Political analysis has long used the motto, which was allegedly put in a London newsroom as a reminder of tabloid journalism.
This adage has a long counterpart in political analysis; according to mythology, it was placed in a London newsroom as a handy reminder of how to perform tabloid journalism. The Election of 2022
But how can the tried-and-true formula be applied to an election like this one, where a long night stretched into a groggy and still undecided day after, amid the realization that, once again, very few of the alleged experts saw this particular result coming, whatever that result ultimately turns out to be?
Although Republicans had a horrible showing in absolute terms—they might yet win one or both houses of Congress—they may still achieve an extremely significant victory in relative ones. When compared to past midterm election trends as well as their own pre-election claims and bluster,
In the simplify/exaggerate category, let’s try this one on for size: The midterm elections revealed a populace anxious to reward normalcy and punish strangeness.
The outcomes, at the very least, indicated a return to the political patterns that were once accepted as the norm. This conclusion looks logically correct and is maybe the only one so far that is backed up by data from several fields.
Can’t we simply take a minute to breathe and kneel for a second? became a common question across a wide range of races, each impacted by significant local conditions.
In the present environment, when disruptive is sometimes an euphemism for demagogic, impolite, egomaniacal, or just plain strange, candidates who tout themselves as radical disruptors should be scorned.
The exhortation of President Joe Biden that “democracy itself” was on the ballot was echoed by significant voting blocs, according to a trend that can be seen with careful observation. Or the progressive claim that the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and the Jan. 6 committee disclosures make this the most significant midterm election in centuries.
Even with Biden’s close 2020 win and two Democratic senators, Georgia, for instance, continues to have a center of gravity that favors the GOP. So, a traditional Republican like Gov. Brian Kemp, who has sparred with Donald Trump, easily defeated a charismatic opponent like Stacey Abrams. Herschel Walker, a political novice who was suffering from self-inflicted wounds, trailed incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock by a small margin, setting up a runoff.
Wisconsin is essentially a stolid, moderate Midwestern state, despite the great appeal Trump demonstrated by barely winning there in 2016 and hardly losing there in 2020. Tony Evers, the current Democratic governor, won a second term after running many points ahead of his Republican rival. Evers jokingly referred to his unglamorous but dependable demeanor and track record of leadership as “boring successes.” On the other side, despite Johnson’s backing for Trump’s election denial and what surveys indicated was his personal unpopularity, progressive favorite Mandela Barnes seemed to be a little out of sync with this state, losing by a slim margin to incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson.
According to the opinion expressed on Monday, Republican candidate for governor of Arizona Kari Lake is the next-generation Donald Trump, and with her natural charisma and fluency, she may be able to further advance the cause of boisterous, confrontational populism. Here is how things looked on Wednesday: Arizonans could have just found this to be a little too much. Although Katie Hobbs’ campaigning style has sometimes been criticized as tedious, she did well in a contest that is still too close to call. Sen. Mark Kelly, a Democrat in office, is ahead of Trump-supporting challenger Blake Masters by a wider margin.
With his hoodie, jeans, and progressive populist platform, Democrat John Fetterman ran in Pennsylvania alongside Trump-backed TV personality Mehmet Oz. Narrowly, Fetterman triumphed. But keep in mind that Josh Shapiro, the Democratic contender for governor, finished considerably ahead of both contestants with 55 percent of the vote, thereby branding Republican Doug Mastriano as an extreme right-wing oddball.
Colorado served as a more striking illustration of how normalcy endures. The assessment on Monday was that incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet, one of the best examples of solid centrism on the ballot this year, was in danger of being overtaken by a “red tsunami” of anti-Biden sentiment as well as a Democratic image that had been tarnished by growing crime and inflation. According to the results from Wednesday, Bennet will have no issues returning to the Senate with over 55 percent of the vote.
In Ohio, the trend persisted. In the end, Republicans prevailed in both the governor’s and Senate elections. But the current governor, Mike DeWine, a representative of steady conventionality, won with 62 percent of the vote. Author of “Hillbilly Elegy” and Trump-endorsed Senate candidate J.D. Vance received significantly more attention but far fewer votes, winning with 53%.
In hindsight, it is evident that the perception on Monday, as expressed by predictions from operatives and electoral experts and echoed by the media, was often skewed or outright incorrect. This should cause the analytical sector to stop before interpreting the already shaky outcomes.
Reporters often produce so-called “B matter.” Because this text was written in advance, it is ready for publication despite the intense time constraints of election night. When it is clear that Smith, Jones, or whomever has won, we may create a brief paragraph that includes the news at the top and a ton of implausibly accurate commentary at the bottom to give readers a complete tale. On Tuesday night, we can be certain that a significant amount of B matter was rejected as useless.
But it’s interesting to speculate as to what all those nuggets of wisdom could have stated. With only a few percentage points different, Oz, Walker, and Lake would have won by a landslide. “Trump continues to be without a doubt the head of his party, and it is now abundantly evident that his movement is not a passing fad but one that will reverberate across American politics for decades to come.” The same small change would have resulted in a lot of this: “President Biden was already dealing with deep doubts from Democratic insiders about his 2024 prospects, and these results now will thrust all the private speculation about whether he can be nudged out of a reelection bid into open public debate.”
Clearly, there is a limited market for this kind of day-after BS nowadays. But keep in mind that it could not be entirely false.
Democrats should be reminded that the lack of a red wave does not necessarily signify the existence of a blue wave. Michigan currently has a Democratic governor who was re-elected, as well as control of both houses of the state legislature.Unless there is a significant atypical element to remove them, incumbent GOP governors in Florida and Texas should be reelected, according to conventional political wisdom. In actuality, Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis did actually gain the right to serve a second and third term, respectively, and the result wasn’t really in dispute for very long. That appears to be normal.
You have a superior theory? Go ahead. Maybe other possibilities will become clear as evidence starts to emerge over the next several days and hours. For the time being, though, it’s worthwhile to consider that unexpected election night outcomes and even cloudy, ambiguous findings are themselves a defense of democratic culture. When they claim to have any level of confidence that they know what will happen, agents, journalists, and even politicians themselves are all lying. This outcome was perplexing and shows that, after years of strange changes, the nation is looking for a new normal. That is politics functioning as it should.