Election 2020

Dems Still Waiting, Hoping for the 'Blue Wave'

Drums along the Mohawk ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The deracinated Democrats, still unable to accept their loss in the 2016 presidential election, have pinned their hopes on the iron laws of “history” and its noble arc to tell themselves that, since the party in power usually (but not always!) loses congressional seats in an off-year national election, there’s a mighty “Blue Wave” coming this fall that will sweep the GOP from power in the House and tee up articles of impeachment against president Trump, because waaaahhhhhh.

Then again, maybe not:

For all the talk of a blue wave sweeping Democrats back into the House majority this fall, their efforts could be thwarted in one of the nation’s bluest states.

Voters in the sprawling farm country south of Minneapolis and in the economically struggling Iron Range along the Canadian border give Republicans in those two congressional districts perhaps their best chance anywhere for flipping Democratic seats. Democrats need to pick up 23 seats in November to retake the House, but the odds grow long if they lose districts they currently hold.

Democratic incumbents in both Minnesota districts are leaving office, and the races to replace them are widely rated as tossups. President Donald Trump carried both by about 15 points in 2016, even as Hillary Clinton narrowly won Minnesota. “Minnesota is going to be ground zero for control of the House,” said Corry Bliss, director of the Conservative Leadership Fund, a super PAC aligned with House Speaker Paul Ryan.

The GOP is also eying two seats in Nevada and single seats in Arizona, Florida, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania as possible flips.

To reiterate: maybe not:

Republicans appear to have closed the gap with Democrats in the all-important “generic ballot” — a clear sign that the GOP is surging politically in the run-up to the November 2018 midterms. Democrats continue to insist that a “Blue Wave” will sweep their party back into control of the House of Representatives and may even allow them to recapture the Senate as well. But the generic ballot — the best single measure of the relative balance of support of the two parties with the electorate — strongly suggests otherwise.

In the last week alone, three major pollsters have found that the gap between the two parties is statistically negligible. YouGov found a Democratic advantage of just 2 points.  Reuters found a margin of 3 points. And IBB/TIPP, considered by many to be the single most reliable pollster in the country, reported that the race is a dead heat. These findings, which contrast sharply with the large double-digit lead Democrats enjoyed last December, and again in early July, put the lie to their party’s claims of growing Trump and GOP weakness.

Maybe. The generic polls are essentially meaningless in the post-Trump era, and it’s still months to November. The Democrats could nominate a bunch of smart, attractive candidates who might well whip certain GOP stalwarts (I’m thinking of two senators, but since only one of them is up this fall, the other one is not named Ted Cruz, although he does represent a neighboring state…).

Then again, maybe not:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old self-described “democratic socialist” who unexpectedly toppled a top Democratic incumbent in the primary for New York’s 14th Congressional District, is a sudden media star even though she has not been elected to Congress. (She has no real competition in the general election.)

With celebrity comes scrutiny. Ocasio-Cortez has come under fire for dismissing concerns about the anticipated costs of her proposals and offering too-glib answers.

For instance, in an appearance on CNN on Monday, when challenged on the costs of government-financed health care, she answered: “Why aren’t we incorporating the cost of all the funeral expenses of those who died because they can’t afford access to health care? That is part of the cost of our system.”

Huh?

Like I said, maybe not.