Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Sid Salter: Election Spending Approaches $10 Billion to sway Control of Congress

 The 2022 midterm congressional political advertising spend is projected at over $9.7 billion, up from the $5.95 billion spent in the 2020 congressional election cycle. The tracking was reported by AdImpact Politics.

The record spending on political advertising belies the country’s sharp partisan division, the tight margins separating control of the two houses of Congress – particularly in the Senate – and the intensity of partisan division heading into the 2024 presidential election.

So why is the level of spending necessary? To be sure, control of Congress impacts every segment of the American economy and the social climate on a myriad of issues. A recent Pew Research Center poll aimed at both Democrat and Republican registered voters indicated that the top issues are the economy, the future of democracy, education, health care, and energy policy – and those issues resonated with voters from both parties.

The Pew poll identified a middle tier of issues that are surprising given the frequency and passion with which the issues are debated nationally including gun rights, voting rights, abortion, Supreme Court appointments, and immigration.

The same poll identified a third tier of issues that voters were concerned about that included climate change, racial issues, investigations into Donald Trump, investigations into President Joe Biden, and COVID.

The liberal Brookings Institution offered its list of top five issues in the runup to the midterms, which included inflation, abortion, climate, health care and education. The conservative Heritage Foundation put a harder focus on foreign policy issues – principally U.S.-China relations – along with crime, immigration, the economy and election integrity.

But regardless of partisan identification, it was clear Tuesday that 2022 was for most voters and particularly for voters who had identified as undecided voters throughout the midterm campaigns that this was a “pocketbook election” in which the combined impacts of the COVID shutdown, the global semiconductor shortage, resulting supply chain issues and the worst protracted round of inflation since the 1970s combined to produce angry, unsettled voters who weren’t particularly happy with either major party.

It is that dynamic that should concern both parties as they move toward 2024. The extremes of both the Republican and Democratic parties are fairly well entrenched on issues like abortion, gun rights and immigration, but middle-of-the-road voters are less so on issues like foreign policy, crime, education, health care and Social Security.

It is important to note after the midterms that neither Democrats nor Republicans are viewed favorably by a majority of voters. Another Pew poll shows that 41 percent viewed the Democrats favorably while 37 percent viewed the GOP favorably. At the same time. Some 47 percent of voters ages 18-49 wish there were more than two political parties to choose from.

What has been missing for much of the midterm election cycle is specificity. Solving inflation requires solutions that incorporate some of the root causes of rising prices. Food costs more because of supply chain shortages and high fuel prices. The war in Ukraine impacted global grain markets. The global semiconductor shortage is an issue that crosses multiple issue boundaries.

But in the primaries and carrying over to the general election, most of the political rhetoric has focused on more incendiary partisan issues. Brookings senior fellow Christopher A. Thomas wrote this month: “Semiconductors are the lifeblood of the digital economy. The semiconductor industry has moved to the foreground of political discourse both in the U.S. and other countries. The pushes from America’s economic rivals and the challenges faced by its domestic industry, coupled with supply chain shortages, prompted calls for the U.S. government to ‘do something’ to support the industry. The most visible response is the CHIPS Act, which allocates $39 billion in government funding for domestic semiconductor manufacturing facilities and billions more for semiconductor research and development (R&D) and workforce programs.

Mississippi’s senior U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker made a courageous vote to support the CHIPS Act as a measure that takes a long and globally strategic view that America should not be dependent on our adversaries for computer chips – the building blocks of the global economy.

As we leave the 2022 midterms and plunge almost immediately into the 2024 presidential campaign, the partisan divide - on both sides – has become an impediment to advancing the quality of life for all Americans. Without that, the number of voters who reject both parties will grow and the two-party system that has served our nation will continue to struggle and stumble.

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at



Anonymous said...

How is the two party system struggling? There have been ample opportunities in the past, including yesterday, for the voters to elect someone who didn’t represent either major party. Not a single one has even gotten close, so don’t tell me how badly the voters want someone else.

Anonymous said...

Peoples vote for the party not the person. Right. Right.

Anonymous said...

So what, Sid?

Anonymous said...

I thinK I am done with political knowledge and research.

I am going to try to stop caring about this useless drama and just enjoy life.

Best to all.

Anonymous said...

There has always been another party to choose from. The people may act like that is what they want but they will not vote for a third party. That has been proven over and over. The real problem is we do not have a third party as the two we have are the same thing. There is no real difference in the republicans and the democrats. They can and do change sides when their chance of getting elected is greater when they belong to the other side. Same people, different party, but the same crooked people in charge. Voters seem to be drawn to crooks. The bigger, the better.

I did not choose to vote this time and will not be voting in the future. I refuse to be part of any criminal enterprise.

Anonymous said...

The Citizens United ruling was terrible for country, regardless of party.

The contributions flowing through super PACs, dark money, etc. mean the will of the people is largely ignored and replaced with the interests of a wealthly few.

Anonymous said...

9:46 AM - AND I QUOTE "There is no real difference in the republicans and the democrats". VERY TRUE STATEMENT.

Anonymous said...

"Would you rather have Hillary/Trump?"
"If you vote for the Republican/Democrat, you're just giving it away to the Democrat/Republican."
"If you vote the Libertarian/Green/Reform/Taxpayers/Constitution Party candidate, you're just throwing away your vote because he doesn't have a chance to win."

I hear this litany every time an election rolls around. People treat a vote like it's a wager, as though if you pick the winner correctly, you get something in return. And, too, almost nobody votes FOR a candidate; almost everybody votes AGAINST a candidate.

Well, you don't get anything if you correctly pick the winner, as everyone reading here well knows. So why, then, don't people vote their conscience instead of voting for who they think has the best chance of winning?

Media conditioning. It's everywhere, the constant blue and red color motif to subtly remind the voters it's either Democrat or Republican, Left or Right, blue or red, fish or fowl, washer or dryer, and that's all it can ever be, one or the other one, this one or that one.

What's the solution? There are too many people with the franchise who don't have the gumption to wield the vote intelligently. Go to Walmart, look around, and there's your electorate. There needs to be a paring down of the electorate -- which, of course, will never happen.

And there needs to be a third party, and a fourth and a fifth and perhaps even a sixth. Sure, that would make it difficult to get anything in government done. And that's a good thing, because if the politicians can't get it done, it probably didn't need doing anyway.

Anonymous said...

Instead of having a third or more parties it would be much better if we did away with all parties. People vote for the party, not the person. If we voted for the person we probably would not even have an election. I can't think of a single person who could win without being either a democrat or a republican.

There should not be an election. If we have to have a presidential election the person with the most votes should be president and the person with the second most votes should be vice president.

Most third world countries have a more honest election that we do.

Anonymous said...

Inflation has hit for Street Money Votes.

Anonymous said...

@11:10 "A pairing down of the electorate"

With liberty and freedom to some I guess huh?

Anonymous said...

Your vote hasn't determined the outcome of a selection, excuse me, election in over 100 years. Don't expect it to in the future.

Anonymous said...

@1:29, the SOME can have all the liberty and freedom they want, but they simply shouldn’t be allowed to vote their freedom and liberty to leach productive citizens.

Anonymous said...

Things. Didn’t turn out the way people expected despite the money spent. Is just me that thinks women spoke with their vote .

Anonymous said...

What we have is mob rule. That's where 51% impose their will on the other 49%. That's a guarantee to never have peace.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion , odays lost for the dems does not tell the story. Given that the Reps are going to go full out on asinine hearings that will turn off more people than they already have, the dems will have a clear majority when Biden is re-elected in ‘24. What will they call it then ?

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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