USian Mid-term elections - Here we go again!

IglooDame

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Voting finishes roughly 24hrs from the time of this post. Last minute predictions for the US House, Senate, state governors' or various legislature's races? State-level attorneys general or secretaries of state that will potentially impact the 2024 Electoral College results?

FiveThirtyEight at the moment is stating 84% chance of the House turning Red, and 58% chance of the GOP getting a majority in the Senate. Does the latter mean McConnell's "low-quality candidates" have succeeded after all?

Feel free to bring up any interesting stories about voting across the land during Election Day or about counting or the inevitable lawsuits following.
 

Birdjaguar

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The GOP is already claiming voter fraud and trying to disqualify early votes.

Fights over whether certain groups of ballots should count​

A major focus of the pre-election litigation has been whether entire classes of ballots should be tossed, with many of the lawsuits alleging that ballots missing some information should be deemed invalid.

Exclusive: Kevin McCarthy previews Republicans' plans for the majority -- starting at the border
The most prominent case is a GOP-backed lawsuit in Pennsylvania, where Republicans targeted absentee ballots with missing or improper dates on the container envelopes. Last week, the state Supreme Court ordered those ballots to be kept out of the count, but deadlocked on the underlying legal question about their validity, leaving it unresolved. Over the weekend, local election officials in Pennsylvania began posting to their websites the names of thousands of voters whose mail ballots were now at risk of being rejected because of missing or incorrect dates.

“My concern is that the number of those undated mail ballots could exceed the margins in some of those races, which could create real problems,” said David Becker, a former attorney in the Justice Department’s voting section who now leads the Center for Election Innovation & Research. “It’s better to resolve those disputes before you know the results and the margins. Once the margins are clear, that could create a political axe to grind.”

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement after the state Supreme Court ruling that it was a “massive victory for Pennsylvania voters and the rule of law” and a “milestone in Republicans’ ongoing efforts to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat in Pennsylvania and nationwide.”

Elsewhere in the country, disputes over the rules for counting certain ballots have played out in court.

In Wisconsin, a Republican lawsuit secured an order blocking state election guidance that told local officials that they could fill or correct certain information that was missing from absentee ballot certifications.

In a separate case, conservative activists say that they are asking for a court to segregate military ballots from the state’s count, after a Milwaukee election official successfully requested ballots in the names of fictitious military members and sent them to a state senator. The lawsuit is being brought by lawyers who were involved in the push to reverse the 2020 election and whom continue to promote conspiracy theories about Trump’s loss.

In Michigan, the Republican candidate for secretary of state is requesting that a court to throw out a large swath of absentee ballots in Detroit – where the state’s largest Black population lives – on the claim that any absentee ballot not requested or returned in person to the clerk’s office is unlawful.

Not all of the lawsuits have been successful. But even the cases that have failed to produce the orders that the challengers were seeking could be a source of post-election litigation, particularly if the margin of an election is close enough that the group of disputed ballots would make the difference.

Jeff Loperfido, a senior counsel at the civil rights group the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, pointed to a lawsuit where North Carolina Republicans failed to block state election board guidance barring the use of signature matching to verify absentee ballots.

Loperfido sees the potential that their allegations could lead to post-election challenges, brought through the state’s administrative process for challenging ballots, alleging the ballots are invalid because the signatures don’t match.

“Laying the foundation for citizen or organizational mass challenges is definitely something we have been keeping an eye on,” Loperfido said.

The Republicans’ lawyer in the in the case declined to comment.
 

Birdjaguar

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Federal government sends monitors to all states for elections. They will have them in place tomorrow, except in MO, where the governor said that "No jackbooted thugs from DC will be allowed to watch."
 

Broken_Erika

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Federal government sends monitors to all states for elections. They will have them in place tomorrow, except in MO, where the governor said that "No jackbooted thugs from DC will be allowed to watch."
But you can probably be sure that "independent" observers, often armed will be allowed to watch.
 

Edmund Ironside

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My musings on the midterms.

Democrats Senate pick ups

Best Chances

Pennsylvania = This was looking like the ace in the hole for the Democrats for a while. The Republicans after a contentious primary selected carpetbagger and peddler of questionable products Dr Oz, a weak candidate. However Fetterman's stroke may ultimately cost the Democrats the senate. This is at least partly as US Americans struggle to tell the difference between a cognitive impairment, auditory processing disorder, and speech disfluency (only the former should disqualify a candidate, and Fetterman does not have that). Still I do get why voters may be hesitant to vote for Fetterman after his debate performance. Still this is the Dems best chance of a senate pick up, they are (just) up in the polls, and did win the state in 2020.

Possible, but not likely Chances
Wisconsin = Ron Johnson is such a lucky guy, his seat always seems to come up in red wave years, even though he is a terrible candidate. Apparently the lead Barnes had was eaten away by a lot of racist fear mongering adverts by the Republicans. It is still close in the polls, and the Dems did win the state in 2020. However considering that the Wisconsin polls seem to be the worst at underestimating Republican support of any state, Barnes really needed to be up in the polls to have a decent chance.

North Carolina = The Dems ultimate state for being close, but no cigar. Beasley has been polling much better then expected. However Budd is a solid candidate as well, and unless midterms are a lot more friendly for Dems then expected, I'm not holding out too much hope for this one.

Ohio = Another state like North Carolina where the Dems were polling much better than expected. Vance is another poor choice of Republican candidates, while Ryan is about a safe Dem choice. However Trump carried the state by 7 points, so even allowing for Vance being a weak choice, unless this midterm turns out more 2018 than 2010, it's not looking too likely for the Dems.

Long shots, only if the polling is very wrong
Florida = Florida used to be the ultimate swing state, but it seems to be swinging right recently. Val Demmings is a good choice for the Dems, however Rubio is a strong incumbent, who might survive even in a blue wave year. New voter registration has been favoring Republicans, with there now being more registered Republicans than Democrats for the first time (though a rise in independents is also a possible factor in this). In 2018 the Democrats came within a hair width of winning the senate seat, this year, well....

Iowa = For a third of the state's history Chuck Grassley has been the senate. Why they keep voting for this relic is beyond me. However Iowa is another purple state turning increasingly red. Franken is another solid Democrat candidate, but the only thing which could likely unseat Grassley appears to be the Grim Reaper.

Utah = This isn't really a Democrat pick up even if it happened, as McMullins would likely caucus with the Republicans. He should do well, thanks to being backed by Democrats, independents and never Trumper types. In a less solidly Republican state such as Ohio this alliance might be enough, in Utah though, unlikely.

Republicans Senate pick ups

Best Chances

Nevada = Nevada has for Republicans been what North Carolina has been for Democrats; the state where they always come close but also nearly always lose. However the Democrats margin of victory has been getting ever narrower, they have been losing support amongst Latinos, which is especially damaging in states like Nevada, and unlike in Georgia and Arizona, they don't have a big name candidate either. Polling is incredibly close, though Nevada is one of the few states which tends to underestimate Democrats support. Expect this to be incredibly close.

Georgia = This state has very few independents, which goes some way to explain how the scandal ridden incredibly weak Republican candidate Hershel Walker is somehow ahead of one of the Democrats best senators in Warnock. Polling has Walker ahead by the narrowest of margins, and the polling in Georgia has a history of being accurate, so like Nevada expect this to be incredibly close.

Possible, but not likely Chances
Arizona = Considering how narrowly the Dems won the state in 2020, and considering what a good environment for Republicans these midterms are, the fact that Masters has consistently been trailing in the polling really tells you all you need to know about how weak a candidate Masters is and how strong a candidate Kelly is. It looked a lost cause for the Republicans for a long time, but has been narrowing up, so may not be a lost cause after all. I expect Kelly to win, but will not be at all surprised if Masters triumphs.

New Hampshire = Yet another example of the Republicans making things harder for themselves by nominating a hard right election denying conspiracist theorist in Bolduc (with an assist for the Democrats who have been controversially trying to elevate some of these crazy candidates). Bolduc was polling so badly Republicans gave up on this race for a while, but when the national environment started going back towards the Republicans they became interested again. Hassan has a lead, but within the margin of error, in a state which is more purple then blue. One to watch.

Long shots, only if the polling is very wrong
Colorado = Colorado is an increasingly tough task for Republicans, but they have chosen wisely with John O’Dea a moderate, who supports abortion access and immigration reforms, and said he would actively campaign against former President Donald Trump. Donald Trump once again showing how he cares more about himself than the Republican party has campaigned against O’Dea after O’Dea criticized him. Unlike figures like Mitch McConnell and Joe Biden who understand candidates may distance themselves from them to improve their electability, Trump has such thin skin he just can’t let any criticism slide. If there was any justice O’Dea would win, and the awful Lauren Boebert will lose in Colorado tomorrow. If tomorrow night turns into a red wedding for Democrats then Colorado flipping will be a possibility.

Washington = I honestly don’t know much about this race. But at least according to 538 Republicans have an outside chance of flipping it.


Democrats Governor pick ups
Best Chances

Massachusetts = Another case of Trump shooting his party in the foot. He campaigned against the popular Charlie Baker who dared to criticize him, even though Baker is the only possible Republican who could win in very blue Massachusetts. This has now become an almost certain Democrat flip.

Maryland = Another almost certain Democrat pick up. Larry Hogan was term limit. Trump and the Democrats conspired to ensure a completely unelectable Qanon supporting Dan Cox was put forward over the more electable Kelly Schulz. It will take close to a miracle for this governorship to not flip.

Possible, but not likely Chances
Arizona = Sadly the utter nut job that is Keri Lake will likely win. Other then Tudor Dixon winning, this is the only other governor race where I will genuinely be bummed out if the Republicans win. Her policies and conspiracies are terrible, however she is much more of a ‘personality’ then Katie Hobbs. Also Hobbs made a very questionable decision refusing to debate Lake, she could have highlighted what a nutter butter Lake is. Lake has held a consistent albeit narrow lead in the polls. Lake is favorite, though not as much as she might think (Lake declared the race was over when on Fox News while a Fox News poll is the background showed the race as tied)!

Long shots, only if the polling is very wrong
Georgia = This race should have been closer. However Kemp seems to have become increasingly invincible, even comfortably winning his primary even after Trump had made him his second biggest target to be primaried. Trump even mentioned he would back Stacy Abrams over him. Stacy Abram ran a very good campaign in 2018 coming close to beating him, and she was key to the Democrats winning the two Georgia senate seats in 2020, however her 2022 campaign has never seemingly gotten into second gear.

Oklahoma = This race seems to have come out of nowhere. In deep red Oklahoma a Democrat should never stand a chance, especially in a potential red wave year. Joy Hofmeister has actually been leading in some polls, but most people refuse to even countenance the idea of Oklahoma flipping. It must be said things are a little more complex. Joy Hofmeister is a very nominal Democrat, and she changed parties primarily as she knew she had no chance of beating Stitt in the primaries. Stitt also alienated the native American voters related to a lawsuit he launched, which in Oklahoma is not a great idea where they make up 10% of the population. Ultimately this is still a longshot, but the fact that the Republicans have had to reassign time and money to ensuring Stitt wins in Oklahoma of all place is mildly comical.

Texas = This one makes me sad as I have always been a fan of Beto O’Rourke, and Abbot sucks! However truth be told other than his great senate run in 2018, his other campaign runs have failed to catch fire. This was always going to be a tough challenge for him to win in the current environment in a state which is still not fully purple yet, I just wish he could be looking more competitive in the polling then he currently is.

Florida = The fact that 538 gives the Democrats winning the governorship in Florida no better odds than Wyoming is just mad. Yes DeSantis is a very popular candidate (and potential future president, ug!), yes Crist is a very underwhelming candidate, yes Florida does appear to be trending right, but still it is Florida, this should be competitive!

Republican Governor pick ups
Best Chances

Nevada = Polling has been tight, but has shown a consistent narrow lead for Lombardo.

Wisconsin = Evers and Michels are pretty much neck and neck. However being Wisconsin where as mentioned previously polling tends to underestimate Republican support significantly, Evers should be sweating a lot.

Possible, but not likely Chances
Oregon = Current governor Kate Brown is apparently deeply unpopular in Oregon, and the stink from her as well as the presence of third party candidate (and former Democrat) Betsy Johnson is threatening to sink the Democrats in normally relatively safe blue Oregon.

Kansas = Kelly is a relatively popular figure in fairly red Kansas. This personal popularity might be enough to keep her afloat, in what is shaping up to be a bad year for Democrats. She probably wishes though that the Kansas Abortion referendum was on the ballot now rather then having been in the summer as that might have propelled her over the finish line.

New Mexico = Though one of the most blue of the southwestern states, the governorship is within possible reach for the GOP.

Michigan = The GOP seemed determined to lose what should have been a very winnable election for them. The early GOP front runner was disqualified for voting irregularities in their nomination. Then another possible frontrunner ran into legal trouble related to being at the January 6th insurrection. In the end they went with Tudor Dixon an election denying, no abortion exceptions, media personality. She has been consistently behind in polls, but they have narrowed up in the last few weeks, and in purple Michigan she still has a shot.

Long shots, only if the polling is very wrong
Maine = I haven’t heard much talk about this election, but it involves an election denier in Paul LePage running in light blue Maine, so not likely but could happen in the right environment.

Minnesota = Jenson hasn’t been polling especially well, but Minnesota elections tend to be moderately competitive, and the midwest tends to underrepresent Republicans in polling, so worth keeping an eye on.

New York = Republicans have been getting pretty excited about this race. The possibility of flipping deep blue New York on election night could be the cherry on top for them. The stink of Andrew Cuomo still seems to be lingering in New York and hurting Hochul. Some polls have actually shown Zeldin tied or even with a narrow lead, but other polls have shown Hochul with comfortable double digit leads so it is hard to know what to think.

Pennsylvania = This is a surprisingly uncompetitive race. In the most purple state in the USA, you would expect Mastriano and Shapiro to be neck and neck. But the far right Mastriano is clearly not connecting with voters. Pennsylvania polling can be pretty bad at underrepresenting the Republicans, but it would take a very big polling error for Mastriano to win.


House
Not worth talking about. Thanks to gerrymandering the Democrats would lose it even in an average year. To hold on they would have to overperform their 2020 performance, and we all know that is incredibly unlikely based on the current electoral environment we are in.


Positives for Democrats
Every election race that has occurred since Roe vs Wade was overturned they have over performed in.
I read somewhere that something like 40-50% of polls being done are by partisan Republican organizations, so they might be overrepresenting how strong the Republicans actually are.
Polling in the last midterms was actually pretty accurate and even mildly underestimated support for the Democrats.
Early voting has favored the Democrats, and at a rate not far below 2018.
Early voting turnout has been high, and Democrats tend to do better in years with high voter turnout.

Positives for Republicans
The polls are the polling trends all favor them.
Incumbent parties always do badly in the midterms.
Democrat support generally seems to drop off more sharply in midterms then Republicans does.
Biden’s approval ratings are very poor, generally poor presidential approval ratings mean poor midterm rates.
Polls have generally underrepresented Republican support, especially in the last decade or so.
 

GenMarshall

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I already know that my state is already a safe blue state.
 

amadeus

hey now!
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I didn’t vote. I had my choice of generic R or generic D, both of which respectively support geriatric R or geriatric D.

The D said if I didn’t vote for them, I was voting against the fundamental concept of democracy itself. I found that to be a bit of a stretch.

No idea what the R said because I didn’t listen to them.

I ain’t paying two bucks for a stamp for this.
 

Gorbles

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Possibly hyperbolic, possibly not, but understandable when the other team is literally trying to rig the vote.
Folks shouldn't rush to call lazy without, y'know, like doing two seconds of research. Which is, funnily enough - you guessed it! Lazy!
 

Ziggy Stardust

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The concept of democracy is, a bunch of people vote and at the end te votes are counted and the one with the most votes wins.
The Republican take is, a bunch of people vote and at the end te votes are counted and if a Republican didn't win, it's because of fraud, and it's your patriotic duty to try to overthrow the party that won cheated

So .... yeah.
 

mitsho

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The GOP is already claiming voter fraud and trying to disqualify early votes.

Fights over whether certain groups of ballots should count​

(…)
The most prominent case is a GOP-backed lawsuit in Pennsylvania, where Republicans targeted absentee ballots with missing or improper dates on the container envelopes. Last week, the state Supreme Court ordered those ballots to be kept out of the count, but deadlocked on the underlying legal question about their validity, leaving it unresolved. Over the weekend, local election officials in Pennsylvania began posting to their websites the names of thousands of voters whose mail ballots were now at risk of being rejected because of missing or incorrect dates.


(…)

In a separate case, conservative activists say that they are asking for a court to segregate military ballots from the state’s count, after a Milwaukee election official successfully requested ballots in the names of fictitious military members and sent them to a state senator. The lawsuit is being brought by lawyers who were involved in the push to reverse the 2020 election and whom continue to promote conspiracy theories about Trump’s loss.

1) Why do ballots need dates on them? What use would that be? I mean the election and everything can be pre-printed on the ballot.
2) Republicans try to throw out military votes. Isn‘t that an own goal? Or is the goal just to throw doubt on the election in general?

With that said, the state of Democracy in the US is pitiful and only one question remains for me:

3) Are there OECD-election observers present? People from the international community that make sure the election is free and fair? You know, the ones the US insists on in other countries and which even proven democracies allow. I‘m guessing the US thinks again it is better than everyone else.:)

EDIT: ah found, it, 57 observers will be present, far fewer than necessary: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/27/us/politics/midterms-osce-election-voting.html
 

Narz

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Possibly hyperbolic, possibly not, but understandable when the other team is literally trying to rig the vote.
Folks shouldn't rush to call lazy without, y'know, like doing two seconds of research. Which is, funnily enough - you guessed it! Lazy!
The other guy is crazy, I already heard about his comments so it should be easy to beat him w good policy.

Anyone w half a brain knows most of the Republicans are nuts so focus on your qualifications.
 

Gorbles

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it should be easy to beat him w good policy.
So the assumption here is that if he isn't beaten, the opposition didn't run on good policy?

Why don't you stop to entertain the thought that whatever he's running on resonates with people? I'm not saying they're good things, or that people should. I'm saying you should really stop and think why people like this get into power in the first place.
Anyone w half a brain knows most of the Republicans are nuts so focus on your qualifications.
Which is weird, because people keep voting for them. You can't call them all stupid, or blame everything on the Democrats. At some point, the things the Republicans do have to be relevant to the electoral outcome.
 

Narz

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Let's put it like this, if two job candidates apply and one of them seems pretty nuts but I think he can do the job and the 2nd one says "that other guy sucks, hire me, did I mention the other guy is nuts" I might hire the 1st guy.

The Republicans have their base convinced democrats are like Bill Gates, smart but nefarious whereas they may not speak in fancy words but they're good ol boys who understand their needs.

I don't know the specific candidates amadues was referring to but the attack strategy didn't work on Trump. Some people like their guy being attacked, they just don't care, but appeal to their self-interest and maybe they will
 

Gorbles

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Let's put it like this, if two job candidates apply and one of them seems pretty nuts but I think he can do the job and the 2nd one says "that other guy sucks, hire me, did I mention the other guy is nuts" I might hire the 1st guy.
If you hire a person you think seems nuts because another guy made the valid point that he seems nuts (which is what you're thinking), in my opinion that's a terrible way to handle recruitment. But you do you.

We're not talking about the presidency. We're talking about local races where attack ads are the norm. Have been the norm for ages. To say "the Democrats should stop doing them" is really silly advice. Because guess what! The Republicans are still going to!
 

Bamspeedy

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1) Why do ballots need dates on them? What use would that be? I mean the election and everything can be pre-printed on the ballot.
2) Republicans try to throw out military votes. Isn‘t that an own goal? Or is the goal just to throw doubt on the election in general?

With that said, the state of Democracy in the US is pitiful and only one question remains for me:

3) Are there OECD-election observers present? People from the international community that make sure the election is free and fair? You know, the ones the US insists on in other countries and which even proven democracies allow. I‘m guessing the US thinks again it is better than everyone else.:)

EDIT: ah found, it, 57 observers will be present, far fewer than necessary: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/27/us/politics/midterms-osce-election-voting.html
1. Because of laws saying voting can only be done between certain dates (not too early, not late/after election day). You can argue what's wrong with voting too early, but voting too late should be a reasonable limit.

2. I dont understand it either, I always thought most military votes were republican.
 
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