Yet all we keep hearing the morning after an important Republican victory is how it’s Trump who should be scared…
We realize that it’s the job of a lot of pundits to spin, and opinion writers to have opinions; they’re paid to. And that involves cheerleading at times for the pundits, and offering different perspectives for the opinion writers. And we’re not questioning whether the data they’re looking at is real and valid. But we just don’t think what we’re seeing today is the type of spin, or perspective, that will lead to future wins these days. (That is, saying “it’s OK, we’re/they’re getting close, we/they got ‘em in the Midterms, we’ll/they’ll get ‘em next time”.) Seems to us that’s what a perpetually losing coach tells his team. Then if/when they do win, it’s a nice surprise. But it never becomes do-or-die. The message has got to become much more ruthless.
We hate to keep repeating ourselves, but close doesn’t count in politics. So a win is never “actually” a loss, and a loss is never “actually” a win. The loser gains no influence in Washington. The winner gains all of it. Even if it means closing a traditionally huge gap in a traditionally Republican district. Even if it means nearly winning a district that’s been in Republican hands for generations. Because in practical terms, nothing changes.
Democrats did great in the Midterms because they actually, really won some traditionally very Republican districts, and a lot that were on the cusp. That didn’t happen just now in North Carolina.
So if hopeful Democrats and/or Liberals are trying to cheer themselves up this morning by pointing out the Republican victory margin in a special election for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives is much less than it was when Trump won in 2016, we have one bit of advice: don’t.
In fact, if you’re trying to look at it from that perspective, you should note that even though it was close, the Democratic candidate lost by far more than in the same district in the Midterm, when the margin was just a few hundred votes vs. a few thousand. Here’s a detailed breakdown from the New York Times. You may remember, that election result was thrown out after piles of evidence the Republican candidate that time engaged in some pretty blatant election fraud: paying someone to illegally collect and/or fill out absentee ballots for people, after which who knows what happened to them.
Democrats also ran, arguably, a very strong candidate: Dan McCready, a former Marine (Democrats have done well running ex-military particularly in traditionally Conservative districts, and it’s something they should continue pushing), and moderate, though Trump tried to depict him otherwise, (and may have succeeded with some voters).
So Democrats has a good shot. They didn’t capitalize. Period.
Yes it took a full-court press from Trump (who rallied in the state), and Vice-President Mike Pence to help push Republican Dan Bishop over the finish line. And that came mostly on a heavy-handed message from the President emphasizing fear of immigrants, and portrayal of immigrants as criminals and drug dealers. Which means that far from getting tired of the President’s over-the-top messaging, plenty of people still respond to it, and believe the President, and that drives them to the polls.
So Democrats/Liberals: this is no time to put on rose colored glasses, or continue to bask in the glow of the Midterms. Put your heads down; get to work.
2020s gonna be brutal and ugly on all levels. This is no time for consolation prizes or complacency!