Wednesday, November 16, 2022

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: The Voters Have The Last Word

As readers of this column know, I have become

very cautious about predicting what voters will do,

and in spite of the expectation of most Republicans

and, yes, Democrats, too (as well as most pundits,

myself included) that the 2022 national mid-term

elections would be a rout, the voters' decisions

were more mixed and localized than anticipated.

A so-called "red wave" did not fully materialize,

although about 4 million more votes were cast

for Republican congressional candidates than

Democrats across the nation. This fact paradoxically

matched most pre-election generic congressional

polls that were interpreted to predict a red wave.

The explanation of how this happened can be seen

by examining the results by states. The 2022 GOP

generic advantage was assumed by most to follow

the 2020 national election model in which very large

states such as California and New York gave

candidate Joe Biden huge margins, thus giving him

millions of popular vote margin, a single digit

generic advantage. But in the 2022 mid-terms, total

votes for congressional candidates in those and

other blue states were much closer than in 2020,

with the consequence that more of the Democrat's

generic vote was distributed to other states, and

particularly to close races.

Nevertheless, Republicans gained seats in 2022

and will, when all races  are settled, have enough

to control the U.S. House of Representatives,

which was one of their two primary goals.

One senate contest is still too close to call.

Georgia will go to a December 6 run-off. The

end result for the Republicans will be the status

quo: control by the Democrats.

Some states had electoral wipeouts. Minnesota

went almost completely blue (except for 4 of their

8 congressional seats), and neighboring Iowa

went completely red, including all of its U.S. house

seats. Republicans gained four seats each in

Florida and New York. Democrats held on to

most of their vulnerable house and senate seats


Democrats picked up governorships in Maryland

and Massachusetts, but both of these states are

very blue. Their outgoing term-limited GOP

incumbents were an anomaly. Republicans picked

up a governor in previously blue Nevada, and

Democrats gained a governor in Arizona. The

majority of state legislators are still Republican.

In short, no GOP rout, but a small red wave with

a blue breakwater. There was something for both

Republicans and Democrats to cheer about, as

well as each had their disappointments.

Now the 2024 presidential election cycle begins.


Copyright (c) 2022 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.


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