Democrats Outperform Expectations

The Needle is Broken

The infamous New York Times election “Needle” stopped updating at 4 a.m. Eastern and this note has been added:

The “red wave” did not materialize, and election night ended with many close races that will be decided by mail-in ballots. We expect the remaining vote that will decide control of Congress will take days, if not weeks, to count.

While this isn’t shocking—we had been saying for a while that this was the most likely outcome—there were late signs that the race was shifting in the Republican direction, which would be more in line with traditional midterm contests in which the sitting President is underwater in his approval ratings. It did not.

Democrats scored the first flip of the night, with John Fetterman besting Mehmet Oz to take the seat vacated by Republican Pat Toomey’s retirement. It was a sweep in the Keystone State, with Josh Shaprio easily beating Doug Mastriano for governor.

Alas, NeverTrumper turned Trumper JD Vance beat Tim Ryan in Ohio. But that was just a hold of Rob Portman’s seat.

Similarly, in New Hampshire Democrat Maggie Hassan beat Don Boluc to retain her Senate seat much more comfortably than polls had suggested.

Here’s the snapshot of the closest races:

FiveThirtyEight’s Nathaniel Rakich has these results, now a couple hours old, in races still hanging in the balance:

Senate

  • In Georgia, Warnock leads Walker 49.1 percent to 48.8 percent. This race is very likely to require a Dec. 6 runoff.
  • In Wisconsin, Johnson leads Barnes 51 percent to 49 percent. Based on what remains, the Republican will probably win this one.
  • In Arizona, Kelly leads Masters 56 percent to 41 percent. This race will tighten, though, as more ballots are counted in the coming days.
  • In Nevada, Cortez Masto leads Laxalt 50 percent to 47 percent. This race could go either way.
  • In the ranked-choice election in Alaska, Tshibaka has 47 percent of first-place votes, Murkowski has 41 percent, Chesbro has 9 percent, and Kelley has 3 percent. Remember that if no one gets a majority of first-place votes, this race will be decided by voters’ second- and third-choice votes on Nov. 23.

Governor

  • In Arizona, Hobbs leads Lake 55 percent to 45 percent. This race, too, will tighten and likely take days to resolve.
  • In Kansas, Kelly leads Schmidt 49 percent to 48 percent. There’s not too much left to report, so I’d rather be Kelly here.
  • In Nevada, Sisolak leads Lombardo 49 percent to 48 percent. It’s hard to say who, if anyone, has an advantage here.
  • In Oregon, Kotek leads Drazan 46 percent to 45 percent, with Johnson at 9 percent. This one could also go either way.

WaPo’s Aaron Blake offers “6 early takeaways from the 2022 election.”

1. The ‘red wave’ is off

Republicans are still favorites to flip the House, and they’ve got a shot to take the Senate as well. But the big red wave that some on the right had predicted — and that GOP-aligned polls were increasingly indicating — did not materialize at all. And both takeovers are in some jeopardy.

That’s especially the case for the Senate. Democrats won the first big toss-up race early Wednesday morning, with Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) defeating Republican Mehmet Oz. After other races went in the expected directions, that left three toss-ups to decide the majority — Arizona, Georgia and Nevada — with each side needing to win two of them. As of this writing, Democrats also appear to be in reasonably good shape in Arizona.

Republicans also lost the New Hampshire Senate race, where Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) was considered a slight favorite but in the campaign’s final stretch was seen as increasingly endangered. The GOP did hold on to Ohio, where J.D. Vance won, and in North Carolina, where Rep. Ted Budd did.

It also became clear as the night progressed that the House is less than a guarantee for the GOP. Democrats were winning most of the toss-up races, which is the opposite of what usually happens in a wave election. And for a time it appeared the GOP might not win the majority at all, though their taking the House is still the likeliest outcome.

Should Republicans fail to pick up one seat in the Senate (the gain they need to flip it), it would be just the seventh time the opposition party has failed to do so in the past 100 years. And the average gain for the opposition party in House races over the past 100 years is 29 seats, which Republicans appear unlikely to match.

If “Democrats were winning most of the toss-up races,” it’s arguably a blue wave. But it’s too soon to know.

2. DeSantis’s landslide — and what it portends for 2024

In elections, it’s not just about which party wins, but which specific candidates win, and — in some cases — by how much. And one of the biggest winners Tuesday night was Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), because he won … by a lot.

Let us count the ways:

  • He was beating Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) by nearly 20 points with 93 percent of votes counted — a larger margin than virtually any poll showed at any point in the race.
  • He won a clear majority of the Latino vote — 57 percent — lapping his 44 percent share in 2018 and Donald Trump’s 46 percent in 2020.

Indeed, DeSantis’s massive win in what was, until relatively recently, a swing state is perhaps the biggest signal to date that he will be a force to be reckoned with if he runs for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. Donald Trump clearly sees the threat building, having dubbed DeSantis “DeSanctimonious” at a rally this past weekend and then, on Tuesday, apparently threatening DeSantis with opposition research.

That he beat a former governor by 20 points is huge. That he did so under heavy fire from Trump is interesting, although I don’t know quite what to make of it. I’m hoping it means Trump’s influence is waning.

3. Trump’s night could get worse

But that might not be the end of it for Trump. After his 2020 loss, he set about throwing his weight around in GOP primaries, in part to reinforce that he was still in charge. He wound up getting some flawed candidates through their primaries. As of now, each of the four Senate toss-up races feature candidates Trump backed in the primaries. And with the potential exception of Nevada’s Adam Laxalt, each has had image problems.

If Republicans don’t take the Senate, there will be (or at least should be) a reckoning over how that happened. Oz’s loss is the biggest blow because he probably wouldn’t have won his close primary without Trump. Herschel Walker was simply not a good candidate, but Trump put him on a glide path to the nomination. And in Arizona, Blake Masters was also someone voters were reluctant to cast ballots for.

In each case, it’s abundantly clear that Republicans would’ve had a better shot if they had put forward a better — or even just a generic — candidate. Swing states should tilt Republican in a GOP-leaning year — and it’s possible Republicans still might gain a seat.

But it probably shouldn’t have been this close. And it seems quite possible — as it did after the Georgia runoffs in 2020 — that Trump might’ve cost his party a very winnable Senate majority.

Trump-backed candidates also were headed for defeat in some key toss-up races that were prime pickup opportunities, including against Rep. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) and Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) and in North Carolina’s open 13th district.

The party gave Trump a pass after the 2020 Georgia runoffs, in part because nobody wants to run afoul of him and in part because Jan. 6 upended everything. But what happens if they truly think he jeopardized, or even cost them, a Senate majority — potentially for the second time?

Trump has seemed immune from such normal analysis in the past. He singlehandedly turned Georgia into a competitive state. Were it not for the Big Lie that radically depressed turnout in the runoffs, the state would quite likely have sent two Republicans, not two Democrats, to the Senate in 2021. But he escaped almost all of the blame.

5. How Democrats did it

So how did Democrats beat expectations on Tuesday? Surely Roe v. Wade being overturned played a role, delivering the Democrats turnout fuel in an election in which they had been lacking it — and an election whose fundamentals favored the opposition party. The court decision’s effect showed up almost immediately after it came down, with Democrats suddenly overperforming in every special election.

But this election wasn’t just about the relative strengths of the parties’ bases — it was also about independents. Exit polls currently show that independent voters favored Democrats 49 percent to 47 percent. That’s not a big victory, but it is highly unusual for a midterm election. The opposition party has won independents by double digits in each of the last four midterm elections, but the GOP might lose this group when all is said and done in this one. (Exit polls get readjusted as results roll in.)

Exit polls are all but useless since they’re almost surely not a representative sample of contests where increasingly large numbers of people mail in their ballots or otherwise vote other than on Election Day. But this has always been my hope: that the combination of extremism and truly shitty candidates would turn off the relatively small subset of those who vote who lack a strong party allegiance.

6. Voters shun election-denier secretary of state candidates

Many election-deniers won elections Tuesday, according to The Post’s tracker of these candidates.

But the most hard-line election deniers vying to oversee elections? Voters were apparently more reluctant to put them into positions of power.

The America First Secretary of State Coalition is a group featuring a half-dozen candidates who have gone the furthest in rejecting the 2020 election results. And there was pronounced fear that, if they won, they could use positions of power to actually thwart democratic elections — particularly in swing states.

But in virtually every state they were on the ballot, their margins ran behind the other Republicans on the ticket. It happened with New Mexico’s Audrey Trujillo, who lost, and with Michigan’s Kristina Karamo, who appears likely to lose. It also happened with Pennsylvania governor candidate Doug Mastriano (who was in the coalition because he would get to appoint the secretary of state). In Arizona and Indiana, coalition members were running behind their ticket-mates in races that haven’t been called. And it happened to Minnesota’s Kim Crockett (who has denied the results of the 2020 election, but is not a member of the coalition).

Diego Morales could still win in Indiana, but it’s not a swing state. About the only swing state in which a member appears to have a good shot is Nevada, where coalition leader Jim Marchant is on the ballot — but we don’t have any results yet. Pre-election polling shows he too lagged other Republicans.

Interestingly, in a night that went far better for Democrats than they feared, two star candidates went down to defeat again. In Georgia, Stacey Abrams lost her rematch for governor to Brian Kemp by a margin so big she actually conceded defeat. In Texas, Beto O’Rourke lost his third bid in a row for high office, getting trounced by incumbent governor Greg Abbot.

In Colorado, incumbent crazy Lauren Boebert is trailing slightly with 88% of votes in. Alas, she’s still predicted to prevail.

Inside Elections’ Jacob Rubashkin, writing at 1:15 a.m., captured the weirdness of the election with this nugget:

It is, quite frankly, mind boggling that we are seriously contemplating scenarios in which Democrats maintain control of the House and also Marco Rubio and Ron DeSantis are winning by 17 and 20-point margins in Florida.

Ironically, the control of the Senate could well come down once again to a run-off in Georgia. If it does, I fully expect Raphael Warnock to retain his seat and Democrats to thus keep a slim majority. That Warnock outperformed Abrams and Walker underperformed Kemp by 4 points is an indication that candidate quality matters—but only at the margins. (Bonus: Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who received death threats after refusing to steal the state’s Electoral College votes for Trump, easily won re-election, getting essentially the same number of votes as Kemp.)

One small sign of hope: It’s early, of course, but thus far I’m seeing no sign that Republicans who have lost key races are making accusations of fraud or otherwise indicating that they’ve really won. If that holds, it’s a hopeful sign.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    To repeat myself from the open forum, I have read that early voting was dominated by DEMs. If true, the GOP might be in for some real disappointment.

    Also, I wonder how much of these less than sterling results are due to the GOP’s repeated claims that the 2020 election was rigged? According to at least one GOP,

    “The RED WAVE did not happen. Republicans and Independents stayed home. DO NOT COMPLAIN ABOUT THE RESULTS IF YOU DID NOT DO YOUR PART!” tweeted Rep. Mayra Flores (R-Texas),

    Why bother voting if the election is rigged?

    11
  2. Kylopod says:

    Ironically, the control of the Senate could well come down once again to a run-off in Georgia.

    Only if Catherine Cortez Masto or Mark Kelly go down to defeat. Kelly is a clear favorite, and while the Nevada race is more uncertain, I’d put the odds in CCM’s favor. Thus, I think the likeliest outcome is that Dems not only maintain their Senate majority, but increase it to 51 seats.

    5
  3. Kylopod says:

    If “Democrats were winning most of the toss-up races,” it’s arguably a blue wave.

    That I admit is a stretch. While “wave” is one of those words like “landslide” that gets thrown around a lot, I don’t think most people would call it a blue wave if the Dems still lose seats in the House.

    6
  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    When it comes to DeSantis, I think his reelection margin is more a sign of just how much of a basket case Florida is, than it is of how strong a candidate he is. I’m not saying he can’t win a national vote (way too soon for that) but I just don’t see his schtick translating outside of the crazy. In any other state (well, maybe not Texas) (or Alabama) (or Mississippi) his Martha’s Vineyard stunt would have been a boondoggle, maybe an impeachable offense. Spending state money for a campaign stunt? Not even the MO GOP would let that slide.

    I watched a bit of the DeSantis/Crist debates and he was absolutely horrible. More wooden than Pinocchio. trump would destroy him. If it’s a trump/DeSantis face off in 2024, even if DeSantis won the nomination, he would be so damaged I doubt he could carry it off.

    If he has eyes on the Presidency, and he does, he’s got a lot of work to do. This landslide victory did him no favors.

    4
  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Scott linked a Politico article in the Open Forum. It had this little nugget:

    Despite Democrats holding their ground in some areas, some House Republicans were still publicly cheerful. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) told reporters after midnight that he was “just as happy with a slim majority.” Then he illustrated why that narrow majority would benefit him but be tough on McCarthy and other Republican leaders.

    “I mean, look at what Joe Manchin has done in the Senate as the one deciding vote, right? I would love for the Massie caucus to be relevant. If there’s a one seat majority, my caucus has one person. It’s me. So I can decide whether a bill passes or not,” Massie said, noting that 218 seats means they have subpoena power. “I’d be the wrong guy if you’re trying to find somebody who’s heartbroken that we don’t have a 40-seat majority.”

    Yeah, a slave to the MT Greene caucus too. If the GOP holds the house by a very narrow margin, the crazy is going to go into overdrive. It’s gonna be wild ride.

    4
  6. Jen says:

    When it comes to DeSantis, I think his reelection margin is more a sign of just how much of a basket case Florida is, than it is of how strong a candidate he is.

    Agreed.

    Florida is having some very major problems, particularly in the home insurance market. Insurers are bolting (understandably) and pretty soon they are going to have to implement a California-style (CA did this for earthquake insurance) program that essentially creates a Florida-specific reinsurance pool. You know what this costs? A lot of money. That comes from taxes.

    If they keep to their shtick of low taxes and DON’T do this, housing will become unaffordable in Florida. They are headed for a brick wall.

    5
  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: They are headed for a brick wall.

    A brick wall called climate change. Not even a reinsurance pool can hold back the rising waters.

    6
  8. Michael Reynolds says:

    A snapshot of the future:

    CNN National House Exit Poll
    R+ 13 65+
    R+ 11 45-64
    D +2 30-44
    D +28 18-29

    The kids are Blue = the future is Blue.

    MAGA is dead. Trump is fucked. He’s going to spend the next two years in a knife fight with DeSantis, and then he’s going to prison.

    Today I am not thinking of countries to move to.

    12
  9. James Joyner says:

    @Michael Reynolds: The future is always Blue by this metric. As folks grow up, their priorities change. Still, if the GOP doesn’t evolve on key issues, I don’t see how it remains viable even with the institutional advantages built into the system.

    11
  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Joyner: The GOP can’t hold back the future, right now they’re having a hard time with the present.

    1
  11. Stormy Dragon says:

    there were late signs that the race was shifting in the Republican direction

    Things the “mainstream” media made up because they’re in the tank for Republicans are not signs

    11
  12. Kylopod says:

    @Stormy Dragon: A lot of it came from a flood of Republican-aligned polls like Trafalgar and Insider Advantage. It turns out we were correct. But the polling aggregate organizations like 538 and RCP dismissed the concerns.

    Before 2020, 538 had given Trafalgar a C rating. It missed some key races in 2018. It did considerably better in 2020, and 538 moved its rating up to A-. Personally, I think this was a mistake and reflected the stopped-clock principle. The consistent thing about Trafalgar is that they always produce results that are more favorable to Republicans than the average pollster. If your polls are always biased in one direction, there will be cycles where they’ll appear relatively accurate. In 2020, most standard polls underestimated Republicans. Trafalgar’s relative success rate that year (which was still far from perfect–they showed Trump winning several states he went on to lose) wasn’t a sign they had their finger on the pulse. What happened last night should make this very clear.

  13. James Joyner says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Things the “mainstream” media made up because they’re in the tank for Republicans are not signs

    This is just histrionic nonsense. The NYT and WaPo have all but abandoned their old standards of objectivity in the Trump era, with the latter still running the ominous “Democracy Dies in Darkness” banner. The notion that they’re pro-Republican is absurd.

    6
  14. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Joyner:
    The future is always Blue because in the end Liberal positions on social issues prevail. Conservatives always lose on culture. They’ve been losing since the days when they were denouncing the Beatles and long hair. Lost on co-habitation and pre-marital sex. Lost on prayer in schools. Lost on flag burning. Lost on gays in the military and gay marriage. Lost on trans bathrooms. Liberals define the cultural future and conservatives make asses of themselves wailing about end times. Thus always.

    The neanderthals on the Supreme Court have kept them in place on guns, but absent judicial activism they’d lose on the 2d amendment. SCOTUS gave them a sugar rush on abortion, but they’re losing that now, too. And they’re losing on marijuana.

    Conservatives normally win on capitalism, but now they’ve gone simultaneously populist and oligarchist (word ?) and lost ground on the economy. Their plan to address inflation? Crickets. I doubt they’ll have the heart now to try the old debt ceiling default trick. Trickle down, anyone? They’ve got nothing. Nada.

    They also usually win on crime but now they support political violence, and while the issue will still play, it’s a very dilute advantage, especially post-BLM. Immigration still works for them, but not enough.

    The GOP’s got nothing but the anxiety of males and whites who fear a loss of status, and Christians who can read the handwriting on the temple wall. No policy, no plan, no ideas. Nothing but incoherent rage.

    By all precedent we should have lost 40 House seats and a couple of Senate seats. However, that said, given the depravity of the current GOP they should have lost across the board, so the American people are still deeply fucked up. There may be political violence ahead. But the olds die, and the yutes step up. I feel much better about the future of my trans daughter, and my Chinese daughter, and my Salvadoran nearly-son-in-law, and even those of us of the Hebrew persuasion.

    In 2028 if we field any kind of decent candidate (is it too early for Fetterman ’28?) we’ll turn Texas Blue and that’s game, set and match. The GOP will have to more than evolve.

    8
  15. Sleeping Dog says:

    A quick comment from here in Cow Hampshire:

    Sununu was down ~6% from his margin of victory in 2020. He still crushed Sherman, but…

    Ticket splitting was alive and well yesterday.

    Hassan crushed Buldoc and Dems sweeped the congressional seats by far greater margins than in 2020. These results were a clear repudiation of Trumpism.

    5
  16. Jen says:

    @Sleeping Dog: My little town typically votes Republican. Virtually every seat was within a dozen or so votes, AND we now have one Democratic state house rep. This is in part due to slight alterations in the redistricting lines, but I’m shocked.

    4
  17. Scott says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Whoa, simmer down, buckaroo, simmer down. Yes, the long term societal trends are as you say; however, it really doesn’t translate to political success. Why? Because, by and large, Democrats, particularly national democrats are essentially incompetent. Republican, right now, are not Republicans. They are the latest viral eruption of far right, racist, isolationist, christian nationalist pus. The infection must be fought culturally. No amount of technocratic, policy driven words and music will resonate with the public. And the fight has to be couched positively because you can’t kill the infection but you can make it go dormant. So no shaming, name-calling or reciprocal actions. It is harder work than the reactionaries have but it has to be done.

    5
  18. Stormy Dragon says:

    @James Joyner:

    The NY Times headline this morning is “GOP Collects Early Wins in Pivotal Vote” because they’ve already started trying to spin for the Republicans in 2024

    8
  19. James Joyner says:

    @Kylopod: I think most are giving Arizona to Kelly, meaning control comes down to Nevada and Georgia. I don’t have a strong prediction on Nevada but Laxalt has a modest lead. Georgia sure looks headed for another runoff.

  20. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Looks like my maudlin position yesterday was too far to the right:

    Clearly, I have to just accept the downfall of our civilization (and my part in it). The last three months have shown me just how truly horrendous 50% of our country has become, and there is just not a dammed thing I can do about it.

    I will miss all this someday. But I hear Croatia is very nice.

    And now, some Peter Gabriel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crSXKglRiYk

    I still stand by the Peter Gabriel.

    Living part time here in FL must have that influence, as it looked pretty red from here. Yes, the neighbor across the bayou is back to flying his Trump flag.

    Looks Like Trump, doing his best Max Bialystock and pushing a GOP production of “Springtime for Hitler”… didn’t resonate with many (enough) voting Americans. Thank goodness.

    But he is still making a ton of money hoovering up all the GOP donations he can… and not actually spending it on GOP races. And that, is. AWESOME!

    If POTUS 45 does run in 2024, there will not be enough popcorn in the world for that fistfight.

    A likely bloody Trump vs. Desantis for the GOP. a potential independent run by Liz Cheney (if Trump does run), and a Biden reelection bid with likely lower inflation, a recession that never materialized, rebounding stock market numbers, and the results of the Infrastructure Bill and Inflation Reduction Act showing an improved overall economy and American spirit.

    Yep. Pollyanna. But I’m going with it today.

    9
  21. Kylopod says:

    @James Joyner:

    I don’t have a strong prediction on Nevada but Laxalt has a modest lead.

    The mail vote hasn’t come in yet. That should strongly favor Dems.

    4
  22. Tony W says:

    @James Joyner:

    As folks grow up, their priorities change.

    I keep hearing this all my life, but I’m 57 now and still waiting. My dad is nearly 80 and he hasn’t become at all conservative either, if anything we’ve been radicalized to the liberal side by literal evil – Trump style.

    12
  23. Kurtz says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I watched a bit of the DeSantis/Crist debates and he was absolutely horrible. More wooden than Pinocchio.

    I didn’t watch the debate. But he has never seemed charismatic to me. Nor does he appear particularly bright when he speaks, in content or style.

    If it weren’t for Gaetz and Cruz, he would have the title for Strongest Vibes of Douche on lock. He combines that with Hawley’s arrogant air of inevitability.

    But he doesn’t have the speaking skills of any of them.

    3
  24. Liberal Capoitalist says:

    @Kurtz:

    I didn’t watch the debate. But (DeSantis) has never seemed charismatic to me. Nor does he appear particularly bright when he speaks, in content or style.

    He reminds me of Barney Rubble. If Barny Rubble was a complete dick.

    3
  25. Jen says:

    @James Joyner:

    The future is always Blue by this metric. As folks grow up, their priorities change. Still, if the GOP doesn’t evolve on key issues, I don’t see how it remains viable even with the institutional advantages built into the system.

    I would note that the calcification post from the other day may factor in as well–we don’t yet know what the long-tail/downstream effects of that are going to be. There is a significant danger here for Republicans, because they bank on what you’ve alluded to here, that young people are more liberal and they effectively age into being more conservative voters.

    If the calcification observation becomes, well, institutionally calcified, I’d guess far fewer young people will be open to the efforts of the Republican party.

    4
  26. MWLib says:

    Here in Michigan, the RQP had a pretty bad day yesterday. The election deniers almost all lost, and the proposal to protect abortion rights won fairly handily. Despite the Devos money machine finding a candidate for governor that suited them, and spending substantial money trying to persuade voters here that she was somehow qualified to be our governor, “that woman from Michigan” won again, after a first term spent “fixing the damn roads” and other things that someone interested in actually governing thinks are important. I’m breathing a little easier today, as it seems we avoided collapsing into a Banana Republican failed state.

    9
  27. CSK says:

    Trump told some crackpot “news” outlet yesterday that if his preferred candidates won, he would take all of the credit. If they lost, he would take none of the responsibility.

    3
  28. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Scott:

    Democrats, particularly national democrats are essentially incompetent.

    Zero disagreement there. After Trump and January 6 we should have wiped the floor with them. They fight, we preach. They bully, we condescend. If we ever learned to stop annoying people and learned to fight we wouldn’t be having these 50.1/49.9 contests.

    6
  29. Michael Reynolds says:

    Who else had a bad day yesterday? Vladimir Putin. He badly needed a big GOP win so the treason party could sell Ukraine down the river. But there will be enough security-minded GOP’s to stop that. So, bring on the ATACM’s.

    9
  30. Kathy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    If it’s a trump/DeSantis face off in 2024, even if DeSantis won the nomination, he would be so damaged I doubt he could carry it off.

    I call that the “best case scenario for 2024.”

    But I call it that only because that’s what it is.

    1
  31. charon says:

    In Colorado, incumbent crazy Lauren Boebert is trailing slightly with 88% of votes in. Alas, she’s still predicted to prevail.

    I just checked, with 93% in D is leading with 50.6% to 49.4%. This is a pretty (R) district, does not look good for TFG chances in the 2024 general. I watched Steve Kornacki’s take much earlier, it looked then like Boebert was going down.

  32. Kurtz says:

    That he beat a former governor by 20 points is huge.

    James, additional context is needed here.

    Yes, Crist is a former governor. But he won that office 16 years ago as a Republican.

    He then chose to run for US Senate rather than re-election. He lost the primary to Rubio, and subsequently filed as a non-affiliated candidate.

    Rubio beat him in the general.

    He ran in the 2014 Gubernatorial election as a Dem and lost to Scott.

    More pointed analysis:

    Crist was sunscreen to a Florida intent on getting sunburned. He may have left the GOP due to short-term career considerations, but also because he did not fit with where the party was going. Remember the infamous autopsy after Romney lost to Obama? He was making the inclusion argument after McCain’s 2008 loss.

    His career shows less about him than it does about the GOP’s drift toward authoritarianism. Indeed, his positions haven’t changed much, if at all, since he last won statewide office.

    He did the right thing. Rather than change his beliefs to match his party, he left the organization.

    5
  33. Kingdaddy says:

    Another big loser, again: pollsters.

    It’s still a little disappointing that the GOP losses weren’t bigger. Even crushing electoral defeats wouldn’t break the MAGA fever dream, particularly given the built-in defense mechanism (it’s all rigged, the demon-haunted world is against us, etc.). But it might have pointed to a larger number of persuadables than we thought.

    6
  34. charon says:

    @Tony W:

    The myth that voters become more “right” (i.e., (R)) as they age has not held up to scrutiny.

    6
  35. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kurtz: He has never seemed charismatic to me neither, but I am biased. I had never seen him debate before and he was so bad, I couldn’t believe anyone outside of Florida (or TX, or AL, or MS or…) would ever vote for him. That so many did anyway is to me just proof that the inmates have taken over the asylum.

    2
  36. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    This is catastrophic result for Republicans.
    Handed a mid-term the out-party historically dominates, a questionable economy, and high gas prices…and they barely eke out a win. But it’s a pyrrhic victory because for two years Jim Jordan and Ron Paul and Margie Three-Toes are going to show the country just who the Republicans are. It’s going to be Hunter’s laptop, impeach Biden, execute Fauci, 24-7. Maybe 5 seat advantage in the House? Good luck trying to control your caucus, Mr. McCarthy.
    The GOP is incapable of learning from last night, and they will continue to pay a price for it.
    A couple things from where I sit…
    Ohio is even more fuqed up than I already thought it was.
    Florida is a full-on fascist state now. Travel there at your own risk.
    The Texas border, that Republicans claim is in absolute chaos, pretty much voted for Democrat Beto O’Rourke.

    10
  37. Michael Cain says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: In the event of a 218-217 Republican majority in the House, the election for Speaker is going to be must-see TV. Kevin McCarthy is going to vote for Kevin McCarthy. Some number of Dems are going to be reminding people that Nancy Pelosi once promised to step down after the 2022 elections. Election requires an absolute majority of the members present.

    1
  38. Scott says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl: WRT the Texas border, my rule is that the farther you are away from the border, the more concerned you are about the border.

    The real problem border people have is with the organized crime. Which is mostly on Mexico’s side. And pressure should be placed on Mexican government to control it. However, local and federal Mexican officials are notoriously corrupt. It used to be easy to cross back and forth to visit family, shop, etc. Now it’s very difficult. And with the sometimes heavy hand of the state police on the US side, there is a bit of a feeling of occupation.

    5
  39. Kathy says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    Another big loser, again: pollsters.

    This time, I’m glad it’s so.

    Thank Athena for small favors.

    (it’s all rigged, the demon-haunted world is against us, etc.)

    The baloney detection kit is freely available, but they don’t want it.

    3
  40. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Jen:

    I looked at the state legislative results, which this morning are sparse and will take days to sort out if the majority is in question. It was encouraging that in the districts called, Dems are doing well, but it is too early. Another encouraging sign is that the Dems did very well in the larger communities in the US Senate/House races, that bodes well for the state races.

    That Sherman climbed over 40% v. Sununu is a moral victory for Dems. Chris really is pretty popular, let the rumor mill start up about Sununu for president.

    2
  41. Skookum says:

    Canvassed for Dem votes here in rural Oregon. All results were solidly Republican. Oddly, one thing gave me hope for the future: Two of the people I contacted had to ask me (a Democrat) how to change their party affiliation to Republican. Very civil exchanges. But what a shocking lack of voter knowledge about the process of voting. For the record, our very few Dems were loud, proud, and knew how to vote. On the negative side: Most were over 60.

  42. daryl and his brother darryl says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl:

    Florida is a full-on fascist state now.

    Florida has become like late 1930’s Germany, only humid.

    6
  43. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    Polling is probably irreparably broken. Too many voting groups are beyond the reach of pollsters, cell phone only users have little demographic data that is tied to the number, people either don’t answer their phones or refuse to be polled, then there are the folks who simply lie to the pollster.

    Over the last 6 weeks, our land line would ring as many as 10 times a night and when I reviewed the caller ID info, better than half were from polling organizations. We never answered the phone nor responded to a request to be polled.

    3
  44. Kylopod says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    Another big loser, again: pollsters.

    That’s been discussed quite a lot since 2016. The difference with last night’s results is that they’ve pretty much destroyed the claim that modern polling consistently underestimates Republicans.

    Just as there may have been a hidden pro-Trump vote in 2016 and 2020, there may have been a hidden post-Dobbs vote this year. It showed up in the Kansas referendum, and in the special elections since Dobbs. I believe it was a factor in Mary Peltola’s initial victory in the Alaska race. This effect was commented on by the press, but it was expected to dissipate by November, as inflation and low Biden approval took focus. That apparently did not happen.

    And it is pretty fascinating that Biden’s low approval didn’t doom Dems. He has worse approval than Obama did in 2010, and comparable to Trump in 2018. In previous midterms that have defied the historical norm of the president’s party doing badly (2002, 1998, 1990), the president had solid approval ratings.

    1
  45. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Michael Cain:

    I expect Pelosi will not only step back from leadership, but resign her seat.

  46. wr says:

    @Sleeping Dog: “I expect Pelosi will not only step back from leadership, but resign her seat.”

    She’s in her 80s, her husband is probably going to need a lot of looking out for, and having built a Democratic majority House majority twice I can’t imagine she feels like going for number three. If she retires in January, then let her enjoy the rest of her life in peace. Time for someone else to do the heavy lifting.

    7
  47. Monala says:

    @Kurtz: DeSantis is trying hard to capture the almost Messianic fervor that surrounds Trump. He did an ad, “On the eighth day, God created a champion,” making himself the fulfillment of God’s will for the world.

    1
  48. Jen says:

    Trump is apparently blaming *Melania* for his decision to back Oz.

    It seems like an unwise idea to throw your WIFE under the bus when you make a bad call. JFC, this guy. It never ends, he is an ever-flowing stream of garbage.

    3
  49. Kurtz says:

    @Liberal Capoitalist:

    Hahaha. As someone who lives in DeSantistan, thank you for making me smile. (Ugh, I actually prefer to just use names in these discussions, but I’m feeling today.)

    But more importantly, a re-post.

    Listen to this clip for a little known story from the Town of Bedrock. Maybe Barney is a dick.

    1
  50. DK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Polling is probably irreparably broken.

    High quality, university-sponsored or media-sporsored polls were pretty accurate. They showed the race as a toss-up and they caught Democratic strength and enthusiasm that wasn’t reflected in the punditry.

    The problem, again, is that Republicans spent the last few weeks flooding the zone with low quality polls that do not disclose their methodology, crosstabs, intervals, and/or questions. Effectively duping the pundit class into overestimating Republican momentum.

    When it was pointed out the talking heads that they were being played by a rightwing propaganda effort (yet again), their response was mostly to accuse Democrats of being “in denial” or drinking hopium.

    It’s the punditry that’s broken.

    Of course, it’s hard to change a narrative once it settles in, like the inaccurate notion that 2016 polls were bad. National polls in 2016 caught Hillary’s popular vote win down to the margin. State polling tends to lag a few weeks behind national trends and did not have time to fully catch the Comey Letter effect. But they were moving in Trump’s direction. Good pollsters in 2016, 2018, and 2022 were pretty good.

    5
  51. DK says:

    @James Joyner:

    The future is always Blue by this metric. As folks grow up, their priorities change.

    Reagan-era Republicans won the youth vote decisively. There’s never been an under-40 demo as hostile to the Republican Party as the current cohort.

    Conservatives ignore this at their peril. If they’re banking on millennials and Zoomers to become Trumpy, embrace climate change denial, and start calling gays groomers as we age, the right is in for a rude awakening.

    8
  52. CSK says:

    @Jen:

    I’m running out of bad things to say about Trump. Nothing, no matter how appalling, is beyond him.

    For a guy who only picks the best people, he certainly chooses a lot of losers.

    3
  53. Sleeping Dog says:

    @CSK:

    It’s OK to recycle the old comments. After all our entertainment industry is built upon sequels.

    1
  54. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    I’ll try to phrase them slightly differently.

  55. DK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I’m not saying he can’t win a national vote (way too soon for that) but I just don’t see his schtick translating outside of the crazy.

    This. DeFascist has negative charisma: unlikeable, nasty, mean, arrogant, and extreme. That may play well with Florida Man, in a state that does not care how right wing climate denial, deregulation, and no tax madness has buildings collapsing, the housing and insurance markets imploding, and uninhabitable disaster areas expanding. None of my business, I don’t live there, if they like it, that’s their prerogative.

    But under the microscope of a national campaign in an increasingly diverse country, DeSanctimonious would have some splainin to do — not just for his unlikeability, extremism, and record, but also for his attacks on gays, black voting rights, teachers, and on the free speech of private companies.

    For an example on how DeSantis-style bull-in-a-China-shop Trumpism without Trump might play in swing states not named Florida, look to what’s happening to Kari Lake and Blake Masters in Arizona.

    Republicans ought to consider the guy further north: Brian Kemp. But Kemp maybe isn’t publicly mean enough for today’s GQP.

    3
  56. Hal_10000 says:

    The GOP will probably still take control of the House. We can look forward to two years of investigations, impeachments and garbage. The only good thing will be watching the speakership slip from McCarthy’s fingers as MAGA stabs him in the back. And I expect Trump to come out later today, proclaim victory and say the GOP needs him.

    I’m reminded a lot of 2024. Unpopular President and country not going well. But Kerry lost because the Dems assumed opposing Bush was enough. Bidens’ not terribly popular and people are worried about inflation and crime. But the GOP has no actual agenda other than opposing “woke Dems”. They stand for nothing except Trump. Until they rally behind an agenda — a real agenda, not fighting with Disney about books in schools — they will continue to struggle. They might sneak in a win here and there, but it will be uphill.

    3
  57. James Joyner says:

    @DK:

    Conservatives ignore this at their peril. If they’re banking on millennials and Zoomers to become Trumpy, embrace climate change denial, and start calling gays groomers as we age, the right is in for a rude awakening.

    No, it’s absolutely a losing strategy over the long haul. It was obvious after 2012 that the GOP needed to stop running like it’s 1980 but Trump managed to leverage a combination of white working class angst, a historically bad Democratic nominee, and the skewed way we elect Presidents to turn a 3 million vote loss into four years in the White House. It’ll take a long time for the party to recover from that, assuming it ever does.

    3
  58. Jen says:

    Wisconsin just got called for Ron Johnson. /barf emoji

    2
  59. James Joyner says:

    @DK:

    The problem, again, is that Republicans spent the last few weeks flooding the zone with low quality polls that do not disclose their methodology, crosstabs, intervals, and/or questions. Effectively duping the pundit class into overestimating Republican momentum.

    I think it’s more simple than that. There were a million stories about the surge in Republican-leaning polls, so I don’t think it fooled anybody who didn’t want to believe it. Rather, most of the media-polling commentariat is Democratic leaning and they really, really worry about being wrong again as they were in 2016. (Even though, as you note, they weren’t actually wrong.) So, when the new polls came out a lot of folks were like, “Well….Biden’s numbers are really, really low. The economic numbers are not good. Republicans should be doing a lot better given the way midterms have almost always gone. So…let’s give all the toss-ups to Republicans.”

    4
  60. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Jen:

    Shit.

    I was hoping Barnes could pull that last 1% and tip it over. It’s still notable how close it came.

    1
  61. Kylopod says:

    @Hal_10000:

    I’m reminded a lot of 2024. [sic–I know you meant 2004.] Unpopular President and country not going well. But Kerry lost because the Dems assumed opposing Bush was enough.

    It’s true that by 2004, Bush’s popularity had fallen considerably from its post-9/11 high. But I would not describe him as unpopular at that point–his approval rating that year hovered between the high 40s and low 50s, with approval pretty consistently higher than disapproval. Biden’s current numbers are much worse.

    Also, I believe one of Kerry’s mistakes was that he did not go hard enough against Bush. The convention was centered around Kerry’s image as a war hero, and in his acceptance speech he did not even mention Bush.

  62. CSK says:

    Well, Sarah Palin lost bigly to Mary Peltola, 47.1 to 26.6. Begich got 24.3.

    3
  63. gVOR08 says:

    @James Joyner:

    The NYT and WaPo have all but abandoned their old standards of objectivity in the Trump era

    I think you meant “balance”. And they weren’t even very good at that. If they were objective they would be leaning heavily D which they cannot do because … reasons.

    James, in another post today you show you’re a standup guy by noting this business of Ds boosting extremist Rs in GOP primaries seems to have worked. I won’t hold my breath waiting for NYT or WAPO to do so.

    1
  64. Kylopod says:

    @CSK: Unless Peltola breaks 50%, which seems unlikely, we won’t know the outcome until Begich’s second choices are tabulated.

    2
  65. Kurtz says:

    @James Joyner:

    This is just histrionic nonsense. The NYT and WaPo have all but abandoned their old standards of objectivity in the Trump era, with the latter still running the ominous “Democracy Dies in Darkness” banner. The notion that they’re pro-Republican is absurd.

    In the tank for Repulicans? No.

    In the tank for economic structures that place the political center to the right of Western European peers? Yes.

    10
  66. DK says:

    @James Joyner:

    …a historically bad Democratic nominee

    A historically (and hysterically) smeared Democratic nominee who overcame an orgy of braindead and disgusting sexism and unprecedented Russian election interference to become the first woman to win the popular vote, something that won’t happen again any time soon because it’s really, really hard.

    14
  67. MarkedMan says:

    @Kingdaddy:

    Another big loser, again: pollsters.

    Perhaps. I don’t follow polls all that much. But my understanding was that there was a lot of very close races out there. To my mind, if a poll says an R is favored to win by a point or two but the Dem prevails by a point or two, that is essentially as close as we can expect a poll to be.

    1
  68. DK says:

    @James Joyner:

    Rather, most of the media-polling commentariat is Democratic leaning

    Well Republicans have repeatedly said so over the years to work the refs.

    But aside from the fact that the “most watched cable news channel” is clearly not Democratic-leaning, I do not buy that Chris Cillizza and Chuck Todd are Democratic-leaning. Or anyone else who spent 2016 helping elevate white supremacist semi-fascism by pushing the Emailghazigatepalooza National B*tch Hunt. Or who has spent the last year brainlessly repeating woke, inflation and crime while beating up Joe Biden.

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say.

    10
  69. MarkedMan says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl:

    This is catastrophic result for Republicans

    It is way too early to say that. They will most likely take the house and kill all legislation and try to drive the country into debt default. And they may very well still take the Senate. A squeaker victory is still a victory and not a “catastrophe”.

    1
  70. steve says:

    “I’ll try to phrase them slightly differently.”

    Just dont take the Star Wars path and make each successive comment worse.

    Also, since I live in PA I loved it when someone said that Oz lost here due to the state’s “Anti-Dr Nick prejudice”

    Steve

    1
  71. Kathy says:

    It’s too soon to claim a Pyrrhic victory. Georgia is going to a runoff, and Nevada looks bad. Arizona looks good, but lots of votes are left to be counted.

    I think the best that can be hoped for is, again, a 50-50 split.

    3
  72. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod: I’m pretty optimistic there. Only 1 out of 7 of his voters needed to pick her as second choice. Palin burned Alaska pretty badly, making it darn clear she didn’t want to have to deal with such a podunk state when she was getting national attention. And her sordid family life and arrogance has to have an effect too.

    2
  73. CSK says:

    Joe Scarborough attributes that GOP losses to “Dobbs, Denial, and Donald.”

    He has a point.

    4
  74. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Jen:

    Wisconsin just got called for Ron Johnson.

    Just read the local news on this. Barnes has not conceded. There are still some votes to be counted, and it might be enough to put it in zone for a recount. I haven’t seen the exact rule, but it sounds like under 1% spread, and it’s recount territory. Right now, it’s at 1%.

    2
  75. Michael Cain says:

    @DK:

    High quality, university-sponsored or media-sporsored polls were pretty accurate.

    In recent weeks there was lots of polling showing the statewide races in Colorado getting very tight. The University of Colorado’s Political Climate Survey conducted earlier in October was very accurate at predicting the actual large margins for Democrats.

    Universities tend to work hard at establishing longer-term relationships with their survey participants. This is the same approach the Census Bureau uses with the American Community Survey. Our household was part of the ACS sample for three years, as I recall.

    4
  76. Michael Cain says:

    @Mu Yixiao: When does Wisconsin make the determination on automatic recounts? The few states where I’m familiar with the statutes, the recount happens only after the state’s top election official certifies the vote. Usually sometime between Thanksgiving and the first week of December.

  77. DK says:

    @Kylopod:

    And it is pretty fascinating that Biden’s low approval didn’t doom Dems.

    It’s long past time to start talking about Biden and ageism.

    Not that ageism in his case is necessarily bad. Biden’s advanced age is a legit concern. But it may be coloring perceptions of his job performance in ways that do not comport with reality.

    3
  78. DK says:

    @CSK:

    Joe Scarborough attributes that GOP losses to “Dobbs, Denial, and Donald.”

    Fascinating. Did he also reflect on how he spent the last few weeks predicting doom for Democrats, especially harping on crime in NYC (*note, NYC is one of the safer big cities in the US) and how Hochul was in trouble?

    No?

    Oh, ‘liberal media’ pundits just gonna memory-hole their biased, bad takes again. Shocking. Carry on.

    5
  79. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    I’m hoping it means Trump’s influence is waning.

    I think it means that Republicans have figured out that they don’t need to elect Trump to get Trump-ness. Any bog-standard conservative Republican will yield the policies they’re seeking. That may make it hard for the “principled conservatives” to make it back to the party, but who’s going to miss a couple of dozen (or fewer) votes?

  80. CSK says:

    Georgia is going to a December 6 run-off.

  81. Andy says:

    That Warnock outperformed Abrams and Walker underperformed Kemp by 4 points is an indication that candidate quality matters—but only at the margins.

    I think you might be burying the lede here. It’s still early, but it’s increasingly looking like the marginal voters or voters that are not otherwise Pavlovian partisans that many insist do not exist were decisive in many of these close elections.

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The kids are Blue = the future is Blue.

    I don’t think it’s always worked out that way in the past. And another factor is that “blue” is not static – the current Democratic party is very different from 20-30 years ago, and it will be different 20-30 years from now (as will the Republican party). We really have no idea how the political views of “kids” today will evolve, nor do we know how the two parties will evolve.

    4
  82. CSK says:

    @DK:

    Well, to be fair, everybody has spent the past few weeks predicting doom for Democrats.

    And Trump hates Scarborough. The feeling appears to be mutual.

    3
  83. Mikey says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Today I am not thinking of countries to move to.

    Today I don’t feel like I’ve wasted my life.

    3
  84. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Michael Cain:

    When does Wisconsin make the determination on automatic recounts?

    I had to go look this up to make sure I was understanding the news article correctly. Wisconsin does not have automatic recounts. They must be requested.

    Only an aggrieved candidate, defined as a candidate for an office whose total votes were within 1% of the winner’s vote total when at least 4,000 votes were cast or within 40 votes of the winner’s total if fewer than 4,000 votes were cast may request a recount of results for an office. Wis. Stat. § 9.01(1)(a)1. There is no automatic recount, even if the unofficial results are extremely close.

    The wording on the timing is confusing (at least to me), but says

    If the Wisconsin Elections Commission Chairperson or designee determines the election or referendum result, the petition must be filed no earlier than the last meeting day of the last county board of canvassers to make a statement in the election or referendum and no later than 5:00 p.m. on the third business day after the Wisconsin Elections Commission receives the last statement from the county board of canvassers. Wis. Stat. § 9.01(1)(a)1.

    So it doesn’t sound like the votes need to be certified, just fully counted and turned in.

    2
  85. Jen says:

    @Michael Cain: There could be all kinds of ancillary issues that pop up. If I am remembering correctly, just before the election a Republican official was suing to stop the counting of military ballots.

    If the Senate race goes to a recount, challenges like that one start to muck up the process.

    Would love to hear @Mu Yixiao: ‘s take on this, because my understanding of this is via a relative who lives there who HATES Johnson so I’m never sure how accurate the information is…

    1
  86. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: “Success has a thousand fathers; failure is an orphan.”

    1
  87. EddieInCA says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Today I am not thinking of countries to move to.

    Today, I’m continuing my search for where to move to when I retire. Going to Cartagena in December, and then heading to Lisbon and Porto in March. We will have to chat about Lisbon afterwards. Still leaning towards Ecuador; speaking of which, my house there is rented weekly about 80% of the time, so there is thriving tourist population in Manta. The management company has been excellent so far.

    4
  88. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Jen:

    I’m not very informed on this election, because I didn’t need to be. I knew I’d be voting straight D this time around. But…

    Johnson was first elected by seriously fucking over Russ Feingold with a smear campaign. Feingold was and exceptionally good fit for Wisconsin–fiscally conservative, socially liberal, down-to Earth, and eminently approachable. He started his first campaign by spray painting “Feingold for Senate” (or something similar) on his garage door. 😀 Any time Congress wasn’t in session, he’d be in Middleton at his office, or in various diners and cafes around the state actually listening to the people.

    Johnson has taken a hard line on too much BS, and has gone full-in on Trumpiness.

    Barnes is the current Lt. Governor, and has stirred up zero controversy before this election (when, of course, a young black man running for Senate in WI brought out the idiots). He’s run on a “liberty” platform–promoting reproductive rights, equal rights for trans, and other center-left/progressive ideas.

    I don’t know if Barnes will be/would be good for Wisconsin, but I know that Johnson has been bad.

    5
  89. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Skookum: It turns out that I was incorrect about the state legislature race in my district. Actually, BOTH Republican incumbents were running unopposed. Write In performed unusually strongly, though, commanding 3% against one incumbent and almost 3 against the other. I see Mr. In as a potential dark horse spoiler in future elections.

  90. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @DK: “It’s the punditry that’s broken.”

    Punditry is not broken. Its product sells just fine. If the product weren’t selling, Substack would go out of business and all of its clients would be looking for jobs at regional journalism outlets.

    1
  91. Michael Reynolds says:

    @EddieInCA:
    We are in San Sebastian which is just gorgeous, eating pintxos, drinking too much and exuberantly buying shit for the house. Feeling like the bullet just whizzed harmlessly past, and now it’s my turn to squeeze the trigger.

    https://twitter.com/michaelgrantbks/status/1590412737099988995?s=46&t=duH9N5HMITRWPsDARZpIPQ

    2
  92. gVOR08 says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    He’s run on a “liberty” platform–promoting reproductive rights, equal rights for trans, and other center-left/progressive ideas.

    Not being a Wisconsinite, I wasn’t aware Barnes was running on liberty with liberty = liberal policies. I like it. Even if he loses (to an incumbent with, I suspect, tons of Koch, Uihlein, etc. money), it’s something other Ds should copy. It’s true. My bitch with libertarians is that maximizing liberty means maximizing it for everybody, which requires government action.

  93. Mu Yixiao says:

    @gVOR08:

    Not being a Wisconsinite, I wasn’t aware Barnes was running on liberty with liberty = liberal policies.

    Well, to be fair, “liberty” was my choice of words, not his. But the topics he had at the forefront were (in my view) about “freedom to be who you are and make your own choices about yourself”.

    And, to reiterate: I didn’t study for this election, so everything I’m seeing is second-hand. I don’t own a TV, I don’t subscribe to local newspapers, and politicians don’t advertise on the radio (at least not the station I listen to). 🙂

  94. charon says:

    @Andy:

    We really have no idea how the political views of “kids” today will evolve, nor do we know how the two parties will evolve.

    Maybe you don’t, speak for yourself. If you pay attention to popular culture, cultural conservatism and religiousity are going out of fashion – at the same time as the GOP is becoming more and more dependent, more and more locked into Christian Nationalism and white grievance politics, which they have even less room to cut loose than they do TFG.

    1
  95. Mu Yixiao says:

    Barnes just conceded to Johnson in Wisconsin.

  96. Michael Cain says:

    I’m 68. I’ve been told my entire adult life that pretty soon the olds would die off and take conservatism with them. Still waiting. I live in a state that has gone from solidly red 30 years ago to solidly blue today. It didn’t happen because the olds died, it happened because we imported a lot of youngs.

    5
  97. Scott says:

    Hmmm. Russia apparently abandoning Kherson.

    So…On the same day, a humiliation for Putin and a humiliation for Trump.

    A good day.

    1
  98. Andy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    That’s a nice picture!

    @charon:

    Maybe you don’t, speak for yourself.

    I am speaking for myself, perhaps that wasn’t clear?

    But in terms of predictions, I’m skeptical that you can confidently predict what the parties will be in 20 or 30 years.

    I do not have that kind of vision, and I am skeptical of this rehashed “demographics is destiny” type of argument that assumes the GoP will forever anchor itself to a diminishing nativist base and sink into political irrelevancy. Even in the unlikely event the GoP manages to kill itself off, another party would rise to compete with Democrats.

    Speaking of Trump, I’m going to lay down my marker here – I think his days are numbered. It’s already well-known that most GoP politicians hate him and only kiss his rings because of his influence on primary voters. They play along to please the base and avoid the threat of a primary. Once it’s clear that Trump’s supposed political mojo is shown to be a liability, I think the party will dump him in a hot minute. Events are trending in that direction, with Trump’s candidates not doing well and candidates that opposed him or threatening him doing very well. And Trump could easily cost the GoP a second shot at a Senate majority. Republican voters and politicians won’t tolerate that forever.

    Trump got power and influence because he tapped into something real and won in 2016, but he keeps squandering that because of his own ego and his extreme self-centeredness, exemplified most recently by his comments that he gets all the credit for GoP wins and none of the blame for GoP losses.

    The 2024 primary fight will not be anything like the 2016 primary fight, and Trump’s opponents will be ready for his game. If Trump loses that primary – and I think it is very likely he will, then he is finished politically.

    Finally, as I seem to need to do here frequently, I would just note that my comments on this are analysis, not advocacy.

    3
  99. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: Well, Sarah Palin lost bigly to Mary Peltola,

    Stick a fork in Palin, she’s done.

    1
  100. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DK: Thank you.

    1
  101. charon says:

    You know who else had a bad day yesterday? Russia/VVP was expecting a red Congress to go “America First” and shut down support for Ukraine.

  102. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mu Yixiao: That was my first thought.

  103. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Jen:

    No recount. Barnes has conceded.

  104. Mu Yixiao says:

    One thing that’s a bit annoying is that I haven’t seen any numbers on our state legislature. NYT had some, but it’s behind a paywall. And… NYT has the numbers, but local news doesn’t? WTF?

  105. Kurtz says:

    @Monala:

    Maybe I saw that ad. But it may have been one similar in tone and implication.

    But I don’t necessarily attribute that to Trump, specifically. Other than eschatological explanations that, at best, would describe only a portion of the GOP base, I wonder if it may be something that could be called Obama-envy. I don’t mean that Dems saw Obama as some sort of Messiah, but that there seemed to be a relatively widespread view among Republicans that Dems saw him that way.

    More than that, I chose Hawley, because I they have consistently struck me the same way from my first exposure to them.

    The reporting on Hawley is deeper and more detailed, but the NYT interviews with former students of DeSantis were similar to the quotes from Hawley’s classmates and professors at Stanford.

    One of the students claimed DeSantis told them he was bound for the White House or something like that. This was in addition to arrogant behavior.

    There is one key difference between how the reports described those two. Hawley is said to have made it a point to avoid the party scene, whereas the report on DeSantis contained claims that he partied with high school students.

  106. Kurtz says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Did you check ballotpedia?

  107. Stormy Dragon says:

    @daryl and his brother darryl:

    Florida is a full-on fascist state now. Travel there at your own risk.

    Speaking of which, Biden should end the embargo on Cuba.

    2
  108. Mikey says:

    The other day I lamented that nothing could get out the youth vote.

    I was wrong. Gloriously, ecstatically wrong. Seriously, I have never been so happy to have been wrong.

    Let’s just step back a bit and bask in the glow emanating from the GOP dumpster fire today. Sure, if they end up barely flipping the House, it’s going to be nonstop idiocy for the next two years, but today? Today we celebrate.

    4
  109. KM says:

    @Andy:

    Trump got power and influence because he tapped into something real and won in 2016

    Yes – hate and resentment. Republicans try to pretty it up but every single time you scratch a MAGAt, they bleed nastiness. Trump tapped into the raw power of trolls and conspiracy theory to drag out the buried crazy in “normies”. American keeps trying to avoid the elephant in the room – a huge chunk of our populace has some serious darkness in them and they couldn’t wait to let it out.

    See, *anyone* can fall for a cult or ideology’s spiel. It’s not about being dumb or being gullible.
    It just has to appeal to something in you, for better or for worse. 10 people can hear the same rhetoric and it only snags 4 of them. Why? Because it caught on something in their psyche, some little part wedged into their brain to make them go “hmm”. The “in” can be anything really but without out, BS washes over you. Trump managed to package his BS in a way that snagged on the flawed edges of people’s souls the same way COVID denial and MAGA did. The smarter ones riding his coattails are polishing the message to catch even more but Trump himself is so flawed he keeps getting snagged in his own BS.

    3
  110. Kurtz says:

    @Jen:

    Florida is having some very major problems, particularly in the home insurance market.

    I shit you not, in the debate with Demings, Rubio blamed litigation for the collapsing insurance market.

  111. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    what are you looking for? I can try and retrieve them.

  112. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    Wisc state senate R=22 Dem=10 with 1 undecided
    House R=63 Dem=35 one undecided.

  113. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kurtz: @Sleeping Dog:

    Finally found them. Kinda wish I hadn’t. Very depressing.

    Not a single incumbent was unseated. There are two seats up for grabs, only a couple hundred votes apart. Leaning one each.

    The real shocker? A Libertarian got 11% (!) of the vote for a US Congress seat. District 8 went R=73%, I=16%, L=11% Wow!

  114. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I’ve decided to update it:

    Victory has a thousand parents. Defeat is trumpian.

  115. Mu Yixiao says:

    {sigh} And the idiot R in my local district won 60/40. He’s the guy that posted a note on his business during a mask mandate, saying his staff couldn’t ask people without a mask if they had a valid health reason–because it would violate the 4th Amendment and HIPAA.

    (I wrote an editorial knocking down both those claims. The sign was changed a couple days later.)

  116. Mimai says:

    @Mikey:

    Too early to draw strong conclusions at this point, but the preliminary data suggest that you were indeed correct. Technically.

    From the link:

    The youth share of all votes cast is 12%, on par with the 13% youth share from the 2018 midterm election.

    That said, the youth overwhelmingly favored Ds. Also from the link:

    Youth Prefer Democrats by 28-Point Margin

    So, I think you can continue* in your glorious ecstasy. Perhaps amplified by the fact that you were correct. Technically. Which we all know is the most satisfying way to be correct.

    *For now at least — pending additional data.

  117. MarkedMan says:

    @Mu Yixiao: District 8 is now officially off my list of places to retire 😉

  118. Monala says:

    @Kurtz: I thought Republicans liked litigation? At least they always claim that it’s good to get rid of regulations, and if a company does something harmful or unsavory, you can just sue them.

  119. Mikey says:

    @Mimai: Well youth turnout from MY house was 100%…my 18-year-old voted for the first time. 🙂

    4
  120. EddieInCA says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Brother, you definitely married up.

    5
  121. steve says:

    I dont think the GOP will give up on Trump yet. It would involve too many people admitting they were wrong about him. In particular the evangelicals have large groups of people who believe that Trump was sent to them by God, and God cant be wrong. Assuming DeSantis runs its likely to be a bloody primary as Trump has been an especially effective campaigner among Republicans. Yet to be seen if DeSantis can broaden his appeal to rest of the country.

    Steve

  122. Kathy says:

    @steve:

    If Benito gave a f**k about anyone who is not him, he’d declare he accomplished all he wanted on his first term, and now it’s time for a younger generation to carry on. He’d endorse a successor and retire.

    If he gave a tiny f**k for anyone who is not him.

    1