07 November 2018

Wave or no wave, it was a win

A few disjointed observations on the morning after a late night.....

1) Whether anyone believes the term "wave" is applicable or not, this was a win.  We beat the Republicans in every arena except the Senate, where they had a map strongly tilted in their favor.  If their biggest triumphs were wins in states as red as Indiana and North Dakota, they're in trouble.

2) The new House majority looks ready and eager to do what we elected them to do -- fight back against Trump.  This is the key to more wins in the future.  Voters turned out in such numbers because they're mad as hell about what Trump and his gang have been doing to our country.  Those we elected need to show us that they will fight for us, not make nice with the enemy.

3) The restoration of ex-felons' voting rights in Florida is potentially a game-changer, adding over a million new eligible voters in a state where about nine million people voted in 2016, and where so many elections are so close.  Similarly, voters in several states passed initiatives to end gerrymandering or make voting easier.  These will help us in future elections.

4) Likewise, the fact that O'Rourke came so close in Texas has huge implications.  Texas is not as red as people think; with its giant urban areas and large Hispanic population, it should be a swing state.  But the problem of low minority turnout has long been especially acute there, keeping the state redder politically than it is demographically.  A strong enough GOTV effort could shift it, and O'Rourke has shown the way -- where Wendy Davis lost by 21 points in 2014, he seems to have come within two or three points of Cruz.

5) While the defeat of O'Rourke, Gillum, and (probably) Abrams is a bitter disappointment, all three have made an impression on the national stage, and we'll be seeing them in action again.

6) We took at least seven Governorships away from the Republicans.  State-level power is hugely important.  Redistricting is coming.

7) If Abrams loses, she was only barely beaten, and by some of the most flagrant and outrageous vote-suppression scams since Jim Crow.  If Republicans need such tactics to win in Georgia, you can't tell me the country isn't changing.

8) While turnout was high by the standards of US midterms, it was still low by the standards of most democracies.  There is still a lot of room for future improvement via GOTV work.

9) The other side is still a determined and formidable force.  If our turnout rose, so did theirs.  Our base is bigger, but even 2020 is going to be a hard slog, not a cakewalk.

10) One major wild card remains -- the Mueller investigation.  Impeachment of Trump now would be pointless because there's no chance of conviction in the Senate.  Depending on Mueller's eventual report, that could change.

11) Here in Oregon, there were no surprises.  Kate Brown was easily re-elected as Governor (readers will be unsurprised to know that she got my vote).  Our Congressional delegation remains at four Democrats and one Republican, the latter representing the one mostly rural district that covers the majority of the state.  Ballot initiatives to ban state funding of abortion, and to revoke Oregon's status as a sanctuary state for illegal aliens, were both defeated two-to-one.

12) Finally, a word for one politician who didn't win.  Heidi Heitkamp faced the most difficult race of any Senate Democrat.  But she still voted no on Kavanaugh, refusing to be intimidated.  Yes, she lost yesterday.  But she lost having done the right thing.

Yesterday was not the end of Trumpism.  But it was the beginning of our country's climb back to its rightful place among the world's great democracies.

[Image at top:  Voters waiting in line in Texas]


Anonymous Burr Deming said...

Glad you mentioned Heidi Heitkamp. If JFK was alive today and writing his book, she would be included as a profile in courage.

07 November, 2018 07:49  
Blogger Martha said...

Very happy for my neighbours to the south. This is indeed a good step forward, and a step towards continuing to derail the crazy train.

07 November, 2018 08:14  
Blogger Ami said...

Regarding Kate Brown.
I'd find it easier to like her if it weren't for her remarks, oh, about a year ago about how she really doesn't have time to worry about saving money for the state. It was sort of a shrugged off thing... as if it weren't important. And to Kate, as well as most of them, it's just someone else's money. I'm so tired of being ripped off.

Fiscal responsibility is a big issue for me.
Oh, I still voted for her, but I don't like her.

I was surprised by the turnout here in Oregon. When I dropped off my ballot on my way home from work last night, there was a steady stream of cars in front of and behind me.

07 November, 2018 08:29  
Blogger Ami said...

And I'm really surprised at the outcome in Texas. I can't believe that anyone, regardless of party affiliation, thinks that Cruz is representing anything other than himself. What a twat.

07 November, 2018 08:39  
Blogger Tommykey said...

While I am glad to see the Democrats take the House, one disturbing development I have noted is that Democratic candidates can't seem to win statewide races in Florida anymore. Hillary Clinton failed to win the state in 2016, and yesterday the incumbent Nelson lost the Senate race to Rick Scott while the loathsome Ron DeSantis defeated, albeit by a slim margin, Andrew Gillum in the gubernatorial race. That is something they are going to have to address if they want to defeat Trump in 2020.

07 November, 2018 09:04  
Blogger Nan said...

This ... "The other side is still a determined and formidable force." is definitely true. But I think this election let them know we're not ALL sheepies and we intend to fight their bigotry and racism.

BTW, I was pleased with Oregon results as well.

07 November, 2018 09:44  
Anonymous Scottie said...

A grand wrap up. Thanks for the information and your take on the election. Hugs

07 November, 2018 11:39  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Of course I was disappointed Beto didnt win, I actually thought he had it (wrong again), and sad that Abbott is still in there, over Lupe. I do question when I look at MSM and they had Texas coloured as solid red, I see it as a bit more purple. Either way you go, my disappointment was short lived. Because I am happy to have just that majority in the House with Democrats, reason being, is because the Republicans been moving way too fast on slipping a whole line of crap through, faster than they can draft shit properly, this ought to at least slow down some of this stuff, to an extent, at least ... having more opposition, even with right leaning Democrats, because you have that left leaning crowd growing. To me, that was VERY importante. GOP traditionally moves fast, that they had that shit in 5th gear with Trumpster in there, and that high they been on (intoxicated big time). I mean, even set aside healthcare or whatever, they were attempting to eliminate ,more departments, consumer protections, EPA, you just about name it, they had more tax giveawayz planned, gerrymandering plans, etc. And Texas did make progress in my view, despite what some may say in MSM. Tarrant county, which is the west half of DFW, covering the Fort Worth part and Arlington (Arlington is NOT a small suburb, with a population of 396,000+) and Fort Worth have both turned blue, they been traditionally red for many years, this is a big blue area that connects to Dallas County, which has been blue and still is, and Dallas even got MORE BLUE last night with locals. Congressman Pete Sessions got beat too, by Colin Allred, so I'm happy and grateful for that. Much credit to Beto for firing up folks here too, and al these volunteers who got out and helped so many, and will continue to. Later ....

07 November, 2018 13:10  
Blogger Harry Hamid said...

I've really seen the change down here in Houston, and even though Houston isn't enough to change the outcome for statewide races like O'Rourke's, it's a definite wave.

For decades, EVERY county-level judge here was a Republican. That started to change in 2016, and last night every single Republican district court judge was defeated. In fact, every Republican county-level official was defeated.

It was amazing, and for some reason, I didn't see it coming that Harris County (always more conservative than the city of Houston itself) had changed so suddenly.

There's hope. These things have long term consequences, even though they're not as sexy as the headlines yet.

07 November, 2018 13:44  
Blogger Ten Bears said...

About Oregon US Congressional District Two, the "red" district. I've been trying to unelect Greg Walden, Oregon's own Donald T Rump, a trust-funder punk who's never done a day's work and doesn't even live in Oregon since before it was "elected'. Maybe if Kate Brown and the Clinton Crowd had helped out we might have replaced it this year but no, the democrats just had to re-elect it. It's almost as if, bah, I digress ...

Given that Central and Southern Oregon run something like fourth and tenth on the list of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country, I'd venture that with super-majorities in both the Oregon house and Senate Oregon US Congressional District Two will no longer exist for his next run at re-election.

I'm not counting that as a "win".

07 November, 2018 19:54  
Blogger bluzdude said...

The Republican's wouldn't have won in a lot of the places they did without their thumb on the scale. They know they don't have the numbers to win a fair fight so they use every trick there is to squeeze out opposing votes.

08 November, 2018 05:01  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Burr: I hope she'll be back, though it's hard to imagine North Dakota being winnable in the foreseeable future.

Martha: Yes, about time. In January we'll see just how good the derailing job is.

Ami: I ran into a traffic jam near a ballot drop box too. The only good kind of traffic jam.

If you ever find a politician who has never made one or two offputting remarks during their career, you're very lucky or hallucinating.

Tommykey: Well, our guys lost by very narrow margins, and next time ex-felons will be able to vote and there will be more Puerto Ricans. It's far from hopeless.

Nan: A lot of them are spinning this as a win for them because of the Senate, Texas, Georgia, and Florida -- as if winning by narrow margins in red states were a huge victory. Well, they'll see.

Scottie: Thanks!

Ranch: Glad to here the cities in Texas are becoming more Democratic. And Beto came so close! Texas is drifting away from the Republicans.

Harry. That's more good news. Houston is a pretty big chunk of Texas. It's another indicator for the future.

Thomas: Unfortunately resources are limited, and given that district 2 usually goes Republican by more than two to one, it was probably judged to be out of reach. If that Republican seat gets redistricted out of existence in 2020, I'd be OK with it, but be prepared for your neighbors to get mad.

Bluzdude: It's all they've got. In most of the country they can't win on the issues. The fact that they needed to do all that bullshit to even win in Georgia tells you which way things are going.

08 November, 2018 06:11  

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