Lots of people on the right are still wondering what happened to the big red wave that everyone was expecting in November.
Republicans managed to take back the House but didn’t win any of the Senate races, despite favorable polling.
So what is going on?
Stephen Green, who sometimes goes by the name Vodkapundit, has broken it down to the only thing that matters.
He writes at PJ Media:
It isn’t that Republicans can’t win. Far from it. It’s that in too many places, we’re playing by the old rules while the Democrats are playing by new rules — rules they wrote for their own benefit.
In those places — places like Colorado, California, and wherever ballot harvesting is the new normal — under the new rules, enthusiasm doesn’t matter.
I’ll say it again and I want you to say it with me: Enthusiasm doesn’t matter.
The only thing that matters in the age of mail-in voting is getting the ballots out to your people and harvesting them back in, in numbers greater than the other side.
It takes enthusiasm — the kind generated by an exciting, principled candidate — to show up with your ID on Election Day, maybe in bad weather, and stand in line until it’s finally your turn to receive your ballot, fill it out properly, and cast it.
Or maybe people are just enthused to do all that to vote against the other side — I know that’s usually the case for me.
Mail-in voting and ballot harvesting require no such enthusiasm.
It’s such a cultural thing for conservatives, a certain civic pride in playing by the old rules — the better rules — and proudly voting on Election Day.
I blithely allowed my old-school civic virtue to blind me to the harvested ballot tsunami that was silently overwhelming the Red Wave.
Green is absolutely right about this.
Republicans should still run robust campaigns built on policy and ideas, but none of that matters without the ground game for early and mail-in voting.
Republicans had better learn this lesson and fast.