No 'Red Wave' may reflect limited Republican strategy: Experts
Republicans are expected to win a narrow majority in the House of Representatives, and anticipations are that the Senate's control would be up for grabs for a few more weeks.
Most analysts and experts expected a Republican "red wave" to sweep Congress; however, the anticipated political victory did not materialize in this week's midterm elections, which will be remembered as the critical turning point when the limits of Republican policy became clear, analysts told Sputnik.
Republicans were still projected to win a very narrow majority in the House of Representatives, while control of the Senate was expected to remain uncertain for several weeks with at least two key races still pending to be decided and the Georgia contest set for a runoff vote next month.
They had expected a big tidal wave or tsunami of support to give them at least 30 additional House seats, probably many more, and clear, unchallenged control of the Senate. However, the wave never materialized. Instead, constitutional historian and political pundit Dan Lazare believes that the results may have signaled the climax of Republican national support.
"I think 2022 may therefore be a tipping point in which the self-limiting nature of the Republican strategy is finally making itself felt," Lazare said. "Bear in mind that the Democrats, having won the popular vote in seven out of the last eight presidential elections, are by now the majority party."
Lazare: Republicans depend on rural whites, Democrats on the young
For 40 years, Republicans were able to recompense for the increasing Democratic support among minorities and the youth, by emphasizing the inherent bias of the federal electoral system against them, according to Lazare.
"If Republicans have been able to hold on during all those years, it's only because they've been able to exploit certain deep-seated constitutional advantages. These include an Electoral College biased toward thinly populated rural states and a Senate based on the equal-state representation that is even more strongly tilted in the same direction," he said.
In the House, the Republicans have benefitted from roughly an 11% advantage since 2010 thanks to ruthless gerrymandering and the backing of a conservative-dominated Supreme Court, Lazare added.
"The problem is not so much a nation that is half-free and half-slave as one that is half-democracy and half-oligarchy," he said.
However, Lazare noted that the Republican Party had paid a heavy price for its reliance on the technological manipulation of governmental levers, including the loss of the majority vote, as well as future popularity and legitimacy.
"For Republicans, the long-term effect is to put them on a losing path in which they get very good at gumming up the works via the filibuster, the hold, gerrymandering, and other such maneuvers, but less good at mobilizing public opinion in general. For Democrats, it's the opposite. The more they are victimized by such maneuvers, the more they succeed in winning the broad public to their side," he said.
The process entangled the Republicans in the control of their own most extremist and polarizing forces, Lazare observed. "The upshot is that the Republican Party is increasingly dependent on a highly mobilized but fanatical minority of bigoted rural whites while Democrats are the party of the young, forward-looking, open-minded urban masses. That is still the general trend," Lazare said.
Two days ago, more than 100 Republicans won midterm elections, winning seats in Congress and crucial statewide offices.
The results of the midterm elections are expected to bring in a period of split governance in Washington amid a mounting economic crisis.
Thirty-five Senate seats and all 435 House of Representatives seats were up for grabs. Republicans needed five seats to control the House. The Senate, which is presently split 50-50 with Democrats holding the tie-breaking vote, might be decided by four close elections in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia, and Arizona.
However, it is worth noting that although the American public is not satisfied with the current democratic-ruled administration under Joe Biden, the Republican party was still not a favorite or an alternative to America's year of 2024.
According to the WSJ, two-thirds of Tuesday's voters in exit polls said Biden shouldn’t consider running for President again - and Democrats in his own party seconded that.
Trump posted a social media message on Wednesday calling the results “a great evening” and pointed fingers at Democrats and media outlets who were “doing everything possible to play it down.”