This is not to argue that the 2018 midterms are not important.

Does This is not to argue mean This is hardly to argue in the sentence above?


"hardly" has connotations that "not" does not. It is quite difficult to exactly explain what these are. On the one hand, "hardly" is less of a definite negation than "not"; on the other hand, "hardly" can seem to emphasise the incorrectness of such an argument. "hardly" could also be used if someone has accused the writer of making such an argument.


Thank you for the reply.