The Political Report – October 3, 2022

A national NBC News/Telemundo poll of the Latino electorate out today finds that Democrats lead Republicans by more than 20 points among Latino voters, “but that Democratic advantage has declined from previous election cycles.”

Key takeaway: 54% of Latino voters say they prefer Democrats to control Congress as a result of the upcoming midterm elections, versus 33% who want Republicans in charge.

“That 21-point Democratic lead in congressional preference is down from past NBC/Telemundo over-samples of Latino voters in Oct. 2020 (when it was 26 points), Nov. 2018 (34 points), Oct. 2016 (38 points) and Oct. 2012 (42 points).”

NBC News: Nevada Democrats see signs of nightmare scenario: Latino voters staying home.

Washington Post: “With a tough midterm election about six weeks away, many Democrats have largely settled on a campaign message, and it’s not one that simply emphasizes their accomplishments. Instead, it amounts to a stark warning: If Republicans take power, they will establish a dystopia that cripples democracy and eviscerates abortion rights and other freedoms.”

Said former Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY): “When you are the in-party in the midterms — like the Democrats are now — and the wind is blowing against you, you have to ride every advantageous breeze you can find. And the Democrats have found those breezes in the Dobbs decision and in Donald Trump.”

Philip Bump: “What’s apparent at this point, just over a month before voting ends in the 2022 midterm election, is that nearly any national outcome is possible.”

“This big-picture perspective, though, blurs the fact that overall patterns are dependent on individual races. And a spate of new polls conducted for Fox News by their bipartisan polling team shows, in essence, the importance of picking viable candidates in the first place.”

With just over a month to go until the midterms, it’s clear we’re headed for another wave election. But this one features two waves rushing towards each other and they’re set to collide on November 8.

As GOP pollster Bill McInturff recently told NBC News: “There is a campaign about the economy, cost of living, crime, and border security, and Republicans are winning this campaign. But there is a second campaign on abortion, democracy and climate change, and Democrats are winning that campaign.”

Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt agreed: “We often think about wave elections But this year, we may think instead about a “waves” election where unprecedentedly strong crosscurrents push voters in different directions, with an end result that may not be what we expected.”

In many ways, the next 37 days will be like trying to forecast the path of a hurricane. Many will try. But as we saw with a real hurricane this week in Florida, that’s not an easy task.

“Political handicappers are labeling Senate Democrats as the favorites to keep their majority, but Democratic senators themselves are worried the polls may be flawed in their favor just as they were in 2016 and 2020,” The Hill reports.

“Democrats are facing fresh problems in two pivotal Senate battlegrounds in which their nominees are facing attacks for being too progressive,” Axios reports.

“In Wisconsin, GOP Sen. Ron Johnson has pulled ahead of Democrat Mandela Barnes in the latest wave of public polls. In Pennsylvania, recent polling suggests Democrat John Fetterman’s double-digit advantage over Republican Mehmet Oz has shrunk to a statistical tie.”

Nate Silver: “Overall, Democrats’ chances of winning the Senate are 68-in-100, according to the Deluxe version of our forecast. That’s down from a high of 71-in-100, which persisted from Sept. 13 to Sept. 20, though that change isn’t large in the big scheme of things. In the House, Democrats’ chances are 31-in-100, which reflects an even smaller change; their chances were 32-in-100 on Sept. 23 and 24.”

“Still, we’re overdue for a reminder of why Republicans still could do quite well for themselves in November. So here are five major reasons for hope for the GOP — and concern for Democrats.”

Associated Press: “So far this year, Biden has headlined 11 receptions to raise cash directly for the Democratic National Committee, and they have brought in more than $19.6 million, according to the committee. The events have ranged from a $300,000 haul at a yacht club in Portland, Oregon, to a cozy, 18-person affair (with four others on video screens) at Hotel Washington near the White House that took in more than $3 million. A pair of fundraisers at mansions in Southern California during the Summit of the Americas in June raked in $5 million in a matter of hours.”

MICHIGAN GOVERNOR. Michigan gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon (R) implored supporters to separate the issue of abortion access from her campaign, MLive reports.

Said Dixon: “Gretchen Whitmer is out there saying that I’m going to be able to do something about that issue in this state. As you all know, it’s on the ballot, it’s been decided by a judge, don’t let her bright shiny thing distract from the fact that she has done nothing but hurt this state.”

New York Times: “The contest also serves as a test of whether Ms. Dixon and other Republican candidates can win their general elections by harnessing the grass-roots energy of Trump supporters that propelled them to the top of crowded and chaotic primaries. That approach — which entails a close association with Mr. Trump’s election denialism and other political baggage — worries some Michigan Republicans who believe Ms. Dixon is failing to win over the kinds of suburban and independent voters who are crucial in tight races.”

“But it might be the only option she has. Early voting began on Thursday, and with time running out, Ms. Dixon is short on cash, well behind in polls, still working to shore up support among her Republican base and being pummeled by Democrats on the television airwaves.”

OHIO U.S. SENATOR. Wall Street Journal: “Mr. Ryan, who avoids calling himself a Democrat, has broken with his party in opposing President Biden’s student-debt forgiveness plan and says Democrats erred in pushing for many Americans to get college degrees. Mr. Ryan frequently mentions that he agrees with former Republican President Donald Trump’s tough stance on China trade policies, and has criticized Mr. Biden for considering rolling back some of Mr. Trump’s import tariffs.”

“That economic populism has put the 10-term congressman neck and neck with Republican candidate and political novice J.D. Vance in a part of the country where Democrats have lost ground, especially among blue-collar voters.”

NORTH CAROLINA U.S. SENATOR. Jezebel: “Ted Budd, North Carolina’s Republican nominee for Senate, is one of two sitting U.S. congressmen to own a gun store, and his advertises on its website an insurance provider that supports gun owners who face domestic violence charges.”

“Some advocates and family members of gun violence victims have called insurance plans like this—which have also been advertised by the NRA—‘murder insurance.’”

A new Monmouth poll finds that 61% of Republican voters still believe Joe Biden only won the 2020 presidential election because of voter fraud.

Philip Bump: “You will probably not be surprised by this. It’s sort of understood that Republicans hold this position. And, perhaps, we’ve reached a point where articulating that you think voter fraud gave Biden his victory has been folded into a broader partisan identity. In other words, that being Republican means being receptive to this idea.”

“Activists driven by false theories about election fraud are working to toss out tens of thousands of voter registrations and ballots in battleground states, part of a loosely coordinated campaign that is sowing distrust and threatening further turmoil as election officials prepare for the November midterms,” the New York Times reports.

Conservative activists in Georgia have used a law passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature in 2021 to challenge thousands of fellow Georgians’ voter registrations before early voting begins on October 17, CNN reports.

MARYLAND GOVERNOR. A new Washington Post/University of Maryland poll find Wes Moore (D) with a 32-percentage point lead over Dan Cox (R) in the Maryland governor’s race, 60% to 28%.

MAINE GOVERNOR. Associated Press: “Now, as LePage is running for a third term after a brief retirement to Florida, he rarely talks about Trump in public, and his advisers say LePage’s hiatus from politics changed him. He’s eager to show he’s smoothed over some of his own rough edges, though flashes of his fiery personality broke through recently at an event at a riverfront boatyard in Yarmouth, where he pledged to take on Democratic ‘elitists.’”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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