David, your criticisms are fair enough. I wrote my post more as a way to start a discussion rather than as a final judgement, and as I have more time to process data and hear the different arguments I may alter my view. From the outset, I just really wanted to view the data as objectively as possible. In our world, all the talk has been about conservative turnout, so I wanted to take a step back and make sure I wasn’t missing the forest by focusing on a few trees. As someone who has written extensively on the impact of the dispirited base and who wants to see the Republican Party return to its small government roots, I have an interest in being able to prove that weak conservative turnout did the party in, but I also want to try and be fair–perhaps in my desire to be fair I went overboard in the opposite direction. My initial reaction though is that given the closeness of the Virginia race, a dropoff in conservative turnout may have cost Republicans the Senate, and possible some House seats, but the Democrats would probably have won the House comfortably anyway. So, weaker conservative turnout may have been one story in this election, but probably not the story of the election. But again, I’d love to hear opposing arguments.
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