Why were Democrats seemingly able to by and large defy history and avoid a catastrophic result in the midterms? Across the country, Democrats successfully defended seats that Republicans had confidently expected to pick up, while also adding wins in gubernatorial races in five swing states that flipped from Trump to Biden in 2020.
There are many explanations: backlash to the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, exhaustion with Donald Trump and some of the candidates that he backed, and a big turnout for Democrats among Gen Z and millennials. The coalition of voters that turned out to oppose Donald Trump in 2018 and 2020 remained largely intact in 2022.
There were also a lot of races that turned on local issues where none of these common explanations seem to tell the full story. We’re all going to be unpacking the results for a while. So, we wanted to hear why these Democrats think they were able to defy history. On this week’s episode of Playbook Deep Dive, Ohioan and POLITICO Playbook co-author Rachael Bade talked to Greg Landsman, a Democrat who on Tuesday, ousted 13-term incumbent Republican Rep. Steve Chabot in Ohio’s 1st District.