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After the midterms… November 24, 2022

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Anyone listen to 538’s podcast on the midterms? Well worth a listen for picking through how what was meant to be a rout by Republicans of Democrats turned into something quite distinctly different. Something that was almost a triumph for the latter party and for Biden.

The key takeaways? Firstly the Republicans underperformed, with extreme and bad candidates and the Dobbs decision further undermining their ability to contest the elections. Dobbs changed the playing field but it was poor-quality candidates which lost the Republicans the very strong chance of a Senate majority – with candidates selected or supported by Trump. I can’t help but recall that even Trump was uneasy about the possible impacts of Dobbs on the elections.

But, and this is perhaps crucial, they also saw a ‘return to normal’ after Covid after 2021 and a lot of the conversation moderated – defund the police and so on falling off the agenda (perhaps given the Democrats were in power at federal level?) meaning that Democrats weakest issues came off the radar. The consensus is that without Dobbs the GOP would have had a normalish mid-term.

And yet there were caveats, energy crisis, inflation, the war in Ukraine and so on, and somehow the Republicans weren’t able to mobilise. So Dobbs, ‘Stop the Steal’ and so on just didn’t work in their favour, in fact worked against them. And the point was also made that the mid-terms are about checking the party in power, and yet Republicans have exercised considerable power while in opposition nominally as with the Supreme Court and so on. And this was a further fact, that led to voters checking them. 

Where this leaves the Republicans for the next two to four years remains an open question. The lack of energy around the Trump announcement of his candidacy for the Presidential election was striking, and perhaps indicates just how much the turmoil not just of this year but previous years has actually impacted on the Republican Party. What seems fair to suggest is that we’ve moved on from the 2016-2020 period and that Trump seems very much of that time.

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