The Michigan Republicans’ most controversial consultant, John Yob, laid it on the line over the weekend when he essentially predicted a Democratic “Blue Wave” in November.
In an appearance on public TV’s “Off The Record,” Yob prognosticated that Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette will lose the gubernatorial election – perhaps by a wide margin – and that U.S. Senate nominee John James, a decided underdog against incumbent Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow, would have been better served if he launched his political career at a lower trajectory, perhaps setting his sights on a U.S. House seat.
The Schuette-James top of the ticket in the general election, Yob claimed, is in “deep trouble” heading into November.
He also asserted that GOP candidates are running as the “underdogs” in state House races, though the party currently enjoys a substantial majority in the lower chamber of the Legislature.
What’s more, in the state Senate, where the Republicans have enjoyed dominant control for many years, Yob asserted that the GOP is no more than a slight favorite to maintain their majority in the general election.
The bottom line is this: Yob is suggesting that Republican control of the governor’s mansion, the House and the Senate could completely flip this fall to the Democrats. That is an astounding prediction, given the source.
A wealthy Grand Rapids-area GOP operative whose resume includes prime positions in presidential campaigns, Yob sees major weaknesses in the 2018 crop of Republican candidates in Michigan, particularly among college-educated women – previously labeled, to some extent, as “soccer moms” — in suburbs such as those in Oakland County. Those voters are overwhelmingly unhappy with President Trump.
At the same time, Yob’s view could be tainted after he suffered stinging intraparty losses in the Michigan August primary, as his two foremost clients, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley for governor and business executive Sandy Pensler for U.S. Senate, went down to defeat by wide margins.
Yob’s surveying of the 2018 general election landscape could be viewed as sour grapes by prominent Republican strategists. But his tone on the TV show suggested otherwise.
When asked about Democrat Gretchen Whitmer’s prospects in the governor’s race against Schuette, Yob said Whitmer will win, possibly by a double-digit margin.
“You didn’t even hesitate,” remarked “Off the Record” host Tim Skubick, the dean of the Lansing press corps.
Yob may be an outlier among GOP election analysts but Zach Gorchow, editor of Gongwer News Service and a Capitol press corps veteran, also sees a full flip to the Dems as plausible. Gorchow wrote that a Blue Wave is most likely in Oakland County and western Wayne County, based on the dramatic rise in Democratic voter turnout in the August primary compared to four years ago.
The House is controlled by the Republicans, 63-46, with one vacancy. In the Senate, the GOP enjoys a supermajority, 27-10, with one vacancy.