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WASHINGTON TIMES: DAVID BOSSIE: Senate is within Republican reach

Summer has come to an end and the traditional general election season is now in full swing for the enormously consequential 2022 midterm races for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. The future of our country and the question of whether America will remain a vibrant constitutional republic or continue the Biden-induced slide to socialism is on the ballot.

The party in power historically loses seats in a president’s first midterm election, and this year appears to be no exception. From the outset, President Joe Biden’s radical left-wing policy agenda has caused America to veer badly off track. Due to the extraordinarily high cost of living, high gas prices, high crime, open borders, irresponsible federal spending, and with the country more divided than ever, only 42% of the American people approve of Mr. Biden’s job performance compared to 55% who disapprove.

To make matters worse, an eye-popping 70% currently believe that America is on the wrong track under the leadership of Mr. Biden and total Democrat control of Congress. With inflation close to a four-decade high, illegal immigrants and deadly fentanyl flooding across our border, a skyrocketing $30 trillion national debt, and China eating our lunch on the world’s stage, you have to wonder who the 23% are who believe things are going okay in Joe Biden’s America.

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Taking all of this into consideration, it’s expected that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats will be swept from power in the U.S. House in January 2023. With only a razor-thin five-seat majority, there simply isn’t enough time for House Democrats to plug all the holes in the dam. The damage has been done and it’s a problem of their own making; the American people voted for what they thought was moderation but got radical socialism instead.

On the Senate side, things are much less clear. For starters, the upper chamber is deadlocked at 50 – 50 and there are only a handful of competitive races. And while the landscape favors Democrats – who are only defending 14 seats compared to 21 seats for the GOP – Senate control remains a toss-up with only 60 days to go until Election Day.

There’s been some talk recently about the supposed lack of strength among the GOP nominees for Senate in some of the critical races around the county. Now, I’ve been handicapping Republican congressional candidates for too many election cycles to mention and believe that this flawed narrative being spun by the biased mainstream media is greatly exaggerated. So now that we’re in September, it’s the perfect time for a reset.

One very important post-Labor Day election indicator is whether an incumbent is polling under 50%. In the states that comprise the top four pickup opportunities for Republicans – Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire – the incumbent Democratic senator is under 50% in all four races.

In Nevada, liberal incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto is averaging just 46% against former state Attorney General and highly electable GOP nominee Adam Laxalt. Similarly in Georgia, incumbent leftist Sen. Raphael Warnock is also polling at 46% against Republican Herschel Walker, who has actually jumped into the lead according to some recent public polling.

In Arizona, first-term incumbent Democrat and former astronaut Sen. Mark Kelly – once thought unbeatable – is averaging under 50% versus first-time candidate Blake Masters, who is still introducing himself to voters after the highly competitive and bruising August 2 primary. And in New Hampshire, Biden ally Democrat Senator Maggie Hassan is stuck at 45% regardless of which Republican candidate emerges from the upcoming primary on September 13. This can only be interpreted as good news for the GOP.

Being in the majority is always better than being in the minority, but for the majority party in a 50 – 50 Senate, there are many pitfalls as well. For example, in order to pass any item in Mr. Biden’s radical tone-deaf agenda, all 50 Democrats – even the most vulnerable – must vote “yes” regardless of how bad the legislation may be. For this reason, Sens. Cortez Masto, Warnock, Kelly, and Hassan, are all tied to their horrible votes in favor of the failed Biden agenda. All the inflation-causing, out-of-control spending bills, the economy-killing socialist climate change measures, 87,000 more IRS agents to audit the middle class – you name it.

But these endangered Democrat senators also have to answer for the votes they didn’t take. Why haven’t they moved legislation to secure the border, address the spike in violent crime, or unleash America’s vast domestic energy resources to lower gas prices? It’s a dereliction of duty, plain and simple.

Of the four close Senate seats Republicans are defending, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is the only incumbent running for re-election. While Mr. Johnson is polling under 50% at the moment, there’s ample reason to be optimistic. In his race for re-election six years ago, the final public polling average had Sen. Johnson losing 47 – 44, but at the end of the day, he won 50 – 47. And perhaps most importantly, many voters have yet to find out that his radical left-wing opponent Mandela Barnes has proudly supported defunding police, abolishing ICE, and cashless bail for criminals. These positions are wildly out of step with a majority of Wisconsinites.

The same goes for John Fetterman, the leftist Democrat nominee for Senate in Pennsylvania. Mr. Fetterman endorsed socialist Bernie Sanders for president in 2016 and brags that he agrees with him on “virtually every issue.” For instance, Mr. Fetterman wants to ban fracking – which would destroy Pennsylvania’s economy – and specializes in being weak on law and order issues like releasing dangerous criminals from prison. Mr. Fetterman is a candidate of the far left and is hardly a good fit for Pennsylvania, the nation’s quintessential swing state. Once the socialist Fetterman is introduced to more voters, it will become abundantly clear that Republican nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz, a political outsider who isn’t beholden to any special interests, is the far superior choice. No wonder Mr. Fetterman hasn’t debated Dr. Oz yet.

Nov. 8 is going to be a good night for Republicans, the only question is how good. And to those who are itching to make dire predictions about GOP prospects for capturing the U.S. Senate, I say not so fast.

• David N. Bossie is president of Citizens United and he served as deputy campaign manager for Donald J. Trump for President.

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