Early voting has begun in what might be one of the most
contentious mid-term elections since the last one....and the one before that
one...and the one before...I’ll stop there.
In all honesty, this might be the most contentious mid-term election
ever. It’s just where we are these
days. Divided on so many fundamental
issues that there seems to be no middle ground left to stand on.
So who wins and who loses?
It all depends on what matters most to the most people. And that depends on who is voting. And it
will look a lot different in “blue” states than in “red” states. Even within those colors, the voting will
vary by county and region. Even Texas is
starting to increasingly reflect shades of blue. Winning and losing in today’s divided nation comes
down to the margins. Which side can
control the House and Senate. In
Presidential elections and close Senate races it can come down to a few key
counties in a few key states that determine the outcome.
Both parties can rely on their solid cores. The Democrats traditionally struggle with
turnout, but they’ve done a better job since Trump’s big upset win in 2016. The blue core is going to vote. The Republican core will always turn
out. But demographics are working
against them. Republicans must convert
independents as well as members of traditional Democratic “identity” groups
such as Latinos. Even some Blacks are
starting to lean right, but for the most part they are going to vote Democrat.
So what moves the needle for those voters who are not
“hardcore” in either camp? The Democrats
are banking on Abortion rights and lingering anti-Trump sentiment to motivate
independents to vote Democrat. Gun
Control, Climate Change, Diversity-Equity-Inclusion issues are foundational to
hardcore Democrats. But it’s Abortion
and Anti-Trumpism that really matter at the margins.
Republicans must push the buttons on inflation, crime and
kids while creating some distance from Trumpism. Border security tends to be more of a
regional issue, important but not so much for the majority of independent
voters. The number one pain point for
most people is inflation. That should be
a winner for the Republicans. Not
because their hands are clean on the issue, but because the Democrats have really
lost control of the economy.
Crime is a clear winner for Republicans. People are just fed up with the surge in
criminal activity. The Democrats have
earned their reputation for being soft on crime and it will be a major factor
And with kids, it’s about education vs indoctrination and a
growing awareness that something is “off” in the way kids are being taught and
what they are being taught. Parents of
all races, ethnicity and religious backgrounds are pushing back on CRT and progressive
gender/sexuality ideologies being taught to their children.
But, Republicans must not underestimate the impact of the
Supreme Court’s recent ruling that essentially pushed the abortion issue back
to the States. And with many Red States passing
extremely restrictive abortion legislation, this has become a rallying point
for women including many in the center who might otherwise be inclined to vote
And then there is Trumpism.
Outside of his hardcore followers, one finds very little support for Trump
even within the Republican party, much less among independents. At some point, Republican leadership must rip
the band-aid off and be done with Trump once and for all. Even if it means the Trumpers start a third
party movement and cripple the Republican party in the near term. A Republican Party that allows itself to
remain hostage to Trumpism cannot survive.
In a two-party system both parties must remain viable. The Democrats are allowing far left Progressives
to push them into a 30-40% support corner from which they can only win if there
is no better alternative for moderate, middle of the road voters. Now the big question is which is the lesser of
two evils? Far Left Progressivism or Far
Right Trump Nationalism? If those are the
only two options, The Left has the advantage.
They are standing on the moral high ground of our postmodern secular
culture when it comes to women’s reproductive rights, social justice for the “marginalized”
and fighting against The Fascists (aka Trumpers).
These mid-term elections are likely to determine the
direction of both parties for at least the next ten years. If there is a “Red Wave”, Trump will claim
much of the credit. He will either be
the Presidential candidate in 2024 or determine who will be. If the Democrats can find a viable candidate,
they will win the White house.
However, if the Democrats were to do better than projected
and the Republicans finally realize that Trump is more of a liability than an
asset, it might trigger a major shift for the party. Two more years of Progressive policies and
chaos would almost certainly open the door for sweeping changes in 2024. A more
moderate, inclusive Republican Party would likely win the White House as well
as seize control of both the House and the Senate.
We will soon see how this all plays out. It should be interesting, even if it's only more of the same.
“Politicians are like bad horsemen who are so preoccupied
with staying in the saddle that they can’t bother about where they are going.” –