The latest poll numbers show that Republicans may want to pump the brakes on any early celebrations and buckle down if they want to win Congress.
While the House seems fairly certain, the Senate is a different story.
There are must win Senate elections for the GOP in several states, Wisconsin being of them. And currently, incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson is trailing in the polls against Democrat challenger Mandela Barnes, the state’s current Lt. Governor.
Republicans are also trailing to various degrees in several must-win states.
Overall, a Fox News poll has Barnes ahead of Johnson 50%-46%, within the poll’s margin of error. But with Democrat candidates nationwide trying to shake the record of the Biden administration, the enthusiasm level among Republicans is beating out the level among Democrat voters.
Ron Johnson’s supporters appear to be more enthusiastic than Barnes supporters by a margin of 66%-57%. Each side says they are “extremely” motivated to vote in November at 49% each.
Daron Shaw is a GOP pollster. He conducts Fox News surveys with Democrat Chris Anderson. He says, “Geographically, Barnes has cut into Johnson’s support in the exurban and rural parts of the state. Johnson has to regain these voters and cut his losses with suburban women if he’s to retain his seat.”
The trouble goes beyond Wisconsin, though.
In Arizona, the GOP has some work to do as well. Incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly currently leads Republican challenger Blake Masters by eight points, 50%-42%.
In Georgia, at the end of July, polls showed incumbent Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock up on NFL legend Herschel Walker by 46%-42%.
In Nevada, where it is thought that Democrats could be the most vulnerable, Democrat incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto is up 44%-41% according to a Real Clear Politics average poll against GOP challenger, former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt. The negative ads have already begun in this tight race.
Pennsylvania may be the most interesting place of all in November. Uber left-wing Lieutenant Gov. John Fetterman leads Dr. Mehmet Oz 47%-39%, despite Fetterman having just had a stroke. Some are questioning his ability to serve and bits of his personal story are beginning to emerge.
Fetterman grew up in a wealthy area of York, Pennsylvania, and was essentially supported by his parents until the age of 49 when he became Lt. Governor. Fetterman backed Bernie Sanders in his 2016 presidential run, and has gotten Sanders’ endorsement.
Democrats have decided on what they think will be a winning election strategy: to portray Republicans as “extremists.” As President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris begin to travel the country to campaign for Democrats and tout the Inflation Reduction Act, the message will be that the GOP is pursuing an “extreme MAGA agenda that costs families.”
This might be hard to pull off. A recent Fox News Survey said that a resounding 75% of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. This includes 56% of Democrats. And it might be even harder for Joe Biden to pull off. A CNN poll showed 75% of Democrats do not want Biden to run again.
Time for Republicans to get to work in Wisconsin and a lot of other places if they are interested in a Senate victory in November.
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