The Rod Martin Report – October 13, 2018
The Kavanaugh Surge
House Update: Stronger Than Reported
Senate Update (Race by Race): Huge GOP Shift
The Democrats vs. Their Own Coalition
The Victories You’re Not Hearing
How We Got The First Conservative Supreme Court Majority Since 1937
It’s been a heck of a week since the Kavanaugh confirmation, in which the belief that the left’s assault on due process — not to mention on the Kavanaugh family, and by implication, the family of anyone the left decides it doesn’t like — might backfire has indeed borne out.
A lot has been written about the #BlueWave. As I’ve been updating you — here, on RodMartin.org, but more-or-less in real time on my Facebook, which you really need to follow if you want breaking updates — that phenomenon seems to be more hype than real, just as was Hillary’s “inevitability” two years ago (and also, nine years before that). Could the Dems sweep? Maybe in the House, but maybe not; and the Senate looks out of their reach.
I’m certainly not predicting the #RedWave some are dreaming of. That’s a bit too much. There’s a reason the party in the White House almost always loses seats in the off year (the only exception being 2002, which was — literally — exceptional).
But even before the Spanish Inquisition of Brett Kavanaugh (or perhaps Volksgerichtshof, or maybe Struggle Session), that #BlueWave narrative was looking pretty thin on the ground. Today it’s on life support.
We start with the President, who after all is supposedly the centerpiece of all that is wrong with the world, particularly from a #MeToo perspective. Donald Trump’s approval rating hit 51% for most of the last week, starting immediately before Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Yesterday it settled back to 49%, but these are among the highest numbers of his Presidency, and are quite a lot higher than Barack Obama at the same time in 2010.
(Yes, those are Rasmussen numbers, which get criticized by the Enemedia in large part precisely because, for the last three years, they have consistently been the most accurate public numbers aside from Trafalgar Group. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that while many of the predictably-leftist polls are lower, in fact, there are several who aren’t by much, including YouGov with Trump at 45%, and SurveyMonkey with Trump at 48%. Those are polls of Registered Voters, not Likely Voters, which suggests that they might have Trump higher than Rasmussen if they actually ran decent polls.)
Likewise, a majority now say Kavanaugh should have been confirmed (up a lot from before the scandal), vs. just 42% who say otherwise (roughly the same as before the scandal). As I’ve told you previously, Independents think the Democrats blew it on Kavanaugh by a whopping 28-point margin.
What’s more, 51% of Republicans say they are fired up to go vote because of Kavanaugh, in an off-year election where turnout would normally be around 30%. And they’re even happy with Congressional leaders they used to absolutely loath. 62% of Republicans now have a favorable view of Mitch McConnell, up from 31% a year ago. That has to count as, I don’t know, some kind of Festivus Miracle.
This does not bode well for the Democrats.
On the House side, as I’ve told you for a year, the real danger — and the entire basis for the #BlueWave narrative — is the enthusiasm gap between Democrats (excited) and Republicans (complacent). But as NPR and Fox reported separately last week (and as I told you then), post-Kavanaugh, that gap has “evaporated” (NPR’s word). That changes things quite a lot, or at least it does on the ground: it doesn’t necessarily change the pollsters’ “Likely Voter” models, especially if they want a particular (read: Blue) outcome.
So yesterday, Rasmussen’s generic ballot shows a tie. Remember, historically at least, Republicans win the House at D+5 or better, so D+0 is seriously good. Will it hold? I don’t know. But last week, Rasmussen had it D+5, and that’s a lot of points to move in a single week.
Others clearly disagree. As of yesterday, YouGov has it D+6, for instance. But YouGov is polling Registered Voters, not Likely Voters (RV’s almost always slant toward the Democrats), and even if that’s right, Nate Silver can tell you as well or better than I can that D+6 would likely mean Republicans lose seats without losing the majority. Likewise, Harris (also RVs) has it D+6, and generally speaking, I’d say that if RVs are D+6, LV’s are probably about D+3: #WeWin.
Interestingly, Harris had this D+8 a week ago, before Kavanaugh was actually confirmed. Likewise, Ipsos and CNN had it D+13, which seems a bit like ABC’s claim two weeks before the election in 2016 that Trump was down by 12. It might be true, but it doesn’t sound right. It’s also now a full (and consequential) week out of date.
So when you consider all of this, and factor in that we are ahead in races like FL-27 where we’re supposed to be losing badly, I remain optimistic about the House. Could we lose it? Absolutely. But the #BlueWave narrative seems more like wishful thinking and/or propaganda than what we’re actually seeing on the ground. And that seems to be intensifying as we go along, not weakening. If I were predicting (and I am not yet), I’d guess we lose about 12 seats, not 33. And that would mean we’d keep the majority.
I can’t stress enough that good Senate outcomes will buoy a decent number of our House candidates, a point made very well today by Harry Enten over at CNN Politics (though it’s buried at the bottom of the story, and under a pro-Dem headline). So the Senate races matter for more than just the Senate themselves.
So what about the Senate? On that front, the Kavanaugh Effect has been remarkable. Let’s go state by state.
In Tennessee, where Marsha Blackburn was down 18 points early in the year, she’s now surging post-Kavanaugh: up an incredible 54-40 (yes, 14 points) in the Sienna College/NYT poll, and 50-42 two days earlier (or 8 points) in YouGov. Four days before that, Fox had her up by 6.
Before the “scandal”, she was dead even or a bit down. (Of course, it probably didn’t help that fake “moderate” Democrat Phil Bredesen got caught on tape admitting he lied about supporting Kavanaugh. Oops.)
In North Dakota, most pollsters have actually pulled out, having given up on any chance of Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) keeping her seat. Heitkamp was endangered before the “scandal”, but after it, she absolutely cratered: most recent polling has her down 12 points, 53-41.
That’s one seat we were supposed to lose, and one we weren’t supposed to pick up.
In Texas, for all the talk of Ted Cruz’s demise (much of it from the Cruz campaign, which is behind in fundraising), Quinnipiac has him steady at 54-45: 9 points up, not within the margin of error, not below 50%. The New York Times has it 51-43. Neither poll is friendly to us. The polls you’re seeing that have Beto up are junk (but give Ted money anyway: the bigger the loss, the more shattered the Democrats, and Beto O’Rourke’s future races, will be).
In Arizona, likewise, McSally has surged, down by 3 to 6 points pre-Kavanaugh, now up by 6 points in one poll and dead even in another. We’ll see which of those is right, and if either holds up, but the trend is certainly right.
Even in Nevada, where most of us assumed Dean Heller (R-NV) was probably toast (even though I held out hope), we’re actually doing pretty well. Ipsos has it a 1-point race today. NYT and Marist both have Heller up by 2. For contrast, CNN had Heller losing by 4 (outside the margin of error) a few days before Kavanaugh’s confirmation. It’s not a lot of movement, and Trump should probably do another rally in Las Vegas. But if we hold Tennessee, Texas, Arizona and Nevada, that means we’ll have lost — wait for it — zero seats.
(By the way, that Senate map above? That’s the first time RCP has had Tennessee at “Leans Republican” in the entire race. Ditto last week for North Dakota. It’s also the first time in the entire race that Republicans have been at 50 more-or-less safe seats — out of 51 current — with that number having held at 48 for most of the year. This morning, RCP is predicting a 53-47 GOP Senate, which is still a good bit lower than what’s possible.)
But that’s just the warm-up.
In Florida, Rick Scott has regained the lead in two polls, one of which is so slanted toward the Democrats it’s hard to express and yet still has him up by 2. (In the Governor’s race, our wonderful Representative Ron DeSantis is still down to Socialist Andrew Gillum, but within the margin of error, in several polls). This should be a pickup.
In Indiana, Mike Braun was down to Democrat incumbent Joe Donnelly a week ago. Now he’s even, in an Ipsos poll that’s skewed against us.
In Missouri, McLaughlin has Josh Hawley up by 8 points, but a couple of newer polls have him up by 1 or 2. I don’t have a lot of respect for either of those polls, but since part of the reason for that is their tendency to weight against us, I’ll take it.
In Montana, there’s no new public polling to report; but inside sources tell me that the trend has been similar there to the other states mentioned. Tester was up by about 4 points going into Kavanaugh week: that would suggest he should be down now, though within the margin of error. We’ll see (and the President should go back to Big Sky Country asap).
Finally, in West Virginia — where Joe Manchin hoped to save himself by voting for Brett Kavanaugh — the opposite may be happening. On October 3, Global Strategies Group had this a 12-point race (in Manchin’s favor), consistent with Emerson College on Sept. 17. Just before the Kavanaugh vote, the Terrance Group had it down to a 4-point race, presumably reflecting concerns in West Virginia that Manchin might not vote right. I think most assumed this would perk back up once he did in fact vote for Kavanaugh.
But now? Public Opinion Strategies has a new poll out with Manchin in a dead heat, ahead of Republican Patrick Morrisey by just 1-point, 41-40. And the most important number there is the 40: Joe Manchin is an incumbent who’s ten whole points below “safe”. And the undecideds will most likely break toward the challenger.
Bottom line: while many of these races remain toss-ups, Republicans have a very strong chance of holding their current seats, and picking up as many as SIX seats currently held by the Democrats. That would be 57-43, vs. 51-49 today (and vs. the Republican’s modern historical high of 55). And even if we spot the Dems Indiana, Montana, Nevada and Arizona, the Pubs could still end up at 53-47, and with a vastly improved quality of Senators on their own side (no more Corker, Flake or McCain).
This is simply incredible. But more to the point, this argues rather strongly against the #BlueWave narrative. And it does more than that: if these Senate seats do go our way, in whole or in part, it will be because of energized Republican voters turning out to stop that #BlueWave, who will in turn shore up a lot of House seats which might otherwise have been lost.
A lot can change in the next few weeks. But this is where we are today. And like two years ago, it’s not at all the dreck you’re being force-fed by the Enemedia.
Now go walk a precinct, give to some candidates, and take friends to vote. No kidding: this means you.
One less fortunate, though not entirely unexpected, note: it looks like Bob Menendez is pulling back into a comfortable lead in New Jersey. I didn’t really think the state was likely to stay in play, but it was important to make you aware of the possibility, and it was nice while it lasted. We’ll watch for any new developments.
Aside from Brett Kavanaugh’s failed show-trial, there are other reasons the Dems are struggling. It probably doesn’t help them as much as they think it does, for instance, for witches to hold public rituals hexing Kavanaugh (as they’ve done repeatedly to Donald Trump. The increasing prominence of open Satanists in their ranks — abortion cases in Missouri, involvement in Wendy Davis’s gubernatorial campaign, statues of Satan in public places at Christmas — probably constitutes “hanging with the wrong crowd” too, at least to sane Americans.
This week, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggested a $240 per gallon tax on gasoline. Not many people heard about that, of course: the Enemedia has no intention of letting them. But the ones who did surely weren’t happy.
A party that openly abhors due process, threatening everyone’s fathers, husbands and sons while only protecting those women who serve its political agenda (ask DNC Vice Chair Keith Ellison’s ex-girlfriend, or maybe this woman); that constantly incites violent mobs and has its own terror wing (not to be confused with its former terror wing); that unendingly mocks (and openly loathes) the Christian majority while adoring witches and allying with Satanists; that thinks (did I mention?) a $240/gal. gas tax might be a great idea…
…well, that party’s going to have some issues with independents.
But hey, forget independents. How many African American Democrats thought this was okay? I’m betting “not many”.
This is an entire segment with CNN’s Don Lemon mocking Kanye West for his recent visit to the White House. It didn’t spend a lot of time on West’s case for prison reform, or black fatherhood, or economic development and against welfare dependency.
No. But CNN did tell us that Kanye is a “token negro”. That “this is what happens when negroes don’t read.” That West is mentally ill. A “race traitor”. And so on.
My gosh: I didn’t even know anyone was allowed to say “negro” anymore, and now CNN is throwing it around on air. Didn’t Imus get fired for the words “nappy headed”? But hey, they got “negroes” to say it, so I guess it’s okay, huh?
Who do they think they’re kidding?
Keith Ellison’s girlfriend and Kanye West’s independence tell the same story: Democrats do not care about race or racism, #MeToo or misogyny. What they care about is power, and they’ll use anybody to get it and immediately throw them away.
That may not be all that shocking. But it’s shocking when it’s this blatant. And in a social media age, the Enemedia can’t hide the left’s brazenness, even if it wanted to (and CNN just proved it doesn’t). I don’t know if the polling this summer is right about Trump’s 36% approval rating among blacks. But I know that if just 20% of blacks started voting Republican, the Dems could never win another national election, ever.
That’s why they hate Kanye. That’s why they hate white married women. That’s why they use terms like “race traitor”, “gender traitor”, “class traitor”, all imported straight from the Communist Party.
Mark Twain said that “against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.” The left hopes to mock Kanye into submission, and perhaps they can. But if enough African Americans start believing that they’re the ones being mocked — “negroes don’t read” indeed — it’s the Democrats who may not be able to stand.
Remember: the “blue wall” was impossible to crack too.
In the last couple weeks, you heard a lot about Kavanaugh and Kanye. But you didn’t hear a lot positive, certainly not from CNN. The Enemedia breathed barely a word of Secretary Pompeo’s announcement of a second Trump-Kim Summit “as soon as possible”; or of North & South Korea beginning to remove the 800,000 landmines between them for the first time in 70 years; or of the U.S. and South Korea signing a huge new trade deal; or of Justin Trudeau caving to Donald Trump and agreeing to the massive NAFTA replacement Trump promised from the beginning of his campaign; or of our just hitting our lowest unemployment rate since 1969; or of the highest U.S. median income and the highest manufacturing confidence level…ever.
Do you think the wall-to-wall Kavanaugh fake “scandal” coverage, might have had at least a little bit to do with obscuring all that #winning? I mean, Mother Earth forbid that people know about Trump’s massive daily victories — not least of which is the lowest African American unemployment rate ever — in the run-up to an election. (It messes with the left’s “the White House is in chaos!” narrative too.) Another study this week finds that not only is the Enemedia ignoring the economy, but 92% of Trump’s coverage is negative. Just think how high his approval rating might be if he had Obama-level coverage.
No, Democrats would rather have you focus on the evils of Columbus — the great explorer who gave us the entire modern world (and I note the Democrats aren’t moving back to Europe, so…) — or “cultural appropriation”, or a thousand other things that connect only with Gender Studies majors and coastal elites.
Not that they don’t have policy positions. They’ve promised an immediate $1.5 Trillion tax hike, of course: don’t they always. But now, nearly all of the major Democrat Presidential contenders have signed onto Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare For All” plan: full-on socialized medicine. The cost? FOUR TIMES the U.S. defense budget, in new spending. So much that outright doubling all federal taxes wouldn’t be enough to pay for it. And that’s just the first year.
But hey! “Free healthcare”! You know, “free” in the Venezuelan sense of “free”.
These are all grave mistakes, along the lines of the mistakes Democrats made in 1972, 1984 and 1988; and if they keep at it, the mistake Labour made in 1983.
But it would be a bigger mistake for you to assume that your neighbors know these things. Or that they’ll vote accordingly. Or that they’ll vote at all. And if the left has made anything clear in the past two years, it’s that they see Hillary as “rightwing”, and Obama as a moderate.
We’ve talked a lot today about Brett Kavanaugh as his confirmation relates to November. But it’s important not to lose sight of the bigger picture. Kavanaugh’s confirmation marks the first conservative Supreme Court majority since 1937.
I’ll examine the sweeping implications of that another time. But we have to understand how it happened:
1. Despite many of our very real concerns, we voted for Donald Trump, even while our so-called “betters” ridiculed us and called us morally deficient (many of them voting for the utterly unprincipled disgrace Evan McMullin); and…
2. Donald Trump kept his word, as he’s done on every single policy position he ran on insofar as he’s been able, and far more than most of those “betters”; and…
3. Even if he’d lied about everything, taking a chance on him was worth it, because some chance is always better than no chance; and…
4. We all know Jeb Bush, or most other Republican candidates in the last 25 years, would have caved to the Democrats and withdrawn the Kavanaugh nomination at the first sign of trouble. Because they were small, pathetic cowards in a time when we need a fighter.
If the Republic is to be saved — and that’s still far from certain — it will be because of Donald J. Trump, and because we rejected the modern Chamberlains and Halifaxes, the sheep in sheep’s clothing, the self-appointed self-righteous “moral superiors” who would have thrown away everything, for all of us and all our children, rather than appear to be wrong.
Sometimes moral courage consists in a willingness to appear to be wrong, to serve what’s actually right.
Today, we have it: the first Supreme Court majority that believes in our Constitution in over 80 years. And we do not have — as we would have had — the first outright Marxist, outright anti-Christian Supreme Court majority ever, and for the rest of our lives.
You are not just responsible for your vote, but for its likely consequences. Remember. This war is far from won.
But it’s also not lost. Because good men and women did what was right — even if to some it did not seem right — in 2016 and since.
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