The 2021 electorate has spoken, and it said rather clearly that
its majority is not happy. The Republican base turned out, and
with Donald Trump on no ballot, was fairly united. Democrats
were somewhat divided, not that happy with President Biden,
and did not turn out with their usual strong numbers. Centrist
independents, moving toward the Democrats in 2018 and 2020,
shifted back to the GOP, especially in many suburbs where
radical urban policy proposals nearby turned them off from
the progressive agenda.
Such measures as “defund the police” did not go well with
otherwise very liberal black urban voters.
Democratic leaders such as President Biden, former President
Obama, and House Speaker Pelosi, belittling many voters’
concerns about education and immigration, did not appear to
help their candidates in the two key races.
With President Biden now routinely receiving favorability poll
numbers in the high 30s and low 40s, many Republicans and
centrist independents are giddy about their prospects in
next year’s much more dispositive nationwide mid-term elections.
But a word of caution. Many mainstream Democratic pollsters.
strategists, and campaigners have concluded that the left agenda
is not being embraced by most voters, and are unlikely to send
their candidates down to campaign a losing campaign path next
Yes, initial reaction to the 2021 election results by many
Democratic leaders has been defensive, and appearing to
double-down on their mistakes, but as poll numbers continue
to implode, laws of political gravity will likely reassert themselves
as the campaign season reaches a decisive point.
Of course, first mid-term elections historically do not go well for
new administrations, and loss of control of the U.S. house might
not be avoided in 2022, but a more popular Democratic agenda
might rescue or even expand the very narrow control of the U.S.
In fact, Democrats just got the news that highly popular New
Hampshire Republican Governor Chris Sununu will not run
against very vulnerable Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan in
2022. This likely turnover might now be avoided —- the GOP
so far lacks a strong replacement for Sununu — but if there is
a red wave 2022 election because Democrats continue not to
pay attention to voters’ concerns, Senator Hassan and several
other of her colleagues will lose..
In 1993 and 2009. upsets in the off-year elections, although few
in number, signaled possible landslides in the following years’
mid-terms. Democrats ignored those signals and paid a heavy
political price for doing so. On other occasions, Republicans
made the same mistake, and lost their majorities.
Republicans are fired up now, but the full outcome in 2022 is
mainly in the Democrats’ own hands.
Copyright (c) 2021 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.