- - Sunday, October 26, 2014


The mainstream media made a hearty go of it, attempting for the last few weeks to portray the Nov. 4 election as a toss-up. But poll after poll is now showing those reports to be nothing more than a barrel of red herrings: Republicans are solidly in the lead with just more than a week to go.

Over the past several weeks, a dozen stories or more have painted the Colorado race between Republican Cory Gardner and Democrat Mark Udall for the U.S. Senate seat there as neck-and-neck. CNN and the mainstream newspapers have repeatedly said the race is too close to call.

But as FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten tweeted at last week’s end, “There hasn’t been a live interview non-partisan sponsored poll showing Udall leading in Colorado in 6 weeks.” In fact, RealClearPolitics.com, which keeps track of all polls, said, “Gardner has now led in every poll but one since mid-September. His lead is likely ‘real’; Udall probably needs a late break or for the polls to be simply incorrect to pull this out.”

Meanwhile, The New York Times, in a Sunday story headlined “A Republican Edge, With More Stability” citing the latest New York Times/CBS News/YouGov survey of more than 80,000 respondents, declared that “Republicans lead by four percentage points or more in enough states to finish with 50 seats, just one short of the 51 seats they need to overcome Vice President Joe Biden’s tie-breaking vote in the Senate. The Republicans could go over the top by holding Georgia, where their candidate maintains a slight lead, according to YouGov, or by winning one of two very close races, Colorado and Iowa. Other recent polls have showed the Republicans with a small lead in Colorado and Iowa and a virtual dead heat in Georgia and Kansas.”

After the miscalculations and blunders the GOP suffered during the 2012 congressional elections, the Republican Party appears to have clamped down on its candidates and its message.

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Reporter Molly Ball of The Atlantic summed up the new dynamic: “In past election years, Democrats have been able to rely on Republicans squandering opportunities thanks to infighting, inept candidates, and campaign missteps. But this year, it is Democrats who have made the mistakes, while the GOP has produced compelling, relatively gaffe-free candidates and unified around them. The national mood continues to darken, and [President] Obama’s approval ratings continue to slide, dragging down Democrats everywhere.”

Back at the mainstream networks, their talking heads are beginning to say, “Huh. The Republicans might just win.” Citing six new NBC News/Marist polls, the network declared: “With just nine days to go until Election Day, Republicans’ national lead appears to be crystallizing, with voters still preferring a GOP-led Congress and viewing Republican campaigns significantly less negatively than those of Democrats.”

Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard clearly enjoyed the latest poll, tweeting: “Alternate headline for NBC/Marist polls: Rep candidate improves standing in 5 of 6 Sen races, & remains ahead in 6th.”

The Wall Street Journal last week reported that Republicans “now hold an 11-point lead among likely voters on the question of which party should control Congress,” according to a new poll.

“The Democrats, who badly need some momentum, find little comfort in these results some 10 days out from the election,” said pollster Peter D. Hart, who helped conduct the survey. “The thread holding things together for them is both more slender and now even frayed.”

And The New York Times is bemoaning the poor performance by Democrats in a story titled “On Campaign Road, Uneasy Democrats Show Obama Their Tail Lights.”

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“Bracing for a difficult election in just over a week, when they could lose control of the Senate, Democrats exasperated with the White House are already moving to pin blame on President Obama, whom Republicans have made the centerpiece of the campaign,” the paper wrote.

“Senior elected officials, strategists and donors have begun to openly criticize Mr. Obama, contending that his low popularity and some ill-advised remarks have proven toxic for candidates trying to distinguish themselves from the president to appeal to swing voters Mr. Obama, accustomed to adoring rallies during his presidential bids, is plainly disappointed that he has not been sought out more to fire up Democratic voters.”

With ISIS still beheading hostages and Ebola now in New York City, Mr. Obama’s polls aren’t likely to go up before Election Day. And with the MSM finally saying that Republicans just might win, chances are Election Day is going to turn out awfully well for Republicans.

Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at josephcurl@gmail.com and on Twitter @josephcurl.

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