Politics

Democrats Should Fear the 2018 Midterms

Media echo chamber predicts GOP doom, papers over crisis of ideas in Democratic Party

GOP congressional candidate Greg Gianforte body-slammed a reporter the day before the U.S. House special election in Montana and still won by 6 percent. Democrats should take that as a harbinger of political doom on a par with meeting the weird sisters or receiving a visit from Hamlet’s father. You need no ghost to come from the grave to tell you that when your policies are 6 percent less popular than misdemeanor assault, you need new policies.

But Democrats seem incapable of learning from elections. After losing the House, the Senate, the presidency, several governorships, and scores of state legislature seats over the past eight years, they continue to charge forward, propelled by the delusion that America’s heart beats for globalism, socialism, part-time jobs, and feckless foreign policy.

The Democrats without Obama are like a furry, pink, drum-beating bunny without a battery.

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Meanwhile, once-influential media outlets have become nothing more than tabloid-style, anonymous-source-citing, Republican-attacking enablers, pushing clickbait headlines and irresponsibly spinning narratives that reinforce the delusion that Republicans and conservatives are a tiny fringe group of deplorable racists, xenophobes, and homophobes.

The new narrative emerging from the Montana special election is that Republicans should be spooked about the 2018 midterm elections. The fallacy-ridden logic is that seven months ago President Trump won Montana by a 20-point margin, but in the special election the Republican candidate, Greg Gianforte, only won by 6 points. Ergo, Montana has become 15 points less Republican than it was last November.

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A CBS News article stated that “Gianforte’s single-digit win paled next to Trump’s 20-point romp in Montana in November, a sign that Republicans may have to work hard to defend some of their most secure seats to maintain control of Congress.”

Matthew Yglesias wrote for Vox, “If Republicans are winning in places like Montana by just 7 percentage points, then they are in extreme peril of losing their House majority in November 2018.”

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This narrative is supposed to have Republicans spinning their legs Scooby-Doo-style as they desperately try to scurry away from President Trump and his agenda. But the narrative is built upon the same sort of Magic 8-Ball, political anti-science that led to the special Madam President issue of Newsweek landing on magazine racks before the 2016 election. It’s just the latest example of somebody screaming an election prophecy into the echo chamber and nobody bothering to notice that it rests on absurd assumptions and ignores important facts.

For instance, did the mainstream media forget that Gianforte has been on a Montana ballot before?

They’re dropping Kasich-wins-Ohio quantities of metaphorical confetti over Gianforte’s narrow 6-point win. They’re screaming, “Trump won by 20. Gianforte only won by 6. Montana is basically blue now. End of story.” The only problem is that when Trump won Montana by 20 points last November, guess who else was on the ballot that day. Greg Gianforte!

Gianforte ran for governor against Democrat incumbent Steve Bullock, and Gianforte lost by 4 points. That’s right! All those same voters who gave Trump a 20-point landslide on election day went right down the ballot and voted against Greg Gianforte. Gianforte lost by 4 last November but won by 6 points in the special election, so — by the logic underlying the media’s pretend political science — Montana voters are now much more Republican than they were seven months ago!

It has nothing to do with party. The media like to portray middle-American voters as a giant mass of idiots who can’t understand anything more complicated than “which political party do you like?” They want to create the illusion of Sesame Street elections brought to you by the letter “R” and the letter “D.” But, in actuality, voters are smart enough to differentiate between President Trump and other Republicans. The only thing this special election proves is that it is impossible to quantify feelings about President Trump using Gianforte votes as a unit of measurement.

The media hype over Georgia’s special election, Kansas’ special election, and now Montana’s special election is a misdirection designed to hide the fact that it’s not Republicans who should be anxiously chewing their cuticles as 2018 approaches, it’s the Democrats! They’ve dug themselves a hole so deep that they can’t be worried about taking back the House and Senate — they need to worry about Republicans becoming powerful enough to unilaterally amend the Constitution.

Republicans control the entire state legislature in 33 states. That’s a full two-thirds! There are 33 Republican governors. Republicans control the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. And there are more Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices by a 5-4 margin. Democrats would be smart to use that as a measuring stick for their popularity instead of a special election (that they lost) in Montana.

Left-wing policies are not popular, and they never were. President Barack Obama was popular. Democrats thought that Obama was the Energizer Bunny, and the party was the battery that made him go and go and go, but they were wrong. Obama was the battery, and now — thanks to our glorious 22nd amendment — they’re stuck. Consider a brief, recent history of U.S. elections.

  • 2008 – Democrats did great as expected.
  • 2010 – Republican wave shocks media and Democrats.
  • 2012 – Democrats did great as expected.
  • 2014 – Republican wave shocks media and Democrats.
  • 2016 – Republican wave shocks media and Democrats.

See the trend?

Obama was the only thing about the Democratic Party that was working. The Democrats without Obama are like a furry, pink, drum-beating bunny without a battery. They’re like pizza without cheese. They’re like Katy Perry without auto-tune. And the party elites are too arrogant to fix their problems, which are getting worse each day we inch closer to Nov. 2018.

Eddie Zipperer is an assistant professor of political science at Georgia Military College and a regular LifeZette contributor.

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