Why did we do so badly on Tuesday?
Theories abound. The trouble is, they are all wrong. They are also all right. It depends on the district. And, of course, "why we lost" should also include "why we won"
Did we lose because we didn't craft a message?
Did we lose because we were too liberal?
Did we lose because we were not liberal enough?
Did we lose because we had too little money?
Did we lose because of character assassination?
Did we lose because we offended people?
Did we lose because we failed to draw our base?
Did we lose because we got the seat as "low hanging fruit" in 2008 or 2006?
Did we lose because we failed to draw independents and moderate Republicans? (There are some).
Grijalva and Grayson are both more liberal than their bases. One won, one lost.
They both also did some things that offended people (Grijalva calling for boycott, many of Grayson's acts and ads).
Grayson raised tons of money. Grijalva raised less.
Both are in swing districts.
We can theorize endlessly. Or we can model the data, given what we have. A statistical model could be set up, measuring likelihood of a seat pickup or loss based on various factors such as PVI, VoteView score, ethnic composition, # of terms the representative has served, and so on. What would be really interesting, I think, is if we could somehow measure campaign style, but I'm not sure how to do it.
And that's just two races!
We did lose a lot of the close races and the swing districts. We also won some.
But there is no one reason.