Purely Political, By James Buckley
As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, there is an election coming up on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, which this year means Nov. 8. It’s not too early to begin to consider the odds of what these 2022 elections will look like and what they may portend for the upcoming 2024 presidential election.
So, first, we’ll look at the senatorial races and try to ascertain the odds of a Republican Senate, which I’m figuring is about 90% likely.
Let’s start with the numbers. On the one hand, there are 100 U.S. senators, two for each state, which means a state with less than a million inhabitants, say, Wyoming or Delaware, has the same representation in the Senate as California or Texas.
The U.S. House of Representatives, on the other hand, is composed of 435 voting members, and the number of representatives is based solely upon the number of people living within its boundaries. In any case, each state is allowed at least one representative.
All U.S. representatives are elected or re-elected every two years. Senators run every six years, and a third of them are on the ballot each election. That means there are always 33 or 34 senate seats up for grabs every two years.
But “up for grabs” isn’t really what generally happens, as the re-election rate for senators is, according to the Open Secrets’ website, nearly 90%.
Nine out of 10 senators are ordinarily re-elected to serve yet another six-year term. So, of the 33 or 34 seats “up for grabs,” only three are likely to change hands — or political parties — in any given year.
But this isn’t any given year. The Reagan Revolution of 1980, for example, not only swept Ronald Reagan into the White House, but also produced the anomalous Senate results that skewed those percentages.
President Reagan’s huge victory over “Mr. Malaise” (from the French mal a l’aise, translated loosely as “uncomfortable”) — President Jimmy Carter — cost the Democratic Party 12 senators. Their seats were lost to Republicans, who won the majority for the first time in a quarter-century.
So we have a precedent, and as things look now, we could be looking at a 56/44 or better Republican/Democrat split in the Senate.
J.D. Vance will win his race against Democrat Tim Ryan in Ohio to replace retiring Republican Sen. Rob Portman.
Dr. Mehmet Oz will beat Democratic senatorial candidate John Fetterman in Pennsylvania, but it may be closer than he or we would like. Dr. Oz is running to secure retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey’s seat.
In Alaska, Sen. Lisa Murkowski is likely to lose to Kelly Tshibaka in the upcoming primary. Ms. Tshibaka will go on to take the U.S. Senate seat. Both are Republicans.
Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly will lose to whoever his Republican competition is, following a heated primary.
Arkansas Sen. John Boozman, a Republican, will win his bid for a third term.
California, forget about it. Though the Republican candidacy of Mark Meuser may garner some support, it won’t be nearly enough.
I do believe two-term Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado has a chance to lose his seat, though unlikely.
Unfortunately, one of the sleaziest Democrats — 75-year-old Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut — doesn’t have much competition, so he too will stay in the Senate.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio will win re-election easily in Florida.
Raphael Warnock, the weakest of the two Georgia Democrats who won their seats in the contested 2020 election, is a likely loser to football legend Herschel Walker.
Hawaii’s Brian Schatz, a Democrat, has no opposition, so he stays.
Idaho Republican Mike Crapo will win his fifth term easily.
I do believe the Democratic senator from Illinois, Tammy Duckworth, will also go down to her Republican opponent.
In Indiana, Republican Todd Young will retain his seat in the Senate.
Chuck Grassley, a Republican, is 88 years old but is running in Iowa for one last time in order to help usher in a Republican-led Senate. He’ll be successful. (But then, he should retire and let a younger Republican take the office.)
Two Republicans — Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul — will both win their respective races, as will Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy.
Maryland’s Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen will be ousted by Republican Larry Hogan, currently serving as Maryland’s governor.
Nevada Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto will lose to Republican Adam Laxalt.
Maggie Hassan, a New Hampshire Democrat, will likely lose to Republican Chuck Morse or whoever wins the Republican primary in September.
Current Majority Leader Charles “Chuck” Schumer will win his fifth term as a U.S. senator from New York, though I believe his percentage won’t be anywhere near the 70% he received last time out (2016).
In North Dakota, Republican Sen. John Hoeven will retain his seat, as will Republican James Lankford in Oklahoma.
Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden could lose to Republican Jo Rae Perkins, the surprise winner of the recent Republican primary.
Republican Tim Scott in South Carolina and John Thune of South Dakota will retain their seats, as will Mike Lee in Utah.
In the state of Washington, Patty Murray – the smarmiest U.S. senator – faces a real challenger in Republican Tiffany Smiley, who could take the prize.
Republican Ron Johnson will win in Wisconsin.
Though 87-year-old Richard Shelby isn’t running for re-election, Alabama isn’t about to elect a Democrat any time soon. Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, also a Republican, is also retiring at the relatively young age of 72, but the seat will stay in safe Republican hands.
Republican Ted Budd looks to replace retiring Sen. Richard Burr in North Carolina.
Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy is retiring, but Republicans don’t stand a chance in this deep blue state.
In Oklahoma, James Inhofe is retiring, but Republicans will hold on to that seat.
As long as Democrat big wigs such as attorney Marc Elias are prevented from conducting wide-scale ballot harvesting drop-box raids and other shenanigans, we can look to a comfortable Republican majority in the Senate.
As I see it, only six Democratic Senators are assured of victory, whereas 27 Republicans are likely to succeed in this cycle.
Oh, and the Republican Party will definitely take the House of Representatives. I’m thinking they’ll end up with a 240-versus-195 majority, maybe even bigger.
My crystal ball, cloudy though it is, tells me that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump will slug it out for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, but that Trump will win and DeSantis will be his chosen Veep.
The only Democrats that worry me are Joe Manchin of West Virginia and former U.S. representative from Tennessee Harold Ford, Jr. (now a Fox News on-air contributor and regular on The Five). Both have honorable principles and substantial charisma. The odds of either man either running for or attaining the Democratic nomination seem zero to none, but it is difficult to identify who will appear or arise out of the current left-wing Democrat morass.
There you have it. These are, naturally, simply my prognostications. On Wednesday, Nov. 9 (or a week or month later depending upon when the election is finally over), I’ll either be hailed as the new Nostradamus or you’ll find me looking up recipes in the bird cookbook.
I’m told crow is both tasty and nutritious (though tough to chew and even more difficult to swallow).
James Buckley is a longtime Montecito resident. He welcomes questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Readers are invited to visit jimb.substack.com, where Jim’s Journals are on file. He also invites people to subscribe to Jim’s Journal.