Anyone who believes they know who will be controlling Congress when the mid-terms are over, is not being truthful. Many of the races are too close to call. Had the US Supreme Court not overturned Roe v. Wade, I would be writing about not if, but when the Republicans take over both Houses of Congress. The election would not have been close. The Supreme Court decision, at least in some areas of the country, will greatly influence the results of the races.
For Democrats, they need to hammer home the attack on women with the US Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. Races will be won and lost on this single issue. The question is, will enough people, women in particular, turn up at election sites to flip otherwise close races? The answer will probably be yes, but there are the states like Ohio and Pennsylvania where the Senate races are a toss-up. If I was a Democrat strategist, I would be making sure that races across the country were hammering home this message, “Republicans have declared war on woman’s rights and bodies.” The Right is so extreme that they’re coming for your contraception, which is next on the agenda. What Dems need to be concerned about is abortion fatigue as it’s been several months since the Supreme Court decision and strategies at the state level are already being planned and executed. Can Democrats and Independents carry the passion and anger over the decision into Election Day?
Democrats should be stressing that despite high prices at the supermarket and gas pumps, for which there are a number of causes, the economy remains robust. Record low unemployment of 3.5% clearly demonstrates how healthy the economy remains. They didn’t cause the pandemic but dealt with it in a more comprehensive and competent way than the previous administration. And the Dems should be pinning high gas prices on the “incompetent foreign policies” of the previous administration, leading to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Gas prices, particularly in Europe and the US, have spiked due to the interruption of Russian supplies caused by the European boycott. Republicans will lay blame directly at the feet of Democrats, due to their “war on oil and natural gas” and runaway spending. But if the Dems can laser focus these two messages, they will be more successful in the midterms than originally predicted.
Republicans should be focusing on crime. In cities like New York and Chicago, crime is spiking, with no end in sight. The New York City subway is a haven for crime with violent assaults and manslaughter, now a daily occurrence. It’s an opportunity to go after Leticia James, Attorney General of New York, who is on the ballot, and has done a horrible job if one believes statistics. All part of “progressive” liberal policies. The call for defunding of police and no cash bail even for crimes like assault in NYC, has criminals in a revolving door of justice. They get arrested and are out on the street the same day. Smash and grab theft across the country isn’t really considered a crime. It’s a slap on the wrist. If criminals can steal without fear of jail time, crime does pay. Due to these policies, police are inclined to make fewer arrests. It’s a lot of work, only for the criminals to be set free with no significant punishment. Quality of Life crimes are no longer crimes. Aggressive panhandling, public urination, and jumping turnstiles are just part of living in a “progressive” city. Republicans should be hammering at this through election day. It’s an issue that affects every American.
Immigration is another issue that Republicans should by focused on. The narrative should be that we are not against legal immigration but the majority of those crossing the southern borders are undocumented, which is unsustainable. The federal government is essentially unsupportive, and the reason Abbott and DeSantis are sending the undocumented immigrants to sanctuary cities like New York and Massachusetts. They need to understand the crisis, which isn’t possible living two thousand miles (3,218 km) from the border. Mayor Adams has declared a state of emergency and announced that the influx of immigrants will cost taxpayers upwards of a billion dollars. Regardless of good intentions, at some point, the immigrants, many who don’t speak English, will need to find work and shelter. It’s a recipe for disaster. If the party is smart, it will stress that it has empathy for these people, but they must follow US laws in order to be considered for asylum. It’s a winning issue because people fear loss of jobs and increased crime as a result of uncontrolled, illegal immigration.
There are many other issues of course such as gun control, school choice and foreign policy, but even though contentious, are less likely, on their own, to affect the outcomes of the elections. While the majority of Americans, including many gun owners favor tighter gun restrictions, a majority also respects the second Amendment. There can be a meeting of the minds on this issue, both sides giving a little, which will happen. School choice is a local issue and may have an impact on some local elections, but nationally, it’s not likely to swing votes for House and Senate. Foreign policy is inconsequential in this election despite the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the chaos in Iran, and the North Koreans once again saber rattling. Too much going on domestically to be concerned with international issues.
Never a fan of polls, as we have all witnessed how wrong they can be, I won’t bother trying to predict the outcome of the upcoming midterms, but it’s very possible the Senate remains 50-50 and the Republicans pick up some seats in the House. Enough to flip the House? We’ll find out on Election Day. What I will say however, is the results of this election will have a major impact on the fundamental direction of this country. Historically, the party in power during the midterms, usually loses seats. That would absolutely have been the case if Roe v. Wade had not been overturned. This one issue has the potential to completely change the outcomes of many races across the country.