Democrats will not only take control of the Senate this fall, but do so by a big enough margin to abolish the filibuster. Then, Democrats will fundamentally transform American society in a left-wing direction, doing things like packing the Supreme Court, reclassifying currently-legal speech and religious activity as illegal “harassment” or “discrimination,” and turning progressive territories and enclaves into states to lock in progressive control for years.
The only reason they will be able to gain this many seats in the Senate this is because moderate anti-Trump voters don’t realize Joe Biden will win and thus want a Democratic Senate to serve as a check and balance against Donald Trump. Ironically, they actually don’t need a Democratic Senate for that reason, because Trump will likely lose the election.
This week, my mother showed me her mail-in ballot and discussed with me who she is voting for. At the federal level, she will vote mostly for the Democrats, whom she dislikes. She regards Trump as mentally unbalanced and unfit for office, so she will vote for Joe Biden. She doesn’t like Biden or the Democrats, either, viewing them as “big spenders” who like welfare and waste. But because she fears that Trump will win reelection, she wants a Democratic Senate as a “check” and balance against Trump. Only for this reason is she likely to vote to reelect her Democratic senator.
But my mother needn’t worry much about Trump winning because his chance of winning is only around 20%. Trump is well behind Biden in the polls. And even if the polls were off by as much in swing states as they were in 2016, Biden would still win because his lead in those states is now much bigger than the margin of error. As the Wall Street Journal notes, Biden has a bigger September lead than Hillary Clinton did.
But she doesn’t see it that way. All she knows is that people expected Hillary Clinton to win in 2016, yet she didn’t. And all the pro-Trump talking heads on TV still claim that Trump will once again pull off an upset and win. (Many of these pro-Trump talking heads on TV probably know that what they are saying is false. But by overstating Trump’s chances of winning, they curry favor with the conservative base, which wants to hear that Trump will win again, even if he actually won’t. TV talking heads tell their fans what they want to hear. They are often grifters who pander to one side of the ideological divide, while privately harboring contempt for their own viewers.).
My mother would vote for Republicans in Congressional races if she thought Biden would win. She votes Republican at the state and local level, to try to limit government spending. My mother voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, because she hates Trump. But she views Biden’s policies as being to the left of Hillary Clinton’s. And they in fact are: Biden has proposed $11 trillion in new spending, and $3 trillion in new taxes. That’s much more spending — and deficit spending — than his fellow Democrats have proposed in the past. In 2016, Hillary Clinton proposed $1.4 trillion in new spending over the coming decade, but she covered most of that cost with $1.2 trillion in proposed higher taxes. As the progressive Peter Beinart put it in The Atlantic, Biden has embraced “an agenda that is further to the left than that of any Democratic nominee in decades.”
Leading pollsters say Biden has a 79% chance of winning. But because of the 2016 outcome — where the final polls showed Clinton ahead by about 3.2%, but she actually only got 2.1% more of the popular vote than Donald Trump and lost in the electoral college — the public perceives Trump as having a 40% chance of winning. That’s because the public mistakenly thinks that the polls were off by a lot in 2016 — even though they were off by only a little — and doesn’t realize that pollsters have adjusted their methodology since 2016 to correct the polls’ past slight bias against Trump.
My mother told me she would vote Republican in the U.S. Senate race if she thought Biden had a high chance of winning, because she doesn’t want Biden to have a Democratic Congress to help him enact costly progressive legislation. But she puts the odds of Biden winning at closer to 50%. Her perception may be due to all the conservative big mouths on TV claiming Trump will win yet again. Or the right-wing books advertised on TV that claim Trump will win, like David Horowitz’s bestseller, “BLITZ, Trump Will Smash the Left and Win.”
But that is not a likely outcome. It’s true that this is a hugely important election due to all the close Senate and Congressional races that could be tipped by a few votes. The outcome of those races could be a liberal Congress and White House working together to pass a flood of progressive legislation.
Even in conservative states, Democrats are poised to pick up Senate seats due to the antipathy that many suburban voters — especially college-educated women — have for Donald Trump. Some of these voters want a Democratic Senate to somehow serve as a check on Trump.
For example, in staunchly conservative Kansas, Democratic candidate Barbara Bollier is virtually tied with Republican Roger Marshall. And in Georgia, Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock leads his Republican rivals, by 10% in the case of Kelly Loeffler, and by 5% in the case of Doug Collins.
It looks like the next Senate could include as many as 55 Democrats, even before the Democrats admit new progressive states, which would increase the number of Democratic senators further. That could result in the Senate abolishing the filibuster, even if a moderate Democrat like Joe Manchin of West Virginia votes with Republicans to keep the filibuster. Once the filibuster is abolished, a flood of progressive legislation could be enacted in weeks or months.