Three Ways to Gauge Midterm Races as the Election Draws Near

Published October 24, 2022

The Washington Post

Polls are the easiest way to gauge what might happen in the midterm elections. But savvy observers know there are less publicized clues that can tell you what’s going on. Here are three of the most important.

First, where the parties put their money is a huge clue as to how they think the elections are trending. Many of the television or digital ads you see are paid for by party-controlled campaign committees rather than candidates. It’s hard to win elections without support from these groups, as most candidates simply cannot raise the huge sums of money needed to sustain weeks of hyper-expensive advertising.

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Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world.

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