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CHRISTOPHER ROACH: 2020 Has Echoes of 1996 for the Opposition Party.

The objective facts favor Donald Trump’s reelection for many of the same reasons Clinton was a favorite in 1996. The economy is doing quite well, and his tax cuts and regulatory reforms appear to be at least part of the reason.

Of course, he has not delivered on his main campaign promises, but he appears to his supporters at least to be trying, even in the face of bipartisan resistance. His deviations from promises appear aligned with rather than opposing public opinion.

Also, Trump rather decisively defeated ISIS’s caliphate in Syria, but has so far avoided calls for getting involved in another Middle Eastern war. Even Obama could not avoid this temptation, in spite of running as the “peace candidate” in 2008.

In short, we were warned that Trump would destroy the economy, the norms of good governance, and possibly act recklessly with his “finger on the button” in the event he became president. Instead, everything feels quite normal, prosperous, and predictable.

The gap between the Democratic Party’s hatred of Trump and his results mirrors the chasm between Republican Party’s Clinton hatred and the relatively modest evils of Clinton’s first term as president. Then, as now, there is some “outrage fatigue” among ordinary Americans, who are not nearly as partisan or engaged as the political press, volunteers, and donors who follow politics like a sport in both parties.

More important, by combining this background of ideological fervor and a “ho hum” candidate, Dole failed to excite the base, even as Republican rhetoric alienated those in the middle and within the Democratic Party.

Don’t get cocky.

DON’T GET COCKY: Biden Beating Trump in Texas? We’ve Heard This Story Before.

DON’T GET COCKY: Are Democrats choosing to lose?

DON’T GET COCKY: Trump Finally Has the Wind at his Back.

DON’T GET COCKY: Why Joe Biden can’t win.

DON’T GET COCKY: Three Modelers Predict Trump Will Be Reelected.

DON’T GET COCKY, KID: 3 forecast modelers predict Trump will win in 2020.

DON’T GET COCKY, KID: SpaceX Starlink Will Equal Launch Revenue in 2020 and Will Make Elon the World’s Richest Person by 2023. But actually, I hope this is true. If it is, there’ll be lots of other people investing in space development.

CHANGE? Theresa May on track for the worst General Election result in Tory Party history – as Brexit Party is predicted to win more votes than Labour and Conservatives COMBINED in European elections, polls say.

In an Opinium poll in the Observer, focused on this month’s European elections, Nigel Farage’s new party is predicted to hoover up 34 per cent of the vote. The same poll gave Labour 21 per cent and put the Tories in a miserable fourth place with 11 per cent

But an even more extraordinary poll, commissioned by a Brexit Party donor and published in the Sunday Telegraph, said for the first time the Brexit Party would beat the Tories in a General Election.

The ComRes survey of voting intentions put Brexit on 21 per cent to the Conservatives’ 20, which would see Farage’s team win 49 seats, becoming the UK’s second biggest party after Labour, with 137.

Don’t get cocky, of course, and this election is only for the European Parliament, not the actual British Parliament. Even so, Tories ought to weight this advice heavily: “If the Conservative leadership contenders are not careful, there will be no party for them to lead.”

DON’T GET COCKY, KIDS: Trump captures Biden’s blue-collar, older voter base.

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s hope of riding the support of blue-collar workers and older voters to the White House has hit a wall called President Trump.

In a survey of key battleground states conducted after Biden entered the 2020 Democratic primary, Trump not only has a 46%-44% edge, but he has a 26-point lead among non-college educated workers earning $75,000 or less, considered the blue-collar base and a Biden target.

What’s more, the battleground state survey from WPA Intelligence showed that Trump does better with Biden’s other main support group, older voters, and has a 48%-44% lead over Biden in Florida, dubbed the Democrat’s “firewall.”

Well, Trump has been a successful President. Biden was an unexceptional Vice President.

ROGER KIMBALL: It doesn’t matter who Trump runs with: he’ll still win in 2020.

I realize we’re talking about Trump here, but still, as Glenn says, don’t get cocky.

DON’T GET COCKY: Donald Trump’s 2020 Election Victory Chances are Very Real.

DON’T GET COCKY: Four Reasons Why the Dems Will Lose in 2020.

The nation is actually doing quite well under President Trump, although you could never tell if your news comes from MSNBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, collectively the propaganda wing of the Democratic Party. Those manufacturing jobs we were told were gone? They are back. That 3% GDP that eluded Trump’s predecessor has returned and been exceeded. Those young black men who could not find work previously? They have found it now. That wealth disparity that Brother Bernie goes on and on about? It has diminished in recent years. Those flat wages? They have increased. Those who gave up looking for jobs? Many have now found the work that eluded them. Such positive news is always downplayed by the media and the Democrats.

The Democrats do best when the nation does poorly.

Remember in ‘92, Bill Clinton said; “It’s the economy, stupid”. When he said that, he did not have the facts regarding the economy on his side, but the message was clear: The economic condition will play a key role in determining the outcome of the election. Today that plays into President Trump’s hands.

Yeah, but I remember the press falling all over themselves to go along with Clinton’s claim that the short and relatively mild recession of late-1990/early-1991 was the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression — even though it was over before the campaign began.

DON’T GET COCKY, KIDS: The Trump 2020 campaign is much, much more formidable than 2016.

RICK MORAN: Forecasting Model that Predicted Trump Win in 2016 Shows the President in Good Shape for 2020. “It won’t matter who the Democrats run if the economy is experiencing modest growth.”

Great model. Don’t get cocky.

CONRAD BLACK: Democrats in 2020: Unelectable Nonentities. “It is now almost too late for the Democrats to shift lanes into plausible electability.”

Don’t get cocky, kid.

WAY TOO EARLY PRESEASON PREDICTIONS: The Dems Will Lose the House in 2020 — Anti-Semitism, socialism, and giving the vote to illegal immigrants is a losing agenda.

As we saw in 2016 and 2018, nobody should be getting cocky about their election chances.

CONRAD BLACK: Donald Trump’s Annihilation of the Democratic Party. Nice speech, kid. Don’t get cocky.

COLD WAR II: Beijing Set for ‘Ideological Battle’ with U.S.

“Chinese leaders will increasingly seek to assert China’s model of authoritarian capitalism as an alternative—and implicitly superior—development path abroad, exacerbating great-power competition that could threaten international support for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law,” he stated.

Xi and his advisers are imposing new dictatorial measures at home while backing authoritarian regimes around the world. The practice can be “corrosive to civil society and the rule of law,” the DNI said.

Xi also declared last year China will try to launch a program to reform the global governance system that Coats forecast will produce increased Chinese activism internationally and promote “a Chinese worldview that links China’s domestic vision to its international vision.”

“Beijing has stepped up efforts to reshape the international discourse around human rights, especially within the U.N. system,” he stated.

China’s Communists are feeling cocky enough to drop the non-ideological facade they’ve worn since brutally asserting their authority at Tiananmen Square.

DON’T GET COCKY™: 10 Reasons Trump Will Win Reelection. “Let’s call Trump a Putin-puppet racist rapist, compulsive liar, narcissistic conman who sexually desires his daughter, and is literally Hitler. Done. What else you got?”

We’ll know soon enough.

AS GLENN WAS SAYING, THEY DO SEEM LIKE AN EMOTIONALLY FRAGILE BUNCH: NYT Makes Changes To Election Needle So Readers Won’t Get Upset.

The NYT is working to avoid triggering panic attacks among people who felt the election needle duped them into believing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would easily win. The needle supposedly created confusion between real-life election data and flawed predictive polling.

“Until we get a sufficient sampling of early results to make that model meaningful, we won’t even surface the needle,” Managing Editor Joe Kahn told Vanity Fair’s Joe Pompeo Monday. There will now be two needles – one for the House and one for the Senate – and neither will be placed high up on the front page, he said.

“People have expressed a concern that even though our real-time election model is extremely valuable, that despite that, we should still be very cautious about featuring the needle prominently in our coverage on Election Night—not because we’re not confident in it, but because certain readers may have a nervous reaction to the re-introduction of the needle,” he added.

I’ve noticed a lot more pre-election, pre-excuse-mongering from the Left in just the last few days — but I’m still not getting cocky.

RASMUSSEN: Generic Congressional Ballot’s All Tied Up.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey of Likely U.S. Voters finds that 46% would choose the Republican candidate if the elections for Congress were held today. Forty-five percent (45%) would vote for the Democrat. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate, and six percent (6%) remain undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

A week ago, Democrats held a 47% to 44% lead. Since Rasmussen Reports began the weekly surveying in early May, Democrats have led every week but one until early last month. Following the controversy surrounding the Senate confirmation of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanuagh, the Generic Congressional Ballot was tied for two weeks, but then Democrats moved back ahead.

The GOP now has a small lead among voters not affiliated with either major party. But significantly, 20% of these voters remain undecided or prefer someone other than the Republican or Democratic candidates.

In other words: Don’t get cocky.

AT THIS POINT, NOBODY SHOULD BE COCKY: Sabato: Dems should win House majority, but warns of 11th hour ‘sputtering out.’

DON’T GET COCKY, KIDS: Poll: Trump Hits Record High Approval Rating with Black Voters Amid BLEXIT Launch.

DON’T GET COCKY, KIDS: Smart money is on Republicans keeping control of House, betting site odds say.

UPDATE: I said not to get cocky. Three well-known sites have DEMOCRATS favored to win House. Meanwhile, a friend on Facebook posts: “What am I doing this afternoon? Well, so glad you asked: I’m making thousands of phone calls to NC Republicans and asking them if they know where their polling place is; do they need a ride to the polls; is there someone they know who needs one; would they like a Republican voter guide (or at least see if they understand the other ballot proposals)… Hook up with your (largely useless) GOP locally and do what you can – everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) hinges on these midterm elections!”

BLUE WAVE? Flop Sweat: Democrats Pour Nearly Three Million More Dollars Into…New Jersey.

Don’t get cocky.

DON’T GET COCKY, BUT I ADVISE YOU VOTE AS LATE AS YOU CAN AND LIE TO ALL POLLSTERS:  Early Voting: Don’t Get Complacent.

DON’T GET COCKY: The 2018 Democratic ‘Blue Wave’ May Be a Dud.

USA TODAY: President Trump’s approval rating hits new high as Democratic lead shrinks in tight races, poll says. Don’t get cocky, kids.

AND DON’T GET COCKY:  Don’t Get Cocky: Republican Election Hurdles for November.

WORRIES AT THE NEW YORK TIMES: What if the Republicans Win Everything Again? Total victory for the G.O.P. would mean Trump unleashed.

Related: “Anyway, R+6 in the Senate is, if not crazy, pretty close to it. But it says something both about the awfulness of this map for Democrats & where things have gone since Labor Day that it’s October 19 & R+6 is still not a possibility you could totally rule out.”

Well, don’t get cocky, kids. If you care, you should be volunteering and donating.

NOBODY SHOULD GET COCKY IN THIS ELECTION CYCLE: Politico: Say, Republicans might hold onto the House after all.

(Link safe; goes to Hot Air.)

DON’T GET COCKY OR COMPLACENT. EVEN IF YOU LIKE TO PICK AND CHOOSE, THIS YEAR VOTE STRAIGHT GOP. THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AS CURRENTLY CONSTITUTED IS A CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER TO THE REPUBLIC AND WILL NOT CHANGE EXCEPT THROUGH PERSISTENT DEBACLE:  ‘Blue Wave’ Ebbing? Dem Advantages Offset by Strong Economy.

IT COULD HAVE A LOT TO DO WITH THE WAY THE MOB THE DEMS HAVE BEEN BEHAVING. THREATS OF VIOLENCE INCREASE NEED FOR DEFENSE: Poll: Support for Gun Control Drops Ahead of Midterm Elections.  But remember how wrong the polls were in 16. So even if it seems to favor us, don’t get cocky.  Don’t answer polls, or lie, vote as late as you can, and if you can in person (if they don’t know how many votes to manufacture we get to surprise them) but above all VOTE.

YES, SURE, BUT REMEMBER CRAZY TACTICS WORK ON THE INSANE AND DON’T GET COCKY:  The Democrats Must Be Defeated.

BLUE WAVE? Polarization Seems to Be Helping Republicans in Run-Up to Midterms. “Energized voters on the right dim prospects for big Democratic gains in red districts and states.”

Nate Cohn:

The fight over Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court seems to have contributed to polarizing the electorate, helping Republicans gain in red states and districts even as Democrats cement their strong position elsewhere. The trend might fade, but if it holds it will be an abrupt change from earlier polls and last year’s special election results, which indicated that Democrats were highly competitive in red areas.

Instead, the district and state polling raises the possibility of an election more like last year’s Virginia elections or the 2010 midterm elections. Both were strong results for the party out of power — but the big numbers came mainly on home turf. A similar result this year would tend to lock the Democrats into their single biggest disadvantage: the map.

The Democratic geographic disadvantage is so severe that it gives the Republicans a chance to survive a so-called wave election, like the 1994, 2006 and 2010 elections that flipped control of the House.

Don’t. Get. Cocky.

DON’T GET COCKY: Don’t expect a big Democratic wave this fall, a new CNBC poll says.

BLUE WAVE: ABC: Generic Ballot In Battleground Districts Is … R+1? Nice poll, kid. Don’t get cocky.

Related: Salena Zito: A Republican red tide is pushing back against the Dems’ blue wave. “If people like Westbrook and Vogel coalesce around the GOP, the Democrats could be in trouble. And if the Democrats keep supporting people who claw at the doors of the Supreme Court in protest, or harass Republicans and their families at dinners, or talk nonstop about impeachment or echo Hillary Clinton’s sentiment that: ‘You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for,’ then they may do what I thought unlikely: stop their own blue wave mid-flow.”

DON’T GET COCKY, KID: Pollster Zogby: Dem House win ‘far from certain, elusive,’ Senate ‘nearly impossible.’

But if it turns out that way, this is why: Trump’s list: 289 accomplishments in just 20 months, ‘relentless’ promise-keeping.

Related: Marc Thiessen: Trump could be the most honest president in modern history. To be fair, that’s a low bar to clear. “For better or worse, since taking office Trump has done exactly what he promised he would do.”

BLUE WAVE: Texas: Cruz 54, O’Rourke 45. But the GOP shouldn’t get cocky. There are weeks to go, and weeks are like years in today’s politics.

DON’T GET COCKY: What to Expect in the Midterm Elections for the GOP.

BLUE WAVE? Multiple pollsters now warning Dems they may fall short of winning the House.

Nobody should get cocky in this election cycle.

NEW YORK TIMES: Why New Jersey Democrats Are Suddenly Worried About the Menendez Race. Don’t get cocky, kids.

So what are the Senate races where an injection of volunteers and donations might make a difference? I have some ideas, but I want yours.

GREAT MOUNTAIN CHART, KID — DON’T GET COCKY. Chart of shame: The S&P 500 vs. everyone who said the market was about to crash

DON’T GET COCKY:  CBS News pollster reveals why ‘blue wave’ is unlikely.

HMM: New York’s 19th Congressional District Resists ‘Blue Wave.’

Nobody, red or blue, should get cocky. And if you care about this, pick a campaign to donate to or volunteer for.

DON’T GET COCKY:  CBS News pollster reveals why ‘blue wave’ is unlikely.

DON’T GET COCKY:  So much for the ‘blue wave’ in Florida.

DON’T GET COCKY: Democrat Advantage on House Ballot Slips Below Four Points.

DON’T GET COCKY: It’s Been A Bad Week For Liberals.

DON’T GET COCKY:  Blue Wave Missing in Action.

REPUBLICAN TROY BALDERSON WINS BELLWETHER OHIO SPECIAL ELECTION.

Link is to the NYT, but here’s how Drudge plays it:

Related: Socialist star Ocasio-Cortez strikes out: All endorsed candidates lose Tuesday primaries.

Don’t get cocky, kids. The Ohio race shouldn’t have been this close.

BLUE WAVE? In Deeply Blue New Jersey, an Unexpected Battle for Senate.

Facing a deep-pocketed Republican challenger, a blitz of negative ads and lingering concerns over a lackluster performance in an uncontested primary, Mr. Menendez’s race has started to concern some Democrats. After weathering a criminal indictment and a harsh ethics rebuke from his Senate peers, Mr. Menendez may find himself in a tough enough re-election fight that will force the party to devote money and energy needed in other races critical to the party’s quest to retake Congress.

In theory, Mr. Menendez, 64, should win easily: Registered Democratic voters outnumber Republicans by nearly 900,000; President Trump remains deeply unpopular; contested congressional races are energizing Democrats; and he has the backing of a Democratic machine that still has enough clout to deliver victory.

But despite the advantages, Mr. Menendez has shown signs of weakened support.

I wonder why that is…

In any case, don’t get cocky.

DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT GETTING COCKY:  All Hands on Deck for Operation Midterms.

PAUL BEDARD: Pollsters: Trump knows ‘how to win,’ would beat 2020 liberal ‘decisively.’

Democratic pollster John Zogby doesn’t care much for many of President Trump’s policies and thinks the man is rude, but he’s also coming to the conclusion that the Republican has something very big going for him.

“Some people just know how to win,” said Zogby, who didn’t think Trump would make it out of the Republican primaries in 2016.

After two years of polling on Trump, Zogby said that the president is emerging as an unusual non-politician who has confounded his critics and even his own party leaders by succeeding on an aggressive agenda that has pleased his supporters.

He compares Trump to three former presidents, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt, who entered office to shock from the ruling elite. “With all three there was sense by the elites that this was the end of the world,” said Zogby.

But like them, Trump has connected with many in the country by battling the ruling powers. In his latest John Zogby Strategies poll, 54 percent view Trump as one “who is fighting the Washington, D.C. establishment,” compared to 26 percent who view him as an insider. He revealed the results in his Forbes Magazine column.

It is part of what Trump campaign pollster John McLaughlin called the president’s profile as the “blue collar billionaire,” a leader standing up to Washington, and last week NATO, for taxpayers and workers.

“If you are a working class person, it feels to you that he is fighting for you,” McLaughlin said. “He’s their president.”

New polling from Zogby’s son Jonathan, who conducts the trademarked Zogby Poll, revealed that feeling is true even among some Hispanics and African Americans. His polling shows that a sizable portion of minorities feel positive about their lives and future finances under Trump, something that his father John Zogby said could “lessen the fervor to say, ‘We’re going to Hell, I’ve got to get this guy out of there.’ ”

While Trump’s critics suggest that there has never been such a threatening president, Zogby said that the same charges were filed against Jackson, Lincoln and Roosevelt, and they won reelection. “They don’t remember that we’ve been here before. There is precedent,” he said.

Well, don’t get cocky, kids.

WORRIES AT SALON: New poll spells doom for Democrats’ dreams of a blue wave: Three Senate Democrats are running behind their Republican challengers — leaving Democrats worried about the fall.

Don’t get cocky, kids. And if you care about what happens, find a close race and donate or volunteer.

BLUE WAVE? Heidi Heitkamp faces reality of losing seat as race re-classified to ’tilt Republican.’

The classification increases the pressure on Heitkamp, who has been busy forging herself as a moderate Democrat not afraid to work with President Donald Trump and Republicans while fighting for the interests of North Dakotans.

Heitkamp has been forced to move toward the center because she’s defending a seat in a state that Trump won by more than 30 points over Hillary Clinton in 2016. To make matters worse, Heitkamp endorsed Clinton during the 2016 presidential race, an endorsement she has since rescinded.

When Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, Heitkamp’s plate became even fuller. To appease North Dakota voters and help herself in November, Heitkamp will likely be forced to vote against her party and in favor of whoever Trump nominates to the Supreme Court.

To put it kindly, Heitkamp is vulnerable and Inside Elections’ analysis only confirms what political observers predicted about the race.

Don’t get cocky.

DON’T GET COCKY, KIDS: Beware The Red Wave.

But however skewed Rasmussen’s poll sample might be, that 74 percent number indicates the Democrats are in serious trouble if they actually believe a far-left push is the key to winning those mid-term elections. It isn’t. It is a complete invitation to disaster. The Rasmussen poll isn’t the only one recently offering an indication the Democrats are on the absolute wrong track this year. In another, this one from Reuters/Ipsos, the Dems are cratering among the millennials they’re trying to build their party around — dropping from 55 percent support over Republicans two years ago to 46 percent now. And among white millennials the numbers are catastrophic. Two years ago with white voters between 18 and 34, Democrats held a 47-33 edge over Republicans; now it’s 39-39. And with white male millennials it’s an almost unimaginable swing; what was a 48-36 Democrat advantage is now a 46-37 GOP edge.

Dems are underperforming among Hispanics this year, too. But November is still a long way away, and if you want to have an impact, you should get involved in a campaign — not necessarily where you live, but where it will make the most difference.

DON’T GET COCKY, KID: Roger Kimball: The Left Is Slipping into Terminal Irrelevance.

DON’T GET COCKY, KID: Trump ‘bullish’ on midterm elections, poll shows ‘rising tide’ for GOP.

Buoyed by the support he sees for his policies outside the Beltway and new polls showing a “rising tide” for Republicans, President Trump is growing more confident that his party will retain control of the House and Senate in the midterm elections.

“He’s pretty bullish,” said Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy, who traveled on Air Force One to Trump’s sold out rally in Duluth, Minn., Wednesday. . . .

Once poised to deliver a knockout blow to the White House, Democrats have seen their advantage lessen in midterm election polls. The latest Suffolk University/USA Today survey found Trump’s approval ratings increasing and the gap between House Democrats and Republicans shrinking.

There’s still a lot of time before November. And if you care what happens, you should be donating to, or better yet volunteering for, a candidate you like.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Michael Barone: California results suggest blue wave has crested and ebbed. Don’t get cocky, kids. And remember, you can do much more good picking a campaign to donate to and volunteer for than you can by tweeting or posting blog comments.

DON’T GET COCKY:  In the midterms, even those who dislike Trump may not like the Democrats’ focus on impeachment and “resistance,” says John Fund.

YUGE: 5 Reasons Trump Will Win 40 States in 2020.

Here’s one:

He Will Garner Record African American Support.

Driven largely on great home-ownership numbers, George W. Bush garnered the modern era’s greatest numbers of African American voters. It was all of 11%.

The lock-hold that the American left has handcuffed the African American vote with is both cultural and economic. And while President Trump will — like all GOP Presidents in the era — not likely gain the majority of African American votes, even an increase of 15-20% of their overall votes would trigger a seismic landslide. Consider that Bush was able to improve the lives of many by increased home-ownership. Consider that President Obama oversaw a rapid decline in the lives of African Americans. Then consider that no group has benefitted more from Trump reforms, deregulation, and job creation initiatives than the nation’s African Americans. But also consider the cultural impact President Trump is making on the issue of prison reform, cracking down on dangerous gang activity (of which minorities are the overwhelming majority of victims,) and pardoning African Americans wrongfully imprisoned, and their is a cultural shift occurring that no one is yet reporting. That he is even reaching out to the very sports figures who have opposed him and embracing cultural figures and giving them audience to hear their hearts and minds in order to achieve justice on some social level—is a picture that African American communities are unaccustomed to seeing. President Obama’s went to black churches, put in affected speech patterns, and bemoaned conditions. By contrast President Trump invites them to the White House, listens to their legitimate complaints and plots solutions. I would not be surprised if he were to break 30% of African American support in 2020.

Don’t get cocky.

THE COCKYNESS – IT IS STILL BEST TO ESCHEW IT, YOUNG PADAWAN: This Midterm Cycle . . . Doesn’t Look Nearly as Bad for the GOP as It Once Did.

BEN SHAPIRO: Are Democrats Blowing It?

Instead of playing nice with Trump, while stoking the flames of anti-Trump ire with their base, Democrats promised a deus ex machina: Trump would flame out, retire, be impeached, be prosecuted by Robert Mueller for Russian collusion, and all the rest. Trump wasn’t merely a bad guy — he was the worst guy, a buffoonish Hitler clad in the armor of cruel conservatism.

But there’s a problem: Trump hasn’t flamed out. Mueller so far hasn’t come up with credible evidence of Russian collusion, and even the high hopes surrounding porn star Stormy Daniels have gone flaccid. Trump himself seems alternatively irked by his office and trollishly empowered by it, but never willing to walk away. That’s dispiriting to the Democratic base, which spends each morning fuming over the latest Trumpian twitterstorm, thrilling to the extremist musings of kooks such as Maxine Waters (D., Calif.).

Any plan which relies on the ineptitude of your opponent is hardly a plan at all.

More:

All of which means that Democrats have been forced to turn to the second prong of their 2018 attack: policy.

But on policy, the Democratic record looks even worse. Trump’s rhetoric continues to fuel feelings of unmoored chaos, but the markets continue to soar, the job market grows, and we’re not in the middle of any serious foreign-policy crisis. In 2016, CNN Money warned, “A Trump win would sink stocks.” Nope. Pelosi warned that Trump’s tax cuts were mere “crumbs” that would amount to nothing. Nope. Hollywood celebrities warned about the significant possibility of global thermonuclear war. Nope. Democrats promised a dystopian hellscape. Instead, they got an economy so good that the New York Times ran a piece headlined “We Ran Out of Words to Describe How Good the Jobs Numbers Are.”

Don’t get cocky.

BLUE WAVE? House generic ballot a toss-up.

The CBS News/YouGov Battleground Tracker shows that if the 2018 midterm elections happened now, Democrats would take 219 seats in the House, while Republicans would take 216.

The tracker has a margin of error of nine seats, making this year’s race for control a toss-up between the two parties.

This is definitely not the time to get cocky.

PAUL BEDARD: 2020: Trump gains on Democrats, Stephen Miller says polls better than in 2016 win. Don’t get cocky, kid.

BLUE WAVE? The GOP’s Midterm Prospects Brighten by the Day.

Nice polls, kid. Don’t get cocky.™

BLUE WAVE? 48 Hours Later, Media Still Keeps Dems’ Total Collapse in Reuters Poll a Secret.

Nice polls, kid. Don’t get cocky.™

NICE POLLS KID. DON’T GET COCKY. From Blue Wave to Blue Trickle to Blue Gurgle.

BLUE WAVE?

As always: Don’t get cocky.

BLUE WAVE? Dem Advantage on Generic Ballot Down to 1.4%.

Historically, Democrats have needed about a five-point or better advantage to take the House.

Still, don’t get cocky.

BLUE WAVE? Why the Democrats Just Lost the Senate. “While Nancy Pelosi is shopping for speaker’s gavels, Chuck Schumer should be preparing for another term as minority leader.”

Because the bulk of Republican incumbents up for reelection this year are in states that are nearly impregnable—think Nebraska, Utah, Wyoming—Democrats will almost certainly have to defeat Nevada’s Dean Heller and pick up the Arizona seat left open by Jeff Flake’s retirement.

Beyond that pair, everything else is a stretch. Rep. Marsha Blackburn appears capable of blowing a lay-up open seat in Tennessee for the Republicans, and there are signs that Sen. Ted Cruz could be ripe for a takedown from cash-flush Democrat Beto O’Rourke in Texas, but both of those races are mostly progressive wishcasting at this point.

In any case, picking up two seats is the easy part. The Democrats must also protect incumbents in 10 states that Trump won in 2016. Five of those senators (Indiana’s Joe Donnelly; Missouri’s Claire McCaskill; Montana’s Jon Tester; North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp; and Manchin) represent states where Hillary Clinton failed to muster even 40 percent of the vote.

The Democratic brand is no asset in many of these places. Equally important, the president known for his historically weak approval ratings at the national level remains popular locally in states like Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia.

Charlie Mahtesian repeats the conventional wisdom that “the House seems to be a lost cause for Republicans,” but that might not be the case.

Anyway, don’t get cocky.

GREAT SPECIAL ELECTION, KID — BUT NO ONE SHOULD BE COCKY IN THIS ELECTION CYCLE: ‘Blue Wave’ Fizzles as AP Declares Republican Debbie Lesko Winner of Arizona Special Congressional Election.

DON’T GET COCKY: GOP worries Blankenship surge will cost party W. Va. Senate seat.

DON’T GET COCKY, KIDS: Republicans not alarmed by bad poll result for Blackburn in Tennessee.

DON’T GET COCKY, KIDS: Bumps Appear on Democrats’ Road to Midterm Triumph: Republicans are getting a chance to be competitive in Connecticut, Iowa and California House races that once looked daunting.

Here in Tennessee, Phil Bredesen is polling ahead of Marsha Blackburn for the Senate seat Bob Corker is vacating.

PHILIP ELLIOTT: Democrats Shouldn’t Get Too Cocky About Their Big Win in Trump Country.

The bigger fight in 2018 is unlikely to be a carbon copy of what narrowly happened in Appalachia for a number of reasons. For one, Democrats avoided a messy primary fight in picking Lamb, a Marine veteran who secured the nomination by winning over 319 Democrats’ backing in a high school gym filled with 554 activists back in November. In other scenarios, an energized activist base on the Left — populated by newcomers to the process who demand ideological purity — may have prevented Lamb from winning the nomination had there been a real contest. In recent weeks, more than a few progressive activists grumbled that whether Lamb won or lost, another white male who wasn’t a full-throated supporter of abortion rights would represent the district. (Lamb said he supported abortion rights but was personally opposed to the legal procedure, a stance that matches Democrats’ 2016 VP nominee Tim Kaine. Republicans called Lamb’s position “pro-life-ish.”)

At the same time, Lamb steadfastly avoided nationalizing the race and brushed off most questions about Trump. While liberals are largely united in their disdain of the President, Lamb gamely avoided moving him to center stage. Many of the loudest voices on the Left have tried to cast 2018 as a referendum on Republicans’ national agenda. Instead, Lamb kept the focus at home and talked about policy areas that matched the voters.

Democrats have acknowledged their problems with recruiting the right candidates. For every Lamb victory, there are at least as many idealists who fire up online activists and donors — only to fall in defeat when their progressive ideas are rejected by the voters who actually matter.

And maybe voters have wised up some since the 2006 election, when all those newly elected “moderate” Democrats voted in virtual lockstep with Nancy Pelosi.

AXIOS: Exclusive polls: Big warning signs for Senate Democrats. Nobody from either party should get excited about polls at this point, but this does shred the “inevitable Blue Wave” narrative.

Related: About That Blue Wave: “The prevailing wisdom suggests that there will be a Democratic wave election in 2018. In a manner that suggests that little was learned from the 2016 primary or general elections, pundits and analysts seem so committed to this narrative that they promote it even when the data point in the other direction.”

Also: New Poll: Rick Scott Leads Bill Nelson 42-35 in Florida.

Plus: Marquette Poll finds Tammy Baldwin underwater on favorability, 39% unfavorable/ 37% favorable.

Don’t get cocky, kids — whether you’re Dems or Republicans. Remember, the voters don’t like much of anyone, really.

WEIRD, POLITICO HAD A SIMILAR PIECE THE OTHER DAY: TNR: How Trump Wins Re-Election.

Internal polling by the Democratic group Priorities USA showed the president’s approval rating had climbed to 44 percent in early February, which “mirrors Trump’s improving position in public polls.” Gallup finds a narrow majority of Americans support his handling of the economy, and the new Republican tax law is getting more popular.

“I think people just kind of assume he’s a goner,” FiveThirtyEight statistician Nate Silver told me recently, “but look, he’s now more in a range where presidents have recovered to win reelection. His approval rating is up to 41 or 42 percent in our tracking. That verges on being a normal number that resembles what happened to Reagan or Clinton or Obama in their second years.” (Silver noted over the weekend that Trump dipped to 39 percent in their tracking.) As Jim Messina, who managed President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012, warned earlier this month, “Donald Trump can absolutely be reelected.” . . .

“If you had the election literally today, I think Trump would be an underdog in the popular vote, but I don’t know about the electoral college,” FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver told me. “He’s coming from a low point where he had, approval ratings wise, by far the worst first year of any president. But he’s kind of reverting to some mean, in a way, and the mean is how, on average, incumbent presidents get reelected. You know, on average incumbent presidents are having a rough time two years in and their parties suffer anywhere between mild and humongous loses in the midterms, but the baseline case is that incumbent presidents usually win.”

Interesting to see the conventional wisdom shifting. Plus:

Lichtman said the only variable that Democrats can control in the 2020 election is whether they nominate a charismatic candidate. He noted that the party’s past three presidents—Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter—were all elected as “young unknowns,” which does not describe the top likely candidates to run against Trump in 2020: Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders. “The Democratic Party increasingly is looking like a nursing home,” Sabato said.

But don’t get cocky, kids.

DON’T GET COCKY, KID: Politico: Trump Is Winning.

Donald Trump is on track to win re-election to the presidency of the United States.

Yes, despite Russiagate, despite shitholegate and despite whatever gate he blunders through next. Despite approval ratings that would make Nixon weep. Despite his mind-numbing political misjudgments—defending accused pedophiles, for example—and the endless, unnecessary daily drama. Trump is winning. It is actually happening, people. And if there are those who want to stop it—and there are of course millions—they need to know what they are up against. It’s a lot more than they overconfidently think. . . .

Second, consider Trump’s record as president. He actually has something to run on. He’s cut taxes. He’s rolled back regulations. He’s put ISIS on its heels. The economy and the stock market are humming along again, despite recent turmoil. Any other Republican incumbent running on that record of relative peace and prosperity—just as Eisenhower and Reagan did—would be in pretty good shape for re-election. Trump, as loathed as he is, might not cruise to reelection on an electoral landslide like those predecessors. But if jobs continue to be created and the economy continues to hum, whether he deserves the credit or not, enough voters might just hold their nose again and vote for him.

Maybe Trump isn’t all that loathed. After all, he’s ahead of where Obama was at the same point in his term, and nobody in the press was calling Obama “loathed.”

Related: One major difference between 2010 and 2018: Trump’s signature tax bill is much more popular than Obama’s signature health bill.

BLUE WAVE? Internal Dem polling shows Trump’s standing on the rise.

According to internal polling by the super PAC, President Trump’s approval rating climbed to 44 percent in the first week of February, compared to 53 percent who disapprove. That mirrors Trump’s improving position in public polls.

In November, the same survey found his approval rating at 40 percent, with 54 percent disapproving.

The group’s survey also showed the Democratic Party’s generic ballot advantage had shrunk, with 46 percent preferring Democrats to 42 percent for Republicans.

The memo says that a broad range of metrics show the political climate is still favorable for Democrats. But it also makes an unambiguous diagnosis for Trump’s recent rise: Democrats this year have stopped focusing on economic and health care issues, topics that demonstrably hurt his approval during his first year in office.

They can’t seem to help but rise to the culture war bait, which is how they get more Trump.

Also, I’d remind you that anything much under a five percent advantage for Congressional Democrats on the generic ballot typically means a win for Republicans. But I’d rather remind you: Great poll, kid — don’t get cocky.

CHANGE: As Polls Shift, Dem Hopes for Control, Impeachment Fade. Don’t get cocky, kid. Polls that change can change back.

DON’T GET COCKY: Trump Makes Quick Work of Re-Election Fundraising. “President and his super PAC appeal to supporters big and small to build massive war chest—faster than any prior White House occupant.”

In the past year, Mr. Trump has appealed to supporters big and small to build up a re-election war chest, held nine political rallies in states he won in 2016 and aired campaign-sponsored television commercials to promote his policy agenda. He has also embraced the political action committees and major donors he once called a scourge on governing.

Mr. Trump’s campaign and an outside group that backs him collected more than $73 million last year, according to Federal Election Commission filings and interviews with officials at America First, a part-super PAC, part-nonprofit group that routinely meets with Mr. Trump and top White House officials to discuss political strategy. The campaign’s $43 million haul is four times what President Barack Obama raised in his first two years in office, a period when he wasn’t actively fundraising.

Indeed, no president who has served under modern campaign finance laws that date back to President Jimmy Carter has held a re-election fundraiser before entering his third year in office, said Brendan Doherty, an associate professor of political science at the U.S. Naval Academy who has researched presidential campaigning. Mr. Trump had eight in his first year.

If Trump continues to deliver on jobs and wage increases to Rust Belt and Midwest Obama-to-Trump voters, that warchest will be overkill.

On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with a little overkill.

DON’T GET COCKY: Republican National Committee has huge financial edge heading into 2018 midterms.

DON SURBER: “That was no State of the Union address tonight. That was the death of Democratic Party.”

Don’t get cocky, kid. But yeah, not only was the speech good, but they looked awful. Surber: “Democrats have nothing. They stand for equal pay (the law since 1963). Civil rights (1964). Gun control (1968). Abortion on demand (1973). Why not call for the end to Prohibition (1933)?”

MICHAEL BARONE: 2016 is looking like the new normal.

If you wanted to predict the results of Tuesday’s gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey, you would have been wise to ignore the flurry of polls and campaign events. You would have paid no heed to the conventional wisdom that Republican Kim Guadagno was uncompetitive against Democrat Phil Murphy in New Jersey, while Republican Ed Gillespie had a solid chance to beat Ralph Northam in Virginia.

In fact, Northam’s 9 point victory margin in Virginia was not much different from Murphy’s 13 point margin in New Jersey. And both almost precisely mirrored the 2016 presidential results. Hillary Clinton carried New Jersey 55 to 41 percent; Murphy won it by 56 to 43 percent. Clinton carried Virginia 50 to 44 percent; Northam won it 54 to 45 percent. The two Democrats, lacking Clinton’s reputation for dishonesty, gained a few points she lost to third-party candidates; the two Republicans got almost exactly the same percentages as Trump.

It’s neither a catastrophe for the GOP nor a breakthrough for the Dems. Nobody should get cocky, especially since voters basically hate both parties.

THEY WERE THREATENING HIM TO KEEP QUIET BEFORE: BREAKING: DOJ authorizes FBI Informant to speak with Congress concerning alleged corruption involving Clintons & Uranium One.

But don’t get cocky. A reader writes:

Something no one is considering re this dossier story: Perhaps the Dems can let go of this narrative now because they believe they have something real on Trump, something that can really hurt him. So they can put this toothless story to bed (while helping the mainstream press re establish credibility because, “look, we reported this!”). Doing this now can also – finally – puts an end any further noise from the Hillary camp about a 2020 run. This story finishes that possibility, gets Potus feeling comfortable, thinking he can relax, then they haul out whatever it is they have and the outrage-impeachment morality play goes on. OR, (slightly less or maybe more plausible) thanks to the unprecedented data base of info that Maxine Waters talked about, they have material on enough GOP house and senate members to either 1) chase them out, blaming Trump as they exit and setting up 2018 for all kinds of difficulty or 2) turn them while they remain in office. Watching 4-5 reporters yesterday asking Flake (and Corker and even Pelosi before him) about removing Trump from office does make it seem like something coordinated is in the works, and the press is chomping at the bit to get to it. If I liked popcorn I would be popping it for the next act.

Well, they’ve acted sure that they had The Donald dead to rights on many occasions. So far, the torpedoes have a tendency to circle back.

HONEY, I SHRUNK THE PARTY! Collapse: Time Magazine’s Brutal Deep Dive Into The Ever Shrinking And Regional Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party is in shambles. Say what you will about the Republicans—they have problems too—but at least they’re a national party. For all his faults, Trump was able to virtually get the entire GOP base to vote for him in 2016. The GOP controls Congress, the presidency, two-thirds of the governorships, and 69/99 state legislatures. They’re at the apex of their power. As the GOP licked their wounds and learned from their 2008 and 2012 defeats, the Democrats, smug, content, and insufferable, felt they had advantage for the next generation. They would run the table on national elections due to demographic shifts. Then, Hillary Clinton torpedoed that whole narrative. Time magazine delved into the state of the party, its hit to the mouth after Trump’s win, and noted that things look grim for this regional, shrinking party. As many other, including here, have noted—the Democrats have no leader, no message, dismal fundraising, and seem to be on the brink of civil war over issues on what actually makes one a Democrat.

Time magazine featured Obama on 22 covers. I’m sure if it had been 23 covers, they wouldn’t have had to run this cover:

On the other hand, as Glenn would say, don’t get cocky, GOP — the media loves to write “Death of ____” stories and project a current crisis out to infinity. Business Week’s infamous “Death of Equities” cover story in 1979 is a classic example in hindsight, coming just before President Reagan and Paul Volcker jumpstarted the economy by cutting taxes and significantly reducing the Carter-era inflation that made stocks such a bad bet in the 1970s. And there have been past reports of the demise of parties and political worldviews — I collated several of them in a 2010 post titled,  Whatever Your Ideology, Your Opponents’ Worldview Is Officially Dead.

AARON BLAKE: This poll is a warning sign for Democrats.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll, as Mike DeBonis and Emily Guskin report, presents a pretty mixed bag for Democrats. It shows that registered voters say they want Democrats to control Congress to be a check on Trump by a 52-38 percent margin, but it also shows Democrats are — rather remarkably — less enthusiastic about voting than Republicans are. While 65 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning adults say they are “almost certain to vote,” just 57 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning adults say the same.

The question from there is which is more predictive of what lies ahead. And the answer won’t necessarily make Democrats feel better.

Great, kid — don’t get cocky.

DON’T GET COCKY, GOP: Michael Walsh on The Coming GOP Electoral Health Care Disaster.

UNEXPECTEDLY: Best-Run States Are Low-Tax Republican, Worst-Run Are High-Tax Democratic, Study Finds.

There were several changes in the rankings from last year. Florida moved from sixth place to first, while Alaska dropped from first place last year to 17th this year, driven mainly by the fall in oil prices. Idaho moved into the top 10.

At the bottom of the heap, Louisiana and West Virginia both dropped down in the 10-worst list, while Hawaii greatly improved, going from 45th place last year 27th this year. Connecticut, Maine and New York also climbed out of the bottom 10 list. But New Jersey fell to dead last from last year’s 48th place.

The report also includes rankings for each individual measure of fiscal solvency, in addition to the overall ranking. Some states do well on some measures, and bad on others. New Jersey, for example, is last on long-run solvency and second to last on budget solvency, but ranks 24 on service-level solvency.

Nearly bankrupt Illinois is in the bottom in all but one of the five individual measures — service-level solvency.

The Mercatus report doesn’t include data on the states’ political leanings or tax burdens, but the implication is clear.

Great study — don’t get cocky.

GREAT SPECIAL ELECTION, NOW DON’T GET COCKY: Republicans Undefeated–& They Haven’t Even Cut Taxes Yet.

James Freeman:

Mr. Ossoff’s campaign seems to have enraged some voters, while others were not as enraged at Mr. Trump as you might think from consuming national news. Perhaps answering Mr. Bruni’s question of whether anti-Trump passion is largely theatrical—and also explaining the challenge facing Democrats— Josh Kraushaar writes in the National Journal:

Here’s why their math is more daunting today. Democrats need to net 24 House seats next year to gain a majority. Georgia-06 is the 28th-most-Democratic district that Republicans hold (based on Hillary Clinton’s vote percentage in 2016). For Nancy Pelosi to become speaker again, Democrats would need to nearly run the table in more-favorable districts—or pick off seats in places even more forgiving of Trump. It’s possible, but a little less likely given Tuesday night’s results.

One Democratic operative tracking House races said the generic ballot is around 6-7 points in their favor. To regain a House majority, it needs to be closer to a double-digit advantage by next November.

The big tell that the race wasn’t as favorable for Democrats as the early conventional wisdom was when Ossoff’s paid messaging never mentioned Trump, and barely mentioned the GOP’s health care efforts—despite the uproar against both in Washington. Democrats saw polling, confirmed by good shoe-leather reporting, that the district’s skepticism of Trump was not nearly as red-hot as most people expected based on cable news coverage.

This column has noted previously that voters seem to approve of Mr. Trump’s agenda—particularly his focus on American economic revival—much more than they approve of Mr. Trump. This suggests that many voters see his well-documented flaws as worthy of serious consideration, but not a grave threat to the republic.

If there’s a grave threat to the Republic, it comes from those using misdirection, lies, and even violence to overturn the results a free and fair election.

GREAT WIN KID — BUT DON’T GET COCKY: A Reality Check about What Handel’s Win Means.

COCKY OR CONFIDENT? Democrat Jon Ossoff declines a 6th District debate on CNN.

SO GIANFORTE WON BIG, AND THAT KIND OF HURTS THE NARRATIVE OF AN ANTI-TRUMP “WAVE” BUILDING:

Republicans shouldn’t get cocky, because special elections don’t mean much. But this is the third time the Democrats have made a big deal about a special election and failed. My own guess: The press is so unpopular that Gianforte’s bodyslam helped him more than hurt him with voters. That should inspire introspection with the press, as Kurt Schlichter says, but it won’t.

Predicted response: “Yeah, I’m in the Media — Screw You.”

Related: Loesch: Americans Are Tired of Being Manipulated & Lied to by Mainstream Media.

And on Facebook, Roger Kimball comments: “Was the Montana election a referendum on Trump? Only if the Dem won. He lost.” So true.

BUT THE GOP SHOULDN’T GET COCKY: How Democrats overplayed their hand with Jon Ossoff in Georgia’s special congressional election.

One event to watch will be this coming weekend’s Georgia’s sixth congressional district Republican Party convention. If the Republican family starts coming together fairly quickly, this will bode well for Handel in the run-off.

Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that Gray or Moody will start knocking on doors and raising money on behalf of Handel, but in talking to political operatives, most are saying that Gray and Moody supporters will eventually fall in line and cast their vote for Handel.

Handel says that Republicans in the district know that, “…There is too much at stake” for Republicans to remain divided. She is right, but more importantly Republicans outnumber Democrats by a healthy margin. According to the Cook Partisan Voting Index, which rates how much a congressional district leans Republican or Democratic, this suburban Atlanta district has a PVI score of R+8. That’s sizable no matter how you slice it.

In short, the dynamics for a special election run-off in a non-presidential year in a safe Republican district between a Democrat and a Republican favors Republicans. It’s that simple, no matter how hard Daily Kos would have us believe.

Ultimately, what will doom Democrats is all of the attention that they generated for this special election they really had no business winning. Ossoff is a weak candidate that is hardly an electric, dynamic or natural retail politician. He was, is and will continue to be a vessel for progressive dissatisfaction that still cannot believe that Hillary Clinton lost and Donald Trump is president.

That election drove a lot of Democrats (and some Republicans) more-or-less literally crazy. They’ll do better once they become sane, if they ever do.

OF ALL THE PROBLEMS TO HAVE: F-35 Needs More Potent Adversary Services.

The F-35 Lightning II strike fighter is easily able to counter the adversary services aircraft thrown at it in numbers, said an official of an adversary services contractor, who added that the industry is facing challenges in coming up with a realistic threat aircraft for training for high-end combat.

“Nothing gets close to these things [the F-35s]” said Jeffrey Parker, a former Air Force fighter pilot and chief executive of ATAC LLC, a Textron company that provides opposing aircraft for U.S. fighter squadrons and electronic threat simulation against Navy strike groups. “I’ve flown against the [Marine] F-35Bs down at [Marine Corps Air Station] Beaufort [S.C.] It’s an impressive airplane. Even in the hands of students, it’s a very capable fighter.”

Great plane, kid — now don’t get cocky.