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Analysis of 2023 Elections

Posted on Tuesday, November 14, 2023
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by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
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Republican and Democrat pins on American flag

So, last week we has one of those dawdle, dash, sigh, and vote dances, the sort republics have every few years, what we all call an election. We went, voted, wondered, and got the results. What did they tell us?

First, Republicans and Democrats think differently about abortion, Republicans strongly against open-ended abortions – especially after 15 weeks, when a little person is plainly involved, while Democrats (especially younger ones) are convinced this issue is everything now, a hill to die on, all or nothing.

Second, we learned without Biden or Trump on the ballot, voter turnout is – as predicted – lower, less enthusiastic, and people think close to home. Tails wage dogs; issues like abortion play big.

Looking at things another way, we learned if you do not have Biden or Trump on the ballot, few will talk about the economy, border, crime, security, foreign policy, abuses, public corruption, overregulation and things that really affect life every day in a big way.  If you do not talk about those issues, you lose.

Third, we learned (again) money matters – and Democrats, as last year in US House races – outraised Republicans in the off- cycle. That translates into organization, get-out-the-vote visits, media – votes.

In 2022, Democrats raised twice what Republicans did, shifted it around the country into otherwise competitive districts, highlighted abortion and anti-Trump rhetoric, prevented discussion of failures.

Democrats know a good thing when they see it, so pulled the same slight-of-hand this year, outraising Republicans, then shifting money to beat strong candidates on sidelight issues, silencing full-throated debate over Democrat mismanagement of schools, speech, religion, second amendment protections, energy, spending, regulation, border, police, crime, girls’ rights, and major indicators of leadership.

Fourth, in a corollary to the last point, we learned that truth can become a casualty of endless hype, political clutter, a combination of media, social media, and political actors pushing side issues to the top, and top issues to the side.

If you doubt this phenomenon or think it is secondary, that what we just saw somehow represents a real referendum on big issues, think again. The leading issues to affect voting just now were abortion, marijuana legalization, whether to allow the mentally ill to vote, peripheral tax issues, and stopping money from foreign-owned companies from getting into politics.

By contrast, the biggest issues of concern to Americans were nowhere to be seen, and played virtually no role in the recent Democrat claim of victory, as if this cycle were a referendum on anything.

To be painfully specific, none of the issues – from abortion to marijuana – matter more than a percentage point to most voters, while the big issues, the ones that decide everything, got no play.

One of many 2023 surveys making this point (Statistica) reported, for example, that the top issues for Americans were not even on the ballot. In order, Americans ranked the top issue as follows: Poor leadership (18 percent), economy in general (16 percent), immigration (13 percent), inflation (nine percent), unifying the country (five percent).

Dropping into other issues, homelessness, jobs, deficit, environment all got three percent. Abortion, cultural issues, drugs, wages – all got one percent. The point: The recent vote missed the biggest issues.

So, with Democrats still crowing about the Kentucky governorship, Virginia legislature, and how terrible Republicans are to oppose second and third trimester abortion restrictions, what is the silver lining?

Here it is: Like a heart attack survived, which allows rethinking, Republicans just got a warning. They need to start raising more money – which House candidates are, elevate issues that matter, do not get distracted or bogged down on side issues, put truth on the ballot, imagine Trump versus Biden.

Final thought, last silver lining:  Democrats – including Biden, weakest incumbent in years – think they won, which means efforts to dump Biden may go slack. That, all by itself, suggests 2024 will be a different year. Five of six swing states now strongly favor Trump – any Republican – over Biden. If this cycle boosts the baloney that Biden can win, good on them, and may 2024 look a lot different. 

Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.

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PaulE
PaulE
7 months ago

Hi RBC,

My comments from yesterday concerning why the 2023 elections went the way they did applies to your article today as well. Until GOP leadership in the RNC and in Congress, specifically Mitch McConnell, decide to actually get in the game to win instead of just sit silently and “lose with dignity” nothing will change. Money and effective and coherent messaging are what wins elections. So anyway, here are my comments from yesterday on this subject:

Here are the major reasons for the majority of election loses in 2023:
1) Lack of a coherent message from both the Republican Party and many Republican candidates on abortion to counter the Democrat scare tactics that were running non-stop for several months before election day. When only one side is fighting, it isn’t hard to guess who will likely come out on top after an election.
All the end of Roe actually did was return the issue of abortion to the individual states, where each state’s voters have the right to tell their legislatures how they want the issue handled. This is called federalism, which is what the framers of the Constitution enshrined in our Constitution. In places like California, New York, New Jersey and other Democrat run states, that means that their own state constitutions already have enshrined abortion up to including the date of birth. So, they already went far beyond Roe long before Roe was over-turned by the SC. Net change to the Democrat run states was ZERO. Yet the Democrats were very successful at stoking fear and outrage in many of the exact same states and elsewhere over what amounted to a non-event in their respective states. In Republican led states, the states were free to enact what they wanted as well with the voters’ support. Where the problem exists is in election cycle after election cycle, the Republican party establishment and the RNC absolutely are terrible in terms of messaging. As in essence, they either say nothing and hope they win with little to no real effort expended on their part or they trot out convoluted and stale, old talking points to dance around the issue without providing a compelling rationale for their perspective.
2) Lack of money spent to counter the constant fear mongering and disinformation messaging from the Democrats. This coupled with a lack of a coherent and concise unified message to begin with from the leaders of the Republican Party kind of set the stage for the type of election results we got.
If you just look at the numbers, in terms of dollars spent per race in each state, the Democrats outspent most Republicans in a number of elections by two or three to one. Money does matter and it always will. Money is a tool to facilitate getting the message out to the people. Stop whing about campaign finance reform, because that ship sailed long ago and we’re not going back to some bygone days that were largely an illusion to begin with. We have to deal with things as they are and step up our game, NOT as how we would like them to be.
The RNC and many of the leaders in the establishment wing of the GOP, the McConnell’s of the world and their followers, were stingy with both money and messaging as they always are. The old guard GOP establishment seems content to “lose with dignity” than adapt to the changing dynamics of how the Democrats play the game. They seem content with merely maintaining the old status quo of how Washington, D.C. runs instead of addressing the challenges the country faces each and every day.
Articles, like the one above, talk of pundits and other inside the Washington beltway types for guidance on why the election results turned out the way they did. That is the equivalent of a self-reinforcing echo chamber of people completely detached from the real world trying to explain events they have no real insight into. It may make for a great academic exercise, but it doesn’t address the real issues that brought about the results we experienced.
Sorry for the long comment, but some of these navel gazing articles by folks inside the beltway really serve no purpose other than trying to spin that we somehow won when we largely lost.

Rik
Rik
7 months ago

All the Election Cheating done by the Democrats just PROVES how stupid most voters who vote for ANY Democrat are! STUPID IS, STUPID DOES! And We the People will suffer for it.

Rhoda
Rhoda
7 months ago

The RNC and “the good ole boys” need to revamp. Ronna McDaniel is worthless, and needs to be replaced. Someone needs to stress this to DJT. Unfortunately, picking the right people isn’t necessarily his strong point. Someone who is not part of the Washington elite should be running the RNC. There have been strong “America First” candidates, but the RNC and the GOP-e won’t give them money. Sad state of affairs.

GMA
GMA
7 months ago

Need a new person to lead the Republican Party…which has too many Rino’s in it.

A Voter
A Voter
7 months ago

A Rino is in command of the Rino National Committee. What do you expect to happen?

Dave
Dave
7 months ago

This article states that Republican’s need to start raising more money to start winning. I think that money is the problem not the solution. We have billions of dollars pouring into America from major players that are not even Citizens of the USA. That is what is taking over our government. We need to take control of where the money is coming from as much as possible & nobody is talking about it is very telling in my mind. Many players are very wealthy Citizens. Why can’t they pay for their campaigns? Why can’t we control where they are able to get funding? The answer is, The Good Old Boy Network will never want that to happen.

Gabe Hanzeli kent wa
Gabe Hanzeli kent wa
7 months ago

I just hope that trump / vivek win and the democrats go insane. I want people to be smart enough to vote the republicans into power across the board so they can fix the mess democrats have created.

Anyone still saying: “I voter liberal” is living in 1970. the dictators are the “liberals”

Anne
Anne
7 months ago

Raising all the money in the world is useless, if it isn’t spent in the right way. Ronna McRommey gave Zero to Virginia.Turtle man, let Masters fail in AZ. With that kind of stupidity, Republicans won’t win anything. I contend they love being the minority party. They get to blather and do nothing of legislative importance and get rich at the same time.

lawrence greenberg
lawrence greenberg
7 months ago

Here is my analysis of the 2023 elections: There was just as much cheating done in 2023 as there was in 2020 and 2022. And I will add that, unless something truly significant is done to secure the integrity of our election process prior to the 2024 elections, which seems unlikely due to the complete and endless opposition by the Democrats (who are committing all the cheating), then the 2024 elections are already over, and the United States and its citizens are the losers.

lindylou
lindylou
7 months ago

DUMP Ronna!
get someone who actually supports GOP candidates!

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
7 months ago

Unless RNC Gets Involved, rerun 2020, 2022
No Change

Linda
Linda
7 months ago

This is why it’s important to keep teaching basic education and patriotism in schools.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
7 months ago

Sorry! Due to Bidenomics, I’ve had to stop sending donations to the Shriners. So if I can’t help children, I can’t help the GOP!

michaelR
michaelR
7 months ago

You can go back to the 2020 election, mid terms and recent elections. In every case, the crats poured astronomical amounts of money into every win. Lets not forget Zukerbucks and his $416 million he poured into three swing states. Right now Biden has somehow managed to acquire massive donations. At lot has come from select businesses and Hollywood big shots. How can that many people want more of the same inept policies from the same party? Never the less, it’s ALL about money.

sdg
sdg
7 months ago

These analysts talk and talk about issues when NONE of it matters if you can’t stop the lying cheating demoncrats, elitists, and tech filth from stealing the certain elections that let them win majorities and the presidency. Its a hopeless cause if 95% of the country actually vote for conservative values and good republicans, but have their votes changed by the Marxist filth mobsters ran by Obama and his henchmen to have voting results favor them.
FIX THAT PEOPLE PERIOD!!!!!
Use whatever means possible to somehow have integrity in our voting results

Pam
Pam
7 months ago

Republicans really need better talking points when it comes to some of these hotter topics. I agree that Ronna McDaniel is not helping the Republican party. She is one of the reasons the party is so sharply divided. If things are going to change, the change must happen within the party to unite it. There must be a way to bring conservatives and America First, Tea party, and not-Democrat people together.
When it comes to abortion, conservatives need to challenge the idea of choice. Plenty of choice still exists! Timing is a large part of choices available. Even in the case of rape, reporting the rape and getting to a hospital allows a procedure to protect against pregnancy and STDs. For birth control, abortion does not need to be the choice. The number of choices before someone becomes pregnant are widely available and come in forms of pills, tubes tied, etc. There are choices that keep a woman’s right to her own body without interfering with the development of a completely different human being. There are better, more convenient options available without nearly the physical and emotional complications that come with an abortion.
As people who need to operate within a two-party structure, we need to get our act together. This consensus needs to include others, not just a top-down, like-it-or-not representation. Common sense makes so much sense!! It is also something that can help build the momentum needed. Time to consult with some people who can actually put some holes into the left ways of thinking. Then conservatives can have the benefit of verbiage to help them come out stronger, more centered, more wise, more appealing than the left.
Come on now! Let’s pull it together so that when it counts, we about on the same page.

Ben Ray
Ben Ray
7 months ago

Some of the article has merit and definitely many of the comments below.

  1. Conservatives and Republicans need to get their act together and come together on a united front. They need to be engaged and not just sitting on the sidelines complaining. They need to put on their big boy pants, get in the fight and not go off on their own because not everything goes their way or somebody ruffles their feathers… get over it! Our nation is at risk.
  2. There needs to be some major change in the messaging. We are portrayed by the Left as knuckle-dragging, bible-thumping, gun-toting, anti-LGTBQ, anti-Immigrant, Misogynist, racist white supremacist looking to destroy our Democracy. And they get away with it! Why is the KKK called alt-Right? KKK started with the Democrats and have nothing to do with my values.
  3. The Left constantly makes the battle emotional, culture, good vs evil – and win. Because I want secure borders does not make me a bad person. Yes, I feel for many of the migrants coming over our southern border. But we allow over 1 million to enter the nation each year LEGALLY. I feel for those trafficked into the sex trade. I feel for those who are dead because of drugs. I feel for the thousands of US citizens in poverty, living on the streets, deprived of quality education and healthcare because we allow this. I feel for those Americans suffering at the expense of others. Fact: There are over 700 million worldwide living in extreme poverty! Does anybody in the Democratic party really think we can take in all of these people?
  4. The Republicans did a horrible job of tying current problems (inflation, crime, education, etc.) to the local and state elections. Bad vs Good platforms extend to all levels: local, state and federal politicians! It was very clear from the Supreme Court Abortion is a States Rights issue. Why were Republicans not prepared for this? Note: do not make the mistake of now making this the big issue for the Presidential election – it is a States issue!

Conservatives have the high-ground and the better more sensible policies but suck at messaging and execution.

Marlaen Fisher
Marlaen Fisher
7 months ago

It is my impression and those I talk to that Republicans/Conservatives oppose abortion no matter when or circumstances. The people I have discussed this issue with who are pro-abortion are against late term abortion and would be okay with no abortion after the end of the 2nd trimester. They also feel if a girl/woman is raped she should be able to have an abortion. If Republican candidates expressed this opinion on abortion, it would not be a problem for most who are pro-abortion.

Sharon Ducci-Reed
Sharon Ducci-Reed
2 months ago

You didn’t say one word about the deep state about the seventh and eighth floor in the FBI possibly the sixth also the higher-ups you didn’t say one word about the CIA weapon against American citizen lives for the last 15 to 20 years they need to be eliminated you said nothing about the world economic forum or the world health organization these people have been collecting money along with climate change people to use against the American people like guinea pigs and some destructive twisted to reduce population. We need change drastic change

Eileen Starling
Eileen Starling
7 months ago

I left the GOP and Republican Party because of their attitude and lies to the American People.
I am registered as Other with the title of AMERICAN FIRST PARTY.
I do not donate to any party, only to the Candidates I check out that are truly for America First.
We need to dump the name: Grand Old Party. That’s all the Republican Party is (OLD) and younger people laugh at it. Change the party to, America First. Give people the pride to stand up for this country.
The Dems use Democratic, which they are not. Republican need to say Democrat which is correct and define the difference. It’s time for Republicans to use the proper wording.

Rick B.
Rick B.
7 months ago

Election 2023 in Mississippi was a total rout of the Democrats, with Republicans winning all state-wide races, from Governor on down, and also winning majorities in both houses of the state legislature. The trend continued with county-wide elections, (R) appearing after so many winners, several running unopposed. Come on 2024!

johnh
johnh
7 months ago

quote “We are going to have a great country, it is going to be called the United States of America”. …Where is this going?

johnh
johnh
7 months ago

The writer of this article & the Republican party does not recognize or acknowledge the real issue that American voters go to the polls for. Wake up Republicans & ask all American voters and not just what your party supports. And call me a RINO if I do not vote 100% along party lines………..is a big mistake.

anna hubert
anna hubert
7 months ago

If only one person had guts enough to address the problem of drugs Lawlessness homelessness devastated lives The cost to the society is incalculable Manufacturers and suppliers need to be eliminated in any way possible They are mass murderers and should be treated as such No mercy No false sentiments I’d like to know where the candidates stand on that one They are prepared to take on mother nature but are hopeless when it comes to drug dealers? Where do parties stand on that nobody knows

Paul
Paul
7 months ago

Irregardless I will vote for Trump again. The Democrats Demonized Trump because he knew their policies and what there plans for the country are.
I sincerely hope Trump gets to run in 2024.
If he doesn’t there are other Republicans that would be almost as good.

Ben Franklin
Ben Franklin
7 months ago

I’ve got a good idea. Let’s analyze the heck out of why we lost, and then go and nominate the same guy and HOPE we don’t lose again.
Or we could nominate a great candidate in Ron DeSantis and actually win.
(Negative 17 votes coming.)

Secret Service agents rush Donald Trump off the stage.(AP: Evan Vucci)
President Joe Biden greets President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, Wednesday, November 15, 2023, at the Filoli Estate in Woodside, California.(Official White House Photo by Carlos Fyfe)
President Joe Biden speaks on the phone with Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to discuss his approval of a FEMA disaster declaration in response to the impacts of Hurricane Beryl, Tuesday, July 9, 2024, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

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