Republicans were wiped out by a Blue Tsunami in 2018 after Democrats took control of the House by winning the midterm election with the largest number of seats won since Watergate. Next month, Republicans are poised to be wiped out again by another Blue Tsunami that will increase the Democrat majority in the House and will cost them control of the Senate.
Ever since Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton and squeaked out an Electoral College win by a total of 77,744 votes in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, Republicans have been losing BIGLY! as evidenced by election trends since 2016, their history of betraying conservatism and their embrace of something I refer to as conservative relativism.
Beginning with a series of special elections after Trump’s inauguration, his weakness as the leader of the Republican Party was obvious to all and served as an accurate predictor of the Blue Tsunami that wiped out the GOP in the 2018 midterms.
Democrats flipped seven gubernatorial offices in 2018, giving the party the “trifecta of power” — control of the governor’s office and both legislative chambers — in six new states (Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, New Mexico, and New York) while breaking up Republican trifectas in four states: Kansas, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin.
Before the 2018 midterms, Republicans held the trifecta in 26 states; Democrats held 7; and 17 were divided. Post-election, these numbers were: Republicans 21, Democrats 14, and 13 divided.
Odd-year state elections since 2016 continued the trend. In 2019, Republicans lost two more governorships as Democrats flipped Kentucky while they held on to win re-election in a runoff in Louisiana: states won by Trump by 30 percent and 20 percent respectfully.
In a North Carolina special election for the U.S. Senate in 2019, Republicans squeaked out a win, but I wrote afterward how the narrow victory served as another indicator that a Blue Tsunami 2.0 awaited Republicans in 2020, with Democrats flipping the Senate.
For the cult members, evangelicals, and faux-conservative media talking heads ready to dismiss this article as fake news, the hard numbers don’t lie. When Trump took office:
- Republicans controlled the House of Representatives 241–194; today the Democrats control it 232–197
- Republicans controlled the governors’ office 23–16; today, it’s nearly even at 26–24
- Republicans enjoyed a 15 percent advantage nationwide in state legislatures; today, it’s only 5 percent.
This same group of people are also fond of telling me how wrong the experts were in 2016 when polls showed Hillary beating Trump. But these torchbearers of Trumpism fail to realize that the polls were correct; they only measured the popular vote. It was the pundits and party loyalists who were wrong about who would win.
With the 2020 election less than three weeks away, a Blue Tsunami in the Senate is all but certain, even as Trumpist Republicans try to distance themselves from the Democrat with an “R” after his name currently in the White House.
FiveThirtyEight.com is reporting that Democrats could even win in “red states” that have been held by Republicans for decades, such as Alaska, Montana, and Kansas. (emphasis mine)
Democrats have a relatively clear path to securing a majority in the U.S. Senate: Win seats in Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and North Carolina — all states where the Democratic candidate is favored. Carrying these four states, and winning the presidency, would take Democrats from 47 seats currently to 50 seats — Democrat Doug Jones is likely to lose his reelection race in Alabama — with a Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking 51st vote. Democrats also have about even odds of picking up a seat in Iowa.
But 50 or 51 votes would be an extremely narrow majority, so Democrats would need to keep essentially all their members in line on key votes. And there are still some relatively conservative Democrats in the Senate, such as Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. But Democrats also have a real chance at a bigger Senate majority — that is, if they can win seats in some redder states [Alaska, Montana, Kansas] where they’re underdogs but have a meaningful chance of pulling off an upset.
President Trump is very likely to carry all three of these states, and Joe Biden’s campaign really isn’t competing in any of them. Besides that, these are not swing states — Democrats last won the presidential race in Alaska and Kansas in 1964, and in Montana, it was 1992.
That said, a big reason why Democrats are competitive in these states at the Senate level is that Trump isn’t doing that well in them. (Or, alternatively, Biden is doing fairly well in them.) The broader anti-Trump wave has hit Alaska, Kansas and Montana too. Polls suggest that the president will win in these three states comfortably, but by several percentage points less than he carried them in 2016. (He won Kansas and Montana by about 20 points four years ago, and Alaska by about 15.) Trump’s net job approval rating has declined in all three states since the start of his term.
The article concludes:
Like South Carolina, it’s pretty hard for a Democratic Senate candidate to win in these states, particularly Kansas. But it’s an indication of how blue 2020 is shaping up to be that Democrats have a chance of winning in all three of these states. And if they do pull off upsets in Alaska, Kansas or Montana, Democrats might win control of the Senate with a few votes to spare.
Donald Trump and the GOP are so much like Joe Biden and the Democrats that trying to differentiate between the two is like arguing the difference between tomayto and tomahto.
And with Trump’s job approval numbers plummeting, his economy tanking, his trade war lost, and a growing number of Republicans weary of Trumpism retiring, the Blue Tsunami of 2018 could look like ripples on a pond compared to what we could see in 2020.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.