Pay attention to parties’ closing arguments
The “closing argument” is a cliche of campaign season. But there is truth at its core. Many voters tune in just for the last few days before Election Day. They look up from lives pressed by the needs of families and friends, aging parents, struggling students and high school football to ask: For whom should I vote? Candidates and campaigns have to make closing appeals to those newly opened ears.
Really attentive voters chose long ago, of course, because almost every race is between vastly different candidates. Take the Arizona Senate race: There is hardly a starker choice than the one between Republican Rep. Martha McSally, a retired Air Force colonel and first female fighter pilot to fly in combat for the United States, and Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, the hard-left, anti-war, stay-at-homemom-insulting, condescending radical who has spent nearly six years in Congress pretending to be a moderate.
But still, some Arizona voters will have missed the candidates’ biographies and a thousand TV and social media ads. Their choice will depend not on either candidates’ personal qualities but on the national political environment. So too it will be for thousands of voters in key Senate races in Indiana and Florida. In the Hoosier State, Republican Mike Braun looks to be ahead of incumbent Democrat Joe Donnelly, partly thanks to the latter’s opposition to Justice Brett Kavanaugh. In Florida, Rick Scott seems to be a whisper behind Democrat Bill Nelson. “Late deciders” may make the difference in both races. Republicans look as if they have put away pickups in North Dakota and Missouri, but Nevada is a Republican vulnerability as Sen. Dean Heller, R, battles Rep. Jacky Rosen, D, to the wire. In Tennessee, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R, looks to have secured the seat left vacant by the retiring Bob Corker.
So how are the parties trying to persuade those voters?
Democrats are arguing the following: President Trump is a dangerous demagogue who daily sows division and hate. He is wrongly trying to marginalize the free press by resorting to a term straight out of Stalinism: “enemy of the people.” He needs a major check imposed on his recklessness and conflicts of interest. His administration needs oversight. And we Democrats will protect what is left of Obamacare, while saving Social Security and Medicare. Vote Democrat for a divided government to save a divided country.
Meanwhile, Republicans are closing this way: Don’t you like 4 percent gross domestic product growth and near-full employment? Do you think it’s a coincidence that the market has dropped as businesses prepare for the possibility of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., returning to the speakership? Our military is being rebuilt after being hollowed out under President Barack Obama. We have renegotiated NAFTA, gotten clarity on China and realigned the Middle East into an effective antiIran coalition. Thanks to deregulation, your children finally will have the jobs of the future here waiting for them. You may not like
Trump, but his wrecking-ball politics was the only way to smash the sclerotic superstructure of blue-bubble elites inside the Beltway, Manhattan, Hollywood and Silicon Valley. And if you don’t like him, 2020 is when you fire him, not now. Vote Republican to keep the economy humming.