Live from Music Row Thursday 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 recovering journalist and all-star panelist Clint Brewer in the studio to discuss the Republican momentum in the upcoming midterms and the seriousness of candidates running for U.S. Senate.
Leahy: Clint, we have smart listeners. We got a call from one of our listeners. One of the terms that I’ve used that I’ve reintroduced to our listeners is the term nadir. N-A-D-I-R.
The low point of anything is the nadir. And I’ve said for the past month or so that the nadir of our constitutional republic will be midterm Election Day, and then we’ll start moving back up.
Brewer: So, like, the nadir of my culinary experience on Thursdays is Mike’s coffee.
Brewer: I’ve used it in a sentence.
Leahy: You’ve used it in a sentence and used it accurately. (Brewer chuckles) So our smart listener called in and said the nadir of your show is when you talk about sports.
Brewer: Good. We’re teaching people new words.
Leahy: New words. The other word of the day, of course, is momentum. And regarding momentum, I have a little different view than yours on this. I think there is, I don’t think it’s a normal yin-yang, back-and-forth, tennis back-and-forth.
I think there is a real movement toward Republicans as the Democrats have failed to – the issue of abortion hasn’t really been as motivating as they thought it would be.
Brewer: Yes, it really hasn’t. And Biden, you saw, he was sort of he’s standing on it.
Leahy: He’s got nothing else.
Brewer: There’s a story now about him proposing some kind of national fund to back abortion rights. There’s a poll out about Latino voters, where it’s not resonating at all, and they’re a big swing vote in a lot of these important states.
Leahy: The other thing is, talk about convoluted twists and turns – Stacey Abrams, who for a long time was an election denier (laughs), she didn’t concede that she lost the 2018 gubernatorial election in Georgia to Brian Kemp until actually, like, a couple of weeks ago when finally the courts threw out all of her challenges.
You said that I actually didn’t concede. Oh, I’ve conceded.
Yeah. She was on one of the mainstream news outlets, I think, MSNBC, and they were talking about issues, and she tried to say abortion was an economic issue, and it just fell flat. It’s not an economic issue. It’s a moral issue.
But the big issue is inflation. It’s not abortion. So you talk about polls. Maybe 5 percent of voters say abortion is the number one issue for them. For everybody else, it’s inflation.
Now, back to this issue of momentum. We look at the polls, RealClearPolitics does the average of polls, they’ve actually done an adjustment on these polls now. They adjust them to reflect what they think is the pro-Democrat bias of the polls.
I think it’s a good move, actually. But a couple of interesting things – in Oregon, where they have had a Democrat governor for decades, decades, the Republican now, according to the latest poll from Hoffman Research, has a two-point lead over the Democrat in Oregon.
Brewer: Within the margin, but still telling of the competitiveness of the candidate.
Leahy: And also Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, who’s been, in essence, kind of a left-wing progressive, has come out, and he’s supporting the Republicans. That’s how bad it’s gotten in Oregon.
Brewer: It’s kind of like Elon Musk coming out and supporting conservatives. What’s that old phrase? It’s the economy, stupid. That’s going to override everything. It touches every household.
It touches every business. How could it not be the number one issue when inflation is where it is? How could you not have that be the issue?
Leahy: It’s so bad that in Pennsylvania, it’s the famous Dr. Oz versus Fetterman. And let me just stop from them. Dr. Oz got the GOP nomination. He’s well known for being a television doctor.
Brewer: What is he a doctor of?
Leahy: He’s a cardiac surgeon, apparently. He’s a real medical doctor. He’s not like, oh, I don’t know, Dr. Jill Biden.
Brewer: Doctor of underwater basketweaving or something.
Leahy: That’s her education – EDD, for instance. Not a real medical doctor, but Dr. Oz is a medical doctor. Not a good candidate, but he’s running in Pennsylvania, a swing state against – is there a worse candidate ever for the United States Senate than John Fetterman?
The six-foot-five guy that looks like he’s either a homeless person or a retired WWE wrestler who’s wrestled too many times, who had a stroke, and who cannot talk and he cannot communicate. He has cognitive problems. In that poll, Fetterman still has a two-point lead over Dr. Oz.
Brewer: I think Dr. Oz ought to start conflating his personality with Ozzy Osbourne. Maybe he should play “Crazy Train” when he comes out on stage, maybe kind of throw people off and make him seem more exciting than he is.
Leahy: There’s no greater evidence that maybe we have to go back to state legislatures picking senators in Pennsylvania. (Chuckles) With two weeks and five days out, it looks to me, RealClearPolitics thinks it’s going to turn out to be a 52-48 Senate.
They think that Oz is going to hold Pennsylvania for the Republicans, and that there will be Republican pickups in Nevada, where Laxalt and Cortez Masto master. I think Nevada feels like the most serious dependable pickup right now.
Leahy: You said something important. He’s running a good race.
Brewer: Yes, he’s running an excellent race.
Leahy: You can’t say that about Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania.
Brewer: No, I mean, look, the U.S. Senate is the most exclusive club of elected officials on the planet. We really need to put serious people forward for it.
Leahy: You got Dr. Oz on the Republican side in Pennsylvania and this Fetterman character. Has there been a worse U.S. Senate candidate in American history than John Fetterman? Hard to think of.
Brewer: I’m sure there has been, like, maybe in the 1800s or something. I don’t know.
Leahy: He’s pretty bad.
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Background Photo “U.S. Capitol” by Paula Nardini.