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t’s one of the strangest elections on the books, as witness the shock among so many on the Democrat side that they did so well. They somehow managed to defy political gravity, despite the worst “wrong track” numbers in memory. Probably no single explanation, but a few factors…
"This may be the strangest election I've ever seen."— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) November 9, 2022
Steven Moore nailed it on Fox News. Despite 75% of voters saying country is on 'wrong track' and majority 'angry' about inflation/economy, not a single incumbent governor or senator gets flipped?
How does that happen? 🤔
To get the most obvious out of the way, a lot of people are yelling “fraud.” Some hinky stuff happened, and apparently we’ll have to put up with that forever, because the electorate does not insist on clean, efficient elections even after states like Florida prove it’s possible.
Fraud doesn’t explain nationwide results, though. Better to consider that Dems took advantage of the pandemic to loosen voter rules to an absolutely insane degree, and they are absolute masters at harvesting what we might politely refer to as the “indifferent” voter.
What’s the point of talking about “momentum,” late-breaking events, or even how candidates perform at debates when a huge chunk of the vote is banked by mail before the debates even happen? Robotic party-line voters and harvesting matter more than campaign skill.
Second, candidate quality matters – and it matters a LOT more for the party that doesn’t have a massive ballot-harvesting machine humming away to scoop up indifferent voters early. This was painfully illustrated in Pennsylvania, the true bellwether race of this election.
Many GOP candidates did well in tough areas, but they just couldn’t close the deal. That has a lot to do with candidate quality – think of the old maxim that you only get one chance to make a first impression. That’s even more important in an era of absurdly loose early voting.
If scads of mail-in votes are harvested before there are even debates, then the “campaign” doesn’t matter as much. You can run a tight campaign, make all the right moves while your opponent implodes, and still come up short because you got off on the wrong foot.