Pundits like to talk about post-convention bounces around this time of the election season. Following the Republican convention from last week, they were stressing that Donald Trump could get a bump in the polls after giving his demented speech, which was really more of the same but given with notably lower energy than we’re used to seeing when Trump attacks his favorite targets.
The bump this time around is pretty much non-existent, and not just for Donald Trump, either. Speaking at the convention was first-term incumbent Sen. Joni Ernst from Iowa, who’s running for re-election in a tight race against Theresa Greenfield.
If you haven’t heard of Joni Ernst, she’s proposed gutting the social safety net entirely and forcing people to ask for charity from their local churches and spent the convention lying about the storm relief that Donald Trump failed to deliver to farmers in her state. The Democrats have a strong challenger in Theresa Greenfield, a local farmer who has vowed to protect social security if elected.
The real story here is that Ernst decided to hitch her re-election prospects to Trump – a terrible idea, especially given that Republicans now have permission from Mitch McConnell to run independently of him if they need to. She also doesn’t have a whole lot of an incumbency advantage going into an election year in a state that’s typically Republican – and now her prospects look even worse – with the race being downgraded from likely Republican to now being a tossup, as she polls neck and neck with Greenfield. It’s clear that Democrats have multiple paths to winning the Senate and the convention may have actually hurt the ones who were foolish enough to speak at it.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making