Why I was wrong about the red wave

When I am wrong, I admit the mistake.  When I wrote that nothing could stop the red wave, I believed that it would happen.  It was based on not polling, but history.

Never before had such an unpopular president and bad economy not resulted in a political wave from the first midterm.  Add in rising crime, inflation, and open borders, and there should have been nothing to alter the natural political course of changing one party for another in federal elections.

There seem to be several factors that slowed the wave that happened in several states, but which did not carry across the country.  It was the strangest midterm I have ever witnessed.

It took time to understand how all the conditions exist that brought red waves in the past could have states break the wrong direction.

It was a failure of Republican leadership across the board that cost Republicans in those states that went Democrat.

Rather than Rep. Kevin McCarthy hammering home issues that people care about, he and many other RINOs refused to educate as to why Republicans are better on those issues.  There was no united front from Republican House members telling the American people what they were going to do and why it would help them.

Sen. Mitch McConnell was vocally against candidates he disliked before the primary, and he even openly campaigned against Kelly Tshibaka in order to help Lisa Murkowski in Alaska.  Like House Republicans, there was no united front to explain why people should vote for them over Democrats.

The factions within the party openly attacking each other, rather than focusing on Democrats, prevented winning in a lot of places.  They were too busy publicly fighting each other to send a clear message.

Add in the effective demonization of President Trump in states like Pennsylvania, and his attacking Republicans, that added to the problems Republicans faced.  It was not that long ago when Trump talked up Republicans — not just those he approved, but the party as whole.

Republican gubernatorial candidates who did well, which includes Lee Zeldin (who lost, but did far better than previous GOP candidates for New York governor), showed how to get independents to vote Republican and flip congressional districts from Democrat to Republican.  Those with and without records talked about the issues important to the people of their states, without attacking other Republicans in the process.

Publicly fighting each other during a midterm, by people who are supposed to be leaders, but who have done anything but lead, has been costly.  Leaders of a party are supposed to be leaders of the entire party.  Fighting should be done in private, since it gives Democrats less to use against them with independents, who are very important in elections.

A united front from the most conservative to biggest RINOs would have seen the red wave carry across the country.  New York is proof of that.  Even without Zeldin winning his race, Democrats lost enough House seats to swing things in favor of a narrowly projected Republican majority.  And no question, if this had happened, Republicans would also be in control of the Senate.

The time of fighting among ourselves needs to end.  As a solid conservative in line with Sen. Ted Cruz, I understand that the Republicans are the big tent party.  As an Ohioan, I voted for J.D. Vance, even with my suspicions that he is far closer to Sen. McConnell than most conservatives.  I understand the need for Republicans to get elected on the national level to stop the Democrats.

Bob Ryan is a writer who has an MBA.  He is an American Christian Zionist who staunchly supports Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.  He has been a weekly blogger at the Times of Israel since 2019.

Graphic credit: Free SVG, public domain.

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