Why There Was No Red Wave In the U.S. Midterms

Dr. Louis Perron
blog post louis

While we are still waiting for the final results, it is clear that there was no Republican wave last Tuesday. In fact, it looks like the worst performance by the party out of power in decades. The reason for this is how independents voted. In past midterms, they overwhelmingly backed the party out of power. This year, they broke about evenly between Republicans and Democrats according to the exit polls. Go figure, independents matter. As I wrote in a piece for the New York Editorial, while there are less independents in the U.S. today than twenty years ago, there still are some, and they often decide elections. While they are unhappy with the status quo, inflation, and crime, they don’t want to go back to the Trump freak show from the past.

On my blog, I wrote a couple of months ago about what would happen if Democrats were to defy history? It would foremost make a second run by President Biden more likely.

There is just no way the result can be viewed as people wanting to go back to Trump. In addition to the fact that there was no red wave, several candidates endorsed by Trump also lost. In fact, Democratic groups spent 40 million USD in Republican primaries pushing several Trump-backed candidates and election deniers. The high risk strategy paid off: they all lost.

It sometimes takes some time until the media fully realizes that a phenomenon (in this case, Trump), is over. Maybe the results will help.

One of the reason why Republicans did very well in Florida is because the Republican party there has a face that is independent from Trump. Ron De Santis is definitely a strong contender for the Republican primary, if he decides to run. I mean, absorb the visuals of his election night celebration, he looks like the Republican future.

I actually think that this is the best possible preparation for a presidential run: run as a governor, win reelection big time, then run for president.

This said, Republicans might take control of the House. The most likely scenario for the senate at the time of writing is that control will ultimately be decided in a runoff in Georgia. Close to 300 million USD were spent on the Senate race in Georgia so far. I assume that more than 90% of the ads were negative. Can you imagine how it was to watch tv down there? And, if control of the U.S. senate will be determined by that runoff, can you imagine how much more money will pour into the state during the next months?

There is again a debate about the polls and predictions based on them. The polling market in the U.S. seems pretty damaged to me. Instead of outsmarting each other with new models and supposedly even better weighing, I would be very interested to just see raw data.

To Nate Silver, realclearpolitics, Trafalgar and others in the prediction business who are under fire, I would like to say: you’re not as smart as you may think when you get it all right. You’re not as dumb as people say when you get it wrong.

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