Election Post-Mortem

Election Post-Mortem. By Darren Beattie.

2022 is a brave new world. Consider Pennsylvania. In 2018, 163,000 citizens voted early or by absentee ballot. In 2020, more than 2.6 million voted that way thanks to Covid and a borderline criminal effort to repeal Pennsylvania voting law by fiat. Crucially, though, Pennsylvania did not go back to normal afterwards. It kept the new mail-heavy approach, and so in 2022 the close to 1.2 million Pennsylvanians again voted early or by mail-in ballot.

Covid has successfully entrenched the use of mass mail-in voting and extended early voting windows. And the Democrats have clearly mastered the advantages this supplies. Could this involve fraud? Maybe, but even if there is no fraud at all, a superior early-vote operation gives Democrats an enormous boost.

Instead of fretting about maximizing turnout on a single day, Democrats can use their ground game to harangue every likely supporter of theirs for weeks on end. They can knock on their door, offer to “help” them with their ballot, and in many states, volunteer to turn it in for them. By the time of actual Election Day, Democrats can focus all of their resources on whatever holdouts and marginal voters they still have.

Republicans, in contrast, seem to be shell-shocked so badly by 2020 that they have talked themselves into a losing position. Whereas the Democrats identify all of the Dem-leaning voters in a state who are extremely unlikely to vote based on their past voting history and harangue or hand-hold them into voting by mail, the GOP does no such thing. …

Furthermore, if a Democrat plans to vote early, but doesn’t, she can still vote on Election Day as a backup. But if a Republican insists on voting on Election Day, but then forgets, or is “too busy,” or is put off by long lines or bad weather, they can’t travel back in time to vote early. Their vote is simply lost. …

Republicans need to step up:

Democrats have built an election machine that will churn out votes, no matter how bad a candidate is and how bad the country looks. To defeat this, Republicans have no choice but to build a machine of their own.

This will be a challenge. One reason the Democrat machine works well is that, with black Americans consistently voting 85% Democratic or more, investment into maximizing black turnout produces extremely good returns. Another reason is that, in 2022 America, there really is a vast group of people with essentially religious devotion to the tenets of liberalism.

A successful GOP machine will also be better at the dirty work of clearing spoiler candidates from the field. It’s an open secret of politics that Democrats prop up the Libertarians, and the GOP props up the Green Party, for the sake of undermining their opponents. Well, in Arizona’s Senate race this year, there was a Libertarian in the race, but no Green candidate. A better Republican machine will avoid such hiccups in the future.

Thanks for nothing, Mitch!