MCKENNA: The Stars Will Align For Republicans In November. Here’s Why

Posted on October 9, 2022

Recently, a result of Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyermade predictions about the upcoming elections. It doesn’t seem that difficult; let’s try it.

First, let’s think about context.

The Republicans have a definite advantage over issues; the issues voters consider most important — the economy, crime, border security — are the same issues on which they trust Republicans the most and are most skeptical of Team Biden.

The incumbents are also suffering from a growing sense of economic gloom. Opposite a series of recordingsbetween 60% and 80% of respondents believe we are in a recession.

Republicans have a voter advantage enthusiasm. In nearly every state that matters this cycle — Wisconsin, Arizona, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio — more voters voted in the Republican primaries. Survey data is sometimes interesting and indicative. Actual voice volume is almost always probative and dispositive.

With regard to surveys, when you focus on likely voters, the results indicating that Republicans have momentum and are beginning to gain the upper hand in a variety of Senate races, including Ohio, Nevada, Georgia and Wisconsin. Republicans also have a distinctive advantage in Congress’s generic ballot.

At the same time, it seems likely that surveys are (again) systematically undercounting the Republican vote. In the wake of the president’s recent comments about fascism, it’s highly unlikely that every Republican feels comfortable self-identifying. We are already seeing evidence of oversampling of college-educated voters (now a core constituency of the incumbent party).

Regarding paid media, Republicans finally have enough cash to compete on the air in the Senate and House races. The Democrats will spend more this cycle, but it’s important to remember that the law of diminishing returns is especially true in political campaigns. After the first dozen or so ads, people stop paying attention.

What does all this mean for specific races?

House of Representatives. Given the sustained Republican advantage among likely voters (about 7% on average) on the generic ballot test, it seems safe to assume that the Republicans will win the national House vote by at least 2-3 percentage points. This suggests that they will win around 230 seats.

Senate races tend to be more specific to places and personalities, so let’s take them individually.

Wisconsin. Sen. Ron Johnson is used to winning close elections and has finally discovered the real issue and Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes’ weak spot (crime). The incumbent will win.

Pennsylvania. Lt. Governor John Fetterman began the race with numerous personal and policy failures, and if the Republicans had a stronger candidate, this race would already be over. That said, money from the right started flowing into the Commonwealth, the challengers’ campaign got better, and Mr. Fetterman was unable to launch any kind of campaign. Bearing in mind that Pennsylvania has voted more Republican than the nation as a whole for the last six cycles, it seems more likely than not that Dr. Mehmet Oz finally wins this race in a beeper.

Ohio. Gov. Mike DeWine is going to win his race for re-election by a dozen points. Despite the fact that Ohio has never elected a legitimate conservative (no, Rob Portman doesn’t count), JD Vance is winning, and it probably won’t be particularly close.

Georgia. In the wake of spectacular self-immolation that was the Abrams campaign, Governor Brian Kemp is going to win his race by 8-10 points, and Herschel Walker will be riding in the wake. It wouldn’t hurt that the final seven weeks of the election season occur during a college football season in which the Bulldogs are doing well.

Nevada. Nevada has been destroyed by the pandemic and inflation, the Republicans have made inroads with Hispanics in the state, and the formidable Reid machine is no more. Adam Laxalt wins.

Arizona. Incumbent Senator Mark Kelly was largely invisible, only cresting 50% a handful of times, and just generally having trouble putting away Blake Masters (who talks too much). Finally, cash will flow in from right Arizona, mr. Masters will be the great candidate he can be, and Kari Lake (the Republican candidate for governor) will win by 4 or 5 points. This will probably make the difference in mr. be Masters’ victory.

North Carolina. Congressman Ted Budd will win.

Florida. Sen. Marco Rubio wins.

Washington. The 30-year-old incumbent could not put any distance between herself and Tiffany Smiley, who is an impressive first-time candidate. In an upset, Ms. Smiley wins.

Colorado. Joe O’Dea ran a good campaign, but a late visit by former President George Bush likely seals the deal for Senator Michael Bennet, who is likely to win by the same margin (6%) as his last victory.

All in all, it should be a good night for the Republicans.

Michael McKenna is the president of MWR Strategies. He was most recently a deputy assistant to the president and deputy director of the Office of Legislative Affairs at the White House.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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