Will the Republicans Really Win Back the Congress?

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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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness and the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is an American military historian, columnist, a former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004, and is the 2023 Giles O'Malley Distinguished Visiting Professor at the School of Public Policy, Pepperdine University. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush, and the Bradley Prize in 2008. Hanson is also a farmer (growing almonds on a family farm in Selma, California) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. He is the author most recently of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won, The Case for Trump and the recently released The Dying Citizen, and the forthcoming The End of Everything (May 7, 2024)..

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