This is what a red wave looks like; a preliminary analysis of the Nov 2022 election*

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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.

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9 thoughts on “This is what a red wave looks like; a preliminary analysis of the Nov 2022 election*

  1. I am mad at myself for believing the polling (which is what showed the red wave). I have been fooled by polling so many times – yet once again I allowed myself to believe Nate Silver and real clear politics and so forth.

    Oh well. Maybe the lesson will stick this time.

  2. It’s more and more difficult for pollsters to get representative samples, since people can block calls on their cells.

    I actually did not get any calls from Minnesota for polls, but I still get them for Arizona.

    I think polls largely now are used to lead the vote rather than to sample what will happen, and I would prefer that politics was less about the horse race and polls and that news would cover the candidates rather than what people think of them.

    The parties don’t really need them, except to scare people into contributing using the least favorable poll. Wellstone once said “Always run like you’re 20 points behind.” Never take any votes for granted. The polls may look good, but actually talking to people to make sure they vote is more important.

  3. Polls were not so good this year — despite lots of stories they weren’t that far off in 2020 or in 2016 — at least if you look at the large polls, not the small local jobs.

  4. Arizona has laws, intended to prevent fraud and pushed by the Republicans who hold the Senate, Legislature, and the Governorship, which require that all signatures on absentee ballots be matched to the voter registration, and that the absentee ballots are not counted until election day. Ballots are accepted if postmarked on Election Day and received up to 4 days past. One of the reasons that people vote absentee is that the counties are big, and the distances to polling places (especially in the north east part of the state) are too far to drive on election day if one is working. Even the 2 hours mandatory leave may not be enough.

    So, it takes a time after election day to count the ballots.

    Maricopa County’s board of election supervisors has 3 Republicans, 1 Democrat. The County Recorder is a Republican (lead official in administering the elections. ) Maricopa County was where the Cyber Ninjas were trying to find the Big Bambu (ballots sent from China would have bamboo threads. Why not rice paper? Don’t ask, there’s no logic.)

    Kari Lake, who’s seeing her lead slip away, is busy insinuating fraud on the slow election count, of course, because she is seeing her lead slip away. Conservative Trumpist Tweeters are tweeting democratic fraud, as the Democrats are somehow finding a way to slow walk the tally so that a Democrat wins. They are also claiming that since Katie Hobbs, who Kari Lake called a Basement Candidate that no one voted for, is the Secretary of State, there is a conflict of interest.

    But, the Secretary of State’s office doesn’t count the ballots. The county counts the ballots.

    The losers are really showing their true colors. And MAGA Republicans, when the makeup of the Maricopa elections board is explained to them, blame it on McCain Republicans.

    I was briefly worried about Civil War. No longer. If the Republicans start a Civil War, they’ll shoot each other.

    Also, Adrian Fontes winning the AZ Secretary of State is a good thing. He was the county recorder and worked to enable changes to make it easier to vote in Maricopa. He added polling places and also enacted a rule that you could vote in any precinct, so that people could get to their polling place easily and vote in their allotted time. His predecessor had cut the number of polling places, and many Bernie Democrats believed it was a conspiracy to help Hillary. (That was when I got off the Bernie Bandwagon – too much hatred and conspiracy mongering.) Asides aside, I talked to Adrian a few times and he’s good and smart. This is a win for Arizona, and I’m sure that Hobbs will win, too.

    Rick, what we see in Arizona is the result of onerous laws designed to prevent fraud. See if you can convince your friends to take a serious look at the unintended consequences of laws that don’t have the intended effect.

  5. The Senate now has 50 Democrats. We still need to keep Walker out of it, but it’s not a nail-biter anymore.

    Nevada does the right (left) thing

    There should be no paywall on that, but for excerpts:

    Ms. Cortez Masto’s modest lead — half a percentage point — was secure enough for The Associated Press to project a winner on Saturday night. Most of the remaining votes left to be counted were from mail ballots, which have tended to break for Ms. Cortez Masto by a wide margin.

    Speaking in New York, a triumphant Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic majority leader, called his party’s victory “a vindication for Democrats, our agenda and for the American people.” He added, “The American people rejected the anti-democratic extremist MAGA Republicans.”

    A Dec. 6 runoff in Georgia between Senator Raphael Warnock and his Republican challenger, Herschel Walker, will offer only a slight padding of Democrats’ majority or a consolation prize to Republicans.

    Long-time Vikings fans will send money to Warnock. The Walker trade not only brought a player that Dennis Green didn’t want to have, it gave a whole lot of draft choices to the already hated Cowboys who used them to win Super Bowls wtih Michael Irvin, Nate Newton, etc. Re-electing Warnock would be a repudidation of Mike Lynn.

    1. We have 3 sets of in-laws in Georgia. Their comments and pictures around their homes (two in Atlanta, one in Athens) showing the number of pro-Walker signs and messages is astounding. One brother- and sister-in-law have said that priests at their church have stated that “Walker is a better Christian than Warnock”.

      I don’t know how that runoff will end up, but it will be close and could very well result in the election of a right-wing extremist who is even less intelligent and more dishonest than trump.

      On a funnier note: the Nov 16 cover of the New York Post ran this comment at the bottom of the page:

      Florida man makes announcement: Page 26

      Gonna take a barrel of aloe vera to ease that burn.

  6. The polls have not changed that much in quality over the years. What has changed is closeness of races. The polls were not far off. I sum, they said pretty much anything can happen. And, a thing did in fact happen!

    1. Good point. The elections are closer now then in the past – really since 2000. Technology has caused that.

  7. It would be fun to live in AZ again right now, I think. Katie Hobbs has been declared the winner of the governor’s race.

    Now we need Krysten Sinema to remember she is a Democrat, at least until her next election.

    Aside – I think that the obsessive reporting on polls does more to steer the races than it does reflect what people will do if they concentrate on issues (as much as they claim to.)

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