And they’re off!
In a little more than two months, Americans will elect an entirely new House of Representatives and one-third of a new United States Senate. It will be the first official opportunity for voters to express their views on President Joe Biden’s job performance halfway through his first term in the White House.
Currently, Mr. Biden and Democrats control the White House and both chambers of Congress. They hold a 220-211 advantage in the House.
In the Senate, Democrats — by hook and crook — control the chamber even though technically Republicans outnumber Democrats by two seats. There are 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats. But since avowed Socialist Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Independent Angus King of Maine take their lunches with Democrats, the two parties are tied at 50-50 in the Senate. As a tie-breaker, Vice President Kamala Harris gives narrow, one-vote control of the chamber to Democrats.
All along, this election has been shaping up to be a doozy for Mr. Biden and his fellow Democrats. Midterms are almost always cruel to parties in power. Add to that Mr. Biden’s historic unpopularity, record inflation and gas prices, spiking interest rates, nationwide crime sprees and open borders, it is little wonder that Democrats running for re-election are suddenly pretending to be Republicans.
In Pennsylvania, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is running for Senate. He blames all the country’s woes on Washington — controlled entirely by his fellow Democrats, whose policies he has always zealously embraced.
In Michigan, Rep. Dan Kildee is running for his sixth House term in a seat previously occupied by his uncle, Dale Kildee, who had held the seat in Washington for 18 terms. Mr. Kildee now boasts to voters of his sudden independence from the Democrat Party, even though he has voted with Mr. Biden 100% of the time.
Sen. Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire Democrat, also claims independence from her party and her president, claiming to have “worked with Republicans to cut billions in wasteful spending.”
Mrs. Hassan joined fellow Democrats in voting along straight party lines to pass the largest budget-buster in U.S. history last year, a $3.5 trillion package that will supposedly address infrastructure and global warming. This year, Mrs. Hassan voted along party lines to pass her party’s $430 billion spending bill hilariously named “Inflation Reduction Act.”
So, Mrs. Hassan “cut billions in wasteful spending” before she spent “billions in wasteful spending.” It’s now time to let the voters of New Hampshire sort it all out.
The political press — along with desperate Democrats — meanwhile, have been in full propaganda mode lately. They insist that despite all these headwinds, Democrats are cruising towards victory in November.
Even Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell seems to be committed to his position in the minority, complaining lately about the quality of his party’s candidates. He sounds a little like John Fetterman and Maggie Hassan. It must be something about fossilized politicians who will say anything.
Democrats and the press — not to be redundant — are pinning most of their hopes on this summer’s Supreme Court decision that returned the issue of abortion to the voters in individual states. The rest of their hopes they pin on Democrat’s Captain Ahab-like pursuit of former President Donald Trump, who has been out of office for two years now.
It is worth noting that Republicans do have built-in disadvantages going into this November’s elections.
In the House, Republicans already made significant gains in the 2020 election, gaining 14 seats from Democrats. There is far less low-hanging fruit this year.
And in the Senate, Republicans face one of their harshest maps in recent history. Republicans are defending 21 seats while Democrats are defending only 14. Among the seats Republicans are defending is Pennsylvania, hardly a GOP stronghold.
All that said, any honest person in Washington would tell you that they would rather be running as a Republican this year. Odds are they will have no trouble recapturing the House. And their chances at the Senate are — despite all the lying — very good.
One obvious tell that Democrats are in deep trouble is that nobody wants to campaign with Mr. Biden.
At this point, we do not know how abortion plays in a general election. But this idea that voters are outraged that they themselves — instead of an unelected Supreme Court — now control the issue of abortion is pure fantasy. The only thing politically dumber is the notion that normal voters actually care about documents raided from Mr. Trump’s private home in Florida.
These are nothing more than lame distractions from the real issues that matter to regular American voters.
• Charles Hurt is the opinion editor at The Washington Times.