BAYHAM: That 2022 Red Wave? It’s Coming

Recent polling results are portending a major Republican victory that will sustain Republican holds in even competitive battleground states and may very well crash into strong blue states and precincts.

And as things stand now, Louisiana Congressman and Republican Whip Steve Scalise will be moving into a much bigger office come January.

There are currently 220 Democratic members of the US House of Representatives and 212 on the GOP side of the aisle with 3 vacancies (2 seats that were held by Democrats and 1 by a Republican).

According to Real Clear Politics analysis of polling data the GOP goes into November 8th heavily favored to win 225, giving Republicans control of the chamber by a margin of 7.

And that’s not counting the 35 seats that are considered as toss ups and are very much in play.

By contrast, Democrats are viewed as locks in only 175 seats.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s attempt to lose some of her bad political odor by making a symbolic (i.e., meaningless) trip to Taiwan in the midst of heated rhetoric from Beijing that seemed as choreographed from their side as much as on ours did not affect her likability, which according to a YouGov tracking survey remains underwater at a 59% unfavorable.

We could be watching the last days of Pelosi not just holding the gavel but remaining in Congress as post-election recriminations will be aired in her direction by the ever opportunistic progressive wing of her caucus.

Things are looking rosier on the other side of the rotunda as well.

In mid-September Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight gave Democrats a 71% chance of holding the upper chamber; with two weeks to go Silver is now calling it a toss up.

Former Georgia running back and Republican US Senate nominee Herschel Walker has finally found his footing in his race against Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock while Democratic chances of poaching of GOP incumbents in Florida, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Ohio are looking bleaker.

Only in Pennsylvania are things looking somewhat optimistic for Democrats and that race has taken a turn for the truly bizarre as their candidate John Fetterman has literally been running from his basement after suffering a stroke in May.

Tuesday evening’s debate against Republican nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz will demonstrate how much of a real recovery Fetterman has made in terms of his health while no longer being able to manipulate his engagement with the media. One poll this week actually shows Oz having caught and passed Fetterman, though so far that’s an outlier.

Besides Georgia, Republicans are seeking US Senate pick ups in Nevada, Arizona, New Hampshire, Colorado, and even Washington State. The GOP only needs to net a single seat to break the current 50-50 split where Vice-President Kamala Harris casts the deciding vote.

On the state executive level Democratic close-calls in red states from 2018 are turning into Republican close-calls in blue states this November.

Election denier Stacy Abrams won’t be able to fleece millions for a legal defense fund this time around and Ron DeSantis may have the privilege of ending the three-party chameleon Charlie Crust’s political career under a crushing landslide.

Over in Texas Beto O’Rourke can save the theatrics for his next music show as he is poised to be thumped by a respectable margin as he stares down his third political humbling in four years (US Senate, President, and now Governor).

Republicans are looking at winning governorships in Democratic strongholds such as Minnesota and…wait for it…Oregon.

But the big story could be in New York where Republican US Representative Lee Zeldin is quickly closing the gap against Democratic incumbent Kathy Hochul.

To be sure this isn’t the same Empire State where George Pataki dumped Mario Cuomo in 1994 so a Zeldin victory in a state that has become essentially a uni-party operation would be tremendous.

What’s driving this sudden move towards the GOP that only months ago seemed listless and prepping itself for disappointment?

While you hear a great deal about the political pendulum swinging and that such shifts are expected in mid-terms there’s far more to it than that.

The polling statistic the media never wants to talk about is the direction of the country. As things stand now according to Rasmussen it’s at 65% on the wrong track.

Paired with that number is President Biden’s approval rating, which is 43% against a 54% disapproval.

A gap of 36% to the negative on the direction of the country is fatal even in an era where political identity has become a badge of vanity for Democrats and a scarlet letter for Republicans.

At some point even those who consider voting Republican to be unspeakably unfashionable and not something to advertise are driven to that point of discreetly doing so because times are not good and the ballot representing the only semblance of control or influence the public has on managing society differently.

Democrats have controlled both chambers of Congress and the White House for two years. They’ve run some states for four years or more and many large cities longer still. At some point there’s going to be a settling of accounts or an electoral reckoning for how their policies have played out.

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