The midterm elections are over (for the most part), and the people have spoken. What have we learned? What can we conclude? Read on for my opinion on the matter.
1. The most significant takeaway is that today is November 14, six days after Election Day, and we still don’t have the final results of all the races. As I write this, there are 20 House seats that remain too close to call. Therefore, we do not know definitively which Party will control the House when all is said and done. Furthermore, in a couple of races only a little more than half of the votes have been counted. In addition, the Georgia Senate race will not be resolved until after the December 6 run-off (and the way things have been going, perhaps several days or weeks after that). Whether you are a Dem or a GOPer you have to wonder in this day and age of sophisticated computers how can this be? How is it that some states, such as FL, manage to tabulate some 450,000 votes in a matter of hours, and other states like NV, CA , and AZ, with considerably fewer votes cast, cannot do so in several days? This only used to happen in very rare situations. Now, it has become commonplace. The system is broken. This is totally unacceptable. We deserve better.
2. The voting period is too long. In lieu of an “Election Day” we now have an elongated election period, which, in some cases, lasts several weeks. I concede that it may be an inconvenience for some people to vote on the actual ED, but I believe a shorter period is warranted. And, why can’t early ballots be tabulated as they are received instead of on or after ED?
3. Most states’ procedures for mail-in voting need to be tightened up. Widespread mail-in voting may have been appropriate during the pandemic, but now its weaknesses have become apparent. For one thing, they need to find a way to verify the accuracy of the votes without laboriously checking every voter’s actual signature. Most people tend to scribble their signatures and vary them from time to time.
4. Drop boxes and ballot harvesting should be eliminated. It’s too easy to cheat.
5. Debates are critical for many reasons. States should not allow early voting until after at least one debate has occurred. More on this later.
6. In retrospect, it became evident that the GOP had a more difficult task to win control of the Senate because it had to defend 20 of the 34 seats up for re-election.
7. It appears that many people voted based on the candidate’s political party rather than on the issues. For instance, (a) crime has been a big issue in NYC. Virtually every day we see reports of random murders, assaults and rapes. During her campaign Governor Hochul was a big “crime denier.” Yet, not only did she win, she got over 90% of the vote in the Dem strongholds of NYC where there has been heavy crime. (b) The border has been a major issue in states such as TX and AZ. Biden’s policies have resulted in a flood of illegals entering the US. Yet, Dems such as AZ Senator Mark Kelley and TX representative Henry Cuellar, who have supported those policies, won their races handily. (c) In PA John Fetterman, who had a stroke, barely campaigned, opposes fracking, which is a critical industry in PA, is soft on crime, and can barely string two sentences together, won because he is a Dem. Incidentally, one of the determining factors in his race was the fact that the one debate between Oz and him came after several hundred thousand early votes had already been cast. (d) Best of all, in heavily “blue” Allegheny County, PA a dead person won re-election with 85% of the vote, undoubtedly because he was a Dem!
8. Clearly, the Dems were more adept at navigating the various states’ election laws and procedures, particularly early voting. To their credit, they took full advantage, and the GOP did not. How was it that the GOP “missed the boat” on that?
9. The GOP failed too allocate its campaign funds in the most efficient manner. For example, it wasted a significant amount on the Alaska Senate race and none to Senate races in NV and NH where the candidates lost close races..
10. The much-balleyhooed “red wave” never materialized nationally. Other than in a few places, such Florida and Long Island, it was more like a red trickle. This went against historical precedent, particularly given that President Biden’s approval rating was so low, and the Dems seemed to be on the “wrong” side of the issues voters said they cared most about, such as inflation, gas prices, crime, and illegal immigration. Why? The most common post-election opinions I have seen ascribe it to abortion and Donald Trump. The Dems succeeded in convincing many voters that due to the recent Supreme Court ruling many GOPers were going to push to outlaw abortions nationally. This was pure fabrication, but many voters “fell” for it. Also, the Dems somehow convinced many voters that a vote for certain GOP candidates was akin to a vote for Trump, who remains very unpopular among Dems and some independents.
As I said, rightly or wrongly, the voters have spoken. They will get the government they wanted. A cynic might say they will also get the government they deserve. The question is will they be happy with the results. I think not. Already Dems are spinning that the election results are a reaffirmation of their policies. Therefore, things will not change, particularly if the GOP fails to win the House. The GOP, and the nation, missed a rare opportunity. Hopefully, I’m wrong, but I believe they will live to regret it.