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    The mixed messaging, and the mixed metaphors, were appropriate: “Blue wave” began, in this election cycle, as a faith-based idea—Democratic activists’ hope that voters’ resentment of Trumpism would ripple and grow into a crashing, crushing eventuality—and that is in some ways what it remained, in the long year leading up to the 2018 U.S. midterms. It became a shorthand for the notion that a surge of blue would wash over the national political landscape: a widespread repudiation of the current political regime that would be, depending on your point of view, either made inevitable or made to collide vainly against the stubborn solidity of a Republican “red wall.”

    November 8, 2018