This was the result that I expected; I've been pretty checked out of politics the last year or so, but even from a pretty distant view it looked like the Republicans were solid in the Senate and that a typical non-presidential flip was to be expected in the house. As everyone has already pointed out, this wasn't a blue wave – not even close – but it did show that Democrats are making gains in suburban districts which were, until very recently, considered favorable to Republicans. I wrote a whole sperg-out about this phenomenon, and how it can be applied to future digital messaging campaigns. Buckle up and enjoy the autism:
2018 and the Suburban Voter
I think something is going on the suburbs; they are, by design, dominated by what remains of the middle class – plus the necessary service industry to support them. Even if wages are falling and the "middle class" is by and large disappearing, I still think it's fair to talk about suburbanites as situated between the traditional polarities of rural poor and urban affluence which are traditionally talked about when it comes to the constitution of American society. To live in a suburb means you're decently off by global standards – you've got a car, for instance, and can enjoy reasonable access to large suburban shopping centers which provide a staggering variety of consumer goods at very low prices when compared to those charged in urban centers. This lifestyle is isolating, however… Whereas rural citizens may be close to one another peronally by virtue of their relative isolation from others and urbanites have no choice but to maintain a large number of day-to-day personal associations, suburbanites live relatively cloistered lives – they move from car to work to shops to home and, if they don't want to, can exist without any close personal associations at all. It's a common place to say that you see people acting weird at Wal Mart, and the reason for this is that Wal Mart is a totally neutral space in a cultural sense… it is the ur-suburban institution in that it is just a giant box that admits anyone, ignores distinction and provides equal economic service to all. It is, like suburban life itself, inherently impersonal. Which means you can crap yourself on aisle 6 while riding in a mobility scooter and nobody will say shit. At Wal Mart, this person is just a consumer – same as anyone else with the tiny amount of money necessary to justify their presence in the box.