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CNN, ABC, NBC Sunday panels issue final midterm predictions: 'Very, very bleak right now for Democrats'

CNN, ABC and NBC panelists offered up their final midterm predictions during the Sunday news shows and painted a grim picture for the Democratic Party ahead of election day. 

CNN’s David Chailan said Democrats were looking for a “cushion” in Pennsylvania.

“They are looking for a place to pad their majority a bit and try to offset potential losses elsewhere. This is why the Senate right now is the thing Democrats are looking at as a potential saving grace on Tuesday night. It is bleak looking for the House because of what you said, this is an economy election and voters are overwhelming, preferring Republicans over Democrats when it comes to the issue. And Democrats have so much turf to defend in the house. The battleground is on these Democratic districts, leaning districts that is just going to be very tough for them in this environment. So the Senate is the place where Democrats, perhaps that can be saving grace,” Chailan said. 

CNN “Inside Politics” host Abby Philip played a clip of President Biden saying he believed they were going to win the House and pick up a seat in the Senate. 

CNN's David Chailan says Democrats are looking for a "cushion" in Pennsylvania. 

CNN’s David Chailan says Democrats are looking for a "cushion" in Pennsylvania. 
(Screenshot/CNN/InsidePolitics)

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Kasie Hunt, CNN’s Chief National Affairs Analyst, said no one that she has spoken with on the Democratic side “would say anything close to what the president is saying.” 

“I would say Nevada and North Carolina on the Senate side, I think Republicans are probably in a stronger position now than they were a couple of weeks ago because those races seem to be more aligned with kind of what you’re seeing across the board in the House in terms of being pushed by the economic narratives. But Pennsylvania, Georgia, some of these other places on the map, I mean the characters in the races could potentially have an impact there. But across the house, things are just, they’re just very, very bleak right now for Democrats,” she added.

During NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the panelists discussed the definition of a “wave” election. 

“As your polls showed, both sides really energized, going to show up, we’re totally polarized, so there are not defectors. To me, it’s also where do those independent voters go. When you get a wave election, Independents break by double digits for they other party, and they’re not breaking yet. So it makes me think, either one, they are they still sitting on the fence but are they breaking and not telling us, or two, maybe they don’t show up. And that is another question,” Amy Walter, Executive Editor for The Cook Political Report, said.

NBC's Kristen Welker said Sunday that Democrats are hoping to energize their base with the democracy messaging. 

NBC’s Kristen Welker said Sunday that Democrats are hoping to energize their base with the democracy messaging. 
(Screenshot/NBC/MeetThePress)

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NBC’s Kristen Welker said Democrats like Biden, who chose to focus on democracy rather than the economy, are hoping to energize the base with their message on democracy being at stake and try to “mitigate those losses.”

“It’s a risky strategy though Chuck, as you’ve been talking about, with all of your guests, the main issues are still inflation and the economy,” Welker added. 

During CNN’s State of The Union, Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen criticized the Democrats’ messaging decisions and said she was “not happy.” 

“Democracy is at stake because people are fighting so much about what elections mean. I mean, voters have told us what they wanted to hear, and I don’t think Democrats have delivered this cycle,” she said. 

Democrat strategist Hilary Rosen says she is "not happy" with her party's messaging ahead of the midterms. 

Democrat strategist Hilary Rosen says she is "not happy" with her party’s messaging ahead of the midterms. 
(Screenshot/CNN/StateOfTheUnion)

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CNN host Michael Smerconish said polling data, betting markets, travel schedules and spending would “all have to be wrong for there to be something other than a huge victory for Republicans.”

Bakari Sellars, a CNN political commentator, argued that Democrats were going to do better than people expect. 

“On Tuesday night, you’re going to see Democrats maintain or win governors mansions in states that really matter. You’re going to have Wisconsin, you’re going to have Michigan, you’re going to have Pennsylvania. Those states matter. And why do those states matter? Because of 2024. And you’re also going to have Wes Moore, who is going to flip Maryland. And so you’re going to have some victories, while, although we probably won’t take back the House or keep the House, we’re going to maintain the Senate. And those governors mansions really matter,” Sellars said. 

During ABC’s “This Week,” Donna Brazile and Chris Christie sparred over the democracy messaging as well. Christie insisted Democrats were going to “lose.” 

A voter casts a ballot at a polling location in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. 

A voter casts a ballot at a polling location in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. 
(Nate Smallwood/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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“I mean, look, when you don’t have anything to say about the issues that the people care most about, what you’re trying to do is set a fire someplace else and distract them. But it’s not working,” he said. “All of the polling shows that what people care about the most is the economy and inflation. That’s what they care the most about.” 

Democracy for America CEO Yvette Simpson agreed that Democrats needed better messaging on the economy and insisted people would be worse off economically if Republicans win the House or the Senate. 

“I don’t understand why they didn’t say we’re talking about the economy. The Republicans are the ones passing laws in the states on abortion. Why they ceded that to the Republican Party and, look, on the democracy issue, yes, you look, a majority of Americans think democracy is under threat. Eighty percent think that if the opposition comes into power, that America as we know it will be under threat. But when you ask them which party is the greater threat, independent voters by about seven points think it’s the Democratic Party, not the Republican Party. So while Joe Biden is talking about how democracy is on the ballot, I don’t know that his message is landing the way he thinks it’s landing with these voters who are going to decide the election,” Sarah Isgor, a former spokesperson for the Justice Department, said. 

President Biden speaks on COVID-19 during an event in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, in Washington.

President Biden speaks on COVID-19 during an event in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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Biden issued another warning at a DNC rally on Wednesday about democracy being on the ballot on Nov. 8. 

“Recent polls have shown that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe our democracy is at risk, that our democracy is under threat. They, too, see that democracy is on the ballot this year, and they’re deeply concerned about it,” Biden said. 

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