Elections

The GOP’s Midterm Prospects Brighten by the Day

President Donald Trump celebrates with Vice President Mike Pence and Congressional Republicans after Congress passed sweeping tax overhaul legislation outside the White House, December 20, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
The Democrats’ vaunted wave may be just a ripple

As I have explained all year, reports of the Republican Congress’s demise are greatly exaggerated.

A Democratic recapture of the House, and perhaps the Senate, is not written in stone, sand, or anything else. That Democratic dream looks more elusive by the day. Indeed, rather than a giant blue wave (which may become a ripple), Republicans’ biggest risk is a pool of their own pessimism. Sinking into it could make defeat a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Despite the chants of the Democrats’ journalistic cheerleaders, the GOP has vaulted into a 6.2 percent lead in Reuters’ generic congressional ballot. That’s up from a 15-point deficit in early 2018. Also, CBS News finds that 68 percent of Americans consider President Donald J. Trump “somewhat” to “a great deal” responsible for the buoyant economy.

A Newsweek headline said it all: “Americans Under Trump More Optimistic About Finding Good Jobs Than Ever Before.” As Gallup’s Jim Norman further explained, “Sixty-seven percent of Americans believe that now is a good time to find a quality job in the U.S., the highest percentage in 17 years of Gallup polling. Optimism about the availability of good jobs has grown by 25 percentage points since Donald Trump was elected president.”

This, too, should cheer Republicans: Millennials are bailing on Democrats. According to an April 30 Reuters/Ipsos study, just 46 percent of registered voters aged 18 to 34 support the Democrats, down 9 points since the 2016 election. “Millennials have always been a core constituency for the [Democratic] party, and slipping numbers could spell disaster to their 2018 hopes, especially in the tight races they need to flip the House,” Reuters’s Chris Khan wrote. “And they increasingly say the Republican Party is a better steward of the economy.”

On this front, Republicans should stand tall as annual median household income has grown from $59,471 in January 2017 to $61,483 in April — up 3.4 percent. This is the Sentier Household Income Index’s highest monthly figure since January 2000. Also, in the IMD World Competitiveness Index, America raced from fourth in 2017 to first in 2018, outrunning Hong Kong and Singapore.

In addition, the GOP’s coffers overwhelm the Democrats’. The Republican National Committee last month raised $13.0 million, spent $12.1 million, and had $43.8 million cash on hand. This jackpot was 39.8 percent higher than the $9.3 million that GOP donors invested at this stage before 2014’s midterm elections.

The Democratic National Committee, in contrast, raised just $7.9 million, spent $8.3 million, and held a mere $8.7 million in the bank. Last month’s deposits were 15.9 percent below the $9.4 million credited at this point before 2014’s midterms. This also was the lowest comparable midterm total since April 2006.

These facts strongly suggest that the Democrats’ missing agenda and their manic “RUSSIA!” obsession have driven them to the same destination: nowhere.

The Democrats’ lust to resist President Trump’s every move — just because he makes it — also sandbags them.

Trump last week kept his campaign promise and moved America’s embassy to Israel’s capital, as a 1995 act of Congress required and subsequent presidents of both parties repeatedly waived. Zero congressional Democrats attended the facility’s dedication ceremony.

“I am disappointed that not one Democrat came,” Senator Lindsay Graham (R., S.C.) lamented to the Washington Free Beacon. “I think it was a mistake, because there’s too much going on in this region.”

Instead, as Hamas terrorists rioted at the Israel–Gaza border, Democrats mourned the ones that Israeli soldiers shot (while dodging incoming rocks, Molotov cocktails, and blazing kites that ignited Israeli habitat).

Senator Bernie Sanders (Socialist, Vt.) denounced “Israeli snipers” in a statement that ignored Hamas’s instigators. Likewise Representative Joseph Kennedy III (D., Mass.) condemned Israel’s “excessive use of lethal force.” Never mind that 50 Hamas terrorists were among the 62 killed by the Israel Defense Forces on the Gaza frontier, as Hamas official Salah Bardawil admitted.

When President Trump extricated America from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal (which Obama never even made the ayatollahs sign!), Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) complained that Trump should have “let the nuclear part of this continue as is because it’s not being violated in any way.”

Presumably, this was the same Chuck Schumer who opposed the deal in September 2015. “I believe Iran will not change,” he said back then, adding that the agreement would let Tehran “achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and non-nuclear power.” In other words, Schumer was against it before he was for it.

When Trump last week called bloodthirsty MS-13 gang members “animals,” duplicitous Democrats claimed that he said this about all immigrants. As that lie was debunked, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), wondered if Trump recognizes “the spark of divinity, the dignity and worth of every person?” This is how the House’s top Democrat discusses bloodthirsty illegal aliens who gang-rape little girls, chop up women with machetes, and literally yank their victims’ hearts from their ribcages.

On Wednesday, as it happens, MS-13 member and Salvadoran native Joel Martinez, 23, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for fatally stabbing Irvin Javier de Paz Castro, 15, on September 20, 2015 in East Boston, Mass. After murdering de Paz, Martinez was initiated as a full MS-13 member. His street name: “Animal.”

On Thursday, Trump canceled his June 12 Singapore summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, reportedly after Pyongyang’s representatives were no-shows at several planning meetings with their U.S. counterparts. Also, Choe Son Hui, North Korea’s vice-minister of foreign affairs, mentioned a possible “nuclear-to-nuclear showdown” with America.

Rather than side with the president of the United States as he attempts to tame one of Earth’s wildest horses, Democrats took even this occasion to slam Trump. “Kim Jong-un is the big winner,” Pelosi said. “He must be having a giggle fit right there in North Korea.” Senator Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) cracked, “The art of diplomacy is a lot harder than the art of the deal.”

Domestically and overseas, the Democrats’ jalopy backfires badly, just as Trump’s tax-cut-and-deregulation-driven growth machine zooms Republicans forward.

Once again, all of this confirms that the GOP Congress — especially its leaders, and particularly those in the Senate — should stop moping around, crying, and shopping for their own caskets. Instead, they should lead: Vote the Make America Great Again agenda onto President Trump’s desk, join him at countless bill-signing ceremonies, and watch the Israel-bashing, MS-13-coddling, Kim Jong-un–hugging Democrats evaporate into oblivion.

Deroy Murdock — Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online.

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