Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, it was possible that Democrats could steer clear of an unintended midterm disaster. If the post the case of Roe summer was one of Democrats in the middle of October, they will discern that the momentum they enjoyed is beginning to fade.
A recent survey by CBS News/YouGov has Democrats at a distance of two percentage points lower than Republicans in the overall Congress ballot, which is closely tied to the performance of a political party in the midterm elections. A NY Times/Siena College survey released on Monday found that likely voters are inclined to vote Republican by 50 percent to the 45-percent margin. Women who are independent — a crucial group of voters for Democrats in districts and states that swing -have been swaying towards Republicans in the course of just a month.
“I’m wishing the election were in August,” said Matt Bennett of the center-left group Third Way. “I think we peaked a little early.”
For Democrats this time of year, it could not be more perfect. Gas prices, after dropping over the past few weeks are rising again. The rate of inflation is uncontrollable and the market in spite of an initial rise on Monday is being battered. Meanwhile, Republicans have been hammering Democrats on the economy and criminality in a flurry of post-Labor Day ads. This is all occurring at the beginning of early voting in a number of states.
“Look, man, I’ve been at this for 30 years, and it is always the period in late September and early October when an election starts to tilt and move,” said Mark Longabaugh, a progressive advertisement maker who worked on Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign. “So, we’re at that moment, and I don’t think you can look at these numbers across the country and say anything but it looks like it’s moving in Republicans’ direction.”
He stated, “I think it’s clear Republicans have seized the upper hand.”
It was only two weeks ago that the political landscape appeared more favorable for Democrats. They had a better performance than the other parties during the special congressional elections that took place in Nebraska, Minnesota and New York. in heavily Republican Kansas the anti-abortion rights vote was voted down. Even Biden’s satisfaction ratings are rising following a number victory in legislative elections.
That was also the time that Roe was on the news nearly every single day, or the shooting at the school at Uvalde, Texas, which temporarily caused Republicans on the defensive about guns.
It’s not a mass shooting or a rape victim aged 10 traveling across state boundaries making news. Instead, it’s ” Gas prices in Roanoke up 32.1 cents,” ” High Inflation Darkens Global Economic Outlook,” or ” Surging crime, fentanyl crisis at forefront of Michigan governor’s race.”
According to The New York Times/Siena College survey, the poll found that only 5 percent of voters cited abortion as their most pressing concern. 44% of them cited economic concerns on which they favor Republicans more than Democrats by a large margin.
“I think we had three really good weeks in August that everybody patted themselves on the back,” laughed a Democratic strategist who provides advice to the major donors to the party. “We were like, ‘Yeah, that should be enough to overcome two years of shitty everything.” Then he added, “It’s not looking great. The most we can expect is 50-50 Senate however the House is gone.”
The midterms have always been expected to be extremely punishing for Democrats and the Democrats of the White House historically suffering midterm elections that ended in defeat. In part, the latest polls show this reality becoming apparent with Election Day nears — that “things are settling a bit into traditional patterns,” said Celinda Lake, a renowned Democratic Pollster, who helped Biden’s campaign for 2020.
The type of voters who swing later in the election, she added is “very responsive to what they think the most recent turn of events on the economy is going to be, so they’re nervous about inflation and the stock market … They’re nervous about gas prices, and I think that we [Democrats] need to continue to press that we have the better economic agenda.”
Biden is rushing to do this. While campaigning on the West Coast over the weekend He claimed the fact that “our economy is strong as hell.” There aren’t many Democrats are as tense as they were during earlier midterms, like the 2010 election in which Democrats lost over 60 seats to the House. In the days leading up to the elections, Gallup had Republicans ahead by 10 percentage points on the generic ballot for Congress. The results this year are much more tense and Democrats still hold a slim advantage over the generic vote as per Gallup’s FiveThirtyEight polling results.
Pete Giangreco, a longtime Democratic consultant, has said that the notion that there’s been a “big shift” in the electorate is “hard to believe” given that the polling for state and district-level races has been a bit shaky for several weeks.
“We don’t see anything like 2010 or 2014,” he stated. “By this point, everybody was in a state of agitation and in a state of panic during those years however, that’s not what’s going on. This year’s different. I’m not sure what the final outcome will be however this isn’t the year 2010 nor 2014.”
A major difference between pre-Donald Trump midterm elections is that Democrats in this election are getting a boost, even though it is they were not previously thought to be of Roe, and the primary campaign which afflicted Republicans with a myriad of candidates who are hard-line — which Senate Republican head Mitch McConnell has referred to as a problem with regards to ” candidate quality.” It’s possible that polls are not able to grasp the importance of the rise in the number of Democrats-leaning voters enrollments post Roe.
“Anybody who tells you they know what the turnout is going to be in the midterms is bluffing,” Lake declared.
However, Republicans have edged ahead of Democrats in U.S. Senate races in Nevada and Wisconsin, and Wisconsin, while the claim that Herschel Walker influenced and paid for a former girlfriend’s abortion appears not to have hurt him in Georgia which is where the Senate race is still close. In the Senate is a toss-up and virtually no Democrat is looking forward to a successful night in the House. In the summer of 2012, there was some interest in Democrats towards the idea of them.
“It’s feeling like a midterm where we’re in charge [of the White House], and we know what that means,” said Molly Murphy, a Democratic pollster who is the president of Impact Research, the firm which was Biden’s leading pollster during the 2020 presidential election. “It feels exactly like that, which is to say it doesn’t feel good for Democrats, but I think we will do better than I thought we might have done six months ago.”
She added, “I don’t think anyone is that bullish that Democrats will have a great night, but the question should be how bad it could have been.”