Paragraph 1 begins this way: "A political shift is beginning to take hold across the U.S. as tens of thousands of suburban swing voters who helped fuel the Democratic Party's gains in recent years are becoming Republicans". The shift is stated as fact. It's a great opening sentence/paragraph because it connects directly to the headline and affirms the statement of the headline. Because it seems to be fact, it's also a good hook. It's well within the 35 words most readers seem to allow before deciding whether or not to keep reading, and is emotionally enticing enough that one might continue reading after a mental fist pump for the GOP or a possibly audible groan for the Democrats.
In the original version of the article, the second paragraph noted that 1 million voters across 43 states switched to the Republican party, which is a significantly different number than “tens of thousands.” In fact, "more-1-million-voters-switch" is part of the link to get to this article. Yet in the version of the article currently linked, we read that voter switch has occurred in 31 states.
In paragraphs 4 and 5 an individual from Colorado is highlighted and quoted. Now we learn his shift was reluctant and after he changed his registration first to libertarian, then, more recently, to the GOP.
In a previous version of this article, paragraph 6 reported that the political data firm, L2, is the source of the AP’s work and now they’ve identified “nearly 1.7 million voters who had likely(emphasis mine) switched affiliations across 42 states” so the number of voters has inched up while we lost a state. What this paragraph also tells us is “[w]hile party switching is not uncommon, the data shows a definite reversal from the period while Trump was in office, when Democrats enjoyed a slight edge in the number of party switchers nationwide.”
In the next two paragraphs, the lesson on organization and information control continues, but I'll highlight only a couple of things:
- Paragraph 8 begins with the word "But" which is always a signifier. Think about the way we use the word in conversation. It is almost always to indicate something to the contrary or in opposition to what was just stated.
- It is not until paragraph 9 we read this: "The migration of hundreds of thousands of voters, a small portion of the overall U.S. electorate, does not ensure widespread Republican success in the November midterm elections. . . "
- The next paragraph begins with the word "Still" which is another signifier. There is an insistence with the use of this word, especially at the start of the sentence. It's as though the writer is waving away whatever objections you may be thinking to convince the reader this is an issue of some significance. It may very well be, of course. It could be good news for the Republicans, but it might not be bad news for the Democrats. The end result of the voter switch is unknowable.
when the publication is basically shrugging its shoulders and saying "It's not our fault."