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Republicans Forgot Their Message in the Pursuit of Pet Issues

Posted on Friday, November 11, 2022
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by Daniel Berman
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150 Comments
Republicans

AMAC Exclusive – By Daniel Berman

Throughout the Middle Ages, the greatest reason armies lost battles tended not to be strategy on either side or technological advantage. Rather, it was the failure of one side or the other to maintain discipline when their forces were on the cusp of victory. Countless times, an army would very nearly drive their opponents from the battlefield, only to let down their guard, assume victory was in hand, and proceed to loot the enemy’s baggage train or camp. If they were lucky, the only consequence would be to allow their foes to escape unpursued. If fortune were not so indulgent, their scattered and disorganized forces would be easy prey to a counterattack.

The 2022 midterm elections did not go the way Republicans had hoped. Whether the GOP emerges with narrow House and Senate majorities or not, almost everyone expected more. Strikingly, it was not just Republicans who anticipated a “Red Wave.” The tone of Democratic commentators, the spending decisions of Democratic campaign committees, and Joe Biden’s own decision to make himself scarce on election night television, indicated that Democrats also expected a shellacking. So, what happened?

The answers are many. Democrats, the media, and even a few Republicans have pointed to the abortion issue and whether the fall of Roe v. Wade energized voters. It now seems likely that although Democrats’ messaging on abortion was abysmal (taking the unpopular position of rejecting all limits), nonetheless, a portion of the public was likely motivated by the issue despite, rather than because of, the Democrats’ poor messaging.

The same is true of their messaging on other issues. Did Democratic warnings of “democracy in danger,” warnings Democratic strategists themselves believed had fallen flat, actually work? What about education and crime? And if so, and these issues cost the GOP nationally, why did crime perform so well as an issue for the GOP in New York and California? Why did abortion fail to hurt the GOP in Texas and Florida, the former of which, along with Georgia, has a “heartbeat bill”? Why, finally, did a backlash against the GOP’s supposed overreach on education not manifest in Florida this year? Florida was ground zero for education wars, yet a backlash did not occur.

A possible answer lies not in the issues the GOP adopted, but rather the way in which they were messaged, especially as the GOP became more confident in its prospects, watching the Biden administration melt down. Here, it is worth drawing a distinction between a position, which is what a candidate or party proposes on a given topic, and their message. In the case of the Republican Party, there were a host of issue positions, often varying dramatically between candidates. The same was true on the Democratic side. Democrats might argue that stop and frisk does not work and they oppose it, while Republicans support it, but the message that all Republicans had was that Democrats cared more about criminals than about crime.

The distinction between issue and message is important, because in many ways it was on their message, rather than their positions, where the GOP’s issue advantage appears to have vanished, along with the “Red Wave.”

In the 2021 Virginia Governor’s race, Glenn Youngkin famously focused on education and crime in the Commonwealth. His actual positions on CRT in schools and COVID-19 were nuanced, even ambiguous. But his message was clear. Democrats in Virginia were prioritizing ideology over the interests of parents and children. Their focus on equity was coming at the expense of academic quality, in the process hurting real kids. Their concern for abstract social justice and academic theory was causing division and strife among students from different backgrounds. Youngkin promised to take the politics out of schools and put the parents and educators back in.

This was a message that in the first half of 2022, Republicans took national with substantial success, only to abandon it in the second half of the year when they conflated policy ends with the message and ended up undermining the latter with the former. Initially, Republicans focused on removing ideological indoctrination from the schools, whether it be sexual content without parental consent, or political theories regarding race and history. They zeroed in on Democratic efforts to attack merit selection and standardized tests, and the social justice view that, in essence, too many Asian students were doing too well. This message resonated even with Democrats and contributed to the recall of three members of the San Francisco School district.

Republicans were even able to link this message about putting parents and students first to Democratic efforts to extend COVID-19 restrictions beyond their sell-by date. Getting kids back in school and ensuring they were actually educated while there and evaluated on what they did rather than who they were was a message that could appeal to everyone.

Sadly, this was not the message on education that Republicans closed with. Youngkin and Ron DeSantis in Florida had been determined to pose as “Education Governors” who were the defenders of the overwhelming majority of good teachers and parents. But that message soon gave way to a focus among Republican activists on the claim that kids were being “groomed” by teachers and even their own parents into gender confusion. While there was undoubtedly a genuine debate to be had about the propriety of schools having these discussions with children and at what age, the activists and prominent conservatives online abandoned any reasonable message in that regard, and began using words like “groomer,” and hinting that the teachers themselves were pedophiles.

The final degeneration of this message was an obsession with “Drag Queens” and “Drag Shows.” Again, while the phenomenon of “Drag Queen Story Hours” is disturbing, virtually no normal American had been aware of that phenomenon for a reason. Candidates who suggested that the most important issue in education was a pressing need to ban “Drag Shows” in school ended up coming off as bizarre at best. In the final weeks of the campaign, even some GOP gubernatorial candidates were talking this way. Their consultants presumably assured them that the education issue had been a winner for Youngkin in Virginia. Lost in translation was that Youngkin had done it all in a very different way.

Most importantly, the message of parental rights, and the government getting the schools back to teaching was lost. Even if it was a minority of GOP candidates who spoke this way, and a caricatured version of their message, the perception that the GOP wanted to improve education and make it work better for parents and kids was lost in favor of the impression that they were mad at the system.

None of this is to say that these Republicans were not raising important issues. The point is that it matters how you talk about those issues, especially when you are a first time Congressional candidate or Senate hopeful who voters are hearing from for the very first time. Many Republicans, like a medieval army confident in victory, stopped pressing their battlefield advantage and began looting the Democrats’ metaphorical baggage train for the juiciest red meat and most intoxicating morsels with which to own the libs. The Democrats turned around and took full advantage.

This, in microcosm, is what happened to the GOP’s national narrative. The case against Joe Biden and the Democrats is and was quite simple. Due to ideological obsessions, the Biden administration is not serious about government. Its obsession with identity politics and doctrinal fixations led it to hire mediocrities who contributed to failure across the board. Its determination to pay off its key constituency groups led it to spend vast quantities of money fueling inflation. “Green” ideology contributed to high gas prices, leaving America vulnerable to Putin. Ideology prevents the administration from controlling the border or dealing with crime. The Biden administration has put ideology over outcomes every step of the way.

The advantage of this message is that it can appeal even to voters who do not agree with Republicans on every policy issue, by arguing that the Biden Democrats simply do not care to try to govern. It would have been remarkably effective even in Democratic strongholds.

The key to that message was that the GOP had to be serious about government. Leaders as diverse as Greg Abbott in Texas, Ron DeSantis in Florida, Mike DeWine in Ohio, and Brian Kemp in Georgia demonstrated that voters rewarded focus. This had nothing to do with whether they were “Trump-endorsed” or not. Lee Zeldin, endorsed by Trump, did better than any Republican in two decades in New York. He is also pro-life and voted for the Electoral College challenges in 2020. But he showed a serious focus on crime and education and attacked Democrats for their failures on those issues.

Likewise, to the extent the Dobbs decision hurt Republicans, that damage almost certainly had far more to do with the lack of preparation for messaging the aftermath than the decision itself. For hardcore pro-choice voters, Dobbs was clearly a disaster, and for pro-lifers it was clearly a victory. But for many voters, the main feature of Roe had been to allow everyone to focus on other issues. They didn’t want to fight about it, and they didn’t want to think about it. But after the Supreme Court decision, suddenly, officials from Governors and legislators right down to local sheriffs had to figure out what their position was. Many conservatives tried to spin this as an advantage. After all, they argued, didn’t this give more choice to states?

The problem with “choice” is the paradox of choice. Namely, that the more choices anyone has, the more work is involved in deciding between them. In politics, that means more disagreement. Even in cases where agreement existed among voters, such as on late-term abortions, debates had to occur on exceptions, and even if everyone agreed on exceptions, such as for the life of the mother, laws require careful drafting. Liability has to be strictly defined, burdens of proof set, guidelines written. The consequence of Dobbs for many voters was to introduce a complicated issue into every layer of government, and one which had to be resolved immediately, before everything else. An issue which politicians even within the GOP could not agree on.

Even for many pro-life voters, the timing of some of the Republican legislatures’ actions this year was reckless. This new political issue was being inserted into the process in the midst of rising gas prices, exploding inflation, a war in Europe, and a crisis over education. The country was given virtually no time to digest the decision outside the context of a heated election. It would be no surprise if the data ultimately show that abortion passions on Election Day ran high. Even if Democrats bungled the message, Republicans seem to have bungled it even worse.

It is worth noting that one of the commonalities of the states where the GOP did exceptionally well (Florida, Georgia, and Texas) was that all had passed abortion restrictions, but all three had also then drawn a clear line. Having passed those restrictions, six-week heartbeat bills in Texas and Georgia and a 15-week ban in Florida, they made clear they did not want to litigate the nuances of the first six weeks and exceptions, and that the issue was resolved for the year. This was “good government.” They had acted and then moved on. This prevented it from becoming an overriding issue.

In a touch of irony, the Republican Party as a whole might have been better served, for once, by embracing a suggestion of Senator Lindsey Graham: his proposed 15-week federal limit. It would have provided certainty, and allowed every candidate to stand on exceedingly defensible ground. Instead, by forcing a nationwide high-stakes debate on abortion, but one in which Republicans lacked any clear vision for how it should be resolved, they distracted themselves and everyone else from crime and inflation. Then, in their defense of returning it to the democratic process, they had the temerity to argue that legislative infighting and deadlock was something the voters should be grateful for.

These issues mattered on their own. When brought together, they paint a picture of a Republican Party which took the issues on which they had a winning hand, and pursued them to unfortunate extremes by losing sight of the message they were trying to convey to the voters. Having indicted the Biden administration for overseeing ideologically induced chaos, they should not be surprised that the result was a draw, one in which partisans on both sides voted in a partisan manner, and everyone else cast ballots based on their feelings about individual candidates.

The GOP needs to learn from this. Identity politics has badly hurt liberal America and the Democratic Party by fracturing it into warring cliques. The GOP, reveling in premature victory, indulged itself in the same sort of entitled naval-gazing. It cannot afford to make that mistake again going forward.

Daniel Berman is a frequent commentator and lecturer on foreign policy and political affairs, both nationally and internationally. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics. He also writes as Daniel Roman.

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Gary J Toth
Gary J Toth
1 year ago

And, now the blame game starts. I want to know two things:

  1. Where’s the much-touted Kraken?
  2. Where’s the “Red Tsunami” (Supposedly, the second one!)?

It’s one thing to try to urge people to vote. It’s quite another to build up hope in people where politicians are involved. Now, let the finger-pointing start. It should be just as thoroughly tiring and pathetic as the lead up to the elections.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

Trump comments hurt overall esp to DeSantis
Hes unhinged
Feel for 2020 election steal
Make him kingmaker
Otherwise Desantis

Rik
Rik
1 year ago

The Republican Party Leadership IS STUPID! . . . The ONLY people dumber are the voters who elected Communist Democrats! . . . I’ve professionally dealt with the public all my life and I know how stupid the average general public is. So these latest elected leaders don’t surprise me one bit. But having the Republican Party Leadership show how stupid they are just staggers me. Maybe it’s time for a new separate Conservative Party independent from the Jackass RINO’s that dominate the Republican Party. . . . I’m ready @

PaulE
PaulE
1 year ago

The goal of the midterms was to re-take one of the two chambers of Congress to stop the Democrat’s agenda for America in its tracks. That victory was likely to come from the re-taking the House and we appear still on track to do that. That was the realistic perspective based on how this country is completely bifurcated in terms of values all across the board. The Senate was always going to be a long shot at best and we would have been extremely luckly to end up with a 51-49 majority with the seats in play. The talk in recent weeks of Republicans ending with possibly 53, 54 or even 56 Senate seats were based on nothing more than conjecture and speculation from talking heads on TV.

All the talk of a massive “red wave” from inside the Beltway political consultants, pundits and MSM types was predicated on a large number of Democrat voters being so fed up with the direction that country has gone in the last 22 months, that they would completely abandon their core political beliefs, have some sort of great epithany or “awakening” and vote Republican. That was the fantasy that was being sold to the public willing to listen. So expectations of the public, on the Republican side, were elevated to unrealistic levels. Decades of unforced errors have validiated it.

Was the messaging from a lot, but not all Republicans terrible this time around. You betcha! Republicans have stunk at messaging in terms of focus and message consistency for years and years. At some point, the old guard establishment in the congressional leadership and the RNC have to decide if they really want to do effective messaging or if they are content to simply coast from election cycle to election cycle by saying nothing of substance. Somehow I doubt many in the old guard want to have that honest discussion and are perfectly content to just continue with business as usual.

This election cycle was about middle of the road in terms of missing easy opportunities to leverage the many mistakes of Democrats into Republican victories in a number of races in terms of messaging. There is a reason we have the saying “Republicans snatching defeat from the jaws of victory” after so many elections are called.

Congressional leadership, meaning McConnell and McCarthy, certainly didn’t do much of anything to ensure congressional candidates had anything of value, in terms of messaging, to work with on the campaign trail. The much hyped New Contract with America that was announced in February of this year by Gingrich for deliverly in by early spring, didn’t arrive until the fall. Months late and so watered down, because neither MCConnell nor McCarthy wanted to commit to any specific short-term hard deliverables, that it was instantly irrelevant. To top things off McConnell went out of his way to pull campaign funding from several Senate candidates, because they were backed by Trump and likely wouldn’t support McConnell for leader of the Senate. So we had LOTS of things in play, from messaging issues to lack of campaign financing, while the Democrats brought their usual “A” game in terms of a unified, consistent message of hate, envy and lies and coupled that with MASSIVE amounts of money to out-spend a lot of the Republican candidates. Yet we still managed to eek our our initial goal of flipping the House back to Republican control and demoting Nancy Pelosi to Minority Leader, if not retired altogether.

Joe Rea
Joe Rea
1 year ago

The Red Tsunami never materialized and never could. Because of the Demographics of the various districts Republicans can get at most 230 Congressmen. More likely 225 is the max. So far they picked up a couple of surprise wins and lost at most 5 winnable districts. Hopefully they will get a majority in the House and FIRE PELOSI but if they fail it is because conservative voters in districts like Alaska and maybe Colorodo and Arizona and New Mexico didnt understand the importance of keeping those seats out of Pelosi’s control . In the Senate, if the Republicans do not take control and Fire Schumer, it falls on the voters in Arizona Georgia and Pennsylvania. I can never understand how voters in an Energy State would support Fedderman and Schumer but I guess Pennsylvania like most of the Northeast is a lost cause. Arizona and Georgia 2 conservative states with potentially 4 pro Schumer Democrat Senators the issue isnt messaging or Roe or Dobbs or Trump. It is pure and simple ” Stupid Voters . Georgians were smart enough to vote for Kemp for Governor and Dumb enough to vote for a Pro Schumer Democrat for Senate. Fortunately they will have another chance but if 2020 is any indication they will vote to keep Schumer so he and the Democrats can continue to screw Georgia and the Country. Congrats to the voters in Florida and Upstate NY who understand the importance of their votes for House Republicans and in Florida’s and Ohio’s case Senate Republicans

Steven
Steven
1 year ago

Messaging is important. One item not mentioned but a good tactic by the Dems is that “they will take your Social Security away. I saw no counter punch and that cost us some serious votes.

J. Farley
J. Farley
1 year ago

Remember the old Will Rogers statement, I don’t belong to an organized Political party that he was a Democrat, well folx that’s the way I feel, I don’t belong to an organized Political Party, I am a Republican, the more I think about the Election the more I get P.O’d this was as bad as it could be and the sadist thing of all they are going to reward McCarthy, McConnell, and Mcdanial’s, you all need to think about this, when Trump won, Reince Priebus was the head of the RNC, and we under new leadership at the RNC have lost in 2018, 2020 and barely made this year look like a win.
The Republicans are full of RINO’s and we are going to promote them and give them a pat on the back.
We are a ship without a Rudder, or a Skipper to lead us to the Lifeboats.
What a waste, of time and effort.
Someone needs to really ask McConnell what the hell he was thinking the way he spent the money he did on that RINO Heffer in Alaska Hatchet face Murkowski.

Chuck
Chuck
1 year ago

DeSantis and Trump are two alpha males sparring over control of GOP. Message to both, particularly Trump, get over yourself. It isn’t about you. Join forces together and focus on crime, inflation, border security. Support people who can communicate (candidates.) The message needs to be stated concisely and understandably. Resonate. Then you will see a “red wave.”

JJ Johnson
JJ Johnson
1 year ago

The only thing that matters NOW and going forward, is that Conservative Americans finally get OFF the couch and start holding Congressional Republicans accountable to US! They will not oversee themselves. It is the Duty and the Right of the People to monitor and guide their actions, hold them to Constitutional Leadership, and Remove them when they violate it. We MUST ensure, that the Criminal and Unconstitutional actions of the Biden Administration are addressed and Punished, without delay! We have Felons running this country, guilty of everything from Election Fraud to Genocide! We CAN NOT let that stand!!

Patriot Will
Patriot Will
1 year ago

Many of the Republican leaders are very poor at being both strong minded and statesmen. They need to become better at sounding both passionate and intelligent. Many of the more passionate Republican leaders are not very good at communicating in such a manner that their analytical skills are on display to put the Marxist Democrats to shame. Personally, I would be very excited if more Republican politicians were as capable as Ted Cruz in communicating with spark, wit, and logic. I know it’s not fair, but the average Republican politician needs to bring more intellect and spirit to the table than the average Marxist Democrat politician. The propaganda mainstream media are always going to unfairly prop up the Marxist Democrats.

Joseph
Joseph
1 year ago

Relax. The House is ours. Problem is so many people pushed this vote in person on election day crap that it was easy for the media to initially make it look bad for us on election night because they had counted mostly Rat votes but those elections day votes are now finally being counted and we are winning. Look at Lauren Boebert. 2 days ago she was gone, now she is winning. And I could go on and on. And if we pickup Nevada and Walker wins in Georgia the Senate is ours too. Doesn’t matter if it’s 1 seat or 40, same difference. But the House is ours and may the investigations now begin. MAGA

Patriot Will
Patriot Will
1 year ago

At 11:40 AM my comments have been flagged for no fair reason. My comments were measured and rational. Every time this happens I am totally blind sided.

DonS
DonS
1 year ago

The economy has damaged Americans ability to provide financial support to candidates. The constant high pressure demands on Republicans to donate funds was ridiculous and no doubt turned many off from the entire election process! And even after the elections, I continue to receive demands to donate!

The worst and most dangerous method to donate is via credit and or debit cards! WinRed destroyed my desires from donating via plastic! Checks only from now on and due to the process of check writing, it slows the process of generosity way down!

Why is it that GOP screws up and we, the Electorate has to bail them out? Do your damn jobs, elected candidates and didn’t ten, twenty and 50 years ago! YOU pay for it and not us!

Patriot Will
Patriot Will
1 year ago

Republican politicians need to work on being both logical and passionate in even measure to increase their chances of getting through to the American public, since the mainstream media is usually going to prop up the Marxist Democrats.

Felix
Felix
1 year ago

Conservatives will continue to lose the majority because they have been ignorant over the past decades to what progressive teachers and professors have been indoctrinating our youth with, CRT, LGQRST and socialism. Exit polls from the mid-term showed that most of the younger generation voted for far-left candidates. Let’s face it, a majority of conservative parents were not aware of what was being propagated in our schools before the pandemic revealed it in the at home schooling. This ship is on the move, and like an aircraft carrier it will take a long time and distance to turn it around!

Vilas Gamble
Vilas Gamble
1 year ago

After the pandemic and all that the Dems did to curtail our Constitutional rights the Republicans in my mind blew it because they did not respond to the claim that “democracy” was on the ballot. If Republicans took control of Congress democracy as we know would end. My response would have been that any time there is an election, that is democracy, perverted as it may be in some countries. Given all that the Dems did and have done for years to take control of every aspect of our lives, I would say that Freedom is on the ballot and the Dems attempts to make themselves a permanent majority would result in the loss of a free-market society and turn us into a socialist nation in which the freedoms we have enjoyed for over two hundred years would be gone and then the whole would be darker because the last bastion of Freedom has gone the way of our voters selecting leaders who sell them the false promise of the government will take care of them.

One post-election quote that caught my eye was made by Ron Johnson, Senator from Wisconsin, who said, “how bad do things have to get to vote these people (Dems) out of office?” Apparently, they have to get much worse, if that is possible.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
1 year ago

This is my opinion to and for the American people. We had better hold our leaders feet to the fire and TOTALLY accountable for any action they take for or against our nation. If the Republican party controls the house and the senate, God help them if they don’t do something to sort out this mess. Restart the pipeline, sell oil instead of buying it, plus lower the price at the pump. Close the border, send convicts released from prison in other countries back where they belong. Find ways to protect the innocent children who have undergone, God knows what for something many of them didn’t ask for and put a cork in printing money. The moral laws ( preferences) are something only a shift in individual integrity or goals will heal us.

John Riley
John Riley
1 year ago

Looks like a failure of party leadership to unify the party message. Who are the leaders? What was their message (if any)? I for one did not hear it. I bear no burden I voted for the only republican running in my district.

William C Smith
William C Smith
1 year ago

Incompetence does not supplant ignorance. Better to continue with ignorance and allow time for incompetence to be overcome.

Steve
Steve
1 year ago

I believe the problem is that voters have become apathetic, My County has 82,000 registered and less than 35,000 voted, I suspect that total is only because Marijuana was on the ballot or it would have been less.
When it takes days and weeks to get a vote tally from critical States it leaves a question as to whether or not my vote will count is also a factor.

Phil
Phil
1 year ago

The proven and established platform issues on which the conservative movement has rallied recently are crime, the economy and illegal immigration. Conflating the Gordian knot of abortion with “Conservatism” was a perfect example of inserting a pet interest with fatal results. Indeed, the Conservative movement seems to have been hijacked by Cathololic absolutists with a moral imperitive to ban or restrict abortions as “murder”. As noble as this may have been (and I happen to agree!), anyone should have seen that is would alienate most suburban and/or college-educated women.

Denise
Denise
1 year ago

While there are many valid points in this article, the most important one has been completely left out … The fact that the democrats cheated yet again!! In almost every state there were problems with the machines, whether they ran out of paper or just plain did not work. In Arizona Katie Hobbs stopped the counting of ballots at 5pm. And by the way, why was she even allowed to be a part of that process!! She should be disqualified on that issue alone. So while you’re focusing on the fact that Republicans didn’t focus enough on the issues, you should be touching on the fact that we had massive cheating yet again!!!

Chris
Chris
1 year ago

“In a touch of irony, the Republican Party as a whole might have been better served, for once, by embracing a suggestion of Senator Lindsey Graham:”
RINO Lindsey Graham Voted for Joe Biden’s spending bill and approved Joe Biden’s judicial picks. “Embracing Lindsey Graham”? NO Thanks

dave
dave
1 year ago

I’m a little surprised that you missed the boat here. The reason that things “seem to go not as planned” will be shown in due rime. This was actually a massive sting operation and worked perfectly. Just give it time to play out. Paul Newman and Robert Redford would be proud of the way this was pulled off.

Linda Goodman
Linda Goodman
1 year ago

Thank you for that article. We need to focus on the issues, the goals rather than what the other person is doing or not doing. The question I always ask is what are you doing? What are you going to do? Why? Is it because you believe this is right? Or is it because the other side stands for or against it?
I also look at the respect that one shows to him/herself, their constituents, and their opponents. I find it hard to listen to anyone who is disrespectful and prideful.

anna hubert
anna hubert
1 year ago

Blame it on Rio blame it on Mame The main culprit is the voter who still votes Dem. and the Dem.machine that openly cheats jeering at us because they can

zoe frost
zoe frost
1 year ago

Geeze AMAC, you are better than this. It wasn’t going off-message, look where and who lost, or are waiting for ballots to STILL be counted. The reason key R’s lost or are on the fence is due to massive Commie Demon ballot cheating, again.

Grace
Grace
1 year ago

The message was clear. The Democrat leftist are brainwashed. Globalism and loathing of the Republic is now in their DNA. The only hope for them is a complete retooling. However with the present regime in charge for the next two years and intent on completing the destruction of the Republic there is no time left. In the meantime a victory smirking Biden will continue to remind the humbled right wing that he won and we lost. Forever? Maybe he is right. Our worst mistake? To declare victory before the battle is won. It gave Biden licence to rub it in for the next two years and beyond. So, be prepared for a constant drubbing, go about important business and keep your mouths shut.

David Weinstein
David Weinstein
1 year ago

Almost everything you say in this article is true. The problem with it is that none of this is really provable and even if it was, it is also mostly about abstract concepts that would never translate to the real world. Worst, it obscures or turns attention away from the single biggest reason the “red wave” did not materialize. That is Donald Trump and the absurd support for him and his me-only demands for loyalty….not to ideas, not to messaging, not to party, not to country, just to him. While it’s likely true that the “wave” did not materialize for a combination of reasons, and you can always point to anecdotes to supposedly support a theory (such a claiming there was no education mis-messaging because there was no revolt in Florida), every responsible report shows it is either likely or at least more likely that the races in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Arizona, to name only 3, might well have gone to GOP if losers whose only claim to quality was Trump’s endorsement, had not been the nominees.

R.Thomas Guth
R.Thomas Guth
1 year ago

Republicans must remember to never, ever, underestimate the number of stupid people in the country. And never underestimate the number of those stupid people who get all their information from the corrupted mainstream media. And never neglect the fact that money buys elections. The approach to future elections depends on these issues being addressed.

Leslie Jones
Leslie Jones
1 year ago

In order to reach a decision about what happened and why, we need a detailed accounting of who voted by gender, age, racial profile etc. For example, did more young women vote that expected or in prior elections.
Analyses are useless without this dara.

Del
Del
1 year ago

Ronna has failed as RNC leader several times now and needs to be replaced with someone who is more savvy to this messaging that voters will hear and heed. Republicans always seem to shoot themselves in the foot, no matter how poor the Democrat policies are. I believe most prefer the Republican policies but, as is clear, the candidates aren’t practiced in how to convey those policies to voters. This needs a lot of work before elections of 2024, even if more media specialists need to be hired as guides through the training for both speech writers and the candidates.

rifleman
rifleman
1 year ago

I do not believe it was a change in approach by the Repubs as much as it was a change in ads on the part of the media. The media is not our friend! As election day approached, the advertising went from about 60/40 Dem over Repub to about 95/5 Dem over Repub. At least on the programming that I watch. That kind of media blitz, mainstream and social, is very difficult to overcome, regardless of the message.
One could blame it on the greater monetary advantage of the Dems. But I believe it was calculated and deliberate on the part of the media moguls. Difficult to prove, yes. But when one considers the one-world-government/one-world-economy argument put forth by Dr. Mercola, it fits perfectly.

ezed2109
ezed2109
1 year ago

Totally agree the main problem for Republicans has been their messaging – they suck at it. When then looking at issues they approach it wrong because Democrats have laid out a narrative message the derails debate on issues and replaced it with emotional fear.
I do disagree with the author on the position Lindsey Graham took. His announcement to try and put a national policy in place made it a huge and very emotional national issue. Republican Congressional candidates would have been much better suited saying the Supreme Court basically ruled there is nothing in the Constitution on it so therefore it goes to the states. To my mind if you want a national Federal policy it would take an Amendment that basically establishes exactly when does the unborn acquire the same inalienable rights and protections to life and liberty each of us enjoy?
School issues can go down 10 different rabbit holes… COVID Vax, Mask Mandates, CRT, gender fluidity, drag queens… parents just want to hear they have control over the raising of their child NOT the government and definitely not Washington DC.
Immigration is another huge fail… how does wanting secure borders make somebody anti-Immigrant? The definition of an Immigrant is an alien who came into the country LEGALLY and has been granted legal permanent residency to live and work here. Republicans should have been extolling our rich history of Immigration! (No such thing as a Illegal Immigrant.) Sure we need reforms but has there been anything put forward by Republicans? No. I would not offer path to citizenship for Illegals; I would give consideration to Dreamers; in return close the catch-and-release, anchor baby, etc. loopholes and offer consideration to increase LEGAL immigration quotas – Welcome!
You got it on the crime.
I am getting tired of being called a racist also!
Messaging and standing strong with better solutions!

Steve
Steve
1 year ago

Your listening to the rag Free Press. Republicans regained the house and if not for being outspent four to one the senate is still in play . What’s needs to be done is do your job and get legislation Done ! Don’t come on the boob tube and say Nancy Pelosi is out , who cares about the old bag .

Denise
Denise
1 year ago

Sadly far to many “republicans” are little different than democrats…not to mention they have an aversion to street fighting what they should know is wrong on so many counts. George Wallace (definitely NOT a favorite!) said decades ago “There’s not a dimes worth of difference between democrats and republicans”…to that I would add “but there are a few Republicans who get it”…precious few.
If one would do their historical research, today’s republicans obviously have no clue what this nation was founded on through blood, sweat and tears not to mention the threats from the dictator in England at that time…now the dictators are “home grown” democrats who’re bleeding from the eyes for one party rule and will do anything and everything to get it…bar nothing!

Philip Hammersley
Philip Hammersley
1 year ago

Must disagree with touting Graham’s proposed abortion bill. He should NOT have announced it BEFORE the election. This just poked a hornet’s nest and fired up the DIMMs. We had just said that SCOTUS had returned the issue to the states. If we had gained 30 or 40 seats, THEN announce the bill!

Alfred Henneberger
Alfred Henneberger
1 year ago

One problem we need to face and correct is to stop allowing opponents to vote in party primaries. This is like allowing the fox to vote on whether a chicken should become dinner. Stronger or better candidates can be shunted aside for ones the opponents can more easily beat.

Max
Max
1 year ago

Overall, the Republicans have shot themselves in the foot for not having a solidified party platform. They will barely have the House and possibly the Senate. However, any legislation that is passed will be subject to Biden’s veto and the Republicans will not have the strength to override it. TWO MORE YEARS OF TURMOIL.

Eric Nylund
Eric Nylund
1 year ago

Republican leadership is poor and the party is not cohesive but this article doesn’t address the big problem. On election night, Michelle Bachman said the obvious. Biden’s approval is ridiculously low, like 28%. With that kind of dismal approval, it is historically IMPOSSIBLE for there not to be a Republican wave. The democrats stole the 2020 election, it wasn’t dealt with in many states, like Pennsylvania where I live, so they did it again.

John D. Beach
John D. Beach
1 year ago

“So, what happened?” America has been “dumbed down.” For 30 years, nearly the entire period of the massive growth of the PC/digital industry and the internet, artificial intelligence has become a reservoir of distractions from substance, the things that, really, matter. Democrats, for 60 years have promoted a devaluation of human life. From the horrendously destructive policies of the Viet Nam war era, the social and sexual revolutions of the 1960s, the Republican overture to China in 1972, the changes in domestic, economic, energy, judicial, political and military policies in 1973, (the worst year in American history), the constitutional rule of law has been thwarted by the partisan-political, majority rule of Democrats. They have been vociferous about their intentions to create majority rule by Democrats, to the exclusion and oppression of all opposition. They have subverted the propriety of the applicable equality of due process of law regarding elections. They have caused doubt, suspicion and unrest due to their actions to change the order with which elections are conducted, such that results in many races are, still, not known, despite the accelerated-calculation ability of computer tabulation. Democrats have asserted a one-sided control of the processes of elections. They have caused such substantial distrust that January 6 resulted. Congress has acted in misguided fashion, investigating, but, rarely, prosecuting the actual culprits having caused the problems needing to be investigated. Trust of government is more due to dependency on government assistance because of financial crises than indicative of actual trust of government.
Disinformation on the part of pollsters and pundits, a calculated strategy by Democrats, has worked for them. Having, publically, forecasted “a red wave,” then, “a red tsunami,” the effect was to limit voter participation by the expectation that republicans would win, hand down. Whatever the power of intention, the power of consequences is what must be dealt with. Like the pandemic which enabled the changes in the order of the processes of election, the intentions and the consequences have been calculated by Democrats and Americans are suffering from a lack of accurate representation.
Biden, still, has not achieved a consent of the governed, so he governs by executive order, unconstitutionally.

J. Farley
J. Farley
1 year ago

The Republicans didn’t have a message that they could share with the Voting base, they just gave us the same old sign! — The Middle Finger!
McConnell, McCarthy, and the leader of the RNC, Mcdaniels have to go!

James J
James J
1 year ago

everyone on this site Complains about how the Demoncrats and Republicans should have done this or that.. the only problem I see is you let the EMPLOYEES do what they Will..YOU do NOTHING but sit and Complain.. We Employ these FOOLS.. Quit B*tching and FIGHT BACK or just be a bunch of complacent useful Idiots.. Open Borders Fentanyl Murder in the Streets Indoctrination of Children Full Born ABORTIONS .. Have a Nice Day.. WE ARE THE EMPLOYERS .. Shut this Crap DOWN … I Knew we would Never Make it through some Mid-Term B.S. 1776/PedoBiden R.I.P.

James J
James J
1 year ago

Everyone on this site Complains about how the Democrats and Republicans should have done this or that. the only problem I see is you let the Employees do what they Want.. You do nothing but sit and Complain.. We Employee these Fools.. Quit the bit_hing and Fight back or just be a bunch of useful idiots . Open Borders, Fentanyl, Murder, Indoctrination of Children, Full Term Abortion. Have a Nice Day. We are the Employers Shut this crap Down. Mid-Term Elections such bs 1776/ChinaBiden R.I.P.

Rich
Rich
1 year ago

All the republicans need to do is hammer away on the FACTS. Then, educate the weak minded that things will definitely get worse if they continue to vote for socialist/Marxist ideals. The socialist/democrats have an amazing way of changing the narrative and getting their opponents to chase their talking points.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
1 year ago

All I have to say is ENJOY HIGH GAS AND FOOD PRICES, BABY FOOD SHORTAGES, THE THREAT OF WAR, ENERGY SHORTAGES, ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, FENTANYL, CRIME, A $31 TRILLION DEBT, ETC. ETC. on your way to the clinic!

Flyboy
Flyboy
1 year ago

I hope the GOP leadership reads this article as it would be good for them to refer to in the Georgia race in December!

Independent
Independent
1 year ago

As Independent NYers we disagree with you about Zeldin and Trump. Trump is toxic in NYS and he should have stayed away. Zeldin loss the independents just like Trump did! Zeldin focus was on crime and NYC, he ignored upstate NYers and the issues they have been dealing with. Hochul’s ban on oil, natural gas and nuclear is destroying businesses and farmers in NYS..Hochul and Democrats restriction on fertilizer is killing the farmers. Zeldin never discuss any of this, he solely focuses on NYC! We do agree with you about on GOP messaging was a disgrace!! My god they should have cleaned house and instead they will lose the Senate and maybe even the House. They talk about taking the House and investigating the Biden’s and the virus, and how is this going to help working Americans!! The GOP is listening to Trump who wants to get even and if they continue, they will never be in control again!

tempus
tempus
1 year ago

More importantly, most Republicans refuse to admit that the Democrats not only stole the 2020 election, but they also stole the 2022 election. If they did not steal these elections, then a majority of Americans want to destroy the US because they gave the great destroyers power in 2020 and reaffirmed that delegation in 2022.

“The problem with “choice” is the paradox of choice. Namely, that the more choices anyone has, the more work is involved in deciding between them.” Thus, we need a government like China where one person or an extremely small group of people makes the choice for everyone, and, by that, saves the people the agony of having to decide. Perhaps, this is way so many people support the Democrats since they want a small group of elitist to make the choices from everyone.

InsanitySquared
InsanitySquared
1 year ago

As a right-leaning Independent, I am somewhat happy that the Dems did well. The Republicans nominated the stupid, the crazy, the out-of-touch people to run for office. Almost straight out of AMAC comment section, LOL. This was a repudiation of Cult-45. And it is a cult. I voted for Trump in 2020 and I wish I did not. But, ever since then, I supported moderate Republicans and Democrats when their alternative was backed by Trump.

Let me be frank here. It seems that Trump will run again. Sure, he can probably win the Republican nomination but I will vote against him. If Biden is still running in ’24, I will vote for Biden or any other Democrat against Trump even if most of the problems we experience these days are not solved and even get somewhat worse. On the other hand, I can see myself voting for Pence, Pompeo, DeSantis, and almost any other Republican who is not Trump. And I live in a swing state of GA where every vote counts. So, I suggest y’all start paying attention – there are a lot of quiet Independents like me who cannot stand Trump. Don’t even try to start a conversation as to why, just know that Trump is a no-go zone for so many Independents.

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