Losers from November 3rd
The official winners from the Nov. 3 elections are still being determined in a number of states. But we don’t need to wait for those results to arrive before identifying some of the big losers.
Among them: the war on drugs, socialism, federal tax hikes, government spying, court-packing…what are some of the others?
Tyler Cowen adds a few that run against conventional wisdom:
Money in politics: It is a common charge that the U.S. campaign finance system is broken and that money can buy elections. Yet Democrats did not capture the Senate despite record fundraising, as numerous better-funded candidates failed to win. “You wasted a lot of money,” Senator Lindsey Graham said in his victory speech Tuesday night, speaking to “all the liberals in New York and California” who helped his opponent raise more than $100 million.
Nor did Biden’s cash advantage give him a decisive edge against Trump, even if he wins the election in the final tally. The role of money in politics is overrated, and it may be falling still. It just doesn’t cost much to use social media effectively.
Lockdowns: Despite Americans’ willingness to incur considerable sacrifices to limit the spread of the coronavirus, voters didn’t seem bothered by Trump’s failures to adopt stricter regulations on commerce. If I were a governor making policy choices right now, I would be paying close attention.
In more technical terms, the political-science hypothesis of “retrospective voting” took a whacking. Retrospective voting suggests that the electorate evaluates incumbents by recent economic performance and votes accordingly, regardless of whether the incumbents are actually at fault. Yet Trump presided over about 320,000 excess deaths related to Covid-19, as well as huge contractions in GDP and employment. Even if he loses, as now seems likely, those failures didn’t knock him out of the race. A lot of his supporters still seem to have felt he would cope better with matters moving forward.