The much-predicted “red wave” looked like more of a ripple last night.
Many experts predicted massive losses for Democrats in the 2022 mid-terms. Historically speaking this was a safe bet. An unpopular president in a struggling economy is generally a recipe for incumbent party losses. Many of those losses never materialized.
At the time of writing, it is a pretty safe bet that Republicans will take the House of Representatives but by a much narrower margin than initially expected. Democrats may keep the Senate and conceivably even gain a seat. Even the most optimistic projections didn’t forecast that result.
Republicans were not solely banking on the sagging economy to carry them to victory. Since 2020 conservatives have cultivated an education platform that pushed back against LGBTQ+ inclusion efforts, critical-race theory, and COVID-19 precautions. This playbook worked wonders for Gov. Glenn Youngkin in Virginia… it did not work wonders last night. It would be a mistake to say these results were a complete rejection of that platform. Many of the “anti-woke” candidates won, especially in school board elections. But the massive angry parent army conservatives were waiting for did not show up.
There were other obvious issues for the right as well like the Supreme Court abortion decision and even in-fighting amongst conservatives. However, these results do potentially signal that these issues have run their course and no longer move the needle for voters.