Polarization may limit inter-republican revenues
Two divided nations.
Photo-illustration: Intelligentsia; Photo: Getty Images
Two weeks from election day Republicans they are generally optimistic about their midterm prospects, while Democrats are fearful, if not necessarily pessimistic. Most of the main indicators of possible interim results (in particular general congress bulletin and survey of many battlefields) turns consistently red, which is what you’d expect from all historical precedent for the party of an unpopular president in tough economic times. GOP activists and spinmasters are imagining that the tide will rise and rise in their favor. Covers all types of Democratic candidates considered safe.
They should curb their enthusiasm. There are some structural factors that will limit the potential amount of any major turnover in the offices in both directions this year.
The first is professionals “exposure,” it means the number of democratic offices that any competitor can achieve. High-impact cycles typically create more vulnerable managers the next time after a landslide in the opposite direction. For example, the 2010 wave shifted 63 House seats to the Republican column and came after two very good Democratic cycles (in 2006, Democrats gained 31 seats and flipped control of the House, and in 2008 they added 21 more seats).
Although Democrats entered the midterm elections with slim House majorities, their staggering spending in 2020 took some vulnerable Democratic districts off the table this time around. In the last interim control, c 2018, the influential Cook Political Report found that 73 Republican House seats were up for grabs in competitive races (swings to one party or another). Ultimately, the Democrats won 41 seats. Inside 2022 cycle, Cook only has 44 Democratic House seats at stake in competitive races. The battlefield is not that big, so losses can be small even in defeat.
Efforts by both parties to defend their seats at home monitoring the redistribution process and also reduces exposure to large losses. Essentially, both parties are trading the opportunity to make a large profit to reduce the risk of a large loss. Because they are making decisions that will draw the cards a decade from now, they may not be so opportunistic about short-term gains.
Because of the eccentric patterns created by the six-year terms, there is a different calculation for seats in the US Senate, which means that only a third of the seats are up for grabs in any given election. And 2022 Senate landscape It’s never been more promising for Republicans, with only 14 Democratic seats, none of them in states that Donald Trump won in 2016 or 2020. Meanwhile, the GOP holds 21 seats, two of which are in states won by Joe Biden in 2020. and six remained open upon retirement.
But this year, there is another factor that is as important as reducing influence in limiting Republican gains. It is pure partisanship of an electorate that is not as “convinced” as it used to be, nor does it take much “enthusiasm” to get its candidates to vote to defeat a feared and hated enemy party. . New york Time with columnist Tom Edsall collected some political-scientific literature on this issue. He quotes Gary Jacobson of the University of San Diego about how partisanship can change big shifts:
Partisans of both parties reported very high levels of party loyalty in recent polls, with more than 96 percent choosing their party’s candidate. Most self-identified independents lean toward one of the parties, and those who do are as loyal as self-identified partisans. Party voting has been growing for several decades and in 2020 reached the 96 percent mark. This upward trend does not reflect an increase in voter respect for one’s own side, but rather an increase in negative partisanship—dislike for the other party. Partisan antipathies keep the vast majority of Democrats and Democratic independents from voting for Republican candidates, regardless of their views on Biden and the economy.
This helps explain the persistent gap between the president underwater work authorization ratings and Democratic voting preferences (which we also saw on the other side of the partisan barricades in 2020). But it also helps explain the positive assessment of Joe Biden by the vast majority of self-identified Democrats who think he’s doing a good job, Edsall noted:
As partisanship increases, voters are less likely to punish incumbents for failing to improve living standards or other campaign promises.
Jephthah is enthusiasticcommunications professor and co-director of the Polarization Lab at the University of Pennsylvania wrote in an email that “people (especially partisans) don’t believe in retrospective voting, for example, which means they win.” Don’t be angry about bad economic conditions or problematic policies.”
In the early 1970s, Lelkes wrote, “Partisanism explained less than 30 percent of the variance in vote choice. Today, the partisan vote explains more than 70 percent of the electoral variance.”
The wild card is whether either party gains or loses significant support from either demographic. Republicans can’t stop crowing about the modest but significant gains they’ve made between them Latinos in 2020and the Democrats believe in secession Republican women Upset by the decision of the Supreme Court eliminating constitutionally protected abortion rights.
But another possibility is that sharp swings in partisan performance may not be as frequent in the near future as they have been in the past. Democrats can only hope so if the polls continue to turn red.
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