America’s Fever Is Still Rising

Andrew Sullivan writes:

‘Tuesday, if you step back, was an ordinary election in an extraordinary time. The swing against the president’s party in the first midterm election was not far off the historical range. The average loss for the president’s party in the House two years into a first term over the last century is 29. Trump’s GOP, at last estimate, lost 37. For some recent perspective: In 1982, Reagan’s GOP lost 26 seats; in 1990, George H.W. Bush’s GOP lost 8; in 1994, Clinton’s Democrats lost 54; in 2002, W.’s GOP gained 8 (but in the context of 9/11); in 2010, Obama’s Democrats lost a devastating 63 seats. In terms of the popular vote in the House, the Dems’ share — 51.7 percent — is also very close to the norm for the opposition in a first-term midterm.

There was, in other words, no blue wave. It was rather a familiar blue tide (which nonetheless looked more impressive by Thursday night than it did in the wee hours of Wednesday morning). If you just looked at the data, and knew nothing about the last two years, you’d think it was a conventional, even boring, election.

I wrote last week that the midterms would finally tell us what this country now is. And with a remarkable turnout — a 50-year high for a non-presidential election, no less — we did indeed learn something solid and eye-opening. We learned that the American public as a whole has reacted to the first two years of an unfit, delusional, mendacious, malevolent, incompetent authoritarian as president … with relative equanimity. The net backlash is milder than it was against Clinton or Obama (and both of them went on to win reelection). …’

Source: New York Magazine