U.S. midterm elections are similar to the midpoint of the NFL season in that everyone is under the impression that it’s all rigged when, in fact, it’s merely a complex, shambolic set of systems from state to state that are sometimes overburdened and can fall victim to the occasional human error. There is no conspiracy involving officials conspiring to rig the game, just as there’s no organized Democratic party. And there definitely isn’t one organized enough to rig national or even local elections.
The midterm predictions Colin Cowherd and Joe Rogan anticipated never materialized. It’s wild that these two false prophets could be so wrong. Instead, the Republicans came out like the 2022 Bucs, a .500 team that resembles the near-50/50 Congressional House and Senate split. The sitting president’s party performing so well on Tuesday is as ahistorical as Brady missing the postseason, yet in both instances, the stars may be aligning.
Speaking of the Bucs, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) held on for his eighth term, making him one of the oldest politicians to ever be re-elected.
Grassley’s decision to hold onto his seat is akin to a divorced Brady seeking a six-year extension that carries him into his 50s. There’s not much of a historical comp for Grassley and Brady’s longevity. Medical advances have increased modern-day life expectancies and athletic primes last longer than ever. As much as we may want them to just go home, Grassley is going to be throwing his weight around on the Judiciary Committee as long as a geriatric Brady is tossing dump-offs to his tight end.
The rare Republican victory of the night was Florida Gov. Ron Desantis trouncing Charlie Crist, and the highlight was watching as Trump’s election denial candidates were Whack-a-Mole’d off the political stage.
In NFL terms, the RNC being undone by their own obsession with trotting out losing candidates whose only allure was their vow to steal an election is tantamount to adopting the Indianapolis Colts’ method of winning without focusing on a central component. Candidate quality matters as much as quarterback quality. Arizona’s senate candidate Blake Masters, and gubernatorial candidates in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Arizona all appear to be on the verge of being swept into the trash heap of history.
Somewhere in that trash bin, they’ll run into names like Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan, and Sam Ehlinger. Indianapolis thought it could build around the quarterback position and then plug in a (fill in the blank here) as signal-caller. Alas, that poorly thought-out plan failed miserably and the Colts are scrambling for answers.
The candidate who picked those terrible candidates was none other than former President Trump, who may be watching his grip on the conservative movement slip away. He knows it, which is why he’s begun attacking DeSantis in recent days, The Desantis-Trump dynamic encapsulated would be the Carolina Panthers preseason quarterback controversy. Darnold is the guy who parachuted in from New York with his cult of believers, spinning his failures into positives, only to have his job potentially stolen by Baker Mayfield and his Napoleon Complex. In the end, we confirmed that they’re both suckers.
In the current political landscape, Georgia takes precedence over the impending GOP primary gladiator match. In a sequel of 2020’s Georgia Senate run-off election that preceded the Jan. 6 riots, Herschel Walker and Raphael Warnock (D-Georgia) appear to be heading for a rematch on Dec. 6. The closest NFL analog for running Herschel Walker is the Texans foolishly handing their franchise over to Jack Easterby.
The idea was that, despite him being ill-prepared for such a promotion, Easterby, the Patriots’ team chaplain and character coach, would rub off some of that Patriots magic on a downtrodden organization. Walker’s pedigree as a legendary UGA running back and the tip of the spear for the 1980 national championship team has been the driving force of his campaign. There’s no other reason to believe he’s the best the GOP could offer as a candidate. He’s been involved in more scandals than Olivia Pope and he’s plowed through them with the recklessness he did after being traded to the Minnesota Vikings. Vince Dooley ain’t Walker’s campaign manager or coach this time around, and instead, Georgia got the version of Walker who became a USFL/NFL journeyman.
A slew of pivotal races across the country should take a few days or weeks to complete counting ballots, but think of it as an instant replay review. Oftentimes, these contests are decided by the slimmest of margins. Sometimes it’s a foot on the sideline and in the civics sphere, there are a few ballots that can shift control of an entire state or national party. It can seem tedious, but better safe than sorry.