Rooster’s 2022 Midterm Election Recap
A Look At How One Colorado Race Could Give Us A Glimpse Into Future Elections—And Not In A Good Way.
The 2022 midterm elections have come and gone, leaving nothing but confusion in their wake. If you’ve followed politics on Twitter, then you were probably expecting a blue wave. If you listen to Fox News, then a red wave was inevitable. Yet, as we’ve seen, neither side even made it to high tide. For most people who are aware of the divisions this country has when it comes to political affiliation, this stalemate has been incredibly frustrating. Basically, someone was supposed to beat the shit out of someone else with a clear victor holding the still-beating heart of their rival. However, people seem to forget that nothing in politics can be taken at face value, and when you dig a little deeper (especially when looking at the results in Colorado), it becomes readily apparent that the 2022 midterms have definitely had a major impact.
This digging I’ve done will be broken down into three main elements. These include the good (what mostly happened in Colorado), the bad (what mostly happened nationwide), and the ugly (how the analytics show future elections are going to keep most Americans silenced when it comes to selecting the president).
First, “the good.”
To find this good in the 2022 midterms, we only need to look at the results from our own backyard. Colorado showed that once again its inhabitants have an incredibly strong moral code.
Foremost we have the victory of Proposition FF. This proposition is designed to help feed those who are the most vulnerable in our society: children. By eliminating some tax deductions, thereby raising taxes on Colorado households that make more than $300,000 a year, the children of Colorado now know they won’t go hungry while at school. The money will go to pay for universal free school lunches, as well as to raise wages for cafeteria workers and provide grants to buy more school lunch ingredients locally. This not only ensures that children who don’t have food security will be able to eat, but it will also help the local economy on multiple levels.
Next, we have Amendment E. This amendment allows gold star spouses—the spouses of soldiers who passed away while serving in the US military—to claim a property tax break that exempts 50% of the first $200,000 of their home’s value from taxation if they’ve lived there for at least a decade.
And finally, to allow for mom-and-pop shops—in this case, liquor stores—to stand a chance against the corporations, Coloradoans killed Proposition 124. Colorado law currently restricts a single owner from operating more than three liquor store locations in the state. Proposition 124 would gradually lift that cap, to eventually allow unlimited locations. Locations that would most likely be a chain given the Proposition’s biggest backer, Total Wine and More, is a national chain with hundreds of outlets around the country.
Of course, to ensure that these props and amendments are properly executed, a majority of the representatives elected were Democrats. Governor, Senator, and a slew of representatives made the state sky-blue. Well ... most of the state.
It’s in one of the highest-profile—both statewide and national—races that we see the potential for a blistering red welt to appear. A race that could not only put a bit of a stain on the Centennial state but could also give us a glimpse as to what the future of nationwide elections holds for the American voter.
Of course, I am talking about the battle between Democratic candidate Adam Frisch and alleged former sex worker Lauren Boebert. This is where we detour into “the bad” …
At the time of this writing, Boebert only has a .4% lead with 98% of precincts reporting. However, whether she wins or loses in this context is irrelevant—this race was never intended to be close. Polling up until election day had Boebert as the likely winner. In fact, FiveThirtyEight’s predictive model gave Frisch a 3 in 100 chance of taking the district. Add in the fact that Trump won Boebert's district in 2020 by 5%, along with her pumping millions of dollars into her campaign during the last few weeks, and it becomes apparent that Boebert was SUPPOSED to dominate her opponent. Now it’s looking like there will either be a recount or if she does win, it will be by a minute amount comparatively.
Though I do believe that the outcome of this race was heavily influenced by the aforementioned morality that Colorado has—a morality which is in stark contrast to what everything Boebert espouses—there’s also another reason hiding under the surface: political migration.
During this century, America has seen millions of its citizens move to different locales specifically for political reasons. In fact, I happen to be one of those very people. Having lived in Utah for most of my life, I became sickened over the influence the Mormon church had on the legislators and laws of the state. I came to Colorado earlier this year to have a voice; to feel like my political opinions were validated. Because of the millions of people like me, we are seeing a seismic shift in political affiliation and population.
Though there isn't an exact number of how many conservatives moved from state X to state Y, or vice-versa for the libs, there is one statistic that does show us how much this concentration of ideologies based on geographical location has exploded in recent years.
Political scientist Larry Sabato posted an analysis in February this year that shows just how much this mass migration has had on various voting blocs by looking at "super-landslide" areas. A super-landslide area is defined as one in which a specific presidential candidate won 80% or more of the vote during a presidential race. In 2004 only 6% of counties in America were super-landslides. By 2020 that number had exploded to 22%. This means that almost one in every four counties in America will have enough of a political concentration of a single party to where their chosen candidate will get 80% of the vote. I truly believe these migration and concentration statistics also had an impact on Boebert’s race. And it’s also because of this concentration that I can see a catastrophe waiting to unfurl in future national elections.
Once you take these numbers and factor in the concept of the electoral college for the presidential races, you get “the ugly.”
Electoral votes are given to each state based on its population, and the population of any given area is determined by the census … which only happens once every decade. Let me give you a scenario as to how these mitigating factors will be problematic. Right now, Colorado has nine electoral votes. Let’s assume two million people moved here from a red state like Missouri (which has 10 votes). This means that Colorado should gain a few more electors while Missouri should lose some—meaning if they split blue/red, Colorado should ultimately get more electoral votes to give to the lib, overall. However, until the census is taken, the Republicans would walk away with more votes at the end of the day when they shouldn’t.
With these mass migrations happening, there is no way that the electoral college allocations will be correct over the next eight years. This is going to cause a huge discrepancy between the popular vote and the electoral vote. In fact, the amounts of people moving at the current rates based on the super-landslide model will almost guarantee that in ’24 or ’28 the ONLY way a candidate can win—no matter if they are GOP or DNC—is via the electoral college. This means that if you don’t live in a swing state, then your vote won’t matter.
I know what it feels like to be silenced. To feel like your morality and political viewpoint in the world doesn’t matter because you are in the minority. I remember the gut-wrenching feeling of watching my candidate win the popular vote, only to lose to some archaic, fallible system. I’m afraid that this feeling will become a pervasive one in America over the next few years. There’s one last statistic that makes me feel I’m (sadly) correct. An August NBC News poll revealed 74% of voters feel the nation is headed in the wrong direction, yet in the midterm, nothing changed—no colored wave appeared. This means the trenches are dug and nobody is changing their minds. And when the mind can’t move, then only the body’s location can.