When people speak of the political pendulum, one thing they mean is how things typically go in midterm elections after the election of a new president. It’s consistently and sometimes maddingly the same. If the president is a Democrat, the first midterm election will see a red wave. If a Republican, the first midterm election will see a blue wave. Things were certainly shaping up to be that way this time in November of 2022. But not so fast.
It’s true, Republicans are cheaters. They gerrymander, throw out ballots, collude with Russia and, despite all the caterwauling about “rigged elections,” would downright steal every election if they could. But one counterbalancing reality is they are also stupid. The repeal of Roe and the race to the bottom to see which state can pass the most anti-woman, draconian laws is one example of how stupid they can be. Backing a senescent moron and traitor, probably on his way to prison, is another. When Republicans watch A Handmaid’s Tale they root for Gilead.
Yes, thanks to Republican stupidity and the mishandling of their own public relations, there’s a very good chance we can walk away from 2022 with a Democratic majority in both Houses. And wouldn’t that be something? It would be particularly satisfying if we could get a 53 seat majority in the senate and effectively neuter the two morons who will remain unmentioned.
All the midterm action is in the battleground states, of course. According to the polls in Pennsylvania, carpetbagger Dr. Mehmet Oz is being crushed by Democratic opponent John Fetterman by 18 points, and that’s without the doctor’s boneheaded comments about crudités and how they are prophylactic against strokes.
In Arizona, Democratic incumbent Senator Mark Kelly is polling 8 points better than Republican Senate candidate Blake Masters. In Georgia, the idiot Herschel Walker is behind Raphael Warnock by about a point. Democrat Tim Ryan is a point ahead of Republican JD Vance in Ohio. In North Carolina Democratic candidate Cheri Beasley and Republican Ted Budd are neck and neck. Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto is about a point ahead of Republican Adam Laxalt in Nevada. The odious creep Republican Ron Johnson is losing by four points to Democratic challenger Mandela Barnes. And so on.
These poll numbers fly in the face of the conventional wisdom from early in the year that we were going to get murdered in November. The news keeps getting better the more toxic and stupid and radically fascistic Republicans become. And ain’t it wonderful?
Now, I know polling is about as popular as a root canal with some people. But I think, by and large, polling has received an unfair rap. When meteorologists report a 20% chance of rain, that doesn’t mean it’s not going to rain. That means that when five such weather configurations have shown up in the past, four of them have been dry. Polls can be wrong, particularly when they are close. But as with the weather reports they are right more often than not. It’s when they’re wrong that people remember, and they sometimes make judgments that are harshly generalised about the whole process.
Even so, and perhaps especially so, we must not become complacent. This election is the most important election in human history, and that is going to be the trend going forward. Because we are in the midst of a potential extinction level event as the result of global warming, we can no longer afford to allow Republicans to be in control. Also, the more elections Republicans win, the closer we come to losing our democracy along with our planet.
So remember, don’t just vote in November, take as many people as you can with you to the polls to vote. We absolutely must win in November, and failure is no longer an option. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Gabe Vasquez • Greg Landsman • Michelle Vallejo • Adam Gray • Eric Sorensen • Frank Mrvan • Jared Golden • Dan Kildee • Emilia Sykes • Jamie McLeod-Skinner • Matt Cartwright • Bridget Fleming • Susan Wild • Nikki Budzinski • Katie Porter • Don Davis • Tony Vargas • Brad Pfaff • Marie Gluesenkamp Perez • Elaine Luria • Kim Schrier • Yadira Caraveo • Wiley Nickel • Jevin Hodge • Kirsten Engel • Will Rollins • Jay Chen • Sharice Davids • Elissa Slotkin • Abigail Spanberger • Mike Levin • Greg Stanton • Angie Craig • Chris Pappas • Annie Kuster • Dina Titus • Susie Lee • Steven Horsford • Marcy Kaptur • Hillary Scholten • Josh Harder • Jahana Hayes • Sean Casten • David Trone • Christy Smith • Rudy Salas • Chris Deluzio • Cindy Axne • Carl Marlinga • Tom Malinowski
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.