Turns out there was a “red wave” on Election Day after all, just not the ones that Republicans hoped for. Women, particularly women of color, voted overwhelmingly Democratic during the 2022 midterms, exit polls found. Inevitably, some found the joke that was … just sitting there.
The midterm elections saw record-high voter turnout, both early and in person, and according to the exit polls, access to abortion was one of the top issues at the ballot box. Additionally, five states had abortion rights issues on the ballot, and all five states voted to either increase or maintain access to the procedure.
Republicans had been promising a tsunami-like sweep in the midterms but ended up stunned to see major losses across the board. Although many of the marquee national races remain tight, Democrats pulled off upset wins and flipped state legislatures. In Michigan, the state government went Democratic, and abortion was the primary driver.
Right-wing media outlets and commentators have freaked out, trying to explain why their red wave slowed to a trickle. They have tried to blame everything from Donald Trump to voters being too young. They can’t seem to grasp—or won’t admit—that people vote for issues that matter to them.
But Washington Post writer Monica Hesse explained, “Buddy, it was right in front of you. The red wave rolled in with Aunt Flo on a longboard.”
Many others have been quick to mock the so-called red wave, noting it both sounds like a euphemism for a period and symbolizes how period-havers turned out in droves to vote against the Republicans.
“So, contrary to all these major media outlets, the red wave coming is my period on Friday,” tweeted professor Uju Anya.
Podcaster Allison Gill joked that “the ‘red wave’ is more like light spotting.”
Writer Akilah Hughes sympathized: “I get it, sometimes I think it’s a red wave but then my period hasn’t actually shown up.” But, she hastened to add, “It’s just that I’m not on TV affecting anyone’s life with that miscalculation.”