Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Calcified Politics Gives Us Another Close Election

From the redoubtable Amy Walter, at the Cook Political Report, "Just as Democrats did in 2020, Republicans came into the 2022 midterms expecting a landslide. Sky-high inflation, an unpopular President, and pessimism about the direction of the country all pointed to a 'typical' midterm romp for the party out of power:"

First, as I wrote earlier this fall (citing the amazing work of political scientists John Sides, Chris Tausanovitch, and Lynn Vavreck), events and the responses to them from politicians no longer have the ability to deeply and fundamentally reshape our politics or political coalitions. With fewer people willing to 'defect', even when they are unhappy with the status quo, you get more close elections and fewer 'wave' elections. Also, when every election is an existential election, the drop-off among 'in-party' voters, which was once common in midterm elections, is no longer the case. Mike Podhorzer, the former AFL-CIO political director and progressive strategist, has long argued that the 2018 and 2020 elections proved that there is an anti-MAGA voting majority in this country. As long as these voters turn out, he’s argued, Democrats will remain competitive in battleground states and districts. Moreover, Podhorzer told me on Wednesday morning, that the January 6th hearings were critical in “reminding people that Trump existed and that he was dangerous.” Combine that with the overturning of the Roe v. Wade decision and the ‘costs’ of a MAGA majority, he said, became even clearer to these voters.

Keep reading.