Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America begin by reflecting upon the grim news that Sen. John McCain will discontinue treatment for brain cancer. Then they tackle three good martinis, starting with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi insisting she will run for Speaker of the House if Democrats win the majority, thereby preserving one of the GOP’s best arguments for keeping control. They also welcome the five-year prison sentence for Reality Winner, the NSA contractor who leaked classified information to the media. And they marvel at polls showing a dead heat in the Oregon governor’s race, which seems to be a result of non-stop protests in the state that snarl traffic, exhaust law enforcement, and leave areas thoroughly trashed.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer up as they see new Senate polls showing Rick Scott with a healthy lead in Florida and Republicans within striking distance in Wisconsin. They also shake their heads as Sen. Elizabeth Warren issues perfunctory condolences to the family of Mollie Tibbetts but says we need to focus on our real immigration problems. And they marvel at Senate Democrats, who now insist that the consideration of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh must wait because Michael Cohen has accused President Trump of a campaign finance violation.
President Trump’s 2016 pollster says Republicans can hang on to their majorities in the midterm elections, but to do they’ll need the new voters Trump attracted in 2016 and that means passing more of the president’s agenda before November.
“The Republicans in Washington need to get their act together, to vote on things, to motivate these 2016 Trump voters and get them back out,” said John McLaughlin, CEO of McLaughlin and Associates and a key aide for Trump in 2016.
“The voters want to see a member of Congress who supports the president’s agenda moving forward,” added McLaughlin.
McLaughlin says while Trump got the attention of new voters with his personality, it’s the issues that drove them to the polls: immigration, securing the border, making tax cuts permanent, strengthening defense, and fixing the health care system.
He says Democrats will have no trouble turning out the anti-Trump vote but Republicans will have a tougher time. While Trump’s approval rating is at or near 50 percent, McLaughlin’s own polling shows the approval rating for Republicans in Congress is only 40 percent and a quarter of GOP voters give Congress a thumbs down for not doing more to advance the Trump agenda.
That is translating to poor turnout for the Republicans and much closer elections in supposedly safe districts. McLaughlin says the recent special election in Ohio’s 12 district is a perfect example.
Even though Troy Balderson appears to have defeated Danny O’Connor, McLaughlin says a look at the numbers ought to frighten Republicans.
“There were 206,000 voters that came out in that district in November of 2016 for President Trump. In the special election for Congress, only 102,000 people voted for the Republican. So you have 104,000 Trump voters sitting there that they have to motivate now to get back out in November to re-elect the Republican,” said McLaughlin.
It’s not just Ohio. When Democrats scored victories in the Alabama U.S. Senate race and a special House race in Pennsylvania, the same dynamic played out.
In Alabama, 2.1 million voters went to the polls in 2016 and Trump won two-thirds of the vote, but only 1.4 million turned out for the special election in which Democrat Doug Jones narrowly defeated Roy Moore.
In the special Pennsylvania House contest, McLaughlin says 102,000 fewer people voted for Republican Rick Saccone than voted for Trump less than two years earlier.
McLaughlin know exactly what it takes to bring Trump voters to the polls. After Trump secured the delegates to win the GOP nomination in 2016, he asked McLaughlin how he would defeat Hillary Clinton.
McLaughlin said they would take the traditional steps of shoring up the anti-Hillary and anti-Obama votes and reach out to Libertarians, but also he knew Trump would need more votes and then figured out where those votes could come from.
“They’re mainly working class voters. A lot of them were from the Rust Belt states as well as the Sun Belt states. It was really a heartland coalition. They were working middle class voters that the president, this New York City billionaire, had an appeal for because they relate to him on issues like trade, immigration, draining the swamp in Washington – anti-establishment issues that they came out and voted for,” said McLaughlin.
“Nine million more people came out in 2016 than 2012. In the record turnout we had, there were 63 million Trump voters. A lot of those voters did not vote in 2014. So the success for the Republicans is really about motivating those 2016 Trump voters to come back out,” he said.
Not all of the Trump agenda is conservative but McLaughlin says passing it will only boost Republican totals in November.
“They really need to vote on things that the majority of Americans support – even paid parental leave. The president’s got a plan for paid parental leave but Republicans in the House and Senate aren’t going to vote on it until next year. Seventy-five percent of voters approve of that.
Congress needs to get things done because they’re on the ballot this November, not the president,” said McLaughlin, pointing out that President Obama suffered major losses in midterm elections because Democrats couldn’t re-create the turnout he enjoyed in presidential races.
McLaughlin firmly believes Republicans can hang onto majorities in both the House and Senate, but not if they fail to push more of the Trump agenda across the finish line.
“Republicans have a chance because there is time. If Republicans motivate their base, if they have critical votes in September and October on important issues to the Trump coalition, then I think we get our base out and we can hold the House, and we’ll definitely gain Senate seats.
“It’s really up to what they do in Washington right now. If the people see them voting on things that matter to them, we will be able to hold the House and pick up Senate seats,” said McLaughlin.
Author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza says the violent “anti-fascist” protesters are the real fascists, that white nationalism is rooted on the left, and that Republican operatives urging conservatives to vote for Democrats this year as a check on President Trump “need to have their heads examined.”
D’Souza’s latest project is “Death of A Nation: Plantation Politics and the Making of the Democratic Party.” It seeks to draw parallels from the outrage following the election of President Trump to the volcanic opposition to the 1860 victory of Abraham Lincoln.
This past weekend, Antifa protesters took to the streets of Charlottesville and Washington and spent most of their time hurling epithets at police and the media. D’Souza says Antifa might claim to be opposing fascism but they clearly embody what they say they hate.
“They’re posing as anti-fascists. Of course they dress like fascists. They act like fascists. They have the same intolerance as fascism. And let’s notice that their target isn’t fascists. When you’re targeting cops and Republicans and patriots and Christians, you’re actually not targeting fascists but anti-fascists.
“So we have an amazing situation in which the fascists – Antifa – are pretending to be anti-fascists and targeting anti-fascists, whom they claim are fascists,” said D’Souza
So why does the far left have a compulsion towards violence?
“Their view is that since Trump is like Hitler circa 1933, they are fully justified in using, as they say, any means necessary to eject him, including illegal means, including violence,” said D’Souza, who also asserts that fascism is a far left ideology that academic liberals twisted to blur the coziness between the American Democrats and fascist leaders before World War II.
“Fascism is properly defined as the ideology of the centralized state, when you have the state organizing and running the private economy, when you have the states running the lives of citizens. That’s fascism. That’s how Mussolini understood it. That’s how Hitler understood it,” said D’Souza.
Antifa took to the streets to counter a planned rally by white nationalists who never showed up. The tension between the two sides is often characterized by the media as right versus left. D’Souza says that’s wrong because both are on the left. He says this is made clear as he interviews white nationalist figures Jason Kessler and Richard Spencer in “Death of A Nation.”
“These guys actually have backgrounds in the left. They’re not right wingers and yet the media doesn’t report this. Why? Because they’re trying to pin the fascist and racist tail on the Republican elephant,” said D’Souza.
D’Souza says white nationalism is a “spent force” that usually cannot muster more than a few dozen people to events that are then dwarfed by counterprotesters. But if white nationalists are of the the left, why did so many openly endorse President Trump in 2016?
D’Souza says it was their ticket to short-term relevance.
“They call (the rally) ‘Unite the Right’ because they want to feed the left wing narrative that they are somehow representative of Trump and this somehow gives them an inflated notoriety. In exchange, what they’re giving the left is that they’re confirming and corroborating the left’s narrative,” said D’Souza.
Liberal protesters take to the streets en masse in opposition to most Republican presidents but D’Souza says it’s worse this time because Trump fights back.
“Trump realizes that he’s in a big fight. The Left does not hold back. The traditional Republican strategy of going under your desk or running for the exit doesn’t really work in this situation,” said D’Souza.
He says the next big fight is in the the midterm elections. D’Souza says Democrats already have several racial and ethnic groups dependent upon government to supply what they need to exist and handing them the majority means they will only look to expand what he calls “plantation politics.”
“They’d love to have everybody in this position of ethnically-enforced dependence. It’s actually a horrible system and it would make this a horrible country, which is why we have to work really hard to prevent that nightmare from becoming a reality,” said D’Souza.
Several anti-Trump Republican operatives like Michael Gerson and Steve Schmidt are urging conservatives to vote for Democrats under the logic that the GOP has been corrupted by Trump and must be destroyed so it can be rebuilt again.
D’Souza rejects that entirely.
“These people literally need to have their heads examined,” he said. “They’re talking absolute nonsense and should be completely ignored.”
Listen to “Corruption Crackdown, 9th Circus on Guns, Vote Dem to Fix GOP?” on Spreaker.
David French of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud the West Virginia legislature for impeaching four of the state’s five state supreme court justices for gross mismanagement of taxpayer dollars. They also roll their eyes as the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds a California law requiring any guns subsequently purchased in the state must include features that don’t actually exist. And they unload on “conservatives” from Michael Gerson to Steve Schmidt, who contend that conservatives need to vote for Democrats because supposedly the only way to save the Republican Party is to burn it to the ground.
For the first time in the 2018 political season, one of the nation’s leading political forecasters is predicting Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives following the midterm elections.
On Tuesday, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, led by University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato, moved 17 House races more favorable to Democrats. The report also shows 33 of 36 seats labeled as toss-ups are currently held by Republicans. Seven other GOP-held seats are considered even more imperiled.
In contrast, only two seats held by Democrats are considered toss-ups, as is one member vs. member race in Pennsylvania. One seat held by Democrats is likely to flip to the GOP. Democrats need a net gain of 23 House seats to reclaim the majority.
Sabato’s Crystal Ball Managing Editor Kyle Kondik says the enthusiasm in midterm election years is almost always against the party of the president. And with President Trump serving as a lightning rod for the left, the passion among Democrats is even higher.
“The Republicans had this advantage in 2010 and 2014 and now the Democrats generally do in terms of asking people how enthusiastic they are to vote,” said Kondik. “For voters, anger can be a great motivator and the angrier party, I think right now, is the Democrats.”
Even though Trump is not on the ballot, Democrats are looking for any chance to express their disapproval. Kondik says last year’s Virginia governor’s race proved Democrats cared much more about hurting Trump than supporting Democrats on the ballot.
“Reporters were asking voters about Ralph Northam, the eventual Democratic winner and of course now the governor. They didn’t seem to know a whole lot about him, but they did seem to know they were casting a vote against President Trump. I think that’s what you might see in November,” said Kondik.
Republicans are also running against history. Kondik says American history shows midterm elections are almost always good for the party out of power.
“Going back to the Civil War, there have been 39 midterms. The president’s party has lost ground in the House in 36 of those, and the average seat loss is 33 seats. The Democrats need to net 23 seats. So it would not be historically odd for Democrats to win the House,” said Kondik.
But despite those built-in advantages for Democrats, Kondik says no one should count the Republicans out.
“I don’t think it’s a slam dunk for the Democrats by any means. It’s also quite possible the race for the House could come down to a few seats here or there,” said Kondik, indicating Democrats could make major gains but still wind up in the minority.
Kondik expects Republicans to try matching the intensity of Democrats by firing up their own base. Part of that may be based on issues like immigration, on which some Democrats have advocated abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
However, just like Democrats plan to demonize Trump, he suspects Republicans will rally their voters over fears of who would be running the House of Representatives if Democrats take control.
“They’re also raising the specter of Nancy Pelosi being the House Speaker again. Many Democratic candidates have actually disavowed Pelosi but Republicans still see her as a very useful foil,” said Kondik.
Gauging 435 House races is a bit tricky since polling can be scarce in a lot of contests. Many seats are considered safe for one party and the battle lines are drawn over a few dozen swing districts.
“The national party committees are doing polling here and there but even they don’t have perfect knowledge about these districts. A lot of [predicting races] is based on the history of the district, our sort of subjective view of the quality of the candidates, past performance, and demographics. You just try to do the best you can,” said Kondik.
“As we’ve seen in the past, even polls on the statewide level are not always correct and so there’s a significant amount of projection and guesswork that goes into it,” he added.
Sabato’s Crystal Ball will revise its projections on House, Senate, and governor’s races before locking in predictions just before Election Day, Nov. 6.
Listen to “Holding House Looks Tough, Blankenship Returns, Dems Line up for 2020” on Spreaker.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America recoil as political prognosticator Larry Sabato predicts Democrats will win the House in the midterm elections and shows that 33 of 36 toss-up seats are held by Republicans. They also shudder as Don Blankenship files papers to run as a third party candidate in the West Virginia Senate race. And they get ready for a very crowded 2020 Democratic presidential primary as former Attorney General Eric Holder and Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan seriously explore White House bids.
Prominent conservative Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is battling allegations that he helped cover up sexual abuse at Ohio State University, and a longtime conservative activist believes the controversy is simply an effort to tarnish Jordan and block him from becoming Speaker of the House.
“The deep state strikes again,” said Richard Viguerie, who pioneered direct mail in political campaigning. He is also chairman of conservativehq.com and author of “Takeover: The 100-Year War for the Soul of the GOP and How Conservatives Can Finally Win It.”
“Anytime conservatives look like they’re making any progress or gain in dismantling the deep state or challenging their position, authority, or power, they do whatever is necessary to set the conservative cause back.
“That’s all this is. They’re in a panic mode that Jim Jordan could be the next Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives,” said Viguerie.
While not at Ohio State 20-30 years ago, Viguerie says grassroots conservatives across the nation have the highest regard for Rep. Jordan, one of the founders of the House Freedom Caucus.
“I put Jim at the very highest level of character, of values. He’s a very serious person. To the extent that I know him, I have nothing but the highest admiration and respect for him. Quite frankly, every conservative without exception that I know at the national, state, and local level feels the same way,” said Viguerie.
Numerous former Ohio State wrestlers are also coming to Jordan’s defense.
But “deep state” is a general term. If this is nothing but a smear campaign, who exactly is behind it? Viguerie says the answer should be pretty obvious.
“Who benefits? Who would benefit by the establishment staying in power? That’s who you can look to for the perpetrators of this,” said Viguerie. “Without naming names here, the Republican establishment, the Washington, D.C., establishment is going to benefit by the present leadership staying in power.”
Viguerie says the GOP congressional leaders are a major disappointment to many grassroots conservatives on a host of key issues, starting with health care. He says Republicans passed full repeal of Obamacare time after time when leaders knew it would never become law. Once the GOP controlled Congress and the White House, things changed.
“They wouldn’t bring it up for a vote anymore. They were afraid that it would be undone,” said Viguerie.
Jordan was perhaps the most vocal conservative House member demanding an up-or-down vote on a full repeal.
Viguerie says there are other issues involved as well.
“They don’t want to dismantle the administrative state, build a wall, (pass) serious immigration reform that really controls the border,” he said.
He believes the D.C. establishment fears Jordan because many conservatives see him as a leader.
“In the 60 years almost that I’ve been involved at the national level of the conservative movement, he number one thing we’ve needed all those years above anything else is leadership.
“Jim Jordan, through the Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives, is providing that leadership, one of the very few Republicans in the country that is actually providing leadership that the grassroots can look up too,” said Viguerie.
But for Jordan to be a threat, he would have to be in a position to win the support of a majority of House Republicans in the next leadership election. House Freedom Caucus members have historically fallen well short in challenging the likes of former House Speaker John Boehner.
Viguerie says Jordan is in position to win that kind of support within the House GOP Conference.
“The grassroots is very unhappy with the present leadership. I think there’s a lot of people who voted with establishment candidates in the past and realizing that the establishment is not producing for the voters, for the American people.
“With a new Congress coming in here (following the 2018 midterms), I think a conservative candidate like Jim Jordan would be very, very competitive,” said Viguerie.
Listen to “Dems Embrace Socialism, Boot Wants Dems in Control, Vox Calls Revolution A ‘Mistake'” on Spreaker.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are more than happy to run against a Democratic Party that is now embracing socialism, and they worry that young people don’t understand socialism or its history. They shake their heads at “conservative” Max Boot, who wrote for the Washington Post that he wants Democrats to win control of Congress in the midterm elections. And they take aim at Vox for it’s absurd column suggesting the American Revolution was a “monumental mistake.”
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are pleasantly surprised to see a new CBS poll showing that a strong plurality of Americans believe families should stay together but be sent back to their home countries when they come to the U.S. illegally. They also slam Rep. Maxine Waters for suggesting protesters should loudly confront every Trump administration cabinet member whether in restaurants or at the gas station. And they categorically reject columnist George Will’s call for conservatives to vote Democrats into the majorities of the House and Senate as punishment for Republicans who refuse to stand up to President Trump.