Here Is What The Media Won't Tell You: Democrats Are Strong And Republicans Are Weak
The media has overlooked the reality that the Democratic Party is organized and strong.
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After an election attention and coverage often gravitates toward the losing party, and there is much discussion about why they lost. There are indicators everywhere that the Republican Party under Donald Trump has been hollowed out and is potentially at its weakest point since the 1930s, but there was another factor in the Democratic midterm victory, and that is the strength of the Democratic Party.
In political science terms, the easiest seats to flip are those that the incumbent president won narrowly, and the next ring of targets are those that the incumbent president carried by 6-10 points.
When someone like NBC’s Steve Kornacki is standing at his board and talking about targeted districts, this is what he is referring to.
Democrats Were Much Stronger Than Republicans In Vulnerable House Districts
The Cook Political Report’s Amy Walter showed how well Democrats performed in these districts:
Where Republicans faltered most significantly from ‘out-party’ performance in 2010 and 2018 was among the seats that the Biden had carried by a narrow margin (0-5%) in 2020. In 2010, Republicans won 77 percent of those races; in 2018 Democrats won a whopping 82 percent of them. This year, it looks as if Republicans will have won just 36 percent of these 11 districts. GOP candidates failed to defeat sophomore incumbents like Rep. Sharice Davids (KS-03), Elisa Slotkin (MI-07), or Susan Wild (PA-07). Moreover, they lost open seat contests in the newly-drawn C0-08 and Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan’s open seat near Akron (OH-13).
Republicans also under-performed in CD’s that Biden carried by 6-10 points, flipping just three of 17 seats (NY-03, OR-05, and NY-17). The good news for Republicans is that they needed to net just five seats to win a majority. The bad news is that they weren’t able to win in the districts that have traditionally been the most favorable to the out-party.
The idea that Republicans underperformed is a very conventional way of looking at the midterm. A more modern approach is to ask what these Democratic victories say about the Democratic Party.
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