Conservatives Upend Pollsters at the Ballot Box

By Richard Nelson

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November 26, 2020

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2020 was supposed to be a banner year for liberal Democrats. A blue tsunami of far-left candidates ushering in socialist policies was going to erase conservative gains over the past several years. That’s what the polls said anyway but the blue wave ended up being a trickle and left Congressional Democrats pointing fingers at the socialist wing for their failure to meet expectations.

Even though Pres. Trump lost the White House in a close race, Democrats lost at least eight seats in Congress and failed to win the U.S. Senate as many projected. The GOP holds the Senate by a 50-48 margin and Georgia voters will decide its fate in two runoff elections in January. Republicans also gained a state legislative chamber and picked up a gubernatorial seat. Republicans now control 55 of the 99 state legislative chambers in the U.S.

So why the unrealized expectations of the left? Democratic policies embrace socialism, abortion, and transgenderism. They refuse to stand up to violent protests, fail to deal with illegal immigration, support cancel culture and identity politics, and only tepidly support law enforcement. Even though voters may have rejected Trump as the messenger, they didn’t reject conservative policies.

The GOP message of opportunity attracted Hispanics and young black men by the largest numbers in recent history. Working-class, blue-collar voters continued to support the president and GOP on fair trade and border security. The message of law, order, and support of the police garnered more support from women and Boomers. And originalist judges and socially conservative policies attracted the majority of evangelicals.

Republican gains in Congress mean they’ll draw district lines for 188 Congressional districts. Democrats will draw the boundaries of just 73 districts. This puts Republicans in a strong position to recapture control of Congress in 2022. Since the end of World War II, the presidential party in power has lost an average of 27 House seats in midterm elections.

Kentucky Republicans handily won five of six Congressional seats and the U.S. Senate race. Even though Amy McGrath outraised Sen. Mitch McConnell by $88 million to $55.5 million, McConnell beat her by 20 points. Kentucky Democrats are doing some soul-searching after being walloped by voters.

Conservatives did extremely well in Kentucky as Republicans netted two seats in the State Senate and 13 seats in the State House. They now have a 30-8 margin in the Senate and a 75-25 margin in the House. Conservative Supreme Court candidate Bob Conley beat Democratic State Rep. Chris Harris for the 7th District in Eastern Kentucky.

The team at CPC is pleased to have played a role in the conservative surge in the Commonwealth. Of the 74 CPC endorsed and recommended State House and Senate candidates, 69 were victorious! That’s 93 percent. Of the 21 House and Senate races CPC engaged and spent money on, 18 were victorious! That’s 86 percent. Even though the presidential race didn’t turn out as many had hoped, good things are on the political horizon in the Commonwealth.

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Director, Commonwealth Policy Center