The thought is this: I don’t think we should think of what this race shows in terms of indicating an R + 20 Blue Wave in the big picture.
Clearly, there is a big swing happening all over the country, as shown by one special election after another. But this race exaggerates the difference in strength between red and blue because the blue candidate in this race was stronger than the red one.
- The Democratic side was bolstered by having a candidate especially well-suited to doing well with a conservative electorate– former Marine, former prosecutor.
- The Republican side was hampered by having a candidate who was weaker generally, and hurt by his having an anti-union history in a district with many union households.
Not that I know how much below 20 the swing would be — because of the Blue Wave — if the candidates were equally strong of kind.
If I had to guess, I’d guess that the height of the wave at this point is closer to 15.
The question is this: How much of this Blue Wave comes from these three different categories?
- How much of it reflects that the Democratic base has been activated by the dark spectre of Trump, and so they win by turning out in greater numbers than is typical for Democrats?
- How much of it is people who voted for Trump — and were part of that +20 — who have switched their views from supporting to opposing him?
- And how much is it people who have found the Trump presidency demoralizing enough that they don’t feel motivated to trouble themselves to get to the polls and vote.
(*From what I’ve heard, those who form #2 are more like swing voters than like Republicans breaking ranks.)
I’d guess there’s some information that bears on how that breaks down. But I haven’t seen it.