MICHAEL MEDVED

Medved: Does the lack of a “Red Wave” indicate anything?

Nov 11, 2022, 12:09 PM
red wave...
Supporters of the "Steal the Election" issue were disappointed with midterm election results. (Joshua A. Bickel/The Columbus Dispatch via AP, File)
(Joshua A. Bickel/The Columbus Dispatch via AP, File)

The last two presidential elections were dominated by the rancorous, enthusiastic candidacies of Donald Trump. The polling and prognostication industries obviously understated the Republican candidate’s strength while over-estimating the performance of his Democratic opponents.

Though no one can deny that the recognized experts made generally accurate predictions about the distribution of the national popular vote – Hillary Clinton won her tally by a margin of 3,000,000 while Joe Biden racked up a 7,000,000-vote edge – the battle for the all-important Electoral College control proved far closer in both 2016 and 2020 than prominent surveys and analysts had predicted.

In trying to explain their mistakes, public opinion experts cited the phenomenon of “shy Trumpers” – supporters of the Republican nominee who felt reluctant to talk about their backing for such a controversial candidate. They also acknowledged that conservatives widely perceived a liberal bias in the media and therefore proved less likely to cooperate with pollsters than their liberal counterparts, thereby tilting surveys in a left-leaning direction.

More from Michael Medved: Why the sudden rise in antisemitism?

In this context, what’s the explanation for the peculiar polling of 2022 when the analysts, almost unanimously, anticipated a mighty “Red Wave” that never materialized? If anything, the consensus on the prospects for Republican gains in the House, the Senate, governorships, and state legislatures proved dramatically exaggerated.

Elections across the country turned out to be much closer, with more vigorous Democratic performance than generally anticipated. No major media outlets predicted that Joe Biden’s party would actually gain votes in the Senate, as now appears likely pending the run-off election in Georgia.

Even more shocking, the final control of the House of Representatives remains uncertain even three days after the election. When it is ultimately secured, the widely expected Republican majority will prove far more narrow or tenuous than confident GOP strategists expected.

In the period between this week’s balloting and the upcoming battle for White House control in 2024, pollsters and analysts will no doubt debate the reasons for their recent mistakes, but in that process, they can easily, immediately rule out one explanation.

No one can plausibly suggest that this year’s tendency to overstate the Republican edge in public opinion stemmed from pro-Democratic bias. Yes, the majority of the analysts whose work dominates legacy media are undeniably identified as liberal-leaning, but their errors in 2022 in no way assisted the progressive cause.

If anything, the ubiquitous chatter of a formidable landslide on behalf of the GOP would have worked to encourage Republican turnout and suppressed progressive participation and enthusiasm.

Had the public prepared for the knife-edge, unsettled struggle for control of the House, it’s likely that the Democrats could have out-performed expectations even more than they did, raising additional money and delivering higher vote totals.

Some of the exit polling provides hints as to a possible explanation for the gap between public prognostication and final results. AP VoteCast, a nationwide survey of more than 94,000 voters showed that 44% of them identified “the future of democracy” as their “primary consideration” in casting their ballots. A startling majority of Democrats (56%) and one-third of Republicans (34%) agreed with this sentiment.

Medved: Imprisoning violent criminals may be costly, but releasing them costs society more

While analysts emphasized inflation, crime, and abortion as the dominant voter concerns, they simultaneously derided President Biden’s insistence in high-profile speeches and daily campaigning that “Democracy is on the ballot” as an out-of-touch, desperation tactic with scant support. It turns out that in the last weeks of the midterm battle, opinion may have shifted, altogether unexpectedly, in the president’s direction.

The disappointing performance of GOP “election deniers” in every corner of the country provides further evidence that this emphasis on stolen election narratives from many Republican candidates may have worked to win GOP primaries but ultimately boosted Democrats when voters made their final decisions.

As usual, following mistaken assumptions on the part of the punditocracy, the analysis industry will need to readjust both its procedures and perspectives for a more accurate performance in upcoming contests.

Listen to Michael Medved weekday afternoons from 12 – 3 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3).

Michael Medved on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to michael medvedTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 12pm for The Michael Medved Show.

Michael Medved

antisemitism...
Michael Medved

Medved: Why the sudden rise in antisemitism?

What recent developments for Jewish people have provoked these alarming new levels of hostility in the United States and around the world?
27 days ago
barr...
Michael Medved

Medved: Imprisoning violent criminals may be costly, but releasing them costs society more

Barr described the shift in policies and priorities that began in the Reagan and H.W. Bush administrations, with a focus on “getting tough” on crime.
1 month ago
Republican midterms...
Michael Medved

Medved: Crucial numbers that Republicans can’t ignore

Only once in the past decade – during the Obama election of 2014 – did a majority of voters support Republican candidates for Congress.
1 month ago
student loan...
Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin Show

Medved: Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan fails majority of Americans

Biden cited colleges' exponentially-rising costs as part of the reason to go forward with the student loan forgiveness plan.
3 months ago
garland...
Michael Medved

Medved: After Mar-a-Lago raid, a dramatic week has given both parties what they wanted most

The search of Mar-a-Lago to recover classified papers may be remembered as the most controversial and disastrous decision in the storied history of the FBI.
4 months ago
U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in the final ...
Michael Medved

What Makes Our Politics So Nasty?

What makes our present politics so nasty, negative and intensely personal?
6 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSPA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Medved: Does the lack of a “Red Wave” indicate anything?