After sifting through the rubble from election night, and having done some soul searching on my basic knowledge of politics, I’ve come to a few conclusions: American politics has entered a new age. All that has gone before—polls, historical trends, message, issues, candidate quality, traditional get-out-the-vote efforts, candidate debates, voter persuasion—means almost nothing and is extremely insignificant.
The thing—the only thing—that truly matters now is a “ballots out, ballots in” machine.
With that perfected, you could elect a random name in a phone book, or a dead man, or a vegetable. Or both a dead man and a vegetable, as Pennsylvania recently demonstrated.
This epiphany is at once startling and obvious, particularly since we saw a prelude to this moment in the 2020 election cycle. So how was it missed by so many of us until after the midterms? Recent success leading to overconfidence is the answer. The Virginia results, in a blue state that went for Biden by 10 points in 2020, blunted my skepticism and made me over confident. Republicans won everything in Virginia in 2021: governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and the House of Delegates.
Coming out of Virginia, the conclusions—the wrong conclusions—were that we could beat whatever Democrats did in 2020 with a great focus on mid- to low-propensity voters, drive them to the polls, and overcome the rigging and manipulation. Not only did the Virginia success lead to the wrong conclusions for 2022, I’m convinced that Virginia, and even New Jersey for that matter, rang the Left’s alarm bells in a manner sufficient enough to stir them to amp up their efforts. They realized after 2021 it was time to dial in the 2020 mail-in, ballot-harvesting machine and so they did; and in all the right places.
That’s what the 2022 elections were all about. I don’t want to hear anyone crying, “Well maybe it was the abortion issue.” Nope. “Maybe it was candidate quality.” Nope (please see my previous comments on a dead man and a vegetable). “Do people really want lawlessness and inflation?” Nope. “Maybe it was extreme America First candidates turning off moderate Republican and Independent voters.” Wrong again.
It had everything to do with numbers, but not polling numbers or inflation numbers. It was about who got the most ballots sent out and who collected the most. That’s it. That’s the 2022 midterms in a nutshell.