With the midterms just under three weeks away, I’m cautiously optimistic the Republican Party will maintain a very narrow majority in both the House and Senate.  I wish I could be more confident in my prediction, and in the GOP’s performance in this most crucial midterm election.  I would be more confident if the Republicans inhabiting both Houses of the United States Congress actually gave the American people reasons to feel good about voting for them.

Based on their performance the past two years, the most accurate campaign slogan for the Republicans in Congress would be: ”vote for us because we’re not as bad as the Democrats.”  With the Democrat Party bending more and more towards the radical left, this election should be a Republican landslide.   Unfortunately the majority of Republicans currently serving in the United States Senate and House of Representatives have abandoned too many of their key principles and have stopped listening to the people who normally would be their staunchest supporters.  They have also acquired the skeletal structure of an invertebrate.

Here is some key legislation the Republicans should immediately bring up for vote.  It is not necessary that the legislation actually pass as long as the Republicans fight a good fight for each one.  It is the fight that is necessary along with the strong stand for principles that were once the cornerstone of the Republican Party.  Fighting for traditional Republican principles is the first key to a resounding Republican victory.

Even though the Republicans have tried and failed so many times, they need to vote to repeal ObamaCare one more time.  This time they need to highlight the numerous failures and horrors of ObamaCare, making that the focus of the debate.  They must also stress the devastation that would be caused by implementing Medicare for All.  It is the messaging and the debate that would be essential for the Republicans to profit from one more failed attempt,

Fighting to make the most recent tax cuts permanent, and greatly expanding them, so they would become true tax reform, is also a key to resounding victory.  The earlier tax reform was barely adequate yet produced very positive results that are being felt on Main Street.  A tax reform package that would have earned praise from Milton Friedman would be the most beneficial to the American people and to the Republican election chances.

The Republican Party was once best known for being the party of fiscal responsibility.  Now it appears that those in the US Congress can’t even spell that phrase anymore.  Legislation that would greatly slash spending across the board would be a huge win for the party and the American people.  If the congressional Republicans returned to their principles by trying to pass this legislation, the debate would provide a most needed contrast with the Democrats.

One of the issues that propelled President Trump to victory was his promise to build the wall along our Southern border.  So far the Republicans in Washington DC have done little to bring this wall into existence.  An immediate attempt to fund the Wall would greatly energize the Republican base and the debate would be most beneficial.

Unfortunately those up for reelection are most likely out campaigning right now instead of actually governing.  Because of that they are probably missing many key opportunities to actually sway voters and to do what voters actually sent them to Washington DC to do.

Just in case you think Democrats are talking through their hats when they predict a “blue wave” in November, let me give you a peek at my state’s 2018 recent Congressional primary.  I admit that New Hampshire is a small sample size. This is a cautionary tale, not a prediction of anyone’s “wave.”

Our entire current federal delegation – two Senators and two Members of Congress – is Democratic. Republican challengers for New Hampshire’s two Congressional districts are in place after a pair of fiercely-contested primaries. They are now working to replace Democrats in a state where independents make up 40% of the electorate, state Democrats just shattered their own record for number of primary ballots cast, and where in 2016 Donald Trump finished behind Hillary Clinton.

The state’s chief election official, whose predictions about turnout are usually on target, had estimated that 90,000 Democratic ballots would be cast in the September primary. Actual number was over 126,000, which includes a substantial number of primary-day registrants. The number of GOP ballots cast – around 100,000 – looked anemic by comparison.

So much for this being an off-year election. New Hampshire Democrats showed in the primary that they are fired up. They want to hang on to those two seats in Congress. It’ll take fired-up Republicans and allied independents – local ones – to rise to the challenge.

The Granite State Republican congressional candidates proved themselves to be effective grassroots campaigners in highly competitive primaries. They’re not burdened with complacency. That’s one reason why I think that the startling number of Democratic ballots in the primary looks more like reason for caution than reason for panic.

That’s the view from one small district. How was primary turnout in your area?

Ellen is a New Hampshire writer who blogs about the life issues at Leaven for the Loaf. 

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Al Franken’s resignation is one thing for the Democrats: part of a strategy. They will pretend to lament, but they realize they’re not really losing anything they hadn’t already lost when the allegations were first made. He will be replaced by another liberal Democrat, one who doesn’t have the baggage Franken has accumulated.

Behind closed doors, they’re celebrating. This is a great PR move for them because it allows them to hold the moral high ground. Now they can go after President Trump, Roy Moore if he wins, and all the Republicans who supported either or both of them. They’ll point to Franken and John Conyers and say, “we police our own, but the Republicans do not.”

In other words, they’ll try to ride the wave of sexual misconduct all the way to majorities in the House and Senate in 2018.

Republicans will be cheering today now that Franken has resigned. They shouldn’t. This is bad news for them. As Franken noted in his resignation speech, the Republicans have a guy in the Oval Office who has been caught on tape saying things very crudely against women. It wasn’t enough to keep him out of office, but with the current environment of sexual misconduct accusations taking down powerful men, Democrats are now positioned to build a strong midterm election narrative.

If Moore wins, they’ll attach him to Trump. Whether Moore wins or loses, the Democrats will attach Trump to every Republican running for office in 2018. They won’t focus on policy or political maneuvers. The new agenda is to make this emotional. As many political strategists know all too well, emotion trumps policy when it comes to votes.

As Trump’s popularity rises, it will be difficult for Republicans running for office to abandon him. They can’t afford to lose his base, but they may not be able to afford the damage Democrats can do by invoking him with Independents. It’s a catch-22 for the Republican Party and Al Franken’s resignation made midterm elections seem even more bleak for them.