William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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WE HOPE IT'S TRUE:  Late polling appears to confirm the belief that the Republican vote is surging.  Harvard-Harris has Republicans up by six points over Democrats in the generic ballot.  Trafalgar has the GOP up five.  Rasmussen has Republicans up seven.  All three polls were taken within the last week. 

If reasonably accurate, those polls should translate into Republicans taking back the House and probably winning the Senate, although by a narrow margin.

But we caution – a surge can end or even be reversed.  The election is three and a half weeks away, an eternity in politics.  Be cautious about reading polls.  However, it's nice to be able to smile for a change.

But, if there is a true Republican surge, what caused it?  I submit that it began when two things happened – first, the GOP started campaigning seriously and aggressively, with its candidates emphasizing the issues Americans care about most – inflation and crime.  Democrats really have not much to say.  After all, they're responsible for both.

Second, Republicans, through House leader Kevin McCarthy,  launched their "Commitment to America," spelling out exactly what the GOP would do if given the power.  It echoes the famous "Contract With America" issued by Republican Minority Whip Newt Gingrich in time for the 1994 midterms.  Many observers believe that the Contract's pledge of direct, specific action contributed importantly to Republican gains.  The Commitment to America is here

In the last weeks of the campaign Republicans must bear down harder than ever before – with an emphasis on getting out the vote.  This will be a turnout election.   Many races are close, and turnout leads to victory.  In addition, the Commitment to America should be in every mailbox.  Americans do care.  They do read.  They want to know what a candidate will actually do, not just say.

The Dems are not going to give this up.  They believe they are better people, with an automatic right to be in control.  And they have the mainstream press on their side. 

The best political instruction I've ever heard is this:  Always fight as if you're 20 points behind.

That is an order.

October 13-14, 2022