THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2022
Where the numbers stand: A few weeks back, we took a preliminary look at the nationwide numbers from the 2022 House elections.
By now, the votes are pretty much counted. Here's the way the numbers look at the Cook Report:
November 2022 House elections:
Total votes cast: 107.6 million
Votes for Republican candidates: 54.5 million (50.6%)
Votes for Democratic candidates: 51.4 million (47.8%)
Republicans narrowly won the House. Nationwide, Democratic candidates were outvoted by almost three points.
Several points should be made concerning those nationwide numbers:
As we noted way back when, Democrats got zero votes in certain districts because there was no Democratic candidate on the ballot. For example:
As you can see on the Cook Report map, there was no Democratic candidate in the race for North Dakota's one "at-large" House seat. The same is true of the race for South Dakota's one House seat.
For those reasons, there were no Democratic votes in the Dakotas this year. There were no Democratic votes because there were no Democratic candidates!
Down in Texas, there were no Democratic candidates in six contiguous districts stretching almost across the state (Districts 19, 25, 26, 31, 06, 11). It's also true that there were no Democratic candidates—and therefore, no Democratic votes—in certain other districts across the vast U.S.
In California, Adam Schiff was re-elected in District 30 in the face of zero Republican votes. So was Anna Eshoo in District 16. (California's relatively new "jungle primary" system helps explain this state of affairs.)
This sort of thing undermines the usefulness of the nationwide two-party vote as a measure of national political sentiment. On the other hand:
It has long been assumed that the party holding the White House will do more poorly in midterm elections, especially in a president's first midterm election. On that basis, and given problems with inflation, it was sometimes assumed that Republican turnout would swamp Democratic turnout this time around.
That didn't exactly happen. We'd say that the presence of Donald J. Trump in the nation's political life has changed a lot of long-standing assumptions and rules of thumb. That's reflected in the relatively high number of people who turned out, from both parties, in these midterm elections.
Obama's midterm elections took place in 2010 and 2014. In those two years, total midterm turnout stood at 86.8 and 78.2 million voters.
Then, along came The Age of Trump. Total turnout in the 2018 and 2022 midterms stood at 113.4 and 107.6 million voters.
Large numbers of people still don't vote. But in this, The Age of Donald J. Trump, the tide on the river has risen.
In this, The Age of Donald J. Trump, Republicans were still able to win the House—except on blue tribe cable news programs, where the outcome of the 2022 House elections is often described as a "win."
On cable, we're still told that we won. Ain't news by silo grand?