Change instead of progress

Paul Mirengott:

The Democrats have a good chance of maintaining control of the Senate next year. They even have an outside shot at maintaining control of the House.

However, if they accomplish either or both of these things, it won’t be thanks to the big spending bill the Democrats just passed in response to “climate change.” Even the Washington Post seems to acknowledge as much in this story, the headline of which is “In fast-warming Nevada, climate bill may not lift Democrats.”

The article focuses on the Nevada Senate race between incumbent Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto and Republican Adam Laxalt. The Post’s reporter interviewed more than a dozen voters in working-class neighborhoods near Las Vegas. She found that “most were focused on providing for their families amid soaring housing costs and gasoline prices” and that “few brought up climate change” as an issue.

I’m not sure why the Post needed to interview anyone to discover this. But at least its reporter got a trip to Vegas out of it.

Latino voters have a big role to play in the Nevada race, and Democrats appear to be losing ground with this cohort. The Post holds out hope that Latinos will find favor with the Dems for passing the climate bill. It points to a report by the EPA stating that Latinos are 43 percent more likely than others to lose work hours and pay due to extreme heat.

Maybe. But the problem for the Democrats is that Latinos are roughly 100 percent as likely as others to buy gasoline and food and to pay for housing. Thus, like other rational middle and lower-class voters, they can be expected to base their votes on current economic realities, rather than on the hope that the Dems’ climate legislation will do something about the weather.

So how does the Nevada race stack up? It depends on which poll you believe. Of the two from this month, one (by the Reno Gazette Journal/Suffolk) has Cortez Masto ahead by 7 points. The other (by Trafalgar) has Laxalt leading by 3 points. Trafalgar surveyed 1,082 likely voters, more than twice the number in the Suffolk poll.

Nevada and Georgia are the two states where the GOP is most likely to pick up a Senate seat. With Dr. Oz trailing in Pennsylvania, Republicans probably need to pick up both seats to get to 51.

The Post’s article points the way to a Republican victory in Nevada and elsewhere. As James Carville liked to say, “it’s the economy, stupid.”

Picking up on that theme, Ed Morrissey writes:

The less Republicans talk about the economy and the corrosive nature of inflation over the past 16 months, the more they let Democrats off the hook. Donald Trump is not the central concern of the midterm voter; the central concern of the midterm voter is the need to downscale their purchases at Walmart and Target, for cryin’ out loud, because their budgets can’t keep up with massive inflation.

Even to the extent that other issues come up in this cycle, those should similarly focus on the daily lived experience of voters. That would include parental input into education, a non-economic issue that has proven potent for Ron DeSantis. Spiking crime rates and criminal impunity also qualify, as those contribute to the very clear sentiment that America has gone off the rails under Democratic governance.

If GOP strategists won’t take Ed’s word for it, they should take the word of those working-class Nevadans the Post’s reporter interviewed.

It’s hard to say what’s worse — the Democrats’ obsession on ruining our lives to fix what can’t be fixed by humans, or the Republicans’ non-strategy that we’re-not-Democrats. The GOP needs to get its collective heads out of its collective dark places.

 

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