Republicans have focused on persuading voters. Democrats have focused on collecting ballots. It's why stroke victims who can't speak (Fetterman) and candidates who won't debate (Katie Hobbs) win elections. The winner is the one with more ballots, not the one bringing voters to the polls.
Why Republicans are not preparing for elections with this in mind shows - in no uncertain terms - that they have a serious problem. They are throwing money at consultants that don't care whether their candidates win or lose. The GOP’s Political Consultant Problem
As the political discussion centers on the 2022 wins and losses from the midterm election, one thing that stands out in similarity to the 2020 general election is the difference between ballots and votes. It appears in some states this is the ‘new normal.’
Where votes were the focus, the Biden administration suffered losses. Where ballots were the focus, the Biden administration won.
Perhaps the two states most reflective of ‘ballots’ being more important than ‘votes’ are Michigan and Pennsylvania. Despite negative polling and public opinion toward two specific candidates in those states, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman achieved victories.
Whitmer and Fetterman were not campaigning for votes, that is old school. Instead, the machinery behind both candidates focused on the modern path. The Democrat machines in both states focused on ballot collection and ignored the irrelevant votes as cast.
Since the advent of ballot centric focus through mail-in and collection drop-off processes, votes have become increasingly less valuable amid the organizers who wish to control election outcomes. As a direct and specific result, ballot collection has become the key to Democrat party success.
The effort to attain votes for candidates is less important than the strategy of collecting ballots.
It should be emphasized; these are two distinctly different election systems.
When ‘ballot organization’ becomes more important than ‘vote winning,’ you modify your electoral campaign approaches accordingly. It might sound simplistic, but inside the distinct difference between ballots and votes you will find why refusing debates is a successful strategy.
If you are trying to win votes you could never fathom campaign success by refusing to debate an opponent. However, if your focus is centered around ballot collection, the debate is essentially irrelevant.