The 2020 election was supposed to be a “blue wave” for Democrats – at least according to many polls and pundits. Not only did the landslide blue wave never appear in November, but Republicans flipped seats in the House of Representatives, leaving Democrats with a very slim majority. After the run-off election for both U.S. Senate seats in Georgia are finished, assuming Republicans win, we will likely have either 51 or 52 seats — a majority.
Prior to the election, the GOP controlled 58 legislative chambers, while the Democrats controlled 40 chambers. Americans have been giving more state legislatures to Republican control and defeating Democrats consistently since 2012.
Many media and polling organizations predicted that a blue wave was going to take control of several states. Despite deep pocket billionaires and Big Tech corporations donating hundreds of millions, they failed.
Democrats failed to flip chambers in North Carolina, Texas, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Republicans flipped both chambers in New Hampshire’s Legislature.
“Republicans hung the socialist label around the necks of Democrats,” said Rich Lowry, editor of the conservative National Review. This label drove thousands of south Florida voters whose families came from Cuba, Venezuela, and Colombia to the United States to flee socialism. These immigrant voters and their families had no interest in voting for anyone whose party includes socialists. Republicans defeated incumbent Democrats Donna Shalala and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in heavily Hispanic districts.
Prior to election day, the media narrative expected that Republicans were going to be defeated across America in a blue wave of voters who would turn out for Biden. “They believed the country now was ready to reject center-right values and join with woke progressives and their values,” wrote Salena Zito, co-author of The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition, in a column for the Washington Examiner.
Senator Susan Collins did not lead in a single publicly released poll during the final months of her re-election campaign in Maine. But Republican Senator Collins won the election comfortably.
Senator Thom Tillis, a North Carolina Republican, trailed in almost every poll conducted in his race. He also won.
In appears pollsters let President Trump get in their way in understanding the electorate, as did reporters and political scientists.
Most polling groups seemed to believe that large increases in turnout among pro-Democratic millennial, female, and minority voters was going to be the result. They completely missed the mark due to their apparently flawed assumptions. Turnout was higher than 2016, but not like they assumed or imagined.
The actual, somewhat higher turnout was evenly divided among new voters from both parties. How did pollsters miss five to ten million new Trump voters?
In North Carolina where thousands of us volunteered in Get Out the Vote efforts, team Trump and GOP’s hard work crushed Democratic dreams. North Carolina Republicans focused on turnout and bringing new or infrequent voters to the polls, and it paid off on a grand scale.
Eighteen months of the GOP’s focused labor for President Donald Trump was paying off for Republicans throughout ballots and races across America.
Pure and simple, the Democrats got outworked. They didn’t turn out enough voters. They failed to deliver North Carolina for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. They failed to beat Tillis and lost three congressional seats that were supposedly winnable for them. Republicans flipped seats on the State Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.
We found out that the only place that the blue wave existed was on social media or in a poll designed and conducted by polling groups that do not know how to do their job. The blue wave didn’t appear in the American experience or in any voter polls.
Desiree Zapata Miller of Charlotte is a contributing columnist for the Editorial Board.