Commenting on the midterms, I relied on Robert Cahaly’s Trafalgar polls to moderate my native pessimism. As I noted in “Trafalgar in retrospect,” I’m still kicking myself for that and for having advertised his polls to readers. What does Cahaly himself say? He spoke with New York Intelligencer’s Benjamin Hart this week for this interview. As I read the interview, he sounds grouchy and defensive, but I understand this much: “We’re working up a statement, what we’re going to put out.”
Jeffrey Anderson previewed the midterms in the November American Greatness column posted here. He professes himself surprised by the results and looks back at what happened in the City Journal column “The Election, By the Numbers.” As former director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics at the Department of Justice from 2017 to 2021, he can crunch the numbers. He asks what happened and responds:
A pair of numbers leaps out of the exit polling: 32 percent of voters said that they cast their House vote to “oppose” President Joe Biden, while 28 percent said they cast their House vote to “oppose” former President Donald Trump. In other words, for every eight votes cast against Biden, all but one was negated by a vote cast against Trump. This is surely unprecedented in a midterm election. It’s nearly impossible to imagine a previous midterm in which almost as many people voted against the loser of the previous presidential contest as voted against the winner. How many people, for example, bothered to vote against Richard Nixon in 1962, Jimmy Carter in 1982, George H. W. Bush in 1994, or even Hillary Clinton in 2018?
Of course, it didn’t help Republicans that the leading establishment faces of their party are even less popular with voters than Trump….
He has more to say, all of which I found worthwhile.
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