Tuesday’s election results no doubt left many Republicans scratching their heads and angry. What happened to the red wave? Why didn’t we win back the Senate? Where did things go wrong?
Unfortunately there are no easy answer, but there are some quick lessons to be learned:
— Pre-election polling is dead. Dead. Dead. Whatever the wizards of projection say, the changing demographics mean traditional polling is dead. So don’t ever pin your hopes on what the polls say again. Yes, pollsters will offer all sorts of excuses and ideas to improve their algorithms, but don’t believe them. They’re done.
— The generational shift in voters is real. If you believe the exit polls, which might contradict my statement above (ooops), then the millennials, Gen Z, Zoomers, or whatever are starting to make their voices heard. As this chart shows, income and education are about split between Republicans and Democrats, and even the racial and ethnic split is pretty historically steady. But the generational gap is telling, and let’s face it, as Boomers and Gen X start to age out, voters raised in the age of abortion, gay rights, and a resurgence of teaching the merits of socialism and environmentalism, are going to make their preferences known.
What does this mean going forward? Well for Republicans, the lessons are to be learned in Florida I think. First, let’s talk about the elephant in the room (no pun intended). Donald Trump is probably not the best candidate for 2024. There. I said it. But Trumpism most certainly is. What that means is all of the policies Trump had in office- energy independence, bringing industry back home, reducing government regulation, taking back the culture wars and generally making everyone better off financially are popular. But let’s face it, Trump is not, and in this day, personality counts.
We need another Ron in the White House…and he comes from Florida. Now, to be sure, the Democratic mediatainment industrial complex are already no doubt sharpening their knives and Joe’s minions in the DOJ will start looking for way to unleash the FBI in Florida, but Governor DeSantis’ resounding win– with coattails, shows the way forward.
And never forget, the left is vulnerable in the culture wars. Andrew Breitbart says politics follows culture and Florida shows this in spades. There is a subtle but noticeable shift among parents that they do not want their kids exposed to drag queens, sexually explicit books showing gay sex, or generally to have their children’s teachers telling them it’s okay to mutilate their bodies if they feel like they’re misgendered. Many parents are also generally not happy about their kids being taught that America is a horrible place filled with racists and sexists. These are winning issues if they have the right salesman.
Economics may be a tougher nut to crack. Clearly most Americans think the economy is on the wrong track and that they are not better off than they were when Joe Biden took office, but Republicans need to present a much clearer and more concise message of how they would change things. No one really believes the Inflation Reduction Act will do any such thing, but it sounds good. And of course, we have a generation being raised to believe that government will take care of them, after all, people got pandemic checks for over a year to sit at home and play Xbox. Republicans need a strong message of opportunity with a modest safety net. No one is going to end or cancel Social Security or Medicaid. But the ability to buy a home or even afford gas and groceries is being crushed by Biden’s inflation, which will affect the economy for years. Republicans need another optimistic warrior to bring the party under one tent and get ready for 2024, and he is going to be found in Florida…Tallahassee, Florida.