Election 2018 Recap and future elections

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It set the victory, it set the failure. The beginning came at the same time as the end, and for totally different reasons.

What a night. This was one of the most exciting elections I have ever seen, with several major victories, and major losses as well.

The headline in the New York Times tomorrow will undoubtedly be Democrats take the House, but the sub-headline should read, Democrats also take 4 additional trifectas, and lose two key Senate races by less than 100,000 votes.

Needless to say, there were some major victories tonight for the Democratic Party. Taking the House is no laughing matter. But, when the President has been under investigation for a full 2 years, his policies are wildly out of line with what the majority of Americans believe, and Americans are being turned away from the polls because they literally don’t have enough ballots for everyone (but only in minority precincts), or simply can’t wait 4 or more hours in a line to go to the polls,  we know that there were people who tried to vote but didn’t have their voice heard, and that did swing the election in several really important ways tonight.

When it comes to the Senate:

  • Florida, one state which we know has been merging precincts and under preparing their polling places for the numbers of people in their precincts, had their Senate race came within 60,000 votes. This is a crime, and is one place the Democratic Party or Eric Holder when he was Attorney General needed to bring the state and Republican Party to court for violating the rights of Americans.
  • Texas deliberately confused voters in order to suppress the vote. https://www.revealnews.org/blog/texass-voter-id-law-is-confusing-voters-into-disenfranchising-themselves/ and then their senate seat came within 200,000 votes, in a state with 28 million people.
  • Arizona made it hard for citizens to vote as well, and their election is being extremely close. The final numbers are not in as I write this article. It is going to be very close, and still undetermined.

 These three states will likely give the Republicans a 54 seat majority as opposed to a potential 52 seat majority if people had been able to vote.

    The Governor’s races were even worse:

    • Stacey Abrams voters in Georgia were very clearly discriminated against tonight, Kemp has a 3% lead on her, and will likely be elected governor. Voter suppression is one Southern tradition which refuses to die.
    • In Ohio, voter purging among other issues significantly reduced turnout for tonight’s election. DeWine will win with just over 50% of the vote. He will have the veto pen over redistricting about 18 seats for the House after the 2020 census.
    • Iowa has seen neither candidate get a majority in a classic spoiler effect.
    • Florida: With massive voter suppression, the Republican is squeaking ahead with a minority of the vote. He will have the veto pen over the redistricting over 27 seats in the Census for the 2020 Census.
    • Surprising no one, Alaska is now a Republican Trifecta. This was their biggest gain of the night, besides damage control. This was basically unavoidable.

      However, there were many bright spots:

      • Michigan: Gretchen Whitmer won! This is a huge step in the right direction, and will prevent Michigan from being gerrymandered in the 2020.
      • Nevada: We won the governor’s race, picking up a trifecta.
      • Wisconsin: Scott Walker is gone! Good riddance.
      • Kansas has a Democratic governor again.
      • New Mexico is a brand new Trifecta.
      • Nevada is a brand new Trifecta.
      • Maine is a brand new Trifecta.
      • Illinois is a brand new Trifecta.

      The worst thing of all about these races for the Senate and Governor’s races is that literally every single one of the close Republican victories coinciding with voter suppression has no-excuse absentee voting. We need to get minority voters registered to vote absentee in every state, but particularly on these states where there votes collectively will swing. Not just that, but in every one of these states they can permanently register as a no-excuse absentee voter, meaning they will never have to sit in line again. We should have been doing this aggressively since all of these laws were passed, and this needs to be talked about a lot more. The Democrats basically gave all of these vital positions to the Republicans by not bringing them to court for violating the VRA and not working as hard as possible to get people registered to vote absentee to counter their voter discrimination.

      At the state legislative level, some good news:

      • Washington: Democrats picked up a seat in the Senate, and 7 more in the House.
      • Minnesota: Democrats took the House, we are literally one seat in the Senate from a trifecta in Minnesota now.
      • Michigan: we had some gains in both houses, and with the governorship we can now degerrymander. The 2020s will be a Democratic decade for Michigan. Republicans are still in control of the legislature, but Whitmer will veto any gerrymandered district map, making Michigan competitive 4 years from today.
      • New Hampshire: Democrats picked up the State House, breaking yet another Republican Trifecta.

      And one piece of bad news:

      • Republicans picked up a trifecta in Alaska, taking the Senate and the governorship.

      When we entered this election cycle, Democrats had 8 trifectas and Republicans held 26. Starting in January Democrats will have 14 trifectas and Republicans will have 23. The ability to push progressive legislation at the state level has now increased significantly in those 5 new trifectas (Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois, New York, and Maine) which will give us an opportunity to make new progressive bills to benefit the United States on many issues.

      In summary, the main takeaway points are:

      • Taking the House of Representatives for the first time in a decade is a historic event. We can have a full investigation into Trump which will significantly cripple his political power and potentially send him to prison for election manipulation.
      • Democrats made several very important improvements by taking the governorships of Wisconsin, Michigan, Nevada, Kansas, Maine, and Illinois.
      • Democrats gained trifectas in Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Illinois, New York, and Maine.
      • Democrats broke Republican trifectas in Kansas, Wisconsin, Michigan, and New Hampshire.
      • Republicans gained a Trifecta in Alaska.
      • Democrats won more overall votes for the Governors which were up for election, and almost certainly won more votes for the House as well. This does not bode well for Trump.

      This means that Democrats can make improvements in the states they gained trifectas in, such as:

      • Universal mail in voting to ensure people are able to vote, or at a bare minimum so anyone can opt in to a mail in ballot.
      • Ensure those states are not gerrymandered after the census in 2 years at a bare minimum. Ideally push for proportional representation.
      • Guarantee health coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.
      • Improve local transit and AMTRAK.
      • Reduce the cost of college.
      • Fully fund our schools, and make curricula which are better than what we have currently.
      • Implement more progressive tax codes and push for EITC like plans at the state level, which significantly help working class families.

      Local Washington State Analysis:

      The results are not complete yet, but there are currently several sitting Republicans who might be kicked out of office. The Democrats are guaranteed a majority, but the question is by how much. Half of the Senate is up,  they hold office for 4 years. Every Representative is up for election. Here are the seats which might be flipping:

      • 5th LD (East King County): Two House seats could be pickups for the Democrats.
      • 6th LD (Spokane County): There is a dead heat between Dave Wilson (D)  and Jenny Graham (R) for the House, it could go either way as late ballots come in. Graham is ahead by 295 votes as of this morning. Currently held by a Republican.
      • 10th LD: Dave Paul (D) leads Dave Hayes (R) by 367 votes for the House. Currently held by a Republican.
      • 19th LD: Dead heat between Erin Frasier (D) and Jim Walsh (R) for the House. Currently held by Walsh.
      • 26th LD (Gig Harbor): Emily Randall (D) leads Mary McClendon (R) by 423 votes for the Senate. Currently Republican
      • 28th LD (Fort Lewis/McChord): Mari Leavitt (D) leads incumbent Dick Muri by 676 votes.
      • 35th LD (Mason County): The Republicans are all ahead by at least 1000 votes as of right now. (Tim Sheldon has caucused with the Republicans)
      • 42nd LD (Whatcom County): All three races are in a dead heat right now and could go either way.
      • 47th LD (Auburn): Joe Fain (R) leads by 90 votes. Mark Hargrove (R) will likely be replaced.
      • 48th LD (Redmond): Patty Kuderer leads Rodney Tom and will win. Rodney Tom caucused with the Republicans.

      What this means for 2020 and 2022

      Senate

      The Senate was basically a complete clusterfuck. The Republicans should have 52 seats, but they won 54 because of voter discrimination. There are going to be 4 or 5 seats which we can pick up fairly easily in 2020 in Arizona, Iowa, Maine, Colorado, and Georgia. If we get lucky we might be able to pick up West Virginia and North Carolina as well. This means I expect that the Republicans will have probably a maximum of 51 seats after the 2020 election where Democrats pick up Iowa, Maine, and Colorado. The odds of this go up significantly if we have massive campaigns to get voters registered to vote absentee in those 5 states, all of which currently have no-excuse absentee voting to counter their voter suppression. In the very best case scenario where we pick them all up we could have 53 seats in total, and a Trifecta.

      What is horrible about this is that without an aggressive ground game to register as many voters as possible as absentee before this election is we could have almost guarantee to have had a Trifecta in 2021 if we had taken Arizona and Florida this week. But because the Democratic Party did not make a major point to register as many people as possible as absentee (because the odds are very much in our favor when it comes to values) before this week’s election the chance of having a Trifecta in 2021 is almost null. There were many factors which played in, but the lack of a ground game in those states to get people to become absentee, with phone banking and knocking on doors was the clincher because it would have been so easy to set it up.

      House

      This will be the last election with districts based on the 2010 census. I expect we will have a small majority because after Trump and co. are going to trial the Republicans will be at a major disadvantage. Reduced gerrymandering in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania due to this week’s gubernatorial elections will make the 2020s a lot easier to get Democrats elected to the House. Not having the governorships of Ohio and Florida will make it harder than it needs to be.

      Governors

      We will probably lose Louisiana next year.

      I predict few changes in 2020 for the Governor races. We might be able to pick up Vermont and New Hampshire, and will potentially lose North Carolina. But, North Carolina has no-excuse absentee voting which can counter any voter disenfranchisement, giving us an advantage in North Carolina.

      In 2022 the same governors who were elected will be up again. This will be our chance to take Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, and Iowa. We might be able to get Massachusetts and Maryland as well. These will be won by ensuring voters have access to voting. We will probably lose Kansas.

      In the best probable scenario, I predict that in 2023 Democrats will be able to pick up Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Vermont, on top of keeping most of the states we picked up this year, specifically New Mexico, Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan, Maine. This will mean 12 more states will have Democratic Governors in 2023 for a total of the 16 we currently have, for 28 in total and a majority of the population of the United States. The stretch goal will be Texas given the slim margin in the Senate this week between O’Rourke and Cruz, especially given changing demographics.

      President

      Oh yeah, the President. If the election had been held this week, Trump would have lost to almost any candidate. His approval rating is negative in states representing over half the votes of the electoral college. He will likely be the first one term president in 28 years (since George H.W. Bush) due to his sinking popularity and scandals. Democrats only need to pick up Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania in order to win. Registering as many voters as possible to vote absentee in Florida, Georgia, and Ohio will significantly help ensure that Trump is a one term president, which given his actions on a wide variety of issues.

      The final question is who will be the candidate. Kamala Harris is leading the betting pools right now right behind Donald Trump, with Beto O’Rourke leading  right behind her, and I expect that once the field narrows the Democrat will be on top of the betting pool yet again. Despite this Elizabeth Warren is leading the Democratic Nominee. I highly doubt Joe Biden will run. I would be happy with anyone of these three likely candidates to run, any one of them will easily defeat Trump, and I will support any one of them. My biggest bet is on Kamala Harris right now, given she has a trip booked to Iowa already, and she is very good at her job and would be a fantastic president. She will have no trouble defeating Putin, I mean Trump.

      The biggest thing the Democratic Party can do right now to ensure that they win in 2020 is to register voters to vote absentee in (decreasing importance): Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, and Georgia.

      Absentee ballot information:

      • Georgia (you must register within 180 days of each election): http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/Elections/absentee_voting_in_georgia
      • Florida: https://dos.myflorida.com/elections/for-voters/voting/vote-by-mail/
      • Ohio (You must register for an absentee ballot for each election): https://www.sos.state.oh.us/elections/voters/absentee-voting/#gref

      These are the most important states for the Senate, but for any other state just search “ absentee ballot application” on Google to see the rules for your particular state. Most states have this option available. 8 states and DC also allow permanent absentee status. The NCSL has all of the information on the options for your state.

      Final takeaway:

      It is  not time for compromise. It is not time for backing down. There are serious problems in this country which need to be fixed, and Americans voted in Democrats looking for solutions to problems which plague our lives. Student loans with poor job prospects, the dream that we can get health care in our own country, high quality cities with good transportation, and for the love of God, I can’t believe I have to say it in the United States, lead free water. My generation is both extremely angry and extremely optimistic. We have not given up on democracy, we believe very strongly in it. We voted this year, we elected Democrats, and we are going to hold their feet to the fire. I am going to lobby as much as I possibly to make sure we make progress, and get the change that our country needs. I am going to try to work with the Democratic party to make plans to eliminate voter discrimination, enforce the law, and ensure that our votes count. The fact Republicans took the Governorship of Florida significantly hurts our chances of maintaining our majority in the house after redistricting. This is a serious issue, and it must be dealt with.

      But for now, don’t get complacent, there is much work to be done. We have opportunities to make a big difference now, and now we, the people, need to work to pressure our legislators to do the change we voted for. 2020 is going to be the year we retake the Presidency and maybe the Senate. The 2020s will be bright.

      Keep fighting.

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