A Momentum Shift in the November Elections

RECENT POLLS INDICATE a bit of a momentum fade for the Democrats, as voter anxiety over the economy and inflation exceeds concern over abortion. We reiterate that Republicans will capture the House, with the Senate now too close to call.

NOT ONLY HAVE REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS not fallen much in polls after signing into law strict abortion curbs, the Democrats face a major challenge. Voter enthusiasm appears to be tilting against them, as Joe Biden’s poll ratings slip once again — down to a dismal 39% in the new Washington Post poll.

IN FACT, SOME POLLS SHOW MORE VOTER ENTHUSIASM among opponents of abortion, and Republicans are clearly benefitting from the steady drumbeat of news about crime and the porous border. The biggest issue continues to be inflation; the late summer drop in gasoline prices has not persuaded voters that inflation has peaked.

DONALD TRUMP HAS BEEN AN ANNOYANCE for many GOP leaders, who would rather focus on their core issues than re-litigate his 2020 election loss. But there are more than just Trump Republicans; there are DeSantis Republicans, Youngkin Republicans, etc.

AND THERE ARE CENTRISTS who aren’t members of either party who are worried about the Wall Street sell-off. Third quarter stock statements, arriving in October, may shock some investors.

SO WE THINK THE HOUSE WILL FLIP: Republicans need a net pickup of only five seats, and our guess is that they will win at least a dozen, perhaps as many as 20 (some analysts are at 25-30). We’ll look at the Senate later this week; Democrats’ hopes to hang on by a seat have slipped there also.

BUT WINNING JUST THE HOUSE would give Republicans a huge advantage — a de facto veto over the Biden agenda in 2023-24. A Republican House would block any new tax proposals; there will be no hikes in the top rates, estate taxes, capital gains rates, etc. And there would be considerably less spending (except for defense).

ESPECIALLY FRUSTRATING FOR THE PRESIDENT would be an eagerness by a Republican House to probe Joe and Hunter Biden’s business dealings, with hearings virtually weekly. Would this new climate, after a Nov. 8 shellacking, persuade the elder Biden to announce during the winter that he’s not seeking a second term? We still think he will not run again.

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