Once we’ve absorbed the results from Tuesday, we can start looking at all the ways that the election contradicted several points of conventional wisdom about what takes place in elections.
1. Incumbents have an almost insurmountable advantage and their defeat is a rare, special event.
2. Gerrymandering has succeeded in making it impossible to oust incumbents.
3. Midterm elections are decided on local issues.
4. People vote their pocketbooks – if they did Jennifer Granholm wouldn’t have been reelected.
5. The candidate with the most money wins.
6. Delivering the pork insures an incumbent’s reelection. Tell that to all those incumbents who bragged on what they’d brought home to their constituents and got ousted for their troubles.
7. The Republican GOTV efforts are worth an extra few points in tough races.
8. Exit polls have lost their predictive powers. In fact, they were pretty straight on.
9. The extreme fringe of the Democratic Party has taken over the entire party and is now in the driver’s seat. Tell that to candidates like James Webb and Heath Shuler. And to Joe Lieberman. We’ll just have to see how well they can all work together or which group will have to sacrifice what it professes to believe.
10. The Republican base is so sick of the media bias that they will turn out to vote against the media.
11. Voters won’t turn out in a midterm election.
12. All those polls leading up to the election were missing Republicans who didn’t like to talk to pollsters.
13. Voting irregularities will doom this election. That only happens when Republicans win.