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Press Clips: Decoding the Midterm Elections with LAT Political Columnist Mark Barabak

Since World War II, only twice has the political party controlling the White House not lost seats in a congressional midterm election: in 2002, as voters rallied around President George W. Bush following 9/11, and in 1998, after Republicans staged the overreaching impeachment of Bill Clinton over a famous blue dress.

So it was no surprise, earlier this year, that pundits, prognosticators and Beltway gasbags cited that history -- along with Joe Biden's flaccid poll numbers, scorching inflation and $6-a-gallon gas -- to forecast a blow-out midterm election, with Republicans poised to retake control of the Senate, while winning a huge majority in the House of Representatives.

Then, three days into summer, the U.S. Supreme Court's right-wing majority overturned Roe v. Wade.

On Friday, just 10 weeks before the Nov. 8 election, Mark Z,. Barabak, the Los Angeles Times' roving political columnist, described and detailed how and why the court's repeal of the 50-year old right of women to have an abortion transformed the national political landscape.

"There's a big difference between theoretically taking away a right and actually doing it," Mark said, on this week's edition of Newsmakers TV.

After offering a few CYA disclaimers, Barabak outlined his as-of-today expectations for a likely midterm scenario this way:

  • The GOP, aided by gerrymandered districts in several red states, would erase the Democrats' tiny majority in the House, but with a smaller margin than estimated in earlier, pre-Roe, midterm tea leaf readings.

  • Democrats, helped by obedient Trump voters choosing fringy candidates endorsed by Great Leader -- viz. Herschel Walker in Georgia, Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania, Blake Masters in Arizona, for starters - are a shade better than even money to hold power in the evenly split Senate, where Vice President Kamala Harris now routinely breaks ties, by netting at least the 50 seats they currently hold.

  • California, where the two parties are vehemently contesting at least seven key congressional seats, could play an important role in determining the final outcome in the House, especially if voters elsewhere in the nation define the midterms as a "choice" election between candidates, rather than as a traditional referendum on an incumbent president.

Plus: what in the world Governor Gavin Newsom is up to, a state-of-play look at the L.A. mayor's race and good dog Henry astonishingly hears a garbage truck 340 miles away.

It's all here, right now, on Newsmakers TV.


Check out our conversation with Mark Barabak via YouTube below, or by clicking through this link. The podcast version is here,

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