Herewith another after-action report on Midterms 2022. Control of Congress and its chambers still remains to decide at this writing. Most commentators – except those who indulge in wishful thinking – expect Republicans to capture the House. And when leftists are not indulging wishful thinking, they are screaming about “voter suppression” and the isolated “mule watch” parties – vigilantes who guarded a relative handful of drop boxes to stop anyone from inserting more than one ballot into the box. But no one’s talking about the setup for the next crisis: the urban-rural divide. To look at a map of House districts is to put that divide into incredibly stark relief. In fact that map calls to mind a ten-year-old movie franchise: The Hunger Games.
Current Midterms results
Politico.com has the most current Big Map that has a basis in established fact. It shows the Senate tied 48-48, with four races to determine. One (Alaska) is “solid Republican.” The only question is which Republican will take it: incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski, or her Trump-sympathetic challenger, Kelly Tshibaka. The quirky ranked-choice voting system will probably give it to Murkowski. That’s because Democrat Pat Chesbro stands in third place, and her ballots will redistribute between those two. Kelly Tshibaka needed to win outright in the first round. She will not, and Murkowski is too close. So unless Pat Chesbro’s voters spitefully said to themselves, “The Democrat or no one!” and marked only one choice, Lisa Murkowski wins. (See here and here for a full explanation of how ranked-choice voting works, and Alaska’s real-life example.)
So make that 49 Republican seats and 48 Democratic seats. Democrats need two more seats to return to the balance of power before Midterms: 50-50 with Kamala Harris as tiebreaker. If they come one seat shy, the score is 51-49 and Harris might as well not attend. The seats are in Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada. In Georgia, Republican Herschel Walker and Democrat incumbent Raphael Warnock head to a runoff on December 6. Libertarian Chase Oliver, the spoiler, won’t be on the ballot. In Nevada, Republican Adam Laxalt leads by more than 15,700 votes – with 17 percent of the vote remaining to count. And Arizona is … Arizona.
And in the House …
In the House, Politico shows decided races breaking 207 to 184 for Republicans. The Magic Number is 218. Politico rates the remaining 44 races thus:
One of those likely Democratic races is the Alaska At-large race. Mary Peltola has a commanding lead. Furthermore, Nick Begich has a sizeable number of voters who will mark Peltola as their second choice. They will do this, first, because he as much as asked them to, and second, because Nick Begich comes from a Democratic dynasty, not a Republican. Ranked-choice voting rears its ugly head again.
If Republicans pick up all their likelies and leaners, they take the House with four seats to spare.
The Republican calls include an incredible pickup: Mike Lawler, Republican, taking New York’s 17th District from Democrat Sean Patrick Mahoney. Mahoney is the Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and he couldn’t hold his seat! He couldn’t hold it because Mike Lawler painted him as an elitist out-of-touch with District residents.
In another pickup, Jen Kiggans took Virginia’s Second District away from incumbent Elaine Luria. Now she might not be a Big Wig, but she does sit on the January Sixth Committee!
Luria trumpeted her January Sixth investigation and swore to “stand up for what’s right, regardless of the political repercussions.”
Kiggans won by stressing Biden’s wrecking of the economy, and Luria’s part in that with her floor votes.
The House reflects a Hunger Games scenario
Those two pickups best illustrate the soul of the Democratic Party: dark, authoritarian, and inexcusably elitist. Elaine Luria spent two years trumpeting a lie and trying to write bills of attainder and an ex post facto law against nearly half her constituents. These would be the people who voted for Trump in 2020. But a decisive portion of her neighbors swung Republican because she did not address the wreckage of the economy. To ignore inflation, and shelf after empty shelf in the stores – did she call that standing for what’s right? That might play in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez country. It did not play in Hampton Roads, Virginia.
Sean Patrick Mahoney ran a worse campaign. He was the type who told people, “If you drove a battery-powered electric vehicle, gasoline prices wouldn’t matter to you.” Said the owner of multiple mansions in and out of his District. Pay some of the price you demand we pay!
Which brings us to another Big Map from Politico: one showing House Districts by land area. It shows islands of blue in a sea of red. A handful of States, nearly all in the Atlantic Northeast, will be solid Democrat. Maine and New Hampshire will likely join them. But many, many States are solid Republican. Those that aren’t, have urban Democratic districts and large tracts of rural Republican country.
All of which – Democratic elitism and the urban-rural divide – remind your editor of The Hunger Games.
How is this The Hunger Games?
Your editor reviewed The Hunger Games ten years ago. Barack Obama was in charge, and he was definitely the President of the City Dwellers. So is Biden. And that’s the one reason why Democrats still want to abolish the Electoral College. To paraphrase Hillary Clinton, they are “sick and tired” of having to explain to the folks on the farm why their farm produce can’t sell, even if it gets to market. In unguarded moments, they actually tell rural voters to shut their mouths, or words to that effect.
Have a look at that map of House Districts. Better yet, look at a 2020 map of election results by county. (No one has drawn the 2022 map yet.)
The only two solid Democratic States on that county map are Massachusetts and Hawaii. Oklahoma turns out to be solid Republican!
The problem is: a handful of counties (and in Virginia, at least, independent cities) can dominate State politics. Which was the exact scenario in the Hunger Games franchise. The “National Anthem of Panem” speaks glowingly of one Capitol district into which the goods from other Districts flow. Change “Capitol” to “Cities Large” and speak of “diamonds” (plural) “shining,” and you get what might as well be the Anthem of the Woke North American Polity, Democratic Party fashion.
Besides everything else, we still have recriminations. Many are trying to blame Donald Trump for this result – which was not what anyone expected. People expected Republicans to take the House, and they likely will. But they expected Republicans to gain a net of fifty seats, not a mere ten. And they expected the Senate to be a 52-48 Senate, not 51-49 or a repeat of the 50-50 tie.
This did not happen, so we hear of people saying that Ron DeSantis, not Trump, should run for President in 2024. We hear this from Ben Dutka at The Patriot Journal, and Mike Vance at Daily Political Newswire.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who won her District handily, is having none of it.
What a “lazy, pathetic, wimpy, easy mindset” that is, she says.
Laura Loomer isn’t having any, either. Regarding Governor DeSantis’ record, Loomer severely questions its effectiveness. She also reminds everyone that DeSantis made his share of SARS-CoV-2-related mistakes, some of them deadly.
Andrew Torba has a few words for those who ignore cultural issues. To put the matter simply, they matter. The issue goes further than the hedonism we saw in the first two Hunger Games movies. We now see a deliberate and calculated agenda of depopulation and de-industrialization. Not to mention bills of attainder and ex post facto laws every Democrat from the President down wanted to pass.
And from other quarters, people are getting some very interesting warnings. Rob Schneider, for one, has highlighted something wrong with the Hunger Games analogy. These real-life “Capitol Districts” are crime-ridden, have homeless people the Panem authorities would sweep aside, and have people who still care about individual rights. Schneider was a Democrat himself once, but quit when he saw the practical results. So he advises his fellow Californians now moving out, “Please don’t vote the same way!”
A warning worth heeding. But to be effective, it must go with a thorough moral education. Too many people don’t “get” that theft is wrong, depopulation is wrong, and so many other parts of the Democratic program are wrong. So those who move out of “blue” States because their employer transferred them out, do vote the same way. And some always will, because Paul of Tarsus tells us that some people you never will be able to reach. (Romans 8:28)
What we’ve got here, is failure to communicate! Some men you just can’t reach!Actor Strother Martin, as the Road Gang Captain, in Cool Hand Luke
So the “blue” States will get more “blue,” and the “red” more “red.” But that “Hunger Games Map” shows that the real divide is between city dwellers and country folk. The rise of interstate secession movements shows how stark that divide has become. Will that resolve, short of open warfare? Time will tell.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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