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US midterm elections: Why a Republican “wave” didn’t occur

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Republicans were hoped to make significant progress in retaking Congress given the 8% inflation rate and the Democratic president’s low support ratings. Why didn’t that occur?

For weeks, pollsters and commentators have been predicting a “red wave” — a Republican electoral landslide that would send a severe rebuke to Joe Biden and the Democrats.

But on Wednesday, when the sun rose throughout the US, it became evident that the “tsunami” that Republicans had hoped for never happened.

The Senate was still fiercely contested and the Democrats did better than projected, despite the fact that the party has made only small gains and is still likely to win the House of Representatives. Why?

It wasn’t all about the economy

Although voters’ top worries were inflation and the economy, Democrats were not as hurt as they had anticipated.

Analysts suggested it may be due to the fact that, while weakening, the economy has remained reasonably strong. Although living expenses are growing, growth has persisted, and unemployment is at a low level.

According to pollster Chris Jackson, senior vice president of Ipsos, “People don’t love the economy, but they’re not getting laid off, which allowed other concerns like abortion, like immigration, like the “Big Lie” on the right to instead dominate the closing weeks of the race.”

The polarization of the nation is also reflected in concerns about the economy.

Democrats tend to have more optimistic views than Republicans and independents, putting economic worries behind other topics like racism, climate change, and abortion even if their views have become more pessimistic this year.

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These concerns persisted, which made the Democratic base more inclined to vote thanks to the specter of Donald Trump.

What we can say is that Republicans, and especially Trump Republicans, couldn’t get out of their own way this election season and allow issues like inflation or the economy dominate the conversation, which probably would have propelled Republicans to higher victories, Mr. Jackson said.

“Republicans essentially gave Democrats something to run on other than the issues they were losing on, which was the economy.”

An energised Democratic base

Initial voter data indicates that turnout was above average for a midterm election in many regions of the nation, a fact that some have attributed in part to the Democratic Party’s base of young voters who were inspired by topics like reproductive rights.

According to Jon Taylor, a political science professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, “Generation Z voters actually did come out.”

“Given the dynamics of problems linked to crime, immigration, or inflation, the Democrats wouldn’t have had anything to energise people if the Supreme Court hadn’t reversed Roe v. Wade back in June. In fact, it assisted the Democrats in fending off the Red Wave.”

Jack Pribble, a 19-year-old student, was one of the young people who felt obliged to attend the demonstration on Tuesday because he was concerned that the denial of the constitutional right to an abortion may put other rights in jeopardy.

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The abortion verdict, according to Mr. Pribble, who identifies as LGBT, “is emblematic of how restrictive American politics are growing.”

On the other side, several Republicans have made it clear that their party didn’t meet expectations because voters didn’t come out in sufficient numbers.

Republican representative in Texas Mayra Flores, who was defeated by Democrat Vicente Gonzalez just months after winning a special election in June, tweeted that “Republicans and Independents remained home.” “If you did not strive to do your part, do not complain about the consequences.”

Bucking a midterms trend

In the past, midterm elections have been disastrous for the president’s party, in this instance the Democrats. A president’s party has, on average, lost 28 House seats and four Senate seats in each midterm election between 1934 and 2018, according to data from the University of California Santa Barbara.

Political science professor Justin Buchler at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio claimed that prior midterm outcomes may have led people to believe that the Republican triumph would be larger than it actually was.

A lot of individuals, according to Mr. Buchler, “got ahead of themselves with their projections.”

“Generally people make statements that are not backed up by data, and each side sort of has incentives for a little bit of cheerleading. I think one of the lessons from past elections was to be a little more cautious about these kinds of predictions. People have not learned that lesson.”

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A referendum on Donald Trump

The midterm elections this year were generally seen as a litmus test for Donald Trump’s legacy and his ongoing sway over the Republican Party.

Jon Taylor of the University of Texas hypothesized that a large number of undecided voters may have chosen to cast their ballots in an effort to reduce Mr. Trump’s hold on the party.

One might argue that this was a referendum on Donald Trump more than anything else, he remarked. “And many of the candidates he backed—especially those contesting the results of the election for governor, senator, or secretary of state—lost. It’s not like he increased the size of the Republican base or majority, even if he did manage to pick up a few victories.”

Alex Heide, a 31-year-old Georgia voter who had been on the fence about voting before, agreed with Mr. Taylor’s assessment and claimed that Mr. Trump’s backing of Republican candidate Herschel Walker had “seriously turned him off.”

Before casting his ballot, he told the BBC, “I don’t agree with Democrats on everything. However, I believe it to be much more stable than the Republican platform.

the main source of the news: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-63569850

 

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