“The rise of inflation, supply chain shortages, a surge in illegal border crossings, the persistence of Covid, mayhem in Afghanistan and the uproar over “critical race theory” — all of these developments, individually and collectively, have taken their toll on President Biden and Democratic candidates, so much so that Democrats are now the underdogs going into 2022 and possibly 2024,” Thomas B. Edsall writes in his New York Times column, “Democrats Shouldn’t Panic. They Should Go Into Shock.” Edsall goes on to add the fumbling of the infrastructure and social spending bills, GOP edge in redistricting, historical patterns and high crime rates to the list. He cites polls and quotes pundits to make his case, including Duke political scientist Herbert Kitschelt, who, “quoting James Carville, noted in his email: “It’s the economy, stupid. And that means inflation, the supply chain troubles and the inability of the Democrats to extend the social safety net in an incremental fashion.” Edsall doesn’t see a lot of silver lining for Dems. But he does note that Trump’s divisive “vengeance tour” could help Biden’s re-election and he cites the possibility that midterm losses for Dems would put the spotlight on the GOP’s failure to deliver any reforms. But the hope of booming, covid-free economy a year from now appears to be the Dems best hope for holding their congressional majorities.
From “GOP recruitment struggles give Democrats hope in 2022 Senate fight” by , and Senate on Tuesday when a top Republican prospect decided not to run….In New Hampshire, popular Republican Gov. Chris Sununu shocked party leaders when he announced that he wouldn’t launch a bid for a Democratic-held seat, preferring instead to seek re-election for a fourth term as governor….With one-third of the Senate up for grabs next year and a handful of competitive states likely to decide control, Democrats are looking for any advantage as they try to defend their majority. They’ve been getting some help recently from Republicans….From New England to Arizona, Republicans are struggling to land top-tier recruits even as the deteriorating political climate for Democrats puts them in a strong position to win back the chamber. Party operatives find themselves having to keep a close eye on several Senate hopefuls they see as unelectable, a familiar problem for the GOP….Brian Walsh, a former Senate GOP campaign operative, said he sees “echoes of 2010″ in the pro-Republican political environment and the potential for subpar candidates to cost Republicans the majority….”Arguably, Republicans lost five seats between 2010 and 2012 because of bad general election candidates,” he said. “I’m not saying that’s necessarily going to happen here. We don’t know that yet. But broadly, candidates matter.”
Russell Berman has a different kind of warning for Democrats at The Atlantic. It goes like this: “The people who fear the most for the future of American democracy weren’t watching the election returns in Virginia and New Jersey earlier this month for clues about next year’s midterms. These voting-rights advocates didn’t pay much attention to who won mayoral or school-board races. Instead, they’ve spent the past two weeks trying to discern how many Donald Trump loyalists captured control of elections in a pivotal 2024 swing state: Pennsylvania….Voters across the Keystone State decided who will run their polling places in the next two elections, but you could forgive them if they didn’t realize it. Buried near the bottom of their ballots on November 2 were a pair of posts: judge of elections and inspector of elections, bureaucratic titles that most people have never heard of. In many counties, the contests didn’t even make the first page of local races, falling far beneath those for supreme-court justice, county executive, and the school board—even tax collector and constable merited higher placement….Yet the people who hold these election positions will play an important—if often overlooked—role in determining whether elections in Pennsylvania go off smoothly. Grassroots Republican supporters of Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 defeat targeted these posts throughout the state, and many of them won their race last week. “There hasn’t been a sophisticated, concerted effort to sabotage elections like the one we’re facing now,” Scott Seeborg, the Pennsylvania state director for the nonpartisan group All Voting Is Local, told me.”
Some good pro-Democratic message points from Simon Rosenberg at ndn.org: “Biden’s 5.6m jobs is already three times as many than were created in the 16 years of the last 3 Republican Presidencies, combined. It is also millions more than were created in the entirety of any of their three individual Presidencies. Many millions more. Since 1989 and the end of the Cold War, the US has seen 42 million new jobs created. Remarkably 40 million of those 42 million were created under Democratic Presidents….since this new age of globalization began in 1989, a modern and forward looking Democratic Party has repeatedly seen strong economic growth on its watch. Republican Presidents, on the other hand, have overseen three consecutive recessions – the last two, severe. The contrast in performance here is very stark, it is not a stretch to state that the GOP’s economic track record over the past 30 years has been among the worst in the history of the United States….And look at the jobs created per month over these Presidencies – Rs at just 10k per month over 16 years. Biden is running more than 60 times times that so far in 2021. Yes 60x….The rigid ideological approach of the modern GOP has left it unable to govern in a time of rapid change; and those repeated failures have left many Republicans angry, reactionary and willing to do the unthinkable to stay in or regain power. The modern GOP has no answers for many of the most important challenges America faces today, and rather than modernizing, adapting, as all institutions must in a time of change, the GOP has decided to fight the future by rigging the system to remain in power while the country and its people drift from their narrow grasp.”