It’s said that elephants have long memories. Rejuvenated Republican voters need to have long- and short-term memories — starting with a long-term recollection of better economic times before the Biden administration. Short-term memory is easily fulfilled: Americans need only fill up their gas tanks on the way to the grocery store.
Democrats, to the contrary, are hoping their voters have only short-term memories — or perhaps just blind faith. But Democratic voters also fill their tanks and drive to the grocery store.
Despite what Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said, inflation is not transitory. The Federal Reserve’s next Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting is Nov. 1 and 2, and all indications are that it will raise interest rates another 75 basis points. There’s no soft landing for the economy, just a hard reality, especially for the middle class, lower-income earners and retirees.
The media often ignores a bad economy and its effect on wealthier Americans. These are investors in the markets, venture capital, and the drivers of retail purchasing and service consumption. All segments of the population are affected by and are important to a functioning economy. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) can’t change the conversation; Americans cannot ignore economic reality. More Americans drive to the gas station and the grocery store than to the abortion clinic.
Every political race this midterm matters. Low voter turnout favors Democratic candidates. Even in tough or unwinnable districts, Republican voters cannot surrender to apathy and cynicism.
First, the Senate: Republicans will not easily replace the current establishment leadership of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), but even a simple majority changes the leadership of committees. This is where there can be a better stand against a broken establishment and bad policy. Better coordination between both houses can stall if not occasionally stop President Biden’s progressive onslaught.
Next, the House of Representatives: Again, the challenge is the establishment leadership, but a growing Freedom Caucus and members who may not be part of that caucus but are more constitutionally oriented in their outlook can play a significant role in better legislation. It is even possible, based on the numbers that would support a return to regular order, that this would be a significant change.
In both the Senate and the House, there has been too much power in the leadership and not enough hearings by committees.
Now to some individual races:
* The Pennsylvania Senate debate story has already been written by the John Fetterman (D) campaign. He will underperform as expected and will blame Republican Mehmet Oz for being better at debating. Democrats will vote to win in Pennsylvania, even for a medically-compromised Fetterman. If he becomes even less capable of doing the job, a likely Democratic governor would appoint a Democrat to replace him. This brings up the importance of the governor’s race between Republican Doug Mastriano and Democrat Josh Shapiro.
* The Georgia Senate race between Republican Herschel Walker and Sen. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, will likely benefit from the race between Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and his challenger, Stacey Abrams (D). She has been exposed multiple times as someone who uses her organizations to fight battles based on allegations that are then proven false when it comes to voting and other issues.
Governors matter. Republican governors are the chance to stop a heavy-handed federal government’s intrusion into our daily lives and businesses.
The New York gubernatorial contest between Rep. Lee Zeldin (R) and Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) is a last-ditch effort to save New York state and possibly even New York City. The polls appear to be tightening because the realities are there for all to see on video daily.
The Florida governor and Senate races are a little too close for GOP comfort. Republicans must hold both seats. If Rep. Val Demings (D) wins the Senate race or Rep. Charlie Crist (D) wins the governor’s race, there will be political blood in the water and progressives will have a powerful message.
There’s more on the ballots across the country, too. Democrats want Americans hyper-focused on the U.S. House and Senate; after all, they’re likely to lose the House and the Senate remains in play. The smart strategy is to chip away at the future by winning down-ballot races — school boards, city councils, mayors, county seats, sheriffs, and any other local elected officials who will rise in the ranks to make policy decisions. It’s a smart strategy in a winning or losing cycle.
Case in point: the quiet, ongoing overhaul of the U.S. justice system that began in 2015 with the election of progressive prosecutors in major cities across the country. The Democratic Party and, now, its progressive leadership took small bites and eventually ate the elephant in the case of those prosecutors.
Webb is host of “The David Webb Show” on SiriusXM Patriot 125, a Fox Nation host, Fox News contributor and a frequent television commentator. His column appears twice a month in The Hill.