Some political insights – November 7, 2022
I find writing this column every two years on or near election day cathartic. I have never seen this much hype and so many unforced errors on both sides. My resolution after clicking publish is to stay off cable news for a long time.
The analysis on TV seems more motivated by campaign goals than data. Republicans are talking up surprise victories in senate races in New Hampshire, Colorado, Washington, even though Senate races in North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Ohio are far closer. Republicans are exciting their voters to the poll. Democrats are scaring their voters to the poll. The Democrats may overperform in the Senate because they have good candidates in NC and OH and WI and NV are reasonably close.
Wisconsin should have been an easy pick up for the Democrats because the Republican candidate is a certifiable crazy. However, their 35-year-old nominee has not been able to address concerns about crime that were highlighted by unrest and vandalism in Kenosha.
My methods when analyzing elections in Wisconsin is to compare them to races in the adjacent state of Iowa. The states almost always vote for the same presidential candidate. The 2016 poll numbers in Iowa suggested to me that Wisconsin could turn red and it did. This year it is highly possible that the moderate Senate candidate in Iowa will overperform and the more liberal Democrat in Wisconsin will underperform, and the Democrats will lose both races. I expect Evers to win the governor’s race but could be wrong.
The Democrats are highly dependent on the black vote and the party has nominated several black candidates in states that are overwhelmingly white. The Democrat’s candidate for governor in Iowa, Deidre DeJear, an extremely young black woman with no experience in government had no opposition in the primary. She is 20 points behind and is not helping the Senate race. The initial competition to Barnes. Demings, and Beasley was also non-existent or dropped out prior to the primary. Republicans have tougher intra-squad games, which helps them in the regular season.
Splits between the Senate and gubernatorial outcomes in several states including, PA, AZ, WI, OH are possible. This should undercut Republican claims of rigged elections.
Voters in both parties are having buyers’ remorse in PA. Fetterman should have been transparent about his health and Oz is not a smart wizard. I personally could never vote for Oz and would vote for Fetterman if I lived in Pa. However, an independent who sides with Republicans on some issues and wants robust discussion of debates could conclude that Fetterman, due to his health would be a rubberstamp. The Democrats should have examined Fetterman’s health after the stroke, I believe in May prior to the primary and put in a pinch hitter.
Democrats may lose the House. I hope it is close. Because centrist could unite and elect a centrist speaker. Go here for a discussion of why the House is important.
Trump could be the big loser if Republicans underperform and if the most Trump-friendly candidates lose.
Concluding Thoughts: The Democrats central message is you must vote for the Democrats because the Republicans don’t believe in democracy and a Republican victory will lead to dictatorship. Well, if true, we have no choice and Democracy is already gone or on life support.
Eventually, the Republicans will win a cycle. If the Gambler’s Ruin Problem describes payouts dictatorship is inevitable.
Hard to see how Biden wins reelection in 2024 if Trump is gone and 2024 becomes a change election. Trump may run to freeze the Democratic field.
Authors Note: David Bernstein, a retired economist has written several papers advocating for innovative centrist policy solutions.
The kindle book Defying Magnets: Centrist Policies in a Polarized World has essays on policies student debt, retirement savings and health care.
The paper A 2024 Health Care Proposal provides solutions to health care problems that are not currently under consideration.
The proposals in Alternatives to the Biden Student Debt Plan are less expensive to taxpayers than the Biden student loan proposals. The reforms presented here provide better incentives and reductions for future students while the Biden debt-relief proposal offers a one-time improvement for current debtors.