Midterms are speculated to be the time for the opposition social gathering to shine.
That ought to particularly be the case when there’s once-in-a-generation inflation and when the overwhelming majority of Individuals suppose the nation is on the incorrect observe.
As a substitute, President Joe Biden and the Democrats are in place to have one of many 4 greatest midterms for the social gathering controlling the White Home within the final century.
So what simply occurred?
The GOP’s “candidate downside”
Analysts, myself included, famous that Republicans appeared to have a candidate likability downside. Pre-election polling confirmed Republicans in all the important thing races had detrimental web favorability rankings. Democrats have been broadly higher appreciated than their opponents.
A lot of these Republicans have been endorsed by former President Donald Trump and had falsely claimed — not less than at one level — that they believed he gained the 2020 election.
The exit polls bear out Republicans’ “candidate downside.” In each Senate race (save Georgia) that Inside Elections rated as a toss-up or solely tilting towards a celebration earlier than the election, extra voters stated the Republican candidate’s views have been too excessive than stated the identical for the Democrat.
We see this in gubernatorial elections, as properly. Republicans nominated 2020 election deniers for governor in plenty of blue or swing states. None of them has been projected a winner, and solely Republican Kari Lake of Arizona has any probability of profitable.
Two presidents on the path
On the nationwide stage, there are two presidents within the highlight: the present one (Biden) and the previous (Trump). Each males sported detrimental web favorable rankings, per the exit polls.
The truth that you have got a present president and a former president who’re each unpopular isn’t uncommon.
What’s uncommon is that of the 18% who considered neither Biden nor Trump favorably within the exit polls, 40% of them voted for Democrats. The backlash towards one president this yr could have been canceled out by the backlash towards the opposite.
“Abortion first” voters
Arguably, what really made this midterm distinctive was abortion. Regardless of excessive inflation, solely 31% of voters within the exit ballot stated it was an important situation to their vote. A virtually equivalent share (27%) stated abortion, and these voters overwhelmingly selected Democratic candidates for Congress.
This matches the dynamic we noticed within the special House elections following the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June. Democrats began doing significantly higher than earlier than the Supreme Court docket ruling.