Could the blue wave be turning into 1970 all over again?
It could be 1970 all over again.
Richard Nixon was in the White House. The Vietnam War was still fully engaged. And the counter culture and the protest movement were at the height of their power.
And the left was overplaying its hand with violent protests.
Midterm elections are typically not that kind to incumbent political parties — typically 35 seats are lost on average in the House, and 6 seats in the Senate, in elections going back to 1900 — but there are exceptions to the rule.
1970 was one of those years. Then, Republicans did lose 12 seats in the House, but picked up 4 seats in the Senate. If that’s what happens in November, Republicans would retain the House and the Senate.
Well don’t look now, but this might be a repeat performance.
Democrats need to pick up a net of two seats to gain control of the Senate. Instead, they look like they’ll be losing a few seats.
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) is down 12 points in the latest Fox News poll to Republican challenger Kevin Cramer.
Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) are all in dead heats in their respective races.
And seats Democrats thought they might be picking up in Arizona, Tennessee and Nevada are now very much in doubt. Kristen Sinema is now down 6 points in the latest ABC poll to Martha McSally. Marsha Blackburn has opened up a 14-point lead on Phil Bredesen in the latest New York Times poll. And even incumbent Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) is now ahead 7 points against challenger Jacky Rosen in the latest Emerson poll.
If Republicans hold those seats, there’s nothing left for Democrats to pick up. And if a few of the Democrat seats go the GOP’s way, Republicans would expand their majority in the Senate. Fivethirtyeight.com at this time is projecting an 81 percent change that Republicans retain the Senate. So much for the blue wave.
The American people could be reacting to the radical turn Democrats took to oppose seating Justice Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.
The House could still be a different story. There, Democrats are still leading the generic Congressional ballot by a 7-point average in the latest Real Clear Politics average and Fivethirtyeight.com projects an 84 percent chance Democrats win there.
Still, a split-decision where Republicans actually pick up seats in the Senate, even if they lose the House, would probably be viewed as a victory for President Trump and Republicans, securing a path to getting more Trump-nominated judges and executive appointments confirmed and in the meantime all but guaranteeing Democrats would lose any Trump impeachment battle in the Senate.
It might not be the greatest upset in modern political history — President Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory will likely hold that title for many years to come — but it would still be a stinging defeat for Democrats. They were counting on a blue wave, just as they were counting on stopping Kavanaugh. They were supposed to win it all and claim a mandate.
Instead, they may once again have to deal with being rejected by voters, who may be turning against the often violent radicalism that has taken hold of the left. Nobody is going to vote for a mob, no matter what letter they have after their names.
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.