by Anthony Arnold and Francine Dash
Anthony's View: Republicans Defeated Themselves After Raphael Warnock’s runoff win in Georgia, the final race in the 2022 midterms has been decided, and what a midterm it was.
There are a lot of potential takeaways, but the one that I think is most important is also the most obvious: Donald Trump is a massive, undeniable, and possible unmoveable roadblock to the success of the Republican party. Look at Georgia.
Brian Kemp, once again, defeated Stacey Abrams. Had Republicans run a Senate candidate who merely rode on his coattails, which is what normal parties do, they probably would have run the race. Had the candidate been someone with an above average set of political gifts themselves, the entire ticket would likely have found itself uplifted, and every candidate would have performed better.
Instead, they ran Herschel Walker. A man who didn’t satisfy any of those requirements, but did meet the low bar of being “Trumpy.” And so they lost.
Hence, the story of the midterms. Donald Trump was a drag on candidates across the nation, and in the month between the election day and the runoff, his prospects have only dimmed. His companies have been found guilty of criminal offenses, yet more classified documents were discovered in a storage facility in Florida, and some of his supporters who rioted at the Capitol are facing serious criminal charges. It was, to put it lightly, a very bad month.
He’s still the Republican favorite. It’s madness of the highest degree that a person who has shown time and time again that he’s doing active harm to other members of his party remains the person most likely to sit atop their ticket in a couple of years. Whatever news Donald Trump makes between now and then, it almost certainly won’t improve his prospects.
I don’t want to overstate the case, but let me be crystal clear.
President Biden and the Democrats were incredibly beatable. Inflation is distressingly high, gas prices were punishing for much of the election season, and legislative wins had trickled down to nothing, as panic over midterms results set it. A decisive win in the midterms would have put Republicans on the fast track to the White House.
The reason I point all this out isn’t because I agree with the aims of their party. I don’t. Quite the opposite, in fact. The reason I point this out is because what I want, what this country needs, is for both of our parties to be fully functional and entirely normal. And the only way for that to happen is if Republicans look at one of the most disappointing midterm results in the history of American politics and go about the business of fixing their party so that they’re no longer in the grips of madness.
Francine's View: A Vote for Democracy What a midterm! I learned quite a bit. I learned that political predictions can be the equivalent of wild guesses. I learned that the quality of candidates might really matter; and I learned to not underestimate American voters.
President Trump very confidently handpicked candidates to help create the ‘red wave’ that would take over the House and Senate, and carry him easily back into office. Instead, ‘the wave that never happened’ has cost him the credibility and luster for which he has yearned. While he is still a popular figure in the GOP, he certainly looks more beatable; and for that reason, some Republicans may find the confidence to more publicly challenge the former president.
Additionally, so much of what the GOP stood on, during this election cycle, is how unpopular President Biden is, and the horrible ‘Biden Economy’. The economy is not the best, right now; and for some people, it’s the worst of times. And, yes, people across both parties are concerned about the economy, especially the rising costs of everything!
But, it seems that we are possibly and maybe equally concerned about the state of our democracy. Maybe, the insurrection of January 6th mattered more than we once thought; and those awakened to the possibility of a weakened democracy and the loss of rights are just a bit undone by it all.
Voters say a lot of things when you put microphones in their faces. They complete polls and surveys; and make us believe that we know what they will do. They’re polite that way. But, when they are alone in that voting space, that sacred sanctuary for democracy, they will ‘say’ what is most important.
Now that the elections are over, one can only hope that those who have been elected are truly listening to what matters most to the voters of this great democracy.