Tuesday Takeaways

The biggest American political event of the week just ended was the 2022 elections. I could have scheduled that one a year ahead of time. That said, this is another timestamp article and I am commencing to write this on Thursday morning. There are many takeaways and I’d like to relay a few of mine to you today.


Florida

Personally disappointing to me is that, from the standpoint of national Democrats, Florida is gone in 2024. When Miami-Dade County goes red you aren’t getting it back in two years. Politically Florida has long been three states in one. The north is largely an extension of Alabama and Mississippi and is reliably Republican. The middle of the state, aptly dubbed the I-4 corridor, has been purple and the real battleground of statewide Florida politics. Both of those remain largely unchanged. The southern portion of the state was a Democratic stronghold but no longer is. It has been slipping away from the Democrats for years and they didn’t do nearly enough (some argue next to nothing) to prevent that.

It can be gotten back but it will take years of work and more than just parachuting in a bit before each election. The national party is going to have to make a major and sustained investment in community outreach and involvement for several years to come. Writing off a state with 29 electoral votes just doesn’t make sense to me. It will take a substantial investment but the potential return makes that investment worth while!

Trump/MAGA

Will the Republican Party finally realize that Trump is a loser and the whole MAGA movement is too extreme for the vast majority of the electorate? Results are incomplete at this point, (more on that below) but we already know that several Trump endorsed candidates lost what the Republicans had to feel were winnable races. We can argue whether America is a center-left or center-right country but we certainly know it is not a far-right country.

Candidates still matter and Trump picked a bunch of lousy ones!
Trump lost the popular vote in both 2016 and 2020 and by huge margins. He won the 2016 election on what was almost an Electoral College quirk. When are the Republicans going to finally figure out that he is simply a loser and only has notoriety by virtue of his membership in the Lucky Sperm Cell Club?

Status

As of this writing the balance of power in both chambers of Congress is still in doubt. It appears that the Republicans will have a skinny majority in the House. That is still not established and the Democrats, although it is doubtful, could still retain control by an even narrower margin. I could go on but I’ll leave that as the fodder for many future articles.

The Senate is still unresolved but I like the Democrat’s chances of retaining control. Three seats are still in doubt. In Georgia, as I and many predicted, we will go to a December 6th runoff between Raphael Warnock and Hershel Walker. I’ll just leave Georgia there for the moment.

The Arizona and Nevada races are too close to call at this point. I like the Democrats’ chance of holding on to both although Mark Kelly looks a lot more secure in Arizona at this writing. Who am I to go against Jon Ralston in Nevada and he still thinks Catherine Cortez Mastro will pull it out. If I had to name a number for the next Senate, I’d say 51-49 Democrats but I’m counting a lot of chickens before they have hatched at this point.

The Beginning Of The “Youth Movement”

I have no inside information so this is a guess based on a few comments, but I’m predicting Nancy Pelosi will retire from Congress without serving the term she was reelected to even in the unlikely event that the Democrats do retain control of the House.

The attack on her husband will be her primary excuse. This will open the door for a much needed “youth movement” on the Democratic side.

My Political Philosophy Confirmed

For decades I’ve been saying that Americans vote against, not for, candidates and issues. 2022 reaffirmed that. Enough voters found many candidates to extreme. The abortion issue showed us that. Where it was directly on the ballot Americans voted against extreme abortion restrictions.

This is why negative ads work and I advise Democrats to attack, attack, attack and then attack some more.

Gerrymandering Was A HUGE Factor

If, as I assume, the Republicans take back the House it will be almost entirely because of gerrymandering. In Florida Ron DeSantis personally gerrymandered the map to add four Republicans to the House and in New York, where courts still enforce the laws, the Democrats were slapped back for being too partisan and the “judicial map” allowed several Republicans to win.

After Dobbs, you would think that Democratic voters would finally realize the importance of the courts but it doesn’t appear to be the case. In North Carolina the State Supreme Court turned Republican. Stay tuned on that one!

Turn To DeSantis?

It’s way too early, but it appears, based on the 2022 results, that there may be a movement in the Republican Party away from Trump and to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. I’d argue that while it may improve the GOP’s chances in 2024 it would be even worse for America. Both are evil and self-centered but DeSantis, unlike Trump, is actually smart.

A Basketball Analogy

I don’t believe in moral victories. Basketball taught me that you either won or lost. If the Democrats lose control of the House they lost; plain and simple. The margin will make for some interesting horse trading in DC and special election – and there are always several of them – will really be special and potentially impactful. If the margin is small – and that appears inevitable at this writing – the Democrats will almost certainly retake the House in 2024 but as of January 3, 2023 they have lost it and the impact of that will be huge.

I could go on but you have other things to do today. Oh, and I didn’t even touch on polling and turnout. You can bet I’ll save that for another day!

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