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Dr. Frank Luntz
Dec 03, 2021
When voters return to the polls for the midterm election in November 2022, the results could be disastrous for the Democratic Party. Why are the Dems in such dire straits? There are four main reasons including the simple fact that Joe Biden won the White House in 2020, redistricting is under way, Republicans are building momentum, and no one seems to know how to run against Trump whether he’s on the ballot or not.
Some insiders are downplaying the risk of a Democratic demise next year, but it’s there, and even if it’s low, it’s not worth taking chances.
It would be a really good idea for Democrats to really accept the fact that 2022 could be an absolute and total disaster for them.
And there are about three or four different levels on which this could be the case all coming together. There are serious political scientists that are talking about this. And unfortunately, I continue to see a lot of downplaying from the Democratic Party, which makes sense. They always want to downplay the fact that they could be facing a historic disaster, but also from some, even in my audience, just kind of basic left-leaning folks. And if we don’t accept that this is a reality that the Republican Party could be looking at historic gains in 2022 and then 2024.
And then you’re talking about Supreme court justices and more abortion restrictions and all of these things. But if we don’t accept what may be going on, it’s going to be very hard to prevent it.
So let’s start with, I mean, listen, you could start anywhere you want: LAYER Number one, is that historically typically with rare exceptions when a party takes control of the White House in an election in the next midterm, it’s typically bad for that party.
So that pattern as a starting point would mean with Democrats and Joe Biden taking control of the White House in 2020, the 2022 midterms would not be good for Democrats. That’s number one.
Layer number two, there was a census in 2020, there is a census every 10 years. And so you always have a first midterm after that census, the 2020 census is being used right now to redraw districts for the House of Representatives. And the first election with the redrawn districts is going to be in a year in November of 2022. With only 12 states so far having redrawn their districts, with that alone, and without any election wins or losses, you could see a plus five switch in favor of Republicans, meaning Republicans picking up five seats simply on the basis of redistricting that’s number two.
So you’ve got historical precedent: first midterm after a party takes the White House, and you’ve got the Republican redistricting done so far in 12 states on the basis of the census, that’s already a disaster.
And then you have the results from earlier in November, where in Virginia, Glenn Youngkin defeated Terry McAuliffe. Republican, governor taking over in Virginia. You did have New Jersey incumbent governor who’s a Democrat Phil Murphy win, but barely, barely, barely given that that was easily a Democratic win last time around. That’s a source of concern. So you have three layers.
And in addition, the fourth layer that I would put on that sort of like X factor of sorts is that you are now going to see an election in which Democrats really can’t, or at least shouldn’t run against Trump.
Terry McAuliffe in a sense ran against Trump in the Virginia race and it was a disaster because Glenn Youngkin kept Trump at arms length enough that it didn’t work, but the Trumpified Republican party where policy doesn’t matter and it’s about cultural issues.
Again, as we saw in Virginia fighting against critical race theory, not even being taught in Virginia, that is also a recipe for disaster in that maybe Democrats don’t know how to run against a Trumpified Republican party, but without Trump actually being on the ballot, all of these things together could be an absolute disaster for the Democratic Party.
Now, myself as someone who’s not a Democrat, I’m a progressive I’m on the left. I don’t particularly care about any party, including the Democratic Party, but to the extent that the better option is in the Democratic Party, I’ll vote for a Democrat over a Republican, for sure.
This is a wake-up call that is being minimized. You see party insiders minimizing it because they don’t want to alarm donors and they want to keep things going the way they have been. But at the end of the day, the Democratic and Republican Party are businesses of sorts. They’re businesses of sorts.
And then you also have some individual voters who are insisting that it’s hyperbolic to be this worried. As I explained previously, there’s an asymmetrical risk here.
Even if you assess that there’s only a 5%, a 10%, even a 15%, which I would argue it’s higher, but even if it’s only a five or 10% risk of a complete and utter Democratic disaster in these upcoming midterm elections, it would be so bad for the country that I would argue it needs to be taken incredibly seriously.
Think about a 1% chance of a plane crash. That’s an asymmetrical risk where it’s only 1%, but that’s damn high and you’ll probably die if the plane crashes. So you’ve got to take it very seriously.
I don’t get on a plane if there’s a 1% chance of a plane crash and much the same way if there’s a 5% chance of this Republican scenario happening even a three, four, 5%, three, three, whatever percent chance, even if it’s small, it would be such a disaster for the United States and for the globe on the basis of climate change and what would happen to our attempt to deal with climate change and, and live more sustainable lives that it absolutely has to be taken seriously.
That’s my perspective right now. I’m curious to hear from you, how likely do you think the scenario is and how actively do you think it has to be worked on by the Democratic Party in order to prevent it? Let me know.
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