The October Surprise? A Republican Surge

By Dick Morris on October 17, 2022

Even as fears have mounted among Republicans that the storied “red wave” they had anticipated is ebbing, October brings good news: The Red Wave is back!

The temporary cloud cast over Republican chances by the Dobbs decision appears to be dissipating, allowing the basic GOP surge that I predicted in my new book, The Return: Donald Trump’s Big 2024 Comeback, to manifest itself.

The generic ballot (“all things being equal do you plan to vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate for Congress in your district?”) is now, according to Rasmussen, seven points in the GOP’s favor, a three-point gain since last week. Such a margin indicates a big Republican win — upwards of thirty seats.

Should the Republican advantage continue to grow — as it likely will — the margin could approach wipeout status. Generally, in a midterm election, partisan preferences grow stronger as the voting approaches.

The abortion issue that animated the Democratic surge over the summer, appears to be fading. Three factors I believe the count for the drop:

The increasing inflation and the prospect of higher energy prices due to the OPEC production cut.

The Democrats may have peaked too soon on the issue gaining in August as opposed to October.

The Republicans have learned how to handle the issue by embracing current law in their state and pledging not to change it. In most states, current law allows abortions in case of rape, life of the mother, and very early in pregnancy.

The Republican surge is animated by decisive debate victories on Friday in three key races: Georgia (Senate), Michigan (Governor), and Wisconsin (Governor). Georgia had been trending Democrat before the debate under the weight of Hershel Walker’s scandals, but likely no more.

Tudor Dixon, the Republican candidate for Governor of Michigan, seemed like a hopeless case, but now, on the strength of a decisive win in her debate with incumbent Democrat Gretchen Whitmer the race seems winnable. The Republican Governor’s Association, after waiting to commit, now is pumping millions into her campaign. Responding to Dixon’s surge, former president Obama has announced plans to campaign against her in Michigan.

And, in Wisconsin, Republican Tim Michaels clearly defeated a largely passive and obviously aging Democratic governor Tony Evers.

Walker was supposed to lose the debate because, as a football hero, he’s not necessarily very articulate. Coming up against an experienced pastor, Senator Raphael Warnock’s chances seemed dim. But Walker surprised everyone with a strong performance. Whatever the issue he pivoted to bring it back to inflation and Joe Biden. Surprisingly, on abortion he indicated new flexibility and backed it in cases of rape or a danger to the life of the mother. But, above all he seemed to have mastered his new trade of politics and was able to spar with the best of them.

The most important debate will come next week in Pennsylvania Senate race between Dr. Oz and stroke-impaired John Fetterman on October 25th. Fetterman won’t release his medical records and recent on camera interviews indicate that he mispronounces words and cannot easily understand what he hears unless it is printed out in front of him.

Whatever his medical prognosis, he cannot recover from his radical positions on pardoning and releasing one in three Pennsylvania prison inmates and on defunding the police.

Other than the Oz-Fetterman race, we now lead in all contests for seats currently held by the Republicans. North Carolina is close but Ted Budd holds a consistent lead. And, despite a less than stellar debate performance, JD Vance is ahead in Ohio. If the Republicans win the Oz race, we will keep our current count of GOP Senators.

So, we would need at least one pickup. Adam Laxalt, the Republican candidate in Nevada, has led in every poll. Beyond that pickup, the chances of Walker in Georgia and Masters in Arizona look increasingly bright.

And there are long shots for Smiley in Washington State, Levy in Connecticut, and O’Dea in Colorado that are polling well. So strong is the Republican tide that President Biden is going to deep blue Oregon to campaign in the governor’s race.

In New York State, Republican Lee Zeldin is coming on strong as well. He is running an ad pledging not to change the New York abortion law, eliminating Democratic governor Kathy Hochul’s best issue.

The message is: If you are a Republican, whatever the state or district, you have a chance to win in 2022!

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