For those of us who follow the US elections closely, this one has been a nail-biting roller-coaster.
The biggest take-out over these US midterms is that US politics is one hard grind to get across the line. While it’s only a midterms it has implications far further, which is why I take a keen interest.
Without control of the Senate investigations Republicans want to run into everything from Hunter Biden’s business dealings, CCP infiltration, border chaos/trafficking and origins of COVID, either won’t get off the ground or will lack the teeth to ensure accountability. One small glimmer of hope is that Senator Ron Johnson retained his seat in Wisconsin. Sen. Johnson has been a major force pushing for inquiries into those jabs and the harms done. You can bet that more than the Democrats wanted him out of the way! Governments in Australia and New Zealand are still in deep denial in an effort to avoid accountability over both the handling of COVID and those jabs. The investigations held by Sen. Johnson and what gets made public could force their hand.
Given the poor approval ratings of President Biden and polls showing most believe the country is on the wrong track, going by history this would normally translate into significant losses for the incumbent party. At the time of writing Republicans have control of the House of Representatives with 219 seats to the Democrats 216. Nancy Pelosi as Speaker is gone, at least for now!
At the time of writing Democrats have retained control of the Senate, although some ‘irregularities’ have been revealed in Arizona, with thousands of ballots ‘accidentally misplaced’ so that result could change. Georgia is tied and will go to run off in December. Without a change in Arizona and if Republicans win Georgia it would be a 50/50 tie with VP Harris having the deciding vote.
We need to look at the breakdown of which senate seats were up for re-election. 15 Democrat Senate seats were up for grabs versus 20 Republican Senate seats. Most of those Democrat seats were in deep blue states such as Washington, Oregon and California, Illinois, Hawaii, Vermont, New York etc, where their incumbent senators retained their large leads, unsurprisingly. These deep blue states are as flippable as deep red Wyoming. They’re not swing states.
Races are still being counted and called. What the media are up to is what I call a black-pill narrative designed to demoralise. I want to reclaim the term ‘black-pill’ as shorthand for corporate media gas-lighting. A black pill used to be known as a figurative poison pill. In the left’s hands, like many other terms, it’s been contorted to have other meanings derogatory to the right of politics. Like ‘extreme right’ politics, which let’s face it, is anything right of left, according to the left. They now use it to describe those with misogynistic beliefs; naturally only on the right, of course.
I prefer the original meaning – trying to get someone to figuratively swallow something that is potentially harmful. This is what the media are doing.
Without a clean sweep by all the candidates Trump endorsed, the never-Trumpers on both sides of the aisle and media are out in force, hooting and chortling about “the quality of his candidates.” Not only is it an unrealistic expectation, considering people are running in deep Blue States, it’s a little rich when one considers Pennsylvania’s newest Senator, Democrat John Fetterman, discussed below. If you watched incumbent Katie Hobbs in Arizona versus Kari Lake, there’s no contest in quality. Katie Hobbs was so weak she refused to debate. She effectively did a Biden and hid. Maybe the less people see of Democrat candidates the better they do?
States like Pennsylvania were always going to be hard to flip, even with a great candidate. It’s been deep blue since the early 1990s, although Trump did take the Presidency in 2016 in something of an upset. That may be because Clinton got complacent and took it for granted. Pennsylvania has a well oiled/entrenched Democrat ground-game operating with half a million more registered Democrats to vote than Republicans. It’s like pushing the proverbial uphill.
How do we make sense of Pennsylvania that presumably elected a man who struggles to hold a train of thought and articulate in complete sentences? You can have sympathy for John Fetterman, who suffered a stroke earlier this year, but the job of a Senator is exacting – they deal with complex issues and legislation. There’s also a requirement to perform in the chamber. You would think that the Trump endorsed Dr. Oz, who is a retired cardiothoracic surgeon and media personality, would be perceived as more capable than Fetterman? Not so, apparently.
Maybe Pennsylvanians aren’t concerned about the economy, cost of living or even being able to heat their homes this winter? Maybe Biden’s boast of wanting to shut down all coal, one of Pennsylvania’s biggest industries with active mining in 21 of their counties, didn’t phase them. It would decimate their State, of course, and all those blue collar jobs the left used to care about. Maybe it was all about ‘climate’ and the right to abort babies in the blue states?
Let’s see how they feel about ‘climate’ by the end of winter. The Supreme Court decision, which had the Left up-in-arms over abortion rights, stated that this shouldn’t be decided by The Supreme Court itself, but democratically at the state level. If Pennsylvania wants to continue to allow abortion of babies right up until 6 months (aka infanticide, in my opinion), their citizens can vote on that.
Pennsylvanians also elected, in a landslide, Democrat Tony DeLuca… who died last month. There’ll need to be a special election for that seat and which way that goes is anyone’s guess, although more likely Democrat.
Like California, Pennsylvania and other Blue States may empty out as conservatives move to places like Texas and Florida, making it ever harder to ‘flip’ the state. In the end, like California, the loss of population and industry will eventually result in losses in College Vote and Congressional Seats. With the political polarisation and evidence of blue states shrinking, there’s something of an American Balkanization underway.
Republican star performer, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was a Trump pick, as is the charismatic Kari Lake. Trump endorsed Katie Britt held her Alabama seat easily. The New Jersey congressional seat was just flipped from blue to red by a Trump backed candidate, Tom Kean Jr. In the formerly deep blue state of Nevada the Governorship has flipped from blue to red and Trump endorsed Adam Laxalt lost by the slimmest margin .5% for the Senate seat. If the new Republican Governor Lombardo does his job well, including dealing with election integrity issues Nevada could still go red eventually. Four congressional seats in blue New York have flipped red.
In Red State Ohio, Trump pick J. D. Vance did well and in Colorado Trump endorsed candidate Lauren Boebert is sitting on a .4% lead, which is impressive given Democrat redistricting gave her a deep blue county to win over. Calling her slim majority a referendum on ‘Trump’s picks’ is petty and inaccurate. You cannot on the one hand claim that Senators, like J. D. Vance only got in because it was a solid Red State, and then claim that a failure to take a solid Blue State is a referendum on Trump’s quality of candidates. Of the 235 races Trump endorsed, 219 won. That’s 93% success rate.
There are still races where it’s touch and go. Some races are so close there’s bound to be legal challenges. Anyone who says that election fraud isn’t big enough to make a difference is kidding themselves! Some of these races are won on tiny margins. A dirty voter roll with hundreds of dead people voting via mail-in ballot, and/or an undetected and illegal ballot harvesting operation can be the difference between a candidate winning or not in a close race.
The media narrative is transparent black-pilling. It’s just more anti-Trumpism. There are idiosyncratic factors at play in all states but that kind of detail won’t be allowed to get in the way of the narrative.
Were the predictions of a red wave over-egging it?
Given the number and location of Democrat Senate seats that were up for grabs, very likely, and isn’t the left corporate media having a field day with it? What we need to look at is how Republicans did in seats held by Democrats in states that had a chance of swinging. That would be Nevada, Arizona, Georgia. These are the battleground states. As said above Georgia is going for round two in December. Nevada only just retained its blue status, but the job of Governor flipped to Republican. Arizona is still fluid.
The outcome in Florida this year, including flipping the once deep blue county of Miami-Dade, was a stunning referendum on Governor Ron DeSantis and his handling of COVID. He didn’t go authoritarian, largely kept the state open, kids in school and gave people freedom to choose! His state is growing from internal migration, netting the state an extra Congressional Seat.
In 2018 DeSantis only won by the slimmest of margins, 0.4%, flipping the state from blue to red. This time it’s a landslide 19 point margin showing that when Republicans win a state, if they perform well and reflect the concerns of their population (as Ron DeSantis clearly has), actively clean up election integrity issues (which DeSantis has), then that state goes solid red. Florida used to be considered a swing state.
In order to clean up, they have to win first. That’s the tough bit! A slim margin is still a win, as DeSantis showed in 2018. This is exactly what would need to happen in Arizona with Kari Lake, who is running for Governor. She’s very much in the DeSantis mould – confident, charismatic and able to manage the media. She’s acknowledging the concern of Arizonans about open borders and unchecked/unmanaged migration and pledging to do something about it. It’s not just the Democrats she’s taking on with this, but what she calls the “narco-terrorist drug cartels” and human traffickers. Her office recently received an envelope containing white powder in a not too subtle threat.
Regardless of what the corporate media are saying, at the time of writing Kari Lake has said she expects to win. She demonstrates steely resolve, that’s for sure. In polling leading up to the midterms she was favourite to win with an 11+ point lead over incumbent Katie Hobbs. It’s now neck and neck. With hundreds of thousands of ballots still to be counted from the most conservative Arizona counties, numerous pundits in the corporate media were building a narrative as early as election night. The autopsies over ‘her loss’ were premature and transparent ‘black-pilling’. Based on the outstanding ballots and provided there’s no shonky stuff with 100% blue ballots (a statistical improbability) magically appearing in the dead of night, the share of those ballots are expected to break her way giving her a win.
It’s not the first time pundits in the media tried to push Lake into conceding prematurely. They tried this on when she ran in the primary as the Trump endorsed candidate against the Republican Establishment candidate. She won and went on to take the 11+ point lead in state polls leading up to the midterms, despite 100% negative media.
No-one who followed the midterms on the 8th could claim that Arizona wasn’t a shemozzle, thanks to the biggest county, Maricopa County. It was the same in 2020. What happened on the 8th however, was also testimony to the large number of voters who rejected mass mail-in voting. Arizona Democrats largely voted early using mail-in. That’s what was counted first and what the media spun as part of their black-pill narrative. Republicans either vote on the day or personally bring in their ballot. There’s low trust. This overwhelming number of people caught election officials off-guard…apparently. This is the vote still being counted.
There were reports by voters of being turned away and being told the “machines weren’t working” (20% weren’t working) or instructed to “put their ballot in box 3” that some voters reported as insecure/overflowing. Some voters had to leave the long queues. Four days after the election it was discovered that those ballots put in box 3 were ‘accidentally’ mixed in with already counted ballots. With the mysterious case of thousands of missing ballots resolved, they’re now being counted. In the very least there needs to be an investigation into why a State, that is around a third the size of Florida can’t seem to get their act together on election day. Florida had their election outcome broadcast by 10pm on election day.
Battle of the narratives
It’s a state by state battle and not just for votes. There’s a battle of the narratives playing out in the media and more worrying, within the Republican party. This is for control, if not the soul, of the Republican party.
On one side are the party leadership and Establishment Republicans like Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy and formerly Liz Cheney. Recall that in August Cheney was ousted in the Wyoming primaries by Trump endorsed Harriet Hageman, by around 40 points. Harriet Hageman retained her congressional seat with around 70% of the vote. In what looks like petulant spite and payback, Cheney was out endorsing Democrat candidates in the midterms. It simply confirmed to Republicans that they made the right choice in Hageman.
If Mitch McConnell, McCarthy and Ms Cheney represent the Grand Old Party of old, on the other side is President Trump and the grassroots Make America Great Again (MAGA) movement. While Trump’s the symbolic leader, the movement is bigger than him. MAGA believe in the sanctity of the American Constitution, they want secure borders, jobs, energy security and to stay out of unnecessary and protracted wars that cost American lives and treasure. They don’t want their industry and jobs off-shored. Nor do they want to be ‘controlled opposition’. They allege that Establishment Republicans let the Democrats get away with stuff they ought to fight back on and that they seem content to be in opposition, so long as they get to increase their personal wealth. The MAGA mantra is expressed as Family, Faith, Freedom.
It has to be said, it’s not Mitch McConnell who pulls in the vast crowds at rallies. While there are Republicans caught in the middle of the battle, the momentum and energy is very much behind Trump by around 80/20.
Despite this, there’s a media and never-Trumper push on to pit DeSantis against Trump for the 2024 presidential run. The on-going battle within the party will only damage the party. Already there are calls by Establishment GOP to not endorse Trump as a presidential candidate if he announces a run. This is an unnecessary schism for the Republicans and they should look to the UK for what happens to parties with internal leadership squabbles. Trump shouldn’t play into it either. Discipline is needed.
DeSantis should run, but in 2028. Without doubt and make no mistake, the media will go after him just as hard as they do Trump. Trump is still drawing the bulk of media fire. DeSantis is a young man with a young family and a wife who’s only recently got through a cancer scare. He’s just won the Governorship of Florida again meaning he committed to Floridians for four years. Not one year and then 2024 on the campaign trail for POTUS. It’s strategically risky. Florida is solid red with voter integrity issues sorted, for now. DeSantis needs to do the time he promised, then hand over in 2026 so he can make his run for POTUS in 28.
IF he misled the people of Florida and only ever intended to do 12 months, then I can see how the Democrats will use this to their advantage. The ads write themselves. It would be a shame if it became a swing state again and the work to clean up election integrity issues were unravelled!
The internal sniping could see a cleave within the Republican party, similar to what has happened in the UK. After many months of leadership chaos, there’s the emergence of the Reform UK Party (formerly the Brexit Party), which is now taking 8 – 9% of the vote with the UK Conservatives languishing on 21% and looking elitist, in disarray and out-of-touch. UK Labor is leading. Such a cleave in the Republicans would give America and the world 4 more years of radical left policy.
In my article An American National Treasure I said that given the history of midterm swings against the incumbent, if this doesn’t happen it would be unusual and possibly an indicator there’s been meddling. There has been a swing, just not on the scale many expected.
Here’s the track record of first term swings of just Democrat Presidents going back to 1962. In 2010 Obama lost 63 seats in the House and 6 in the Senate in his first midterm. Bill Clinton lost 52 in the House and 8 in the Senate. Carter lost 15 and 3, Lyndon Johnson lost 47 and 4 and in 1962 John F. Kennedy, the Golden Boy of Democrat politics, lost 4 but gained 3 in the Senate.
I somehow doubt that the shuffling, mumbling, often incoherent President Biden will go down in history as one of the greats of the Democrat Party. It would be truly remarkable for such a poor performer to do better than Obama, Clinton or equivalent to John F. Kennedy.
Based on the midterms, Biden is talking about running in 2024. Let that sink in!