Election 2022: The Argument for Optimism

I have to be honest. When I think about the election in 2022, I am pessimistic. I look at all the ways that the Repubes are trying to rig and steal the election, and I feel queasy. But, my head says that there is hope and that democracy will likely prevail. In this next installment of the analysis of election 2022, the argument for optimism for a Democratic victory will be outlined. See the previous post, Election 2022: The Argument for Pessimism, for the, well, you know, the argument for pessimism or why the Repubes might could prevail. Let me know which way you lean in the COMMENTS!

Voter Turnout

To all those punditing talking pundits on all the talking pundit shows and writing all the punditing articles, the Repubes have 74 million reasons to be “loyal” to the Ol’ Pussy Grabber. Why don’t y’all get that? Who is going to vote for the Repubes other than some portion of those 74 million people? None of the 81 million who voted for #BidenHarris are going to vote them, right? None of the never Trumpers are going to vote for them, right? They’ve got to appeal to those 74 million who are loyal only to Trump, not to the Repubes.

When Trump wasn’t on the ballot in 2018, the vote went against the Repubes. Even though it was the highest voter turnout for a midterm election ever, the MAGAs didn’t vote in big enough numbers to win despite the Ol’ Pussy Grabber hopping down the voter trail like some pussy-grabbing Peter Cottontail. He grabbed every MAGA that attended one of those rallies by their pussies, and they still didn’t get enough of them to grab their candidates by their pussies to win.

What does that tell you? It tells me that MAGAs ain’t as enthusiastic about the rank and vile Repube candidate as they are for their Pussy Grabber grabbing their pussies.

In the last three elections, the GQP has displayed some voter turnout prowess. They got their voters to the polls in 2016, 2018, and 2020. They lost the popular vote in all three. The anti-Trump, anti-Repube vote is more enthusiastic, dedicated, and committed than the MAGA vote, especially when Trump ain’t on the ballot.

The Trump Factor

When Trump was on the ballot, he lost the popular vote both times. Once he barely won the Electoral College, the other, he barely lost it. #BidenHarris won by 65,012 votes spread across four states, contrast that by Clinton losing by approximately 78,000 votes across three states. In 2020, the Repubes picked up seats in the House and barely lost in the Senate. Love him or hate him, Trump turns out the vote both in his favor and against him. Luckily for us, he turns out more against him than for him.

In the 2018 election, when Trump wasn’t running, the Dem candidates for the House won 60.5 million votes and picked up 41 seats. One of the biggest swings in history. They won ten million more votes than the Repube candidates did. In the Senate the difference was even more pronounced: the Dems received 52.2 million votes versus the 34.6 million for the Repubes and still lost two seats. The Dems increased their votes by over 5% in both elections in spite of concerted voter suppression efforts by Repubes including aggressive voter roll purges that likely cost Stacey Abrams the governorship in Georgia.

If we look at the Georgia Senate runoff in the 2020 election, we see that Trump hurt the Repube effort because Trump was bitter about his loss and the lack of support for stealing the election… that is until it got to the 6 January Insurrection. Trump didn’t so much as campaign for Purdue and Loeffler as he discouraged and demoralized the adoring MAGA crowds that turned out to see him. Those folks didn’t turn out to see Purdue and Loeffler, which is a good thing because Trump didn’t let them talk much during their campaign rallies, and they sure as shit didn’t turn out to vote for them either.

So, in looking to 2022, how hard is Trump likely to work to get Repubes elected? Hahahahahahahahahahahahah! Oh, boy! Hahahahahahahahahahaha! Hold on. Let me. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! How hard is he going to work. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Trump don’t work, and he feels zero obligation to get anyone elected. He might could be persuaded to appear at a rally in order to bolster his ego, but he’s going to relitigate the 2020 electoral loss and bitch and moan about how the election is rigged just like he did with Perdue and Loeffler and to largely the same effect. Repubes should not expect help from Trump.

Trump realizes that he’s got to grift off of these 74 million suckers while the grifting is good. He’s got to milk these folks for all the money they’re worth. He isn’t happy that the Repubes are grifting off of his name, but there isn’t much he can do about it. He won’t tolerate anyone siphoning off his income, though, and woe be to those that try.

He’s as likely to turn on Repube candidates as he is to support them. He’s out for blood from anyone who voted to impeach him or didn’t vote to overturn the election, but anyone who steals his limelight, who is getting more attention than he is, cough cough DeSantis cough cough, they’ll get the Steven Bannon treatment, especially if they cut into his fundraising.

In 2022, Trump is likely to be more of a drag on Repube chances of winning than he is to be an asset. The 10 million new MAGA voters that voted in 2020 aren’t in the habit of voting. They will only turn out for Trump, and they might not turn out even then. Like most voters, MAGA voters won’t turn out if they don’t think their votes will matter, and Trump won’t be too reassuring that they will.

That’s what happens when you tie your boat to a narcissist. He swamps you in his wake and ignores your cries for help.

Independent Voters

An interesting thing happened on the way from the 6 January Insurrection to the ballot box, a lot of Repubes changed their party affiliation. Now, it is true that the average independent voter is just as partisan as the party affiliated voter, they just don’t like to talk about it. But, it becomes likely that these newly hatched independent voters won’t be motivated to vote Repube as long as the party is still vibing on the insurrection.

If the 2018 midterm election was largely seen as a referendum on Trump, which he lost badly, what happened in 2020? How could an election directly featuring Trump not be a referendum on him? Why didn’t he lose as badly as he did in 2018 and why did the Repubes gain seats in the House and barely lose the Senate? The Dems reverted to their old habits of shooting themselves in the gonads. We allowed ourselves to be shellacked by the Defund the Police slogan and tagged as socialist.

The thought of defunding the police — no it don’t matter that it wasn’t meant literally — scared a lot of suburban white voters. It played into the racial animus that animates Trump’s popularity among whites. Look how the 2020 vote broke down by ethnicity: 57% of white people voted for Trump and the Repubes. Even though the percentage of white people in the overall electorate is shrinking, it ain’t shrinking that fast. You aren’t going to win many elections if you can’t get the white vote to be a bit closer.

The independent voter who isn’t really independent swung towards the Dems in 2018 when Trump wasn’t on the ballot and swung back towards the Repubes in 2020 when Trump was on the ballot and could breath new life in the implicit racial bias that inhabits white people. What is going to happen in 2022 when Trump isn’t on the ballot and the election is viewed as a referendum on the #BidenHarris administration?

Screen grab from Statista

Voter Suppression

My prediction is that the Black communities are going to be motivated by the naked voter suppression the GQP is directing against them and are going to turn out to vote and overcome the impediments much like they did in Georgia in the runoff. The voter suppression will hurt the under motivated MAGA Trump-loving voter more. They won’t have the motivation necessary to overcome the impediments.

To do so, though, Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight and LaTosha Brown’s Black Voters Matter and other GotV organizations are going to have to step it up in states across the country. We’re also going to have to get the For The People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act passed.

My best guess is that American democracy survives the authoritarian power grab by the Repubes in 2022, but unless and until the GQP gets routed at the ballot box, they will continue to try to create their single-party pseudo-democratic minority-rule dystopia.

If you’re feeling as optimistic about election 2022 as I am, join our email list and never miss a post!

Image Attribution

“We will vote!” by kevin dooley is licensed under CC BY 2.0

16 replies »

  1. I hope and believe you are correct but we will need people like Stacy Abrams gathering them and pushing them on to the ballot boxes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Jerry!

      The basic math of who is turning out voters and what are the motivations of those voters comes out on the side of Democrats. There is only so long that people can be outraged and motivated by it. Especially when it is all artificial outrage and everyone knows that it is all performative. It’s great for soundbites and Tik Tok videos, but it doesn’t drive you through the voter suppression maze that the Republicans have erected.

      The problem on the Democratic side is that it takes substantial effort to organize communities to get through the voter suppression maze. It takes not only motivation, which is high, but also, skills, organization, and money. The skill to do it well is in short supply. Not everyone can do that kind of work.

      The last piece to the puzzle is the transfer of certification of elections from secretaries of state to state legislatures. Will Republican state legislatures certify Democrat victories no matter how big they are? What happens when they don’t?



  2. Bloody Sunday didn’t stop people marching, it motivated them. And, if the low motivation, infrequent Republican voters are assured that the voter suppression rules will keep the POC away from the polls, they won’t show up either.

    Given how closely the country is partisanly divided, neither side has a clear and wide path to victory, and any serious mistake can derail either one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Bob!

      I think the GOP is on the losing end of the turn out-motivation game. They are missing Trump on the ticket — when has he ever helped anyone do anything that didn’t directly benefit him? He ain’t helping them in 2022, especially if it threatens his income stream, which it will. It is limited pie available for a limited time. He ain’t sharing.

      Voter suppression will suppress their voters as well as Democratic voters, but it motivates Democratic voters in ways that it doesn’t motivate Republican voters. In fact, it probably does more to discourage Republican voters.

      I don’t see how they do it. Of course, we always have to have the black swan caveat. Progressives may come up with another defund the police that will drive racially angst-ridden white voters to Republicans.


      Liked by 1 person

      • The POC caucus of the Democratic Party has been playing the long game for a long time. They know it well and how it all come down to turn out, election after election after election, even when it means voting for the lesser evil.

        A lot of medium information GOP voters are going to notice that the police are still there and still funded, just like Obama never got around to taking all the guns. They will, given a chance, relax.

        Liked by 1 person

        • People can maintain those emotions and physiological responses to crisis for so long. You can’t keep them strung along forever. Eventually, you return to equilibrium. I guess that is a fatal flaw in Trump’s plan. He’s kept the base stirred up for quite a while, but without his Twitter provocations, can Tucker and others keep people in the high state of fear and anger? We’ll see.


          Liked by 1 person

          • Other things will also be getting their attention, like sports, pro and college, getting back to normal, and drawing off some of the emotional energy. There will be various disasters, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires, etc. If the Biden administration performs well on those Trump and his minions will find it hard to demonize.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Howdy Bob!

              I think the smoother things go, the better for #BidenHarris and the 22 election, thus the GQP practice of obstruction and sowing chaos. I can’t believe that governors are turning away UI benefits just like they turned down Medicaid expansion. And just like that, they are not likely to suffer at the polls for it, either. The deal that the party has made with the faithful is a strong one: hurt Blacks first and worst makes suffering worthwhile.

              It is interesting to me that #BidenHarris hit the ground running and have done amazingly well in the first hundred days. I think there was clarity of focus brought on by the dire straights of the pandemic, though. They obviously had a plan for vaccines and the relief bill, and it’s been effective. What is amazing to me is that they didn’t have a plan for dealing with the filibuster. Obviously, some kind of deal needs to get made with the Manchins and Sinemas of the party to get the filibuster modified so that legislation can be passed. They’re at a complete loss and are doing the usual pol thing of saying we’ll see how it works out, which generally means, nothing is going to get done.


              Liked by 1 person

              • I suspect that some on the Biden team underestimated how stubborn Joe Manchin would be. I also find it hard to believe that they didn’t know how completely Mitch would stonewall the agenda.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Howdy Bob!

                  I’ve heard reporting that his closest advisors, especially the Obama admin veterans, have been wary of McConnell’s stonewalling from the beginning. I have to believe that they have some kind of plan for how to deal with it.

                  I forget all the time that Biden has known all these senators since they arrived in the Senate (no one pre-dates him not even Leahy, Grassley, or McConnell). He knows them all fairly well. Manchin wasn’t elected until 2012, if you can believe that. That’s AFTER the faithless negotiating with McConnell over the ACA, but in time for the judges and Garland debacles. Maybe it is Manchin who doesn’t quite know what he’s dealing with.


                  Liked by 1 person

                  • That’s quite possible. Manchin could still think there is a path to bipartisan action. I can’t imagine that any veteran of the Obama administration doesn’t take McConnell at his word when he promises total obstruction.

                    Liked by 1 person

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