Handicapping the Contentious Midterm Elections
Episode 825th October 2022 • Human-centric Investing Podcast • Hartford Funds
00:00:00 00:46:58

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The outcome of the midterm election will have major implications for both policy and markets. JT Taylor, Senior Analyst at Hedgeye Potomac Research shares his insights and expertise on what’s going down in Washington D.C.


EP 82 HF-Handicapping the Contentious Midterm Elections v2

John Diehl [:

today for today's podcast. I joked with Julie and told her it's because she knew that the topic was

politics. And nothing seems to get people running the other way, like political discussions. I'm just

kidding. Julie was unable to join for the recording of the podcast today due to some travel

conflicts that she had, but I know that she would have really enjoyed our episode with our guest,

J.T. Taylor. J.T. Taylor serves as senior macro analyst and chief political strategist at Hedge I

Potomac Research. J.T. has extensive experience in both government and business in

Washington, D.C., with a career spanning the legislative and executive branches, as well as the

financial services industry. Prior to joining Potomac Research Group, he ran Polaris Research,

which is a US public markets division of the Holding M group based in the United Kingdom. He

rector at Demetrio Menez from:

2009. He was managing partner of Kemp Partners, a Washington, DC based strategic consulting,

d with Secretary Jack Kemp in:

Kemp Partners. He oversaw day to day operations and business development while managing

client relationships in both the corporate arena and the financial services industries. So without

further ado, let's listen to what J.T. had to say about the upcoming elections. J.T. Taylor, welcome

to the podcast.

JT Taylor [:

John Diehl [00:02:00] So, J.T., I don't know if many of our listeners have noticed, but there's an

election coming up in November. I mean, I think if you lived in my home state of Pennsylvania,

there was there'd be no way of avoiding the fact that in just a couple of months will hopefully I'll

be heading to the voting booth there, doing our mail in voting to select members of Congress.

And there's been a lot of news, J.T., about this congressional election, both in the House and the

Senate. It seems like every election is going to be the election to end all elections, right. If if our

favorite candidate does win. But, you know, I wanted to come to you. J.T. is kind of an insider and

an expert in the political industry, if you will. And and tell us a little bit about how you're thinking at

this point about both the House and the Senate races in the United States.

JT Taylor [:

going to be one of those interesting years. You know, if you look back at the springtime, you

know, all we heard or read about was this red wave, this big Republican wave that was coming.

All of a sudden, we have the summertime. I'm from Pennsylvania as well. And the summertime in

particular in August when President Biden and the Democrats hit their stride. We had a bit of a

push back against that Republican wave. And here we are, post-Labor Day. People are beginning

to focus and make up their minds if they haven't already. I mean, you know, if you're anywhere

near a TV and have been throughout the summer and of course, of the last couple of weeks,

you're already being bombarded by television ads. But the pendulum swung back a bit to the

Democrats again since I think early August up through Labor Day. And then, as I mentioned last

week to a group of folks, we've already have a bad CPI number, of course. And we had a

potential rail strike last week, John, as you know. And I think that's still looming in the distance

and that that momentum that the Democrats have had or have halted just just like that. So here

we are in sort of in the throes of weeks before the midterms here. And things are pretty tight and

probably as tight as I've ever seen it. So if anyone's out there telling you that the Republicans are

going to win in a run away or the Democrats have all this great momentum, don't believe them.

This is going to be tight. It's going to be close and it's going to come down to the wire.

John Diehl [:

that despite their fought what the 435 seats that they control of the House of Representatives,

actually, it's much more narrow than that. Can you explain a little bit about that and where things


JT Taylor [:

more about if you haven't already in. We know this. We live this every day. And I'm hopefully not

at the dinner table, but the country is polarized. Right. And so the congressional map, the House

map in particular shows a very red portion of the country in a very blue portion of the country. And

of those 435 seats, if you can believe this, John, only about 45 to 50 are truly competitive. And

you could probably narrow that a little more to pure purple seats in some of those, 45 to 50 might

be a light shade of pink or a lighter shade of blue, lean Republican leaning Democrat in that case.

But but purple districts, independent districts, if you do, are not want to see a thing of the past,

but they may be in the coming months, in the coming years, so that control of the House is going

to come down to those seats again. Everything else is pretty much baked in. Again, unless

another wave trend emerges and I think we're too close to the election for that to happen.

John Diehl [:

JT Taylor [00:06:07] Yeah, so you know, if you look back at the spring, the minority leader of the

Republicans, Kevin McCarthy, was talking about a 50 or 60 point gain for the Republicans and all

they need is five right now to take over Congress. And that would have been a massive sea

change. I think right now what we're looking at, if the election were held today and again, we still

have another CPI number, another jobs number, we have escalation in Ukraine. So many, many

factors that can change all of this. But if the election were held today, I believe that the

Republicans would gain somewhere in the low to mid teens in the House and take over the House

of Representatives John.

John Diehl [:

historically that the party who is in power in terms of the presidential office oftentimes loses seats

in the midterm elections. And I think that's what Leader McCarthy was talking about earlier this

year, or at least factoring into his map. Do you think that this could be different this time because

of maybe help politically divided things are how narrow that house control has become.

JT Taylor [:

power party has held the White House has traditionally lost seats, I think one, maybe two times,

definitely after September 11, when President Bush kept the House. And I believe there was one

other time again since World War Two, that the party in power has not lost. So it would be, you

know, historically unprecedented if if it happened. One, two. You also have you're looking at

presidential approval ratings for Biden. In this case. Biden's were pretty low in the springtime.

They're still very low, even though they've ticked up over the course of the summer. And then, of

course, we'll get to the generic so-called generic ballot in a second. But there is a chance you

cannot rule out that, given the Supreme Court decision with Dobbs over abortion, over the

summertime, that the the momentum and voter registration among Democrats sort of overtakes

that wave or the ripple, as some people are calling it right now. And there is a there's a slight

chance greater than the springtime, but slight chance that the Democrats could keep the House

and Senate.

John Diehl [:

we know, is 5050 right now. It seems like it's even more closely divided or more closely in

contention than the House. How do you view the Senate shaping up?

JT Taylor [:

down to the very wire with all the factors I'm looking at right now. You've got about seven or eight

Senate seats and some of the same exact states that played a major role. No surprise here in

2020. You have Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada and New Hampshire. And the list goes on. It's

going to come down to those eight seats. Remember, every every two years, one third of the

Senate is up. So this year, 30, it should be 33 or 34. It's one more this year because we had a

retirement. And so they're looking to fill that vacancy. But the Republicans are defending 22 of

those 33 or 34 seats. So they've got more ground to defend and the Democrats have left less,

which gives the Dems a bit of an advantage. But again, some of the states where the Democrats

are running are in pure purple states and in states where there have been Republican or

Democrat retirements. So in my view, it is going to come down to the wire. I do think right now

the Democrats have an edge. There has been you know, you guys have been bombarded with

this this talk of the the so-called untested Republican candidates out there versus the

establishment. But the Republicans would have an advantage, in my opinion, if they had gone

through and nominated some of the more establishment types and untested in some cases in

back. I mean, I would prefer a maverick nine chances out of ten rather than the old guard. But if

you're Mitch McConnell, John, and you want to keep this or you want to take over the Senate,

you want the

best possible candidate that's going to win in their mind minds and that of their various

committee arms, the Senate Republican Committee. They're going to want an establishment

candidate in there that is going to unify the party. Some of these untested candidates, shall we

say, have more controversial backgrounds, have made more controversial statements. And as I

said, they're untested. So they're going to make some mistakes or gaffes along the way. Not that

they're not that the Democrats aren't going to do the same thing. There are plenty of those, John.

But it had McConnell had his way, I think he would have put forward a number of different

nominees for those Senate races. So that's why it's up for grabs in a couple of these seats in

particular. You've got some some candidates that should be ahead, but they're running behind the

Democrats again in a year where Republicans should have the advantage. So it's clearly, you

know, when you when you factor all of this out, it clearly is going to be a toss up. You've got to

give the Democrats an edge right now. If the election were held today based on, you know, based

on money in the bank, based on polling, and we could talk about polling all day long in the the

flag polling system. The U.S. has to look at polling. You can look at money in the bank and

support either party and then unification. You know, is the party unified behind this candidate in

most cases unified behind the Democrat in our state of Pennsylvania, John, you know that there

is they may be unified a bit behind the Senate candidate eyes, but there is a bit of a dissension

with the gubernatorial candidate. And we'll talk about those ties in a second.

John Diehl [:

Congress, maybe the House remaining or changing to Republican hands, Senate, maybe an edge

to the Democrats. Yes, a question I have is in some of those contentious races, Senate seats that

are currently held by Republicans are currently held by Democrats, which are flipping we just

mentioned Pennsylvania, but there's also the race in Georgia. How important is the the rest of the

ballot, let's say, and talk a little bit about ticket splitting and what that means in some of these

really close races.

JT Taylor [:

our neighborhood, John in Ohio and Pennsylvania. In Ohio, you have a very popular Republican

governor, Mike DeWine, running double digits ahead of his of his Democratic challenger. But yet

in an in a state, Ohio, that is rapidly becoming red if it's not red already, because it was purported

to be purple for years. And I don't not for one believe that. But I do believe now that it's a red

state for Senate. You've got a House member, Tim Ryan, a Democrat running against an untested

candidate, J.D. Vance. And they're running neck and neck. So the hope is that DeWine, the

Republican, can pull Vance with him and that there's there won't be tickets. But what we're

seeing a lot of is over the last couple of election cycles is given the country's polarization, that

there is less ticket splitting, people are going in there and pulling the Republican lever, they're

pulling the Democrat lever and then just moving on. There is the independent factor, which we'll

get to in a second. But many Republican candidates are hoping, and some as well, Democrats as

well are hoping that the top of the ticket will help them. So in this case in Ohio, Vance is counting

on hopefully some coattails from Governor DeWine. Go across the border over to Pennsylvania.

The opposite is true that the gubernatorial candidate is quite controversial. He does not have a

unified Republican Party behind him in the state. And so you've got Oz versus Fetterman in just a

very, very, very hot race. And I think Oz would probably. Hope for some separation between him

and the gubernatorial nominee in that case and hope that there some ticket splitting going on as


John Diehl [:

about in these election cycles. And if you could share with us the importance of these things. One

being the generic ballot and the other being presidential favorability ratings. How do how do they

impact specifically this November's elections?

JT Taylor [:

Republicans with a clear edge. So what what these pollsters do and these are pollsters of all

sizes, shapes, partisan backgrounds. So what I typically try to do and I never listen to one of

these pollsters, I try to aggregate a number of things I see on the horizon and then look at some

of the best practices of those people I pick. And so there was a clear advantage for Republicans, I

think by four or five points in the springtime, maybe greater than that that has flipped over the

summertime. So the generic ballot is now favoring the Democrats. And what these pollsters do is

they go out to the field and ask via cell phone or hard line, which is kind of hard to do, or either an

online poll and ask if it were just a pure Democrat or a pure Republican, who would you vote for if

the election were held today? They don't make it mentioned names. They don't mention issues. It

just based on party. That's why they call it generic. And at this point, over the course of the

summer, the Democrats have regained their balance, if you will, and are up by two, three points to

zero, a couple of out over the past 24 to 48 hours that show this neck and neck. And I believe

that's exactly where we are. So what it's going to come down to and what that tells me and how

that impacts the November election is that once again, Democrats have pretty much made up

their minds. Republicans have made up their mind. It's going to come down to just like 20, 20, 20,

18 and years before. It's truly going to come down to independents at this point. And that's what

all signs are showing. On the presidential approval, you know, same thing. It's a factor in any

election, any midterm election. And it's typically this year the Democrats were you'll see a number

of Democrats not running away from Biden, but not rushing to share the pulpit with them in some

of these campaign stops because his approval rating was at an all time low. He's since regained

some momentum. Still pretty damn low, John, for for a a presidency. And he did have an uptick

based on a couple of victories that the Democrats over agree with Biden or not John. The

Democrats, after 18 months of this, what I call a circular firing squad here in D.C., you know,

interparty sniping. You've got Ocasio-Cortez sniping at Pelosi and the centrists. I mean, you

know, they didn't understand the fact that they were in power, but they were in power by one seat

in the Senate. And so you've had all this ridiculous infighting for 18 months. Finally, finally, finally.

Fortunately for the Democrats, at one point in August, they kind of turned the tide, passed the

Inflation Reduction Act on the heels of the massive infrastructure bill that Biden and our troops

captured. Zawahiri killed Zawahiri, I should say. And this is you know, I think a year prior to that,

we are coming off of probably one of the most disastrous withdrawals. And I believe that's when

Biden's approval started to tick downward rapidly when it came to Afghanistan. So a year later,

the tide has been turned for the most part, but they're not there yet. His approval is still low, but

there has been a separation between Biden's low approval rating in this generic ballot. So you do

see some folks making that separation. And I think a lot of this is largely based on the jobs

Supreme Court hearing on abortion in the summer, where Democrats are starting to register more

women and young folks. And you're starting to see that reflected in polling numbers. And you also

saw that reflected in a number of special elections that were held over the summer for vacant


John Diehl [:

the view of Congress, but let's talk about the topic of issues, because it seems like the top issue

seems to change constantly in the summer. As you mentioned previously, it was the dogs

decision and then we had some of what was going on with former President Trump. More

recently, we had an 8.3% inflation number, which came on the heels of high inflation through the

summer. But some pretty significant market drops as well. Then over the past couple of weeks,

the immigration issue has risen again, with Governor DeSantis sending some some of those folks

to Martha's Vineyard, which put it back in the headlines. How does someone like you begin to

handicap what issue is going to take precedence as it comes to the upcoming election?

JT Taylor [:

again, as you said, indicated, beginning the summer, it was all about the economy, inflation, gas

prices, which potentially are going to be on the rise again, and immigration and of course, crime,

which is a big one. But immigration just reemerged and masterfully before I get to the Democrats

issues masterfully, in my opinion. By DeSantis It's a hot political potato. But it took all of the

attention away from. Any other topic out here and it's bringing. So what DeSantis is doing agree

with him or not? Or two sentences doing a sort of deflecting and changing the subject away from

whether it's in Mar a Lago one day or some other controversy and bringing it home. Now, it's not

going to sit well with everybody, but I think with the Republican base, it's going to get them fired

up. So, you know, that that that is a momentum changer. And there are downsides to what

DeSantis is doing as well. Don't get me wrong. Republican Democrats, on the other hand, really

want to focus on their successes from the summertime. But, you know, unfortunately, it's going to

be about abortion and clean energy. This is some of the things that you're going to be hearing a

lot about. So it feels like there are two parallel universes taking place with these these different

subset of subset of issues. But what I tend to look at again in aggregate are what voters care

about the most and voters care about the economy and inflation, surprisingly. And watching

politics over 25 years here, surprisingly, abortion has risen to a top three topic. And as guys trying

China believe it or not, John and we could spend a whole whole podcast on that at some point

down the line. But these are the these are the issues that have risen to the fore. So you give the

Republicans an advantage on that front, especially on inflation, especially given the most recent

CPI number. But. But. But. Donald Trump has entered the equation as he did this this past

summer. So if you look back in early August, John, the Democrats passed the Inflation Reduction

Act, which is a 750 $800 billion bill. Another massive spend by the Democrats in some good

components showed a plenty of fodder attack, fodder for Republicans. And if you go back to

when the Democrats passed Obamacare over a decade ago, the Republicans were able to frame

that in the days and weeks after passage and really go after Obamacare and put the Democrats

on the defensive. They do that this time around when they pass the inflation reduction. They could

not counter the Democrats messaging going into the summertime because of the the Mar a Lago

issue and all of a sudden that supplanted and took all the oxygen out of the room and out of the

Republican sails, messaging sails, if you will. So this is why the messaging these issues are

important. This is why the Republicans are about to unveil their sort of modern day Contract with

America, which is something Newt Gingrich ran on 20 or 30 years ago. So the Republicans are

going to unveil this month their four or five issues, their platform, if you will, issue platform to at

least again, along with immigration and all these other issues, at least keep the focus on issues,

not on controversies or past elections.

John Diehl [:

whoever holds the last trump card on issues, maybe in the captured seat when it comes to

whatever issue controls the election. Right.

JT Taylor [:

believe that that's going to be the case. And again, it's going to be the economy. So one of the

things we're going to be looking at is that last CPI number, that last jobs number, where interest

rates are. And of course, maybe most importantly right now, because this is helping the

Democrats where gas prices are.

John Diehl [:

midterm year, everybody's focused on Congress. But I want you to talk a little bit about the

importance of the state races. We're electing governors. We're electing state legislatures in many

different states. How does this impact the political picture? Maybe not in the next six months, but

in the next two, four, six, ten years?

JT Taylor [:

because everyone is focused on the House, in the Senate, the U.S. House, the Senate is always

the White House in two years. But the state legislatures, the House, state houses in the state

Senate and the governorships, these are the ones. These are the people that are drawing the

congressional maps. So if you go back to what I said earlier in the segment, when we're talking

about this this ruby red Republican seats and these royal blue Democratic seats, this is a

byproduct of the state legislatures that are drawing these congressional maps. So what we're

about to see or potentially see, as well as the governors and what we're about to see is a a

movement potentially by the Supreme Court on a North Carolina ruling that could potentially win

over. Remember, we talked about 45 to 40 5 to 50 seats up for grabs. We could be looking at 35

or less in the coming elections. That would truly be competitive every year. And when you think

about this, this is control of Congress and you know that it's going to hinge on those few seats

time and again. And control of Congress means a lot of things to power the purse strings, as we

know, and something that it's sort of overlooked every year, the appointment of judges. We're

seeing that play out politically with some of the controversies, political controversies out there.

But we're also seeing that play out on such issues like abortion, as we said earlier in the program.

It's going to play a major role that helped stem any progress that the Republicans are making over

the summer and just sort of change the narrative here, even though everybody was prepared for it

and they saw it coming down the pike. It completely changed the narrative. And it's also going to

impact the judges through rulings like Roe v Wade slash dobbs. There's another EPA decision

that came down over the summer, which I think we're going to get to in a second. That's going to

that's going to impact how regulations are looked at. This is the state legislature. Are going to

draw these maps that will last for the rest of the decade. And so if there is a in more of a red tilt to

some of these states, then, you know, you're going to be looking at some potential challenges for

Democrats coming down the pike.

John Diehl [:

happening in this country are all the Republicans moving to one area and all the Democrats

moving to other areas. But I think what you're saying is it has this much to do with how these

districts are drawn and kind of what that what what complexion that takes on. That may be the

the result of which, after years of doing this on the fringes or maybe in the mainstream, depending

how you look at it, is the gerrymandering really what has caused the amount of polarization in our

political scene, do you think.

JT Taylor [:

challengers in some of these seats. You don't have you know, I used to when I used to talk to

clients, I used to ask them three questions. I said, first, who's your member of Congress? And

maybe 10% of folks in the room would tell me that they're members of Congress. Member of

Congress was a few of them knew who their senators were. Second, I'd say, did you vote in the

primary? And they would, you know, look at each other like, what's a primary? What do you

mean, a primary? And then third question was, did you vote in the general election? And maybe a

third of the people in the room would say they voted in the general election. Having said that,

these races are determined. Many of the outcomes of these races are determined in the

primaries, where you have party activists spending much of their time. That's not to say folks that

don't have a day job aren't activists, but the folks that are really ginned up about their issues are

getting out there and controlling these primaries and determining who's winning these primaries.

And when you're running in a ruby red district, you're going to get you know, you're going to

probably put forward the most conservative person you probably can to win that so that the

gerrymandering is one. And again, we could spend a whole podcast on this, John, but two is

money in politics. I mean, it's kind of disgusting at this point how much money is being spent. I

think just anecdotally, I'm going to sort of jump back to the Senate for a second, but the National

Republican Senatorial Committee, the chairman of that committee, was criticized for blowing

through $183 million over the summer. He and Mitch McConnell got into crosshairs. But think

about that number, 183 million spent in in some words, by some Republicans potentially wasted,

even though I think that they bought some good airtime in critical states. But that's just the

summer. And so we're talking about billions. I mean, I never thought in a million years we've been

talking about billions of dollars being spent on elections, and that's a factor and then a major,

major factor in all of this. And you could see that just by this barrage of ads. I mean, there's just

you can't turn around, especially if you're in the states that are state of Pennsylvania. If you're in

Ohio, Georgia, you're not going to be able to turn the TV on for the next five or six weeks without

seeing an ad. And then lastly, this is, you know, I'm probably showing my first years here, which

are the nineties, but just before I arrived on the scene. You. Transportation and members of

Congress interacting, I think, is another factor, frankly. So when you think about maybe the sixties,

the seventies, even into the eighties, yes, we had air travel, but it's grown. It's become much

easier to travel, much easier to get from point A to point B unless you were traveling this past

summer and with the advent of easy travel, I think members of Congress started going back to

their congressional districts more often. And there used to be a time in D.C. where when you were

elected, you were move your family to D.C. That's probably the minority right now. So people are

pretty much coming here Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and then hightailing it back to

their districts on weekends, which is a good thing because they're spending time with their

constituents. But what they're not doing when they're here is interacting with the other party. It

used to be where a Republican and a Democrat would live in the same neighborhood and the

kids would be at the same football games or the same soccer games or at the same charity

benefit. None of that is taking place right now and hasn't for the last decade or two. And in my

experience, what's happening is when they're finished voting on Capitol Hill in our great dome,

they hightail it to various clubs, Republican or Democratic clubs for fundraisers. And you're not

going to see a Democrat and a Republican fundraiser. You're only going to see a Republican at a

Republican fundraiser. And the the parties in the members just aren't for the most part. I'm

oversimplifying it. There are pockets of bipartisanship here, but they're generally just not talking to

each other.

John Diehl [:

outcomes and why don't we start where we began, which was your current handicapping saying

your best guess if the election were today would be divided government, house to the

Republicans, Senate to the Democrats, not by much in either direction. And I think divided

government is kind of been the norm in the United States, been rare that there have been periods

of united presidential and congressional leadership. But tell us some of the implications you see

of an outcome which is divided, as we projected at this point.

JT Taylor [:

bodies of Congress. No new taxes, period. They're just not going to happen. You're not going to

see any big spending bills like we did with the infrastructure bill or the Inflation Reduction Act.

Those are a thing of the past. Progressive priorities. Any progressive priorities, even if the

Democrats keep the Senate, are gone. Done toast. So you're not going to hear any more talk of

these multitrillion dollar bills that, you know, that could be inflationary. The you could have a debt

ceiling fight, John, and that's going to be a little dangerous here because we are. The country's

credit and faith in our system is based on raising the debt and making sure that we fulfill our

obligations. That can be a really ugly fight as well as the spending bills. So while we might not

have these massive Democrats spends that we have over the last couple of years, we may be

faced with the annual budget bills, the appropriations, the 12 appropriations bills. That could be a

really messy, ugly fight that could lead to a shutdown. So those are the things that are going to

sort of come pretty much come to a stand. So you might see an uptick in defense spending

because I'm seeing these interesting alliances between and I don't necessarily want to call it

bipartisanship, but you do see more Democrats supporting defense spending and you do see a

number of Republicans sort of balking at increased defense spending. But I do think that given

what's happening in Ukraine and other parts of the country, China-Taiwan, I think you're going to

see an uptick in defense spending. Where can we see some commonalities? You know, big tech

regulation. I'm probably running against the tide here because everyone thinks that big tech may

survive a Republican House. But I think that Republicans and Democrats will continue to put the

big tech companies under the microscope. You might see some agreement on crypto. And as I

said, China oversight and defense spending are other areas of agreement. The other thing you'll

see again is unless the Republicans take the Senate, if the Democrats keep the Senate. Then

Biden will continue to appoint judges, write nominees on the record tear. And just as Trump was

before him at appointing judges, I think he's at a record pace for this juncture in his presidency.

That will continue. All that's going to take is 50 plus one votes in the Senate. The House has

nothing to do with judgeships. So Biden will continue to put forth the judges of pace.

John Diehl [:

the position they're in today. They retain the Senate, they retain the House. And certainly

regardless of this midterm election, President Biden will still be in the presidency. What might we

expect then? From a policy standpoint?

JT Taylor [:

going to see a lot more, say, continuation of progressive, progressive agenda because the Senate

is still going to be tight. And the progressives, it feels like I'm taking potshots here, but I'm just

stating the facts. John, progressives still don't get the fact that even if you have nominal control of

the Senate, it's not 60 votes. So you're not going to be able to get these massive, massive bills

through without the 60 votes, unless you do it through the reconciliation process. So they'll still

try. You'll see climate action on the climate. You will see probably some movement on taxes. So

some tax increases, I don't know about personal rates, but it you'll certainly see some activity on

the tax front, energy front, as I said, China oversight. And then I do believe that it coming back to

big tech, I think that they're really going to put big tech under the microscope as well as other

antitrust issues. If they if they keep everything.

John Diehl [:

the House and the Senate. But again, President Biden is still in the presidency. Is there any

difference between that and divided government?

JT Taylor [:

John Diehl [00:38:29] I guess the judges would be.

JT Taylor [:

government. The Biden agenda is done whether or not as long as Republicans take one of what,

one or both, and it's just going to come down to, like I said, these these these spending bills

every year, the debt ceiling, a couple of other I don't I don't want to relegate them to a separate

level, but other issues that really are at the forefront, smaller issues, whether it's as I said, big tech

crypto might be under the microscope, crypto regulation and but it is going to be it will probably

be the ugliest two years I think we've seen in politics. If that takes place, it's going to be ugly

nonetheless. But it's about to get uglier. John, there won't be much wriggle room for the for the

Biden agenda, if any at all. Any progressive ideas are dead on arrival. Any big spending is dead on

arrival. It's just going to be sort of plodding through getting these these annual appropriations bills

done. And then probably, as I say, to keep on mentioning China. But, you know, there that's an

area of of of bipartisanship right now, as well as defense spending. So that might be the one

beneficiary of purely a divided government.

John Diehl [:

about the house chatty, but this is a topic that some people are like enough already. Other people

are like, it's the only way to get it. The truth that the House in the control of these investigative

committees. Right, whether at one time it was Trump, Russia, then it's January 6th. Now we have,

you know, Republic Republicans saying if we do take the House, watch out, we're coming for you

regardless of what the issue is. Do you see this? Is there is there a lot of power in these House

investigative committees to influence the narrative, if you will? What's the impact of that? And

why don't we hear as much about Senate committees as we do about the House committees?

JT Taylor [:

course here. I mean, you could go back years. I think my first year here were the Anita Hill

hearings. So that that would be one counter to what you said, John, but. On the House side as

you have control of of these investigative investigative committees, especially what's happening

on a general jerry search committee right now that has raised more attention. You have seen more

awareness of of those issues and sort of an ability to I don't want to control the narrative, but an

ability to bring that to the fore. I mean, there's still another hearing coming up at the end of the

month. And if, you know, I don't watch a lot of the the main networks, but I read in the morning

what's sort of the top thread. And in a couple of weeks or in probably in about a week, you'll see

more September of January six hearings and that will be at the front of the news cycle. So, yes,

they have an ability to control the narrative and change the topic of other important issues that are

taking place. And there will be hearings afoot with if the Republicans take over their promised

hearings on yeah, from DHS, they'll probably be moved to impeach Biden. There'll be a look at

Hunter Biden's laptop and all of those issues will resurface again. And they'll probably be a really

controversial look at the Department of Justice and the Mar a Lago issue from from August of

2022 and how that all came about. Unless that. Proves otherwise in the coming weeks. So the

Republicans are loaded for bear with their invested investigative committees. Remember, the

House guys tend to be more activist, and so they're going to come up with more. You know, I say

glamorous, but the more headline grabbing hearings and the saying it's not incapable of that, but

they seem to be a little bit more stark to me.

John Diehl [:

only 50 of them, probably have to please a wider constituency. The House is probably, as we

talked about earlier, more polarized and concentrated. Well, J.T., I've had a chance to ask you,

and I'm sure this election season you get peppered with tons of questions like the ones I've asked

today. But I want to take a minute to ask you a series of different questions, something we do

here on the human centric podcast, just to kind of humanize our guests, if you will, because we're

all people. J.T., is it okay if you participate what we call a lightning round star? Our guests can get

to know who J.T. Taylor is a little bit deeper.

JT Taylor [:

John Diehl [00:43:44] Top of the head answers. Are you a morning person or a night owl?

JT Taylor [:

John Diehl [00:43:53] What's your favorite holiday?

JT Taylor [:

John Diehl [00:44:03] All right, scale of 1 to 10, how good of a driver are you?

JT Taylor [:

say my one.

John Diehl [:

about your time in D.C.? Which do you prefer? City or country?

JT Taylor [:

John Diehl [00:44:31] Beach house or lake house.

JT Taylor [:

John Diehl [00:44:37] Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

JT Taylor [:

friends, I'm an extrovert.

John Diehl [:

JT Taylor [00:44:52] Neat. Ocd.

John Diehl [:

JT Taylor [00:44:59] Right handed, sometimes left. Oddly enough.

John Diehl [:

JT Taylor [00:45:08] East Coast.

John Diehl [:

JT Taylor [00:45:16] Read.

John Diehl [:

JT Taylor [00:45:22] Cake. Chocolate.

John Diehl [:

JT Taylor [00:45:29] Dogs. Definitely.

John Diehl [:

appreciate your insights and thanks for being with us.

JT Taylor [:

John Diehl [00:45:44] And for those of you listening who would like to learn more about JT's

views, we featured some of these articles on our website. Hartford funds dot com and also on

Hartford Funds dot com. You can find our Politics Resource Center and then the Politics

Resource Center. You'll be able to find client friendly pieces that you'll be able to use with your

clients just to give them perspective. Maybe kind of cool the emotions and bring us all back to a

rational approach about how to think about elections and especially how to think about elections

when it comes to our long term financial goals. So again, JT, thanks very much and for all of you

listening to the Human Centric Investing podcast. Thank you. And we'll see you on a future


Julie Genjac [:

podcast. If you'd like to tune in, don't forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and

follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter or YouTube.

John Diehl [:

client relationships, email us. A guest booking at Hartford Funds dot com. We'd love to hear from


Julie Genjac [: