Oh, trust me, there are more. But these are the ones that most immediately come to mind. Also note that I’m not going to saturate this with links; this is an almost-casual observation/recap, not a would-be public policy paper.
- The polling. This has been commented on, over and over and over again: and I’m only adding it because otherwise somebody will say But, Moe: what about the polling? – But, yeah, the polling was all over the map, with the exception of some of the local pollsters.
- Primary results are not diagnostic. You know why I didn’t sweat WI-GOV? Because Scott Walker did almost as well in the 2014 primary as he did in the 2012 recall primary. FL-GOV? Because Rick Scott did well there, too. Those surprisingly strong for Republican California results? All hinted at in the primaries.
- The Democrats had a plan. I don’t know about the rest of the VRWC, but whenever I saw a mock-worthy Democratic fundraising email I always had the thought What if this is part of a clever strategy that we’re not seeing? in the back of my mind, …Turns out that it wasn’t, unless of course “Get you heads handed to you in 2014″ is part of an even longer game.
- The Democrats had learned from their victory. This is kind of related to #3, but the difference here is that you can still win without a plan, if you have an organization. The Democrats thought that they had one, but what was on the box was not the same as what was actually in the box.
- The electorate is in an anti-incumbent mood. The electorate almost never is, honestly. It just changes its mind on a regular (but not quite predictable) basis about which party it hates more, and spanks that party accordingly. This year it was the Democrats’ turn in the barrel.
- The Republicans had not learned anything from their defeat. Every article made about improved Republican turnout and voter outreach programs assumed that the GOP would need to catch up with the Democrats. And that may, in fact, still be true… in the sense that the GOP in 2014 may still not be up to the standards of the Democrats in 2012. However, it’s fairly clear that they were certainly past the standards of the Democrats of 2014.
- Buying …read more