Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed official guest host and lead political reporter for The Tennessee Star Aaron Gulbransen in-studio to review the likely outcomes in the U.S. House and Senate elections.
Leahy: In the studio with me, Aaron Gulbransen, our lead political reporter at The Tennessee Star, seasoned political operative, campaign manager, campaign consultant, 20 years of experience, and the official guest host of The Tennessee Star Report. The conclusion is that the Republicans take the House.
Leahy: But now let’s look at the Senate. It’s 50-50 right now. The biggest creator of word salads in American political history, Kamala Harris, the vice president is a tiebreaker, and it’s all left-wing lunacy that they support.
But now I’m looking at Real Clear Politics, they say that the composition of the United States Senate in January 2023, after the November midterm elections looks like the following: 46 Republican seats are safe or lean, likely.
46 Democrats seats safe or lean or likely. This election cycle, there are eight toss-ups. So of these eight, Republicans are going to have to win five to get 51 seats. Let me go down the list.
In Arizona, the incumbent Democrat is Mark Kelly. He’s up. In Georgia, the incumbent Democrat, Raphael Warnock. He’s up. In New Hampshire, the incumbent Democrat – was it Margaret, Maggie Hassan?
Gulbransen: Maggie Hassan.
Leahy: Maggie Hassan is up in North Carolina. It’s an open seat currently held by a Republican. In Nevada, Democrat [Catherine] Cortez Masto is up. In Pennsylvania, it’s a Republican-held seat. It’s open. In Wisconsin, Ron Johnson is the only incumbent Republican who’s a toss-up. And in Ohio, it’s a seat held by a Republican, Rob Portman, ostensibly Republican, and then it’s open. It’s JD Vance versus the lefty, Tim Ryan.
So tell me, last week, I think when we talked about this, it looked pretty close. Still, you seem to be indicating that Republicans now might be poised to take five of these eight and regain control of the Senate. Tell us where you see those possible gains in those toss-ups.
Gulbransen: Since we’re approaching Labor Day, now we’re in the allocation resources phase of things. So they’re looking at the polling. The NRC, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, I think that – and of course, all the affiliated groups or the unaffiliated groups that support conservatives and Republican candidates – I think you’re going to see a gigantic focus in terms of trying to pick up seats in Georgia.
And I said this last week, and I stand by it: I think Herschel Walker wins because he must win, and I think they drag him across the finish line. I think there’s going to be a big deal.
Leahy: He’s a Republican candidate in Georgia.
Gulbransen: I think they nominated the right person in Nevada with Adam Laxalt.
Leahy: Well, of course. The heritage. The son of Senator Paul Domenici. The Reagan ally, long ties in Nevada. And this incumbent Senator Cortez Masto, she’s a big, 100 percent Biden person. I agree. Nevada flips from D to R. Laxalt wins in Nevada. That’s one pick-up out of the eight.
Gulbransen: Arizona, I think it’s going to be close, but I think the incumbent Democrat Kelly wins. He’s currently – and this is a heck of a gimmick – I clearly don’t like liberal Democrats, but he’s a pilot.
Leahy: And a former astronaut. He’s flying himself around the state on a tour right now and getting just tremendous publicity, and it’s just endearing. I think he taps into the McCain maverick.
Leahy: Arizona maverick, although he’s not a maverick, he’s a Biden guy, but he presents himself as such. And the news there is, Blake Masters won the GOP primary. He was endorsed by Donald Trump. Fine enough fellow, but basically he’s a Peter Thiel guy.
Peter Thiel is the billionaire who founded PayPal and who’s a Trump supporter. But besides having gone to Stanford Law School and having gotten a gig with Peter Thiel, there is nothing additional about Blake Masters. He’s a creation of Peter Thiel, I suppose you could say – and Donald Trump – and notably, I think he’s a sharp guy, he’d be a good senator. But apparently, Mitch McConnell’s PAC says there’s a report that they’re not going to spend any more money in Arizona.
Gulbransen: They’re paying close attention. As I said, it’s the allocation of resources. I do think a significant amount of money is going to be spent shoring up Wisconsin for Senator Ron Johnson …
Leahy: I think he keeps that seat.
Gulbransen: I think he keeps it.
Leahy: I agree with that. I also agree for Blake Masters to beat Kelly in Arizona – you know we have The Arizona Sun Times there. We’re the only conservative outlet in Arizona. Everything else there is far, far left. I mean, aggressively far left.
The reason it would make sense, though, to keep the Republican money in Arizona; I know what Mitch McConnell’s thinking: Let Peter Thiel pay for that.
Leahy: That’s what he’s thinking.
Gulbransen: 100 percent.
Leahy: And then, of course, that might work.
Gulbransen: It may. I mean, you got Pennsylvania with Dr. Oz, who’s the worst person they could have nominated for that.
Leahy: As a Senate candidate. He’s a great television promoter of various medical things, but he’s not a good Senate candidate.
Gulbransen: And it’s just an odd state for that personality.
Leahy: Well, the other thing, too, is the only good thing I can say about the Dr. Oz candidacy is that his Democratic opponent is even worse. Mr. “I just had a stroke, all I do is wear hoodies and I’ve never had a real job in my life, let’s legalize marijuana” John Fetterman. Yikes! yikes! And he looks weird. He ought to be a WWE guy, right? (Gulbransen laughs) He’d do well there.
Gulbransen: 30 years ago.
Listen to the interview:
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