Republicans told us they expected a red wave in this year’s election. There was absolutely no rational reason to say that, but they said it, and since they said it, the so-called but not-really “liberal” press reported it as fact.
So, since the Republicans, who only lie and would not know the truth if it bit them on the ass (which it frequently does in fact do) said it, and the New York Times verified it in breathless scary headline speak, let us assume it is true. There was a red wave on November 8th. Given this, we can now define what a red wave looks like.
- Democrats hold their slim grasp on the senate.
- Repbulicans will win the house as all out-of-white-house parties do, but by one of the slimest margins in history (and they could actually not win, not all the votes are counted yet).
- Democrats won gubernatorial races that were either flips or serious threats against incumbents in Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Kansas, Maryland, and Massachustts.
- Democrats flipped the legislatures in Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania.
- Abortion rights were enshrined in the constitutions of California, Michigan, Vermont.
- Kentucky rejected an abortion ban.
- Missouri and Maryland legalized Marijuana.
- Nebraska raised the minimum wage.
- South Dakota expanded medicaid.
- There is evidence that the November 8th election is the death knell for Donald Trump’s relevance. Finally.
So, that is what a red wave looks like! We love red waves! All hail the red wave!
So, how did it happen? Because all politics are local, and I’m not talking about pot-hole local, but local as in each election is in fact an independent thing.
- Independents voted with Democrats.
- People were not tricked into voting for odious candidates because Trump told them to.
- For the first time in history other than 2002, the in-the-white-house party almost cleared the table.
I suspect that the places where the Democrats did less well, they were hampered for these reasons, depending on the race (and this is mainly in the house):
- Highly focused gerrymandering by Republican governors.
- Trump failed to zero in on a particular candidate, so they were less likely to be rejected in an election that, in part, was a repudiation of Trump and MAGA.
- In a few places, highly privileged white supremacists are simply in too high a number to ever do the right thing.
- Inflation and other economic issue blunted Democratic support in some cases.
Analyses are still being done, but keep this in mind: it appears that Republicans outperformed Democrats in many areas in voter turnout (R+4). Republicans showed up to protect their MAGA nuts, and Democrats did not show up to protect democracy in as large a number. It was the Independents showing up that saved us, especially independent women, especially in Arizona, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. So, when Democrats say over the next two years “there are more of us than there are of them” and “we just have to turn up” tell that person to STFU and get to work on actually turning out Democrats and not just pretending Democrats turn out. Because they don’t. If they did not in this election, Democrats are proven unreliable.
Preliminary exit polling shows that abortion was the second most important issue across the board for most voters, and the most important issue for most Democrats, more so in certain states where the issue was more on the table in local legislation.
*Most of the data presented here, and much of the opinion, is stolen directly from Pod Save America, “You Vetter Believe It!” podcast.