Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America prepare for Thanksgiving by each discussing three things for which they’re politically thankful. They discuss the positive aspects of the midterm elections, the big confirmation fight, and important news this year from the courts and the Congress. Happy Thanksgiving and join us again on Friday for another special edition of the Three Martini Lunch.
There is no shortage of pundits or experts telling us exactly what happened in last week’s midterm elections, but what the actual voters said might surprise some people.
Extensive exit polls were conducted on Election Day and other surveys quizzed tens of thousands of likely voters. Some conventional wisdom turned out to be right, but some did not.
Take health care. It was the number one issue given for driving a vote and of those who said health care was their top concern, a strong majority voted for Democrats. But for those who want to see changes to health care policy, how exactly would they like to change it?
Another major issue was the confirmation battle over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Lots of people said the debate mattered to them, but which party actually benefited the most?
Traditionally, men vote more often for Republicans and women prefer Democrats. That didn’t change. But in addition to the gender gap, we have the marriage gap. What does that look like and how did it change in 2018?
Listen to the full podcast as I discuss it all with Karlyn Bowman, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America wince at many of the final polls showing Democrats with the momentum in several key races. They also wonder why Republicans have not spent most of their time and money discussing the strength of the economy instead of more polarizing issues like the caravan. And they unload on Saturday Night Live comedian Pete Davidson for mocking Texas GOP congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw for wearing an eye patch and saying, “I’m sorry. I know he lost his eye in war or whatever.”
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see the Libertarian candidate drop out of the Montana U.S. Senate race and endorse GOP nominee Matt Rosendale against Democratic Sen. Jon Tester. They also roll their eyes as “former Republican” Max Boot urges Americans to vote for Democrats in every single race as the the only way to send a message to President Trump and rescue the Republican Party. And they greatly enjoy Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren asserting she had no idea she was the subject of an ethics complaint for how she conducted fundraising off the Kavanaugh hearings.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are happy to see new reports showing the highest wage growth in a decade and the highest consumer confidence since 2000. They also groan as dismal GOP prospects in major governors’ races could leave Democrats leading 12 of the 13 most populous states after the midterm elections. And they do a terrible job of faking their shocked faces as Kanye West says he was used politically and is now “distancing himself from politics.”
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America recoil in horror as an avowed neo-Nazi opens fire in a Pittsburgh-area synagogue, killing eleven people and wounding others because he thought all Jews needed to die. They also discuss the liberal insistence that this is the year young voters really show up at the polls, but early voting does not suggest that’s happening. And they roll their eyes as Twitter considers scrapping the “like” button to stop hateful messages from going viral. They also react in very different ways following the Bears’ win over the Jets on Sunday.
Republican candidates are talking about how Democrats treated Brett Kavanaugh and what will happen if Democrats take control of the House and possibly even the Senate.
But a prominent conservative columnist says GOP candidates should really have one dominant message: the economy is the best it’s been in generations.
“Are you better off now than you were two years ago? It’s a very simple question, and I think for almost every single American, the answer is, ‘Yes, we are better off than we were two years ago,” said syndicate columnist Deroy Murdock, whose latest column makes the economic argument for keeping Republicans in power.
Murdock says a quick comparison between 2018 and 2016 tells the tale. Economic growth in the first half of 2018 is 4.2 percent, compared to 1.9 percent in 2016. Unemployment dropped from 4.9 percent to 3.7 percent, the lowest since 1969. Female unemployment fell from 4.4 percent to 3.3 percent, the lowest since 1953.
“The economy is up and running and thriving and robust much more than it was just two years ago, thanks to Republican tax cuts, Republican deregulation, a much more positive pro-business and pro-free market tone coming out of Washington, D.C. That is helping Americans from Beverly Hills all the way down to the barrios,” said Murdock.
The Democrats are not conceding the economy as a Trump success story. Former President Barack Obama believes he deserves a good share of the credit.
“When you hear all this talk about economic miracles right now, remember who started it,” said Obama in Nevada on Monday.
Murdock likened Obama’s claim to the person who an’t open a jar but then takes credit for loosening it when someone else opens it. Murdock admits Obama started his presidency with a stalled economy, but says the difference between Obama and Trump on economic results is staggering.
“Things did pick up some under Obama. But it was a bit like being in a car that was going 35 miles per hour on a big superhighway. Now we’re going about 70-75-80, and the guy that was driving us along at 35 miles per hour is asking for a standing ovation,” said Murdock.
Listen here for the full interview as Murdock predicts where our economy would be if Hillary Clinton won in 2016 and discusses how the GOP should respond to the migrant caravan coming to our southern border.
After another round of vicious third-party ads surrounding this Sunday’s Bears-Jets game, Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are cautiously pleased to see registered Republicans showing up to vote early in bigger numbers than Democrats in several key states. They also shake their heads as Democrats duck and dodge questions about how they would handle the thousands of people heading to our southern border and demanding to enter instead of going through legal channels. And they shudder as more details emerge in the murder and disposal of Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi elements in Turkey.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see multiple non-partisan experts insist the Republicans still have a shot at keep a majority in the House of Representatives, although the odds are not in their favor. They also shudder as Democrats look to be in strong position to win governors’ races in many key states. They cringe as Beto O’Rourke supporters rewrite the disco hit “YMCA” in support of the Texas Democrat. And Jim and Greg do their best to carry on professionally leading up to this week’s Bears-Jets game, even as special interest attack ads try to whip animosity between them.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cautiously welcome polls showing Nevada Sen. Dean Heller winning his race and House Republicans holding a one-point edge in the 66 most competitive districts. They cringe at allegations the Saudis may have killed journalist Jamal Kashoggi and what it may mean for U.S.-Saudi relations. And they roll their eyes as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s claims victory in the debate over her heritage because a DNA test showed she was anywhere from 1/64 to 1/1,024 American Indian.