The United States mid term elections

Written By: - Date published: 7:29 am, November 7th, 2018 - 101 comments
Categories: Donald Trump, International, us politics - Tags:

Trends and results will come through today and tomorrow about the mid-term elections in this second largest democracy in the world.

It’s a system designed not to change too much too fast; lots of devolved power to its constituent states, which are steered by governors. Plenty of really interesting races there.

Also balancing against strong change is just 35 out of 100 seats in the upper house or Senate are up for the taking this time.

The great big unruly and not hugely powerful House of Representatives has all its seats going for free this time. Although (ahem) nothing in the United States is free.

Will Beto make it against the truly serpentine Cruz in Texas?

Will #MeToo and #TimesUp and #Emily’sList get rewarded with more women getting up there?

Will any pundit or candidate mention climate change in the next 48 hours?

As with LBJ’s rise in Texas so long ago, will we get some juicy ballot box conspiracies to make it all seem so coded, so unreal?

Have the Democrats really commanded the messaging and the values to compel those few unpartisan families to change their vote?

Will stunning economic performance in the economy overrun the vile President Trump’s targeting of migrants – from Central America and elsewhere?

Will Florida overcome its coded racist elements and elect a black man?

Who will be the first pundit on Fox or CNN or MSNBC to say “told ya so”?

Can the United States Constitution still usefully check and balance the functioning of the executive, or is the United States in for a real questioning of its own structures?

Is there enough renewal in the lower ranks of the Democrats, either this time or for next?

Who is starting to look a bit presidential towards a run?

Will Fivethirtyeight get its mojo back, or is RealClearPolitics going to be the Go-To for stats?

All of this, writ large, live before a studio audience, is unfolding over the next 24 hours.

101 comments on “The United States mid term elections”

  1. Adrian Thornton 1

    This is probably worth keeping in mind during the hyperbole around today’s midterms…

    “Under Obama, Democrats suffer largest loss in power since Eisenhower”

    https://www.quorum.us/data-driven-insights/under-obama-democrats-suffer-largest-loss-in-power-since-eisenhower/291/

    “The Devastating History Of Midterm Elections”

    https://www.npr.org/2014/10/30/360133533/the-devastating-history-of-midterm-elections

    Trump losing big today would be more of an historical norm than a sign of a resurgent ‘blue wave’

    • Bill 1.1

      To echo what you said on another post, it’s so much the result, as what happens within the Democratic Party in the aftermath that counts.

      Those progressives that are running are either acknowledged, meaning that the Democratic Party shifts somewhat. Or they’re going to be dismissed as the establishment wing of the party takes all credit for electoral gains to itself.

      From lessons across the so-called pond, where msm and “blairites” within Labour circled the wagons against Momentum and Corbyn, (or even here where the likes of Turei and Cunliffe were taken out at the knees) I think we know which scenario is far more likely to unfold.

      • Adrian Thornton 1.1.1

        True that.
        It’s funny, for some unknown reason I (naively) never thought that the Liberal infiltrators in the Left would defend their ground so violently, I guess I never really understood that they are as (if not more so) dogmatically tied to their ideology as I am to mine…I suppose I thought they would be..well more laissez-faire about things.

        Turns out they would rather burn us all down rather than concede defeat, which is what makes them so dangerous.

        Post midterms, Bernie Sanders becomes the most important single person in US politics IMO, what he does and says, and how the Democratic Party hierarchy respond is the difference between Trump being a one term president or going on to a (very scary) second term.

  2. ScottGN 2

    Government at state level is more important to everyday life in America than the sclerotic federal government in Washington. Hopefully by tomorrow 2/3rds of Americans will have a Democrat governor at the helm of their state legislature.

    • Clive Macann 2.1

      Hopefully by tomorrow 2/3rds of Americans will have a Democrat governor at the helm of their state legislature.
      I hope not. Democrats are vile.

      • Gabby 2.1.1

        Oil of Clives is vile.

      • Anne 2.1.2

        Democrats are vile.

        So, you’re saying around 100 million people in the USA are vile? You’re sick man.

        • xanthe 2.1.2.1

          Perhaps clive was referring to the DNC not the voters. If so i agree!

          • ScottGN 2.1.2.1.1

            Generally the machinery and workings of all political parties doesn’t really bear looking at. But at a grassroots level I’ll take the Democrats over the Republicans any day.

        • joe90 2.1.2.2

          Well, today’s Republican party is all about white supremacists, oligarch families, and sociopathic corporates, so I guess Clive fits right in.

          edit:

          btw, a thread about the party of Lincoln

          Apparently some folks are just now learning Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. Lincoln helped to organize the GOP in the 1850s. He and his colleagues articulated a vital American ideology, and then put it into practice. Let's take a look at Lincoln and his GOP, shall we? /1— Heather Cox Richardson (TDPR) (@HC_Richardson) November 2, 2018

          https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1058410836908273666.html

        • Gosman 2.1.2.3

          Hang on, didn’t Clinton (and many of her supporters) call some Republican supporters “Deplorable”?

          • arkie 2.1.2.3.1

            What would you call those who march under tiki torches chanting “Jews will not replace us” and “blood and soil”?

            • Gosman 2.1.2.3.1.1

              That happened after the 2016 election. Are you implying Clinton had supernatural abilities to foresee what these people were going to do and was ONLY referring to them and not Trump supporters in general?

              • arkie

                She said SOME trump supporters are deplorable, so obviously was not referring to trump supporters in general, you said it yourself above. I’m merely saying that some of those who she called “Deplorable” went on to march under tiki torches chanting “Jews will not replace us” and “blood and soil”, which I would say is pretty deplorable behaviour.
                These people kind of made her point for her. It didn’t require her to have supernatural abilities.
                What would you call people who chant “blood and soil’, drive into protesters, send mail-bombs and shoot up synagogues?

                • Gosman

                  The trouble is her statement about some Trump supporters (although she didn’t really specify what proportion) being deplorable wqas taken as a slight against ALL Trump supporters just as the Democrats are vile comment is taken by people here as meaning ALL Democrats.

                  • arkie

                    Actually she said half of trump supporters are deplorables so… what are you talking about?

                    You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. (Laughter/applause) Right? (Laughter/applause). They’re racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic – Islamophobic – you name it. And unfortunately, there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people – now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks – they are irredeemable, but thankfully, they are not America.

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basket_of_deplorables

                    Also, you still haven’t said what would you call people who chant “blood and soil’, drive into protesters, send mail-bombs and shoot up synagogues. How would YOU describe this behaviour?

  3. Andre 3

    ” … Congress has all its seats going for free this time.”

    That triggers my inner pedant every time. Sorry, but I can’t help myself on this one.

    Congress is the combo deal of the House of Representatives and the Senate put together. It’s the entire legislative branch of government, the House is just part of Congress. While it’s common in the US for someone to refer to their House representative as their Congress(wo)man, it would be equally correct (but very uncommon) to refer to their senators that way.

    But in referring to which members of government get elected every two years, it’s very incorrect and confusing to say it’s Congress, it’s only the House of Representatives where every member is up every two years.

    • Ad 3.1

      Happy to be corrected

    • Ad 3.2

      Happy to be corrected

    • Bill 3.3

      You might be pleased to learn that your inner pedant has had an effect. After submitting my post on all of this the other day, I had a sudden rush of (not quite) panic, and ran back through the post changing all mentions of “congress” to “senate”.

      Same mistake as Ad but different.

      And not something I’d have been even vaguely aware of if it hadn’t been for an exchange with you in the past.

      Odd how (I dare say) ‘most people’ outside the US view the political structure as something akin to a plate of spaghetti with a President placed on top. 🙂

  4. SPC 4

    It will be interesting to see if a higher voter turnout impacts on the races at state level – Democrats have struggled at mid-terms (and thus increasing numbers of red states with voter suppression and gerrymandering) because of lower voter turnouts.

    If Democrats are to do better in future elections – already the common wisdom is they need to win by 5 points to get a majority in the House, they have to win back the democracy at the state level.

  5. millsy 5

    Could very well be a case of “so close, yet so far’ for the Democrats in most races. I’m not expecting too much here.

  6. ScottGN 6

    There’s talk building that Democrat Kamala Harris, the junior Senator from California is gearing up for a run in 2020.

  7. Pat 7

    “Reports of long lines at polling stations are coming in from across the country. At a polling place in Snellville, Georgia, more than 100 people took turns sitting in children’s chairs and on the floor as they waited in line for hours.”

    Hours??…why do Americans tolerate such appalling organisation…deliberate or not.

    • SPC 7.1

      And where there is no early voting they make them do it on a work day when most of the working class cannot easily do so.

    • AB 7.2

      Because deliberate voter suppression is neatly self-reinforcing. The best way to stop it is to voter for state governments that won’ do it. Oh wait, l think there’s a problem with that tactic.

    • ScottGN 7.3

      To be fair voting can be a fairly time consuming business in all the larger democracies. We’re just lucky we’re small here in NZ which makes it relatively painless and quick. The set up in America though with full House of Reps elections every 2 years does make it seem like they’re trooping into the polling booth every 5 minutes.

    • Sabine 7.4

      Well actually they don’t tolerate it at all, but there is not much they can do other then go to court.

      Georgia is funny, Brian Kemp who is running for governor is also repsonsible for the election process. Yes, the man running for office is the man who will count the votes. Its ok if you are a republican. So today there were electronic voting machines that got delivered to predominantly black/democratic voting sites without cables, running on battery ……, or Mr. Kris Kobach of the election fraud investigation initiated by Trump and just recently disbanded for failure to produce any election fraud, who closed down the one 1 ! polling station in a town of Kansas who is predominantly hispanic and democratic.

      Or in brooklyn, were one 1! machine worked and all others did not.

      I think they call it voter suppression and they do it in states that are republican or republican gerrymandered so that even if Democrats were to win a majority of votes the republicans would still win.

      But lets not talk about this……….lets talk about how the left needs to unify, get more guts, and be more like the others …..

      • Pat 7.4.1

        Am aware of the accusations (and many examples of factual) of gerrymandering but that is the point,…there appears opportunity and process to wind back such action and greatly lessen the political machines ability to serve themselves rather than the electorate.

        If they would but use it.

        • Sabine 7.4.1.1

          you can’t really do much if you are gerrymandered into oblivion.

          So no i am not talking about ‘accusations’ i am talking about facts that in the states the dems in quite a few places can have more votes and still not win.

          And if you don’t win, you can’t change it as one is not in charge. Hence, Gorgia, where a candidate for governor is responsible for counting votes, for any a nd all electoral issues and who is on record of having ‘officially’ suppressed about 10% of the voting populations, on issues that have been cut down repeatedly by courts, and who two days before election charges his opponents with electoral fraud because one of her volunteers reported a glitch in a computer system.

          and that is just one example

          https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/10/26/18024468/georgia-voter-suppression-stacey-abrams-brian-kemp-voting-rights

          • Pat 7.4.1.1.1

            again….

            “A proposition is also a measure or proposed legislation “proposed” to the members of a legislature or to voters, in a direct popular plebiscite, for their approval. In the US American phenomenon of popular plebiscites, propositions can take the form of an initiative or a referendum; for example, see the list of California ballot propositions.”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proposition_(politics)

            • Andre 7.4.1.1.1.1

              The rules vary from state to state. While living there, I got a bit familiar with the rules in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Wisconsin, and California. Of those, only in California were Propositions part of the general political atmosphere. Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are on the most difficult end of the spectrum for citizens pushing changes from the bottom up. Perhaps not coincidentally, gerrymandering problems in those two states have got a lot of publicity recently.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Initiatives_and_referendums_in_the_United_States

  8. WeTheBleeple 8

    Those folks in queues beset by poor weather will be glad of affordable healthcare I imagine 😀

    Go women, minorities, students! Be counted.

  9. WeTheBleeple 9

    This is a common sight in polling queues. Guess who they might vote for…

    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/15731e472b9ce32fab873dd6338a5c0a?width=650

  10. Cinny 10

    I’m guessing they have only one day to vote over there.

    How lucky are we in NZ to have the 2 weeks of advance voting.

    I do find it interesting that the democrat’s don’t really have a ‘leader’ to represent them, rather they call on Obama. Bring back Bernie!

    Trying to follow it across various networks, however am not sure the demo’s will get the landslide they want.

    The voting registration stories coming out are deeply concerning, including this from Georgia, dodgy Kemp.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/stacey-abrams-georgia-democrats-decry-brian-kemp-hacking-claim-181105164717142.html

    • Macro 10.1

      Around 40 million have cast their votes early Cinny (I gather that that is an all time record for early voting in mid-terms) – again it depends on each state just how easy that is to do.

    • Gosman 10.2

      Not only are you wrong about early voting in the States (as pointed out by Macro) you have also missed that Sanders has been campaigning heavily for Democratic candidates outside his home state.

      • arkie 10.2.1

        Are you willing to acknowledge how wrong you were about Clinton/Deplorables before attempting out to pile on another commenter?

        • Gosman 10.2.1.1

          Ahhh… no. Clinton labeled 50 percent of Trump supporters as deplorable. How she worked that out is anyone’s guess.

          • arkie 10.2.1.1.1

            You said:

            The trouble is her statement about some Trump supporters (although she didn’t really specify what proportion) being deplorable…

            I corrected you.

            Also, you still haven’t said what would you call people who chant “blood and soil’, drive into protesters, send mail-bombs and shoot up synagogues. How would YOU describe this behaviour?

            • Gosman 10.2.1.1.1.1

              My apologies, she did state half of Trumps supporters (Which means over 30 million people) were deplorable. This doesn’t detract from my whole point in that complaining about someone labeling Democrats as vile while seemingly ignoring Clinton doing something similar to half of the GOP support base is hypocrisy.

              • arkie

                Hypocrisy eh? Something similar except; she said half, the commenter was broadly dismissive of a whole party. Also you sound like you’re saying ‘But Clinton did it too’…

                Anyway back to my point (that you keep ignoring), how would YOU describe people who chant “blood and soil’, drive into protesters, send mail-bombs and shoot up synagogues?

                • Gosman

                  The people who chant “blood and soil’, drive into protesters, send mail-bombs and shoot up synagogues are nowhere near 50% of Trump’s supporter base. These are an incredibly small minority of people. Unless you think that Suicide bombers represent a significant proportion of Muslims do you?

                  • arkie

                    Still waiting for what you would call them.

                    These goalposts of yours are constantly shifting.

                    This ‘incredibly small minority’ (which appears to have been galvanised into increased activity since 2015), who march with tiki torches chanting “Jews will not replace us”, send mail-bombs etc. etc. what do YOU call them? How would YOU describe them?

                    • Gosman

                      A hard core extremist minority. Some of them are not even Trump supporters like the man responsible for the killings at the Synagogue .

                    • arkie

                      Thank you for finally answering the question though as expected you have minimised the abject awfulness of these people.

                      Robert Bowers (synagogue shooter) didn’t support trump because he was ‘too soft on Jews’. He was driven to murder over his concerns about the ‘caravan’ that trump has been hyping up whilst campaigning.

  11. Sabine 11

    Guam voted, D for Governor – a women . First flip of the country.

    Lou Leon Guerrero and and her running mate Josh Tenorio.

  12. Sabine 12

    also this

    https://www.rawstory.com/2018/11/judge-orders-harris-county-keep-polling-locations-open-extra-hour/

    Texas: nine polling places to stay open longer cause they failed to open on time.

    twitter feed on issues at polling sites

    and yes the Border Patrol training exercise in crwod control in El Paso was ‘cancelled’ as obviously it was a bit to obvious in the ned 🙂

    https://twitter.com/AriBerman/status/1059890523610193921?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1059890523610193921&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailykos.com%2Fstory%2F2018%2F11%2F6%2F1810496%2F-Voter-suppression-round-up-Where-are-things-going-wrong

    in fact this is a good rundown just in general
    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/11/6/1810496/-Voter-suppression-round-up-Where-are-things-going-wrong

    yes, its from the great orange satan Daily Kos.

  13. joe90 13

    ABC stream, because CNN is shit.

  14. mickysavage 15

    538 has suddenly spiked the Republican’s chances of retaining the house.

    Shades of 2016.

    Say it isn’t so …

  15. Gosman 16

    Looks like TYT prediction of a Blue tidal wave was WAY off the mark.

  16. SPC 17

    McGrath, Nelson and Gillum losing.

  17. Cinny 18

    cruz is gonna lose … you can do it Texas

  18. Brutus Iscariot 19

    Looking like a <5 seat majority for the Democrats. Functionally once you get down to low single digits, it's effectively a “hung house”, as marginal Congressmen from either side cannot be relied upon to submit to party discipline.

    • Andre 19.1

      I suspect the Repugs will find it easier to enforce party discipline on their wavering marginals. They’ve seen the example of Jeff Flake and they won’t want to risk the wrath of the rotting halloween pumpkin.

  19. Cinny 21

    That was really interesting, just caught up with my neighbour, back from the USA, he works over there for a couple of months every year.

    Most people over there are reasonably happy with Trump at the moment, this time last year not so much, but currently they are.

    Don’t think there will be a ‘blue wave’

    However…. COME ON TEXAS

  20. Andre 22

    Eight* of the Senate seats have been called for the Repugs, so there’s really no chance now the Dems will win the Senate. So that means two more years of the Repugs being able to confirm gargoyle RWNJs to judgeships and Cabinet positions.

    *if you’re looking at the Mississippi special seat and seeing Espy (D) ahead, that doesn’t mean anything. If nobody gets over 50% there’s another runoff election between the top two, so McDaniel’s (R) 18% will almost all go to Hyde-Smith (R), pushing him well over 50%.

  21. Andre 24

    The Voter Fraud fraudster Kris Kobach loses his bid for Kansas governor. Since that means he’s now free for Genghis Don to pick him up for a Cabinet position, it may be a case of careful what you wish for.

    • North 24.1

      For mine the picture of perhaps the vilest Trump clone Kris Kobach fall back in his own shit in the Kansas gubernatorial contest is so, so, so delicious ! Might just have another lusty squirt of Countdown’s Ridge Merlot Cabernet…..

  22. The Republicans have 50 senate seers with 11 to go so the best we can hope for is a hung senate and that means the , mic rats have to pick up all the remaining seats.

    • Andre 25.1

      Nope, the Repugs have control with only 50 seats. Because if there’s a tie, the Vice President (Pence) gets to cast a deciding vote.

  23. Anne 26

    Jesus, these results are confusing! Doesn’t help that the goodies are blue and the baddies are red. I keep cheering for the reds out of habit. 🙁

  24. Jenny 27

    Cortez for President in 2020

    • Andre 27.1

      It’ll be 2024 before she’s old enough to be eligible. She’ll have just turned 35 a few weeks before Election Day.

      • Jenny 27.1.1

        I had no idea there was an age restriction for standing for the President of the US.

        Why? When? Who?

        • Jenny 27.1.1.1

          OK just googled it.

          It seems when it suits the establishment, this is not a hard and fast rule. Being rather spotty in its implementation.

          In South Carolina, two Senators aged 24 were elected, but were too young according to the State Constitution: Mike Laughlin in 1969 and Bryan Dorn (later a US Congressman) in 1941. They were seated anyway.[5]

          ….In 1934, Rush Holt of West Virginia was elected to the Senate of the United States at the age of 29. Since the U.S. Constitution requires senators to be at least 30, Holt was forced to wait until his 30th birthday, six months after the start of the session, before being sworn in.[3]

          So technically even with this restriction in place Cortez could run. And if she won unlike Rush Holt would not even have to wait to take up her Presidency.

          • Andre 27.1.1.1.1

            “No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

            That’s in Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution. So it’s part of the original bit that’s never been amended. Good luck with getting a waiver around that that would allow her to be seated in 2021, having run and won in 2020 as a 31 year old. Remember there’s now a majority of rabidly partisan Supreme Court justices that would be just itching to disqualify her for any hokied-up reason, let alone having a rock-solid constitutional reason right in front of them.

  25. WeTheBleeple 28

    I think I must live in a bubble. I’m a bit stunned in the light of the racism, sexism and actual hardcore terrorism associated with this campaign, that Trump has not been outright rejected. And look how normal they’ve all been trying so hard to make it in the nights election coverage.

    Are they (majority) really that fucking jaded?

    Kindness.

    Kindness gets the house 😀 <= see what I did there.

    • Jenny 28.1

      The Syrianisation of the world.

      Just as the triumph of fascism in Spain, preceded the rise of fascism internationally

      Assad massacres hundreds of thousands, and no one bats an eye.
      The Israelis cite Syria as an example worse than them, when they gun down unarmed protesters at the Israeli Gaza frontier..
      In a copy of the Israelis, Trump threatens to gun down South American migrants at the Mexican border.
      The Nigerian military rulers cite trump to gun down protesters.
      And so it goes…

  26. CHCOff 29

    Along with rigged decks, would guess that the swamp is about near the limits of hysteria it can create, without going into anarchy, against the Trump presidency so americans are basically holding the line – which i’d say is good.

    Would also be bi-partisanly positive, if the Democrats were able to come together next time also in contributing a voting block that had a decent idea of what it was voting for as well in the US system too overall.

    The incumbents also have a classy first lady powder keg that is relatively dry still, so all up, while not the prior two victorys, would put this outcome in the Trump win column again.

  27. Ad 30

    Next time Beto, next time.

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