I was feeling kind of meh about the midterms last week, but as more House races are called things are looking up. Stanley Greenberg wrote,
It was transformative, knocking down what we assumed were Electoral College certainties. We didn’t immediately see this transformation because we assumed that Mr. Trump and the polarization in his wake still governed as before.
First of all, Democrats did not win simply because white women with college degrees rebelled against Mr. Trump’s misogyny, sexism and disrespect for women. Nearly every category of women rebelled. …
… Yes, House Democrats increased their vote margin nationally among white women with at least a four-year degree by 13 points compared with the Clinton-Trump margin in 2016. But Democrats also won 71 percent of millennial women and 54 percent of unmarried white women (who split their votes two years earlier). In 2018, unmarried white women pushed up their vote margin for Democrats by 10 points. In fact, white women without a four-year degree (pollster shorthand for the white working class) raised their vote margin for Democrats by 13 points.
Greenberg documents that there was a move among white working-class men toward Democrats also, although it wasn’t as dramatic as the move among white working’class women.
Last week, Lindsey Graham lamented that Republicans lost votes among suburban women. “We’ve got to address the suburban woman problem,” he said. Miz Lindsey also was saying the day after the midterm that the Senate vote had been Brett Kavanaugh’s revenge, because red state Democrats who had voted against Kavanaugh lost.
Somebody send him Greenberg’s analysis. Whether the Kavanaugh vote actually made any difference to Claire McCaskill or Heidi Heitkamp is not that clear. McCaskill toward the end was running a very cautious race emphasizing how centrist and moderate she is, and I suspect she might have done better in the urban districts if she’d come out promising to fight Donald Trump. That centrist red state Democrats lost doesn’t necessarily mean they would have done better if they were even more centrist.
But now we’re hearing that women across the board were more likely to vote for Democrats. Hmm, I wonder why?
Liberal political commentator Anushay Hossain told the Fix:
“When we say ‘suburban,’ we are really talking about white women, and while they make up the majority of Trump supporters, current and past, I think it is impossible for them to continue to ignore Trump’s basic disregard for women and our rights, both culturally and politically, with his policies and rhetoric.”
But suburban voters’ concerns with the GOP weren’t limited to the commander in chief. They found the positions and behavior of legislators like Graham troublesome as well.
The veteran lawmaker had what some deemed a “meltdown” as he defended Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, who was facing accusations of sexual assault. In his desire to protect Trump’s nominee, he made public his disbelief of Christine Blasey Ford, the clinical psychologist who accused Kavanaugh of inappropriately touching her without consent while the two were in high school.
I doubt Senate Republicans to this day realize what they did to themselves and their party in those hearings.
After Republicans voted in favor of Kavanaugh, Graham and others on the right believed that women voters would see their fathers, husbands, brothers and sons in Kavanaugh, and side with Republicans aiming to protect men facing accusations of sexual assault. … But women largely disagreed and decided to back lawmakers, many of them women, who voted against confirming Kavanaugh, who continued to face low approval ratings from women, according to a Washington Post/ABC poll.
And I don’t think that disagreement is going to go away.
That Republicans kept the Senate is largely a factor of the particular electoral map of 2018; most Senate races Dems needed to win were in conservative states. Given voter suppression tactics, Florida’s historic inability to count votes and that the Georgia race was stolen in plain sight, the Senate was just too big a hill to climb this time.
Philip Bump provides data showing that a Trump endorsement, or even a Trump rally, didn’t do much to help Republicans.
Our first look at Trump’s tweeted endorsements showed that his candidate won about half the time, meaning that an endorsement from Trump was about the same as an endorsement from George Washington (in coin form, once flipped). …
…In the House districts where he held rallies — usually not on behalf of the House candidates — the vote relative to the 2016 election was more heavily Democratic in 20 of 25 districts. If we consider a national shift of about three points to the Democrats (the 2016 national margin, compared with the national House vote as of Nov. 15, which favors the Democrats by about five points), 17 of 25 House districts where Trump rallied moved more to the Democrats than the country did overall. … [In Senate races] Trump visited only two states he didn’t win in 2016: Nevada and Illinois. Democrats picked up a Senate seat and a governor’s mansion in those states, respectively. They also got that Arizona Senate seat won by Sinema.
Orange County, California, is now solid blue for the first time since 1940.
And do read ‘Nothing on this page is real’: How lies become truth in online America. It’s horrible and fascinating.