CHICAGO — It’s been nine months since Chicago-born R&B singer R. Kelly was last in a New York courtroom, where he was convicted by a jury after decades of allegations of sexual misdeeds. On that day in late September, Kelly, dressed in a gray suit, remained stoic as the verdict came in: guilty of racketeering conspiracy and eight other counts alleging he used his organization to lure and trap girls, boys and young women to satisfy his predatory desires. Now, as his time behind bars nears the three-year mark, Kelly is in store for another day of reckoning, one that could determine whether he wi...
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The conventional wisdom that the Republican Party is likely to win control of the House of Representatives in the 2022 midterm election was challenged by Susan Glasser in The New Yorker.
"The results of this midterm season so far have shown how nearly complete Trump’s Republican triumph already is. Dozens of election deniers who have adopted the former President’s lies about his 2020 election loss have won Republican nominations, up and down the ballot," Glasser wrote. "So why are Trump’s opponents—at least some of them—feeling in any way optimistic?"
Glasser noted historical precedent, President Joe Biden's low polling, and record inflation.
"But, over the summer, a new school of what might be called 'Trumptimism' has taken hold among some Democratic strategists and independent analysts," Glasser reported. "In the mess of our current politics, they discern a case for optimism—history-defying, experience-flouting optimism that maybe things won’t work out so badly after all in November."
Glasser noted hopes of a blue wave from Simon Rosenberg of New Democrat Network.
"The Trump factor, according to Rosenberg, is key. For the past several election cycles, nothing has united Democratic voters more than the chance to vote against him. And all summer Trump has been back in the news, thanks to revelations from testimony in the House’s January 6th hearings; the F.B.I. search of Mar-a-Lago, for classified documents improperly taken from the White House; and endless speculation about whether Trump will be indicted or run again for President—or both," Glasser wrote. "Rosenberg sees this fall as a genuinely competitive election, not a foregone conclusion."
Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report disagreed.
“All the fundamentals are telling us not that much has changed,” Walter said. “There is not a blue wave, no. The question is: How big is the red wave?”
However, also on Thursday, the Cook Political Report shifted their forecasts towards Democrats in two senate races.
In Pennsylvania, the forecast was shifted from a tossup to leaning towards Lt. Gov. John Fetterman beating Dr. Mehment Oz. And it Utah, where GOP Sen. Mike Lee is facing independent Evan McMullin after Dems refused to nominate a candidate, the forecast was shifted from solid for Lee to leaning towards him.
"GOP fears a repeat of 2010/12 when weak candidates cost them winnable races," Cook Political's Jessica Taylor reported.
Veteran Democratic strategic Joe Trippi predicted, "it’s gonna be a lot worse than 2010."
"2010 crazy just infected Senate races. 2022 it’s even crazier in the House," Trippi wrote. "2010 was just the Tea Party. We’re talking Ultra MAGA in 2022."
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," election forecaster Harry Enten laid out why Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to tamp down expectations for Republican performances in Senate contests this cycle — and why he particularly knocked his party's "candidate quality."
"Just go to Pennsylvania, for example," said Enten. "Mehmet Oz, 20 points underwater on his favorability. In Georgia, Herschel Walker, minus 5 points. Arizona, Blake Masters, 4 points underwater. And you see that in all those races that we mentioned where the Democrats are ahead, the net favorability of the different Republicans is underwater. Their unfavorable ratings are higher than favorable ratings. This is a long-standing problem with Republicans. We saw it in 2010 as well. They blew it then because they nominated bad candidates in the minds of the voters."
"You've got [Wisconsin's Ron] Johnson, an incumbent, but Oz, that was completely discretionary. That was their choice. Walker, completely discretionary, that's their choice," noted anchor Erin Burnett. Enten concurred, pointing out that Trump himself picked most of these candidates through his endorsements.
Another point to note, said Enten, is that while President Joe Biden's approval rating remains low, that has historically had little impact on the result of Senate elections in midterms.
"If you go back over time and say let's look at the Senate races or the Senate years in which the incumbent, the White House party did not in fact lose any seats or in fact gain seats and look at the president's approval rating in those years, we don't actually see that much of a relationship," said Enten. "You look at 1982, for example, Ronald Reagan was not anywhere close to 50 percent. In fact, Republicans held their grounding. You look just four years ago, Donald Trump was well underwater. What happened? Republicans actually gained two senate seats."
"There are years where the president's approval rating is high and the White House party holds or gains seats, but the relationship is not as straight as you might expect it to be," Enten continued. "At this point, even though Biden's approval rating is low, it's not shocking to me that Democrats are not only holding their grounding but if the election is held today, they might gain some seats."
Harry Enten on Republican Senate chances www.youtube.com
The Republican Party as it continues in the Donald Trump era has gone to such a strange place that Mike Pence appears almost radical, according to a new editorial in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The newspaper noted the "buzz" over Pence telling republicans they should not attack the FBI.
"It is only in this party, in these frenzied times, that such a bare-minimum acknowledgment of political norms would merit comment, let alone kudos. But, under the circumstances, it does," the editorial board wrote.
The editorial board contrasted Pence with Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ).
"In the face of all this, Pence’s milquetoast comments in New Hampshire sounded almost radically responsible," the editorial board wrote. "He asserted that the GOP is still 'the party of law and order' — which may be wishful thinking in the Trump era, but was refreshing to hear anyway."
Pence also saying he would not blow off a Jan. 6 select committee subpoena was described as a "once-normal comment that sounded radical in the context of Trump’s GOP, under which ignoring congressional inquiries and even subpoenas has become standard practice. That Pence would come off as almost rebellious by merely talking like a normal Republican highlights just how abnormal his party has become."
Read the full editorial.