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The Red Waves Bye Bye as Democrats Stomp the Face of Political Gravity

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | November 9, 2022 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | November 9, 2022 |


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I spent a lot of time over the last week thinking about what I would write the morning of the election. The gist of it was this: It’s not your fault. Don’t blame yourself. You cannot defeat political gravity. The party in power loses midterm elections. It’s just the way it is. Every single time. The Republicans picked up over 60 seats in Obama’s first term, and we loved Obama. For the party out of power, midterm elections are like spotting them 40 points. And yet, Republicans frittered it all away.

Granted, Republicans will probably retake the House. But Democrats didn’t lose any races they were expected to win, and just about the only pick-ups Republicans made were in districts with open seats or that had been gerrymandered to their advantage. Meanwhile, a few Republicans who were expected to win did not. It’s too early to say, for instance, but Lauren Boebert — who had a 15+-point advantage — is losing in her Colorado district with 93 percent of the vote in. This was her last tweet:

The Senate is tricky. If everything falls the way it looks like it will fall, it may come down to Nevada and Georgia. Democrats need to win one to maintain control of the Senate. Democrats are losing in Nevada, but there are thousands of mail-in votes outstanding, and it may take days before we know who wins that race (Biden didn’t win it until the Saturday after the election). Warnock is beating Herschel Walker in Georgia, but that race is almost certainly headed to a runoff in four weeks. If the Senate comes down to that seat, God help us. Donald Trump will put everything he has into that race, which will probably be the best thing that could happen to Reverend Warnock. It certainly helped the Reverend in the 2020 runoff. Speaking of Trump, reading this around 2:30 a.m. may have been the highlight of my night:

Fox News shitting on Donald Trump! Wow. It feels good. But while Trump fared poorly nearly everywhere last night, the Republicans dominated Florida, and so did the Republicans who distanced themselves from Trump in Georgia (Kemp, Raffensperger). Beto lost in Texas, too. Texas is not turning blue anytime soon. Florida is now a bright red state, and the GOP probably learned a valuable lesson in Georgia, which had turned from Red to Purple in 2020: Run a Republican who is not a lunatic and skate to an easy victory. Democrats may have learned a valuable lesson, too: Beto and Stacy Abrams should probably run the DNC because winning in Texas or Georgia is not in the cards for them.

The good news is: The Red Wave never materialized, and Democrats dominated in Governor’s races. The bad news is: Jim Jordan is probably going to chair a committee or two in the House, and Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene have been given no incentive to shut up, which might actually be good for Democrats. As long as they’re still around, we still have someone to paint the Republican party as.

It was a good night. Better than any of us had expected, given the political gravity. The media (and especially Nate Silver) are getting a lot of sh*t this morning for blowing it so badly again, for creating the red wave narrative. I’m not that mad about it. It just means Republicans are that much more disappointed. Also, as someone in our comments said a week or so ago, “Republicans always project confidence. Democrats always freak out.” Inaccurate polls aside (nobody under 30 answers their cell phone, Nate), the media was probably reading the room, and the room ahead of any election for Democrats is one of anxiety and dread mingled with just a little bit of hope that we try to keep hidden under our shirts.

There is a lot to talk about this morning, and I cannot possibly fit it all into one post. I encourage you all to read our comments today. It should be a good day for it, and an even better one if Kari Lake also loses.