Election lessons 2022. By Victor Davis Hanson.
Election Night also no longer exists. Returns are not counted for days. It is intolerable for a modern democracy to wait and wait for all sorts of different ballots both cast and counted under radically different and sometimes dubious conditions.
The Democrats — with overwhelming media and money advantages — have mastered these arts of massive and unprecedented early, mail-in, and absentee voting. Old-fashioned Republicans count on riling up their voters to show up on Election Day. But it is far easier to finesse and control the mail-in ballots than to “get out the vote.”
The country is more divided in more ways than ever. America’s interior just gets redder and the bicoastal corridors bluer.
Exceptional Republican gubernatorial or senatorial candidates like Lee Zeldin, Tudor Dixon, and Tiffany Smiley in blue states like New York, Michigan, or Washington cannot win upsets against even so-so Democratic incumbents — even during a supposedly bad election cycle for Democrats, laboring under a president with a 40 percent approval rating.
Similarly, media-spawned leftist heartthrobs like Beto O’Rourke and Stacey Abrams can burn through hundreds of millions of dollars. But they still cannot unseat workmanlike Republican incumbents in Texas and Georgia. …
The country is gravitating into two antithetical nations. Americans vote not so much for individual personalities as blocs of incompatible parties, causes, and ideologies.
Debates count for little anymore, especially after the disastrous performance of winners John Fetterman and Kathy Hochul. …
Democrats still voted for Democratic candidates, regardless of John Fetterman’s clear cognitive inability to serve in the Senate and despite Joe Biden’s failures, harm to the middle class, and unpopularity. …
Inflame your supporters:
Winning or losing means revving up party bases, not running as much on a variety of issues. Biden’s vicious attacks on conservatives as semi-fascists and un-American worked. When he recklessly warned that democracy’s death was synonymous with Democrats losing, he further inflamed his base.
Truth is no impediment
Biden also goaded young people to vote by temporarily lowering gas prices through draining the strategic petroleum reserve, offering amnesty for marijuana offenses, and canceling half a trillion dollars of student loan debt. He told young women that they would die without unlimited abortions. And most of that mud stuck. …
In the last days of the election, Biden and the media effectively smothered those existential issues by claiming the country was threatened by insurrectionists and pro-life fanatics. Stooping to claim the attacker of Paul Pelosi — a crazed, homeless, nudist, illegal alien — was the veritable tip of the supposed MAGA insurrectionary spear proved to be effective Harry-Reid-style, October-surprise demagoguery.
Were the pollsters wrong, or was the blue steal bigger than the red wave?
Pollsters got it wrong — again. But this time once trustworthy conservative pollsters had little inkling that the simmering left-wing base was enthused by wild talk of abortion and insurrection. The real under-polled voters were not silent, wary Trump supporters, but this time around seething upscale women and college students. …
Ron DeSantis likely emerges as the dominant force in conservative politics. His landslide win in Florida carried all down-ticket statewide candidates throughout Florida, which has become as utterly red as California has turned all blue. …
Democratic opposition to a flawed and impaired Joe Biden running again in 2024 will recede. Republican loyalty to the unpredictable Trump could fade. And both those realities will empower Ron DeSantis.