One of the biggest oddities of the last election wasn’t that the polling was way off, leading to a surprise Republican victory. Instead, it was that the polling was largely correct, leading to a surprise Republican disappointment.
Contrary to the impression most have of how the last mid-terms went, something of a red wave did appear. It just happened to be the most inefficient, badly spaced-out red wave in modern history, with Republicans winning the national popular vote for a few percentage points, just as the generic ballot polling average predicted.
The failure in expectations (and to be sure, overall, the election was a disaster for Republicans) came elsewhere. Namely, the extremely complicated dynamics of individual districts that not even the GOP’s most well-paid analysts were able to crack. That’s a really long way of saying that outright dismissing polling probably isn’t the best idea, and a new poll is out countering the negative Nancy narrative surrounding the incoming Republican House of Representatives.
Take this as an example of what I’m talking about.
DUMBASSES. The public thinks both sides are corrupt and the GOP is stupid and chaotic. Going after Hunter Biden as a top priority instead of economic issues, etc. feeds the public perception the GOP is not serious. So dumb.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) November 17, 2022
Likewise, Ben Shapiro and other conservative commentators also questioned the wisdom of the GOP caucus announcing a series of investigations, many of which they have been promising for years. Well, here’s the counter to that.
NEW POLL: Should the House…
Investigate the Hunter Biden Laptop?
Yes — 65%
No — 35%
Investigate the origins of Covid Virus?
Yes — 71%
No — 29%
End the Jan 6th Committee?
Yes — 62%
No — 38%
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) November 20, 2022
Here’s the thing. The idea that the public punishes parties for investigating the other party just isn’t backed by evidence. Often, Bill Clinton’s impeachment is brought up, but that occurred in December of 1998. Who won the next election? That would be the Republicans. Trek forward to the period before the 2016 election when the Benghazi investigation was going on, targeting Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Who won the next election? That would be the Republicans.
This works both ways. During the first two years of the Trump administration, the Democrats went gangbusters with investigations into the then-current president. Who won the next election? That would be Democrats. We could keep playing this out all the way until the 2022 election, where Democrats well over-performed expectations despite spending all their time promoting the January 6th committee.
In short, there is no reason to believe that the GOP House actually respecting its base enough to keep its promises on investigating Hunter Biden is somehow going to cost them the 2024 election. Quite the contrary, especially if the investigation produces valuable information showing the Biden family’s corruption. The Harvard/Harris poll posted above bolsters that assertion, with large majorities thirsty for actual accountability in Washington.
Yes, there will be time to talk about tax cuts and healthcare. It’s important Republicans lay out solid agendas on a variety of meat and potatoes topics prior to the next election. But the existence of those topics should not preclude doing the only real thing the GOP has the power to do right now, which is to investigate the malfeasance of many in the Democrat Party. It’s not just about turn about being fair play, though that’s a part of it. It’s about doing what’s right, and if Republicans take that path, I believe they’ll be helped more than harmed by it. It’s a good thing to do what you said you were going to do.