Another thought (yesterday's first one here) about the election that I heard from a commentator also has some human factors pieces to it. This one I think has a little less validity to it, but I am interested in what you think. It would also explain the divergence between voting for candidates and voting on referenda.
There is a whole stratum of wealthy liberal voters who would clearly be GOP if they only voted their pocketbooks. But their principles push them too far in the other direction. But how much? If Republican candidates presented just enough of a façade of liberal values to prevent a visceral identity-dissonance, how many could be enticed to shift over?
That is what this commentator proposed. She said that this is what the GOP candidates had done in the purple states, and it won them the election. Even as the ballot questions went progressive.