According to a new feature story in the Washington Post, Democrats are beginning to lose hope in that “Big Blue Wave” they’d envisioned for the midterm elections.
Not long ago, Democrats from the leadership on down were certain – CERTAIN – that President Trump’s unpopularity, combined with the shadow of the Russian investigation and the failure of the Republican Congress, would sweep them back into control on Capitol Hill. Ooh, look at all of these state special elections that we’re winning! Oooh, Conor Lamb! Oooh, Doug Jones! Together with their allies in the media, Democrats tried to make their followers believe that victory in November was as assured as…well, Hillary Clinton’s victory in 2016.
Some lessons need to be learned more than once.
To their credit, Democrats are recognizing their overconfidence a little earlier this time around. In fact, with Trump’s approval numbers on the rise and the economy going through an extraordinary boom period, they’re beginning to fear that November might be yet another conservative conquest.
“Democratic worries are mounting in the House, where the party has been more confident of gaining the 23 seats it needs to retake the majority,” the Post reports. “Democrats are picking strong candidates in dozens of Republican-held suburban districts where Trump has lost significant support — but recent surveys suggest the races may be tightening.
“Trump’s approval is now at the highest point it has been all year, measured by Gallup in early May at 42 percent, a five-point increase from the start of 2018,” the story continues. “Meanwhile, the Democrats’ advantage when voters are asked which party they want to control Congress has shrunk, from 10 points in December to just six now, according to a Washington Post average of recent quality polls.”
“I think anyone who was proclaiming victory a couple of months ago was premature,” Rep. Daniel Kildee (D-MI) told the Post. “I think the president’s standing obviously has some impact.”
The map continues to look somewhat bleak for House Republicans, but there’s almost no reason to think that Democrats stand any chance of taking back the Senate. They are defending in too many states that went hard for Trump in 2016. In anything, Republicans have a good chance of strengthening their majority in the upper chamber.
As for the House…well, who knows? It’s going to be tight no matter what, and Republicans will almost certainly lose some seats. But it’s not going to be a blowout by any stretch. And if Trump proves effective in his first round of midterm campaigning…and if the economy keeps on like it is…Republicans may just get another two years to show America what they’re capable of.