To all the conservative folks in the comment thread disagreeing with the analysis, I want you to imagine this. Imagine SCOTUS is 6-3 blues, and they issue a gun control ruling that overturns not only Bruen, but also Heller, and opens the door to banning all private gun ownership at the federal level because of some tortured interpretations of the word "militia." Imagine how many conservatives would vote in the following midterm. There would be lines out the door, down the street, around the corner. Conservatives would be mailing in absentee ballots for their dead relatives, their cats, and their dogs. It would be massive.

That's what abortion is to the blue tribe. It's that important to them.

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Nov 10, 2022·edited Nov 10, 2022

I'm not going to say abortion had nothing to do with what happened on Tuesday, but it was not the reason Republicans had a bad night. You seem to be ignoring the orange-hued elephant in the room.

Trump and his endorsed candidates are losing in almost every close race across the country in swing states. In race after race more electable Republicans were shoved aside for weak, untested, or unelectable candidates who's only required qualification was to bend the knee to the stolen election lie and pledge fealty to Trump.

Don Bolduc in New Hampshire gets destroyed while Chris Sununu easily wins re-election for Governor. Sununu was being courted to run for Senate but refused to put up with Trump's meddling.

Pat Toomey refused to run for re-election to the Senate in PA because of Trump where he would have easily won, but instead we get Trump backed Mehmet Oz and lunatic fringe Mastriano who promised that if elected, he would certify Trump the winner of PA in 2024 no matter how the state voted.

Doug Ducey in Arizona would be the next Senator but instead we get Blake Masters who cannot catch Kelly now, and Kari Lake looks like she will lose to an incredibly lackluster Democrat for Governor.

Let's see how Trump backed candidates compared to Governor candidates in states with strict abortion laws:

Ohio - Gov. Mike DeWine signs 6 week abortion ban - DeWine wins easily with 62% of the vote while J.D. Vance struggled.

Georgia - Brian Kemp signs six week abortion ban - Kemp wins easily while Herschel Walker is now in a runoff.

TX - Greg Abbott signs a six week abortion ban - Abbott wins easily.

Of course Democrats ran on abortion because it was one of the only things they could talk about. Every other issue was political poison for them except the biggest one, and that was Trump.

Democrats meddled in numerous primary elections all across the country and in each case they worked to support the Trumpiest candidate in the race, knowing that it would help fire up Democrats and turn independents against the Republican candidate.

In every....single...race where the Democrats meddled in the Republican primary, the Democrat won the election on Tuesday. Those races were not about abortion. They were all...about...Trump.

The independent voters sent Republicans a message in Tuesday that was loud and clear:

"We don't like the Democrats, but we are not ready to give you back power as long as you are beholden to Trump and his stolen election, storm the Capitol BS."

If Republicans want to win again, they need to dump Trump.

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Feb 1Liked by Handwaving Freakoutery

I became convinced as well that this is true. I live in a very blue state where it's effectively one-party vote and so it doesn't matter but it's also true that I take the "left wing" protections on things like abortion, contraception, tenant protections, and the like.

One of the commenters here tells about a conservative woman with children who voted on the abortion issue. I kind of get it. You might in your head disapprove of convenience abortions and lack of planning, etc. but you kind of want to know that if Gd for bid one of those edge cases (rape, incest, mother's life, severe birth defects) happen to *you* or someone in your family, you've got the fallback and not SOL.

Tangentially, when the opinions on abortion are from men, particularly younger and unmarried, they often seem a bit out of touch and kind of facile, without even any due given to the ravages that even regular pregnancy, especially repeat pregnancy, has on one's body, and how much can go wrong, which when you add it up across all the things and many children (and especially if you do some fun statistics like in your flood/bloody revolution analysis) is not that negligible. If you don't feel like the politicians, often men, of "your tribe" will protect their OWN women even in situations where they have a legitimate need....it's harder to trust and vote for that.

Also in general, there are certain things that Republicans, or conservatives, which I know aren't 100% overlapping, do which not only sabotage them, but are also either not important or bad policy. Like supporting bad businesses, or corporate interests even when it's patently bad. (Need to look around for examples.)

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Nov 10, 2022·edited Nov 10, 2022

The split between married and unmarried women is a symptom of the deep rot in our country.

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Good assessment. I said early on, Repubs are clueless on strategy, reflexively salivating after Dobbs to put a boot on neck.

It's also true they could have hammered woke, trans and covid authoritarianism. Instead they came of looking like they don't care about anything but using the government as a really big stick on abortion, crime and immigration, while offering not one tangible plan to do anything about inflation.

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Republicans should have followed Dobbs up with laws like Florida. The problem is many Republican political hacks had been using abortion as a tool to gain votes/money on a issue they really didn't care about and were merely using. They couldn't flip the switch.

The Kansas election right after Dobbs made it clear that abortion was a huge driver for unmarried women. And unmarried women are a huge part of the country and also want Daddy Government to bail them out of their bad choices.

Republicans need to abandon any efforts at a 100% ban and move to 15 weeks ASAP, to save themselves.

And then abortion be a non issue except for extremists on both sides.

I live in a purple state that has abortion enshrined already in the state constitution. No one is changing that any time soon. Even so, we had non stop abortion ads.

The Democrats were not talking about how big abortion was before the elections but they were using it like crazy.

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Holly Math Nerd, who is unimpeachably right-on, wrote in support of the Blue on that basis. That should tell you all you need to know.

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Abortion in and of itself isn't the only issue, (although it is very important, being a life-changing law.) Bans symbolize the apparent reality that right wing christian nationalists want to take over and deprive people of the right to make private choices.

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There were several factors, but the abortion one was obviously underrated in the lead-in.

It absolutely motivated single women (a fairly unreliable bloc, traditionally) to vote in unheard of numbers.

Was Trumpism, and GOP abandonment of poor candidates a factor? Sure.

The frustrating part is how it didn't need to go this way. The moment Dobbs passed, Republicans could have pushed for a compromise, protecting first trimester abortions (Something with widespread general support) and that would have taken all the energy out of the left's abortion push. They didn't, and this is the result.

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Most people want 2020-2021 in their rear view mirrors and a return to normalcy. I think almost every independent voter and many Republicans are sick and tired of Trump and the 2020 election. We just don’t want to hear about it anymore. Going full retard on abortion does not help either. Most single young women are brainwashed by TikTok (China).

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Folk who didn’t vote because of The Donald, election denials, bad candidates don’t turn up in exit polls. But I agree that abortion really mattered. The Florida Republicans took the issue off the table and voting for DeSantis was the most powerful way to vote against The Donald.

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My sense of things is that the R's tried to sound reasoned and sane about abortion policy but were drowned out. Trump was a minor factor as R's tried to dance around that issue. But it's clear that the young women who are learning the sex thing were afraid if a baby happened they would get stuck were worried. They bought into the fear and were not adequately targeted by R messaging. Do the R's not have various consultants to guide them? Where was the RNC in advice? The RNC even has a woman who ought to understand the issue and ways to defuse it.

OTOH, '24 won't have that wedge to clutter. And it seems many R's are rejecting Trump as well. He might not be moving on but the insulting nicks have less appeal.

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KY split ticket.

60/40 R senator won, 5/6 R Congress.

Then shot down outright abortion ban 52/48.

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Yes, unmarried women being the only group to break Blue is a strong point of evidence for this.

If true, as a pro-life conservative, I think it's worth it. And, if Republicans still take the House (as they're likely to do), I think this's one of the least bad times for it to happen. Hopefully it'll also help destroy Trump's grip on the party.

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Spot on analysis. Now, if only more power brokers in the GOP would start reading your substack, maybe they could stop helping the Dems win elections... At least Florida is getting it done.

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Even with the stirred up pro choice voters, when you add up all the Federal races, Republican candidates still received 8 million more votes than Dem candidates.

Not sure what that means for the future, except instead of all the watery tidal allusions which suggest a nationwide leveling effect, it was more like a Hurricane ashore in Florida that then reformed and hit NY. Or how about an acute outbreak of electoral herpes with hot spots here and there, that will die down now but come back again later.

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