Kamala Harris told us before this week’s election that, “What happens in Virginia will in large part determine what happens in 2022, 2024 and on.”
OK, let’s run with that. Joe Biden won Virginia by 10 points in 2020. This week, his surrogate in the governor’s race for whom he, Harris and other Dem poobahs personally campaigned lost by two. That’s a 12-point swing.
I applied that 12-point swing to the 2020 midterm elections for the House of Representatives to get a feel for the 2022 elections. In other words, to graft this week’s result onto the 2022 midterms, I subtracted six points from the vote share of each Democrat in 2020 and added those six points to each Republican. The result was a 46-seat swing to the GOP.
That’s a bunch of seats but it’s not unprecedented. In the first midterms of Bill Clinton’s presidency, the Dems lost 54 seats. In the first midterms of Barack Obama’s presidency, the Dems lost 63 seats. The Dems are very good at losing midterm elections because they don’t bother to vote when their dear leader is not on the ballot.
This prognostication is of course an oversimplification, for several reasons. Newcomer Republican Glenn Youngkin was an exceptionally good candidate in Virginia, and it’s unlikely that the Republicans will find equally good candidates throughout the country. Moreover, the circumstances a year from now may be better for the Dems than this week’s circumstances.
On the other hand, they may be even worse. If inflation does not abate, or if Joe Biden doesn’t get younger and smarter, then things could be even worse for the Dems. In addition, this approach does not account for congressional redistricting which many observers think will, alone, get the Republicans five or ten seats.
And, finally, this model is conservative in a sense because it uses the 12-point swing that the GOP engineered in Virginia rather than the even bigger 15-point swing they engineered in nearly winning the governorship of New Jersey.
The bottom line is that the Republicans will probably pick up a few dozen seats in the House and maybe as many as 50. It is almost inconceivable that the Republicans won’t pick up at least the few seats needed to regain control.
Expect the newly-empowered Republicans to remember the courtesies extended to them by Nancy Pelosi and the Dems over the past few years. In particular, expect them to conduct hearings on such things as Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice, the chaos at the border, and the Biden family business.
Let’s move on to the Senate. There it’s more complicated because Senators serve staggered six-year terms, not the two-year terms used in the House. Consequently, the Senators up for re-election next year were not elected in 2020, but back in 2016. Applying the simple 12-point swing math to them over a six-year time period is risky at best.
One exception is Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia, who was elected just last year to fill a vacant seat that expires in 2022, and is therefore up for re-election then. He won in a squeaker in 2020. Expect him to lose in 2022, assuming his likely GOP opponent, Herschel Walker, doesn’t fumble. And Herschel has never been a fumbler.
Another complicating factor in the Senate is that the Republicans are defending more Senate seats next year than the Dems are, and so the Republicans have more to lose and less to win.
All that said, my prediction is that the Republicans will pick up at least one Senate seat and probably two or three. Because the Senate is currently split 50/50, just one pickup will flip the Senate to the Republicans.
More hearings and more gridlock. Good.
With a Republican Congress, the last two years of the Biden presidency (assuming for a moment we are not already well into those last two years) will be a bleak time for the Democrats. Judicial appointments will be blocked by Mitch McConnell, embarrassing hearings in both the House and Senate will drag on and, probably, Biden will quit or be forced out by Dems who become cringingly embarrassed by his decline and by what those hearings uncover.
And so we come full circle. Didn’t I mention Kamala at the outset?
Yes, Kamala will become president. But her backdoor presidency will not give her the usual advantages of the incumbent. She will not be a strong candidate in 2024, and will be challenged in a bloody primary battle.
The Republicans will thus win back the presidency in 2024 – unless they suffer their own bloody primary battles.
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It is not impossible that Donald Trump will finish out in the White House the presidential term he won in 2020. As Jonathan Edwards said, the only thing standing between sinners and instant annihilation is the unmerited soteriological teleology of forbearance by Almighty God.
Your first sentence would have sounded good on the morning of January 6, before Mike Pence folded like a cheap tent in the exercise of his Constitutional prerogative. As Peter Navarro has argued, on that day Pence became Brutus to Trump’s Caesar, allowing the latter to become road kill as the day’s events lent themselves to Democrat distortion and exploitation. There is a tide in the affairs of men, but the “honorable” Mr. Pence turned away, hoping no doubt to salvage his own political future.
What a Republican majority can do two years later eludes me.
I’d be pleased to see the spittle flecked rage from the communists and the media (but I repeat myself) if President Trump and VP DeSantis win in 2024.
Trump won’t make the mistake of picking someone like Pence again.
Returning to your second sentence, David, I understand you to be saying that, on some level, “the grapes of wrath are [being] stored” and that some kind of civil conflagration (a REAL “insurrection”?) in the relatively near future is indeed “not impossible.” If we don’t get a grip on our elections, I’d say it’s more likely than not.
Nah. The Omniscient Lord of Lords and King of Kings sent Trump to destroy the Gop. As good as Donny Dangerously is at doing God’s work the licentious lurid lascivious lazy lawless libertine lefty looney lacklustre Libs just give give give. But Donny Desperado is a man of God, and with his child Gop will not spare the rod.
God, I hope so Glenn. Truly.
I apologize for the second post however, I saw a video of Biden speaking to a reporter today, and Biden was so feeble, so clearly not up to the task of being even a minor functionary, never mind being the President of the United States of America, that I believe even an honest Democrat (and there are some) would have to admit that America is in a very precarious position.
“Honest Democrat,” is the very definition of oxymoron, like wet dryness, cold heat, honest politician. Need I go on?
I like the math.
My big hope is that someone, “anyone?” will convince Trump to put his ego aside and support a candidate who shares his vision. I can think of two off the top of my head; DeSantis and Pompeo. (FWIW I just don’t see Pence as tough enough, or at least combative enough, for the task in the current environment.)
My wife saw Pompeo on TV today, and said that I would not recognize him. He has apparently trimmed down to fighting weight. I think that is significant.
I could enthusiastically support either. I hope that they compete against each other on a high level, so that the winner is not badly damaged in the primaries.
I agree completely. As I intimated in my previous comment, the feckless Pence should be DOA. Republican donors surely can back a better horse.
What a laugh. Its all fixed. Republican majorities havent and sont make any difference. Free elections? LOL. This country has fallen. It is now an illusion.
I haven’t reached your level of cynicism, but Glenn’s formulation of “metrics” reminds me that all of the metrics — voter enthusiasm, results in bellwether counties and states, the general sense that we were indeed, except for Covid, better off than we had been four years earlier — all pointed to a Trump victory in 2020.
Dems should lose 75-100 house seats in 2022, except that voters in many regions of America, and voting dead folks, have become less concerned with the overall welfare of America’s future success as a free nation.
I do like 46 seats, however. Speaker Jordan sounds pretty solid.
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