About Last Night: Election Day Thread

Sam Wilkinson

According to a faithful reader, I'm Ordinary Times's "least thoughtful writer." So I've got that going for me, which is nice.

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271 Responses

  1. Mike Dwyer says:

    I’m not hoping for a Blue Wave, but just enough water to trickle over the edge of the sink. Also hoping the Democrats that do take seats are younger and willing to keep Pelosi out of the leadership spot.Report

    • Jesse in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      I agree, we need to kick a centrist appeaser like Pelosi out and put somebody who will actually fight Trump in power.

      I mean, I actually like Pelosi and think she’s the most effective leader in national politics today – see how she led the Democratic House Caucus when they were in power as opposed the hilarity of Boehner or Ryan trying to get Republican’s to do anything they didn’t want too, but the truth is, Pelosi is going to be the most centrist Democratic leader of the next few decades.Report

      • Mike Dwyer in reply to Jesse says:

        I have no problem with Democrats re-embracing their Progressivism. I mean, some of those ideas are TERRIBLE but they get an A+ for trying.Report

        • Jesse in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

          Well, whomever the Democrat’s would choose as their new leader would be turned into the Great Satan by FOX within three weeks anyway, so I see no reason not to stay with the person who actually has shown the ability to lead the entirety of the caucus from AOC to Colin Peterson.Report

          • Mike Dwyer in reply to Jesse says:

            “Well, whomever the Democrat’s would choose as their new leader would be turned into the Great Satan by FOX within three weeks anyway…”

            I don’t know why anyone on the Left would worry about Fox News.Report

            • Philip H in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

              Oh come on Mike – you know as well as we all do that its news programming foot print is shrinking and its opinion/infortainment footprint is growing. Which means its viewers are becoming more and more the objects of propaganda and less and less the recipients of actual reporting. Which in turn means the politicians they support don’t have to do things that deal with real issues. Its how the President can claim that 5000 or so refugees marching to our southern border to seek asylum for political and economic reasons are a threat to the existence of the US.Report

              • Mike Dwyer in reply to Philip H says:

                Phillip – I agree with how they are abandoning all pretense of actually being a news organization. When I say liberals shouldn’t worry about Fox I mean that if a liberal actually loses sleep about how they are characterized by them, they are essentially feeding the trolls. And if a significant number of the electorate are being duped by them, that’s a good argument for improving public education.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Improving public education generally takes more tax money not less. Which is hard to do in Republican controlled states.Report

              • Mike Dwyer in reply to Philip H says:

                Agreed. We begin the fight to remove our Republican governor today. 365 days to get the job done.Report

              • Dave in reply to Mike Dwyer says:


                When I say liberals shouldn’t worry about Fox I mean that if a liberal actually loses sleep about how they are characterized by them, they are essentially feeding the trolls.

                Keep in mind that the same people that want to fight the right are the same ones that get butthurt over right-wing media, which is why they continually get sand kicked in their faces while calling everyone else stupid. It’s a fucking joke. They’re the proverbial 98-lb weaklings, all of them.

                I’m a liberal. I couldn’t give a crap what Fox News “thinks” of me. Hell, I don’t care what other lefties think of me (I get called right wing, which is hilarious since I despise the right). I have a good sense of what the landscape is and what I may or may not want to do to deal with it.

                What I refuse to do is enlist the help of 98-lb weaklings. They need to go out with the trash. Worthless.Report

  2. Saul Degraw says:

    I voted. There was a line in San Francisco. Not a long one but still a line. The last time I remember a line was 2008. They had extra booths set up too I believe. I vote in someone’s garage.

    I was feeling good on this nice and crisp fall morning but my inner Eeyore came back on the way to work. I worry that Democrats are jam packed into super-blue districts and we will get more votes in the popular tally but still not retake the House because of gerrymander.

    It is completely unsurprising but I have no faith in the GOP as an opposition party. I’ve got a lot of contempt for the GOP honestly. I think they don’t care about legitimacy as long as they win. As LeeEsq says they have become a revolutionary vanguard party in their outlook and since they can’t win on policy, they decide to win on oppression and suppression. The GOP thinks they are right and fuck the majority who thinks otherwise.

    If my worry comes true, I imagine the response is going to be roughly “neaner nearner. We have the power. Why so butt hurt libtards?”Report

    • I went by the voting center at the library up the road from me in my west Denver suburb today. People voting, but no line. Steady stream of people dropping off their vote-by-mail ballots at the box outside, but not spectacular. The preliminary information from the counties by way of the Sec of State is that unaffiliated voters are returning ballots in much larger numbers than the last midterms.Report

  3. Kolohe says:

    Turnout is super high in our inside the beltway Virginia precinct. We are pretty close to the full days total now with 3.5 hrs left that we had for 2017 governor and 2016 prez.Report

    • Kolohe in reply to Kolohe says:

      We wound up with a little over 1700 people voting. The baseline over the past few general elections has been around 1350-1400, out of around 2600 registered active voters.Report

  4. Burt Likko says:

    Further to Mark’s comment in the livethread about turnout, I’ve noticed on teh Twitter today a lot of right-leaning or GOP-identifying accounts doing things to discourage turnout: suggesting that ballots won’t be counted (which just isn’t true), that individual votes don’t matter (which is true but also isn’t), or mocking people who encourage others to vote or brag of having voted.

    There must be a reason for this and it speaks poorly of the GOP — or at least what these folks think of it — that depressing turnout ought to be a page from their playbook.Report

    • Philip H in reply to Burt Likko says:

      its also totally in keeping with closing polling places in rural black counties, or requiring stricter IDs or eliminating days of early voting. Deep down many Republican politicians know they can’t win on the merits because of their actual voting records, so they lie about those records and seek to disenfranchise.Report

  5. Jaybird says:

    I went out to the DMV where I always vote this morning (around 8:15 or so) and, holy cow, the parking lot was *PACKED*.

    I remember that back in 2016, a bunch of empty spaces were waiting for me. Not today, I tell you what. I had to drive around the lot until I saw taillights and only *THEN* did I get a space.

    Of course, I walked into the building and followed the voting signs and saw that, nope, most of the people in the parking lot were there for the DMV. There wasn’t much of a line in the voting place itself. But! I talked to the election official and she told me that they had been hopping all day. (In 2016, the guy told me that it had been slow.)

    Anyway, I get to the room and first thing I get handed a slip of paper with the time handwritten on it and a clipboard with a Colorado Voter Registration Form clipped to it. (The local alternative rock station morning DJ mentioned that Colorado has same-day registration as I was driving so I thought that this was related to that.) “I’m already registered?”, I tell the lady. She told me that I had to fill it out anyway because “that’s how they’ll find you in the computer to give you your ballot.”

    So I fill it out. Name, birthday, address, box that says whether I’m updating any information. Nope, same info as last time. The special ballot printer prints out my ballot for me. She hands it to me. This is about 5 minutes after I get in the room and about 3 minutes after I sit down at her desk.

    A friendly election official walks me over to the little booth and explains that the ballot has multiple sides and I should make sure that I let her know if I make a mistake so she can get me a new ballot but *BE CAREFUL* anyway. I look around. The booths are about 50% populated. Everybody has an empty “bro” booth between them.

    So I tick off the boxes as I go, vote to keep or dismiss judges, vote to amend the Constitution or not, vote to raise taxes or not, vote to reallocate taxes or not… finish the ballot. Look up. The booths are about 90% populated. Only a couple of empty booths now. Nobody will have an empty booth between them and their neighbor at this point.

    I put my ballot in the box. Yet another helpful election official gives me a sticker. I leave around 8:30. Even more people in the parking lot driving around. My spot is taken the moment I leave it. I go to work.


    But that last part’s not really election related.Report

  6. North says:

    Can’t offer any guage of the turnout. There was a line, but it was early, polls had just opened, but I’m in the city, there’re usually lines for everything.Report

  7. Burt Likko says:

    Re: KY-6, about which both @sam-wilkinson and I have discussed. Sam points us to Franklin and Fayette counties as the places where McGrath needs to pump up the volume. You can follow KY-6 here at DDHQ (you may need to login with facebook or google) and so far it looks good for her in those counties… but good enough? Kentucky is awfully Red! and this is about the same region of the state that gave us Kim Davis.Report

  8. Will Truman says:


  9. Burt Likko says:

    The general theme so far is “Democratic underperformance.” Lots of these races are being just led by Republicans. Florida, I’m looking at you.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Burt Likko says:

      The Democrats are not exactly losing. The races are just very close and within margins of error. Democrats are still leading in the House races where they need to win but not enough for the Republicans to concede or the media to declare victory.

      It is nerve-wracking but I’m not feeling out yet.Report

  10. LTL FTC says:

    Feeling a little queasy now – 538 has only 55.8% chance of a Democratic house.

    I don’t know if it’s the Shy Tory effect, the strength of the economy or what. Maybe the Koch brothers funded the caravan.

    Whatever it is, I expect at least two dozen thinkpieces about how this is the fault of white women. More than half will be written by white women.

    It’s easy to blame them, not least because there are so many of them willing to self-flagellate about it. But there was something about the reaction to Kavanaugh hearings that revealed just how niche and elite #metoo is. My uninformed guess is that while you can believe one allegation against one man, some overeager types tried to make it a referendum on white men, prep schools, teenage drinking, etc.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to LTL FTC says:

      Democrats have the House. Probably not a huge majority, though.

      Looks like they’re going to lose ground on the senate. I was just a little conflicted about who I wanted to control the senate, though I voted Dem. But I really didn’t want the Democrats to *lose* ground there.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to LTL FTC says:

      Oh, and with regard to Shy Tory… I’m not sure if that’s the source of the problem, but I think we need to acknowledge that there is a problem and that going forward we should remember the Margin of Error is there for a reason.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to LTL FTC says:

      538 admitted their real time updates were too aggressive and shut them down. Democrats flipped 9 House seats according to the times. More to come and many in their favor but margins will be tight.

      Democrats are doing well in Governorships but there will be some surprises both ways when everything is done.Report

  11. Saul Degraw says:

    Donnelly is down.

    Gillum and Nelson are underperforming HRC in Florida but it looks like Democrats will pick up some house seats.

    Beto O’Rourke is a damn good campaigner win or lose. Looks like he has some coattails either way. Considering this is Texas, this is huge.

    Democrats are doing well in the House but the races are tight. No unexpected loses yet. Good number of flips.

    Trump’s last minute barnstorming might have helped with the Senate but appears to be a poison pill for suburban districts.Report

  12. Saul Degraw says:

    VA-2 has the Democratic challenger up by a few dozen votes and a statistical tie.Report

  13. Kolohe says:

    The Arlington Virginia Independent (former Republican) has probably lost re-election, couldn’t survive the ‘blue wave’ that, for instance, Hogan in Maryland was able to survive. The lean-Republican Congressional district in Northern Virginia (the 10th) has also been decisively won by a Democratic challenger. But two other even more lean Republican districts (the 5th mostly in central Virginia, and the 2nd around Hampton Roads) are very close to breaking for the Dems. (the 5th is also Eric Cantor’s old district)Report

  14. Kolohe says:

    NBC just called a Cruz victory, and called that the Republicans will keep control of the Senate.Report

  15. DavidTC says:

    Whew. Now that we can stop panicking because we know the Democrats will have subpoena power in the House, what predictions do people have between now and the new Congress being seated?

    For example, the Mueller investigation?

    How will Trump react to this?Report

    • Jaybird in reply to DavidTC says:

      Would you call it a “blue wave”?Report

      • Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird says:

        By percentage, yes. By outcome, probably not. That speaks to the failure of American democracy though.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

          Well, then. I’d feel pretty good about 2020, if I were you.Report

          • Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird says:

            Not at all. American democracy is set up only to reward conservative whites. Trump will almost certainly win again despite getting blown out in the popular vote.Report

            • Sam Wilkinson in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

              (Also, check your emails @jaybird !)Report

            • Mike Dwyer in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

              Ugh. Always the victim…Report

              • Maribou in reply to Mike Dwyer says:


                Ugh. Always the personal attacks against Sam…Report

              • Mike Dwyer in reply to Maribou says:

                Maribou I really wish you would stop the Morher Hen routine. Sam has cast himself as an oppressed minority. It’s not an attack to point out the ridiculousness of that claim. Tonight was a good night for the Left…but some people thrive on pessimism.Report

              • Sam Wilkinson in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                @maribou You don’t deserve that. It’s one of his favorite attacks – he wields it against anybody that dares to disagree with him – but you work your ass off for this site and that level of disrespect is entirely uncalled for.Report

              • Mike Dwyer in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

                Oh geez, now the white knight routine…Report

              • Maribou in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

                @sam I don’t feel like “Mother Hen” is even in the top 40 things that people regularly call me when they’re irritated, nor is it something Mike seems to be able to help complaining to me about, so I don’t feel disrespected, just annoyed.

                @mike-Dwyer The idea that any time a man stands up for a woman (whether needed or not) it’s a “white knight” routine is one of the most pernicious memes of the alt-right, MRA branch, and I honestly still think you’re wiser than that. Personally, while I don’t think it was necessary here, I also don’t want people who agree with me to sit down and shut up just so they won’t get pseudo-called-out for agreeing… that’s so dumb, and it was dumb when it first started out and it was feminists being jerks about it. Even dumber now that it isn’t even the people being defended who are complaining.Report

              • Maribou in reply to Mike Dwyer says:


                He hasn’t, and I’m not a mother hen. I’m tired of you making negative personal attacks that are “pointing out” something no one said. It’s a straight up name-calling comment, @Mike-Dwyer, with no more substance to it than that.

                I also haven’t said *anything* to you in weeks about any of the multiple personal attacks you’ve made against Sam. If you think I’m doing a mother hen routine, it’s probably because you’ve internalized my annoyance.

                It is a good night for the left, and one way of celebrating that I personally endorse is to not randomly name-call people who’ve been working their butt off all night to keep the site up to date on the news…Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Not really, though. He laid out a critique of the US system. Not one that hasn’t been laid out by others here, and elsewhere.Report

              • Mike Dwyer in reply to Will Truman says:


                This is wildly off-topic which is my fault for indulging my distaste for Sam’s comment above, however it’s an open thread so I’ll try to explain here…

                My problem with Sam’s commenting is his habit of saying something like (paraphrasing here), “Police department policies are clearly designed to encourage the murder of black men and if you don’t join me in condemning them then you obviously want to see black men murdered.” We’ve seen him accuse fellow commenters of approving murder, human rights violations, sexual assault, etc many times. It’s not name-calling per se, but in a way, far worse. Brandon Berg, who is a much better commenter than me, summed up my thoughts on the issue here with his response to Sam:

                “What I have seen, over and over, is you grossly mischaracterizing the arguments of people who disagree with you, in precisely this manner. Occasional misunderstandings are inevitable, but with you it’s a consistent and reliable pattern of behavior.”

                In the same thread, you pointed out to Sam that there is light between the worst conservative commenters and the rest of them. Sam’s response was this:

                “It would, perhaps, be easier to distinguish one from the other if there was any light between the two…”

                I think it’s well-established that Sam always assumes the worst in people that do not agree with him, which is why I get so exhausted by his recurring line of “American democracy is set up to only benefit white conservatives.” You may view this as a critique of our system, and I won’t tell you that you are wrong in that opinion, but based on my experience with Sam’s brand of victim advocacy, I see something different. I believe he is trying to brand white liberals as a type of victims themselves. I also believe he is doing this because it facilitates his moral high ground claims in future discussions.

                What I believe Sam is doing is setting up the logic that liberals are victims of American democracy and thus if we do not support their policies, we are endorsing their victimization. My initial comment above seems like pettiness in retrospect, which is probably why Maribou felt the need to respond. I should have elaborated further, but I was being lazy with a 12am from-the-hip comment.

                With all of that said, I may also be guilty of shortering Sam’s position. You are still the only person I have seen use that term so I had to go back and re-read the definition to make sure I understood it correctly.

                Term used in political blogs to introduce a humorous, usually exaggerated summary of somebody else’s opinion, arguments or statements.

                I don’t think I exaggerate my critique of Sam’s claims when I call it victimhood, but I certainly could have explained myself better. I hope I am wrong and that he isn’t truly going to cast himself in with groups that really do suffer greatly in U.S. but unfortunately I think I will be proven correct here.Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                What I believe Sam is doing is setting up the logic that liberals are victims of American democracy and thus if we do not support their policies, we are endorsing their victimization.

                I don’t really agree with this, but either way the preferred approach here is to make counter-arguments. Especially given that he was making a routine point here – one that has been a chorus among Democrats for the last two years or so. Is the system unfairly favorable to conservatives or not? There are arguments either way, but that’s better ground for discussion than interpersonal hostilities.Report

              • Sam Wilkinson in reply to Will Truman says:

                Americans overwhelmingly voted for Democrats in the House, in the Senate, and for the President, and barely control only the House. Republicans can underwhelm constantly and still win. Democrats must overperform and often still lose.

                And that’s before we get into the degree to which Republicans put their thumbs on the scale – Brian Kemp in Georgia and Rick Scott in Florida both CHOSE their electorate through specific policies designed only to deny the vote to Americans they personally disapprove of – and then declare that the outcomes are entirely just. This is the history of America, has always been the history of America, and, barring calamity, will always be the history of America. It is how the system is designed.

                If anybody wants to argue that point, they are going to have to account for our national history as it actually exists.Report

              • Dave in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

                If anybody wants to argue that point, they are going to have to account for our national history as it actually exists.

                I guess you can point to slavery and other voting restrictions and be correct when it comes down to WHO gets to vote, but there would have been no Constitution without a Senate or the electoral college because there was no way in hell the small states were going to go along with pure majoritarianism for obvious reasons. As it is, under the Articles, each state represented one vote.

                Appeals to the popular vote in 2016 are meaningless to me. The truth is, we know what the rules of the game are and we know that Obama had no problem with them in 2008 and 2012. Now, because the Democrats lost to the biggest idiot to ever occupy the oval office, we have to beat this horse to death?

                I see two choices:

                1. Figure out what you need to do to win without complaining about what’s fair or not. Life isn’t fair. Politics isn’t fair. It’s dirty and if you aren’t willing to get a little dirty, you’re going to get steamrolled.

                2. Continue to complain about what’s unfair and do little to help.

                I mean holy hell, I just voted straight D for the first time in 14 motherf—ing years. I came to the unfortunate yet most likely realistic conclusion that for me to have to make some kind of impact, I can’t be third party.

                I’m not happy about this as it is. Making matters worse are the choices. Personally, I think the current manifestation of the American Right is so irredeemable and morally corrupt that the only way it’s ever going to break its grip on the Trumpism that now dominates it is to get nuked out of existence. Yes, there are a lot of people on the right that despite Trumpism but either can’t or won’t do a damn thing about it. My fight is more with the Right and the movement than ideological conservatives despite my own disagreements with the philosophy.

                The Left? Well, I’ve shared my views on my FB feed more than here, but I see myself as one of those liberals “centrist appeasers” (funny coming from a Progressive seeing as I got the same smear from neoconservatives fifteen years ago) that doesn’t like those of the more “illiberal” persuasion, which not only includes most of the right but some part of the Left how much I can’t say for sure but start with the farther end of the Left and some of the people parading as “Progressives” and that’s a good starting target for me.

                Seeing as I’m consistently told that shouldn’t worry about them as they have little sway in the overall establishment despite the painfully obvious reality that they pose a HUGE perception problem, which people would know if they bothered to listen, as much as I like the idea of a big tent for liberals, I think we ought to make room for people that can actually contribute something useful and for those that can’t, I say we do what Buckley did to the elements of the Right that were less desirable (I know I know…these are the ones that have center stage right now) and tell them to get lost.

                That’s not a suggestion. That’s my intent. You wanted people to come back, I came back. I also never said I had any interest in aligning with people that will do more damage long term by keeping their heads in the sand. I don’t play that way. The Left has some trash that needs to be taken out. Whether you all want to carry the bags or put yourselves into one and get out, it makes no difference to me.

                People get upset with Mike because he used the victimhood card. Now you can get upset with me because I feel the same way. It pisses me off every time I read it. One step forward, twenty steps back.

                Either figure out what to do to win or step the f–k aside and let those of us that want to do it do it because you’re not going to keep me from trying.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Dave says:

                I am wondering if the takeaway is something like “we’re doing exactly what we need to be doing, we don’t need to change!” because of this election.

                Which strikes me as a recipe for another big loss come 2020 and complaints about how the system remains rigged.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

                Winning elections bad news for Democrats.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                I don’t know whether there’s bad news or not until I see what has happened with state legislatures.

                The Democrats might be in great shape! There might have actually been a blue wave!

                But we’re in a weird place where the Democrats both exceeded expectations last night and underperformed just like everybody knew would happen and both of these thoughts seem to be held at the same time.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                You seem to be advocating a logic of “win above all else”, which strikes me as precisely *the wrong* message to take from electoral politics in the Trump era.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                My advice remains “get Howard Dean back and do what he says”.

                I hadn’t thought that that his 50 State Strategy was Machiavellian. I’m pretty sure that I still don’t.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                “Bernie would have won!”Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                He would have.

                Against Trump, anyway.

                Maybe not against Jeb.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                They’re called a “counterfactuals” for a reason.Report

              • Dave in reply to Stillwater says:

                If you’re referring to me and it appears I am, then clarification on my part is in order. You’re 100% correct and the second to last thing we need is an overreaction to it coming from the left, the first thing being more Trumpism.

                That’s why the Dave Rubin “Vote R to punish the Ds so liberalism can be restored” is madness on stilts. The point for me was to jump into the fray and put a flag in the ground so to speak and I know others that have done the same.

                I may be willing to bang heads with a lot of people, but make no mistake, “Trumpism” as in falling into loyalty line is not something I’m interested in.

                You can think I’m a bit off my rocker but if you know that I made a good faith decision and have interest in trying to work with people, that should count for something…whatever that is.Report

              • InMD in reply to Jaybird says:

                It shouldn’t be. I see the outcome as in the B-/C+ range for the Democrats. My previously stated here assessment of this outcome was that we are still in American politics as usual. I think we are, and that’s a good thing.

                The country can, and will, survive a bad president. The moderate left, can and will, successfully push back, but will still be denied bigger victories if it doubles down on its most alienating cultural pathologies.Report

              • Maribou in reply to Dave says:

                @dave To be clear, I got upset with Mike (irritated would be more accurate) not for playing the victimhood card, writ large, but for what read as a petty and unsubstantiated personal attack with nothing else in the comment. Not to flog a dead horse, but it was cheap. Beneath him.

                Whatever else I think about your comment, above, I do not think it is that, at all.Report

              • Dave in reply to Maribou says:


                We’re always good and you know where to find me just in case you ever worry. 😀Report

              • Sam Wilkinson in reply to Dave says:

                @dave My points are taken as complaints. There is nothing I can do about that. My point is that these are systemic realities. Only one side can win despite losing. Only one side ever has. That is not going to change going forward and is, in fact, likely to only get much worse.

                Although there was at least some progress made last night on redistricting, which will hopefully at least go a ways toward undoing shamelessly undemocratic gerrymanders.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

                My points are taken as complaints. … My point is that these are systemic realities.


              • Stillwater in reply to Dave says:

                2. Continue to complain about what’s unfair and do little to help.

                You share the complaints and voted Dem because of them. Strategy seems to be working, no?Report

              • pillsy in reply to Dave says:

                Politics isn’t fair, but complaining about the unfairness of politics is a common strategy, and hardly a uniformly ineffective one.

                Not entirely coincidentally, one reason that people engage in politics at all is to make things they perceive as unfair more fair. And sometimes it works, even when it comes to governing systems.

                The essence of politics is complaint.Report

              • Mike Dwyer in reply to Will Truman says:

                Will, I guess I would ask what constitutes ‘interpersonal hostilities’ in the terms of debate. If your opposition is comfortable saying you approve of murder/sexual assault/etc then is pointing out they are playing the victim card really an attack?

                In your August post you talked about coming out of the DMZ. I was under the impression we were taking the gloves off for a while?Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Mike Dwyer says:


                A few years ago a similar percentage victory for the Republicans netted 60 house seats.

                This victory nets significantly less.

                Can’t you see how this could just be a tad bit of an intentional structural roadblock?

                No? Thought so. Moving on.Report

              • Dave in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                Good news…I enjoyed the pushback. Some of I agree it, some I don’t but good points nevertheless..

                I’ll put something together more comprehensive and analytical building off the common ground I share.

                Thanks all.Report

      • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

        Would you call it a “blue wave”?

        I don’t even slightly understand what you’re asking?

        I would not call it a ‘wave’ per se, no. I would call it a really good outcome for the Democrats in current economy. We basically just had an ‘economy is crap’ mid-term election result in one of the best economies in a long time, almost certainly because of Trump.

        I also, somewhat fancifully, am currently thinking of it as a ‘Springtime for Hitler’ election, because I just read this article: http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/11/democrats-won-the-house-because-of-obamacare.htmlReport

        • Jaybird in reply to DavidTC says:

          I don’t even slightly understand what you’re asking?

          Oh, well then. Let me explain it.

          For the last few months, on various social media platforms, I’ve seen excitement over the upcoming “Blue Wave” that would be happening at the election. For example, the magazine “Vanity Fair” had an article entitled: “Get Over Your Election-Needle P.T.S.D.: The Blue Wave Is Real, and It’s a Monster“.

          As far as I could tell, it refers to “a big blue Democratic takeover in Washington”.

          The media content delivery system “The Week” had an article a couple of hours ago called “What Happened to the Democrats’ Blue Wave?” if you want an example of a media outlet that doesn’t have enough solidarity to pretend that “blue wave” was never a thing and that we hadn’t always been at war with whomever.

          But if “blue wave” is not a term you’d heard for the last six months or so, I suppose my question made a lot of assumptions about your engagement with popular media that wasn’t warranted.

          Please, let me apologize and withdraw the question.

          Sorry, my dude. I guess I thought you read stuff that I also read. My bad.Report

          • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

            No, I know what a blue wave is, what I don’t understand is why you’re asking _me_ if I call it one. I have indeed read a bunch of self-deluded fools who think that such a thing was coming, because they thought the increased turnout would be only Democrats for some reason. (?!) But _I_ haven’t been saying one is coming.

            So I don’t really follow why you’re asking _me_ that. No, I wouldn’t use the term ‘blue wave’, which I hadn’t been using, to describe this particular outcome, which wasn’t the outcome than the people who were using the term were hoping for. Why would I do that? You want to point out that some people are trying to memory-hole their predictions of a blue wave, go find someone who _did_ predict a blue wave, not me. I don’t make predictions of election outcomes anymore, not since 2016.

            Which is why, now that we _know_ the outcome of the election (At least enough to know Congress, although here I’m eagerly waiting for con-artist-of-Christians, female-Ralph-Reed, Karen Handel to lose.), I was asking about predictions of what that means in the near future.

            The actual, end-of-Republic-if-not-accomplished thing that needed to happen this election was ‘At least one chamber in the hands of Democrats’. The amount didn’t matter a damn, it didn’t matter if Democrats had the entire House vs. just one extra vote, literally all that mattered was ‘committee chairs are now Dems and can direct investigations into Trump’. And it happened.

            Which means I know what starts happening in January. All intelligent people can figure this out, and presumably someone has managed to explain it to the people who work for Trump, and they’re trying to get it across to him. So, now that we’ve finished this silly diversion, how do people think the current administration reacts to what is about to happen? Panicking? People quitting? Trump trying to absurdly classify his tax returns?Report

            • Jaybird in reply to DavidTC says:

              I imagine that contradictions will be heightened and Democrats will find themselves in a situation where the issues are not whether Trump did anything illegal but whether the person accusing Trump of illegality is more alienating to the average person than Trump manages to be.

              After all, Trump could go into Times Square and shoot a guy and his supporters would still support him. His opponents would still oppose him.

              But Trump will manage to turn the conversation into whether the guy needed shooting or not rather than on whether shooting people is illegal.

              And journalists will cheerfully write articles about the victim and about the journalists writing articles about the victim rather than about how shooting people is wrong.

              And it’ll become a referendum on the victim and the journalism about the victim vs. Trump.

              Off the top of my head.Report

              • DavidTC in reply to Jaybird says:

                I, on the other hand, was waiting for someone to say something so I could suggest ‘And I think Trump will fire Jeff Session’, trying to not lead with my predictions.

                …and then he started that before I could.Report

  16. Jaybird says:

    Here is a link to the Wikipedia page for the 2010 election results:

    On a National Level:
    Republicans picked up 6 Senate seats.
    Republicans picked up 63 House seats.
    Republicans picked up 6 Governorships.

    On a Statewide Level:
    Republicans picked up 680 seats.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

      I’m looking at the Statewide level again and thinking “holy crap… I’ve been saying that the Democrats lost 1000 seats over 4 elections when I *SHOULD* have been saying that Democrats lost 750 seats the freaking *SECOND* they abandoned Howard Dean’s 50 State Strategy.”

      Hey, Democrats. You want a Blue Wave?

      I suggest that you hire Howard Dean back again and put him in charge and if someone disagrees with him, you move that person to the mail room.Report

      • greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

        It seems like the D’s are winning or competing well in “Red” states this cycle. So it seems like they are getting back to that. ( just saw a tweet saying that if results hold Montana will have a D gov, rep and senator. Iowa may have all 4 reps be D)Report

        • Will Truman in reply to greginak says:

          It’s a pretty mixed bag. Lost North Dakota, lost Indiana, lost Missouri, didn’t grab Ohio governorship. All of which they thought they had a chance at or would win. Could have been better, could have been worse.

          Some really impressive House victories, though.Report

          • Goes to show the power of candidate recruiting. I was really impressed with the job the GOP did in recruiting candidates that I thought were making a mistake by getting in (Cramer, Hawley, Scott). And by all accounts, Democrats did a good job in the House. I am in a medium-red district and the Democrat nominee was legit (not so much for the state candidates).Report

          • greginak in reply to Will Truman says:

            Oh yeah, the senate went not well. Some of those were always going to be hard to hold. They have expanded their playing field which is good. Just read King has won. So scum did have their victories tonight.Report

          • Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:

            There are some strange results. Kansas and Oklahoma flipped some seats but a few Californians who should have been endangered held on.

            I think the important thing is that a lot of the victories or defeats were well within the margins of error, many were plurality victories. Comstock went down in flames but that is about it.

            Democrats picked up NV but will likely lose Florida.

            Florida voting for Measure 4 but also going for the loathsome Scott and DeSantis is head scratching.

            I suspect Gillum and O’Rourke and Abrams return.Report

      • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird says:

        Across the West, things went pretty darn well. Picked up governors in NM and NV and the Colorado Senate, all resulting in “trifectas”. Flipped the US Senate seat in NV. Tester held his Senate seat in MT. AZ is going to drag on forever, and Sinema still has a decent shot at the Senate seat there. Several US House seats, and not just in California. Heck, medical marijuana, Medicaid expansion, and the Dem in one of the US House seats are leading in Utah.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain says:

          Dude, you’ve been here longer than me. My brain is telling me that Colorado has long been Purple. Gary Hart and Pat Schroeder.

          The narrative that Colorado was red has always been overstated because it’s better described as “not blue” (due to the vagaries of the whole Mountain West thing).

          Is that accurate?Report

          • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird says:

            Yeah. Trifectas have been rare — since Dick Lamm’s first win in 1974, the (R)s have only won 2 of 12 elections for governor. The budget process adopted in the 1950s requires the (R)s and (D)s to compromise to some degree. And the pragmatic streak you mention. Bobby Jindal wanted to move onto the national stage so badly he was willing to crash (or nearly so) the Louisiana government. Bill Owens sacrificed his status as a rising star for the national Republicans to support Ref C to avoid a crash.Report

  17. Road Scholar says:

    Kansas is sending a gay Native-American woman to Congress. Holy Sh**!Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Road Scholar says:

      Massachusetts better step up!Report

    • atomickristin in reply to Road Scholar says:

      This isn’t “Holy Sh–“. All these “red” states have a huge percentage of either strongly or mildly liberal leaning folks, are far more diverse than many realize/would admit, and are NOT, in truth, brimming over with homophobes and racists. And Davids is a great candidate, looking forward to seeing what she does in the future.

      If the Democrats would start sending more viable candidates that aren’t extremists or throwaways (“welp this is a red district, we’ll lose anyway, let’s let that homeless guy that sells LSD behind the Circle K run this year) they would win more seats. Many conservative-leaning voters would happily vote personality and character if the candidate was a reasonable option instead of some kind of extremist or wack job. A lot of us want a moderate, functional Democratic Party to give us options.Report

      • bookdragon in reply to atomickristin says:

        I think this is true in many places. The fact that Beto lost to Cruz though makes me think that it isn’t necessarily true in Texas. And there are a lot of other places where decent Democratic candidates lost to bad Republicans, though not necessarily just in red states (Hunter and Collins seem to have been re-elected despite being under indictment).Report

        • atomickristin in reply to bookdragon says:

          There are absolutely exceptions (getting an incumbent out of office is always gonna be an uphill battle) but I’ve been jumping up and down for like 10 years – long before Trump – begging the Democratic leadership to quit alienating so many everyday people with their poor choices of candidates and then blaming it on the voters when they lose. Not only is it a lousy strategy but it’s really contributing to the divisiveness that’s eating away at the country right now.Report

          • bookdragon in reply to atomickristin says:

            I’m not disagreeing with that. I wish *both* parties would put more effort into recruiting quality candidates instead of loudmouths willing to pick up a bullhorn.

            I do think the Dems have done a much better job of that overall this year. Conor Lamb in PA is just one instance, but there are a number of them.

            The problem is that it does get discouraging when you see an outright white supremacist like Steve King in IA winning. Look at his opponent – Scholten is 5th generation Iowan and a genuinely good guy, but the dude who spits on the graves on Iowa Union dead every day with the big Confederate flag behind his desk was re-elected. I know he’s an incumbent, but that doesn’t make it better. A lot of people in his district did vote against him, so I am not condemning the whole of Iowa or even his district by any means, but it’s hard not to think there’s a big segment of voters there that are A-OK with electing a racist and I do blame those voters for that.Report

            • Marchmaine in reply to bookdragon says:

              My first thought was “how out of step with Iowa” do you have to be to lose to Steve King… but yeah, after a quick peek at Sholten the clay should have been good enough to mold into a winnable candidate. He’s definitely a “whelp… somebody’s gotta run” candidate with his best credential being that he was a perennial minor league ballplayer. That’s a cool icebreaker and good talking point on the trail… but well, maybe another couple of years and he’ll be seasoned enough to have another at bat.

              I think there are a few mis-steps on his issues page… but I’m not a 4th District Iowan to comment with extreme confidence. But yeah, not like they tried to run an NE corridor liberal in there (well, as far as I could tell with 5 min on his website). No idea what his personal charisma factor is.Report

              • Jesse in reply to Marchmaine says:

                Why are you so wedded to the idea that being an open racist isn’t all out of step with what a majority of voters believe in many Congressional districts in America, including rural midwestern ones?Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to bookdragon says:

              I’m not disagreeing with that.

              Allow me.

              This whole “I only voted for the Nazi because you failed to give me a better choice” is so whack, I just can’t even imagine the number of dimensions it would take to make it a straight line.

              What was it about this Candidate B, that caused people of good will to vote for a man who has all but given the stiff armed salute?

              What sort of moral framework do they operate in where his horrid racial and authoritarian sentiments become secondary to something else?

              And finally, what magic special words or incantations do they need to hear to select the candidate with a (D) next to their name?

              “Yes, I was all set to vote for the Nazi, but this other guy promised to increase the soybean subsidy by three cents a ton!”

              Seriously, is this how it works?Report

            • Saul Degraw in reply to bookdragon says:

              Did it ever occur that perhaps many of the constituents in King’s distrct might like his bigoted statements?Report

              • bookdragon in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                Sadly, yes it did. That’s even more reason to blame them for voting for him.

                I believe it was Heinlein who once said something to the effect of there may not always someone you want to vote for, but there is always someone you can vote against. It’s really hard to imagine anyone so bad on the left that King isn’t the one to vote against …unless you like his retrograde racist BS.Report

    • Jesse in reply to Jaybird says:

      As somebody on Twitter said, people seem to want Medicaid expansion, legal pot, felons to have the right to vote, and Republican Senators. Wait what?Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Jesse says:

        I’m looking at the senators now and thinking “that can’t be right”.

        My guess, inside, was that the Republicans would pick up 2 and *MIGHT* pick up 3.

        This map seems to indicate that they *HAVE* picked up 3 and they *MIGHT* pick up 5.

        North Dakota, Indiana, Missouri are pickups. Florida and Arizona aren’t yet set in stone but the indications seem to lean R pickup.

        (Meanwhile, Democrats have picked up 4(!) governorships. New Mexico, Kansas, Illinois, and Michigan.)Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

          Thinking about the Republican Senators a little bit more, I’m now thinking about the Supreme Court.

          I imagine that the Republicans would rather have Amy Coney Barrett replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg than Clarence Thomas… but I can imagine Clarence Thomas saying “you know what? That’s enough of *THAT* happy crappy…” and retiring someplace nice with high-speed internet, spicy food that delivers, and the occasional off-Broadway show running through town.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Jesse says:

        Issue voting seems to be less tribal than candidate voting.Report

  18. Jesse says:

    I think the actual story of this is two-fold.

    1.) One part of it is that the blue parts of the country are getting bluer-er and the red parts of the country are getting redder, and Florida is Chaos. Look at where the Democrat’s are winning – they’re wiping out the Republican’s in the Northeast who are connected to the larger Republican Party at all, getting big wins in NoVA, and even winning the Kansas Governor race because suburban Kansas City turned on Brownbacknomics while the GOP is getting massive turnout from rural coters.

    2.) OTOH, I think we’re slowly seeing a re-alignment. Basically, on one side, incredibly rich people who only care about regulations being cut and taxes being as low as possible aligned with rural and exurban voters worried about “cultural change” vs. middle and upper middle class professionals and minorities.Report

  19. Jaybird says:

    Is there an aggregator of state-level seats yet?

    I want to know how close to 130 (or how far past 130) we got on a National Level.Report

  20. Jaybird says:

    Kevin Drum reports: Tonight Was One of the Great Political Blowouts of Modern History

    In raw numbers this might not be the biggest wave election ever, but once you account for the economy it’s one of the great political blowouts of modern history. Donald Trump will never admit it, but don’t be fooled. He was crushed and repudiated tonight in a way that few presidents ever have been.


    • Will Truman in reply to Jaybird says:

      I’m not going to grade on a curve for the economy, but that 9% margin shouldn’t be easily dismissed. That’s huge. Especially given the headwinds of challenging incumbents.Report

      • I’m shocked Kemp managed to win in Georgia after disenfranchising only a million opposition voters.Report

        • DavidTC in reply to Mike Schilling says:

          I’m hoping it goes to runoff. Georgia required 50%+1 for governor, and it’s not impossible he’ll end up below that.

          I mean, considering the spoiler candidate is a Libertarian, he’d probably win the runoff anyway, but another four weeks of this would be make people even more angry about his blatant vote suppression.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Will Truman says:

        Between 2016 and this result, I think we’ve learned a valuable lesson about overall popular votes.

        The lesson is that they are NOT irrelevant. But they are also not decisive. The Constitutional system is designed to slow but not ultimately stop majority preference from taking power. Which we see manifesting in the Senate most profoundly, the Electoral College most prominently, and the Democrats needing a 9% overall popular vote margin to overcome net adverse gerrymandering* and take the House most pointedly. So where those votes come from matters — and the Democrats, who need to win statewide elections by running up the score hard in urban areas, are at a baked-in disadvantage.

        We can accept the occasional contramajoritarian result. We’ve had two plurality popular vote winners denied the Presidency in five cycles. We can see that Democrats are getting significantly more votes around the country but have actually lost ground in the Senate. If the system continues to return contramajoritarian results, there will continue to be strains on the legitimacy of the Constitutional system. It will eventually break if those tensions are not somehow addressed with something more meaningful than “It’s a republic and not a democracy, so ha ha we won.”**

        * Democrats gerrymander when given the opportunity too, and have done so. Read that phrase again: “net adverse gerrymandering.” There is, on balance, more pro-Republican gerrymandering than pro-Democratic gerrymandering.

        ** The system will take additional strain if the next sentence from the winners is “And with the power we just won, we’re also going to systematically disenfranchise people likely to vote for the other guys in other ways, in addition to gerrymandering.”Report

        • Maribou in reply to Burt Likko says:

          @burt-likko It seems pertinent (not sure exactly how, but pertinent) that several states are voting in favor of independent committees, rather than the state legislature, to do their redistricting in future…Report

          • Burt Likko in reply to Maribou says:

            I thoroughly approve of this trend.

            Even if it doesn’t favor my preferred party at any given time, I approve of this trend. It’s simply more systemically legitimate for people without a direct stake to draw the maps. It’d be better if people without a direct stake set other rules too.Report

          • Michael Cain in reply to Maribou says:

            In initiative states… Colorado’s was a referred issue from the legislature, but only because the legislature wanted a hand in shaping it. Initiatives tend to be “trendy”. There was a stretch where the big thing was restricting taxes. The anti-abortion trend is largely over, as is one-man-one-woman marriage things. The current “hot” bunch are marijuana, redistricting, minimum wage, and a greater role for government in health care financing.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Burt Likko says:

          Considering how tribal politics is, I think “ha ha we won” will be the continued Republican response.

          Jesse’s analysis of the new coalitions are probably right.Report

        • pillsy in reply to Burt Likko says:

          Also, gotta say, the reason for the counter-majoritarian mechanisms is, according to their defenders, to check lawless, corrupt, and demagogic impulses.

          Seeing how they’ve been tending to empower Trump over the last two cycles suggests that the counter-majoritarian mechanisms we actually have in our government are, in fact, completely unfit for purpose.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to pillsy says:

            The counter-majoritarian mechanisms reflected the founder’s belief that the rabble would be lawless and corrupt, and the elites like themselves would be the sober defenders of the rule of law.Report

            • Sam Wilkinson in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              Yeah, the reality is that the elites have always believed in a bifurcated justice: one that enables themselves their own worst impulses and another that punishes everybody that they hate.Report

            • Saul Degraw in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              The American Revolution was largely a revolution of the propertied classes in America. Some of whom thought of themselves as homegrown aristocrats. The aristocrat thing was especially true in South Carolina and Virginia. The Northern merchants were elites but somewhat more democratic/egalitarian but not by much.

              They were people of the Enlightenment and the Enlightenment was a step in the right direction from Aristocracy but it wasn’t meant to be an abolition of class privilege and rank.Report

    • George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

      Except for, you know, Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

      Obama started out with 257 House seats. That dropped to 193 in his first midterm, a loss of 63. It went up to 201 in 2012, then dropped back to 188, for a total loss of 69.

      Clinton lost 54 House seats in his first midterm.Report

      • Clinton was also the first President to have his party gain seats in a midterm since the ’30s in 1998. That was just prior to Republicans overreaching on impeachment, and there is a lesson pertinent to present day there.Report

        • North in reply to Andrew Donaldson says:

          One I suspect the Dems have pretty fully internalized. Did they campaign on impeaching Trump? Not particularly. Do I think they’ll try? Nope. Not unless Mueller has pictures of Trump naked in bed with a dead girl or a live boy.Report

          • pillsy in reply to North says:

            I think it’s far too soon to tell. We have yet to see how the Trump White House handles actual (and yes, partisan) oversight. Much more adept and less corrupt administrations have struggled with it.Report

            • Mike Schilling in reply to pillsy says:

              It’ll drive them insane. IOW, no change.Report

            • North in reply to pillsy says:

              Oh yes, you’re right about that. I mean with a economy hitting on all cylinders and full cover from the House and Senate Trump’s administration has still only just barely avoided crapping their pants in public. It ain’t gonna be easier with a House not dedicated to covering up their shit let along one actively looking to uncover it.
              But will the Dems start doing impeachment the way the GOP house did Obamacare repeals back after 2010 like some demented reflex action? I don’t think they will.Report

          • DavidTC in reply to North says:

            Do I think they’ll try? Nope.

            What I think the should do is just keep uncovering misbehavior of him and his cabinet and staff and turning the evidence over to the Justice Department and state AGs to get _only other people_ arrested.

            But not actually impeach Trump, just keep uncovering wrongdoing on his and others part and having _the other people_ convicted.

            Just keep crippling the administration. Over and over.

            Until the _Republicans_ can’t deal anymore and start impeachment of Trump.

            Hey, I’d also like to remind the Democrats that spokespeople lying to the American people _used to be_ a huge scandal. Remember Benghazi and the _hypothetical_ misrepresentation of the attact by a spokesperson?

            Haul in any spokesperson that states outright obvious lies, and demand to know where they got their information from, and whether or not it was a deliberate lie. ‘Did you make up that lie yourself, were you told to lie, or do you literally not know what is going on?’ Just…keep doing that.

            I want to see the headline: Sarah Huckabee Sanders grilled again by the House Judiciary Committee for telling another lie.Report

  21. Jaybird says:

    Dan Crenshaw won the House seat he was running for, for those of you wondering.Report

  22. Burt Likko says:

    KY-6: Barr (Inc/R) defeats McGrath (D) by 3.22%.
    IL-6: Casten (D) defeats Roskam (Inc/R) by 6.00%.
    KS-2: Watkins (R) leading Davis (D) by 1.64%. Third party voting in excess of margin. Not yet called.
    CA-25: Hill (D) leading Knight (Inc/R) by .08%. Not yet called.

    Another interesting thing I see in California is that while Gavin Newsom has won the Governor’s seat, as expected, his challenger, Republican sacrificial lamb John Cox, is currently showing 44% of the vote, which is overperformance for a Republican in California statewide race. Perhaps more returns need to come in before the numbers drop into the mid-30’s where I’d expect them to be.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Is there any evidence that once-reliable Democratic voters have moved away to other states?Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird says:

        I wouldn’t even know where to look for that sort of information. Interstate migration happens all the time, and the Great Sort is real.

        Though to my knowledge it’s mainly urban-rural rather than state-to-state. If you are conservative in California you’re at least as likely to seek out a rural or semi-rural place like Bakersfield or Clearlake, as you are likely to seek out somewhere in Idaho or Wyoming. Similarly if you’re liberal in Texas you’re at least as likely to seek out Austin or Dallas as you are somewhere in New Mexico or Maryland.

        Unless your job requires it of you in which case it’s not political preference causing you to move.

        And as we’re seeing tonight, there are still purple states.Report

      • Pinky in reply to Jaybird says:

        O’Rourke nearly winning in TX?Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Burt Likko says:

      CA-25 update at about midnight Pacific time, incumbent Knight is now ahead by 43 votes out of 75,009 counted so far. No third parties. Roughly one-third of all precincts are in.Report

  23. Jesse says:

    Here’s my basic view on the Senate –

    I think we’re basically in the terrible place where the states that might shift to us due to demographics (GA, NC, FL, AZ, and mayyyyybe TX) aren’t quite there yet, while the Trumpian states have gone full Trump already.

    A quick lookover


    This is 32 Seats


    This is 24 Seats

    TEXAS – TX

    This is 44 Seats

    So, the GOP has a semi-permanent majority along as NC, GA, FL, AZ are basically very pale red states. The moment they shift blue, they’re on far worse ground, even if things are still heavily tilted in their favor.Report

  24. Philip H says:

    Definitely a mixed bag of a night.

    The House gains are welcome, but if Pelosi is reelected Speaker then the next two years will be about her in public fora, and Democrats won’t be able to conduct effective oversight much less deliver on any other promises. She has done a remarkable job of holding the line in the minority, but like Hillary, she needs to step aside for optics if nothing else.

    The democratic governor pick ups are a positive sign – if those states do better economically under democrats then they did under republicans, that becomes a strong message in 2020 about Democratic politics.

    Beto did an amazing thing in Texas, and I hope he gets the VP nod in 2020. But Biden needs to stay off the trail, as does Warren. Sanders could make a credible show of it, but if Democrats are serious about retaking the White House they need a younger and probably not white candidate.

    Sadly, democrats STILL don’t have good messages on how bad it is and will get from a policy and economics perspective. Republicans are doing serious harm to the US, and Democrats have to call them on it to win. We are still TOO wonkish and TOO wedded to our facts – while Republicans can use emotions to overcome lies left and right.

    My resident state of Mississippi sent Roger Wicker and Steve Palazzo back to DC, but may yet send Mike Espy (who is in a run off with Cindy Hyde-Smith). The Tea Party folks who supported Chris McDaniel in that three way contest despise Hyde-Smith – who used to be a Democrat. They won’t vote for Espy either, so they may sit home in which case she doesn’t have enough votes.

    Finally, no one talked about it, but with the House loss, expect Republican politicians to make a run at a lot of legislative business once they get back in Session. They will no doubt loose their chance to advance many “important” bills once the next Congress is seated 20 January, and McConnel is not likely to win many concessions from Democrats afterwards. Remember folks, Trump is first and foremost about Trump, and if he thinks giving Democrats stuff over McConnell’s objections will make him “keep winning” he’ll head that way.Report

    • George Turner in reply to Philip H says:

      According to exit polling, the vast majority of Democrats who voted think that the US economy is in the toilet, with high unemployment and low wages.Report

      • Philip H in reply to George Turner says:

        I’d love to see those polls and the locations they were taken. Most of the economic gains since the end of the Great Recession have gone to those at the very top of the heap, so I can easily get behind the wages argument. the unemployment part however, flies in the face of numbers reported across the media spectrum – even Fox News gets those right before it spins off horribly into the night.Report

    • Slade the Leveller in reply to Philip H says:

      Philip H: Sadly, democrats STILL don’t have good messages on how bad it is and will get from a policy and economics perspective.

      Wait until the middle class starts filling out their 1040s next year. The realization of how they got jobbed in the tax cut bill should be an eye opener.Report

  25. Em Carpenter says:

    The election was a net negative for me.
    The best news for me was that Manchin beat Morrisey here in my beloved West by God Virginia. I have a visceral reaction to Morissey*- just seeing his face gets my back up, and he is a corrupt, lying, opportunist who does not care about this state or her people. And why should he? He’s from New Jersey. He was installed here as AG in 2012 by big pharma when we were ripe for a republican takeover. If that sounds like a conspiracy theory, it isn’t- he is a former-and his wife a current-lobbyist for Cardinal Health, against whom WV has lawsuits pending for the opiate crisis.
    So, I’m thrilled he lost. He’s still our AG, but I predict he will finish up his term and then leave and never look back.

    Other than Manchin and a few small local races, the results depressed me. The two biggest disappointments for me were Ojeda’s loss and the passage of Amendment 1, which affirmatively says there is no right to abortion in WV. None, without any exception for rape, incest, or life of the mother. It is designed to allow a ban to be instituted immediately upon any potential Roe overturn. I’m really disheartened about it.

    *Full disclosure, he once took credit publicly for something I did- and I don’t even work for him.Report

    • The state Democrats out here have some work to do. Neither the state senate (an incumbent) nor the state house (a challenger) had a website nor talked to the local paper. Both Republicans did and I thought gave good, non-tone-deaf answers on the Interview part. Also got a visit from the state house candidate’s campaign manager. If my vote hadn’t been predisposed against them, I probably would have voted for the Republicans.

      On the other hand, maybe none of this matters. The county went blue in a pretty big way. Mooney carried the county but he is pretty much it. (I’d attribute it to Mooney being a resident, but so is Morrisey – this county is popular for politicians from other states who move to West Virginia to run for office.) Voted “No” on Amendment 1 by a pretty significant margin, too. So if they were focusing all of their efforts on mobilization, maybe it worked out after all? Or it could be that we had a pretty big local issue that the Democrats were on the NIMBY (and popular) side of.Report

  26. North says:

    Sort of a B grade performance for the Dems over all. The House is good and they got a lot of pickups at the state level. Nobody mentioned that ol’ Scott Walker went down in Wisconsin and that’s quite a big deal because it suggests that the Trump constituency in the Midwest was more a 2016 fluke than a systematic change.

    As waves go it certainly isn’t a tsunami but it ain’t nothing.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to North says:

      I think it was a great performance but as Slate said we were expecting the freak probability occurrence.Report

      • And had some bad luck. Where they came up short, they seemed to come up *barely* short.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:

          I’ve said that already 🙂 Almost every single inplay election last night was within the margin of error especially in the House. Nelson can plausibly call for a recount because of how tight the margins are. Gillum could have as well. Abrams is fine for making this decision as well. It is notable that Kemp’s full racist voter suppression techniques still only nabbed him the narrowest of victories so far.

          I think all of this shows a very fired up Democratic base in red states. In a less Trumpian year Abrams would probably be at a solid 45 percent or less?

          Also notable in Georgia is the Karen Handel looks she is going to lose by less than 1 percent. Considering this was Newt’s district and also the first hyped special election, this is a sweet if possibly temporary victory.

          Were there any other strong defeats in the House besides Barbara Comstock?

          538 always had a lot of these elections as being neck and neck when it came to polling and chances and they were right. Some slightly different circumstances could have had Democrats suffering a horrible defeat or Republicans looking at a 60 seat loss.

          Some of these wins are going to switch back in 2020 probably like Oklahoma 5. But Democrats managed to finally get some districts in the NE and Pacific West that have been tipping blue for a long time. Those will probably stay,

          The close races also give the chance for Democrats to pick up a few more seats.

          Lena Epstein must really be hitting herself for inviting Loren Jacobs.

          Gerrymandering really helped the Republicans fight off a title wave here. It gave them a great sea wall.Report

          • Philip H in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            if Democrats learn anything from Republicans, it has to be that politics is a long game, played in all 435 congressional districts, all states, and across multiple years.

            And by God have a message that’s more then I’m Not with Trump.Report

  27. pillsy says:

    There are many good and bad things from yesterday’s election results, but the fact that IA-4 returned flaming Nazi shitpile Steve King to the House stands out as one of the most repulsive.Report

  28. Jaybird says:

    Re: The National Popular Vote

    From what I understand, Democrats won 22 Senate elections last night and the Republicans won 10. (23? Bernie, man…)

    On top of that, California had a Democrat vs. Democrat race so that every single California senate vote counts as a “Democrat” vote so I’m not sure that yelling about the popular vote and counting the California votes isn’t slight of hand on some level.

    While I understand being upset that California’s votes past 50%+1 for either one of their candidates were somehow wasted, I’m not sure that those votes are evidence that democracy is failing.

    But I get the feeling that we’re going to be reeeeeeeing the National Popular Vote for a while.Report

    • Sam Wilkinson in reply to Jaybird says:

      @jaybird When one side of the American political divide is getting vastly more power in exchange for millions of fewer votes, democracy isn’t working so well. This is going to come to a head, sooner or later, because the much less popular side is waging political war against the much more popular side, and is being rewarded by the systemic advantage it enjoys.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

        Yeah, the shorthand I use is “divorce or war”.

        But I’ve still a soft spot in my heart for this one:

        Go outside with your gun.

        Are you the only one outside with your gun?

        Go back inside.

        It’s not time yet.


      • Jaybird in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

        As for your numbers, Democrats got a lot more Senate votes last night and they won a lot more Senate elections last night. They won 22 (or 23, if you count Bernie).Report

        • Will Truman in reply to Jaybird says:

          Yeah. Not much doubt the senate favors the GOP over Democrats more generally, but between the fact that they almost won 2/3 of the seats as well as the California thing, looking at “the popular vote” from last night isn’t the best indication of that. (Unlike the House…)Report

          • pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

            The Senate is what it is. It’s stupid, but it’s pretty much always been stupid and making it not-stupid may well be unconstitutional.

            The situation with the House is fundamentally indefensible. As is the common Rightward attitude that Dems should be satisfied with the status quo for reasons.Report

            • Will Truman in reply to pillsy says:

              Agree about the House. I don’t think there is a problem with there being *some* slack – just about every system has it, even proportional representation ones – but this isn’t just slack. It’s a pretty big skew – created largely if not entirely by the party that benefits – in the house that’s supposed to at least keep it to a minimum.Report

            • Mike Schilling in reply to pillsy says:

              The “repeal the 17th” crowd wants to make it stupider.

              Based on altruistic constitutional principles, of course.Report

      • KenB in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

        The Donkeys front office put together a great plan to have their team be the best at gaining a lot of yards. Unfortunately they forgot that what they really need to do is score points, and the one doesn’t always follow from the other.

        So the natural next step is to complain about the long-standing rules and see if they can change them to say that the team that gains the most yards wins.Report

        • Sam Wilkinson in reply to KenB says:

          @kenB You read these things as complaints. They’re systemic realities. Our system is designed to empower conservative white people who will oppose, or at least slow, change. The system is producing precisely that. People often celebrate this; they will compliment they wisdom of the Founders in having created a system that stalls change. But then, in the next breath, they will then insist that this either is not the case or that to be concerned about its inherent injustice is to reject America. The reality is the reality though. There’s nothing changing it.Report

          • KenB in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

            OK, fair enough — I’d just make a couple of points then:

            * The identity politics framing is ahistorical — for the Founders, the entire electorate was just white males, so both those who were supported and those who were thwarted by the system were necessarily white males.

            * If there’s a general acceptance that the system won’t change, then all the more reason for the party and its members to look at how to improve outcomes within the system. That could include somewhat de-emphasizing identity politics so that the electorally-empowered but insufficiently-woke white males aren’t being chased away. Either that or mass Democratic migration to the more sparsely-populated parts of the country.Report

            • Maribou in reply to KenB says:

              “for the Founders, the entire electorate was just white males”

              Framing it the way you just did is at least as ahistorical, in that it implies that was something that just happened to them rather than something they *chose* to do. Both the 3/5ths compromise and their choice to ignore the women – often women they knew well and claimed to respect intellectually – who argued for suffrage *even before the founding* demonstrate that they were setting up that system, the system that only allowed white males to vote, by choice rather than by unthinking default – that choice is part of what Sam et al are referring to as the system’s design. (I suspect there is rather more evidence than that, but those two things spring rather obviously to mind.)

              It’s true that, historically, it would have been very unlikely for them to make any other choice, but it’s not because no one back then would have or could have made it. The founders collectively chose to ignore the people they knew who had a different, broader vision of equality.

              And I would argue that the power differentials in play are exactly *why* they could just go on ahead and ignore those other people, and that that effect has diminished, but not disappeared, over time … but of course I would argue that.Report

              • KenB in reply to Maribou says:

                I think you misunderstood me — of course the Founders purposely didn’t enfranchise women & minorities, but any system they came up with would have done that. My understanding of Sam’s original comment was that he was specifically talking about the counter-majoritarian, representative structure the founders put into place — any democratic majorities they were trying to slow down through this structure would have also been made up of white males, so it doesn’t make sense to say that they designed this specific model to benefit white males.Report

              • Sam Wilkinson in reply to KenB says:

                It was designed to benefit a specifically-smaller group of white males, not white males generally.Report

          • Stillwater in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

            You read these things as complaints. They’re systemic realities.


            • George Turner in reply to Stillwater says:

              Well, that’s because the Founders looked to other historical democracies for data, specifically Greece, Switzerland, and Iceland. Iceland’s democracy, for example, is designed to keep only white Icelanders in power.Report

  29. aaron david says:

    So, a normal first midterm election. No wave (that would be taking both the house and the Senate.) Also, no massive Shellacking like Obama took. The blues did better than I thought in the house, but worse than I thought in the Senate, so my prognostications weren’t so very good. But, and there is always a but, I think that with the severely divided electorate that the US has, a split decision like this is probably for the best.

    I will say that if this was to be a referendum on Trump, it failed.Report

  30. George Turner says:

    Trump tweets:

    In all fairness, Nancy Pelosi deserves to be chosen Speaker of the House by the Democrats. If they give her a hard time, perhaps we will add some Republican votes. She has earned this great honor!


  31. Chip Daniels says:

    Overall, the big picture is kind of the same as it was yesterday.
    Which is that the nation is closely divided with most races in tossup category.

    The trend lines I see are that the Dems are finding a voice. In the 90s, to combat the Reagan momentum, they became the “me too but not as much” party, shifting rightward.

    But now I’m seeing the opposite.

    We are hearing campaigns on expanding the social welfare state with Obamacare and Medicaid expansion, enfranchising ex-felons and of course, empowering women.Report

  32. Will Truman says:

    I was expecting the Democrats to do better on this front. They’ll need to for 2020.


    • pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

      On the one hand, yeah.

      On the other hand, partisan gerrymandering of state leges is even more out of hand than partisan gerrymandering of House districts.Report

      • Will Truman in reply to pillsy says:

        Which is interesting, because gerrymandering should be more difficult with state legislatures than congress. On the other hand, state legislators are considerably more motivated (and opposition party legislators more compliant since it often protects them as well).

        But anyway, I’m speaking strictly from the perspective of making sure they can undo some of this gerrymandering after the next census.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Will Truman says:

          I always thought that state legislatures were more known for shenanigans and being cheaper to “influence.” Most of them are part-time and they get paid sinecures so they need day jobs. Scott Purritt’s career in the Oklahoma legislature eventually raised eyebrows with the differences between his lifestyle and paycheck.Report

          • States certainly can be susceptible to such things. I’m just talking about the logistics of drawing district lines. From what I understand the larger the districts, the easier it is to gerrymander. Which, if true, means that state legislatures should be more difficult than congressional boundaries.Report

  33. Will Truman says:


  34. atomickristin says:

    Great analysis (es?) Thanks to everyone who commented, more informative than literally anything else I’ve read.

    As most already know, Cathy McMorris Rodgers brings in a decisive win over Lisa Brown to remain the most powerful female Republican congresswoman. http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2018/nov/06/cathy-mcmorris-rodgers-appears-headed-to-eighth-te/

    Next time, my suggestion for the Dems is send someone better, this is a winnable seat for them.Report

    • bookdragon in reply to atomickristin says:

      Btw, I’ve wanted to ask because it’s one of those alarming headlines but I’m all the way over on the opposite coast so I know I don’t know the whole story: What’s up with Shea in Spokane? The guy sounds like he’s to the right of Iowa’s Nazi-curious King and wants to turn your part of the state in Gilead.Report

      • atomickristin in reply to bookdragon says:

        Oh sorry I didn’t see this at first.

        Shea’s a disgusting nutter, total extremist. Unfortunately he got in by running unopposed and then the Democrats sent a series of lousy candidates to defeat him – super progressives or kooks, none of whom are adequately funded. The Republicans have tried to defeat him themselves but haven’t gotten anywhere, and as we see with Trump they’d rather win than get rid of these people. In Washington, we have a top two primary so no one can run against him as an independent or Libertarian (well they could but they’d be eliminated long before the final vote).

        And our local paper prefers to run constant updates about what celebrity will be appearing on SNL to #resist instead of doing any real journaliism. So weirdly, despite getting attention on a national level, a lot of local voters have hardly heard about his faults.

        In the “positives” category, he really seems to care a lot about his district, makes the little people feel he’s on their side, is super in touch with constituents, and benefits from this weird cult of personality surrounding our local sheriff. They hate each other, so if you hate the sheriff – there have been some incidences of excessive use of force and coverups, and the sheriff really does have this bizarre cult of adoring fans which is offputting – Shea is one of the few willing to take him on.

        And all that having been said a lot of us DO want a new state, myself very much included. I would welcome that with open arms. Maybe that plays a part since he’s so vocal about it.

        It’s really the perfect example of what I’ve been harping about about – the district is conservative, will never vote for a socialist, just not gonna happen, who else do the Democrats have, any more? And they don’t seem to have anyone to offer, unfortunately.Report

        • bookdragon in reply to atomickristin says:

          Thanks. It’s one of those stories that popped up and gave the impression that Spokane must be alt-right central to love this guy, which was the opposite of what you were saying so I wanted a take from someone there actually there.

          As to a new state… I’d be ambivalent given that it sounds like white nationalists would pour in to set up the new Gilead/White-only Homeland. You might find a place you love changed so much for the worse that you long for the days of mere condescension from the other half of the state.

          Btw, if what’s needed is a good candidate who understand local politics and feelings why don’t you run? Again, I don’t know about the party in WA, but in PA the Dem party has been backing for left/centrist candidates that can fit their districts.Report

        • Jesse in reply to atomickristin says:

          Well, first of all, it’s hilarious, as a social democrat, to describe anybody that’s been nominated as a Democratic Party in Washington state for a competitive congressional seat as a socialist.

          But sorry, @atomickristin, us evil Seattleites are going to continue to do terrible things like make sure the government doesn’t limit the reproductive choice of women in Eastern Washington, it continues to pass special rights for LGBT people for people in Eastern Washington, install common sense gun regulations that will save lives in Eastern Washington, subsidize your meager social safety net in Eastern Washington so you’re not Idaho or Alabama 2.0 (and yes I know, the miracle of charity would provide, just like it does so great in other red states), and continue to protect the environment in Eastern Washington instead of selling it off to the highest bidder. I mean, it’s too bad the Carbon Tax failed, but we’ll try again.Report

          • Maribou in reply to Jesse says:


            I am surprised that I continue to find it astonishing how quickly many men who call themselves feminists will condescend to and over-explain to and mischaracterize the positions of a woman, should she happen to see the world through a different lens than they do. And *particularly* should she ever admit to being vulnerable, anxious, or afraid around the topics which she discusses.

            You’d think I’d be used to that by now.

            And don’t bother telling me it’s righteous social democratic Seattleite anger, I have more than two dozen friends who are brimming with that particular brew – at one point I spent so much time visiting them all that they threatened to make me an honorary resident – and none of them find the need to treat their Eastern Washington political opponents thusly (particularly those who are actually mixed in their positions rather than fully oppositional). They somehow manage to publicly convey said anger about positions – and frustration about tactics – without the snark and the audible eye-rolls. And at least to my ears, it’s far more convincing that way.Report

  35. Saul Degraw says:

    There are three senate races that are too close to call right now. All could go for the GOP. Tester is hanging on by the narrowest of leads in Montana. Nelson and Sinema are less than a percentage point behind in Florida and Arizona respectively.

    The interesting and uncomfortable discussion here is why and how Trump’s rhetoric helped in the Senate but hurt Republicans in the House. Also of changing demographics. Arizona and Florida are diverse states but the younger and more blue demographic is still working hard to overcome older and whiter voters who tend like Trump’s xenophobic and racist rhetoric. Many of these voters are dying but a good number could have anywhere between 20-30 years left to life.

    Montana is a rural and white state with a negligible amount of immigrants but states likes this are often the most fearful of change.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Did anything recently happen in the Senate on a national level that might have made local voters say “nah, I’m going to switch senators”?Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

        If this article is correct, Kavanaugh hurt Republicans more than it helped them:


        2. Brett Kavanaugh hurt Republicans. Remember all that Republican clucking about the “Kavanaugh bump”? Turns out it was just a “Trump-absent-from-the-news” bump. In the network exit poll, voters said by a slight margin, 47 percent to 43 percent, that they opposed Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court. Those who supported Kavanaugh voted overwhelmingly for Republicans, but those who opposed Kavanaugh voted even more overwhelmingly for Democrats. In the AP/Fox poll, Republicans won among the 25 percent of people who said the Kavanaugh debate wasn’t important to their vote. But among people who said Kavanaugh was somewhat important, Republican lost narrowly. And among voters who said Kavanaugh was very important—nearly half the electorate—the GOP lost by 13 percentage points.

        These are just states where the demographics are in flux or very different than the nation overall. MO is much whiter and rural than the rest of the nation. States where rural and exurban white voters command a plurality or a majority came out for Trump.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          Man, without Kavanaugh, Republicans might have won even more votes?Report

          • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

            McConnell knew this. But Trump saw something in Kavanaugh that just … I don’t know … meshed with his interests.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

              I guess I’m still reeling from seeing my two-maybe-three Senate R seats picked up left in the dust.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird says:

                Koz’s prediction a few weeks back that (D) pickups in the Midwest would be the underreported story in the run-up to the election was good, but incomplete. There’s going to be a lot of pixels spent trying to explain House and Governor gains and progressive ballot initiatives (marijuana, minimum wage, redistricting) passing vs Senate losses.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain says:

                Yeah, I can’t tell if that’s the Blue Wall rebuilding itself and sending a rebuke to Trump or if it’s a statement about the Medicare Expansion or people being pissed about the tariffs or what.

                And since it’s the Midwest, why should we expect the media to give a crap?Report

              • atomickristin in reply to Jaybird says:

                I know it sounds crazy, but it may, just MAY be that voters sometimes actually vote for candidates over ideologies. And I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say maybe even sometimes because they don’t like the way things are going and want a change. Maybe.

                But that can’t be true because that would mean that Hillary lost because she was a bad candidate and because people wanted a change after 8 years, and not because of sexism and white supremacy. I mean, for that to be true you’d have to admit that Hillary was an even worse candidate than Donald Trump, and that simply cannot be true. Hillary was the perfect candidate!

                Surely it makes the most sense that Hillary lost because the heartland is full of racist monsters who have now turned around and voted Democrats into office because why again??

                Oh yeah yeah…the demographics. Totally shifted in two years. None of those people could have possibly been the same voters voting two different parties. I mean that would be like someone voting Obama and then Trump or something – like they’re voting candidates and not ideology. Voting for change and not ideology.

                And as we already established, that would be crazy.Report

              • Jesse in reply to atomickristin says:

                “I know it sounds crazy, but it may, just MAY be that voters sometimes actually vote for candidates over ideologies. And I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say maybe even sometimes because they don’t like the way things are going and want a change. Maybe.”

                In other words, voters are dumb and contradictory and petty. Sounds about right, and before you get on your high horse about how mean I’m being to poor innocent Republican voters, I think the same of most Democratic voters as well.Report

              • Maribou in reply to Jesse says:

                @jesse I could be wrong, but I think your need to explain to @atomickristin what she really means here is stemming from you confusing an “is” on her part with an “ought”. She’s saying how things *are* (in her view), not how she feels people ought to be.

                At least, given her last few essay-length posts on the topic, that seems pretty clear to me.Report

              • pillsy in reply to atomickristin says:

                I think it’s generally pretty misguided to vote for candidates over ideologies…

                …but I just couldn’t bring myself to vote for Bob Menendez. Wrote in “Donald Duck” instead.

                Yet I can’t deny that it was a lot easier because I was pretty sure he was gonna win anyway.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to atomickristin says:

                I don’t know.

                Issue voting is a lot easier than candidate voting. Issues are abstract. Candidates might or might not be part of the tribe. Indiana, Missouri, and North Dakota are proving themselves to be more tribe Trump. The Democratic Senators were not in the tribe.Report

        • The whole “Hurts in the House, helps in the senate” theory made a good deal of intuitive sense to me at the time (and is not inconsistent with those numbers).Report

      • George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

        Well, Obama went out and held rallies for four Senators. Of course, with his help, every one of them lost. In contrast, I think Trump will go 10-2 on Senator rallies.Report

        • Sam Wilkinson in reply to George Turner says:

          @george-turner A whole bunch of that math is wrong. Obama rallied with Donnelly and Scott (who lost) and Rosen and Baldwin (who won). Trump rallied with lots of people, including Scott and Braun (who won) and Barletta, Heller, Rosendale, Renacci, Morrissey, and Vukmir (who lost).Report

          • George Turner in reply to Sam Wilkinson says:

            Rosen wasn’t running for the Senate.

            I think Trump hadn’t held a rally for Barletta since earlty October.

            Heller had said he vehemently opposes Trump, which makes full support rather problematic.

            Rosendale wasn’t able to carry all the Trump supporters in Montana, 15% of whom voted for Tester.

            Morrissey would’ve beaten Manchin had Manchin not voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh.

            In fact, if not for Feinstein’s Kavanaugh debacle, Democrats would have almost certainly taken the Senate.Report

    • Looks to me like Scott and McSally have it.

      I’ve been wracking my brain trying to remember if the late-counted votes came for or against Tester in 2012 and I just can’t. I do remember that there was movement, and it makes all the difference in the world in which direction.

      But if you just made me guess, I would guess it’ll move in Tester’s direction.Report

    • Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Montana is a rural and white state with a negligible amount of immigrants but states likes this are often the most fearful of change.

      Huh??? Fearful of change? Pelosi has been in Congress for 30 years. Feinstein for 26.Report

  36. Maribou says:

    “And that Minnesota division? It’s only by one seat.”


    Isn’t *any* divided legislature only by one seat? Otherwise one or the other party would control it…. I mean, I don’t think that tweet’s interesting because of this – normally *any* legislature working within the US will be controlled by one or the other majority party, it strikes me as kind of a fluke that one of them split out 50/50.

    Or is control one of those words that does not mean what I think it means, in this context?Report

    • Will Truman in reply to Maribou says:

      Not sure I understand.

      I think he’s saying that the balance of power is a single seat. Like if the US House had one party with 218 seats and the other with 217.Report

      • Maribou in reply to Will Truman says:

        @will-truman But then the 218 party would, at least in theory, control the US House, no?
        So the only divided legislatures would be evenly split, say 217-217? Or 210-210-8 or something? I mean, if it’s not a tie, it’s controlled?

        I don’t understand what “control” means, I suspect, honestly. Canadian problems.

        I also haven’t slept since 5 pm yesterday (not election related) … so I may just need to stop attempting to understand things, go to work, run my meeting, go to sleep for 3 hours, work until 2 am, then catch up on understanding anything sometime on Thursday. :/Report

        • pillsy in reply to Maribou says:

          Usually “split legislature” means that one party controls one chamber, and the other party controls the other chamber. So then it makes sense to discuss the margins within the chambers.Report

          • Will Truman in reply to pillsy says:

            Yeah, I think this explains it better than I could.Report

          • Maribou in reply to pillsy says:

            Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Duh. Thank you. My brain was blanking. (I think I unreasonably think of the house as the “legislature” and the senate as not-the-legislature…. which is wrong, obvs., but I’m running on gummy brain right now.)Report

            • pillsy in reply to Maribou says:

              At least gummy brains are on sale now!

              (They’re evidently a real thing. I have to get some for next year’s batch of trick-or-treaters.)Report

              • Maribou in reply to pillsy says:

                This made me chuckle, hadn’t even thought of it that way.

                (But yes, my siblings and I went through a gummy-obsessed phase when we were kids living near an old-fashioned corner store and it’s amazing what you can get gummies of (including brains even back then). And that was in the 80s! Lord only knows what innovations have happened since then!)Report

  37. North says:

    It seems to me that today is kind of the ACA’s coming of age day as well. It was instituted by the Dems and Obama and has been under assault for quite some time but it’s now emerged from a period of full Republican control scratched and dinged up a bit but still extant and functioning. It’s now above water on public perception and can be credibly credited for helping the Democratic Party electorally and mauling the GOP. Looking at the history of safety net programs in the U.S. this means the ACA is all grown up now and is probably here to stay for good.

    Pondering that also puts me in mind of other contrasts. Today’s’ the end of Republican control of all elected sections of the government and their list of accomplishments consists of a massive deficit fueled tax cat and… crickets? When ya contrast that with what the Dems got done in their 2 years between 2008 and 2010, well it’s a pretty stark comparison.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to North says:

      I had the same thought. If you squint a little last night could be viewed as a referendum on protecting the main provisions in the ACA. Medicaid expansion was a big winner at the state level and the GOP’s legislative Repeal/Replace nonsense was kicked to the curb.Report

      • Dave in reply to Stillwater says:

        I had the same thought. If you squint a little last night could be viewed as a referendum on protecting the main provisions in the ACA. Medicaid expansion was a big winner at the state level and the GOP’s legislative Repeal/Replace nonsense was kicked to the curb.

        I’d probably say the same for the systemic risk safeguards built into Dodd-Frank.Report

    • InMD in reply to North says:

      Agree entirely. If I was a Democratic congress critter I would spend the majority of my time crafting and trying to pass improvements and expansions of the ACA and daring the Senate not to take them up.Report

      • George Turner in reply to InMD says:

        As a Republican, I would also recommend that Democrats do that.Report

        • Marchmaine in reply to George Turner says:

          I think George is right.

          But, if *I* was a Democratic congress critter I would spend the majority of my time crafting and trying to pass Medicare for all.

          ACA is (perhaps) ok wonkery, it is terrible politics. Do politics better.Report

          • North in reply to Marchmaine says:

            Medicare for all? Huge, untested and presumably massively expensive. That’s a big legislative lift. Polishing the dings and kinks out of the ACA and expanding it/making it work even better? A lot easier politically. Though I don’t know if it’s worth trying to do with only one house, but the Dem wonks should be preparing an ACA upgrade/overhaul to be ready to roll as soon as they get a chance to enact it (either when they take the Senate and Presidency again or when the GOP does their historic flip-flop and begins pledging to protect it).

            Also the ACA WAS terrible politics. I’m not sure if prettying it up and improving it, while leaving the core structure intact, is bad politics at all.Report

            • George Turner in reply to North says:

              Those aren’t dings and kinks. The frame is bent and the main engine bearings are shot. Without the fines on poor people, it doesn’t work.Report

            • Marchmaine in reply to North says:

              In the fourth quarter of 2017, 9.8 million people, or 3.6 percent [obtained health coverage through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces or state-based exchanges]” *

              Forty-one percent of those polled cited health care as their top issue, followed by immigration, at 23 percent. Roughly 70 percent of all voters, Democrat and Republican, said the U.S. health-care system needs “major changes,” while only 4 percent said it needed no changes at all.

              Connecting major healthcare concerns in the entire electorate with tiny ACA dots is something y’all are completely welcome to do. But you are pew pewing with a shitty toy when you have a legitimate weapon around which you could build a story.

              But then, that’s kinda the Democratic way… worry about the 3.6% and wonder why the 70% can’t figure out what your message is. But sure… let’s talk systemic constitutional issues. 🙂Report

          • InMD in reply to Marchmaine says:

            I agree with North. It was bad politics until right around the middle of 2017.Report

        • InMD in reply to George Turner says:

          The failure to repeal it when the Republicans had a chance speaks for itself. It’s entrenched now.Report

    • Jesse in reply to North says:

      It turned out Nancy Pelosi was right when she said the thing about people will have to see what’s in the bill after it passes and they’ll end up liking it.Report

    • pillsy in reply to North says:

      Today’s’ the end of Republican control of all elected sections of the government and their list of accomplishments consists of a massive deficit fueled tax cat and… crickets?

      It’s asymmetric. Right-wing federal judges, a huge deficit-financed tax cut, and lawless, racist immigration policies are what the GOP stands for now, and they got all of those.Report

  38. Saul Degraw says:

    Did anyone catch Trump’s pity party and threats of quid pro quo if the House investigates him?Report

    • George Turner in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I don’t know that the House can investigate him because Holder established the precedent of ignoring subpoenas from Congress.Report

        • George Turner in reply to Burt Likko says:

          Politico story

          A federal judge has declined a House committee’s bid to have Attorney General Eric Holder held in contempt of court — and perhaps even jailed — for failing to turn over documents related to the Justice Department’ s response to Operation Fast and Furious.


          • DavidTC in reply to George Turner says:

            That’s not what that story says. The House asked the judge to hold Holder in Contempt of _Court_. The House has no ‘power’ to make a court do that. (How would that even make sense?)

            Holder and the House had a dispute, and the court had said Holder had to do something, and the House thought he wasn’t complying with that decision in a timely manner. As the House was a party to the decision playing out in court, they can can certainly claim Holder is in Contempt, and file a complaint about that.

            But that’s not some constitutional power, and thus the court refusing to do that is not some limit on the House’s power.

            The only conclusion you can draw from that ruling is ‘The courts usually won’t leap to _contempt_ just because one party wanted an extention and hadn’t gotten it by the deadline. And the other party trying to hassle the court into doing that is not going to work.’

            It doesn’t change a damn thing about Congress’s constitutional powers, especially since the Court said the Executive branch _did_ have to produce the documents…it’s just not going to _immediately_ throw the fricking Attorney General in jail because he tried to get a court to extend a deadline and missed it. It said ‘No’ to the people arguing that was contempt…and then turned around and said ‘No more stalling, turn over those documents right now’ to the Holder also.Report

            • DavidTC in reply to DavidTC says:

              Oh, incidentally, here’s the interesting thing for assumptions that Trump will be able to fight the Democrats in court: Trump can’t use executive privilege for anything before taking office, so the _entire_ campaign is within limits. Likewise, Trump really can’t exert executive privilege over his business dealings….you know, that thing that he said he wasn’t running anymore. Or his non-profit. Or his tax returns.

              There are vast stretches of Trump’s wrongdoing that _cannot_ be under the umbrella of executive privilege. They are going to show…all sorts of crimes.Report

  39. Jaybird says:


    Jeff Sessions resigned. Apparently at Trump’s request.Report

  40. Saul Degraw says:

    Mueller will be fired in 5, 4, 3….Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Doubtful. Mueller’s scope will be restricted, his funding will become uncertain, his requests for subpoenas will be curtailed. They’ll starve him out, not shoot him down.Report

  41. Maribou says:

    Blugh. I got tired of reading more-conservative-than-me takes on the election, so I went to my carefully curated FB groups and what did I find?
    People who should know a *lot* better (because they’ve made beautiful art celebrating the heroes of the civil rights movement and wrote beautiful *accurate* things about why we need to learn from them now) saying that voter suppression in this election was “some of the worst this country has ever seen,” and very young people (college age?) in one of my gender-support groups saying that cis people who bicker and get defensive when their trans friends are venting are “just as bad if not worse” as the people who truly hate us. The dumb rhetoric is EVERYWHERE ALL OVER THE INTERNET.**

    It’s definitely nap time for this old coot.

    ** It’s not really everywhere. Most of my people (save a very few Uncle Griseldas), regardless of their politics, are very reasonable and insightful and brilliant in their snark as they are in their hopes for better things. But there’s enough of it to make my eyes cross, nonetheless.Report

  42. Slade the Leveller says:

    George Turner: Iceland’s democracy, for example, is designed to keep only white Icelanders in power.

    What other kind is there?Report

  43. Michael Cain says:

    Arizona counted another 160,000 ballots today and Sinema (D) took a 9,600 vote lead for the US Senate seat. On the order of a half-million ballots to go…Report

    • George Turner in reply to Michael Cain says:

      Broward County Florida keeps finding more ballots, apparently tens of thousands of ballots with no end in sight, but they won’t say how many more they might find, or where they keep finding them. No other Florida county is reporting anything remotely like it.

      Rick Scott is suing their election supervisor, and if Broward’s vote counting antics change the result to Nelson, the Senate likely will refuse to seat him.Report

      • The required process in Arizona means that the two biggest counties — Maricopa and Pima — are always slow. After some research yesterday, I was not surprised that Simena took the lead today because (a) she’s been leading in both of those counties and (b) last-minute ballots tend to skew Democratic almost everywhere. California’s skew is so predictable that one of the Republican US House candidates there conceded Tuesday night while he was still slightly ahead.Report

        • George Turner in reply to Michael Cain says:

          Broward doesn’t skew. They just correct ballots where voters had forgotten to fill in a circle, or fill out ballots for voters who forgot to go to the polls, until the Democrat is ahead. Their election supervisor has previously been busted for destroying Republican ballots, in violation of state and federal law. They just don’t care.Report

  44. Kolohe says:

    Well, look at that. A next generation reboot 18 years after the original series concluded.Report