In the days leading up to Tuesday's midterm elections, there still remains some hold-outs who are convinced the Democrats will somehow be able to overcome historic precedence which says their party is in for a shellacking. This is especially given the state of the economy, the feeling about the direction of the country, and President Joe Biden's low approval ratings. When it comes to these Democrats, The Hill's Hanna Trudo profiled them on Thursday afternoon, with "Optimistic Democrats insist the polls are wrong." These realities are not mentioned until far into the piece, though.
There's first and foremost some mentions, from Trudo, as to what could go right for the Democrats, but even those mentions are selective and overly optimistic:
What if, some Democrats are whispering, liberals are right about abortion rights being vastly underrepresented as a motivating factor for voters? What if the drop in gas prices goes a long way in swing states? What if there’s record-setting turnout? What if Democrats’ warnings about the fragility of democracy work in their favor?
Early voting is one of Democrats’ strongest indications that things could go their way in some places. The party’s turnout model was based for years, including in 2018, on convincing voters to show up on Tuesday each cycle. But that’s notably changed.
This year, campaigns and party operatives have invested heavily into persuading people to vote before Nov. 8 — a tactical shift that some Democratic strategists say has already worked in their favor.
The shift in approach has prompted some Democrats and election forecasters to caution against the so-called “red wave” narrative that has caught on in the last stretch of the midterms.
Polls consistently show that economic issues take precedence over abortion, with the same going for the supposed "fragility of democracy." Further, when it comes to gas prices, polling also shows voters still have concerns about them, especially if Democrats remain in power.
Democratic consultant Simon Rosenberg, who is also president of New Democrat Network, is cited as talking about how early voting is to the Democratic Party's advantage, and that Republicans promote day-of voting rather than early voting is "a mistake." But again, Florida's early voting is stunningly not mentioned there.
Rosenberg and his interview with the Playbook Deep Dive podcast were also mentioned in Friday's morning edition of POLITICO "Playbook." While he's not saying Democrats will win, he is in deep denial about the likely imminent red wave. "I'm not sitting here and telling you we're going to win," he said. What I'm telling you is that the narrative about this election, about there being a 'red wave'— there isn't one. There never has been."
Trudo's piece references other Democrats who meet that criteria of what her headline claims is "optimistic."
Not only is Angelo Cocchiaro, described as a Democratic activist from Virginia, quoted as saying "I don’t believe the GOP is headed for any kind of a wave," he actually thinks Democrats will pick up seats in the House and the Senate, which he says will be "A historically close result." It would be historic, all right, but in the sense that the president's party in power almost always loses seats during his first midterm election.
One recent exception is when then President George W. Bush was in office and Republicans actually gained seats in 2002, due to the rally around the flag effect of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Bush's approval ratings in the months before the 2002 election, some of the best ever, were in the 60s, while Biden is in the 40s.
Cocchiaro has since doubled down on his predictions that Democrats will win the midterms when it comes to his retweets.
Young people are going to shock the pollsters tomorrow night.— Young Democrats of America (@youngdems) November 7, 2022
LATE DEMOCRATIC MOMENTUM— Arlington Democrats (@arlingtondems) November 6, 2022
Don’t let anyone tell you Democrats can’t win
Now is the time to energize, organize, and mobilize
“Yet what has changed in the poll is that Democrats have caught up to Republicans in election interest”https://t.co/OibKoFua1a
🚨 CNN: “The youngest voters — those aged 18-21 years — are showing up in higher numbers in all six key states compared to this point during the 2018 general election.”— Jack Lobel (@jackplobel) November 5, 2022
It’s happening, folks.
Democratic campaign strategist Joe Caiazzo is also mentioned for his belief that Democrats are "going to beat expectations," which includes holding the Senate and his belief that they'll "do well in governor races." He did, however, acknowledge that the House is "a different story."
Caiazzo also doubled down on Twitter by highlighting the few polls showing Democrats ahead on the generic ballot, as well as a message from Bill Kristol.
Is this common for the party in power? https://t.co/NLqvbEhBmn— Joe Caiazzo (@joecaiazzo) November 7, 2022
Hey, don't want to interrupt my Democratic friends when they're engaged in their favorite sports of The Gnashing of Teeth and The Tearing of Garments, but it looks as if the Democratic Party will have the best midterm performance by a party in the White House in two decades.— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) November 6, 2022
When it comes to the polls, RealClearPolitics (RCP) shows a +2.6 lead for Republicans on the generic ballot. The POLITICO/Morning Consult and NBC News poll that Caiazzo referenced are the only ones included showing Democrats with a lead.