Legislative Lowdown: Elections, January 6th Commission and More Elections

By Brian Darling, Guest Commentary
October 18, 2022

(Views expressed by guest commentators may not reflect the views of OAN or its affiliates.)


380728 03: Residents of El Paso, Texas cast their ballot for president of the United States in early voting, October 23, 2000. The state of Texas has early voting that must be conducted for all elections. In most elections, early voting by personal appearance begins on the 17th day before Election Day and ends on the 4th day before Election Day. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Newsmakers)
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Newsmakers)

Congress is gone, and except for the January 6th Commission, the politicians are all out on the campaign trail saving their jobs. This is the time for empty promises and tough talk from politicians scared they are going to lose their jobs. With the current climate, it seems like a lock that Republicans, at a minimum, take control of the House of Representatives, thereby insuring a degree of divided government for the next two years.

House Elections

Every seat in the House of Representatives is up for grabs on Tuesday, November 8th. History tells us that midterm elections are rough on the party in power – especially when they have control of the House, Senate, and the White House.

The best example of what may happen on election day in the House is what happened in President Barack Obama’s first midterm election in 2010. Gallup had Obama at 45% approval and 47% disapproval on November 2, 2010. The polls showed an advantage for Republicans and there was a shift in the last month hard towards Republicans. In that 2010 midterm election, the Tea Party put a big stamp on the Congress with a massive 63 seat swing on election day to Republicans. It was the largest shift since 1948 and was almost clean sweep of switched seats with the only exception being the at-large seat in Delaware.

Fast forward to the latest polls and President Joe Biden in the Real Clear Politics average of polls has Biden at 44% favorable and 53% unfavorable. That puts Republicans ahead of where they were in 2010. Rasmussen has Republicans with a seven-point advantage in generic Republican versus Democrat polls. This election is shaping up to be another wave election.

Of course, many in the mainstream media are drinking some Democratic Kool Aid and predicting that Democrats have a chance to retain control of the House. The New York Times Nate Cohn wrote that “Republican control of the House is not a foregone conclusion.” Left winger Michael Moore was quoted as arguing, “are going to descend upon the polls en masse — a literal overwhelming, unprecedented tsunami of voters — and nonviolently, legally, and without mercy remove every last stinking traitor to our Democracy.” When Comrade Moore references “traitor” he is talking about freedom-loving Americans who are Republicans. The media, and it is not only the official network of the White House, MSNBC, parroting these talking points.

Conservatives can’t wait until election day to finally shut up left wingers who have demonized the right over the past two years.


January 6th Commission

The only politicians who stayed in Washington during October were the ones serving on the January 6th Commission. As somebody who worked in the Senate for years and has great sympathy for the Capitol Police and what they went through, I think the latest hearing was a political show that may come back to haunt Democrats. The hearings were obviously set up to go after former President Donald J. Trump, yet the existence of a one-sided hearing might lead to a Hunter Biden commission in a new Congress.

The purpose of hearings is to do oversight of spending, fact finding to draft up legislation or other legislative business. These hearings were quasi-judicial proceedings that don’t seem to have a constitutional hook, because they don’t fall into the Article I of the Constitution functions of Congress.

For short term gain and to hammer Trump, Democrats have opened the door for future hearings in a Congress that will know that oversight and hearings are the most powerful tool they will have to push policy. Democrats will complain when Republicans pull together similar partisan hearings, but they will not have a leg to stand on when it happens.


Senate Elections

The Senate is currently equally divided 50-50 with Vice President Kamala Harris the deciding vote swinging control to the Democrats. That might end on election day. Even though the pundits predict that Democrats will hold control or possibly pick up a seat in the Senate, history tells us that wave elections usually happen in both the House and the Senate in the same election. Back in the 2010 election, Republicans picked up six seats. The three big states that may dictate control this year are Nevada, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

In Nevada, incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) is battling Republican Adam Laxalt. Most polls indicate that Laxalt has a slim advantage, and it is a big problem for an incumbent to be stuck polling under 45%. Expect this seat to switch to Republican control.

In Pennsylvania, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has a slim lead in the polls over TV star Dr. Oz but is still struggling to overcome a stroke he suffered a few months ago. The polling in this race might be undercounting independent worry that Fetterman can’t function in the Senate. If you assume Democrats flip this seat, then you have to find another seat to switch control of the Senate.

Georgia is expected to be the big fight for control of the Senate, with an odd election structure where the winner might be decided in a runoff on December 6th if no candidate gets a majority on election day. Incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) has a slim polling lead over Republican former NFL and Georgia Bulldog football star Herschel Walker.

Should be an interesting election day.

Brian Darling is former Counsel and Sr. Communications Director for Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

(Views expressed by guest commentators may not reflect the views of OAN or its affiliates.)

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