.” Two House Democrats later introduced a measure to censure Brooks for his comments, although the House has never taken it up. Brooks is being sued by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) over allegedly helping incite the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Brooks has denied any wrongdoing.
→ Ryan Zinke (running for a House seat in Montana): When serving as secretary of the Interior under Trump, the department’s inspector general concluded Zinke improperly used a chartered flight to give a speech to the Las Vegas Golden Knights. Zinke resigned in 2018 while facing multiple federal probes, including one about a Montana land deal that he was involved in.
→ Derrick Van Orden (running for a House seat in Wisconsin): Months after Van Orden’s narrow defeat to Rep. Ron Kind last November, the Republican traveled to Washington on Jan. 6. During the riot, Van Orden was pictured in a restricted area beyond police barricades outside of the Capitol. Van Orden said he did nothing wrong and “left the scene of the insurrection when unlawful activity started.”
→ Ken Paxton (running for reelection as Texas attorney general): A Texas grand jury indicted Paxton in 2015 on two counts of securities fraud and one count of failing to register with state securities regulators. The case is still pending.
→ Vito Fossella (running for borough president in Staten Island, N.Y.): When representing Staten Island in Congress, Fossella was arrested on drunk driving charges. Fossella then admitted to having a child in an extramarital affair. The congressman declined to run for reelection in 2008.
→ Burt Jones (running for lieutenant governor in Georgia): Jones, currently a state senator, was removed as chair of the state Senate Insurance and Labor Committee in January 2021. Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan stripped Jones of his position following false allegations of voter fraud during the 2020 election.”
In reviewing this, you can see what the threat is for the Republicans in 2022. United and focused on the opposition and their polices, the Republicans have a golden opportunity to win congress. Divided they will end with a few Georgia outcomes like they did in 2020.