A week before Election Day on Nov. 3, the New York Times offered a grim preview of the fate of Republicans in House races. Democrats had “fortified their grip on hard-fought seats won in 2018 that allowed them to seize control of House,” the outlet said. And that freed them to concentrate on Republican incumbents in “once-solid foothills in suburban districts, where many voters have become disillusioned with Mr. Trump.”
Democrats were rolling in money. In highly competitive races, they were “sitting on a 5-to-1 cash-on-hand cash advantage” over their Republican opponents and “overall were poised to spend nearly twice as much on television ads from Labor Day to Election Day.” They even had spare cash to use against Republicans in Alaska and Montana.
Republican strategists didn’t bother to deny how bad things looked. “The Democrats’ green wave in 2018 has turned into a green tsunami in 2020,” Corry Bliss told the New York Times. GOP advisers, who are supposed to know how to win elections, “privately forecast losing anywhere from a handful of seats to as many as 20.”
That was a very big mistake, since Republicans flipped 12 Democratic House seats and maybe a few more once vote counting is finished. How could this happen? The wise strategists and the media missed what became obvious late in the final weeks of the campaign. They were dumbstruck. They might as well have blamed the weather.
The focus of the election had changed. Democratic leftists eager to “defund the police” and impose socialism had become their party’s voice. They were front and center. As their further-to-the-left allies rioted, Democratic “leaders” stood by passively. And the press remained fixated on President Trump.
I have two explanations for what caused the collapse by the Democrats. One was human nature. Everything was going their way. They could get the best advice. They hired the top ad men and campaign experts. They had money to burn.
This is, as God warns, exactly when you let up and money takes control. You lose your edge. Democrats have long complained about the evil of money in politics. Now, they can fund every cause and candidate. And the complaints about money have stopped. With money in charge, the body and mind relax. You get lazy.
The second explanation is like a great rookie on a declining sports team who stirs and inspires, almost like magic. Republicans in the House have been rejuvenated by a group of female candidates. They are responsible for flipping nine of the 12 Democrats ousted by Republicans. They aren’t lazy.
As the House Democratic caucus began filling up with women, Republicans got in the game. Winning for Women was formed in 2017 to counter EMILY’s List, the pro-abortion Democratic group. Rep. Elise Stefanik, elected from upstate New York in 2014, set up a PAC to elect Republican women. With Tom Emmer of Minnesota as chairman of the House Republican Campaign Committee, the effort has taken off. The push for women candidates is