If the midterm elections were held today, chances are the GOP would take the House and Senate. Midterms are generally a referendum on the sitting president, who most polls have approval ratings sinking in the low 40’s.
But Republicans have an opportunity to do more than just win the majority. They have the opportunity to begin to build a legislative mandate for spring of 2025, the next time it is possible for the GOP to control all the levers of power in Washington.
That starts by not just pointing out Democrat failures but talking about policy priorities and what they mean for America.
Democrats like Joe Biden will continue to make unforced errors in nearly every policy area. Despite his (foolish) promise to "shut down the virus," COVID-19 remains rampant. Having seen the recent polls, many Democratic governors in states such as New Jersey and Connecticut are breaking with the White House and are moving to lift failed COVID restrictions such as classroom mask mandates.
At the same time, inflation has lingered far longer than the so-called experts predicted. It’s the highest in 40 years, but Democrats still want to push forward with trillions more in spending. This hits hard for many Americans who have seen their wages rise in recent years, with the Department of Labor estimating that inflation has caused a 2.4% reduction in wage earnings.
What do Democrats want to do in response to inflation? Pass their "Build Back Better" bill that would spend trillions more. But with this massive spending package stalled on Capitol Hill, Democrats seem to be trying to change the subject again to fire up the base over fabricated claims of "voter suppression."
This year is an opportunity for Republicans to not just highlight failed Democratic policies, but to also present a vision of their own to the American people. Republicans should make clear they are ready to move forward out of the pandemic and into a true economic recovery and return to normal.
Republicans should allow Democrats to continue to make mistakes, but there is a benefit to reminding Americans what they are instead for. This means a focus on policy, not a retreat from it. It also means embracing a policy platform that not only fires up the conservative base, but appeals to voters in swing districts who have grown tired of Democrats taking advantage of the pandemic to pass their far-left agenda.
To start, Republicans need to continue to show their support for parental empowerment in education. This means funding students, not systems by way of school choice.
Crime rates have climbed sharply in the past two years, and many Americans fear that we may see a return to the urban decay of the 1970s. Republicans need to run on strong policing and rule of law as opposed to defunding the police.
Republicans can also run on enacting common-sense election integrity reforms to shore up Americans’ flagging trust in our electoral institutions. This means encouraging states to pass overwhelmingly popular photo ID laws, as well as ensuring all votes are counted on election night.
The Biden administration has resulted in record numbers of illegal border crossings. Drug overdose deaths from opioids surged in recent years due to the influx of fentanyl. Republicans would do well to run on not only "building the wall" but comprehensive border security and immigration reform that restores American sovereignty.
Finally, Republicans win on the economy. They need to lean into an economic plan that encourages private investments rather than government spending. Our looming debt crisis presents a grave national security threat. Therefore, it is critical that Republicans cut spending and grow the economy in order to tackle the $30 trillion national debt.
There’s no good reason to miss the opportunity to remind Americans that the GOP is supposed to be the level-headed, sober alternative to out-of-touch, hyper-woke Democrats who are more concerned with kowtowing to special interests than they are with the problems facing everyday Americans.
Republicans have good ideas to run on this November. They should talk more about them.
Adam Brandon is president and CEO of FreedomWorks.