Democrats are doing far better than expected. How come?

Matthew Yglesias in The Guardian:

Many known unknowns remain in the US congressional elections, including the critical question of who will hold the majority in the Senate.

But it’s already clear that Republicans are going to perform far worse than the typical out-party in a midterm election. Democrats appear to be on track for a result that, while certainly not spectacular if viewed in isolation, is the best midterm performance for any incumbent party since 2002. There’s nothing like the massive “wave” elections of 1994, 2006, 2010 or 2018 here, or the steady opposition gains of 2014. In 1998, Democrats did break with precedent and actually gain seats in the House and Senate, despite holding the White House. But that was a question of shrinking existing Republican majorities.

…But outside of the Sunshine State, Republicans have mostly been less cautious, and it has generated results for Democrats that are almost shockingly good given the state of the economy. That’s a testament to Democrats’ tactical savvy, and also a reminder of the huge political risks Republicans are running if inflation subsides over the next couple of years.

More here.