Trying to Predict the 2022 Elections

From The Poynter Report with Tom Jones:

We are now one month away from the midterm elections and predicting what’s going to happen is like predicting which way a butterfly will go in a tornado.

At this moment, most polls show Republicans taking over the House, while the Senate could go either way. (Politico’s Steven Shepard has a good breakdown of how the key Senate races are shaping up.)

But who knows? For example, even when a candidate is hit with an avalanche of bad stories (see: Herschel Walker), it somehow turns into an equally overwhelming avalanche of public support and donations.

The New York Times’ Shane Goldmacher, Reid J. Epstein and Jonathan Weisman write, “The year has progressed like a political roller coaster. Republicans boasted that a typical wave was building in the spring, and Democrats then claimed the momentum after the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade galvanized progressive and independent voters. Now the pendulum seems to have swung back.”

One Democratic strategist told the Times they wish the election had been a month ago. If the House is a lost cause then the Democrats’ big hope is that they can maintain power in the Senate. Right now, the polls suggest a 50-50 split when it’s all said and done.

It remains to be seen how the controversies surrounding Walker will play out among Georgia voters because there has been little or no polling since The Daily Beast reported Walker, a pro-life GOP candidate, once paid for a former girlfriend’s abortion and urged her to have another. However, as I mentioned, Walker has been piling up the donations and support among fellow Republicans. The Washington Post’s Michael Scherer and Annie Linskey report that Sens. Rick Scott of Florida and Tom Cotton of Arkansas will travel to Georgia on Tuesday in a sign of support for Walker.

In a statement to the Post, Scott said, “The Democrats want to destroy this country, and they will destroy anyone who gets in their way. Today, it’s Herschel Walker, but tomorrow it’s the American people. I’m on Herschel’s team — they picked the wrong Georgian to mess with. I’m proud to stand with Herschel Walker and make sure Georgians know that he will always fight to protect them from the forces trying to destroy Georgia values.”

Showing such support for a flawed candidate is evidence of how important the Georgia race is in the battle to control the Senate. And the controversy might not matter. Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan wrote, “(Voters have) had their own imperfect lives, and they long ago lost any assumption that political leaders were more upstanding than they. We are in the post heroic era of American politics. What voters want is someone who sees the major issues as they do.”

However, to be clear, Noonan thinks Republicans are missing the point. She wrote, “It isn’t really about abortion or hypocrisy. It is about children born and the father says to the mother: You can raise it by yourself or you can abort it but I won’t help you raise it and act as a father. That is the story …”

There are other key races out there. Here are some stories to get you caught up as we hit the final stretch.

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