Widespread predictions of a “blue wave” of Democratic victories in next month’s midterm elections should be taken with a hefty grain of salt, counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway warned Wednesday morning, because they emanate from the “same geniuses” who all but guaranteed a landslide win for Hillary Clinton in 2016.
“Let’s not forget the same geniuses that predicted a huge romp by that woman who lost in 2016 are the same people predicting a huge win by the Democrats this time,” Conway told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.” “So we have to be a little bit cautious.”
Conway’s comments come with less than a month to go before November’s midterm elections, in which Republicans will seek to defend their majorities in both houses of Congress. Spurred by President Donald Trump’s low approval ratings and a surge in enthusiasm among Democratic voters, pundits across the political landscape have widely forecast Democratic gains on Election Day.
A total of 68 Republican-held House seats are currently in jeopardy of flipping parties, according to a POLITICO analysis, rated “lean Republican” or worse for the GOP. There are 209 House seats either firmly or leaning Democratic, that same analysis showed, just nine seats short of the 218 needed to claim the majority.
The path for a change in the majority of the Senate is narrower, with Democratic incumbents playing defense in several states that Trump won in 2016. Both parties have suggested that the contentious confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, which wrapped over the weekend, could influence voters and potentially affect majorities in either house.
But Conway argued Democrats’ “rancor” going into the upcoming election is fueled more by residual anger over Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss than Kavanaugh’s confirmation. She conceded that history is not on the GOP’s side when it comes to the upcoming midterms, but touted the president’s tendency to break with precedent, having already smashed overwhelming expectations that he would lose badly in 2016.
“Historical trends mean that the party in power loses seats in the House,” Conway said. “This is just a president who defies trends. And rather than repeating history he tends to make history.”