- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Three days into 2018, and the news media already is pushing the narrative that the Republican Party will lose control of Congress in November. The midterm elections are already over, the Democratic Party will regain control of Capitol Hill, and that’s that. Then there’s a simple reality: The GOP has been preparing for the midterm elections battle for a year and is ready to rumble.

“We know historically the party that holds the White House loses seats in the midterms. And that’s why the Republican National Committee has been on the ground from the beginning of 2017. We’re already in 21 states working our field program, we’ve raised unprecedented amounts of money that we’re putting into these states early, building out our field program so that we can win in these midterms,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel tells Fox News.

Indeed, the party has $121.4 million in spending money — and no debt. The Democrats have about half that amount, and are $2 million in debt. The GOP also has retooled its message into a robust public outreach that spans multiple ethnic and interest groups, and will stage a national day of leadership training for grass-roots volunteers this month. President Trump’s respectable track record during his first year in office is also a factor.

“Let’s look at the records of Republicans and this president in this first year. Unemployment at a 17-year low, consumer confidence at a record high, you look at the Dow you look at these tax cuts so what it’s going to mean for the middle class to get more money in their paychecks. We are delivering on promises that we have made. We have an accomplishment column that’s very large and the Democrats have nothing to run on. They’ve done nothing this year, and I don’t think that’s going to resonate in 2018,” Mrs. McDaniel says.

BERNIE YEARNS FOR ‘STRUGGLE’

While lawmakers gear up for the midterm tasks at hand, an NBC News headline sums up everyone else: “Democrats are already campaigning for 2020 — and so is Trump.”

Then there is Sen. Bernard Sanders. The socialist independent from Vermont also appears ready to run — or at least eager for a fight.

“Despair is not an option. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not anytime. That is exactly what our enemies want. Also, please never forget that the struggle we are engaged in is not just for us. It is for our kids and grandchildren. It is for the future of the planet,” Mr. Sanders advises in a lengthy message to his followers.

“So here is a New Year’s resolution I hope you will share with me. In 2018 we will not only intensify the struggle against Trumpism, we will increase our efforts to spread the progressive vision in every corner of the land. Yes. We will create a vibrant democracy where the voices of all people are heard. Yes. We will create a nation which leads the world in the struggle for peace, and for economic, social, racial and environmental justice,” he proclaims.

WHERE’S GRETCHEN?

Gretchen Carlson was a Fox News host who left the network in 2015 after filing a multimillion-dollar sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News founder Roger Ailes. Things change. Ms. Carlson — once rumored to be a potential candidate for governor of Connecticut — has been made chairwoman of the Miss America Organization. This follows the resignation of several top officials from the pageant organization after leaked emails revealed they had mocked contestants. There is history here. Ms. Carlson was Miss America in 1989.

“Everyone has been stunned by the events of the last several days, and this has not been easy for anyone who loves this program. In the end, we all want a strong, relevant Miss America and we appreciate the existing board taking the steps necessary to quickly begin stabilizing the organization for the future,” says Ms. Carlson.

Also effective immediately, the pageant’s board of directors approved the additions of Laura Kaeppeler Fleiss (Miss America 2012), Heather French Henry (Miss America 2000), and Kate Shindle (Miss America 1998) to the board.

SAVAGE EXPLAINS THE DREAMERS

“As Congress prepares for a showdown on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, I maintain that American dreamers have the right to dream first,” says talk radio host Michael Savage, who has been mulling over the status of the 790,000 DACA “Dreamers” who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children.

“We, the American people who voted for Donald Trump, are the real dreamers. We have a vision of our nation unified, strong, visionary — not for this minority or that but for all. That is the heart of our Declaration of Independence. We have a dream and that dream is to make America great again,” he declares.

“Keep in mind that only 900 of the 790,000 DACA beneficiaries serve in the military. While supporters paint a picture of studious high school students, many so-called Dreamers are adults. According to the Pew Research Center the average age of those enrolled in DACA is 24 with 37 percent between ages 21-25 and about a quarter are between 26-30,” Mr. Savage warns. “Furthermore, only 49 percent of DACA beneficiaries have received a high school diploma. In August, the Department of Homeland Security reported that 2,139 of those enrolled had their status revoked [for] criminal activity. While leftist groups claim that those benefitting DACA to be under one million, other research groups found that DACA would cover nearly 4 million immigrants.”

POLL DU JOUR

86 percent of Americans say there are “strong conflicts” between Republicans and Democrats; 90 percent of Republicans and 87 percent of Democrats agree.

65 percent say there are strong conflicts between “blacks and whites”; 54 percent of Republicans and 74 percent of Democrats agree.

59 percent say there are strong conflicts between rich and poor; 44 percent of Republicans and 69 percent of Democrats agree.

37 percent say there are strong conflicts between people in cities and people in rural areas; 31 percent of Republicans and 44 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll conducted Nov. 29-Dec. 4 and released Dec. 27, 2017.

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