To hear the media and pundit class tell it, this was the week that the Democrats’ chances in the midterms went from minimal to nonexistent. What was this funeral announcement based on? Trump’s Ohio candidate JD Vance got 30% of the Republican vote in the primary race, and that somehow translates to… total doom for the Democrats?
The New York Times even went so far as to suggest that Democratic candidate Tim Ryan has basically already lost the Ohio Senate race to JD Vance, based on… nothing. In reality the polls show Ryan and Vance roughly tied, which could mean advantage Ryan, given that Vance is a controversy a minute.
Even before this week’s disturbing Supreme Court leak visibly galvanized support for the Democrats in the midterms across the nation, one recent poll showed that the Democrats had already climbed one point ahead of the Republicans in the generic midterm ballot. If the Democrats’ odds of winning the midterms were already perhaps about 50-50 according to the polls, what are they in the wake of this Supreme Court leak? 55-45? 60-40? Maybe you want to be pessimistic and say 40-60? But most of the media is painting the Democrats as having perhaps a 10% chance of winning the midterms, which is laughably at odds with the available facts.
Here’s a good litmus test: how much have you heard from the media and pundit class about the Senate race in North Carolina? Have you even heard the leading Democratic candidate’s name mentioned? It’s Cheri Beasley, for the record. And in April she brought in a larger fundraising haul than every one of her Republican competitors combined. Again, this was before the Supreme Court leak.
Notably, the above tidbit was announced on Twitter by an MSNBC producer. So it’s not as if this kind of information is totally missing from social media or cable news. It’s just that it gets drowned out by the doomsday prognostications from those hosts and pundits who know they’re more likely to go viral if they stick to the doomsday stuff, regardless of the facts.
The polling in North Carolina currently has Democratic candidate Cheri Beasley ahead of some of the Republican candidates and behind other Republican candidates, meaning she’s right in the mix, and suggesting it’ll end up being a close race. Imagine how much better Beasley could be doing if more people on her own side of the political fence were actually rallying around her campaign, instead of sitting around talking about how the Democrats are supposedly going to lose no matter what.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report