How Will Democrats Deal With Losing Bigly?
Especially if they bought earlier media predictions about their performance?
The media framing device for the past several weeks has been an election where races are “tightening”. But that is entirely based on a frame of this midterm as one where Democrats have been ahead for months — and only now are Republicans catching up. That’s obviously bonkers — but it shows how delusional the media is willing to be in between elections.
Just look at these headlines, all from the past week:
Crime dominates New York gubernatorial election debate as race tightens.
Why Arizona's Senate race is moving to 'Toss Up' in our latest forecast update.
Hochul, Zeldin both take swings in only debate in tightening governor's race.
As the governor race tightens, what's driving Michigan voters?
Democrats scramble to avert shock Senate loss in Washington state.
Republicans gain ground in Senate races in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
National Republicans jump back into New Hampshire Senate race.
Inside the 11th Hour midterm shifts: “Two weeks from Election Day, Democrats are reallocating resources and retooling their messages as polling gives Republicans the momentum in congressional races.”
This whole “race tightening” narrative, though, is a pretty obvious dodge. The fundamentals have been in place for months now, and it’s really a matter of shifts from Registered Voters to Likely Voters that’s just making the media more honest in the late stage of the campaign lest they look absolutely ridiculous.
One thing worth consideration for Democrats after they get hit by the freight train in twelve days is whether having a media this biased and corrupted by partisanship is actually doing them a disservice. Consider candidates like Stacey Abrams, Beto O’Rourke, and Val Demings: They will have sucked up an enormous amount of cash this cycle in races where they’re going to lose and lose bigly.
The wild overestimation of these challengers’ chances, repeated over and over from “The View” to Politico to one profile after another, has led to money headed into races where it’d do a lot more help shore up Democrats in states like Arizona, Nevada, and New Hampshire.
This Politico piece today is titled: “‘Going to be ugly’: All signs point to Republican landslide in Florida” — and it features another example of someone who was wildly overestimated in his race against South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, Jaime Harrison, now the head of the DNC:
Florida has trended Republican in recent years, with former President Donald Trump winning the state in 2016 by a little over 1 percent and again in 2020 by an even wider 3-point margin. Many Democrats began to write off the state, even as the party maintained a big voter registration advantage. Now it’s lost that edge — there are now nearly 300,000 more registered Republicans statewide.
It all seems to spell doom for Democrats. Some think the party is just waving a white flag.
State Sen. Jason Pizzo, a Democrat who represents part of South Florida, noted that President Joe Biden has visited the state only twice since becoming president — both during times of crisis instead of specific campaign events. Biden is scheduled to hold a fundraiser and get out the vote rally with Crist in South Florida on Nov. 1, just days before the election. Demings is scheduled to join Biden at the rally.
“What have Democrats done? Not enough,” Pizzo said.
At a recent event in Jacksonville, a few dozen of the most fervent Florida Democratic activists gathered at a union hall to hear Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison rally supporters ahead of the midterms..
Calling the Nov. 8 elections the most important “of our lifetime,” Harrison tried to summon enthusiasm for the slate of Democratic candidates. But there was a sense of resignation from the crowd of activists who have seen Democrats lose almost every major Florida election over the past two decades.
“We are ready to elect Crist,” Harrison told the crowd. “We are ready to elect Val Demings as our next senator.”
The event was supposed to send a charge through the party’s grassroots but instead exposed the lack of coordination among candidates and enthusiasm gap haunting Democrats. Demings wasn’t there, nor were Democratic candidates for state attorney general or agriculture commissioner. Only Crist, the former Florida Republican governor turned Democrat, who is challenging Gov. Ron DeSantis, attended.
“You had the Democratic gubernatorial candidate on his [get out the vote] bus tour in arguably one of the strongest Democratic performing swing counties and best-organized ground games, and you had 50 or 60 people show up?” said Matthew Van Name, a longtime Democratic consultant who attended the event. “2022 is one of the most uncomfortable and segmented cycles I’ve seen.”
The level of spin Democrats see in media and echoed on social media is a detriment, not a benefit. When the media and pollsters promise that races will be close that end up well outside the margin of error, it has a draining effect. We may be on the cusp of an absolute rout — but many of these same people will be on TV again within months touting their next version of a terrible penny stock and driving the viewers to ActBlue.
Will they ever wake up to how badly this plays? Not until the suckers look around the table and realize who they are.
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