With Joe Biden sinking like a rock for all the world to see, incumbent House Democrats bailing out in droves, and the GOP already measuring the drapes in the House speaker’s office, relatively little attention has been paid to the almost three dozen races for the upper chamber of Congress. But as borderline catastrophic as their outlook is in midterm elections for the House, Democrats and their allies in left-wing corporate media are now in open panic about their long-term prospects for the Senate.
On the surface, Democrats would appear to be in a decent position to at least hold the current 50-50 tie in the Senate – for a few reasons. First off, Republicans are defending 22 of the 34 seats being contested. Second, and even more notable, is that five GOP senators are retiring, theoretically improving the prospects of Democrats, since incumbents have historically been harder to defeat than candidates not holding power. And the Dems are not defending any seats in states won by Donald Trump in 2020, while Republicans must defend two seats in states won by Joe Biden, albeit narrowly.
But that is where any theoretical optimism for Democrats comes crashing to a halt. And it is not even the increasingly dim prospects of holding the Senate in 2022 that is the greatest cause for concern. It is the reckoning they are likely to face in 2024. So says a growing number of panicked left-wing pundits, most prominently David Shor, the fabled leftist election modeling geek whose predictions have been frighteningly accurate ever since he was a 16-year-old blogger and predicted Obama’s victory in 2008 down to the percentage point, state-by-state.
Especially given their losses among blacks and Hispanics, the abiding unpopularity of the incumbent president, and their disastrous, hard-to-reverse branding as the party of the mind virus known as wokeness, Shor now predicts Democrats will not only forfeit control of the upper chamber this year, but could plausibly lose as many as nine seats in the Senate by 2024. Midterm races historically hinge on presidential approval and given that Biden has all but fallen into the abyss, any state with a senate seat up in the next two years which Biden won by less than about seven points will now be in play. This year, Republicans have realistic hopes of flipping up to five seats – in Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Colorado. And in 2024, they expect to be highly competitive in races for eight more seats held by Democrats – in Montana, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, Michigan, and Nevada.
The Democratic party already faces built-in structural disadvantages in the upper chamber. It is essentially the opposite of presidential elections, where Democrats have long held an automatic edge by controlling most of the largest states. But they are underrepresented in the Senate as a percentage of the population, and thus in most years, they need to win more than a majority of popular votes – by two to four points – in order to gain or hold a Senate majority. And Republicans are actually ahead, and by more than four points, according to Real Clear Politics, in the so-called generic ballot, measuring the relative popularity of an unnamed generic candidate from either party.
Pro-Biden media, fearing a return of Donald Trump, are starting to issue too-little, too-late warnings of the need for Democrats to either buy off voters with student loan forgiveness or other giveaways, impress them with some sort of climate change legislation, or perform some manner of cultural about-face, as if that’s possible, to avoid disaster in the next two election cycles. Vox recently headlined a rhetorical question: “How Screwed are Democrats in the Senate?” Substack author Simon Bazelon removed the question mark with “Democrats are Sleepwalking Into a Senate Disaster.” And in a sky-is-falling piece in the granddaddy of left-wing media, The New York Times, citing Shor’s doomsday Senate forecast, an unnerved Ezra Klein, realizing that the party of wokeness is finally paying the price for its tacit or even explicit support of mob violence and cultural upheaval, laid out cause and effect with shockingly brutal honesty:
“[H]ere’s the truly frightening thought for frustrated Democrats: This might be the high-water mark of power they’ll have for the next decade … Democrats are on the precipice of an era without any hope of a governing majority … The Democratic Party was trapped in an echo chamber of Twitter activists and woke staff members. It had lost touch with the working-class voters of all races that it needs to win elections.”
It is one thing for hopeful Republicans and free marketers to engage in wishful thinking about their intriguing prospects in November’s elections. But it’s quite another when increasingly panicked corporate media hoping for the opposite begin sounding the alarm. Apparently, they and their cohorts on the left did not think this far ahead – or about the price they would ultimately pay – when they were busy supporting a cultural revolution and doing whatever it took to destroy Donald Trump.