With the outcome of the 2022 midterm elections stumping pollsters and politicos alike, there is much consternation within the Republican Party as to what went wrong.
With all signs pointing to a massive red wave, from 40-year high inflation and soaring crime to polls showing 70% of the nation being unhappy with the direction of the country under President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party, voters roundly opted for more of the same misery.
The resulting blue wall that allowed Democrats to not only hold the Senate but come close to holding the House as well, defies logic and recent history, where a newly elected president’s party takes a beating in his first midterm.
Those eager to bury Caesar pounced at the opportunity to blame Donald Trump and there is some truth in the notion that our elections have changed substantially since Trump entered the arena. There was also some talk about the quality of candidates and while that may have some merit, John Fetterman seemed to shut that avenue down. Conventional thinking points more to a developing phenomenon on the left: Voting by mail and ballot harvesting.
And while many on the right disagree with these voting tactics and believe it’s in the country’s best interest to return to more traditional voting procedures that include firm restrictions on absentee ballots and limited early voting — views the left bemoans as voter oppression — these are the current rules of the game and Democrats are maximizing their potential.
Another tactic, highlighted by Townhall columnist Derek Hunter was the Democratic Party “messing around” in GOP primaries — this being a reference to Democrats dumping money to promote certain pro-Trump candidates over other Republicans, believing the former were more susceptible to defeat. A strategy that proved to be somewhat effective.
“I’m not suggesting Republicans spend $50 million to help nominate weak Democrats like they did, but I’m not saying they shouldn’t either,” Hunter wrote. “In certain races, absolutely Republicans should go in and mess around in their primary process. Turnabout is the fairest of plays, perhaps the only truly fair play.”
“With that being said, and in the interest of fair play, the most important thing Republicans have to do is learn to play under the new rules for voting,” he added. “Yes, mail-in voting is garbage, and ballot harvesting sucks. But they’re also both part of the reality right now. If Republicans don’t learn to be good at them, better than Democrats, forget about it.”
The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway said pretty much the same thing last week during an appearance on Fox News, noting that “Republican leadership really failed Republican voters.”
“Just objectively speaking, things are bad in the country, whether it’s the southern border or crime or foreign policy, inflation,” Hemingway said. “And that Republican leaders could not turn that into a big victory for Republicans is really an indictment for how they’re running things.”
“Elections are not run anymore like they were in the 1980s,” she added. “There is now extensive period of voting where people who are smart are running get-out-the-vote operations every day, hauling in ballots every day. Republicans keep on thinking that election day is a single day and they think if they get everybody excited for that last day that that will be sufficient. That’s not sufficient. There needs to be an effective ground game that is on Republican leadership.”
In sharing that clip, conservative commentator Buck Sexton tweeted, “You play the game with the rules that exist, not the ones you wish. We need massive shift in focus to early voting and yes, mail in where it’s already the law.”
GOP needs to fight fire with fire, no more “but voting should be one day!”You play the game with the rules that exist, not the ones you wish. We need massive shift in focus to early voting and yes, mail in where it’s already the law. @MZHemingway gets it
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) November 11, 2022
Sexton also added this observation: “If the GOP doesn’t get serious about how the democrats have changed election systems in key states to rig them in their favor, we will keep losing those states. That’s just reality. Time to face it and do something about it.”
If the GOP doesn’t get serious about how the democrats have changed election systems in key states to rig them in their favor, we will keep losing those states
That’s just reality. Time to face it and do something about it.
Saying “but we won” doesn’t help.
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) November 11, 2022
Hunter was clear that we should go back to voting on one day, noting that it was done for more than 200 years, but said mail-in voting and early voting are currently “the way things are.”
“Republicans need to stop with the whining about mail-in ballots and start encouraging their voters to use them,” he wrote, adding that the GOP “needs to encourage people – hell, every person they come in contact with they’re fairly convinced will vote for them – to vote as soon as possible.”
Of course, the GOP prevailing by embracing Democratic tactics is a sure-fire way to get them to abandon the approach, as Breitbart News’s Joel Pollak noted:
Voting will only return to the international norm — one election day, in person, with photo ID — once Republicans start winning through vote-by-mail and ballot harvesting. Then Democrats will magically rediscover the vital importance of safeguards against fraud. Get on it, GOP.
— Joel Pollak (@joelpollak) November 15, 2022
As for the GOP interfering in Democratic primaries… well, that’s little more than a pipe dream, as noted by Washington Times columnist Tim Murtaugh, because Republicans don’t enjoy the same media protection as their colleagues across the aisle:
Try to imagine NPR reporting approvingly of Republican attempts to meddle in Democrat primaries.
You can’t imagine it because it would never happen. If the GOP tried to interfere in Dem primaries, NPR and others would go nuts.
But when Dems do it, it’s just a “strategy.” https://t.co/jXZyjE5hns
— Tim Murtaugh (@TimMurtaugh) November 12, 2022
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