"What happened? Political journalists were suckered by a wave of Republican junk polls in the closing weeks of the campaign. They were also swayed by some reputable polling organizations that, burned by past failures to capture MAGA voters, overweighted their polls to account for that in ways that simply didn’t make sense." - Dana Milbank, Washington Post, 'Biggest Loser of Midterm Elections Was The Media'
"I mistook my own sense of dread for insight and assumed the people predicting a Democratic wipeout must know something. What I should have done was listen to those monitoring the furious political energy unleashed by Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court decision stripping women of their right to bodily autonomy."- Michelle Goldberg, NY Times, 'Republicans Did Not Read The Room'
"As we have seen the anger of America's voters does not always equate to recklessness." - Edward Luce, The Financial Times, 'Biden is still Trump’s worst nightmare'
If some pundit had told the Trumpite minions a month ago that their expected "Red wave" would have turned into a "Red trickle" (to use WSJ op-ed columnist Karl Rove's parlance - see link at bottom), they likely would not have believed it. Or would have accused the pundit of offering fake news. But now, though we still don't know the final result of the 2022 midterms, we do know a red wave never materialized.
Why didn't it? My take is that the Repubs underestimated the abortion response - mainly by independent, college-educated women. They somehow assumed these women would prioritize a gallon of milk costing 25 cents more than in August over their right to bodily autonomy revoked by SC fiat. The 'pukes and their pundits (and polls) also never grasped that the economy is tied to abortion rights - or more accurately, the power to do family planning. In the words of Heidi Sieck of #VotePro Choice:
"There is no difference between reproductive freedom and the economy. If you cannot control how many children you have, you cannot control the bills that you have to pay. They’re the same ... thing.”
That is precisely what the Republicans didn't get, so hepped up were they on the inflation bogey. Gretchen Whitmer, who made abortion rights a major focus of her campaign, handily won reelection, and for the first time since Ronald Reagan was president, Democrats appear to have won control of both houses of the Michigan legislatureThe 2022 midterm elections were widely forecast to be a wipeout for Democrats, let's recall. Some 'seers' - like Anthony Salvanto on CBS- even predicted up to 40-45 seats for the Red side. Didn't happen. And even that pompous bloviator Bill Maher - in his show just before the election - actually joked the Dems had as much chance of keeping their heads above the "wave" as winning the Powerball. 300 million to one.
by David Badash | November 9, 2022 - 7:39am | permalink
— from The New Civil Rights Movement
Control of the House and Senate have not yet been determined but many political experts are now saying that supposed “red wave” Republicans have been projecting does not look like it will happen.
The New York Times’ chief political analyst Nate Cohn at 9:51 PM ET election night, tweeted: “So far, Democrats are running about a point ahead of our expectations outside of Florida, with the GOP lead in the House starting to come down a bit.”
“Not many signs of a red wave at this point,” he says.
Historically the President’s party almost always loses seats in the House. In the last midterm elections, 2018, Donald Trump lost 40 House seats.
by Amanda Marcotte | November 10, 2022 - 8:03am | permalink
"Is the Dobbs effect fading?" blared a headline from October 10 at Politico Playbook, the nerve center for the smug centrist take on Beltway politics.
The story helped kick off a month of hand-wringing in the press about how abortion was fading from voters' minds. Over the summer, there had been a massive national backlash to Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health, the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade. Over the past few weeks, however, pundits insisted, fears about reproductive rights were replaced with concerns about inflation. (Even though, as the talking heads carefully avoided noting, Republicans are a serious threat to the economy as well.) Mid-October, MSNBC pundit Mike Barnicle summed up the argument by arguing that "while abortion is an issue, it nowhere reaches the level of interest of voters in terms of the cost of gas, food, bread, milk, things like that." "Democrats' Reliance on Abortion for Midterms May Not Be Enough," read a USA Today headline, ignoring that the mythical Democrat who only campaigns on abortion is a strawman. In a classic of the circular-firing-squad genre, the New York Times ran a piece elevating those who "say there has been too much focus on abortion rights and too little attention on worries about crime or the cost of living."
by Robert Reich | November 10, 2022 - 8:49am | permalink
— from Robert Reich's Substack
Apart from specific issues and candidates that motivated voters on Tuesday, two contrasting parties continue to emerge in America – one, pro-democracy; the other, anti-democracy or neofascist.
The hallmarks of the neofascist party are its cruel nastiness and unwillingness to abide by election results. In other words: Trumpism.
Both were on full display election night as Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake assailed the “cheaters and crooks” whom she claimed were running elections, “BS and garbage,” “incompetent people,” “propagandists,” and “fake media.”
by Sonali Kolhatkar | November 12, 2022 - 7:15am | permalink
Americans invested in the idea of living in a democracy heaved a collective sigh of relief the day after the 2022 midterm elections when it became clear that the dire predictions of a Republican sweep were overblown. Democrats made greater gains than expected, winning races in both the Senate and the House that they didn’t expect to.
It happened because masses of people cast ballots, defying long-standing historical trends of low midterm turnout. Voters almost matched the high turnout of the 2018 elections when outrage over Donald Trump’s first two years in office pushed Congress into the hands of Democrats. Stung by their opposition’s showing and by Trump’s reelection loss two years later, Republicans ramped up voter suppression efforts, hoping to blunt the impact of an increasingly young, diverse, and enthusiastic electorate.
by Tim Koechlin | November 9, 2022 - 6:45am | permalink
After four decades of low and stable inflation, prices in the US have risen by more than eight percent over the past year. This, without a doubt, is cause for concern.
And there is something like a consensus that inflation—and the pain it's inflicting on "regular Americans"—is likely to cost the Democrats their majorities in the House and the Senate. Republicans—with lots of help from their mendacious media allies (and, also, lots of help from mainstream outlets that should know better) - have been focusing relentlessly on inflation and (by inappropriate conflation) on the "bad economy." Forbes declares that "The working class is at risk. They are at the mercy of rapidly rising costs." And the Guardian alerts us that "millions of Americans are currently working two or more jobs in order to make ends meet, as global inflation … has sent prices of food, gas, housing, health insurance and other necessities soaring in the past year."
by Joan McCarter | November 11, 2022 - 8:20am | permalink
Control of the U.S. House of Representatives hasn’t even been decided yet, and already it’s knives out for current GOP leader Kevin McCarthy. There are still a few dozen uncalled races in the House. The path to a Democratic majority is a little murky, but not impossible. The path for McCarthy to be speaker is turning out to be deliciously treacherous, and his prospects for getting anything done next to nil.
McCarthy announced his bid for the top spot in a letter to the conference Wednesday declaring: “We have ended one-party Democrat rule in Washington by effectively prosecuting the case against their failed policies while detailing our plan for a new direction with the Commitment to America.” Sure, Kev. That was immediately greeted by Freedom Caucus maniac Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona saying, “maybe not so fast. Maybe we should have a good discussion within the confines of our internal body.”
by Alex Henderson | November 9, 2022 - 7:13am | permalink
During his MSNBC appearances and in his column for The Bulwark, Never Trump conservative Charlie Sykes has had a lot of unfavorable things to say about the many far-right MAGA “election denialists” who are running in the 2022 midterms. And when Election Day, November 8 arrived, Sykes started out the day with a Bulwark column warning that “there might be chaos” after the election if the midterms don’t bring the “massive red wave” that Republicans and “election denialists” are hoping for.
“Really, no one knows what’s going to happen, so most of the punditry today will be like trying to ride a bicycle as s-l-o-w-l-y as possible without falling off,” the Wisconsin-based Sykes explains in his Election Day column. “We can look forward to hours of fact-free faux-certainty clashing with wish-casting, speculation, bursts of hysteria, endless repetition — and then, we’ll get the exit polls, which are almost certainly going to be b******t.”
by Thom Hartmann | November 10, 2022 - 8:23am | permalink
The elections appear to be a mixed bag, with young people and women, in particular, rejecting the rightwing Supreme Court Dobbs abortion decision. The early youth vote in Wisconsin, for example was 360% higher than in 2018 according to Ben Wikler, the chair of the Wisconsin Democratic Party.
It's a good start toward returning sanity to our nation, although even in Wisconsin that state's House, Senate, and delegation to the US House of Representatives all remain in Republican hands because of massive gerrymandering.
And Donald Trump says he's going to make a "major announcement" next week. If Republicans seize control of the House—as it appears they will do when all the election results are in—the January 6th Committee will be shut down and with it much of our nation's ability to publicly hold Trump accountable for his crimes in office.
by Heather Digby Parton | November 5, 2022 - 7:52am | permalink
If you had told me a year ago that polls would showing Democrats and Republicans within the margin of error a few days before this midterm election, I would have said you were nuts. After a couple of off-year wins for Republicans that had the Beltway press corps giddy with excitement, conventional wisdom held that a "red wave" was building, and likely to become a "red tsunami." Even sober-minded analysts saw the political environment offering at least a comfortable win for Republicans in 2022.
AND: From WSJ
With No Red Wave, Trump Is Out at Sea
Trump Is the Republican Party’s Biggest Loser
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