Well, Democrats see it rising in their quest to take back the House, but maybe not the Senate. New data which follows the post-Kavanaugh effect that motivated Republicans, now coupled with the post-“Bomb stuff” effect from last week and the Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting over the weekend have left a pretty unsettled electorate. Democrats are hoping that being unsettled will lead voters to search for a place to take out their angst, and they’re banking on that place being a vote against Trump on Election Day.
Two sets of stories, one from Politico and one from the Virginia-Pilot, now report that Democrats, who were feeling very uneasy at the beginning of last week, are starting to come around a little bit as polls continue to offer mixed results, but plenty of evidence that Dems are on track to control the House.
Despite wall-to-wall Trump campaigning, Republicans cannot even come close to overcoming the financial onslaught from Democratic candidates during this cycle. The numbers are astonishing for a midterm election, with Texas now becoming the most expensive Senate race in history. As PilotOnline reports, it’s not the “blue wave” Republicans should fear, it’s the “green wave”:
A surge in donations to Democrats has driven spending on the Nov. 6 election to nearly $5 billion across the nation, shattering the record for a congressional midterm, a nonpartisan research group reported Monday.
The report by the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign money, found that candidates and allied groups have spent $4.7 billion so far and will probably exceed $5.2 billion by the time the election season ends.
Democrats have far out-raised Republicans. In House contests, Democratic candidates have collected more than $951 million, while their Republican opponents have raised $637 million. In Senate races, Democrats have raised $513 million and Republicans $361 million.
“Whether you’re looking at donations from women, large donors, small donors, dark-money groups, parties or unions, the Democrats are seeing incredible success in fundraising this cycle,” said Sarah Bryner, the center’s research director.
“Whether that money will translate into success on Nov. 6 is an open question, given that money — while essential — is by no means the only factor governing electoral outcomes,” she said.
The previous record for midterm election spending, set four years ago, was $3.8 billion. Adjusted for inflation, that would be $4.1 billion.
Democrats can afford to spend a lot of money in close districts for the next 7 days, Republicans can’t. Democrats are motivated to vote, and they’re motivated to donate, the latter level of enthusiasm the GOP has yet to match this cycle, and at this point, the money race is over. Money doesn’t always buy elections, but it sure helps, especially in close races where turnout matters and a ground game on Election Day can be the difference in tight contests. Democrats are in better shape. That’s not to say Republicans are strapped for cash, but they aren’t rolling in it like many Democratic candidates are.
Politico reports that aside from the money advantage, which Democrats have held for the entire year, the general unease of voters may be swinging their direction in closing days:
Meanwhile, a pair of crises just a week out from Election Day — the massacre of 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue and the arrest of a suspect for mailing pipe bombs to a number of prominent Democratic politicians and others — have further unsettled the electorate just before the midterm vote.
“Everything suggests that we are a country that’s on edge, and I think that’s going to translate into participation,” said Jefrey Pollock, a Democratic pollster. “But the reality is that many voters in this country hold Donald Trump responsible for the divisive rhetoric these days.”
Some Republicans also acknowledged that their party’s “problems right now are with suburban women, and these developments in the last week affect them more than other demographic groups,” said Jason Roe, a Republican consultant. “It’s important for us to get them focused back on the key issues, the economy and immigration.”
Will voters blame the President for the current level of anger in the country concerning hot-button political issues? Democrats are hoping the answer is “yes”. On the other hand, we saw this story play out in 2016, where Democrats and several media outlets made similar accusations of Donald Trump sowing discourse and spewing heated rhetoric, only to go on and watch him win the Presidency.
Kavanaugh ignited Republicans, and Trump has tried to keep the fire burning, but can it last until next Tuesday? We’ll see.