There was a notable shift at Fox News tonight as election results for the midterms began to trickle in and Democrats appeared to be picking up seats. Nearly every polling organization and forcasting website had been predicting for weeks that Republicans would hold onto the Senate but lose seats in the House, and the talking heads at Fox seem to be conceding that Republicans are going to have a very bad night.
Chris Wallace said, “First of all, in terms of [Trump’s] policies, those are controversial as well. He certainly has accomplished what he’s wanted to accomplish, but there are a lot of Democrats, a lot of people are going to vote Democratic tonight, who don’t like what he has accomplished.” Wallace said that Republicans have been hit hard by Democrats on pre-existing conditions as they relate to Obamacare. “Frankly, Republicans, as I interviewed them on ‘Fox News Sunday’ over the last couple of months, never got a good answer on that,” said Wallace. “The fact is that ‘repeal and replace’ does significantly weaken the pre-existing condition protection.”
Martha MacCallum pointed out the importance of tax reform as an issue. “That has been something that people in New York and New Jersey have been very unhappy about and in California as well, Brit,” she said.
Brit Hume opined, “One of the things that’s striking about what our poll has shown, this massive poll we did, is that the tax cut is underwater. Not by a lot, but it is underwater.”
“The economy grows like mad, stock market’s over the moon, right? And your tax cut’s unpopular,” he said. “How can that be?
“It happens almost every time. Republicans are for tax cuts, not so much because they want people to have money in their pockets so they will spend it. …They want to see the economy grow and they think tax cuts help it to do that. But what happens in the debates over tax cuts, it always comes down to who gets what in the tax cut itself, not the larger benefit to the overall economy. That connection was never made by the Republicans, and I think part of the result is what you see tonight. You’ve got a roaring economy in the wake of tax cuts, and the tax cuts are not popular.”
MacCallum raised the question of how well Republicans sold the tax cuts.
“It is a trap that Republicans fall into every time,” said Hume. “Their critics say ‘look who’s getting this, and look who’s getting that.’ The rich didn’t do very well in this tax cut. It was very much a middle-class tax cut. Even that point didn’t get sold, but the one that really didn’t get sold was the growth component.”
Laura Ingraham pointed out that Republicans are angry about the wall not being built. “They are directing their frustration, I think, at Congress. Trump is on the ballot, obviously, but the president is more popular than Congress, both Republicans and Democrats.” She said that the president has been “carrying this party on his back for the last three or four weeks, especially.”
“Brit is exactly right about this tax cut,” she added. “$1200 might not mean a lot to a lot of rich people in Manhattan and Washington, D.C. — but it means a heck of a lot to a mom in Lexington, Kentucky, who hasn’t taken a vacation in three years .. that money is real money to them. ” Republicans, she said, don’t know how to tell the story of America. “The Democrats are better at the emotional anecdotes. Tugging at your heartstrings, the kid who can’t get his procedure covered by insurance and it’s very emotional, and people like emotion, it is good.” She advised Republicans to “get away from the charts and graphs, get right to the people of the country. I think you usually will do better.”
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