If November is going to bring a “blue wave” of voters clamoring for the Democrats to take over again and bring back the good old days of high taxes, slow growth and working three part time jobs to afford a gallon of gas, then Tuesday’s elections didn’t show many signs of it.
The left’s greatest symbolic hopes for a return to national power are still teetering on a too-close-to-call 12th district congressional race in Ohio (and just stop and think for a moment what that says about how far the Party’s fortunes have fallen.) After a ridiculous amount of national jawboning and outside campaign donations, at this writing, Republican Troy Balderson is leading Democrat Danny O’Connor by 1754 votes (50.2%-49.3%) with about 3300 provisional and absentee ballots still to count.
The bad news for Republicans: this seat has been Republican for nearly 35 years and should have been safe, which shows that Republicans had better turn out and vote in November if they want to keep their majorities. The bad news for Democrats: even with all that money, publicity, celebrity endorsements and media help on his side, even if O’Connor manages to pull out a win, it will be by half a drop, not a wave. And he’s a candidate who promised not to vote for Nancy Pelosi as Speaker, which is hardly representative of the hard-left candidates the Party is saddled with elsewhere.
Some other tea leaves, if you want to read anything into them: in the statewide races in Kansas and Missouri, the kind of non-solid blue states where the Democrats need to score wins, Republican turnout was substantially larger than Democratic turnout. And every candidate endorsed by socialist media sensation Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lost or is on track to lose, showing that the brave, new socialist “wave of the future” is embraced by, at most, only about one-third of the most engaged Democratic voters.
At this writing, the only candidate endorsed by Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders who is even within grasp of winning is Kansas Congressional candidate Brent Welder, and he’s trailing Sharice Davids by about a point with 30% of precincts yet to be counted. He’s only that high because the vote was split six ways, and if the trend of “progressive” support holds, he’ll probably end up with about the same one-third of the vote in a run-off election.
Welder ran on the usual “progressive” platform of “Medicare for All” (estimated cost over 30 years, according to a new Manhattan Institute study: $218 trillion) and the kind of big hike in the minimum wage that’s putting restaurants out of business and young people out of work wherever it’s imposed.
I think it’s foolish to draw any conclusions about the general election from the primaries, but if I were forced to, I’d say Democrats do seem charged up to take back Congress, but Republicans are charged up to stop them. If Republicans avoid getting complacent, I don’t expect Democrats to surf to victory on a giant blue wave.
Also, the claim that “Democratic” socialism is rising in popularity with Mid-American working class voters reminds me of those stories that roll around every few years, assuring us that the next big trend in men’s fashion will be skirts for dudes. Just as there will always be some men who wear dresses, but it’s a rare few, the number of Americans who embrace socialism seems stuck on the same one-sixth or so of the population that will always vote for anybody who promises them enough free stuff.