Mid-Term (2022) Takeaways

Republicans should indeed be disappointed with the 2022 mid-term results and Democrats are rightly thankful they dodged a bullet, but nonetheless the Democrats will lose control of the House of Representatives and control of the Senate is still in question. Let’s dig deeper into the impact.

Democrat’s Fortunes

President Biden was asked what he will do differently based on this election and he had a one-word answer: “Nothing”. That is a mistake for any politician. His party did better than expected, but the election was not an affirmation of their policies. The trends are not all good for Democrats:

  • Democrat policies on the border, climate, energy, gender, crime, education, and foreign affairs are not popular. Biden and Democrats have been given more time to address these issues, but without progress, these issues will cost them many more votes in two years. I am dubious they will “solve” these problems because their official policies are not aimed at solving many voter concerns (for example: a stable border, lower gas prices, better schools and school choice are not the party’s focus).
  • Per exit polling, the economy and inflation were top issues; again voters appear to be willing to give the Democrats more time to fix the economy, but patience will wear out if not fixed in two years. In October, the inflation rate was still 7.7%, not the “lower costs for families” we were promised three months ago https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/08/19/fact-sheet-the-inflation-reduction-act-supports-workers-and-families/
  • Abortion is one issue that cut in Democrat’s favor, but it’s important mainly among unmarried women. Republicans hold the statistical advantage with both married and unmarried men along with married women; abortion is not the top issue for these constituencies.
  • Demographics are always shifting. Democrats hoped Barrack Obama had delivered a lasting coalition, but many voters are not beholden to either party. Fail to deliver and they switch sides. While Democrats gained with unmarried women, they have lost ground with virtually all other demographics the last four years. Democrats retain a majority of women, black, urban, and Latino voters, but these groups are drifting away from them. Per the CNN study below, during the last four years, Democrats lost ground with every single demographic. https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2022/politics/exit-polls-2022-midterm-2018-shift/. The next two bullets emphasize this problem.
  • In 2018, Democrats picked up 40 house seats, bringing their majority to 235. In 2020, they lost fifteen seats, barely maintaining the majority, and in 2022, they have lost another nine (four days after the election, votes are still being counted in 23 races). They are out of power again after just four years. If Biden’s promise to do nothing different the next two years holds, they are likely to lose more seats in 2024.
  • In the last six presidential elections, the Republicans won the popular vote only once (2004). Both George W. Bush (2000) and Donald Trump (2016) won the presidency without winning the popular vote. In the 2018 mid-terms, Democrats won 54% of the popular vote. In 2020, Biden won 51%. However, in 2022 (as of Saturday morning) the party that has not won the popular vote since 2004 is once again winning it.

Republican’s Fortunes

Republicans were predicted to win at least 25 House seats. As of Saturday morning, Republicans have gained 9 seats, just three more than the minimum needed for control.

Of the 23 races still not tallied, Republicans lead in nine of them. This gives them a slim five vote margin in the House. Why didn’t Republicans meet expectations and pickup more House seats?

  • In my 2022 preview post mid-term-2022-preview, I warned of reliance on polls. They are all mathematically biased. In competitive races, we don’t know the true nature of the electorate, so take no chances and always vote. Too many assume the polls are precisely accurate.
  • Most House races are not competitive. As I outlined in my prior post as well, 80% of the races are forgone conclusions. Both parties are virtually guaranteed a large number of seats. The system is bad when so many representatives are never seriously challenged. We need to change this, perhaps with term limits.
  • Republicans need a Senate leader that doesn’t withhold money from candidates that might actually win but won’t vote for him as leader. Senator McConnell gave millions to Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski who ran against another Republican while withholding money from Blake Masters who may narrowly lose in Arizona. He has played silly games like this for too many years. Republicans need better leaders in Congress, and the 2022 disappointment is a good reason to clean house.
  • Republicans put up several weak candidates. Republicans can talk all they want about weak Democrat candidates, but they still need candidates that appeal to independents and wavering Democrats. Dr. Oz and Herschel Walker, whose name recognition got them far, had no political experience, and in Walker’s case a flood of allegations has plagued his campaign. Oz, along with Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, did not have solid conservative credentials that today’s Republican voters are looking for. I know nobody associated with Q’Anon, but apparently Mastriano does. Mastriano also voted with Democrats on COVID policies and supported Democrat legislation to weaken Pennsylvania voting laws and usher in problems in 2020. Which voters did he appeal to?

    Mastriano lost by 14 points while the Oz/Fetterman race was much closer. Oz didn’t turn off as many voters, but simply being “better than the Democrat” was not a winning strategy.

    Walker has a second chance to hone his message in the December run-off. Still, he faces an uphill battle after losing by 35,000 votes in the initial election.
  • Republicans had no consistent message to unite them. They hammered Democrat failures, and that was good enough for the base, but they needed more swing voters. According to Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, leadership thought dissatisfaction with Democrats would propel them to power, so they never developed an alternative message. https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2022/11/11/josh_hawley_blasts_gop_leadership_for_midterm_losses_148459.html.

    When House Republicans broke a forty-year losing streak in 1994, they had the “Contract with America”. It gave people a reason to vote for them as a block. This year, they needed such a message.

    Republican voters especially are also waking up to the fact that most Republicans they put in office have not produced. The new minimal standard is to make meaningful promises and to follow through on them. The candidate needs more than a magic R beside their name.

On the other hand, Republicans who have produced did better this year. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis barely won his 2018 race:

After four years of implementing, not just talking about, policies, and pushing back on the worst of DC policies, voters rewarded him in 2022.

Four years ago, Florida was a swing state. DeSantis has made it solidly red. DeSantis won the urban Miami-Dade by 11%, a county that Clinton won by more than 30% in 2016.

Other Republican governors: Noem, Abbot, Lee, and Kemp also did well, because they distinguished themselves on COVID policy. Keep your commitments, take on the establishment, buck the silly but popular trends, or just abide by a set of good principles, and voters will reward you. Play it safe, don’t keep your promises and don’t respect the intelligence of your base’s voters, and today’s voter will switch parties.

Kari Lake, if she prevails the Arizona governor’s race looks like she will be an action oriented and effective leader as well. We need more like her and Governor DeSantis.

In addition to the Florida success, New York was another unlikely Republican success story. Andrew Cuomo won the governor’s race by 23 points in 2018, but conservative Republican Lee Zeldin lost by just under 6 points.  A Zeldin victory was improbable, but making it close is something. In addition, on the strength of Zeldin’s coattails, Republicans picked up 4 house seats picked up in NY; 11 of 26 red seats in a blue state paragon impends a potential sea change.

Violence?

No.  Republicans didn’t riot after not doing as well as expected.

A liberal foil, said the following shortly after the election:

The other thing that had me holding my breath, and I’m still a bit on edge, but less so at the moment, is that there was no violence that I’m aware of.  I half expected some cities to erupt into violent outbursts, since there was so much tension and contention over this election, but thus far it has been peaceful. 

https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/15107025/posts/85320

Why did you expect violence, my friend? Did you believe President Biden when he said voting in a democratic election will somehow bring the end of democracy? What sense does that make in any case?

I’ve been telling you for months the violence of January 6 that you so frequently bemoan is overblown. The number committing violence on January 6 is a very small fraction of those attending the Trump rally that day. They are not representative of the sentiment of his supporters that day nor of the people who continue to support democracy. what-did-we-learn-from-the-j6-committee

However, you convinced yourself this lie enhanced repeatedly the last two years was actually true, so you expected a violent reaction which was never going to materialize. I didn’t expect violence from either side. Although, such violence has been known to happen:

https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/inauguration-2017/washington-faces-more-anti-trump-protests-after-day-rage-n709946

President Donald Trump’s Inauguration Day was marred by noisy demonstrations, shoving matches and sporadic clashes with cops that resulted in more than 200 arrests.

Votes Not Counted Timely

Two days after the election, AP reported more than 600K votes were not counted in Arizona. The counts may be completed a week after the election. Why is Arizona a problem in every election now?

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11414245/Votes-Arizona-Nevada-not-fully-counted-WEEK.html

Democrat gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs is Arizona’s Secretary of State. Maybe she should explain. Her opponent, Kari Lake Lake asked that Hobbs recuse herself from election duties, but Hobbs declined. Perhaps that was not the right decision.

In addition, there was a significant problem with 20% of voting machines in one Arizona county on election day:

https://www.newsweek.com/are-maricopa-county-voting-machines-broken-what-we-know-1757995

The Maricopa County Elections Department first posted on Twitter explaining that many tabulation machines in the county, which is home to Arizona’s capital of Phoenix, weren’t working. The hurdle comes after Maricopa County spent years addressing election misinformation after former President Donald Trump accused the county of committing voter fraud in the 2020 election

https://www.newsweek.com/fact-check-claims-maricopa-voters-disenfranchised-due-faulty-machines-1758346

Amid this, Lake’s campaign team and others presented a lawsuit to extend voting hours, alleging claims of malfunctioning equipment. The outcome of that suit, some believe, effectively blocked Republicans from voting.

Who knows the truth at this point, but this looks like another potentially bad scenario. Numerous problems delaying voting in certain precincts, delays in counting votes (yet again), and a serious potential conflict of interest ignored. Let’s hope this works out in the end.

California is also taking considerable time to count votes. Ten of the 23 undecided House races are in California. They have been slow to update totals all week. Why can other large states, New York, Florida, Texas, call races on election day, yet California still hasn’t called 20% of House races, four days later?

The Governor and Senate races in Nevada also have not yet been decided four days later.

https://apnews.com/article/2022-midterm-elections-las-vegas-nevada-catherine-cortez-masto-075cad0e9b3f057730514bf9ca13fb67

Nevada’s count has taken several days partly because of the mail voting system created by the state Legislature in 2020 that requires counties to accept ballots postmarked by Election Day if they arrive up to four days later.

We have early voting, same day voting, and now late, late voting. With everyone voting at different times and the counting continuing interminably, can we be sure the process is fair and accurate? Just asking does not make me a crooked election denier. It seems the opportunity for further hanky-panky and fraud is more likely in this scenario. We need to do better.

2024 Race

Neither Biden nor Trump were on the ballot this year, although each party tried to make them proxies.  

Independent voters currently give Biden a 28% approval.  https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/campaigns/biden-rating-independents-low.

Yet, exit polling shows these voters split almost 50-50 between the two parties.

Independents don’t approve of Biden, yet they don’t trust Republicans either. One party needs to step up to grab these votes. Who knows if either will recognize the opportunity?

I can’t see Democrats allowing Biden on the 2024 ticket given his unpopularity and his advancing dementia. What kinds of drugs do they continue to pump into him? How about we get his medical records?

I thought Democrats would throw Biden over after mid-terms, but they beat expectations and they somehow manage with a Biden figurehead and people behind the scenes steering the ship.  Would they dare run him again or will it be someone younger like Whitmer, Newsome, or Buttigieg?

I hope DeSantis is the 2024 Republican nominee and Lake the VP (whether she prevails in the Arizona governor’s race or not).  They are the best the Republicans have to offer. While I think Trump did well as president and awakened Republicans, his brand is being tarnished among Republicans. Trump endorsed candidates didn’t do well (Oz, Walker, Masters, and Mastriano in particular). JD Vance, another Trump pick, won in Ohio but lagged behind the Republican governor. Democrats believe Trump supporters would do anything to bring him back, but these results indicate Republicans aren’t blindly following Trump off a cliff after all.

On the campaign trail stumping for candidates, Trump often talks about himself, not the candidate he is stumping for. His former press secretary said he should stay out of Georgia and hold off on his big announcement. I agree. An increasing number of Republicans do not want him to run again. His time has passed; he will be too divisive and he will not be allowed to unite the country. He may even wind up losing in 2024. He needs to step aside and make room for DeSantis.

Fetterman

The biggest disappointment this year was the election of John Fetterman. It causes me to lose hope in our voters. Fetterman has a mental disability that was on display the last six months. I just cringe watching clips of him speak.

https://www.extremelyamerican.com/post/john-fetterman-debating-skills-intellect-on-full-display-montage-of-an-epic-verbal-trainwreck

https://hannity.com/media-room/fetterman-struggles-send-me-to-d-c-to-take-on-to-make-sure-i-push-back-against-work-to-work/

2-words-from-opening-line-set-stage

Why didn’t Democrats find a replacement after Fetterman had a stroke in May? Why give us someone who clearly cannot do the job? Why did so many vote for a man who should not be a leader of the country? The party should be held to account for putting him up. Yet, MSNBC this week was speculating about Fetterman as a presidential candidate. Are you kidding me?

Sun is Shining

A week ago, President Biden told us democracy is at stake in 2022. If the wrong people voted in a democratic election, democracy could somehow be undermined. Really? Howard Stern, the full-time libertine and occasional political pundit said the same thing:

“I love this country. I love what it stands for. I know the history of the world. I’ve seen what happens when people who are authoritarians — who want to control the vote, fix the vote, and then eventually eliminate the vote — I know what that means and I know the kind of society you’d be in,

This week, after doing better than expected, President Biden tells us the sun is shining again and democracy has been saved. His party did better than expected, so the sun came out? And a week ago, all was apparently lost? This is the level our political discourse has fallen to? How is it that Republicans cannot do better against such an inept leader and party?

Diversity

Finally, Democrats want to talk about firsts again: the first lesbian governor, the first black governor in Maryland, etc. That’s wonderful, but can these folks do the job? Why is some characteristic that has nothing to contribute to their ability to do the job trumpeted? We’ve had women, blacks, lesbians, etc in other similar positions, so why keep touting this?

Sarah Palin lost her race for the Alaska House (Alaskans didn’t forget she resigned as governor after just two years). She could have been the first female VP a few years back, but liberals would not have trumpeted that accomplishment. Clarence Thomas is one of the few black supreme court justices in our history (and the best we currently have in my opinion), but liberals have refused to honor or acknowledge him in any way the last thirty years . I think this demonstrates diversity is important to liberals only when the person they promote agrees with their views. They don’t actually care about diversity unless it helps them win. Let’s please quit talking about diversity simply for diversity’s sake. Allow it to have some actual value.

Update on Numbers (Sunday)

As of Sunday evening, 11/13/22, now a full five days after the election, counting continues:

  • The Republicans lead in the House is now 212-205 with 18 races still undecided. Republicans now lead in 10 of the 18 outstanding races (in Arizona, California, Colorado, and New York). It appears Republicans will control the House if they can only finish counting!
  • California continues to lag behind: 10 of the 18 undecided House races are in California. Five of the undecided California races still have fewer than 50% counted. What is going on here?
  • The Republicans continue to lead in the popular vote: 51.4% to 46.7%. This result should change little at this point.
  • Democrats have retained control of the Senate as the Nevada race was called for the Democrat Saturday. The Democrats lead is 50-49 now. Georgia will be decided in December.
  • The Arizona governor’s race is still the only other major race not called. Hobbs is leading by 34,000 votes with 11% remaining to be tallied.

Update on Numbers (Monday)

Now on Monday evening, 11/14/22, a full six days after the election and counting continues in California; they STILL have ten undecided races. Why is California taking so long to finish counting? Four other races are not called in other states, but those appear to be because of the closeness of the races or because they use a little understood ranked voting process.

The Republicans lead in the House is now 216-205 and they are still leading in five more uncalled races They need only two more victories to assure House control. Will California find a way to deny the Republicans? How much longer do they need to find more votes?

Republicans currently lead in 5 of the uncalled races nationwide; one race in Colorado is waiting a re-count; the Republican finished round 1 with a 1,000 vote lead. It seems improbable that Republicans could fail to gain control of the House, but with today’s suspect vote tallying methods, I would take nothing for granted.

More than 100 million voted in this election. The Republicans still captured 4% more of the popular vote: 51.2% to 46.9%. This is about the same margin as President Biden won in 2020, only the party with the most votes is switched.

The Arizona governor’s race has now been called for Hobbs; she has a 20,000 vote lead with 2.5% remaining to be counted. This is a result I can scarcely comprehend. Lake was the best candidate the Republicans put up in any race. Hobbs was a dreadful candidate who avoided a debate with Lake and interviews with reporters she doesn’t like. US House candidates in Arizona picked up two seats in the mid-terms in a good year for Arizona Republicans, yet Lake couldn’t defeat the shrinking Hobbs? The Republican state treasurer received 100,000 more votes than Hobbs and 120,000 more than Lake. How is it that 10% of those who voted for the Republican Treasurer didn’t also vote for Lake? I don’t know what’s going on, but this result is not be believed.

Michael Berry on his podcast today talked about the subtlety of how votes are suppressed in Houston (Harris County, Texas). Several election officials called in to explain how the cheat can work, how it can be made harder to vote in certain precincts but not others. The Texas Governor, Lt. Governor, and AG have yet to weigh in. When there are no consequences, the corruption will continue. Get involved in your local community to clean up and expose this. Tell them to stop telling us there are no issues here. This must be investigated. This must stop. This must be exposed.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/they-know-we-know-that-they-know-we-know-theyre-cheating/id1253076699?i=1000586149737

Update on Numbers (Tuesday):

In California district 9, one entire week after the election was supposed to be completed, only 36% of the vote is counted. How much longer?

CA District 9Harder 56.3Patti 43.7(36%)

There are a few more that are still 50% or less counted. These races also have not been called:

CA District 21Costa 54.3Maher 45.7(50%)
CA District 22Salas 47.3Valadao 52.7(40%)

This one is a puzzlement. Gomez is running unopposed, but only 46% of the vote has been counted and no winner has been declared.

CA District 34Gomez 52.4(46%)

There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking questions about results. This process has changed significantly in the last few years. It never before took an entire week to count votes. People used to vote on a single day and votes were all counted the same day. Who is counting the votes these days and who is watching them for that entire period? In years past, we also attempted to be sure of who you were before voting, but today such measures are inaccurately labeled “voter suppression”. Drop boxes, extended early voting, votes coming from who knows were all changes that we are supposed to accept as making voting “more accessible”. It has never been hard to vote, but some pretend it so much easier today.

Florida, Texas, New York, and many other states counted millions of votes and declared winners the night of the election, why can’t all the other states?

Early voting seemed a good thing initially, but now it goes on interminably. Pennsylvania had 50 days of early voting. By the time of the first (and only) 2022 senatorial debate, one million votes had been cast. Did all those voters realize how bad the condition of John Fetterman was before they voted? Why can’t early voting be a shorter period, so we get an actual snapshot of the vote? Why can’t more people come to the polls to vote, so we can have tighter controls over mail-in voting, a process which can easily be corrupted if strict controls for identifying voters are abandoned? You should need a good reason to not vote in person. Exceptions are okay, but not without a legitimate excuse.

Why were there so many problems in same-day voting in Houston and Phoenix? Why don’t more notice when corrupt officials gum up the works in certain precincts but not others? Who is charged with holding these officials to account? The media is supposed to, but they are also freely placing the “election denier” label on people they don’t like. What do they know? Many fear being labeled an election denier, yet speaking up about wrongdoing is a civil duty. State legislatures also have responsibility for elections, but they may not act if they perceive the system benefits them. The rules can be broken with nobody to hold cheaters to account.

California has actually legalized the corrupt process known as “ballot harvesting”. Round up votes in nursing homes and immigrant communities who may not know our processes. Pay people to vote the way you want them when nobody else is looking. Can California ever be wrenched from Democrats with such a corrupt system?

The change is out in the open, but unless there are legal challenges or people fired, the perpetrators don’t care if you notice, and if you do voice concerns, you are labeled an “election denier”, a new pejorative. If you are cheating, this is exactly what you want so you can continue to act with impunity. If you are not cheating, then you shouldn’t take such offense.

There is nothing wrong or corrupt about asking questions and demanding answers about processes that seem suspect. People who get away with this are counting on others to attack the truth-seekers.

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