- Date published:
8:22 am, November 10th, 2022 - 29 comments
Categories: abortion, Donald Trump, International, Joe Biden, us politics - Tags: gun control, inflation, mid-terms, nutbar candidates, Republicans, Ron DeSantis, US Democrats
Except in Florida, where Ron DeSantis led a convincing set of Republican gains, the Republican party in the US have had a disappointing mid-term election. The Democrats who were expecting to face the classic mid-term vote against incumbents, will be pleasantly surprised. There are still a lot of votes to count. This being the US, lawyers will be trying to set court dates.
Widely described as a red ripple, as of this morning it has left Republican without definite control in the Senate with 3 senate races not been called. One of which, Georgia, will probably go to a run-off election in December. As expected the Republican party will have a shallow control of the House with an unconvincing majority which is going to make it hard for them to control their undisciplined mob.
Anthony Zurcher at the BBC described it early on as “Mixed-bag kind of election”
This has been a strange kind of midterm election. Democrats are claiming victory even though they appear poised to lose control of the House of Representatives. Republicans are engaging in the kind of circular firing squads usually reserved for the defeated party.
It’s all about expectations. Republicans – looking at midterm history, Joe Biden’s negative approval ratings and a US economy that was struggling – expected to ride a wave to sweeping congressional victories.
Democrats, after watching their last two presidents get drubbed in their first midterm elections, were assuming the worst.Antony Zurcher, BBC: Mixed-bag kind of election
That really sums it up. The Republicans focused on inflation, crime and disapproval of Joe Biden. That seems to have resonated with parts of their base.
But outside of the Republican bubble the Democratic and Independent voters voted against nut bar election denialists, shot down further restrictions on abortions and anti-abortion candidates, and against the Trump anointed candidates. They also responsibly seemed to have voted for gun control candidates.
Rising prices and abortion were the two issues top of voters’ minds as they cast their ballots, according to the national exit poll.
Almost a third of people surveyed said inflation was the issue that mattered most in deciding how they voted. A large majority of voters also said it had caused them hardship in the past year.
But abortion was another top issue, with 27% of people saying it was their deciding factor, after the Supreme Court overturned a ruling which had given nationwide protection for abortion rights.
That said, voters were sharply divided along party lines – inflation was by far the biggest issue for Republicans, while for Democrats, abortion was top.BBC: “US midterms: How the parties are doing in maps and charts”
Probably the clearest example of a refusal to elect nut-bar candidates is in Georgia with senatorial candidate Hershel Walker. There was clearly a lot of split voting from Republican supporters who convincingly voted back in Bryan Kemp as governer, while voting for the Democratic senatorial candidate. Hershel Walker is a Trump anointed candidate with what appear to be similar levels of blatant lying and outright hypocrisy between his public positions and his personal actions – especially on abortion. Of course that could also just be simple racism by Republican supporters voting against a black candidate in Georgia. But there are numerous other examples of the Trump touch being off-putting to the general population of voters.
Where restrictions on abortion was a direct question uncomplicated by other positions, it was seems to have clearly been renounced.
Five states voted on changes to abortion rules.
Vermont, California and Michigan all voted in favour of including the right to reproductive freedom in the state constitution.
In Kentucky, however, the question is the opposite – whether or not to specifically exclude the right to abortion in the state constitution. The measure was rejected by a narrow margin.
In Montana, voters have not been asked about abortion directly. Instead they are being asked to decide on a so-called “born alive” measure that would guarantee any newborn infant, even those born as a result of abortion, the right to medical care that will preserve life.BBC: “US midterms: How the parties are doing in maps and charts”
It is probably also a factor in the high turnout, something that the Republican party spends considerable time and effort to try to suppress.
Midterm elections usually have a relatively low turnout, but over 116 million people went out to vote this year, according to early figures from the US Elections Project.
This is one of the highest turnout figures in decades.BBC: “US midterms: How the parties are doing in maps and charts”
2018 was a sweep of repugnance voting against Donald Trump, especially by women. This election looks to me like it was the election by women revolting against a supreme court decision.
I haven’t had a look at the state elections yet, but I suspect that when you factor out the ridiculous gerrymandering (MMP thank you for saving us from that particular political crap) you’re going to see problems for anti-abortion extremists.
But I’m sure there will be a lot more analysis over the coming week. What I am sure about is that the Republican circular firing squad will be interesting after this election. Especially between the Trump arse-lickers and the realpolitik parts of the Republican party who want to gain wider support.