Continued reflections on yesterday’s elections—
The Trump Factor. I agree with Megan McArdle’s third point.The Republican loss for governor in Maryland is an example of her third point. Trump backed Dan Cox in the primary. The alternative to Cox was a RINO with close ties to the popular sitting RINO governor. A Republican can’t win a statewide race in Maryland without substantial support from Democrats, and Cox lost by a 2:1 margin, essentially the ratio of Democrat to Republican voter registration in the state.
UPDATE—Trump isn’t solely to blame for the GOP’s poor performance yesterday. Polling consistently showed that most Americans believe the country is not on the right track. The Republicans never framed a coherent message explaining what they proposed to do to redirect the country in a better direction. Except in a few exceptional races, they never gave the public something to vote for.
UPDATE 2—This should be strike three for Beto O’Rourke.
UPDATE 3—Here’s an example of what a strong candidate with a resonating message can do. It turns out that Lee Zelden probably had coattails even when he lost in his own race. Take a look at the House race maps for 2020 and 2022.It appears that Republican house candidates did much better this year in the Hudson Valley and the west end of Long Island. They have flipped at least two seats, including the one held by Sean Maloney—the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Florida is another example. Two seats were flipped with Ron DeSantis at the top of that state’s Republican ticket.
Both Zelden and DeSantis were credible candidates who told the public what they would to help improve their states. Florida said, “Yes, please, we’d like some more.” New York said, “No, thanks, we’d like more of the same.” I suspect the cost of renting a U-Haul from Rochester to Pensacola will be going up soon.
UPDATE 4—With respect to the flip of NY-17, Chef Boyardee was unavailable for comment.