Why Did Democrats And Liberals Lose The 2014 Midterms?

Republicans now control the Senate, and in the House they increased their rank and file. So now the Democratic Party is apparently undergoing a post-election examination of what went wrong, just as the Republican Party did after the 2012 elections. So, why did Democrats and liberals lose the 2014 midterms?

Well, let’s get this out-of-the-way — It wasn’t a Republican “wave” as the media pundits like to say. I just love this nonsense. What happened on Tuesday is more akin to what happens between each wave. You have waves of voter turnout for presidential election years, and lulls for midterms. Who this favors depends on who is in the White House. Absent a polarizing conservative in the White House, Democrats and liberals tend to stay home during midterm elections. Everyone, and that includes Republicans, acknowledges that lower voter turnout tends to favor the Republican Party. So, why analyze it any further? I’m not saying the Democratic Party shouldn’t figure out a way to get higher turnout, but what I’m saying is that midterm elections have a higher percentage of older, more conservative voters due to overall low voter turnout. People who are a bit older, people who are maybe stuck in their ways, and people who scare easily, are the people who dutifully turnout to vote no matter what the election is for. So when you start parsing the details of the midterm electorate, you are parsing it from a different starting point then you would with a presidential election year. I’m not sure what that tells you with regard to the mood of the country. It’s pretty dangerous to start making assumptions about what Americans are trying to tell you when only one-third showed up to vote. But then again, that statement is still true even if two-thirds showed up, because there are no clear messages from election results other than when people get to vote on ballot initiatives. And if we look at those results from this past Tuesday, for things like minimum wage increases, and marijuana legalization, even a more conservative electorate voted in favor of those liberal issues.

So you might have heard that men strongly broke for the Republican Party this year (not surprising), but women evenly split between the two parties (maybe surprising?), and that has the media pundits, particularly liberal media pundits, scratching their heads,  and devoting entire on-air segments to talk about and dissect. But again, this was based on an electorate that was skewed conservative. There’s no greater story here. There’s no major change in public sentiment. It was simply an older and more conservative electorate, as it tends to be for midterm elections. But of course if we acknowledge this, then the pundits don’t have much to talk about between now and when the 2016 presidential election starts heating up (probably in only two or three months). The only thing Democrats need takeaway from this election is that they must figure out how to get young people to vote when there isn’t a presidential candidate to vote for. It’s really as simple as that. Stop trying to make it more complex.


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