To let the pollsters tell it,
Democrats were going to get a “drubbing” or
a “shellacking” just like the one President
Barack Obama experienced in 2010 when Dems
lost 63 Congressional seats and 6 Senate
seats. In contrast, Democrats seem to have
gained one Senate seat, and the Georgia
runoff may push the number up to two. There
was no “wave” hardly even a red puddle.
Despite President Biden’s tepid ratings and
economic uncertainty, Democrats did not do
badly. As of this writing, the partisan
makeup of the House of Representatives is up
in the air, but even if Republicans take the
House, they’ll hold onto it only narrowly.
Republican control of Congress will, of
course, be a blow to the African American
community as key committees are chaired by
members of the Congressional Black Caucus,
including Rep. Bobby Scott (VA) in
Education, Rep. Maxine Waters (CA) in
Banking, and Finance, Rep. Bennie Thompson
(MS) in Homeland Security, among others.
The 2022 midterm elections remind
us that pollsters spew nonsense and raise
questions about the very nature of polling.
It makes me wonder if the corporate media
collaborates with pollsters to maintain the
status quo. The pollsters take to the
airwaves predicting, among other things, a
red wave. Does it encourage people to stay
home or to get out to challenge the polls?
When the drip drip drip of negative polls is
reported as “breaking news” almost every
hour on the hour, what impact does it have
on the electorate? Who are these pollsters
talking to anyway? How many people? What
demographic? What methodology? Are they
doing internet polls? Are they properly
sampling Black people? Are they stuck in the
dark ages of landline phones (many people
don’t have landlines)? Polling methodology
is replete with possible errors, and the
voters highlighted those. No red wave, just
a red puddle. The whole polling enterprise
needs to be re-examined.
The Democratic Party also needs to
be examined. It relies on African American
people as its base, yet it is expert in
ignoring Black people when distributing
resources. Organizations like the National
Coalition for Black Civic Participation,
Black Voters Matter, and other independent
organization get less support from the
Democratic Party than they should. Further,
Democratic indifference or belated focus on
Black candidates has impacted the outcome of
the midterm elections.
North Carolina’s senatorial
candidate, Cheri Beasley, came within 3
percent of winning the election. Beasley got
some Democratic Party support, but it was
too late. In Wisconsin, Mandela Barnes came
within 30,000 of winning, but a low turnout
in heavily Black Milwaukee condemned Barnes
to a loss. Could the Democratic Party have
funded a ground game in Milwaukee? Did
Mandela Barnes pay enough attention to his
natural base? It’s easy to do the
Monday-morning quarterbacking about the
midterm election. The process of making the
Democratic Party more responsive to Black
people is more challenging.
Many of us got tens of emails daily
from Democrats asking for funds. It was
always urgent, accompanied by the promise of
a 2 or 3 or 4 times match. How much money
goes to candidates, and how much to
pollsters and campaign consultants?
How many of these consultants work
for the Democratic Party, not the candidate
directly? I prefer to give my money directly
to candidate websites and to support
independent voter participation activities,
especially those that target Black voters.
Neither Democrats nor Republicans
have a majority among voters.
are unwilling to declare party allegiance,
and often willing to split tickets,
responding to their assessments of
individual candidates, not party
affiliation. This increasing independence,
especially among young voters, poses a
challenge to both parties. Both democrats
and republicans are experiencing intra-party
conflict, which, when combined with
gerrymandering, has caused some Democratic
losses in usually Democratic New York state.
Ideological puritans say they won’t vote for
flawed candidates unless they get their way.
They need to consider what happens when they
fail to vote at all.
The 2022 midterm election will be
discussed until 2024. However, I hope the
2022 elections taught lessons. The
Democratic Party must invest in its African
American base. And all of us must ignore the