by Christopher Cooper
What follows is a series of somewhat disjointed thoughts about the 2022 election in North Carolina. Some of these are points that I think have not gotten enough attention. Some are my take on stories you've read before. Sometimes I just repeat things others have said that I thought were particularly smart (with citation; i'm not a monster). All of what follows is meant for people who sometimes think about things other than politics. If the politicos find something interesting here, all the better. But that's not the point.
There's no narrative thread, no organizing theme and no central takeaway to what follows. There's no forecast and no "keys to the election" that await you. Heck, there's not even a conclusion. I hope what follows helps put a few things in context, but I make no grand promises. So, with the worst pitch ever (a career in sales was never in my future), here we go:
Big Picture: What Might We Expect?
Few trends in American politics are as durable as the fact that the President's Party loses seats in the midterm. As Emory Political Scientist Alan Abramowitz reminds us, "the president's party has lost House seats in 17 of 19 midterms and Senate seats in 13 of 19 midterms since World War II. Across all 19 midterms, the president's party has lost an average of about 27 seats in the House and roughly 2.5 seats in the Senate."
About Those Unaffiliated Voters
Lots of smart people have written about the rise in Unaffiliated voters in the North Carolina electorate. While it is true that most Unaffiliated voters are not swing voters, most swing voters are Unaffiliated voters. As a result, if you're looking for a group to watch, you could do worse than to pay attention to the Unaffiliated.
A Dobbs Effect?