- - Wednesday, November 7, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The mainstream media spent the 72 hours leading up to Election Day 2018 repeating the mantra that this election is a referendum on President Trump. This same media was absolutely sure a blue wave was imminent (almost as sure as they were that Hillary Clinton had wrapped up the Presidency by August of 2016). What better way to set up post-election criticism of Mr. Trump that than to blame him for the blue wave before it even happened.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the blue surf party. It didn’t happen. Oh sure, the Democrats picked up 30-ish seats in the House of Representative, but is that a wave? In a word, no. Since 1862 the President’s party averages losing 32 House seats in the midterms so it appears the 2018 House result was exactly that … average.

Using that same timeline, since 1862 the President’s party in power has lost an average of two Senate seats in midterm elections. In Mr. Obama’s first midterm election he lost six Senate seats. This year the Republicans actually gained seats. With votes still being counted, it appears the GOP has added at least three and possibly as many as five to their Senate majority.

If the election was a referendum on Trump the result was decidedly split. A better way to study the referendum issue may be to look at the President’s impact on the outcome of specific races and to compare and contrast it with his predecessor.

President Obama’s approval rating four years ago was considered by much of the media to be strong, but his track record in campaigning of behalf of others for House seats, Senate seats and Governorships was questionable. The best example may have been in the State of Maryland. Democrat Martin O’Malley was retiring as Governor and his lieutenant governor, Anthony Brown, was strongly favored to succeed him. With less than two weeks until Election Day, polls showed Mr. Brown ahead of his Republican opponent, Larry Hogan, by 8-10 points. Barack Obama came to Maryland to rally the troops for Mr. Brown. On election night, Mr. Hogan beat Mr. Brown by 65,000 votes. Did Obama kill the campaign of Anthony Brown? He obviously didn’t help.

Fast forward to 2018. Mr. Obama used to his star power to try and bolster the Democrat campaigns for governor in Georgia, Florida and Ohio. He stumped for the Democrat Senate candidate in Indiana. Every single one of them lost.

Contrast that with President Trump. He barnstormed the country in the weeks leading up to election day on behalf of Republican candidates. His support led to victories in the Florida Governor’s race, the Missouri Governor’s race and Senate seats in both Tennessee and Indiana.

The point is that though the media shamelessly loves President Obama and is convinced he has super-human powers in the political arena, the results don’t bare that out. That same mainstream media abhors President Trump. They struggle mightily to accept, or even acknowledge, that he relates to a significant portion of the American electorate. Many of the candidates that embraced Mr. Trump (and that he embraced) marched to victory. Several who distanced themselves from him will be looking for new employment in January.

Many members of the media confuse their own distaste for Mr. Trump with what the average American feels and thinks. The facts clearly demonstrate a disconnect between the two. Rasmussen, the most accurate national pollster in America, showed Mr. Trump’s approval rating at 51 percent the weekend prior to the election. Despite their stellar reputation and undeniable track record of accuracy, Rasmussen polls are nearly never mentioned by the mainstream media. It doesn’t fit their narrative … or match their personal opinion.

While 2018 obviously was not a blue wave and while there is little evidence of any negative referendum results on Mr. Trump himself, the election may have unexpectedly been a referendum on something different. History may remember it as a clear decision by the American voting public to ignore the shameless advocacy the mainstream media performs on behalf of one party.


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