Mr. Helling's 'pithy analysis' is an odd mix of self-congratulation for his correct prediction about the national election, and a lament about our national polarized politics that have become, well, nationalized; the result of which sucks the air out of the room for local down-ballot issues and candidates. The 'what matters' in his title, I think.
I believe Mr. Helling misses the larger picture about 'what matters' in the suffocating environs of an aggressively malignant nanny-state that attempts to micro-manage society by sucking gynormous volumes of tax dollars out of the economy, but I digress.
He did score a bulls-eye with his analysis of a hidebound electorate who decide elections almost before they get started:
"The Obama campaign understood this. They worked on registration and outreach for years before the vote, while the Romney folks seemed to rely on a last-weekend push that seems, in retrospect, very 20th century."