Trump won Ohio, long considered the ultimate swing state, both times he ran. In 2016 he beat Hillary 2,841,005 (51.3%) to 2,394,164 (43.2%), taking all but 8 of Ohio’s 88 counties. In 2020, Trump took all but 7 counties and won the state 3,154,834 (53.3%) to 2,679,165 (45.2%). Biden became the first Democrat since FDR (1932) to win the White House without carrying the heavily unionized carmaking counties of Mahoning and Trumbull. Two years earlier, Democrat Sherrod Brown had won reelection 2,358,508 (53.4%) to 2,057,559 (46.6%)and took both Mahoning (with 60.5%) and Trumbull (57.9%) counties. Brown won 9 counties that Biden lost.
I didn’t think Tim Ryan had a ghost’s chance of winning this year, even if Trump picked the most unelectable of the GOP contenders as their nominee. And yet, a poll of likely voters released by Siena this morning shows a deadbeat with Ryan at 46% and J.D. Vance at 46%. If their polling is accurate, Michael Moore is calling the national election far more accurately than any professional prognosticator. Win or lose, if Ryan comes that close in Ohio, it probably indicates that the Democrats will hold the Senate (despite this) and the House.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger reported that, as of yesterday, Georgia voters continued to hit record-breaking turnout, approximately 740,000 voters having already cast their ballots during in-person early voting (“a whopping 79,682 showing up on Saturday” alone), marking an astounding 159% increase from day six of 2018 midterm Early Voting and shattering the turnout record of day six of Early Voting in the 2020 Presidential election by 20%! As of Saturday, a total of 816,862 Georgians had voted by absentee ballot and early in-person voting.
Yesterday, on State of the Union, Bernie told Jake Tapper that he’s worried that Democrats may not turn out strongly enough to stem the red tide. In response to Tapper’s question about election messaging, Bernie said that “at a time when working families are struggling, having a hard time filling up their gas tanks or paying for food, paying for prescription drugs, we are living in a nation today where the richest people are doing phenomenally well. And one of the reasons for inflation is the incredible level of corporate greed. Check out the profits of the oil companies, the drug companies, the food companies. Their sky-high profits are ripping off the American people. And there are studies that estimate that 50 percent of inflation has to do with corporate greed. So, I think what the Democrats have got to say is, we are going to stand with working people. We're prepared to take on the drug companies. We're prepared to take on the insurance companies and create an economy that works for all of us. Is the abortion issue important? Yes. But we have also got to focus on the struggles of working people to put food on their table.”
He added that he’s “worried about the level of voter turnout among young people and working people who will be voting Democratic. And I think, again, what Democrats have got to do is contrast their economic plan with the Republicans. What are the Republicans talking about? They want to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid at a time when millions of seniors are struggling to pay their bills. Do you think that's what we should be doing? Democrats should take that to them. Republicans— Democrats want to have Medicare negotiate prescription drugs prices. We pay 10 times more for the same drugs that are sold in Canada. Republicans refuse to do that. So, I think what we have got to do is contrast what a strong pro- worker Democratic position is with the corporate agenda of the Republicans… What are the Republicans' response to inflation? What do they want to do? Well, maybe they want to cut wages for workers. Do they want to raise the minimum wage? No, they don't. So, I think it is important to take the attack to the Republicans. What do they want to do, other than complain? But bottom line is, you cannot cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, which is what they want to do. We have got to lower prescription drug costs, which is not what they want to do.”
This morning Cook changed the rating of DCCC chair Sean Patrick Maloney’s race from a “lean Democrat” to “toss up” and prominent Axios hack Josh Kraushaar wrote that “It’s a sign of how big the GOP wave is looking… that Republicans have a shot at unseating the powerful lawmaker.” He's wrong. No one in his district thinks of him the way DC insiders do, as a “powerful lawmaker.” They think of him as an arrogant Wall Street whore who switched districts and selfishly displaced their own congressman, Mondaire Jones. It's a sign of how the voters feel about being represented by an out of touch corporatist who has no clue about working class concerns.
Luckily, it’s too late for Maloney to shop around for another blue district to turn red. Unlike him, Bernie is out on the road campaigning for Democrats— 8 states in the final two weekends before the midterms are over. He starts in Oregon on Thursday and moves on to California and to 2 rallies in Nevada, one in Reno and one in Las Vegas, where the weak Democratic Senate incumbent is looking shaky. After Nevada, he’ll head to Texas (again, 2 stops, including one in McAllen for Michelle Vallejo, progressive who has been abandoned by Maloney and the DCCC) and then to Florida. The final weekend will be spent in top battlegrounds: Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Last week, he told the NY Times that “It is about energizing our base and increasing voter turnout up and down the ballot. I am a little bit concerned that the energy level for young people, working-class people. And I want to see what I can do about that.”