Wednesday, June 27, 2018


A while back I mentioned an x-factor in the upcoming midterms: women running as Democrats tend to be far more impressive than the “generic” Dem. (Because it’s still harder for women to break into politics, fund-raise, and beat powerful incumbents, the ones jumping in tend to have well above-average resumes.) I wondered it this might not be evidence that the Dems would over-perform in November. All the modeling and probability-generators depend on normal populations. But in individual elections, voters choose between actual humans. 

We would expect a Republican to win an open Senate seat in Alabama, for example, but in the actual event, a reactionary sexual predator couldn’t beat a competent moderate Dem. candidates matter.
A perfect example of this dynamic in action is the upset of Joe Crowley in NY’s 14th district last night. Crowley’s not a bad guy; he’s fairly progressive and had worked himself into a position to replace Nancy Pelosi as leader one day. But he is also not inspiring. He’s a schlubby middle-aged guy who inspires no one. He didn’t bother to show up for primary debates. He’s very much a Wall Street guy. Still, he would have coasted, as expected, to an easy victory against an average Dem.

Instead, he got Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a spectacular candidate who easily crushed him. She’s young, smart, very charismatic, and ran on a slate of progressive issues (she’s a self-identified socialist). Watch the video below and you’ll see instantly why she won. Again, candidates matter, and the Dems have some very impressive ones.


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