MSM wants a horserace because it’s more profitable. The way votes are counted need to be free from GOP corruption, even as there’s other factors like a possibility of rewriting the Electoral Count Act and the results of the latest Census. Longer odds for a GOP majority in the Senate are another factor, as will be attempts to pressure voting with more draconian measures on immigration policies.
WASHINGTON — Members of the select congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol are pressing to overhaul the complex and little-known law that former President Donald J. Trump and his allies tried to use to overturn the 2020 election, arguing that the ambiguity of the statute puts democracy itself at risk.
The push to rewrite the Electoral Count Act of 1887 — enacted more than a century ago in the wake of another bitterly disputed presidential election — has taken on new urgency in recent weeks as more details have emerged about the extent of Mr. Trump’s plot to exploit its provisions to cling to power.
Mr. Trump and his allies, using a warped interpretation of the law, sought to persuade Vice President Mike Pence to throw out legitimate results when Congress met in a joint session on Jan. 6 to conduct its official count of electoral votes.
It was Mr. Pence’s refusal to do so that led a mob of Mr. Trump’s supporters to chant “Hang Mike Pence,” as they stormed the Capitol, delaying the proceedings as lawmakers fled for their lives. Members of Congress and the vice president ultimately returned and completed the count, rejecting challenges made by loyalists to Mr. Trump and formalizing President Biden’s victory.
But had Mr. Pence done as Mr. Trump wanted — or had enough members of Congress voted to sustain the challenges lodged by Mr. Trump’s supporters — the outcome could have been different.
“We know that we came precariously close to a constitutional crisis, because of the confusion in many people’s minds that was obviously planted by the former president as to what the Congress’s role actually was,” said Zach Wamp, a former Republican congressman from Tennessee who is a co-chairman of the Reformers Caucus at Issue One, a bipartisan group that is pressing for changes to the election process.
Republicans in Congress have repeatedly blocked efforts by Democrats to alter election laws in the wake of the 2020 crisis, and it is not clear whether a bid to revamp the Electoral Count Act will fare any better. But experts have described the law as “almost unintelligible,” and an overhaul has the support of several leading conservative groups.
Why it matters: Immigration has increasingly become a central U.S. political issue. Pro-immigrant groups have gained influence in recent years through their advocacy and litigation — especially during the Trump era. A possible return to legislative power by the GOP would require more clout, the two groups say.
- “It’s rare that nonprofits merge, but it shouldn't be," said Jeremy Robbins, who served as executive director of New American Economy and will retain that title in the new group.
- NAE is an immigration think tank founded over a decade ago by Michael Bloomberg.
- “I believe our field needs to evolve, and that it’s time to reimagine our work in a way that helps us best serve newcomers while rebuilding a bipartisan and constructive case for what immigration means for America.”
The new group will be named the American Immigration Council. The council was founded by the sister group American Immigration Lawyers Association — the only U.S. legal association for immigration attorneys.
- The merger comes after an outcry among immigrant advocates, including the Council, over the Biden administration reinstating the Trump-era "Remain in Mexico" policy, under federal court order.
- It also comes as groups rethink the best way to push pro-immigrant policies in anticipation of Republicans taking back the House next year. This includes an emphasis on state and local policies, particularly in places like Texas, Ohio and Colorado with new immigrant communities.
Former President Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, created policies to make it more difficult for migrants to gain asylum and imposed a new wealth and health "public charge" test for green card applicants.
However, the map this cycle
is not one where the Republican advantage is apparent at first glance. Not only are there more Republican-held seats up for grabs (20 to the Democrats' 14), but there are slightly more Republican than Democratic-held seats up for reelection in 2022 in states that were decided by less than 10 points in the 2020 presidential election
Race ratings also indicate something closer to a tossup in the fight for the Senate.
Historically, though, it takes time for the microenvironment (i.e. individual seat designations) to catch up to what the macroenvironment (i.e. generic congressional ballot) indicates will happen. Moreover, we know from past years that the generic ballot at this point in midterm cycles tends to underestimate the tailwinds the opposition party will have at their backs come election time.
The key thing, though, is that Republicans have a better chance in the seats they're looking to pick up than Democrats have in the seats they're looking to pick up. When you start adding those probabilities across races, it's likely that Republicans will win the seats necessary to secure the majority, even if they lose one unexpectedly.
Moreover, lopsided national environments can produce surprising results in unexpected places. Twelve years ago at this point, the Wisconsin Senate race was rated solid Democratic by the Cook Political Report
. Such a rating made sense: Democrats had easily carried the state on the presidential level in 2008
and Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold was running for reelection. Feingold ended up losing, however.
Outside of perhaps Colorado, where Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet is running for reelection next year, I'm not sure you could point to one state where such a surprise result might happen. But if past years hold, there's probably going to be one state that's not on people's radar that will eventually become competitive.
The model takes that into account, and it gives Republicans an extra boost.
The bottom line here is pretty simple: Republicans have a better shot than Democrats of having a Senate majority after 2022. It's not a foregone conclusion, however, with a lot of campaigning to go.
Comments are closed on this story.