Will the Republicans Really Win Back the Congress?

Victor Davis Hanson
American Greatness

The late spring scenario of a massive GOP win—in historic proportions analogous to 1938, 1994, or 2010—is said now to be “iffy.”

The Left boasts that it now has a chance at keeping the House, with even better odds for maintaining control over the Senate.

Polls are all over the place. Now they show generic Republican leads, now Democratic.

The general experience in polling is that they are more often conducted by left-leaning institutions and massaged to show Democratic “momentum.”

Since the polling meltdown of 2016—when most polls showed a Hillary Clinton Electoral College landslide—they have regained little credibility.

Current progressive heartthrob and spoiler Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) was polled at only 20 percent behind in her recent primary—only to be crushed in the end, losing by over 37 percent.

The corporate leftist media does its part by glorifying a now dynamic “Aviator Joe.”

Biden in cool sunglasses is now constructed into a swaggering “Top Gun” Tom Cruise-like figure, rather than a cognitively challenged 79-year-old.

Biden’s just passed reconciliation “Inflation Reduction Act,” according to most experts, will raise taxes even on the middle class and spur inflation. So, the media euphemistically renames it a “climate change bill.”

With a stroke of his pen before the midterms, Biden forgives $300 billion in student debt—without a care for the dutiful who paid their loans off or those who did not go to college but will now pay for those that did.

If inflation is running at 8.5 percent over last July’s prices, the White House giddily announces inflation is “zero” because it did not climb at 9.1 percent over 2021 prices—as it did in June.

That’s like saying someone entombed in a sinkhole 10 feet below ground is no longer trapped at all since he floated up one foot since falling.

In California, when $6.50 a gallon gas dipped last month to $5.50 a gallon, Biden pronounced the end of high energy costs. He forgets that during his watch, gas prices doubled and remain $2.50 a gallon higher than they were on Inauguration Day.

Despite the propaganda, the Republicans seem confident nonetheless because of the dismal 40 percent approval ratings of Joe Biden and his even less popular agenda.

Crime is out of control. The Left blew up the southern border. Biden has waged war on energy production and deliberately spiked gas costs.

Foreign policy is in shambles. Racial relations are scary. Historically, presidents are shellacked in their first midterms.

So, there should be a Republican tsunami.

But will there be?

So far, the Republicans have not nationalized congressional races with a uniform Contract with America, an agenda that they will seek to enact the moment they take Congress.

If all Republican candidates run on what the Left has done to America in less than two years and offer a systematic corrective, they will win. If they get bogged down in the 24-hour news cycle they will flounder.

Conservatives seem oblivious to the current left-wing strategy. That is odd, since it is unchanged since the Russian collusion hoax and the psychodramatic Ukrainian phone call impeachment.

The left-wing playbook is based on two pillars: the FBI raid on Donald Trump’s home, the January 6 “insurrection” investigation—and selective daily leaking about both.

About every week, in efforts at mass distraction from the dismal record of Joe Biden, we will hear of a new “bombshell” and “walls-are-closing-in” Justice Department or FBI leak to an obsequious media.

In 24-hour cycles, we will hear more about how Donald Trump supposedly stole “nuclear secrets”!

And “informed but anonymous sources insist” that Trump is trying to sell memorabilia. Or is Trump trying to hide January 6 evidence at his home? Or was it those Russian collusion files?

Sanctimonious Attorney General Merrick Garland will fight tooth and nail not to release an unredacted historic fishing-expedition affidavit for a warrant to meander through the closets of the Trump home. But he certainly will redact—and leak.

The January 6 committee will continue to subpoena and flip witnesses with threats of indictments, certain doom before biased Washington, D.C. juries, and crushing legal bills.

Between the raid and the star-chamber House inquiry, we are supposed to forget unaffordable gas and food, dangerous U.S. cities, over 3 million people swarming the border, and the Afghanistan debacle.

Big Tech in November as in 2020 will again flood registrars with billions of dollars in dark money—while denying it.

They will censor and expunge anything unflattering to the Left on social media—and claim they do not.

The Left will systematically try to ensure that, as in 2020, only 30 percent of the electorate vote in person on election day—as they plead they are underfunded and disorganized.

Yet if the Republicans advance a coherent national plan of action to restore a pre-Biden America, if Donald Trump will focus positively on national issues and not take the bait to obsess on the wrongs done to him, and if grass-roots conservatives this time around prepare to preempt massive left-wing vote harvesting, they will achieve their blowout.

But that is a lot of ifs. And meanwhile, time grows short.

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29 thoughts on “Will the Republicans Really Win Back the Congress?”

  1. Somehow the Republicans will find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. We usually do.
    I’m tired of being bombarded by candidates asking for money. Make a promise to the people of campaign finance reform and then keep it! Victor, run for something!

  2. How should Republicans best prepare to “preempt massive left-wing vote harvesting,” which may be the most likely reason Dems could keep the House and Senate IMO?

  3. Keys….
    In a word “Turnout”
    In another word “apathy ”
    In another word “anger”
    Ted Salgado, Milwaukee

  4. As the US was forced to fight WWII on two fronts, the GOP must acknowledge that they too are fighting opponents on two fronts, those two fronts being the Left and the legacy MSM. They should therefore strategize accordingly.

    The GOP should act proactively instead of just reactively in dealing with the Left’s daily attacks on them, eg “gee, we’re not racists, homophobes, that’s not true” (etc, etc.) They are allowing them, with the MSM’s help, to set the narrative. The GOP should, as VDH writes, remind the voters daily that the inflation, food prices, fuel prices they’re suffering are a direct result of Democrat policies. Emphasize that the real everyday problems involve trying to put food on the table, and not rampant transgender, LGBTQ or racial discrimination. Explain to the voters that the Left is only trying to distract from their miserable record the past two years; perhaps if they repeat this message enough it may even penetrate the MSM “bias by omission” wall.

  5. Thank you VDH. As usual, absolutely spot on.
    But I wonder who could be the face of a nationalized effort? And what would be a good slogan? In the past Newt was the perfect leader with a perfect slogan. Trump and his fire-breathers can get the die-hard base out to vote, but who can get to the center-right people who listen only to corporate media (and surely are turned off by Trump’s middle school personality)? Who can figure a way to get the corporate media to even cover them?

  6. If you take the view that politicians are on balance short sighted and not very bright, then you’re stuck with voting for whomever you think will harm you least. For me, that’s the Republicans, but I hold little hope that the cumulative IQs of the Republicans currently in Congress would reach room temperature.

    The Dems lost the white working class and perhaps anyone who works in tangible industries such as construction, manufacturing, transportation, agriculture and resource extraction. The Dems have those who work in industries that don’t require blue collar workers such as finance, much media, law, etc.

    As Hispanics are now a large voting block, and as they are disproportionately working class, we are substantially dependent upon them realizing that Democratic policies hinder their aspirations. In shear numbers, what group is probably having the hardest time affording a house in California? it’s the young, and in CA much of the young are Hispanic. Their economic interests are really not that different from their white blue collar counterparts. There’s a lot of news reports that say that Hispanics are drifting away from the Democrats. One can only hope.

  7. Republicans could run on: Build the fence (E-verify), Balance the budget (a possible Constitutional Amendment), and a Term Limits Amendment (for Congress)( would have to originate at the State level)

  8. Absolutely true that the ‘pollsters’ like ‘fact-checkers’ are actually partisans pretending to be neutral observers. Like our DNC-owned media, they are seeking to persuade and influence under the guise of reporting. It had to be expected that Democrats would produce an assortment of dirty tricks and theatrics to once again deceive the public about the epic failure that has been a government led by the serial liar Pelosi and the puppet in the White House. Where are the Republican ads that record the horrors of the open-air addict colonies that inhabit every Democrat controlled state? Show the people what is happening at the border. Quantify the staggering national debt, demonstrate the impact of having cut off our energy independence and the inflation spiral as a result that has put our own economy into recession and spread the contagion worldwide. Remind voters of the completely botched retreat in Afghanistan that cost so many lives including those of brave and selfless U.S. service members. Avoid the tricks and traps intended to distract from the truth. Trump is not on any ballot this year. Force Democrats to run on their own, actual record of insane, reckless spending and complete and utter failure in everything they touch. Democrats are right about one thing only. That convincing voters is all about the message. Roll the tape.

  9. nojtspam@otfresno.com

    I don’t think the Republican elites want to win. Since the Democrats are sponsoring a dictatorship of the moneyed, the personal fortunes of the Republican leadership win when the D’s do. Republican elites as “elites”, not Republicans, gain money and power along with their Democrat counterparts. Why would they want the Senate and House now, especially when it would come with a mandate to work against their own self-interest?


      I agree that the establishment Republicans seem to prefer to maintain the status quo for the simple reason that they are benefiting quite nicely from it. The establishment Republicans have been telling us for the last two decades that they see their paths of success to be Democrat-lite as opposed to being America First or actual conservatives standing on conservative principles.

      They are, so far in the campaign, refusing to give the American voters reasons to actually vote for them. Some are making promises of oversight and investigations if the House or Congress is won, but too many Republican voters remember these promises in the wake of the 2010 GOP election win and how nothing tangible actually happened. So promises of action will not spur a turnout.

      The other, more insidious effort being run by the Republican elites, seems to be focused more towards defeating the MAGA / America First base than defeating the Democrats. Those elites seem to fear America First as an existential threat to them and their positions and the Democrats, even the hard left, are not. I believe their intent is to work to demoralize the MAGA / America First base so that they decide to not vote and then make the argument that MAGA / America First is a failure because those candidates cannot win elections.

  10. I agree.The republicans need a pact to present BEFORE the mid terms.A sane fiscal and social one that is easy for the middle class to get behind.This should include a promise of punitave actions against ALL the three letter agencies and their alcolytes that has brought this great country to the brink.Biden,military,justice,etc.They must be cohesive,no RINOS OR NEVER TRUMPERS ALLOWED.Its our only hope.Put the bastards in jail and dismantle the deep state that we all know exists only to destroy us.Sincerely,Roy

  11. New Gingrich introduced his “Contract with America” only six weeks, I believe, before the 1994 midterms. And boy what a difference it made. After the election he repeatedly reminded the public that he was keeping his contractual promise. In front of the camera he would pull out the contract and check off one of the promises just accomplished through the legislation of that day.
    What else do the Republicans in congress need to know in order to recapture the congress? Simply follow the Gingrich model for heaven’s sake!!!
    Now Kevin McCarthy a while back acted like he was going to do just that. This was some weeks ago, and I have not heard a lot sense.
    But Mitch McConnell is playing down expectations that the senate Republican majority will be regained. He says it is all about quality of candidate. Such a ringing endorsement of the candidates that Trump endorsed, right?Ok, Ok, I read the news just as you do, so enough with my rehashing. But there is a bottom line we should take from all this:
    MITCH MCCONNEL IS A RINO!. Truth be know he is more in favor of the left’s policies than he is of Trump’s. He does not want to make America greater, because he is getting rich just as it is through his father-in-law’s shipping corporation (which is hand-in-glove with the CCP).
    MITCH MCCONNELL MUST STEP DOWN AS THE REPUBLICAN LEADER IN CONGRESS, IF YOU BELIEVE IN THE MAGA AGENDA! (Please excuse my all caps, but there is no other way for you to hear my emphaticness on this crucial point.)

  12. Thanks Victor! The marxist biden administration has failed to uphold the United States constitution. The result for the American citizenry has been an unparalleled series of disasters. True Americans do not like to be threatened by their own government. We must vote to remove the embarrassing biden junta so that our Constitutional Republic can be perpetuated.

  13. As a conservative, I have witnessed the Republican Party stand at the veritable tee and whiff the ball time and again, all the while having past experience or “ rounds” that should have taught them HOW TO PLAY THE GAME!… Learning from pros like Newt Gingrich on how to put a cogent plan in place that is forward leaning and organized, speaking to Americans who just want to live in peace and security in the country of their fathers and forefathers. Instead, what do they do?.. focus on the micro instead of the macro. Fetishizing on the putt instead of the long game to finish in the lead. If they don’t pull it together within the next month and a half this round may be lost again as usual… Masters of the game they are not.

  14. I think the Dems, which are capable of any perfidious and unconscionable maneuver to garner votes, are, with the connivance of Politico and the corporate media, Gaslighting us to suppress turnout. Biden’s “bribe” of tuition debt holders is just the latest example. They have purposely misstated the Roe v. Wade opinion, which does not outlaw anything, let alone abortion, but merely asserts that it is not within the province of the Supreme Court, period, and the states have to vote on it. They have whipped up a synthetic hysteria about this and illegally sent their rent-a-horde activists out to threaten the justices. There are just the recent depredations of this criminal political party. They will kill for another vote. Kill. They are killing illegal migrants by the hundreds for future votes. They are in business with the most vicious devil-worshipping, satanic criminals in Mexico to get votes. And let us not forget that they historically sustained, nurtured, and promoted Jim Crow and vile segregation to husband Southern votes for generations. They are the subjugators of blacks in this country. They did it for votes, for “the Solid South.” And now, they have perfected a program of industrial lying to Gaslight America. Of course, McConnell McCarthy is demonstrating that they are rank amateurs in this game. The election is being rigged as we watch. We are a one-party state.

    1. Agreed! The aspirations of the Democratic Party are truly evil, evil, evil. I do not believe its “DNA” has changed one iota from what it was in the mid-19th century. It represents the worst that mankind has to offer humanity.
      The MAGA agenda, if allowed to mature, will go a long way toward putting a wooden stake through the heart of the Democratic Party, and its propaganda arm, the mainstream media. I pray to God that we do not squander this historical opportunity to do just that.

  15. Dear Dr. Hanson:
    What if the Republicans recognize their only path to victory is with Mr. Trump and/or Mr. Desantis? Do you really think they want to win if that is the case? My personal opinion is that Republican elites like Mr. McConnell, Mr. McCarthy, and Mr. Norquist (representing the behind-the-scenes elites) are relatively happy with the status quo. After all, they do not have to govern and get paid to complain! They are betting on picking up the pieces after the Biden administration “goes bust” (if there are any left)! Mr. McConnell is already lowering expectations based on “poor candidates.” It does not seem to bother them that long stated conservative values like smaller government, lower taxes, and less regulation are now being characterized by the President as “Semi- Fascist!” Guess the homophobic, racist, and anti-immigrant labels have stuck well enough that another is needed.

  16. Conservatives seem oblivious to the current left-wing strategy. That is odd, since it is unchanged since the Russian collusion hoax and the psychodramatic Ukrainian phone call impeachment.

    The inability of the right to even understand what is being done by the left, let alone not being able to formulate a counter to that strategy, is the strangest and most unfathomable mystery to me.

    1. “ The inability of the right to even understand what is being done by the left, let alone not being able to formulate a counter to that strategy, is the strangest and most unfathomable mystery to me.”

      Dieter—it starts to make sense when you allow for the possibility that many in the Republican Party, especially in their upper leadership, are fundamentally aligned with the Democrat/Marxist globalist agenda, all fueled by Big Money. The lack of effective opposition has gone on for too long now and has eliminated all other explanations, except for the Uniparty explanation.

  17. It is almost surreal to think that the Republicans could actually blow the mid-term gift that has been handed to them on a silver platter. But we all know this nightmare is certainly possible given the worthless Mitt Romney wing of the party and the Never Trumper Kamikazes.. Just the other day Mitch McConnell felt compelled to pour cold water on recent republican senate candidates by saying that “candidate quality has a lot to do with outcome.”

    The Republicans have so many winning issues to run on:

    1. High inflation that is hurting working Americans every day.

    2. Onerous gas and energy costs that beat up consumers at the pump everyday.

    3. A non-existent southern border that has allowed 3 million unvetted illegal aliens to casually walk into the United States and that has directly led to 100k fentanyl deaths (think 33 9/11 attacks per annum).

    4. A spiraling violent crime rate and DAs who not only refuse to prosecute the worst scum in our society but actually arrest law abiding citizens who defend themselves (think Bodega clerk Jose Alba).

    5. The radical CRT and transgenderism ideology that is being forced on to our school children.

    6. A weaponized DOJ, FBI, and soon to be IRS that targets not just political opponents but everyday Americans (think J6 tres passers held without habeas corpus for almost 2 years)

    7. The unforced error of the Afghanistan withdrawal that got 13 American military personal needlessly killed.

    How could they possibly blow it?

  18. The filter or lack thereof constituted by the corrupt media is the means the left has at its disposal to overcome all the clear policy calamities that should lead to an easy rout of the demorats in November. But since the corrupt media does all in its power to hide, obfuscate and blatantly lie on behalf of the demorats and their catastrophic policies it is very easy for the Republicans to fail and the party of American national suicide to prevail. The corrupt MSM is enemy number one! Without them the leftist demorats would not have been able to pull off all the bad they’ve done – they would have been routed long ago.

  19. Demographics are destiny. Whites will be a minority in less than 20 years and non-Whites vote reliably Left by wide margins. It’s not a mystery to anyone who is capable of admitting to the very simple axiom that demographics are destiny.

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