Things are looking up for many Republicans running for office in 2018. Thanks in large part to the way Democrats have handled the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process, many races that were leaning to the left are pulling to the right while many Republican frontrunners are pulling away from their competitors.
This may sound like good news for the GOP, but it can also be a curse if complacency starts setting in. Nothing can be taken for granted. Lest we forget, over 95% of polls and projections had Hillary Clinton winning the White House and over 65% had them taking control of the Senate in 2016. They, too, had the momentum just as the GOP has the momentum today.
We’ll be doing deep analyses on the most important races throughout October.
One thing that should make Republicans very concerned is when mainstream media other than Fox News or WSJ starts pointing to good news for Republicans in key races. This is a trap in most cases, one designed to make Republican voters think their votes aren’t necessary because the chips are stacked in their favor.
Many clever leftist media outlets will do two things. First, they’ll play on the fact that an increasing number of Americans barely read past the headline. Some don’t read anything other than the headline and the description of the article when they find it on social media. Yes, we’re a lazy society that attempts to draw conclusions so we can post comments without taking the time to read the actual articles.
The second technique is burying the lede. It’s a tried and true technique of manipulating the masses by leaving the most important aspects of a story deeper in the text to prevent people from ever getting to it.
Here’s a classic example of a leftist publication pretending to be unbiased and posting a story intended to make Republicans complacent:
The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, shifted three Senate races in favor of Republicans as well as one Senate race toward Democrats less than five weeks out from the midterm elections.
Cook moved Senate races in Montana, Nebraska and New Jersey all in favor of Republicans. Sen. Jon Tester faces one of the most competitive race this cycle, which was shifted from “lean Democratic” to “toss-up.” Tester is running against state auditor Matt Rosendale (R) in a state where President Trump won by double-digits in 2016.
That all sounds good for Republicans, right? Actually, those of us following the races and actually reading the Cook Political Report realize that three of the four races highlighted by the report still favor Democrats. Yes, they shifted, but Cook clearly indicates Democrats will likely win New Jersey, Montana, and Ohio. As for Nebraska, The Hill highlights the shift there that is essentially meaningless.
Based on the headline and the first two paragraphs, the takeaway would be that Republicans are poised to win seats they weren’t going to win before. The reality of the situation is that Bob Hugin still has a mountain to climb if he’s going to beat Bob Menendez in far-left New Jersey. Democrat Jon Tester has been ahead in every single poll in Montana and though Cook lists the race as a tossup, they admit he’ll still likely win. As for Nebraska, incumbent Republican Deb Fischer shifted from likely to solid.
Despite the article that is intended to make Republicans feel good about their chances, the reality is three of the four faces are still favoring the Democrats while the race that favors Republicans has always favored Republicans.
Control of the House and possibly even the Senate will be based solely on which party is able to get their loyal voters off the couch or out of the office and into the booths on election day. The GOP is looking strong, but Democrats looked strong going into the 2016 election. That didn’t work out so well for them.