President Donald Trump is popular, his approval rating is where he needs it to be, and red-district Republicans have nothing to worry about. Shhh! Don’t tell the conventional-wisdom-only mainstream media. They have an anti-Trump narrative to maintain, and they don’t want facts, empirical evidence, or sound analysis gumming up the propaganda gears! That’s why they swung for the bleachers with their 2016 election predictions and wound up with a bat in their collective eye while I was predicting a Donald Trump victory.
If today were Election Day 2018, Republicans would win the Senate hands down, and they would stand a more-than-excellent chance of maintaining their majority in the House of Representatives.
Before the 2016 election, Democrats and the mainstream media kept telling us that Trump would lose because leftist policies are super-popular and everyone hates Donald Trump. Trump won by 74 electoral votes. Oops! Next, they told us that Democrats would win special elections because leftist policies are super-popular and everyone hates Donald Trump. Democrats went zero for five in special elections. Oops! Last week, leftist policies were so super-popular that Democrats lost a governorship without any election at all, when West Virginia governor Jim Justice decided to defect to the winning team. Oops!
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Now, the media are touting a new ABC-Washington Post generic congressional vote poll that shows Republicans at -14. Their newest steaming pile of narrative is that 2018 will be a wave election for Democrats, a veritable donkey stampede unearthing deep-blue voters from the forgotten abomasum of red districts.
But congressional Republicans shouldn’t box up their offices just yet. Polls are not a scoreboard, and the “generic congressional polls” are the worst of the worst. They missed the 2010 and 2014 Republican waves for the same reason polling analysts missed the 2016 presidential election. I’m going to type this real slow so I don’t confuse any progressive analysts who might be reading: These. Elections. Aren’t. Nationwide.
The media are making the 2016 mistake all over again. The nationwide polling data weren’t “wrong” in the 2016 election, but they were geographically homogenous — as though a four-million-vote victory in California is worth more than a one-vote victory. Unfortunately for Hillary Clinton, it’s not.
Clinton won the popular vote because she won lopsided victories in the blue areas on the map — a worthless surplus of votes in high-population areas like Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York. In that blue area, anti-Trump disparity still exists, and it’s dragging down Trump’s nationwide approval rating.
Nationwide, Gallup has Trump approval at 37 percent, but that’s because people in blue areas — the tiny leftist bubbles on the big red election map — disapprove by lopsided margins. You won’t hear this on CNN (because it’s not a poem), but approval of President Trump actually remains shockingly high in red areas.
Coastal elitism has been turning the country red for the better part of a decade.
Consider this, that in 2016 Democrats and the media touted President Barack Obama’s popularity as the leading indicator that Hillary Clinton would be soon be forwarding her mail to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Nationwide, Obama’s popularity was a very respectable 52 percent — way higher than Trump’s is now. But look closer at the 30 states Trump won in the 2016 election — the 30 “red” states. Obama’s approval rating there was only 42 percent compared with Trump’s, right now, at 50 percent. That means 56 percent of the 435 congressional districts are located in a 30-state land where Trump’s approval rating is eight points higher than a very popular iteration of Obama.
Conventional wisdom (aka echo-chamber stupidity) in the media is that the consequence of Trump’s 37 percent nationwide approval will be Democrats winning red districts. Oops! The actual consequence of Trump’s 37 percent approval rating will be Democrats winning blue districts by much wider margins. That’s why — giant bags of money and Greg Gianforte’s anger management problem notwithstanding — Democrats lost all those special elections.
The other argument — the slightly better argument — for why Republicans will lose the House of Representatives in 2018 is that the president’s party almost always loses seats in the midterms, so it must be extra-true for President Trump’s party.
Historically, the Democrats’ number-one best 2018 midterm election weapon would be Republican complacency. Typically, when a party is in power, its voters become complacent therefore less enthusiastic, and therefore less likely to vote in midterm elections. However, that isn’t happening this time. The special elections show that complacency isn’t setting in. Why not? Because of the media and the Democrats’ insane overreach.
There was no January honeymoon period where Trump’s approval was in the sixties and everyone gave him a chance. There was no top-down feeling from Democratic leaders that elections have consequences. There was no momentary spirit of this-is-what-the-people-want bipartisanship. Instead, there were apocalyptic, Democracy-is-over attacks. Mainstream media smearing. One obsolete Russia narrative after another. Bureaucrats leaking any scrap of classified information that might be damaging to Trump. Outrageous accusations on a daily basis.
Ironically (and unwisely), Democrats and the mainstream media are standing in the way of Republican complacency. Their anti-Trump overreach is counterproductive to their electoral goals. And, right now, it’s the glue holding together a Republican party that might have imploded without the unifying cause of defeating leftist nonsense.
And Democratic prospects of winning the Senate are barely worth writing about. The Democrats have a nightmare Senate scenario in 2018.
Look at the Senators who are up for reelection — these folks were last elected in 2012, meaning they had Obama’s very popular coattails to grab hold of and ride to victory. Number of blue-state Republicans defending their seats: one, Dean Heller of Nevada. And they’ll probably manage to flip that seat.
But before they start investing in a Kasich-load of confetti, they should take a look at their vulnerable Senators. Number of red state Democrats trying to hold their seats: Ten! Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Jon Tester of Montana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and Bill Nelson of Florida.
Democrats have lost about 1,000 seats at the national and state level since Obama took office in 2009. But as a nonsensical result, we’re bombarded with pundits, politicians, and polls that say America loves Democrats. If every election were a nationwide referendum, maybe they’d be right. But — God bless the framers of the Constitution — none of our elections are nationwide referendums. That’s why coastal elitism has been turning the country red for the better part of a decade. The Democrats either need to reach toward the philosophical middle, or they need to buy some U-Hauls and start moving their voters out to the sticks.
Eddie Zipperer is an assistant professor of political science at Georgia Military College and a regular LifeZette contributor.