Pollsters are going to have to have their work cut out for them in the next few weeks. Whereas in the 2018 and 2020 elections they undercounted potential Republican voters, this time they appear to have undercounted potential Democrat voters.
Republican advantage on the economy did not play out as expected in the suburbs. In Ohio and Pennsylvania, for example, none of the contested seats that Republicans had their eyes on were won by them. In New York, it appears they only picked up one of the contested seats — happened to be the one that was chaired by the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. There’s some irony in there, but in general, they have not succeeded.
It appears that rather than prevail among independents, which most polls said they would, Republicans and Democrats split the independent vote about equally.
Although Republicans are likely to win the overall popular vote for the House, that was not translated well into large gains and seats. They likely will control the House with perhaps 228 seats, and not the 238 seats that they might have expected at the beginning of the evening.
In the Senate, one of the biggest surprises was in the state of Arizona, where the polls predicted a close race and one where the Republican candidate for governor was actually somewhat ahead. In the end, the Arizona vote went rather decisively for the Democrats, with Democratic candidates winning by between 10 and 15 points.
So there’s a lot to analyze about tonight’s vote. In the end, we’re going to have divided government with a very narrow edge for the Republicans in the House, not too much bigger than the edge that Nancy Pelosi had for the Democrats in the last two years.
This is going to make running the House very difficult for incoming Speaker McCarthy. In addition, you’re going to have divided governments and negotiations between the Democrat in the White House and Republicans in the House of Representatives.
I’m not sure what was resolved by tonight’s election, but it doesn’t look like much was. Instead, America’s going to go on very much like before: a very divided nation, one with not clear direction in what types of policies to pursue.