Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND): “This is the weirdest election I’ve ever been a part of.”
The fundamentals looked terrible for Democrats: One formula predicted that Democrats would lose 44 House seats. Instead, they lost nine.
In Senate races, Democrats outperformed the polls. Candidates mattered.
Margins of election-night leaders: election eve polling averages vs. actual:
- Arizona: Kelly (D) 1.0% vs. 4.9%
- Georgia: Walker (R) 0.6% vs. -0.9%
- Nevada: Laxalt (R) 2.8% vs. -1.9%
- New Hampshire: Hassan (D) 1.0% vs. 9.1%
- Ohio: Vance (R) 7.5 % vs. 6.5%
- Pennsylvania: Fetterman (D) 0.1% vs. 4.5%
- Washington: Murray (D) 3.0% vs. 14.9%
- Wisconsin: Johnson (R) 2.8% vs. 1.0%
- People see the Supreme Court as a political branch: 63 percent say the Supreme Court is mainly motivated by politics
- And Dobbs was unpopular.
The final score:
- House 222R-212D (1 vacancy that leans D)
- Senate 51D-49R
Why is this Congress different?
- In the 20th century, divided government was often very productive. But Congress was far less polarized and House majorities were usually larger.
- Republicans have always had internal feuds. But they never broke into the open this way:
Government shutdowns and debt default: both are bad, default is much, much worse.
- How much worse? Consider the Twinkie analogy from Ghostbusters.
- There is no congressional majority in favor of default. But it might be hard to pass legislation averting it.
- We have had shutdowns and debt brinkmanship before. Each time, there was blowback.
- Few members of the House majority witnessed firsthand how badly these tactics backfired in past decades. Only about a quarter of House Republicans were serving during the 2011 debt limit crisis. Just four (Rogers, C. Smith, Calvert & Lucas) were there for the 1995-96 shutdown fiasco.
Investigations and Oversight (and Dems rejoice)
- Border security
- Hunter Biden
- Presidential documents
Some investigations (e.g., Watergate) have had a major political impact. Most have not (e.g., Fast and Furious).
- The state of the economy
- Foreign crises
- Disasters TBA
Mister T sums it up: