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Red Wave Meets Blue Riptide

Posted on Friday, November 18, 2022
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by AMAC Newsline
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AMAC Exclusive – By Barry Casselman

Red wave

The new narrative is that the predicted red wave in the 2022 national mid-term elections failed to appear.

Large-scale net gains in the U.S. House and Senate, anticipated by Republicans and feared by Democrats, did not happen. Polls indicating that some Democratic incumbent Senators and House members could lose also did not prove as accurate as conservatives hoped. A blue riptide seemed to cut against the red wave.

But what did actually happen?

The total generic congressional vote gave Republican House candidates about 4 million more votes (about 4 percent) than Democratic candidates received. This was about equal to what most pre-election polls predicted. But many of those who interpreted those generic polls assumed that the totals of congressional vote in large states such as California and New York would have the same margins as the 2020 presidential vote. In fact, the generic vote in such large blues states was much closer than 2020, especially in New York, and so a four-point popular vote lead did not translate into as many seats as expected. Republicans did pick up several seats — enough when all races are decided to narrowly control the U.S. House, one of their two main goals.

Interestingly, when you factor in the unexpected 13-seat GOP gain in the House in 2020, the combined total gain is about average for a mid-term election.

Not a dramatic tsunami, but a key outcome.

In the Senate races, one race has not yet been decided, and will depend on a December 6 run-off in Georgia, as neither candidate received the required 50% of the vote. Many Republicans were anticipating winning more Senate races, but the pre-election polls only predicted that many Senate races Democrats actually won would be close. Democrats will continue to control the Senate.

On a net basis, the 2022 midterms were a modestly positive GOP outcome. Before this year’s elections, Democrats controlled both houses of Congress by small margins, so change of control in one, even by a small margin, has important consequences.

In races for governor, Democrats made a net gain of two. But winning in Massachusetts and Maryland, both very blue states, did not amount to a significant plus, since retiring GOP governors in those very liberal states were not very conservative. Liberals narrowly picked up a governor in Arizona, but conservatives defeated a Democratic governor in Nevada.

Both parties handicapped themselves by nominating a few very weak or eccentric nominees for some offices. The quality of candidates does matter a great deal, and this election reinforced this important political rule.

Campaign funding also matters. Democrats outraised and outspent Republicans dramatically in several close races. Democrats benefitted from Act Blue, their small-dollar fundraising platform, and from very large funding from super-rich donors through numerous SuperPACs. Their financial advantage in 2022 enabled them to advertise early in the campaign and then blitz at the end in critical contests, something Republicans rarely could or did match.

Fearing a red tsunami, Democrats went hardball and personal in the final days of the campaign in several close races. Like it or not, this strategy often works, and it seemed to have rescued several liberal candidates from possible defeat.

Second thoughts after initial feelings of disappointment for Republicans indicate a more positive sense of what happened in the 2022 national mid-term elections. On the other hand, Democrats will still feel considerable relief that the GOP did not win a rout.

The consequences for the 2024 presidential election might be very interesting. A GOP landslide in 2022 would have probably forced President Biden to announce he would not seek a second term, something many Democrats called for before the 2022 election. Now, however, this outcome would seem much more in doubt.

At the same time, the impressive re-election win in Florida of Governor Ron DeSantis gives Republicans a credible alternative for their party’s nomination — against former President Donald Trump (who just publicly announced he will run again in 2024). Fair or not, some conservatives are blaming Mr. Trump for their disappointing results in 2022. Of course, the 2024 cycle has barely begun, but it seems that the 2022 cycle will have some impact on the next presidential campaign.

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ezed2109
ezed2109
1 year ago

Good assessment, but there are definitely a dozen other factors one could add to why this was the outcome we had.
There was some dirty dealing, but so far no reports of anything to the extent we had in 2020. We really need to be able to hold safe a secure elections that do not take weeks.
House Republicans tried to come out with their Commitment to America platform but was not sold well and we also have the Risk Scott’s Rescue America and then the RINOs who are part of the CYA platform. Perfect example, of that would be Mitch McConnell’s use of campaign funds. $9 million to an Alaska Republican going against another Republican… are you kidding me?
We had some great candidates in NJ but working with them it was clear the GOP was MIA!
Lindsey Graham allowed the left to make abortion a major Federal campaign issue when it should have just passed onto the States as an issue.
Finally, although the Jan 6th hearings have been lame the Left has successfully spun it into a full blown insurrection by the evil and radical Trump supporters looking to over-throw your Democracy.
The Left won again on messaging, emotions and fear and the Republicans were not as successful as they could have been because they shot themselves in the foot.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

Red Fizzle due to:

o GOP NOT United
o Early voting
o Indoc voters vote Blue
o TV ads blocked some states
o voting software issues
o Slow counting ballots
o DC RNC DNC estd win
o GOP wont adapt, adopt Dem voting models

Or lose 2024

Urge RNC Task Force on Elections if serious

Veteran
Veteran
1 year ago

I wouldn’t call it a riptide so much, with all the “anomalies” in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Colorado, Nevada,… I would call it more of a “Fliptide” again, but hey it worked for them in 2020, didn’t it?

Rik
Rik
1 year ago

Stupid Republicans play by the Rules while Democrats make up the Rules as needed! . . . I’m sick and tired of the stupid Republicans getting out maneuvered every election. THEY NEVER LEARN!

Dennis Belotti
Dennis Belotti
1 year ago

The damn Republicans never learn that to fight a beast ( Democrats) in the gutter you have to jump in the gutter with him.
They need to get down and dirty to save this country from Socialism. We the people need to keep their feet to the fire so they know who they represent. That requires mass protests and marches.

Honey
Honey
1 year ago

Can we stop with the innuendos please? I hate “some conservatives blame Trump” for the disappointing results. I hate when liberals do it and they do it all the time – Many believe, there is anger about…
That is not news. News is supposed to list facts and inclusions of nebulous phrases like it is popularly believed irritate me. They are used instead of thinking or reporting.

It is difficult not to suspect foul play when a few states withhold the vote for a week or more after election night. Waiting to see how many votes they need to win?

And 200 out of 222 of Trump’s candidates won. Those are pretty good odds. And if states are going to use unsolicited mail in ballots and not count them for a week or so after, how are we supposed to trust the results? So Trump’s odds could have been even better than that. I will remain unconvinced that Lake did not win that governorship. And Laxalt his seat.

Harold
Harold
1 year ago

I agree that the Republicans need to start playing by the same underhanded rules used by the Democrats. However, the Democrats control the FBI, DOJ and now even our military. If Republicans started using the same shenanigans as the Democrats, there would be massive investigations, more prime time show trials and prison time for the “offenders.” Just look at how the Left ignored the hundreds of riots in 2020 but portrayed 50 people being herded into the Capitol as worse than Pearl Harbor.

Philip Hammersley
Philip Hammersley
1 year ago

When you have friendly-fire from McConnell and Romney (among others), it’s hard to win a war! People in KY and UT, both of these things are up for election in 2024! Encourage someone to run against them in the primary, then get out the vote!

johnh
johnh
1 year ago

It seems like the comments on this board feel the mid-term election was rigged. I would like to see AMAC run a poll & ask how many people believe or deny our elections? And one choice is if you are an election denier , did you vote or did you stay home cuz your vote does not count anyway.

johnh
johnh
1 year ago

John McCain was very popular in Arizona, and my opinion is that Trump was totally wrong in attacking a person that was a POW during Viet Nam war. Trump had chance to apologize & mend fences with McCain but was too stubborn or narcisstic to use any common sense. How many votes did Trump cost Republicans in AZ ??????????

Frsnk
Frsnk
1 year ago

It surely seems suspicious when at the very beginning of voting, balloting machines break down in Maricopa county. I also feel that if the Republican Party wants to be a dominant force, Rinos need to be excommunicated from the party and it needs to function in a unified manner much like the Dems do.

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