- Stephen McIntyre explains how the Balkanization of America stifled the red wave
In a series of tweets, Stephen McIntyre shows the real progress that was made during the 2022 election over the whole spectrum (and compares those figures to 2016, 2018, and 2020).
It seems the progress we made came primarily in spite of ourselves within mixed (aka non-gerrymandered) districts. This counters the trend our trend to self-segregate and concentrate our votes within existing Republican strongholds (aka the Balkanization of America).
- Of course, as Harris County proves, there is also the matter of Democrat cheating
As I have blogged at this site for several days, there remains the matter of Democrat cheating aided by telegraphed messages from the Republican grassroots (for proof, go here and here).
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t approve of the Harris County Elections Administrator sending 600 ballots to each of 23 polling places where past elections saw 2,500 votes cast at each of those polling places.
However, Republicans also need to not outsmart themselves. They don’t need to smugly wait until the last day to vote when early voting sits available. Certainly I didn’t. Furthermore, they shouldn’t limit themselves to knowing the locations of the Republican polling places — as long as Democrats control their county, they should know the locations of Democrat polling places, too. That way, they’ll know where the better-equipped polling places will be.
- “So pissed off, I cannot even see straight” — Ted Cruz blames Mitch McConnell’s allocation of money for GOP midterm losses
The Daily Caller brings out the point of view that Republican misallocation of funds played a hand in the losses through a report on Senator Ted Cruz’s assessment of Mitch McConnell’s midterm performance.
Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz slammed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell during a Monday podcast, saying the GOP should have won the majority of the upper chamber and blamed McConnell for not supporting Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters.
Cruz released an episode of his podcast, titled Verdict with Ted Cruz, where he and co-host Ben Ferguson discussed the midterm elections and the GOP’s failure to recapture the Senate. Cruz mentioned his frustration, saying there was no excuse for McConnell to abandon Masters, calling it “indefensible.”
“Well, Ben, let me start off by saying I am so pissed off, I cannot even see straight,” Cruz said.
“We had an extraordinary opportunity. We had a generational opportunity. This should have been a fundamental landslide election. We should have won the House and the Senate. We should have a 30, 40, 50 vote majority in the House. We should have 53, 54, 55 Republicans in the Senate,” Cruz continued.
McConnell’s PAC reportedly yanked $8 million in campaign spending from Arizona after Masters won his primary election, according to Fox News.
Cruz was also asked if McConnell would donate to Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker’s campaign in a run-off. Cruz replied he likely will, but said he believes the GOP could have won Arizona.
“Oh, look, I’m sure he will raise money and invest in the race … But if you look at this last cycle, Mitch McConnell pulled the money out of Arizona. We could have won — won Arizona. We nearly won Arizona and abandoning Blake Masters was indefensible,” Cruz said.
“Explain to me, Senator, why in a race where the polling showed that we had a legitimate chance of winning there. Why did he pull out that money from Masters who desperately needed it?” Ferguson asked Cruz.
“Because Masters said he would vote against Mitch McConnell, and so Mitch would rather be leader than have a Republican majority. If there’s a Republican who can win, who’s not gonna support Mitch, the truth of the matter is he’d rather the Democrat win. So he pulled all the money out of Arizona,” Cruz responded.
(Read more at the Daily Caller)
Why the GOP’s popular-vote edge hasn’t translated to more House seats
The Washington Post explains how Republicans’ winning the popular vote in the 2022 midterms still did not translate into the “red wave.”
For many years, the manner in which our country elects its leaders has been a very favorable setup for Republicans. Not only did they win the 2000 and 2016 presidential elections despite getting fewer votes, but they also held the House in 1996 and 2012 despite getting fewer votes. Republicans have regularly won more House seats than their popular vote share would suggest — in large part thanks to their superior control of redistricting.
The 2022 election, though, looks like it will buck that trend.
Republicans appear primed to win the narrowest of House majorities — around 220-215 or 219-216 — despite possibly winning a majority of the votes nationwide and edging Democrats by around three or four percentage points.
If they do ultimately win by around three or four points, it would mean Republicans improved on their margin from the 2020 election by around six or seven points, but they were only able to add about 2 percent of seats, as the Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman notes.
This has understandably led to some griping and head-scratching among Republicans who wonder how they’re struggling to win the House despite that swing. But it’s worth putting in context.
The first thing to note is that we have incomplete results. The Cook Political Report’s national popular vote tracker currently shows Republicans winning 51.5 percent of House votes to the Democrats’ 47 percent — a gap of 4.5 points. It’s safe to assume Republicans will win the popular vote by a few points, but that margin will continue to narrow as we get more results from blue-leaning states out west, especially California.
The second point is that the popular vote can be deceiving. That’s especially the case in the battle for the Senate, but it’s also true of the House.
The reason: Some districts don’t feature two major-party candidates, and as a result, those races skew the overall numbers. That’s because having no major-party opponent generally means candidates run up a much bigger margin than they otherwise would.
(Read more at the Washington Post)
Therefore, the article above backs up the hyper-gerrymandered theory of Stephen McIntyre
It never hurts to have two sources saying essentially the same thing.
- Why California Republicans stopped complaining about ballot harvesting and embraced the process
The National Review outlines the means used by California Republicans to counter the Democrat advantage. Hopefully, this will be a lesson learned across the nation in places where ballot harvesting is allowed.
Following a bloodbath for Republicans in the 2018 midterms, then-House speaker Paul Ryan couldn’t believe what he had seen out in California.
“We were only down 26 seats the night of the election and three weeks later, we lost basically every California race,’’ Ryan — a mentor to California Republican and current House GOP head Kevin McCarthy — told the Washington Post in a post-mortem interview. “This election system they have — I can’t begin to understand what ‘ballot harvesting’ is.”
But in 2020, California Republicans are singing a different tune, even as California governor Gavin Newsom signed a Democrat bill requiring that every registered voter in the state receive a mail-in ballot for the November elections.
Of the seven seats that Republicans lost two years ago, two in Orange County have flipped back to red — Steel’s wife, Michelle Park Steel, won in California’s 48th, while Kim defeated Cisneros in a second try — and Republicans lead by narrow margins in two more.
So what changed?
“I think one of the big areas is ballot harvesting,” California GOP spokesman Hector Barajas told National Review, crediting the pragmatic leadership of state chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson to emphasize the practice in several key races.
“We were either going to do two different things,” Barajas said of the state party’s shift in attitude. “We were either going to continue to whine, oppose valid harvesting, and lick our wounds after the election, or we were going to figure out the rules, look at the chessboard that was put before us, and figure out how to play the game.”
But this time around, Orange County Republicans upped the ante, placing collection boxes in megachurches such as Calvary Chapel in Chino Hills and Influence Church in Anaheim, as well as targeting Vietnamese voters in Westminster and Fountain Valley.
And while California Republicans say that would rather do away with the practice all together — a position shared by California election-law expert Dr. Rick Hasen — they see it as a necessary evil, especially when locked in a high-turnout battle during COVID-19.
“The issue of ballot harvesting is we don’t like it. We don’t agree with it. However, it’d be political malpractice not to do it where the other side is doing it, and the other side has done it effectively,” California RNC committeewoman Harmeet Dhillon told National Review.
“This isn’t the debating club. This is about winning the election,” she continued.
Republicans pointed to how the law enabled the Democrat ballot harvesting machine to work in 2018, with tens of thousands in funding for operatives to hit the streets and collect ballots door-to-door and from favorable union halls.
(Read more at the National Review)
If we want to get rid of the flawed mail-in-ballot option, we need to make it odious to Democrats
When Republicans get to the point that they are out performing Democrats at ballot harvesting, then ballot harvesting will disappear.
When Republicans flip a seat or 10 with mail-in ballots, we likely will have seen the last of the COVID limitations and a drive toward in-person balloting by Democrats. Who knows, maybe they will declare that minorities will be disenfranchised without a return to in-person balloting.