John Hinderaker, Richard Baehr, Thomas Lifson and Robert Cahaly recently spoke at the Freedom Center’s annual Restoration Weekend, held November 10-13, 2022 at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, AZ.
This investigative panel provided insights about what happened during midterm elections—from tribalism in party politics to media influence and demographic shifts.
Don’t miss this vital discussion.
John Hinderaker: And so to kick off our program, Richard Baehr is going to lead off and talk about some of the facts, some of the data, some of what we actually know about what happened leading up to and in the midterm elections, and to try to get a little colloquy going, we’ve encouraged the panelists to feel free to jump in with a question or a comment or a disagreement or whatever it might be. So Richard is going to kick it off, and hopefully we’ll have a little discussion along the way.
Richard Baehr: Finally, the panel you’ve all been working — waiting for. The — was it a wave, a whimper? Whatever you want to call it. Well, as of this morning, Republican candidates for the U.S. house had pulled 5.2 million more votes than Democrats out of 100 million votes cast. In other words, Republicans won the generic ballot, which is what everyone talks about before, by a little over 5%. And yet, they’re only going to pick up, in the house, it looks at this point like somewhere between seven and nine seats, which we’ll wind up with a small majority, maybe no larger than the majority Nancy Pelosi had as Speaker the last two years.
So what caused this win on the votes, but not such a big win in terms of the number of seats? There are a couple of factors. One is that the parties were near parity before the election. It’s a lot easier to pick up 40, 50 or 60 seats if your base is 170 or 180. It’s a lot harder when you start with 213. Republicans haven’t gotten above 247 in a century, so the idea that they were going to win 50 seats, as I think Newt Gingrich said, if we get to 260, was simply out of the question.
Second is, there’s a big advantage to incumbency. In the senate races, the Republicans were aiming at incumbents. Incumbents in New Hampshire, in Arizona, in Georgia, in Nevada. The Democrats, on the other hand, were aiming at Republican-held open seats, with the exception of Wisconsin, which is always a tossup seat and only went for Republicans by 1%. So they won one of those open seats. They won the seat in Pennsylvania. That’s not a great shock. Pennsylvania, when Republicans have won the state, have always won it narrowly. Toomey won the senate race twice by 2%. Trump won in 2016 by 0.6%. So anybody who thought that this would be an easy to defend was wrong. Now, maybe Oz wasn’t the best candidate, but this was a state that would have been difficult under any circumstances.
The Republican vote was in part because of redistricting, which was not that helpful this time around; inefficient. I’ll give you an example of Nevada. In Nevada, about a million votes were cast in the four house races. Republicans won only the second seat and lost the other three, but their total house vote in the state was 40,000 larger than the Democrats’ vote. They would lose — the three seats they lost, they lost by 5,000 to 10,000 each. The seat they won, they won by 65,000.
So that suggests, again, the Republicans did well in the state. They won the race for governor — in fact, the only incumbent senator or governor in America who has been defeated so far is the Democratic governor of Nevada, who lost to Republican Joe Lombardo. Now, it’s possible there could be two other incumbents at risk: Paul — Adam Laxalt still has a shot in Nevada; very close race. And there’s still a chance that Hershel Walker will win in Georgia, which would be two more incumbents go down. But those are very tough races.
If you’re an incumbent senator, you have six years to raise tens of millions of dollars, to get your issues straight, and even, if necessary, to spend money to get the opponent you want in the Republican primary, all right? And New Hampshire is an example. The Republican candidate nominated for senator had two months to put a campaign together after being nominated. Compare that to six years of preparation for the Democrats.
In 2020, Republicans picked up 14 seats, though Democrats won the generic vote by about 3% for the house. How did that happen? They won all the close ones. Sometimes that happens. This year it didn’t. Democrats won many more of the races decided by under 5% than Republicans did, which tells you a little bit of a nudge either way, 1%, 2%, would have made a difference. Our moods might have been a lot different today than they have been since Tuesday.
But this is not a disastrous race. The Republicans are competitive, and this is important to note. The two parties are of roughly equal strength, and they both live off of loyalty of their members. There aren’t a lot of people who shift from election to election from party to party. We have our tribe, they have their tribe, and there’s only a small number who are really in play every election.
John Hinderaker: Richard, could I just interrupt here for a moment to amplify that? I was one of many who predicted this election completely wrong. I was way too optimistic. But the reason is because of the issues landscape. It was so favorable for the GOP. I mean, everybody is suffering from the high cost of living, crime has skyrocketed, almost nobody likes the massive illegal immigration that we’ve got, and on and on. And yet, when you look at these results, it seems like there aren’t all that many people who care very much about the issues. I mean, is that really what we’re looking at?
Richard Baehr: Well, I think each side has their issues, and they care a lot about their issues. So our issues were the economy, inflation, rising interest rates, immigration, crime. Democrats had their issues: abortion, guns, abortion — did I mention that already — climate change, abortion. And the threat to democracy. Those were kind of the Democratic issues. And they are just as attached to their set as we are to our set.
And we may not believe that they could really expect this threat to democracy thing was a real issue in the campaign, and if Republicans got elected, America’s Republican status of 200-plus years is gone, but that’s what some of them believe. And when they hear it on three major networks and two cable networks with the identical language and the identical phraseology, 50 times a day, when Tucker Carlson puts those little bits together where he shows 12 people saying exactly the same thing, it has an effect when it’s been repeated that often. There were over 50,000 commercials run on abortion in one state, in New Hampshire, which is the state the Democrats wound up doing fairly well in, in the senate race, but they got clobbered in the governor’s race by 15 points. So again, it doesn’t say that abortion delivered the result, but the tribe is loyal, and on the federal policy, they’re different than they are in the state policy. People want governors who are capable. For domestic policy, which means house members and senators, they want people who share their etiology.
Thomas Lifson: If I may, Richard, one thing that we — I think we tend to underrate among our tribe is the power of hate, and the left hates us. And this whole threat to democracy is basically a proxy for hating Trump. And that drove a lot of turnout. One of the things about turnout that surprised me this time is that the turnout among the 18- to 29-year-old age cohort, the Generation Z, went from approximately 20% in 2020 to 27% this time, and a lot of that was driven by hate. I think the student loan giveaway had something to do with it. I think abortion had something to do with it, especially with the younger women. And the phony idea that abortion was going to be banned, whereas it’s obviously at the state level now, but we tend to underrate hatred as a motivation, but bad people use hate and they use it very well, and it was used against us.
Richard Baehr: Yeah, two quick other things I want to touch on. One is the shift in the minority vote, which I think is favorable toward Republicans. There was a book published in the early 2000s by Ruy Teixeira from the University of Texas and John Judis, a New Yorker writer, that’s predicted that over time, the Democrats were going to become the permanent majority party because the only group they really had at their disposal was white working class without college degrees, and that group was shrinking in American society. Whites with college degrees were growing and they were becoming more Democratic, but the big growth was among minorities, when they put all of them together and they said, that group votes overwhelmingly Democratic.
And in the early 2000s, and tapped off by the 2008 win by Barack Obama, it certainly looked like their thesis was paying off. Democrats won over 80% of the minority vote in 2008. In this election, they got 68%. That’s a dramatic shift. But it’s not all in one election that everything moves and suddenly a group favors you which in the past has voted the other way; it is time, it takes time, it takes effort, it takes advertising, it takes grassroots, but it is working. African-Americans, 13% to 14% voted this time for Republicans. In 2008, Obama won the black vote 96% to 3%. Okay? Hispanics were a 70-30 group; this year, they were about 60-40, all right? Big differences among those numbers; Cubans, Venezuelans, the majority are for Republicans; Puerto Ricans were majority for Republicans in Osceola County, Florida. Not so in New York, New Jersey and some other states, so it’s not always the same every place in the country. There are different factors that work. Republicans have done a better job in Florida than Republicans have done in other places. Nevada and Arizona, which is largely Mexican-American, the shift has not been that large. All right? So —
Thomas Lifson: I’d add that Asian-Americans are the fastest-growing minority; I don’t have the latest data. California hasn’t released its results yet. But my sense — I live in California — is that Asian-Americans are switching toward the GOP. The current lawsuit before the Supreme Court, which really revolves around discrimination against Asian-Americans at elite universities, I think is having an effect, because — now, keep in mind Asians are a very, very diverse group, but among particularly Chinese-Americans, who are the biggest group among Asian-Americans, educational aspirations are intense, and this is taking a toll. And we’ll see what happens after the Supreme Court renders its decision, but I suspect it will have a strong effect.
Richard Baehr: Yeah, good point. Asians, by the way, voted about 40% this time for Republicans, about 10% more again than was the case 10 years ago, so they are also, exactly as Tom said, shifting.
One other small point I want to make and then we can go on with the rest of the program — has to do with the gender gap. In this last election, if you believe the exit polls, which were about 100,000 people interviewed, it suggested that men voted for Republicans by a margin of 14%, women voted for Democrats by a margin of 6%. This suggests that it’s not only reformed [indiscernible] that have mixed marriages anymore. The — or some of the people are not getting married, and this is the reason why they’re staying single.
Thomas Lifson: Oh, I think it’s important.
Richard Baehr: But it is an important issue because in a sense, America is two countries, Republican and Democrat, and we’re becoming, to some extent, two countries, men versus women, all right? These are not overall positive trends, if people become siloed and only hang around with people who think the same way, vote the same way, have the same agenda in terms of the issues that matter to them.
John Hinderaker: All right, thank you, Richard. Robert Cahaly, one of the reasons why Republicans were optimistic about the midterm elections is that we’ve gotten used to the idea that the polls tend to understate Republican support. Republicans tend to, in recent cycles, outrun the polls. That didn’t seem to happen this year. Can you explain? What was going on with the polls and how did they match the reality?
Robert Cahaly: First of all, there were a lot of problems in the turnout mechanism. I’ve been spending a lot of time studying this. First example, he brought up a minute ago, was New Hampshire. You had six different firms all saying New Hampshire was within 3 points. Two of them were colleges with a perfect record, located in New Hampshire, so that gives you a perspective. And one of — we had one, the same as one of those colleges. And yet, everybody was wrong, and not by a little bit, but by a lot. And so there — what I’ve done is I’ve broken it down to a few things that we’ve been able to surmise so far. Now, as the voter data comes back about who exactly participated in this election, you can bet we’re going to spend a lot of time studying it, because it’s very important to understand what happened here and to understand how to deal with it.
But a couple of things that are worth noting. The Democratic party is very good at GOTV. And when I say GOTV, I don’t mean a few commercials that tell people to vote. I don’t mean some auto calls. I mean people responsible for certain sets of people who they turn out to vote, and that is not something that the other side is doing very well at all. And it is obvious when you get to a place like Georgia how that works. I remember during the last set of runoffs, when you landed at the Atlanta airport, there were all these, like, signs and corners and teams and colors, like Blue Team gather here, and they were — these were kids coming off planes that had come to Georgia to be assigned and to work and to get out the vote with people all over the Greater Atlanta area. Now, that is a level of organization that the GOP has never gotten close to. So I think the structural — there needs to be some changes to how that is done, and a lot of what they do needs to be mimicked.
Also, the youth vote. One of the things — he had talked a little bit about how they might be motivated by abortion, and it’s certainly somewhere, and how they might be motivated by student loans is certainly somewhere, but one of the things that happened in 2018 that we got a reprieve from in 2020 is the voting buses. And what these are is buses that go to these college campuses and pick up college kids, and there’s a party going on, and there’s sorority girls and fraternity guys on the bus, going throughout the campus, picking people up. There’s beer to drink, pizza on the bus, take you to the voting place.
Now, they’ve done their homework. They’ve registered people to vote for weeks and weeks and weeks. But those party buses did not operate in 2020. We got a reprieve because of COVID because they weren’t on the campuses. Well, they were back in force this year, and that had a huge impact, especially in some of these states with major college towns. They are doing a very good job of taking these kids who are a long way from home — and there’s nothing illegal about registering a college kid where they go to school. It’s wherever you spend the majority of your time, and it’s easy to argue that’s your college. Now, you can’t be registered in two places, but there’s nothing wrong with this. It just takes good, old-fashioned organization, which they spend money on. The old joke was, when Republicans say GOTV, they mean Get on TV, and when Democrats say GOTV, they mean Get on the Van, and I think we need a little more getting on the van.
Second — or third, seniors. They did a couple things that maybe some of you didn’t pay attention to; certainly, we didn’t know the impact of it. With the Inflation Reduction Act, there was a limiting of cost on prescriptions, and most specifically, insulin prices. And when the GOP candidates were arguing about how they were going to overturn — what they were talking about was get rid of the IRS agents, but when they said they were going to get rid of the Inflation Reduction Act, and many candidates said those phrases interchangeably, what they were saying to those seniors who were excited about that change is they were going to hurt them. They used that messaging very effectively.
And if you’ll remember, a week and a half out, when James Carville and those guys were going crazy about how the Democrats weren’t messaging well, they started moving real hard on these seniors and talking about Medicare and using what had been said, both in the plans that had been put out by Rick Scott and the plans that had been put out by Kevin McCarthy saying that these were de-fund Medicare, de-fund Social Security plans.
And what was the old expression? It’s hard when you’re in a set of rules where good gets to cheat — or excuse me, where evil gets to cheat and good has to tell the truth. They’re not bound by what’s true. And so they scared a lot of seniors, and even some of the margins that were seen, the weekend leading to the election, with positive senior votes, we have every reason to believe they had as much as an 8- to 10-point flip on those senior votes with the scary messaging they got at the end.
And there’s something else to be said for GOP overconfidence. I think a lot of us thought everything was coming together. Everything that had been the case for so many years, and the models to be expected in this election, all pointing the right way when you talk about the generic ballot, when you talk about the Biden approval, right track wrong track, frustration, everything pointed to a victory. And I worry that when we get the final numbers, we’re going to see that not only did the Democrats turn out, but the GOP might have had some overconfidence who kept some of them from turning out. They were just sure it was going to be a big wave.
And I think the idea of overconfidence on that level has just got to be over, no matter what happens. Because — and one of the things I said a lot of the time was it reminded me of 2021, and 2021 was a simple contest. It was — in Virginia. It was 614,000 people who had never voted in a Virginia statewide election but had voted in every federal election in the state of Virginia. And whichever party could turn out the most of those people was going to win. And it just so happens Republicans did a better job. Well, 2022 was about recognizing the high-water mark was 2020, and whoever did the best job of turning out that record number was going to win, and it wasn’t — I think the GOP was worried on a nationwide effort, and that’s why we saw such a divergence. We saw things like Ohio, where the polling and the turnout looked exactly like what everybody thought it would be, and it was a big day. And there was a GOP wave. Florida, everything looked like what it’s supposed to be, and there was a big wave. North Carolina — I mean, and these were races that I never thought were going to be competitive, and they weren’t.
But then there were just races that they just honed in on, and it was amazing that — like you said before, they were honing in on the federal races. The ones where they could make the biggest difference. And sometimes I think that one of the things that we have to learn is, we look at overall messaging — all right, what’s going to appeal to generic voter, and not as what’s going to appeal to specific voter, and they do a better job of saying, hey, we need to motivate this group of young people in this state, this group of seniors here, this group of minorities there, what messages they need.
Thomas Lifson: This seems to be the flip side of the lesson we drew from 1994 when Newt Gingrich flipped the control of the house for the first time in 40 years with the Contract for America, which was a national uniform message. But you’re telling us — and I think it’s very true — that this time around, targeted state by state, congressional district by congressional district, in that regard, I want to bring out some data that was very startling to me, since we’ve been talking about how abortion worked for the Democrats this time around. LifeSiteNews, which is a very anti-abortion website, published this yesterday. They said every pro-life GOP governor who signed an abortion ban or restriction won by a landslide, and we all know DeSantis was up 19. Greg Abbott was up 11. Brian Kemp was up 8. But Kevin Stitt in Oklahoma was up 14. Kim Reynolds in Iowa was up 19. Kay Ivey in Alabama won by 37 points. Kristi Noem won by 27 points. Henry McMaster in South Carolina won by 18. Bill Lee in Indiana won by 32.
Unidentified Speaker: Tennessee.
Thomas Lifson: And Mark Gordon in Wyoming won by 59 points. So we’re siloed, and we have to recognize that, that we’re not one nation under God, united we stand, unfortunately. We’re a bunch — well, we’re a couple of silos. And in marketing they talk about differentiating the market, and I think that’s maybe what we’ve got to do a lot better in the future.
Robert Cahaly: Exactly. Think about it. In 1994, you had a few choices: Coke, Diet Coke and Sprite. How many choices do you have now? All these companies have figured out that everybody wants their little bitty nuance. They want caffeine-free, vegan, diet Sprite. You know, something like that. And so — but they’ve all figured that out. There’s 10,000 brands of cereal now. I mean, so it is like they have — and they market to certain people for certain types of things. And this is the future. All of the digital marketing is developing a fingerprint from you based on your habits and building ads that go specially to you. Well, we have got — from the campaign side and the party side, have got to recognize, we’ve got to start campaigning that way. We’ve got to build donor — voter profiles and make — and actually campaign on them. I know there’s a lot of “data,” but are we really sending them different messages?
I mean, the other thing we have to look at, and I’m not trying to step on anybody’s toes here, but we have a consultant class that is way more interested in making money than winning elections.
Richard Baehr: One comment I’d like to make to follow up to both Tom and Robert is, if there’s an issue the Republicans miss this year, it is education. That was not a focal point, and it was the only reason why Glenn Youngkin was elected in Virginia, which is a state that went for 10 points by Joe Biden just a year earlier, and also why New Jersey, which had been a 15-point Democratic state, became a 3-point state between one of the wealthiest governors with one of the most expensive campaigns and a Republican who spent nothing and was unknown, right? Republicans dropped that issue because they thought other issues were a bigger deal right now. It was so obvious what was going on on the border — well, no, it’s only obvious to people who watch Fox News, because no one else knows about it. No one else has covered the story. Okay?
And the assumption is, inflation is an argument that will make someone vote Republican. If they’re a hardcore Democrat, actually not. So — but the one issue that does move people who are not particularly ideological to move from one party to another is that they think their kids are getting beaten up and trained to be, essentially, Marxist advocates and learning all about gender-affirming care with 73 types of genders when they’re seven years old. This is not something that most Americans care for.
Robert Cahaly: He’s exactly right, because if you look at the places where they were focused on that, or in the states where they were focused on school boards, they won. So he is exactly right. If we had done — if that had been done in more states, and used more effectively.
And the last thing we have to acknowledge is, we’ve got some crazy voter laws, folks. Do you know that in New Hampshire you can register to vote the same day and vote? We’re hearing stories of over 10,000 people who crossed the border from Massachusetts to vote on election day in New Hampshire. Now, that would explain why everybody has New Hampshire wrong. But then there were places where the Democrats didn’t expect an attack. No one expected Zeldin to be competitive, and when he was competitive, four seats flipped. The entire Republican majority might have been won in New York. Think about that. Who would have predicted that? So when they’re not prepared, and they haven’t done their homework, a lot of things like that can happen, because they were not prepared in New York and — but for coming in to save them, spending a lot of time in Manhattan and turning out votes, they probably wouldn’t have won New York at all.
John Hinderaker: We’ve got about five minutes here, and Thomas Lifson, why don’t you take five minutes to wrap up talking about what you see as some of the major qualitative factors, and then we’ll open it up for some questions.
Thomas Lifson: Okay. I think to me, the thing that was most important in this election, particularly in Florida, but in a number of states, was competence. DeSantis won because he’s competent. The experience with Hurricane Ian cemented in voters’ minds that this is a guy who gets things done that you can rely on. Florida has hurricanes all the time, and they just had another one. I read this morning that 95% of the power has been restored after the latest hurricane because they were prepared. I think the same goes for Kristi Noem in South Dakota. Now, that only works in governor’s races, of course, but a governor, a strong gubernatorial candidate, can bring the rest of the ticket along. Now, most states, it’s every four years, so that doesn’t do us a lot of good in years when they governor’s not on the ballot, but I think competence is a theme that the GOP can pursue, because face it, the Democrats are not competent at anything other than winning elections.
I also mentioned the issue of hate and how that works for the other side. I think for us, the flip side of that is demonizing the media and the corporate establishment, the way, again, DeSantis went after Disney. This was, of course, education-related, which is a very big issue. I believe — now, I haven’t looked at the data, but I believe that generally speaking, Republicans did a lot better down-ballot in a lot of states than they did at the top of the ballot, again, because local issues are the key.
Let’s see. The other thing we’ve all talked about is the infrastructure of voting laws, and that’s got to be a focus. We’ve — I think we can shame a lot of states with what’s gone on here in Arizona and Nevada, where we’re below third-world levels of performance. And I think there’s a bipartisan consensus that we need to have honest elections — not the people that are rigging the elections, but the voting public — and we can bring this to bear at state levels. God bless her, if Kari Lake wins, she’s going to do it here in Arizona, call a special session. But we’ve got to organize at the state level across the country to reform the voting laws, to have honest elections.
And the fact is that a very large portion of the public now does not believe that our elections are fair, and that’s poison. That’s the end of our political system, if that belief spreads. And we have high ground here. The other side of that, of course, is that the public likes the convenience of voting by mail. You don’t have to get off your butt on election day. And they argue that it disenfranchises people to insist on voting in person on election day. There’s been a demand for years that we have a national holiday on election day; I suggest that we trade election reform in terms of showing up to vote, no vote by mail except for people who live abroad or who are hospitalized, and other few legitimate excuses, in return for declaring election day a national holiday.
John Hinderaker: Richard Baehr has a comment, and then we’ll take a couple of questions.
Richard Baehr: Okay, I should tell you, by the way, don’t fly American; they wouldn’t let me check in my bag of ballots for Arizona on the way up.
Unidentified Speaker: John, we’re going to start with the first question with [Georgette], and then I’m going to go to [Bill], and I see a hand up front.
Richard Baehr: Yeah, one quick note I want to just say, because it’s really an optimistic note, is in 2024, all of the most vulnerable senate seats are Democratic-held seats, in Montana, West Virginia, Arizona and Nevada. And when you look at the presidential election, two things have changed dramatically over the last few years. States that were always very competitive and took large amounts of money for the Republican party, which was essential for their wings to win these two states, Florida and Ohio, are now part of the Republican base. That makes a huge difference in terms of where Republicans have to campaign and spend money going forward.
Audience Member: Thank you. There are quite a few of us here from Nevada, and if you ask most of us, we feel that it is all crooked. And that’s how it’s been over the years. Mr. Cahaly, you just addressed the issue of stealing the elections. Could you — you’re in a very safe space here, so could you please talk more about it, because for example, the [indiscernible] Times announced that the race in Arizona, he’s not conceding quite yet. They’re calling it for Kelly, but he’s — but Masters is not conceding. So please specifically address stealing of the elections this time, because they’re not talking about it as much as they should.
John Hinderaker: Robert?
Robert Cahaly: Well, obviously, the numbers tell us different stories, but — and 2020 is a great example. And it — the turnout was exactly what we thought it would be, and there were a few states that are just way off, and the states that — I mean, you’ve got a few specific problems in Nevada and Arizona. Nevada, one of your problems is the voter file. I’ve been told routinely that they just don’t clean it often, that it’s a very transient area, people come and they go, and people are getting ballots from other places and continuing to vote, but any time you do anything, the simplest thing, if a county says we’re going to purge the list of people who haven’t voted in 10 years, they will receive a letter from Marc Elias within two weeks saying that he’s going to sue them, and they don’t have the resources to fight back. And so part of it is, you’ve got to put into place, and hopefully with Sisolak being defeated, you’ll have the energy to do that in Nevada and certainly, I think, Kari Lake has plenty of energy to do it in Arizona.
You’ve got to change some of these laws. You’ve got to, one, make sure that this crazy system that makes it so complicated to vote is done away with, and you need more observers, and just simple things like having cameras on where the ballots are stored. I mean, we live in kind of a world where everybody can watch videos from around the world, and a blockchain world, and the whole concept is, if everybody’s watching, it’s hard to cheat. It’s hard to steal. Well, then, why can’t every drop box have a camera on it? Why can’t every ballot storage facility inside of a building have a camera on it 24/7? There are things that can be done to tighten up. The will has to be there, and people who think that elections need to be fixed need to stand up and just fix them.
I mean, we saw what we went through in Georgia. I mean, literally, they called it the most reasonable reform you can imagine, Jim Crow 2.0, and they’re allowed to sensationalize like this. I mean, they took away the All-Star game. And luckily we got to play three games in Atlanta because we went to the World Series that year, and so — phooey on them. But yeah, you’ve got — it’s going to take courage, and having to fight the people who say, oh, there’s nothing to see here, or somehow you’re hurting democracy, because what hurts democracy is the loss in public confidence in the election. What hurts democracy is the understanding that election might have been stolen. That’s what hurts democracy. And when you look at when democracies fall, it’s when people no longer believe that the elections are legitimate. And so just talking about that and asking questions is not what hurts it. It’s not doing something about it.
And there’s no reason these things can’t be more secure. I mean, for example, I would say somebody should come to Governor Sununu in New Hampshire and say, hey, look at this. You had thousands, tens of thousands of people vote in your state who registered at the last minute with no time to check and see if they were double-registered in Massachusetts. What are you going to do about that? And we’ve got to be one to hold these people’s feet to the fire, because some of these guys get in there, and they — when they go to DC, we call it getting swamp fever. They get that, oh, I need to get along, and I need to not upset the press, and everything else, and they need to be — held their feet to the fire, and as soon as these legislative sessions get started, right now, start this fight. So it’s not about 2024, it’s about fixing 2022. Because the closer you get to ’24, the less you’re going to be able to get passed. Now is the time when it’s fresh in people’s minds.
Unidentified Speaker: Okay, this is going to have — I apologize. This is going to have to be the last question, but we’re taking a short break, so you can storm the stage and ask your questions after this last one.
Audience Member: Well, thank you, panel. Richard, we met 18 years ago in Tuscany. You asked me to write for the American Thinker, and I did a few times, and I appreciate that, and I appreciate all your remarks today.
You’ve touched on several factors except for one, and that is — and maybe you have and I missed it, but Biden campaigned in his bunker, in his basement. Katie Hobbs never campaigned. It seems that the Democrats don’t have to campaign. They don’t have to debate, and they don’t have to accomplish much of anything. And while we’re talking about messaging, and I’m a student of rhetoric, but when we talk about messaging and we talk about corruption as a major factor as well, the question I have is, what explains the fact that they can win by omission, where they don’t have to campaign, debate or accomplish anything?
Thomas Lifson: Well, this is that extraordinary party loyalty that we were talking about, isn’t it? I mean, I’m one of those foolish people who thought that everybody’s mad because they can’t afford to fill their tank with gasoline or buy groceries; surely they’re going to vote for change. No, no. Many, many people are blindly loyal to the Democratic party, and if you ask them, they’ll probably explain it in terms of things like our democracy, and I’m fighting fascism, and — or lord knows what. But yeah, it is extraordinary how many people have just this immovable commitment to that party.
Richard Baehr: Yeah. One other thing I’d note is, there’s not a high demand or expectation from voters about what their candidates do in campaigns. And in fact, COVID was the perfect excuse to bury Joe Biden in the basement, but you know what’s been done with other candidates — senator Blutarsky, I mean Fetterman, from — an old joke there. Faber College alumni that we are. There wasn’t an expectation that a debate would have to occur, or many debates. The fact that Hobbs, who had no disability of any kind, was able to avoid a debate is really extraordinary. But it says the expectation is low if you think they’re on your side, exactly what John was saying.
Thomas Lifson: Don’t forget that the media —
John Hinderaker: And Fetterman is the acid test, seriously. I mean, you know.
Thomas Lifson: The media that 80% of the public sees makes no issue of it when it’s a Democrat, and that works against us. You all read the conservative media, so you’re aware of these things, but 75% to 80% of the public never sees the conservative media.
Robert Cahaly: And there’s no point that could be made clearer than that, I mean, especially when you think about our seniors. Our seniors are sitting at home and they are watching all kind of mainstream media, and they buy into a lot more of this stuff than you think. And it is very scary right now when you think about all three major networks and these trusted guys that host the news in the evening, and then they hear CNN and CNBC, or MSNBC, and they’re getting all one messages. In the newspapers, you get another message. The good news is, that old legacy media is going out of business. It will not be here forever in the strength that it is now, and as we move to streaming, those same people who sit there glued to the tube are not going to pay even $3 a month to pay for streaming. And so it is going to dissipate, but right now they are all against us, and sometimes, when it comes to talking about election fraud, you can’t even count on Fox.
Unidentified Speaker: Thank you, panel. We’re going to take about a 10-minute break.