Although Election Day is still far away, as the summer comes to an end, the 2018 midterms will begin picking up momentum. Democrats seem to think the country will be swept away by a “blue wave” of anti-Trump zeal, but I beg to differ. In fact, much of the data I’ve examined suggests that Democrats may be in for a rude awakening on November 6, 2018. Some even say the Democratic Party is in its worst shape since the end of the Civil War. Democrats may be cocky now, but the numbers sure paint a different picture.
You may know that midterms historically favor the party which doesn’t hold the presidency, but another trend in midterm elections is a slight Republican advantage due to lower voter turnout (many midterm voters are old, white people); however 2018 appears to be different, with data suggesting a surge in voter turnout for both parties. Initially forecasting a blue wave, the numbers have now leveled out indicating deteriorating Democratic prospects. Another extraneous variable that could potentially impact voter turnout is the latest Supreme Court vacancy, which could narrow the supposed “enthusiasm gap” between Republican and Democratic voters, all the while putting pressure on red state Democratic Senators.
Republicans currently hold a 51-49 majority in the Senate and a 235-193 majority in the House. These majorities may be safer than previously thought as backed up by the Real Clear Politics forecasts:
– House: Republicans up 204-197, 34 toss ups
– Senate: Republicans up 48-44, 8 toss ups
If these predictions weren’t optimistic enough, the Democrats also face a tougher election cycle ahead. While the GOP only has to defend 8 Senate seats, Democrats must defend 25 seats, 10 of which are in states Trump won. These factors diminish Democrats’ chances of retaking the Senate. Looking at the House —where Democrats must pick up 24 seats to gain control, they defend 12 seats in districts Trump won.
Republicans have surpassed the Democrats in fundraising as well. The RNC raised over $39 million during the first quarter of 2018, nearly double the amount raised by the DNC (which came in just under $22 million). At the end of March, the RNC reported $43 million in cash-on-hand along with no debts; meanwhile, the DNC reported $9 million in cash-on-hand and over $6 million in debt.
Last year, Democrats unveiled a campaign agenda for the midterms titled “A Better Deal.” This mess of an agenda is composed of the following points:
- Higher wages and better jobs
- Minimum wage
- Giving workers the freedom to negotiate
- Patriot companies and employers
- Lower the cost of living for families
- Prescription drug prices
- Paid family and sick leave
- Tools to succeed in the 21st century
- Jobs for the 21st century
- Net neutrality
- Fixing our broken political system
At the surface, it’s clear that this agenda is unfocused. All they really have to run on is impeaching Trump. At the heart of the matter, Democrats have no positive agenda, only their brazen fervor against Trump and all Republicans.
Meanwhile, Republicans have a more concrete set of ideas to run on. Realizing Trump’s significance among the base, Republican incumbents and candidates alike have rushed to emphasize their support for the President’s agenda. No doubt the economy and tax reform will be hyped whenever appropriate. Vowing legislative support and cooperation to Trump could be an entire campaign platform by itself.
However, I believe the most effective campaign strategy for Republicans is the ever-growing liberal hysteria we’ve witnessed. While running against the opposition isn’t the strongest approach for Democrats, I think it works more effectively for Republicans. Look no further than a recent GOP ad titled “The Left in 2018: Unhinged.” This is a perfect political ad. By showcasing the absolute worst of various Democratic lawmakers and celebrities, the ad reminds GOP voters why they want to keep these people out of power in the first place. My confidence in this ad is reflected by the GOP’s YouTube statistics: this new ad has accumulated over a million views in just around a week’s time, greatly exceeding the views typical of their channel’s other videos.
Although my findings are good for our side, there is still a lot of time until Election Day and a lot that can happen in that time. A good portion of success in the midterms will depend on how much time was put into grassroots campaigning, which is all the more reason for you to get involved with your local Senate or Congressional race.
Stay tuned for more articles on the 2018 election. Follow me on Twitter and Gab at @populist420. Questions, feedback, or tips can be directed to [email protected]