The Red Wave Never Happened

Photo by camilo jimenez on Unsplash

Only a week after the 2022 midterm elections, Republicans are trying to figure out what happened that caused their “red wave” to not materialize. Republicans had high expectations for this election cycle due to Biden’s low approval ratings, and yet Biden has managed to have one of the best midterm results in history.

Many are seeking someone to put the blame on. For some this the obvious person to blame is former President Trump as many of his candidates failed to secure wins. As many have pointed out these weaker candidates showed that he was more interested in endorsing his personal allies than in gaining GOP victories.

Some have also been putting the blame on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for not supporting those Trump-endorsed candidates.

While all of these points are valid, there is also another reason why the polling expectations were so inaccurate. In many critical races, Democrats won due to the support of Gen Z voters. These voters are often ignored by the GOP completely.

Around 27 percent of eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 29 voted. This is a relatively large increase when compared to the 20 percent of young voters that usually participated in elections in the 1990s.

Not only did many Gen Z members show up and vote, but they also predominantly chose the Democratic party. This means that within this demographic around a 28-point margin existed between those who voted for the two parties. This also resembles the 2020 election when 62 percent of Gen Z votes went to the Democrats while only 32 percent went to the GOP.

For the Republicans to be able to win in 2024, these are going to be the voters that they will need to bring to their side.