Midterm Chatter

Open Forum for election chatter.

A forum for Election Day talk—predictions, news nuggets, reactions, etc. I’ll leave this active until it exhausts itself.

FILED UNDER: 2022 Election, Open Forum, US Politics,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. MarkedMan says:

    10-15 minute line this chilly morning outside the firehouse in South Baltimore

  2. Mikey says:

    We voted Saturday. Our son turned 18 in May so it was his first time voting, and his contribution to getting out the youth vote.

    To his great embarrassment, the election worker announced “first time voter!” and everyone applauded.

  3. Sleeping Dog says:


    Good for him and here’s hoping that it becomes a habit.

  4. Jen says:

    Done. Voted this morning. Line was long-ish, but our section of the alphabet was open (no line), so breezed right in and back out within 15 minutes, total voting time.

    I’m still feeling a “may the odds be ever in your favor” vibe, but at least it’s done.

  5. MarkedMan says:

    FWIW, here in the heart of heavily Democratic Baltimore there were no loonie toons stalking the polls. One guy wearing a T-shirt for a specific candidate politely greeting people as we walked up, just on the legal side of the “No Electioneering Beyond This Point Sign”.

    I have a close Pennsylvanian friend who has been working the elections for 12 years and is now the head of his local elections board (or whatever its called). It will be interesting to get his takeaway at the end of the day. He’s in a fairly sane area but there is a wide variety of loons in PA.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    My wife and I will vote this evening. I always go with her because she is a naturalized citizen who speaks with Hispanic name and a strong accent. She is white and while nobody has ever given her any shit, this is the Ozarks and I am paranoid that some day somebody will and if that day ever comes I am going to be there for her.

  7. Michael Cain says:

    As of midnight Sunday, early ballots were down here in Colorado compared to 2018. According to the local paper, almost all of the decline was among voters registered as Republicans. Don’t know if they’re waiting for election day — looks like a pleasant day along the Front Range if they did — or if they decided they didn’t want to vote for the traditional Republicans that got several of the important nominations this year.

  8. Kathy says:

    I’m reminded of a joke:

    “With zero percent of the votes counted, it’s a dead heat in all fronts!”

  9. KM says:

    As I noted on the open thread a few days ago, I dragged my whole family to the polls on Sat including my depressed sibling. As expected, she threw a tantrum about “not having enough time” but when we got there, there was no line. They were efficient AF and had the small crowd we walked in with in and out in minutes so that even sibling was pleased. Turns it the trip was fortuitous – I had pointed out the town pool I had forgotten existed and she didn’t even know we had as we entered the building. While we were chatting about future swimming plans, it turns out there was a petition going around to keep it open. COVID had messed up the staffing and the town was considering demolishing it rather then try to restaff properly; we were both upset and not only signed but helped canvass for a half hour so the petitioner could get something to nibble.

    Funny how sibling didn’t have “enough time” to vote if left to her own devices but has a spare half hour to save something she just learned about, isn’t it? Goes to show how little Americans really value voting and understand it’s intrinsic value to their daily lives. She’ll likely forget about the pool in a few days but that trip she fought against may have help preserve her way of life for years to come…..

  10. KM says:

    @Michael Cain:
    Or they could be dead. One thing that is conspicuously not being discussed is that COVID hit conservatives hard. The death rate by party means there will naturally be a lower turn out rate for the GOP – all those seniors that perished and the MAGAts who refused the shot and paid for it will cause their numbers to be down.

  11. CSK says:

    Well, well, well. Russia admits it interfered in the 2016 election–and will continue to do so.

  12. Michael Cain says:


    They were efficient AF and had the small crowd we walked in with in and out in minutes so that even sibling was pleased.

    I haven’t voted in person here in Colorado for 25(?) years so don’t know how well they do with lines at the current vote centers. I marked 44 bubbles on my mail ballot a couple of weeks ago. Even if you prepped in advance and had a list, it’s going to take some time to make that many marks.

  13. Michael Cain says:


    Or they could be dead.

    The state has been pretty good about tracking Covid deaths. The decrease in registered Republican turnout is more than an order of magnitude more than total Covid deaths in the state.

  14. Scott says:

    @Michael Cain: Our ballot in San Antonio had 47 choices to make which I find ridiculous. We have a bazillion judges to vote for and very little insight on qualifications, etc. Plus those jobs like County Clerk which are really administration positions and should be hired into rather than voted into.

    As for all those judges, I really just follow the recommendations of the local newspaper which basically evaluates the judges on their efficiency and ability to run a courtroom rather than ideology.

    I’m one of those people who print out the ballot and fill it in so I can get in and out of the voting booth fast. I am always astonished at those who show up and appear to be looking for the first time at the ballot.

    And all mail system seems much better to me.

  15. just nutha says:

    @CSK: Fake news and deep state trickery and collusion. The interview was obviously a deep fake!

  16. CSK says:

    @just nutha:

    If so, a lot of news outlets were taken in by it.

  17. Beth says:

    For anyone interested in a IL/Cook County progressive voter guide allow me to present Girl, I Guess:


    As an amusing aside, despite the hate Progressives get here, every Leftist, Progressive and Communist (I’m Trans, don’t ask me why so many of us are raging commies, I have no idea) has said “man, Pritzker is actually good at this job. Who knew! Imma vote for him”. The eat the rich crowd are all in on him. It’s wild.

  18. just nutha says:

    @CSK: Lots are taken in, others are part of the conspiracy.

  19. Scott F. says:


    We have a bazillion judges to vote for and very little insight on qualifications, etc.

    This is precisely why I prefer the Vote by Mail option we have in California. It’s pretty easy to know your vote for the federal & state offices and for the propositions, but figuring out how to vote for judges & county offices takes some homework. I filled out my ballot at home with the ability to do research on the Internet for any count right at hand. Then, I could still go to a voting center or a polling drop-off location and give my ballot (in a signed, sealed envelope) to a poll worker.

    More efficient, more fully considered, more convenient, and no less secure. The only reason to oppose such improvements in voting is because you want to disenfranchise people, especially those where voting takes additional effort (like getting off work or traveling significantly to voting location).

  20. just nutha says:

    @Scott F.: Living in a small town/county does have it’s advantages. County council, we’re choosing between the incumbent and the guy who held the job previous to incumbent’s current term. The coroner and sheriff are the only other two contests with candidates–the sheriff is being opposed by the lead detective. Everybody else (including one state legislator, IIRC) is unopposed.

  21. Sleeping Dog says:

    Went out to vote this AM. No morons dressed as spec force ops or others hassling people. No line was in and out in about 10 minutes. The ballot was nice and short, unlike the town/school district elections in the spring.

    There was a good sized crowd milling about, but the local voting officials are well organized and it went smoothly.

  22. CSK says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    Same here.

  23. Moosebreath says:

    I voted by mail a few weeks ago. Got e-mail confirmation from the County that my ballot was received and had no issues. So I will be part of the PA Blue shift last tonight.

  24. CSK says:

    Trump claims he voted for DeSantis for governor.

  25. Beth says:

    I just voted. Two things of minor note:

    1. The little voting booth thing was wobbly and made me dizzy. I came pretty close to blacking out. That would have been fun.

    2. The Republican election judge was the only election judge who didn’t have her last name on her tag. Thanks Nancy.

  26. DK says:


    The eat the rich crowd are all in on him. It’s wild.

    That is odd to hear. Pritzker seems like he’d be prime target for the prog left’s standard “neoliberal corporate DNC shill” attack. What’s he doing to warrant such praise from the brocialist set?

  27. DK says:

    @CSK: DeSanctimonious no more, huh?

  28. CSK says:


    I think Trump was unpleasantly surprised by the backlash he got from name-calling DeSantis. I also think he’s trying to keep DeSantis in Florida and out of the 2024 competition.

    In any case, saying he voted for DeSantis doesn’t mean he bestirred himself to vote for DeSantis–or vote at all.

  29. Mu Yixiao says:

    I don’t think I’ve seen this discussed here: Nevada has a referendum up today to amend the state constitution and go to a “top five” open primary, and RCV.

  30. Beth says:


    I wouldn’t say they are “brocialists”. They range from actual communists to vanilla socialists, from idiot socialist to wild-eyed leftists. All of them are shockingly positive on Pritzker. These are all people who would also whole heartedly chase Lightfoot out of town under a barrage of rotten eggs.

    I think it comes down to the fact that he’s actually governed like he’s got an important job to do and isn’t out to loot the state. He hasn’t made wild promises and then backtracked like mad without even trying. He put his money where his mouth is trying to fix our stupid income tax scheme (rot in hell Ken Griffen). He handled Covid fairly well. He’s just done a good job running a wildly screwed up state. The Lefties have taken note and will be happy to help him get another term.

  31. Michael Cain says:

    Early voting here in vote by mail Colorado — but with vote centers available for edge cases and people who just insist on voting in person — was 1% in-person voting. Per my county’s election web site, there were four people total waiting in line at the 20 vote centers we have at 10:00. At 11:00, zero.

  32. Michael Cain says:


    We have a bazillion judges to vote for and very little insight on qualifications, etc.

    One section of our state ballot blue book covers judges. The most useful bit is the state bar association’s evaluation. The bar doesn’t seem to care about the judge’s ideology, only whether they are consistent.

  33. Beth says:

    @Michael Cain:

    To a certain extent consistency is way more important in a judge. If they are ideological, but they apply that consistently you can avoid them cause you know where they are going. I would take that over someone who is ideologically close to me but wildly inconsistent.

    However, I just learned that a judge I’m going to be in front of hired a clerk who is a Rittenhouse supporter and I’m not going to take the chance of showing up in her courtroom and having my client getting screwed because the clerk hates me because of who I am.

  34. Andy says:

    @Michael Cain:

    I did my ballot today and will drop it off at a box this afternoon.

    There is a polling place less than a mile from our house – I haven’t been in it, but the parking lot (it’s a church) is largely empty. There are still a few older folks in my neighborhood that are used to the old ways and don’t trust the mail, so they vote in person. Everyone else I know only goes to update their registration or to get a new ballot if they made a mistake.

    Besides the convenience, the length of the ballot just makes it a whole lot easier to vote at home rather than in one of those tiny booths.

  35. steve says:

    Voted. PA. Line was short and no one bothered us.


  36. Mister Bluster says:

    Voted about an hour ago at the Makanda Township Fire Station #1. Polling place for Makanda Township Precincts 2 and 4. One citizen in line in front of me. There is no ID requirement however I always have my Jackson County Voter Information Card ready and hand it to the poll worker before they ask me my name. The back of the card reads: THIS CARD IS FOR YOUR INFORMATION ONLY. The word ONLY is underlined. I assume that this means it is not an ID card. Maybe that’s why one time when I voted the poll worker said “I don’t need to see that” and asked me my name.
    I signed the sheet with a copy of my signature on it and asked for the receipt. As has happened many times the poll worker looked at me and said “receipt?”. I had to point to the sheet I had just signed and touch the paper to show her the perforated strip at the edge of the sheet that reads “Certificate of Voter Participation General Election November 8, 2022”. It states my name and address and has a certification statement that “the following named individual voted in an election on the above date in Jackson County” signed by the County Clerk.
    She detached the receipt and as she handed it to me another poll worker said: “You’re the first person today to ask for the receipt.” The polls had been open since 6am and I got there after 1pm. After I marked my ballot (Straight Democratic ticket. One office at a time since Republicans outlawed straight ticket voting.) as I was about to slip it into the ballot counter another poll worker said: “I learned something from you today. I never knew there was a receipt for voters.”
    As she tried to hand me an “I Voted Sticker” I said: “I’ve been getting ballot receipts for years. I don’t want an I voted sticker. I know I voted. I got a receipt.”

  37. Kathy says:


    It’s clear Benito is no real Republiqan, when the nickname “DeSatanis” is so easy to come up with.

  38. Sleeping Dog says:

    Just to keep my sanity and my blood pressure down, I’m going to ignore the returns tonight, have a good night’s sleep and deal with it in the morning.

  39. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Voted this morning in DeSanctimonious, DeSantistan. 15 minutes. Poll worker challenged my signature to which I pointed out that the signature on my Driver’s License was made 20 years ago and I don’t sign anything that way anymore.

    She told me to try it again–to which I simply copied my DL signature as it appeared on the card. Upon deciding the signatures now matched, she printed my ballot and sent me to the booth.


  40. Scott says:

    @Jim Brown 32: Signature matching has to be the most inaccurate, most subject to whim and abuse, most useless tool for voting integrity. Yet there are those who insist upon it.

  41. Mu Yixiao says:

    I been voterated. About a 10 minute wait, everything went quick and smooth.

    Straight party line–leaving blank any where there was only an uncontested Republican.

    I thought for a bit about voting for the Republican sheriff (uncontested). I’ve had several interactions with the department when I was writing the paper, but decided to leave it blank this time.

    I also thought about voting for the Libertarian candidate for Secretary of State–knowing it’s throw-away–but I’m not sure how close that race is, and didn’t want to risk it.

  42. Gustopher says:

    @Scott: Sometimes signature matching can be as simple as Black and White.

  43. DK says:

    @Gustopher: Ha! I see what you did there.

  44. DrDaveT says:

    @Michael Cain:

    I marked 44 bubbles on my mail ballot a couple of weeks ago. Even if you prepped in advance and had a list, it’s going to take some time to make that many marks.

    Simplest ballot in the history of the world, for me. One race (Congress). Incumbent going to win, everyone knows. Filled in my one bubble, scanned my ballot, got my sticker. Took all of about 10 minutes.

    I realize that this is not typical.