November 08, 2018

A Look at 2020

Timothy Birdnow

While nobody wants to talk about 2020 just yet, I do want to make a few observations about the prospects for the future.

First, I direct your attention to this Rasmussen Report from back in September.. Well before the election Rasmussen looked at how potential outcomes may affect the next election cycle.

Here are a few quotes: "The 2018 Senate races are important not just for determining the majority next January, but also for setting up both parties for the next election.

— Republicans are defending almost double the seats that Democrats are defending in 2020, something of a reversal from this cycle, where Democrats are playing a lot of defense.

— However, the most vulnerable 2020 seat (Alabama) is currently held by a Democrat. But Democrats have some decent targets of their own.

— If Republicans can net a seat or two this year, it would make their position much stronger in 2020, much like their strong showing in 2014 protected them in 2016. Likewise, Democrats holding the line in 2018 would be a victory in and of itself, given both this year’s difficult map and the potential for a limited gain on what for Democrats is a better map in 2020. "

End excerpt.

Well, the Republicans DID net a seat or two this year, and so the GOP may be in a much stronger position next time.

Rasmussen argues:

"Throughout the 2014 cycle, the Republicans appeared favored to win control of the U.S. Senate, but there was some doubt about whether they would maximize their gains. They needed six net seats to take control, but given the map, it seemed possible that they could win nine or 10. As it ended up, their eventual gains came out on the higher end , as Republicans won narrow races in Alaska, Colorado, and North Carolina (by about two points apiece, give or take) along with six others by significantly larger spreads to score a nine-seat net gain, going from 45 to 54 seats and the majority. Republicans also came close to winning New Hampshire and Virginia, losing by just about three and one points, respectively.

In an assessment published right after the election, we argued that the GOP’s nine-seat gain in 2014 provided "the buffer the GOP needs to be better able to preserve its Senate majority in 2016.” Sure enough, had the Republicans fallen short in their three closest wins in 2014, they would have won the Senate in 2014 but lost it in 2016 , when Democrats netted two Senate seats. As it was, Republicans won a 52-48 Senate majority in 2016 that has since been reduced to 51-49 thanks to the Democratic victory in Alabama’s special Senate election late last year.

End excerpt.

In short, the GOP margins remain decent after this last election.

More to the point, the Senate is now no longer under the microscope because the Democrats have control of the House of Representatives. One of the reasons the GOP fared so poorly this last election was because they failed to move the Trump agenda forward. In fact, they pretty much failed to move ANY agenda forward save tax reform (which, frankly, isn't a big winner in the court of public opinion - tax reform is always a "what have you done for me lately" type of thing). There was no money for the Wall, no attempt to kill Obamacare, no attempt to rein in spending. In fact, this last Congress blew money at a rate that would make a sailor with a snootful compare favorably with Ebeneazor Scrooge. In other words, they BROKE THEIR PROMISES to the public. Obamacare was perhaps the worst example of that; they campaigned six long years on repealing that Frankenstein's HMO plan, and when they had the chance they mumbled and stumbled and did nary a thing. The public sees that sort of thing, and knows they were lied to by the GOP. If Jeb! Bush were President there would have been a bloodbath in Congress.

So the GOP came away with minimal damage, and now the Democrats have to put up or shut up. They will NOT put up, I assure you. There will be no attempt to work with the President. They will do nothing but investigate, accuse, castigate, incinerate. We face two years of Kavanaugh hearings and a desperate attempt to take out Trump at any and every cost.

How will that sit with the public? It worked with Richard Nixon, but that was a very different era. For those of you who don't remember, the media hated Nixon as bad as they do Trump and there was a daily drumbeat against Tricky Dick just as against the Drumpftster. But it was a gentler era, and the public simply grew tired of the acrimony, and accepted Nixon's leaving as a way to restore peace. There was no alternative media, and the public still trusted the mainstream media in a touching way. That is no longer true, or Trump would be gone by now. Investigations by the House are as likely to backfire on the Democrats as help them. More so, methinks.

And they aren't going to be able to remove Trump if they impeach him.

Meanwhile, Trump gets his judges, Trump gets his appointees, Trump strengthens his hand.

Here is an article from Rollcall analyzing 2020. They make the following point:

"Republicans will be playing more defense next cycle, defending at least 21 Senate seats while Democrats will be defending 12 — the opposite dynamic from this cycle.

The shape of the presidential race matters, considering 2016 was the first time in the history of popularly elected senators that the Senate outcomes matched the presidential outcomes in every state.

If you apply the 2016 presidential results to the 2020 Senate class, the result is no net change. Using the 2012 presidential results as a guide, Democrats would gain two Senate seats by losing Alabama and picking up Colorado, Maine, and Iowa. If the 2008 presidential results applied, Democrats would gain three seats by losing Alabama and taking over Colorado, Iowa, Maine, and North Carolina."

End excerpt.

So, if the Dems gain three seats they still fall short in the Senate.

Meanwhile, Trump can run against the House of Representatives, blaming them for the failure to move his agenda forward - something he was prevented from doing when the Republicans held that body. And if Nancy Pelosi is the face of the Democrats, so much the better! It'll be easy to blame her for the problems that ensue. That's why Trump has been so gracious to her since Tuesday; he wants her to take the Speaker's gavel, and for good reason. She is an embarrassment.

Another point to ponder; how much money did the Democrats spend for the victory Tuesday? A LOT, and I wonder if the well won't be dry by the general election in two years. How much money can losers raise from people? The only good thing from their perspective is that they have the billionaire's club on their side, funding them to the hilt. As I've speculated, too, I suspect foreign entities laundered campaign contributions to the Democrats this last election. With a new AG, one that is perhaps awake and lucid, perhaps we can ferret out some of this. It would go a long way to ending the "Russian collusion" narrative as well.

Jeff Sessions' resignation was a godsend. We needed an Attorney General who was zealous and who would investigate a lot of the dirty dealings by the Democrats in the 2016 election. It was the Democrats, particularly Hillary, who were colluding with foreign powers, and they managed to tar Trump with that. A strong AG would have turned the tables, but Sessions was a powder puff, and Rosenstein an agent-provocateur.

2020 is a long way off, and a lot can happen in that time, but the table appears to be set favorably.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 10:12 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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