For the first time in four years, Donald Trump will not be on the ballot, nor will he be in the White House. Is that better for Democrats, who don’t have to worry about a surge in “Trump only” voters? Or is this better for Republicans who can try to win back many of the suburban voters who ditched the party while Trump was in charge?
What’s also interesting about 2022 is that for the first time in 12-years, the person who sits in the White House does not enjoy a cult of personality. Barack Obama was the first Black president who motivated a generation of younger voters and voters of color. Donald Trump energized his cohort of voters — some of them former Obama voters — with his “Make America Great Again” appeal. Both could draw big crowds and celebrity endorsements. But, they could not transfer their ‘coalition’ to any other candidate — especially down-ballot candidates in the midterm elections. Despite Pres. Obama admonishment of supporters at his rallies (“don’t boo, vote,” he often told them), they failed to do that in midterms, which cost Democrats the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014. President Trump’s post-election rallies in Georgia weren’t effective in saving the Senate.