Red Wave Crashing? GOP Momentum Slips As Fall Sprint Begins

by | Sep 5, 2022 | Politics

NEW YORK (AP) — The possibility of a great red wave still looms. But as the 2022 midterm elections enter their final two-month sprint, leading Republicans concede that their party’s advantage may be slipping even as Democrats confront their president’s weak standing, deep voter pessimism and the weight of history this fall.The political landscape, while still in flux, follows a string of President Joe Biden’s legislative victories on climate, health care and gun violence, just as Donald Trump’s hand-picked candidates in electoral battlegrounds like Arizona, Georgia, Ohio and Pennsylvania struggle to broaden their appeal. But nothing has undermined the GOP’s momentum more than the Supreme Court’s stunning decision in June to end abortion protections, which triggered a swift backlash even in the reddest of red states.“This midterm looks and feels significantly different than it did six months ago,” said veteran Republican pollster Neil Newhouse. The abortion ruling “has energized some segments, especially the Democratic constituency, and it has thrown a wrench, at least to some extent, into the hopes of winning a ton of seats.”AdvertisementHistory suggests Republicans should dominate the November elections.In the modern era, the party that holds the White House has lost congressional seats in virtually every first-term president’s first midterm election. Ronald Reagan lost 26 House seats, Bill Clinton lost 52, Barack Obama 63 and Trump 40. Only George W. Bush’s Republican Party enjoyed a modest eight-seat gain in his first midterm, coming after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Nine weeks before Election Day, leading operatives in both parties expect Republicans to pick up roughly 10 to 20 House seats, which would give the GOP a narrow majority in the chamber in November and break up Democrats’ control of the federal government. But many Republicans are losing confidence in the high-stakes fight for the Senate majority and key governorships across the nation.In Pennsylvania, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro argues that his focus on public safety, education, the economy and freedom is driving his momentum but concedes that his opponent is also a major factor.“Folks trust me to get it done,” Shapiro, the state attorney general, told The Associated Press. “And in fairness, in part, it’s because I’m running against the guy who’s by far the most extreme and dangerous candidate in the nation.” AdvertisementIn one of the nation’s most important swing states, Republicans nominated Doug Mastriano as their nominee for governor, even after learning about his leading role in Trump’s push to overturn the 2020 election.The state senator and retired military officer helped organize the state’s effort to submit fake presidential electors beholden to Trump and was seen outside the Capitol as pro-Trump demonstrators attacked police on Jan. 6, 2021. He has also alienated moderate voters and even some Republicans with divisive positions on several issues, including abortion, which he opposes in all circumstances. M …

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