A popular question now, especially with Fetterman and Kathy Hochul, not to mention Gretchen Whitmer and so many others.
Here are some unpopular answers. Yes, there’s plenty of election rigging via Infinite Election Period and ballot harvesting, remote voting and all that, but yes there are plenty of people who vote for them. Why?
1. Yellow Dog Democrats – There are more Democrats who vote straight party line than Republicans. While there have been some backlashes over crime, school shutdowns, masking and mandates that get massively amplified via conservatives on social media or moderate Democrats like Bari Weiss’ Common Sense and Bill Maher, that’s still a minority. There’s still a minimal dent in the wall of black church ladies and upscale white suburbanites, not to mention woke college students (though the vote in smaller numbers) who are going to vote for the Democrat.
Almost any Democrat.
Beating that means boosting voter turnout and winning over independents to beat the zombie margin.
2. Cultural Issues Matter – Some conservatives inhabit echo chambers and really don’t believe anyone could possibly be enthusiastic about voting for Hillary, Hochul or Fetterman, or pack the polls over abortion. I’ve always lived in blue states and cities, and these people exist and there are a lot of them out there.
All those “In This House” yard signs? I see them everywhere. They’re cultural gatekeeping.
Conservatives are outraged by sex grooming in schools. They’re outraged by the lack of it. There is a certain demographic that is violently infuriated over abortion and is every bit as passionate about it as the activists who block abortion clinics.
And quite a few of these people are well off and able to donate a lot of money. And they show up to vote.
Culture war means cultivating their conservative opposite numbers. And reviving a nearly moribund social conservatism. But until social conservatism makes a comeback, Democrats have the advantage on voting on cultural issues.
3. A lot of politics is about making the other side and its candidates seem as grotesque as possible, eliciting the familiar, “Who could possibly vote for these freakshows” reaction.
But that’s not a universal reaction, it’s an echo chamber reaction.
“Orange Man Bad” was that. They’re not universal. And the Left has much better range thanks to its dominant cultural position to push disgust for Republican and conservative figures.
And there are plenty of Democrats and even independents who buy into it and react with, “Who could possibly vote for these freakshows” to conservative and Republican candidates.
Getting over these cultural humps is challenging. You might have thought that a massive economic crisis and a crime wave would do it. It made inroads, but those inroads didn’t go far enough.