The results of the 2022 midterm elections have confounded nearly everyone. Despite polls predicting a Red Wave that would wash Democrats out of office, to be replaced by MAGA-Republicans, there was barely a ripple outside of Florida. It now appears that Democrats will hold control of the Senate and Republicans will gain control of the closely divided House, but by a much smaller margin than expected. Given the expectations, this can only be seen as a humiliating defeat for Republicans and an unexpected victory for Democrats — no Red Wave. We now know what happened — but why?
In a post-election analysis on NPR, about why the polls were so wrong, it was pointed out how difficult it is to devise a polling group that is truly representative of the electorate. To me, the major revelation was that virtually all the polls had failed to note the Blue Wave of recently registered younger voters. One pollster was “astonished” at the huge number of these new voters, who were outraged and energized by the loss of abortion and voting rights and a clear vision that victorious Republicans meant to reduce spending for Social Security and Medicare.
The future of this Republican Party is now doomed by demographics. Currently, about 4.1 million children reach voting age every year, while about 3.8 million older adults die and drop off the voting rolls. Statistics show that Gen-Z voters are “very engaged and highly progressive,” with about two-thirds having voting for Biden and Democrats in the previous elections — if this pattern holds in the 2024 election, Democrats will gain about 5.5 million Gen-Z votes and Republicans will gain, at most, about 2.8 million Gen-Z votes, for a net gain of 2.6 million Democrat votes — probably enough to assure a Blue Wave, if not yet a Blue Tsunami.