I wanted to take some time to take in the results of the mid-term elections before I came to any sort of conclusions since immediately afterwards there is a lack of real data, and in this election, lack of real election results. However I finally set down to note a few thoughts on the results.
The turnout for this midterm was unprecedented, with 113 million people voting, compared to 83 million in 2014. My prediction on the GOP winning the House was based on the assumption that the Democrats would not be able to do much to increase turn out in a midterm election. That has been a constant problem for the Democrats, allowing the Republicans to play catch up on those off year elections with no President at stake. This time however, the Democrats finally cracked the turn out code, by another tactic that I’ve consistently underestimated; the ability to keep the outrage at Trump’s election turned up to eleven more or less consistently since November 9, 2016. If they can bottle this it’s a game changer, and bad news for future Republican prospects.
Demography Is Destiny
California: One thing I did anticipate is that I didn’t see much chance of retaining most of the GOP seats in California, especially ones in which a Republican incumbent was retiring. Daryl Issa’s district, CA-49, was a good example. He won his 2016 re-election by one percentage point, saw the handwriting on the wall, and retired this term, leaving the seat to be won by a Democrat.
Ohio: On the other hand, Ohio is moving (albeit slightly) in the other direction.
Florida Florida Florida!
The big national news about Florida was all about two corrupt Democratic counties still being corrupt Democratic counties and trying to redo the election post voting, however that was just a minor snag. To me the real story is that the Democratic Candidate for governor, Andrew Gillum, the corrupt mayor of Tallahassee, under FBI investigation, with the baggage of Bernie Sanders style socialism, plus the promise of massive tax increases, only lost by 33,683 votes, 49.18% of the vote to DeSantis’ 49.59% of the vote. It’s a stark example of where the Democratic Party is right now; comfortably abandoning any pretense of moderation and fully embracing what was radical yesterday as the new party mainstream.
This seems to be a telling portent for the future. Whoever the 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate is, chances are his or her positions will resemble Bernie Sander’s far more than Hillary Clinton’s. And Democratic and Independent voters won’t be scared away by that. The Republicans, if they were smart, would start strategizing how to deal with a radical opponent in which possibly a majority of the electorate shares and supports those views. Unfortunately, the Republicans aren’t smart and will probably only start thinking about that after Election Day in 2020.