Yo Voté
November 4, 2014 10:33 AM   Subscribe

Only 39% of eligible voters turn out during mid-term elections, a trend that historically favors Republican candidates (ie. not voting also has an effect). The Washington Post has the numbers showing voter (or non-voter) behavior by age, race, education, gender.
posted by stbalbach (462 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
They're running man-on-the-spot updates on the web page of the local newspaper. One colorful character stated that he only votes in elections that allow him to kick out incumbents.

Guess it's better than not voting, though in a heavy Republican state we could probably use more of him for a while.

I'm apparently 34% likely to turn out and as a "kid" (young voter) I was only 19% likely to show up.

If you haven't yet and are eligible to do so, go vote it!
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 10:44 AM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


I've struggled this election season to get young eligibles to register. They just don't see their vote as mattering. They know about Citizens United and dark money and they're cynical. It's hard to convince them otherwise.
posted by headnsouth at 10:48 AM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's hard to convince them otherwise.

Well, it should be, because they're right. It is pointless.
posted by aramaic at 10:50 AM on November 4, 2014 [5 favorites]


Huh, I'm youngish and my facebook feed today is wall-to-wall GOTV. (For the record, if in NY vote Row D. If in Night Vale vote Hiram McDaniels.)
posted by Navelgazer at 10:50 AM on November 4, 2014 [7 favorites]


It's hard to convince them otherwise.

recast it as a way to overturn the system. The more they get their friends and family out there, the more they can eff up the old statistics on the issue.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 10:51 AM on November 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


Just back from my polling place in a very economically and racially mixed part of Northern VA, all of 5 people in there, us two white people, a middle-aged Hispanic couple and 1 older black guy. as opposed to the Presidential, where the was a line down the block, or last year's governor's race even, where there was a small line down the hall inside.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:53 AM on November 4, 2014


Of course we have zero competitive races going, so that probably didn't help.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:54 AM on November 4, 2014


You could probably solve about half this problem by making voting day be a Saturday. Better yet, a whole weekend or week.

Making it so only people who can leave work early can vote is gonna skew.
posted by DU at 10:55 AM on November 4, 2014 [19 favorites]


Oh, and in Crown Heights (brooklyn) there wasn't really a line at my polling place, but it was quite active, at least. Lots of voters (and a very good staff.)
posted by Navelgazer at 10:55 AM on November 4, 2014


I voted AND I got my flu shot so I get to feel SMUGLY CIVIC MINDED all day
posted by The Whelk at 10:56 AM on November 4, 2014 [37 favorites]


This is Colorado's first election where they are mailing ballots to all registered voters (not just those who voted in the last election) and I'm totally curious to see what it does for voter turnout. Evidently we're already the highest in the nation--I think I saw a blog post in the WaPo that put it at around 73% in the last midterm--so maybe there's not too much room for improvement.

My demographics (postgraduate education) put me as very likely to vote, but they didn't have the option for "child under 1 year in the household" which surely would have made that probability plummet to the floor. I barely get around to putting on a bra most days, let alone Doin' My Civic Duty. The mail-in ballot is probably the only thing that kept me from breaking my vote-in-every-election streak since 2000. I have the short-term memory of a hamster, but seeing that red ballot on my kitchen table every day made me say "oh yeah, I need to vote. I should do that before Tuesday." (Clearly, I missed the deadline to mail my ballot in but my husband dropped both our ballots off on the way to work today... VOTED!)
posted by iminurmefi at 10:57 AM on November 4, 2014 [5 favorites]


None of the candidates really motivate me either, to the point that I was thinking about not bothering. But here in Mass there's one important ballot initiative on, and I heard an interview with Evan Falchuk that impressed me enough that I'm probably going to vote for him as governor. I've already heard people on public radio, who should know better, speculating that Falchuk might be the "Ralph Nader" of this race. As if my vote "belongs" to anyone except for me.
posted by 1adam12 at 10:59 AM on November 4, 2014


Flu shot! I knew there was something else I needed to do this week. Thanks, The Whelk!

disclaimer: I will probably forget this interaction in about 30 minutes and not remember until March that I missed my flu shot.
posted by iminurmefi at 10:59 AM on November 4, 2014


I voted AND I got my flu shot so I get to feel SMUGLY CIVIC MINDED all day

Twinsies!
posted by zeptoweasel at 11:08 AM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


I've struggled this election season to get young eligibles to register. They just don't see their vote as mattering. They know about Citizens United and dark money and they're cynical. It's hard to convince them otherwise.

I wish that John Oliver's piece about state legislatures had come out early enough to catch more unregistered voters (in states that have early registration requirements). There's generally not enough money in those elections for them to be bought, and the votes required for it aren't so numerous as to be impossible.
posted by asperity at 11:16 AM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


From my southeast Michigan, my old stomping grounds:

“We are so hoping for rain tomorrow,” [Republican candidate for state House district 19, Laura Cox] said. “We all know what that means.”

LOL IM SLAPPIN MY KNEES
posted by dhens at 11:21 AM on November 4, 2014 [7 favorites]


I just got back from voting, but I feel like all I've done is rubber-stamp the oligarchy. I'd love to be wrong, though. I'd love for the Democrats to get control of Congress and actually accomplish something of value before President Obama leaves office in January 2017, but I have no faith left in the system. Not when all the candidates are bought and paid for.
I used to trust the media
To tell me the truth, tell us the truth
But now I've seen the payoffs
Everywhere I look
Who do you trust when everyone's a crook?

—"Revolution Calling" by Queensryche, from Operation: Mindcrime (1988)
I'm gonna go wash my hands. They feel dirty, even though I'm supposedly doing the right thing by voting and participating in our farce of a democratic republic.
posted by starbreaker at 11:26 AM on November 4, 2014 [5 favorites]


I am proud and excited that I was able to cast a vote for Sandra Fluke for State Senate today.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:28 AM on November 4, 2014 [9 favorites]


Hey, I'm volunteering at a polling place right now! We're SO BORED please come vote.
posted by blnkfrnk at 11:28 AM on November 4, 2014 [13 favorites]


Saw this linked from Tyler Cowen's blog, Marginal Revolution...

The vital role of the occasional voter.

My roomies mom told me to vote (well, urged). I'm not an abstentionist in principle, but I believe that everyone has a right to vote or not as their conscience dictates. This also means that I occasionally do not vote, whether it be small races, or like in 2008. I vote when I think there are things that are really important to do so. Even if I KNOW I'm going to lose (or win).

I voted to keep Feingold, and lost that vote. I voted against Bush in 2004, even though I couldn't stand Kerry. I'm voting against Walker because I could not live with myself if I didn't. But I believe he'll win. I'm not too keen on the Democrats in this state, lately. They choose the most bland, non-offensive characters they can find. Jim Doyle, Tom Barrett, Mary Burke... Corporate shills, career politicians or something similar. I'm sure Burke would do just fine, but I wouldn't expect much beyond having a veto power over the scumfuck republicans in our state legislature. I'm terrified that Glenn Grothman is going to represent even a fraction of our state at the federal level. I hate that there's even a mild taint of association even though he's not in my district.

So I'll vote. My heart is gonna be sad, but we'll just fucking chug along until the next election. I saw an article the other day saying the young'ns are swinging conservative which frightens the fucking bejesus out of me.
posted by symbioid at 11:29 AM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


headnsouth: I've struggled this election season to get young eligibles to register. They just don't see their vote as mattering. They know about Citizens United and dark money and they're cynical. It's hard to convince them otherwise.

The problem is, the only way to fight stuff like that is to go do your own reseach and vote anyway. Those programs and that money only goes to help convince people to vote differently - if people go out and vote intelligently, it's negated. If those programs were overwhelmingly powerful, the moneyed interests would be completely in power (basically, the business-republicans) but it's only enough to make them competitive against their opponents.

Or, to put it another way, are you just going to give up and let them win? The end-state for the average person in the world they want is a sweatshop-slave. If you want your life to be any other way, you have to get out there and vote. Don't let people convince you the other party isn't really different - because it isn't perfect doesn't mean it isn't better.
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:31 AM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


As if my vote "belongs" to anyone except for me.

Your vote, no. Your choice of candidates - that belongs to bunch of people you probably do not know and who probably do not have your interests at heart.

Making it so only people who can leave work early can vote is gonna skew.


No state polling is open for less than twelve hours. Most states have workarounds.

Interestingly, of those states that have no early voting and no absentee without an excuses, most are solid blue.
posted by IndigoJones at 11:31 AM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Is the "it's a foregone conclusion!" coverage driving anyone else round the bend this midterm? I hate it. I can't help but think it's time we had a serious discussion about the ethical use of statistics in election coverage. Hyperfocus on those poll outcomes affects the outcome of the election by depressing the vote and depressing voter turnout efforts, fundraising, etc.

Maybe I should just email Nate Silver and ask how he deals with the ethical aspect of doing what he does. I work with stats a lot and would consider it a huge problem if my analysis could have an effect on the very process I wanted to analyze. The proof is in the stupid election emails I keep getting from DCCC - literally every single one of them has mentioned Nate Silver somewhere in there, usually trying to twist his words to make the case that it isn't a 100% foregone conclusion.

I really think this is a serious problem, since those polls & projections are only accurate if they have a good idea who will come out to vote already, which is kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy; by reporting this stuff as a foregone conclusion, they ensure that nobody but the true believers and very reliable voters (like myself) will go out and vote. It seems like a very problematic feedback loop, and one with the potential to result in polarizing the electorate even further (since only true believers bother to vote in such circumstances) and potentially effecting the outcomes of downticket local races and ballot measures.
posted by dialetheia at 11:36 AM on November 4, 2014 [15 favorites]


I'm livid in Virginia, a State with no early voting, no mail-in voting - no information provided by the election board. After taking four hours to vote two years ago, this morning the school was under construction and there were no signs up to indicate the parking area had changed. There was one volunteer trying to direct traffic, which would have involved two left turns in rush hour, so I walked to the other side of the school.

My Voter Registration Card is no loger proof of anything. Photo ID. I go to a machine and use a touch screen that indicates I'm voting FOR someone or something by turning the name red and displaying a big red X. I finish, and get no print out or receipt or "proof" that I've voted.

I did get a sticker. I appreciate you, poll workers.

Anyone who lives in my district who relies on public transportation or has to get somewhere to punch a clock is not voting today. It isn't fair.
posted by rainbaby at 11:37 AM on November 4, 2014 [11 favorites]


No one asked for my ID when I voted today and I did not offer it.
posted by octothorpe at 11:43 AM on November 4, 2014


The ballot looked kind of like this:

1. Hobson's Choice
2. Morton's Fork
3. Nobody who should even manage a 7-11
4. Seriously, fuck this
5. Decide the fate of a bunch of judges who have never been in the news and you know nothing about
6. A bill that has no business going in front of voters anywhere because it's abysmally stupid and I fear that the old farts are going to pass it
7. Some bills with descriptions so worryingly tortured that nobody really knows what they are voting for or against
posted by Foosnark at 11:44 AM on November 4, 2014 [24 favorites]


Making it so only people who can leave work early can vote is gonna skew.

No state polling is open for less than twelve hours.


No? That list lists one state that is open for less than twelve hours (Hawaii) as well as several other states where the open hours vary between locations, and are consistently open less than twelve hours at some of them. 'The majority of polling places are open for at least twelve hours,' yes, but (by your own link) not all.
posted by cjelli at 11:47 AM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


I live in disenfranchised Puerto Rico, so don't whine. Democracy sucks. The vampire that democracy fights, sucks worse.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:50 AM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


They just don't see their vote as mattering. They know about Citizens United and dark money and they're cynical. It's hard to convince them otherwise.

They're right to be, but money doesn't directly elect people (yet) - it has to go through the voting filter first. So if you cast a vote against a dark-money candidate or referendum, you just cost the dark-money people a couple hundred bucks.
posted by echo target at 11:51 AM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


My mom emailed me last week after reading some discouraging article about money in elections, asking if I could give her one good reason to vote this year. I almost called her up screaming. She lives in John Boehner's district! She's been contacting his office to voice her disapproval ever since she got gerrymandered into the 8th two years ago. How could she not go vote against that guy?? Sure, her one vote isn't going to change the outcome, but I don't think packs of wild animals could keep me away from the polling place if he was on my ballot.
posted by gueneverey at 11:52 AM on November 4, 2014 [11 favorites]


The judicial retention votes are interesting. I'm not sure about how reasonable it is to put that to a popular vote, but in my state we did all get a booklet in the mail a few weeks ago with performance evaluations for each of the judges up for a retention vote in this election. Also, last page of this PDF on the judicial performance evaluations has stats on both the commission's recommendations and retention vote results. It takes a hell of a lot to lose a retention vote, apparently.
posted by asperity at 11:55 AM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


One colorful character stated that he only votes in elections that allow him to kick out incumbents.

I with this were a straight-ticket option! "Let's see ..... Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green .... aha, Anti-Incumbent, that's me!"
posted by resurrexit at 11:58 AM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


The judicial retention votes are interesting. I'm not sure about how reasonable it is to put that to a popular vote, but in my state we did all get a booklet in the mail a few weeks ago with performance evaluations for each of the judges up for a retention vote in this election.

I always vote judges straight from that little booklet. I mean, what else are you going to do? They should just let bar associations decide.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 12:01 PM on November 4, 2014


Is the "it's a foregone conclusion!" coverage driving anyone else round the bend this midterm? I hate it.

As an Iowan who has been getting, on average, at least one election-related call per day for the last three months, I'm doing my part by lying to the pollsters about my demographic information and/or voting intentions. I've always thought it strange that pollsters can safely assume that people are telling them the truth anyway.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 12:01 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


At least you guys get a booklet for the judges! Here in Chicago there are resources available (like voteforjudges.org) but you have to seek them out. The result is no one gets kicked off the bench, ever.
posted by misskaz at 12:03 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm just going to start drinking now.
posted by malocchio at 12:05 PM on November 4, 2014 [8 favorites]


I can understand (and often share) the apathy or even disgust with top-ticket races, especially in gerrymandered or otherwise noncompetitive elections, but there's always some local race or statewide initiative that I genuinely feel it worthwhile to cast a vote on, even if the polls say my preference is almost certain to lose. My vote for President, at least as it was in Texas, is diluted to the point of homeopathy. My vote against, say, my conservative school board member will at least leave a bad taste in his mouth and demonstrate viability for future challengers.

And even protest votes can have some greater effect on attitudes toward elections. The 50 State Strategy was my bright shining moment as a Democratic voter and I can't help but hope (maybe in vain) that the Party will find its way back.
posted by audi alteram partem at 12:06 PM on November 4, 2014 [7 favorites]


I'm livid in Virginia

lovely Freudian typo there if it is in fact a typo
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 12:06 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Nobody bothered to run for Water Commission Trustee so I wrote in Kodos. I really need a better option for that situation, though.
posted by selfnoise at 12:08 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


you just cost the dark-money people a couple hundred bucks

That's just priced into the dark money that buys politicians, like the extra you pay for using a credit card at the gas station. It's a convenience surcharge, so to speak.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:10 PM on November 4, 2014


Charles Pierce: Last Night with Tom Harkin: So It Begins
"That's all about pulling up the ladder," Harkin fumed. "That's about pulling up the ladder behind you, and not helping people with the same problems you have." He shook his head twice, as though he had thought about these things too long.

That is the part of movement conservatism -- and therefore, of the Republican party, which would not exist without movement conservatism -- that is too little noticed, and even less well discussed. It is how Clarence Thomas can rail against affirmative action programs that were his first chance to get out of rural Georgia. It is how Paul Ryan can argue to privatize Social Security after being the beneficiary of survivor benefits throughout his high school and college years. It is how Chris Christie can bloviate about government overreach and simultaneously explain how the GI Bill saved his parents. It is how the Republican party could dedicate one entire night of its convention to the notion that people make it through grit and bootstraps and, without appreciating the irony of it, listen to stories that inevitably began, "When my Dad/Mom got out of the service..." So many people got their first legs up through the support -- and the tax dollars -- of millions of their fellow citizens.

This is not I've-Got-Mine-Jack. That could apply to someone with the advantages of a Willard Romney. This is You-Gave-Me-Mine-Jack-Now-Go-Get-Yours. It is a monumental exercise in ingratitude, and all indications are that it will have a triumphant night for itself this evening. This isn't pulling up the ladder. It's pulling up the ladder, setting it on fire, and burying the ladder. My new friend, Joni Ernst, will probably be a senator, and they're already talking about her as a possible vice-presidential pick in 2016 -- Luke Russert seems particularly taken by her -- and she's been a soldier and a state senator, and she thinks that we should abolish student loans and get the government out of "our" lives. We are such suckers. We all ought to ask for a refund from all of these people.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:23 PM on November 4, 2014 [26 favorites]


Nobody bothered to run for Water Commission Trustee so I wrote in Kodos. I really need a better option for that situation, though.

At the very least, no one can blame you.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 12:24 PM on November 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


Boy we're starting out pretty bleak in Metafilter Election Thread 2014 aren't we? Though I guess its fitting as no one I voted for is going to win tonight (hooray Texas).

Maybe I should just email Nate Silver and ask how he deals with the ethical aspect of doing what he does. I work with stats a lot and would consider it a huge problem if my analysis could have an effect on the very process I wanted to analyze. The proof is in the stupid election emails I keep getting from DCCC - literally every single one of them has mentioned Nate Silver somewhere in there, usually trying to twist his words to make the case that it isn't a 100% foregone conclusion.

Silver has talked about how as election day gets closer his model gets more confident, so last night as last minute polls were released he took to just tweeting the percent chance of Republicans taking the senate and a link: "74% [link]", "75% [link]", "76% [link]". I tweeted that it was like watching the worst loading screen ever.
posted by DynamiteToast at 12:25 PM on November 4, 2014 [7 favorites]


Neat personal story from Anil Dash today about (PA's next governor) Tom Wolf.
posted by octothorpe at 12:25 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


All that pessimism aside, I guess I'm just young and naive but I still get excited about voting, and have been encouraging everyone I know to go vote even though that's probably not helping the Democrat cause since I went to Baylor and work at an oil company...
posted by DynamiteToast at 12:27 PM on November 4, 2014


> That list lists one state that is open for less than twelve hours (Hawaii) as well as several other states where the open hours vary between locations

True, but as the other link I used shows, Hawaii and all the variable open hour states also have early voting and all but one (Tennessee), early voting and no-excuse-needed absentee voting.

My point as far as polling times not posing an undue hardship for the overwhelming majority of job holders wanting to vote still stands.
posted by IndigoJones at 12:28 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Nobody bothered to run for Water Commission Trustee so I wrote in Kodos.

HypnoToad would like a word with you.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 12:34 PM on November 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


At least you guys get a booklet for the judges!

Oh, and the booklets also cover ballot initiatives and constitutional amendments, printing the text, describing them in a neutral way, and presenting pros and cons for them, noting likely fiscal results.

Though for our Amendment 68, how anybody could write about that without noting how ridiculously obfuscated the amendment text is, I do not know. It almost makes the personhood amendment (67) look sensible by comparison, since at least that doesn't disguise its evil in nested clauses and capslock. (Here's hoping that one goes down in the same 70%+ flames their last couple of attempts did. Ugh.)
posted by asperity at 12:37 PM on November 4, 2014


My point as far as polling times not posing an undue hardship for the overwhelming majority of job holders wanting to vote still stands.

No, it doesn't. It means you've failed to take into account people working longer hours and/or multiple jobs, with long commutes, who face long distances to polling places, who have physical or mental impairments, lack access to transportation, and any of a number of other factors that contribute to undue hardships to both job holders and the jobless alike. Not coincidentally, these are demographics that tend towards the kind of people for whom voter suppression is aimed at.

There's no good reason Election Day shouldn't be held on either a weekend, made a holiday, or extended to multiple days. Any justifications to the contrary are just bullshit excuses.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:41 PM on November 4, 2014 [14 favorites]


My point as far as polling times not posing an undue hardship for the overwhelming majority of job holders wanting to vote still stands.

If you've only got the polls open a couple hours after most people are off work, then you get enormous lines toward the end of polling. The result is that some people don't get to vote if the polls are closed before they get through the line, or see the long waits and decide they can't afford to spend an hour or two (or more, in high-turnout elections) in line.
posted by asperity at 12:41 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


For NY, if you're curious about the ballot initiatives:

1. NO! - This is written to look really nice, but is in actuality just writing a current corrupt redistricting practice into the Constitution to make it virtually impossible to fix. NO NO NO NO NO

2. YES! - Or, Sure, Why Not?! is more like it. Save some trees, and get with the times. No downside, far as I can see.

3. NO, Probably! It's complicated! - Bond issue for tech for schools, which sounds great, but in reality it looks like a pre-cursor to justify teacher cut-backs down thew road, and the bond is pre-earmarked for specific vendors and products, I think. It's fishy as hell and at best will do very limited good.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:43 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


And count me in as being really damned excited to live in the state that may, at this point, have the most accessible voting in the US. Ballots mailed to every registered voter that can be mailed in or dropped off at a lot of locations, and same-day voter registration. Regardless of the election results, I can't wait to see the turnout numbers.

Even if the candidates I don't want to see representing me win, I'll feel a lot better about it if it was the decision of a large enough part of the possible electorate. (Who are clearly wrong, but at least it'd be democratic.)
posted by asperity at 12:46 PM on November 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


I don't know how it works where you are, but if people are in line at closing time, we let them vote. (We shut the door and post a pollworker there-- usually a high school kid, please don't yell at them-- telling people the deal after 8.)

I agree that this whole thing should be easier and have more slack built in. In addition to my local early voting there ought to be late voting too. I mean, they're still counting the vote-by-mails and provisionals for a couple weeks, it wouldn't make much more work. I also think they could probably send people around door to door like the census takers if they really wanted a turnout.
posted by blnkfrnk at 12:48 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


And count me in as being really damned excited to live in the state that may, at this point, have the most accessible voting in the US.

Me too, and my mind continually boggles at the variety of voting methods at play in the US (and their potential pitfalls). I remember as a kid growing up in NY going in with one of my parents to the old, large mechanical booths where they flipped switches and pulled the big lever. Before moving to CO, I was in TX voting on a black box, spinning a wheel & pushing a button. I even got to do a couple butterfly punch-card elections when I turned 18 in Ohio pre-2000. Of them all, filling in a bubble with a pen on paper gives me the most confidence that votes will be recorded correctly.
posted by audi alteram partem at 12:58 PM on November 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


In MA, the governor's race: dem Coakley, who can't campaign her way out of a paper bag, * vs. Baker, a moderate republican. MA often elects moderate republicans ** to counteract the always-all-dem legislature. Going to be extremely close.

* Coakley ran for senate, and lost. At some point, when the media asked her about her campaign plans, she famously said something along the lines of "what am I supposed to do, go out and shake hands with the people or something? In this lousy weather?"

** Yes, Mitt Romney ran as a moderate, and did moderate things while he was here. Which actually wasn't that often, since he was often away schmoozing in Washington. All that flip-flopping was very real.
posted by Melismata at 1:05 PM on November 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


if people are in line at closing time, we let them vote.

I think that is the rule in most (maybe even all) states, but since enforcement's on an individual polling place level I worry that it won't be uniform. We could also use a lot of pre-election publicity on this policy so that people don't think they can't vote if there's a line and it's five minutes to close. Some people aren't inclined to be pushy about these things!

(Last local election I was so late to drop off my ballot that the pollworkers were carrying the ballot box out to their van, and I cast my vote in the city hall parking lot. It's always worth asking whether it's too late.)
posted by asperity at 1:05 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


So far it's busier than the primary. We've been open six hours and we already have as many as we got all day in June. The year before my buddy who volunteered was so bored she lead the pollworkers in tracking the daytime transit of Venus. We all have books to read, thankfully.
posted by blnkfrnk at 1:06 PM on November 4, 2014


Just had a conversation with two coworkers, one of whom is not a citizen and moved here from Turkey a couple years ago. She was surprised we were even voting because they'll "probably just take the box of ballots out back and change your vote before they count it or something". Apparently this is a real problem there and we had to assure her that we're pretty sure that doesn't happen here.
posted by DynamiteToast at 1:11 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


we had to assure her that we're pretty sure that doesn't happen here.

Yeah, here we're slowly transitioning to electronic ballots that can efficiently change your vote as soon as you touch the screen.
posted by radwolf76 at 1:21 PM on November 4, 2014 [7 favorites]


My polling place wasn't too busy, all the booths were occupied but the only person in front of me in line was my brother. One guy had to get a new ballot because of an extraneous mark in a bubble but it didn't seem like too much trouble.
posted by Small Dollar at 1:24 PM on November 4, 2014


For real about the slow pace at the polls. It's been steady but slow. The three student pollworkers appreciate overhead lighting--- great for selfies and snapchats apparently.
posted by book 'em dano at 1:30 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


We have electronic voting machines here that print a paper receipt tape, behind a glass window, with a hard record of what you chose.

Not that this is necessarily 100% tamper-proof or "we accidentally lost all the votes from this district"-proof but at least there is some hardcopy human-readable thing that exists.
posted by Foosnark at 1:31 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


This is where I will leave my small reminder that 0% of the 646,449 residents of the District of Columbia were able to cast votes for meaningful representation in the legislative branch today.

(Also, I'm not sure why so many intelligent people seem to be proposing eliminating the midterms this time around -- to actually achieve that, we'd need to radically alter the Constitution to alter term limits, and shift many local/regional election cycles to match the National elections. If you want to solve low turnout, just make it easier to vote.)
posted by schmod at 1:32 PM on November 4, 2014 [9 favorites]


we'd need to radically alter the Constitution to alter term limits

We ought to do that anyway, if you ask me. 10 years max for congresspeople, maybe 12-18 for Senators. Any efficiency losses in retraining people would be regained tenfold by eliminating the decades-long insidious effects of regulatory capture. I mean, at least make industry buy a whole new set of people off every decade or so instead of letting them rest on their laurels having bought of the whole crowd 25 years ago.
posted by dialetheia at 1:34 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


And count me in as being really damned excited to live in the state that may, at this point, have the most accessible voting in the US.

I am so glad I am not the only one nerding out about this. Yesterday evening, when I was looking through the judicial recommendation booklet, I had this moment where I got all verklempt about how WELL this state does democracy. It's awesome! Makes me so happy to live here!
posted by iminurmefi at 1:35 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't know how it works where you are, but if people are in line at closing time, we let them vote.

The only election I have ever missed in my life was the first election (a midterm) after I'd moved to Virginia (I wasn't aware that the polls closed at 7 PM instead of 8 - I get off from work at 6:30 and the bus didn't reach my stop until 6:55). I ran all the way from the stop to the school gym where the polling place was, only to find the poll worker had just locked them. Such a terrible feeling. I learned my lesson and now I always vote in the morning, regardless of how late it makes me for work. I'm lucky enough to have a job where I won't get fired for being late. It's a crime that the same flexibility is not accorded to everyone.

Election Day needs to be a federal and state holiday and, because there are businesses that are open on federal and state holidays, there needs to be other accommodations made for voters who have to work on Election Day (either universal vote by mail or extending voting over several days). There is absolutely no reason voting should be so limited.
posted by longdaysjourney at 1:46 PM on November 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


One colorful character stated that he only votes in elections that allow him to kick out incumbents.

Yeah, when I lived in Seattle all the local races were nonpartisan and thus my fellow Libertarians and I generally followed a strategy of "rotate the socialists" by voting against all the incumbents.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:53 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


I was pleasantly surprised that most of the downballot judge races on my Minnesota ballot were kook-free this year. With, uh....one exception.
posted by gimonca at 1:56 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


every single one of them has mentioned Nate Silver somewhere in there, usually trying to twist his words to make the case that it isn't a 100% foregone conclusion.

It wouldn't require much twisting, given that Silver has been saying directly and consistently that, while the GOP is ahead in the race for Senate control, they have only a 3 in 4 chance or so of winning.
posted by escabeche at 1:57 PM on November 4, 2014


My new polling place had stickers this time, so I'm super psyched. Voting support is pretty vocal among my Facebook feed-- everything from historical documents on suffragettes to a lot of stickers from around the country. Many, many sticker selfies. I do think it's good that FB and Tumblr and Google are promoting voting, though I wonder what effect it really has.
posted by jetlagaddict at 1:58 PM on November 4, 2014


It wouldn't require much twisting, given that Silver has been saying directly and consistently that, while the GOP is ahead in the race for Senate control, they have only a 3 in 4 chance or so of winning.

Fair point! I'm mostly thinking of the email that breathlessly reported in all-caps "NATE SILVER SAYS THE REPUBLICANS ARE BLOWING THIS ELECTION!!!" and when you clicked through, it was like "they could be doing much better if they weren't basically incompetent, but they're still routing the Dems."

I don't even really blame Nate Silver, although I'd be thinking hard about my own effect on the election in his position - I just wish that something less than 100% of the coverage was solely devoted to polarizing horse race bullshit instead of discussing or investigating actual election issues.
posted by dialetheia at 2:06 PM on November 4, 2014


This is where I will leave my small reminder that 0% of the 646,449 residents of the District of Columbia were able to cast votes for meaningful representation in the legislative branch today.

On the other hand, you get to taste the sweet liberty of voting for DC's first elected Attorney General despite the City Council's attempt to fuck with the franchise.

(Oh, and there's the mayoral race. Which has candidates. Who are human. And possibly mayoral caliber. Check out that incisive grasp of the issues! Can you tell I moved away just last month?)
posted by psoas at 2:09 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


ugh. Started thinking about why can't people see the value in voting and just do it? Then I thought, well, ok, why not sweeten the deal? It couldn't cost us too much to turn voting into a tax deduction, an entry into a lottery, or some other reward system to get people to show up who otherwise might not. Then I thought, come on, plenty of other nations have great voter turnout without giving out prizes just for doing your civic duty. Then I remembered that many of the rich and powerful in this nation are actively working to prevent people from voting not encourage voting and I got super depressed.

Actually, someone at the start of the thread mentioned an anti-incumbent ticket option. Why don't we make every eligible voter's ballot default to an anti-incumbent ticket, and require they cast a new one to change that? Put the onus on those elected to convince us to keep them in! Guaranteed 100% voter turnout! I'm sure our elected officials will vote for an auto-vote-out-of-office idea!
posted by jermsplan at 2:11 PM on November 4, 2014


Is this where I mention again how stupid it is to vote for judges? Voting for judges is the dumbest thig ever! Ok, feel a tiny bit better
posted by atomicstone at 2:13 PM on November 4, 2014 [8 favorites]


I was pretty shocked to see, on my ballot, how many Republicans were running unopposed for various county offices. I skipped entering a vote for them anyway.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:16 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


I generally followed a strategy of "rotate the socialists" by voting against all the incumbents.
posted by Jacqueline


To paraphrase LBJ, never rotate socialists. You just get dizzy and the socialists like taking turns.
posted by spitbull at 2:20 PM on November 4, 2014 [8 favorites]


Out of the four races that I had to vote for today, three were uncontested Democrats. The Republicans have totally given up on the City of Pittsburgh.
posted by octothorpe at 2:21 PM on November 4, 2014


I was pretty shocked to see, on my ballot, how many Republicans were running unopposed for various county offices. I skipped entering a vote for them anyway.

We had one where it was a Republican, a Constitution Party-er, and a Libertarian. Which is like being asked if you want to be eaten alive by wild dogs, rabid wild dogs, or unknown animals of a canine and likely aggressive nature.
posted by Foosnark at 2:24 PM on November 4, 2014 [12 favorites]


Ugh, voting for judges. I was trying to make an effort at being an informed voter about the judges, dutifully looking them up and everything, but after seeing a suggestion on one or another voting guide about looking up their decisions and opinions, I recoiled in horror at the very thought. Because, what? There are like 20 candidates to vote yea or nay on! I work in a law office and even I don't have the requisite knowledge or education to figure out the full ramifications of their rulings! And, most importantly, ain't nobody got time for that! So I just voted to retain all of them like the California Democratic Party suggested I do, after a few cursory searches ensuring that they all had law degrees and none of them were literal murderers or anything.

Seriously, what is the deal with voting for judges.
posted by yasaman at 2:24 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


I with this were a straight-ticket option! "Let's see ..... Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green .... aha, Anti-Incumbent, that's me!"

I'm glad it's not, for the same reason I wish that putting party affiliations on the ballot was not done. If that's all you know about the candidates, it's probably not enough to make a good vote.

Also, anti-incumbency has the problem that you tend towards representation that hasn't figured out how to do their job well. They can rely on staff and third party guidance, but that in turn means more power shifts to people who aren't elected (and can't be unelected).
posted by weston at 2:32 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


For NY, if you're curious about the ballot initiatives:

Ughhh, I wish I had done more (any) research on 1. I always think, well, I can imagine something consistent with this description that I would approve of. Which is maybe not a good basis for decision-making.
posted by zeptoweasel at 2:32 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


One year when I had to vote for a bunch of judges and minor nonpartisan offices I went on a drunken Facebook friending spree of all the candidates the night before Election Day. The next day I voted for whomever had friended me back.

It's probably not the worst way to pick candidates. And it certainly livened up my Facebook News feed for several months until I got bored and defriended them all.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:34 PM on November 4, 2014 [18 favorites]


Oh hey, it was 2010.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:43 PM on November 4, 2014


I wish that putting party affiliations on the ballot was not done. If that's all you know about the candidates, it's probably not enough to make a good vote.

More the reverse. I'm a relatively liberal Democrat. How often, in the rest of my entire life, will the candidate with the (R) next to it be a better match for my preferences? Possibly once, if I live a very long time. But most likely exactly zero times.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:45 PM on November 4, 2014 [14 favorites]


Meanwhile, here in Chicago:

"Chicago Election Board spokesman Jim Allen said at least 2,000 judges didn’t not show, and the total could be even higher, perhaps 3,000. The reason: Judges received a bogus robocall over the weekend, falsely informing them they had to report for training, or they would not be able to serve on Election Day.

...

"The robocalls specifically targeted Chicago election judges."

I wonder who would want to suppress the turnout in Chicago? As much as I hate the Illinois Democratic Party (I voted for Quinn only because I was having flashbacks to '10 when my Green vote helped Mark Kirk into his Senate seat), I can't lay this particular dirty trick at their feet.
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:02 PM on November 4, 2014 [5 favorites]


I might manage to get out and vote before the polls close, but it's close to pointless. Greg Abbott will be the next governor of Texas no matter what. My Congressman will be safely re-elected no matter what. There are a slew of local races that I honestly don't know enough about to cast an informed ballot. The main thing motivating me to try to show up is that there are several open slots of the board of trustees for the college I teach at, so I get a tiny say in deciding who my ultimate bosses are. But, to be honest, I get a little tired of the YOU MUST GO VOTE rhetoric all over social media. It truly will change nothing at all if I don't go vote, and I have little kids to take care of at home. I'm a white guy in my forties with graduate education, so I suppose I'm in the most-likely-to-vote group, but I'm just not feeling it.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 3:04 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


If only I could convince everyone to think that way and give my vote mathematically more power.
posted by scrowdid at 3:06 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


hahahaa Foosnark I had that R/Constitution/Libertarian vote too. Doing some research this morning I was like "hmm, don't really want to vote for a Republican or a Libertarian, I wonder what the Constitution party is, is it like some midwestern version of IndependeOHGODNO"
posted by ghostbikes at 3:17 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is the first time I've been eligible to vote during a midterm election (I was first able to vote during the 2012 one). Florida did really well with offering early voting this year. I had the option of voting 8 a.m. through 8 p.m on my university campus during the two weeks leading up to the election, so I cast my ballot like, two Wednesdays ago. I'm sitting here hoping we have the sense to vote in medical marijuana and get rid of Rick Scott or at least Pam Bondi.
posted by Gymnopedist at 3:17 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


If only I could convince everyone to think that way and give my vote mathematically more power.

Now you're thinking like a Republican!
posted by dirigibleman at 3:18 PM on November 4, 2014 [7 favorites]


"Chicago Election Board spokesman Jim Allen said at least 2,000 judges didn’t not show, and the total could be even higher, perhaps 3,000. The reason: Judges received a bogus robocall over the weekend, falsely informing them they had to report for training, or they would not be able to serve on Election Day.

...

"The robocalls specifically targeted Chicago election judges."
Some shit like this happens every year. It sure seems like straight up election fraud, unlike the type that Republicans pretend exists. Can't the FEC issue some sort of smackdown? Figure out where the phone calls came from, figure out who's behind it, put their Republican asses in jail.
posted by Flunkie at 3:35 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]






According to that article, actually, FOX broke "a binding agreement among the media outlets that run the exit poll that none of them is allowed to leak any results before the polls have closed", not election law per se -- possibly it is actionable as a breach of contract or whatever, though?
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:51 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


Everything is working just as intended:

Voting monitors report complaints in states with new voter ID laws

"The Election Protection Coalition, composed of civil society activists and lawyers, reported receiving more than 14,000 calls to its election day hotline from voters asking for registration information and to report complaints about mistreatment at the polls. That tally, through 5 p.m. EST, was higher than the total number of calls they received during the last midterm election in 2010, the group said.

“Today and for the past several weeks during early voting, we have been witnessing the most unfair, discriminatory and confusing election landscape in almost 50 years,” said Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a member of the coalition.
"

"“This is the first election in 50 years where voters of color will not have the full protection needed to vote,” said Deborah Vagins of the American Civil Liberties Union.""

"In Louisville, Ky., a city with a growing Hispanic population, there were reports of poll workers treating Latino voters rudely or failing to help, monitors said.

“As we’ve seen across the country, as Latinos become a growing demographic, we see a backlash,” said Arturo Vargas, whose group administered a Spanish hotline for voters.

Cities in California in which Latino voters reported issues with voter registrations included El Monte, Oceanside, Compton and Palmdale, Vargas said.
"
posted by VikingSword at 3:53 PM on November 4, 2014 [7 favorites]


I wish that putting party affiliations on the ballot was not done. If that's all you know about the candidates, it's probably not enough to make a good vote.

I'm pretty diligent about researching my voting choices and in the thirty-two years that I've been voting, I've ended up supporting at most three Republicans in all that time. And that was during the times when there were some decent Republicans running for office.

At this point, after the craziness that the GOP has pulled in last fifteen years, an 'R' next to a candidate's name is really all I need to know to disqualify her/him from my vote. Even if that specific candidate isn't personally bat-shit insane, the fact that they're willing to associate themselves with that party is more than enough for me to know about them.
posted by octothorpe at 4:08 PM on November 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


"The robocalls specifically targeted Chicago election judges."

There really needs to be severe punishment for this bullshit.
posted by drezdn at 4:26 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ugh, judges. I really care about voting, I have only missed one election (that I know of, I did mail a ballot in under tight timing one year)-- late bus-- but damn, I wish I could vote "fuck you". As in "fuck you, system, why am I voting on judges anyhow? It doesn't make sense!"
Or possibly "fuck you, proposition system that results in poorly written laws often worded as confusingly as possible on purpose".

And of course then there's the "fuck you, I'd rather vote for a garden slug than any of these options."

(I, too, discovered the Constitution party once when figuring out whom to vote for.. Ugh.)
posted by nat at 4:30 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


Looking at the long lines outside some poling places here in Georgia — Guess which ones; Go on, guess! — it looks like we're in for a long night.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:02 PM on November 4, 2014


Heh, PA called for Wolf with 0% of the results in.
posted by octothorpe at 5:07 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


gingerbeer got up at 4:30 this morning to do GOTV stuff for a local campaign. The majority of her compatriots doing this are in their 20s or early 30s, so there's hope.

(And what is it about flu shot+voting? When we took a week of stay-home vacation a couple weeks ago, we got flu shots and voted early on the same day!)
posted by rtha at 5:08 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


i hope Wendy Davis wins.

i'm not quite sure if that would be as good as or better than Wolf winning in PA.

but it'd be pretty damn awesome.
posted by sio42 at 5:12 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


And what is it about flu shot+voting

CIVIC MINDEDNESS for the greater good

THE GREATER GOOD
posted by The Whelk at 5:26 PM on November 4, 2014


the AP is reporting that Grimes called McConnell to concede.
posted by sio42 at 5:27 PM on November 4, 2014


And what is it about flu shot+voting

Ha, I don't know, but I did the same thing. I wanted to give myself a gold star for citizenship this past weekend.
posted by yasaman at 5:30 PM on November 4, 2014


the AP is reporting that Grimes called McConnell to concede.

He absolutely crushed her. Here's an LATimes article that waxes about all the vicious anti-incumbent feeling of the voters... in an article about how McConnell who has been in the establishment longer than most have been alive, destroyed Grimes who was supposed to be a breath of fresh air, and where the Demos poured money like crazy. Oy.

Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell sweeps to victory; long night awaits

"McConnell, a powerful five-term lawmaker, defeated Democratic hopeful Alison Lundergan Grimes in a fiercely fought battle that brought in millions of dollars in outside money.

Voters across the country were expressing frustration and a distinctly angry antigovernment mood at the midterm ballot box as early returns began sweeping in.
"

LOL, LATimes writers.
posted by VikingSword at 5:31 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


We are all good citizens and deserve little merit badges.
posted by The Whelk at 5:31 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


If Gillespie comes from behind to beat Warner in VA after just coming out in support of the racist DC football team name, there will not be enough wine in the world for me tonight.
posted by sallybrown at 5:31 PM on November 4, 2014


Photo of one of Senator McConnell's constituents demonstrating his disapproval as McConnell casts his vote.
posted by audi alteram partem at 5:31 PM on November 4, 2014 [9 favorites]


Ugh, I can't stand listening to Mcconnell.
posted by octothorpe at 5:36 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


@CBSPolitics
PROJECTION: Republican Tom Cotton wins Arkansas Senate race over incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor
posted by madamjujujive at 5:37 PM on November 4, 2014


I'm going to Minecraft the election stress away tonight, and hope there's good news in the morning.
posted by drezdn at 5:37 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


I (young person) attempted to register in a new state a couple weeks ago and found out the deadline was Oct 5. Apparently my state, with a total population of around a million people, needs a month of lead time to deal with the paperwork involved with me driving somewhere, showing someone some things with my name on it, and signing something.
posted by geegollygosh at 5:38 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


NPR is keeping a list of incumbents who lost seats tonight.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:40 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


is it possible that the end results could have corbett win?
posted by sio42 at 5:44 PM on November 4, 2014


seems strange to call it now when it seems fairly close.
posted by sio42 at 5:44 PM on November 4, 2014


ABC is calling NH for Jean Shaheen. It is great satisfaction to me that this would be the odious Scott Brown's second defeat at the hands of a woman.

This just in: Scott Brown for Senate in Maine 2018.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:49 PM on November 4, 2014 [11 favorites]


Nah, he gets to lose in Vermont in 2016 first.
posted by Flunkie at 5:54 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Minnesota's race isn't really competitive (other than maybe the 8th district) so tonight I'm turning my eyes to Wisconsin and hoping against hope for a Scott Walker defeat.
posted by triggerfinger at 5:58 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


Minnesota's race isn't really competitive (other than maybe the 8th district) so tonight I'm turning my eyes to Wisconsin and hoping against hope for a Scott Walker defeat.

The way CNN teased the WI race gave me a smidgen of hope that there may be good (anti-Walker) exit polling, but I didn't think it was supposed to be that close of a race...
posted by sallybrown at 6:02 PM on November 4, 2014


...from your lips to the gods' ears triggerfinger. If that were to occur it would go a long way to take the sting out of some losses for me.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:02 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


The way CNN teased the WI race gave me a smidgen of hope that there may be good (anti-Walker) exit polling, but I didn't think it was supposed to be that close of a race...

Most polls had it extremely close, except for one heavily reported poll by Marquette University.
posted by drezdn at 6:04 PM on November 4, 2014


Early results show Michigan reelecting Rick Snyder (R) for governor but electing Gary Peters (D) to the Senate.

I suppose this is because Terri Lynn Land (the R candidate for the Senate) was not very inspiring, while Snyder was more so (and the supposedly "liberal" Detroit Free Press endorsed him). Still, I am always bewildered with this kind of vote-splitting between Democrats and Republicans -- I could, for example, understand vote-splitting between Democrats and Greens, or Republicans and Libertarians/Constitution Party folks.
posted by dhens at 6:09 PM on November 4, 2014


Virginia is looking grim. Warner better not choke and doom the Democrats.
posted by Justinian at 6:11 PM on November 4, 2014




Crap. NBC projects Abbott in TX. Not a surprise, but still too bad. Thank you for a good fight, Wendy Davis, you are awesome in taking on TX.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:26 PM on November 4, 2014


I really hope they're following up with "isn't it great women are getting better representation?" Rather than the slimy "he lost to two girls! Wimp!"
posted by politikitty at 6:27 PM on November 4, 2014


The Texas Tribune has projected all statewide offices for Republican candidates in Texas. Hope it goes better for the rest of y'all tonight. I'm gonna start drinking.
posted by DynamiteToast at 6:31 PM on November 4, 2014


‏@CrassPolitical
Klobuchar on Scott Brown: "Each state gets to have two Senators but Senators do not get two states."
posted by madamjujujive at 6:33 PM on November 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


This sucks. I would like to express some opinions about the race in Florida but I'm too worried about what expressing my political beliefs could do for my ability to stay employed. I never used to feel afraid to express my honest opinion, but recent developments in my personal life have got me feeling a little gun shy. Dammit. That's depressing. Land of the free my ass. Land of the grubby little perception managing control freaks is more like it.

To hell with it--if Scott pulls this thing out in Florida, I'm going to have a hard time buying it. Nobody likes him. Not the hardcore right wingers or anybody else. Nobody. And sure, people know Crist's not perfect, but they like him more. It's just going to feed my suspicions that Jeb only came to the state to set up a political machine to ensure his brother's victory against Gore and that machine is still to some degree intact for the highest bidder or something. It's just unbelievable to me how we can keep making the same mistakes again and again in this state, blaming the side that hasn't been any where near power for almost 30 years and reelecting the same offenders again and again.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:34 PM on November 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


Maybe we can take up a collection to buy a house for Scott Brown in every state.
posted by Flunkie at 6:35 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's early yet, but ugh. Slaughter everywhere I'm looking at. This looks to be another "shellacking". Depressing.
posted by VikingSword at 6:37 PM on November 4, 2014


I had a moment of weakness here in Maryland and actually considered voting for the Republican, Hogan, for governor because I'm not really impressed with Brown. Then Hogan accepted an endorsement from the NRA and I came to my senses. I feel as though I'm part of the problem because I tell myself I'd consider voting for the right Republican, but in reality I can't even tell you what that would look like. But there were several important county-level items on the ballot, including several wasteful bond issues and an attempt to increase term limits for the county council. So, it was definitely worth the time to vote.
posted by wintermind at 6:42 PM on November 4, 2014


MSNBC was just saying WI Governor's race was too close to call. I hope they're not just being dramatic.

MN has been called for Al Franken, which is no surprise, but still makes me happy, especially after the clusterfuck of a nightmare last time he ran.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:50 PM on November 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


Personhood fails in Colorado, so at least there's that.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:52 PM on November 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


Pot got 57% in Florida (yay!) but it needed 60% to amend the state constitution (BOOO!) so no pot for you guys.
posted by Justinian at 6:55 PM on November 4, 2014


I wouldn't want Scott Brown as my Senator, but when I was a staffer in the Senate he was one of the only one of his colleagues who would stop and BS with us at the staff elevators. We once had an entertaining conversation about Cheerios. Not surprisingly, McCain was always an asshole to the help.
posted by wintermind at 6:59 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


Twitter's data editor, created this map using geotagged tweets with the hashtag #IVoted or the words "I voted" starting at 6 a.m. on election day.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:00 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


Well, no surprise -- Florida completely shit the bed again. /headdesk
posted by Gymnopedist at 7:04 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


Well, jumping around Politico and Daily Kos (the latter gives info on where the outstanding votes are) it looks like Senate Dems are going to pull out from behind in Virginia and NC. I'm surprised by how badly the Dems are doing in Colorado and Georgia.
It'll probably come down to Alaska and Louisiana, so it won't be decided tonight.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:07 PM on November 4, 2014


My sister lives in Fairfax county. She better have voted for Warner.
posted by Justinian at 7:08 PM on November 4, 2014


Virginia's in play now for the GOP? Seriously?
posted by tonycpsu at 7:08 PM on November 4, 2014


Pot got 57% in Florida (yay!) but it needed 60% to amend the state constitution (BOOO!) so no pot for you guys.


I really wanted to see that happen, considering the only arguments from the opposition boiled down to "TEENAGERS WILL SMOKE MORE OF THE DEVIL WEED" and the only way to make marijuana more accessible to teenagers in Florida would be to mail them all a pound of dank. I was hoping my state would manage to not fuck something up for once. Noooooooooope
posted by Gymnopedist at 7:09 PM on November 4, 2014


Condolences, mefi Floridians - I feel your pain. Unfortunately, we all do. Ugh.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:11 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hey Florida, if you want legal weed, maybe stop importing octogenarians who believe that Reefer Madness was a documentary?
posted by tonycpsu at 7:12 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's early yet, but ugh. Slaughter everywhere I'm looking at. This looks to be another "shellacking". Depressing.

Nah. This is a normal second-midterm made a little worse because this year's Senate slate has several Democrats who would not have won in a "normal" election but managed to win against the disembodied spirit of Dubya in 2008.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:12 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


The weed race is nothing. The gubernatorial race is the big ticket show. The 60% barrier worked as intended, giving our pols another tool in their already well stocked tool kit for thwarting clear public mandates. Hell, even if it had passed, there was never any guarantee of it being enacted. Look at the class size amendment we did pass overwhelmingly before the heightened threshold. Our politicians simply refused to implement it, dug in their heels, and have never even been chastised for it. That's how bad they've got our number here in the sunshine state.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:23 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


MA governor race is heating up. Earlier in the evening, Charlie "fish tale" Baker & his team were celebrating, but Martha Coakley now has a slight edge.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:24 PM on November 4, 2014


madamjujujive: MA governor race is heating up.

And the fact that it's that close in Massachussetts says a lot about what kind of night it's been. (And also what a terrible campaigner Martha Coakley is.)
posted by tonycpsu at 7:25 PM on November 4, 2014 [4 favorites]




538 is calling Colorado for Gardner...
posted by DynamiteToast at 7:30 PM on November 4, 2014


Hmm, wonder who the Republican nominee will be in 2016? I hope it's not someone too crazy, since we'll inevitably be stuck with them for 8 years.
posted by sonic meat machine at 7:31 PM on November 4, 2014


At least all my local issues are doing well.
posted by Small Dollar at 7:33 PM on November 4, 2014


I saw talk that Cruz would be the nominee today from some left leaning outlets, which makes me hopeful because surely he couldn't win a national race.
posted by DynamiteToast at 7:33 PM on November 4, 2014


‏@CBSPolitics
PROJECTION: Republican David Perdue takes the Senate race in Georgia, defeating Democrat Michelle Nun
posted by madamjujujive at 7:33 PM on November 4, 2014


Baby had me up at 5:30am and I should really really really go to bed but I can't tear myself away. Could Coakley actually eke out a win? Really?

In other good news, I hope every bird in NH shits on Scott Brown's goddamn pickup truck.
posted by lydhre at 7:34 PM on November 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


Hmm, wonder who the Republican nominee will be in 2016? I hope it's not someone too crazy, since we'll inevitably be stuck with them for 8 years.

Unless something shocking happens, I think Hillary will win and it won't be close.
posted by sallybrown at 7:34 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


Hmm, wonder who the Republican nominee will be in 2016? I hope it's not someone too crazy, since we'll inevitably be stuck with them for 8 years.

I don't really see what a completely typical 6th year midterm loss for Democrats has to do with the next presidential race? It's still Clinton's race if she wants it.
posted by Justinian at 7:35 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I think Warren's the only person who can even make it interesting for Hillary, and even then there won't really be a contest.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:36 PM on November 4, 2014


Right, all pessimism aside these races can go horribly for Democrats tonight and still not be bad for them in 2016 all told.
posted by DynamiteToast at 7:36 PM on November 4, 2014


The weed race is nothing. The gubernatorial race is the big ticket show. The 60% barrier worked as intended, giving our pols another tool in their already well stocked tool kit for thwarting clear public mandates. Hell, even if it had passed, there was never any guarantee of it being enacted. Look at the class size amendment we did pass overwhelmingly before the heightened threshold. Our politicians simply refused to implement it, dug in their heels, and have never even been chastised for it. That's how bad they've got our number here in the sunshine state.

I know, I know, but I figured that between Bondi and Scott up to get booted and Amendment 2 we might have been able to pull at least one decent positive for the state out of this election. I am clearly not cynical enough.
posted by Gymnopedist at 7:37 PM on November 4, 2014


wonder who the Republican nominee will be in 2016? I hope it's not someone too crazy
What, like you hope they're not a Republican?
posted by Flunkie at 7:37 PM on November 4, 2014 [5 favorites]


Personhood fails in Colorado, so at least there's that.

I'll take what I can get, but it still galls that repeatedly dissembling about his position on personhood in the face of contrary evidence helped Gardner apparently win.
posted by audi alteram partem at 7:39 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


What, like you hope they're not a Republican?

Well, Obama's a republican and he hasn't been terrible
posted by sonic meat machine at 7:39 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Never heard that one before! Oh, you.
posted by Justinian at 7:41 PM on November 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


It's important to keep perspective. This is depressing & horrible to me but there was a certain inevitability given the geography of the seats and the magic of gerrymandering.

The tables will flip in the next election and the Republicans will be on the defense. It certainly screws us for the next two years in terms of any progress on virtually anything, but it is not forever.

Gah, Walker is a zombie. Wonder if he will be the one running against Hillary? Horribile dictu!
posted by madamjujujive at 7:41 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


The 2016 presidential election is only going to be good for Democrats who think that Hillary is more liberal than a 1980s Republican. I am not one of those people. Warren/Sanders '16!
posted by wintermind at 7:42 PM on November 4, 2014 [8 favorites]


Gerrymandering doesn't affect the Senate.
posted by Flunkie at 7:42 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Any Wisconsinites care to chime in and tell us how the fuck Scott Walker keeps winning up there? Ed Schultz just mentioned the counties around Green Bay as an area Dems can't seem to get traction in. I know WI isn't bright blue or anything, but I just don't see how an empty suit like Walker has been able to be so successful electorally.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:44 PM on November 4, 2014


Gerrymandering doesn't affect the Senate.

You are right. Voter disenfranchisement is the correct tool for those races.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:46 PM on November 4, 2014


Warren/Sanders '16!

This is a great way to get 350 electoral votes! For somebody anwyay. Just not Warren or Sanders.
posted by Justinian at 7:47 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Any Wisconsinites care to chime in and tell us how the fuck Scott Walker keeps winning up there?

This article gives good background.
posted by sallybrown at 7:48 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


I would just like to remind everyone of this post.
posted by sonic meat machine at 7:52 PM on November 4, 2014


You're right about that, Justinian, but it's really sad that Hillary is our best option. She's another corporatist who'll double-down on "business friendly" policies that help only the plutocrats and warmongers.
posted by wintermind at 7:54 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


Clinton/Warren might could actually win, but there's no strategist in the country who'd be willing to try it.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:54 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is the next thing to a GOP wave, they're looking good to get to 54 or 55 seats. There are enough conservadems like Joe Manchin, John Tester, Heidi Hietkamp, Bob Casey and Joe Donnelly that the Dems won't even be able to count on holding a filibuster reliably. Most of those weasels are on record supporting large parts of the GOP agenda, it's going to be trivial to pick off weak kneed Dem opposition and pass all but the very worst red meat bills with nominal "bipartisan" cover.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:57 PM on November 4, 2014


and pass all but the very worst red meat bills with nominal "bipartisan" cover.

Yeah, but dat veto, tho.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:00 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Interestingly, our Democratic representative candidate won, beating out the incumbent Republican, Southerland. But the rest of the state either decided to double down on being the biggest suckers in America or had some rigged electoral processes. Either we're a state full of chumps, or we're a state run by crooks. Eh, probably a little of both. Plus a lot of our voters die before they have to see the consequences of their votes, and a new sucker retires to Florida every minute.

Well, look forward to toll booths on your daily commutes to work and literal human capital ownership rights for corporations, Floridians. Dark days ahead, but we're pretty used to that by now.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:00 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


how the fuck Scott Walker keeps winning up there?
Great article sallybrown, thanks.

Also, remember this? Scott Walker: David Koch Prank Call Showed 'God Had A Plan For Me'

Funny prank. Reality is that Walker is the hand-picked carefully groomed Koch boy through and through. He is their hoped-for path to the White House.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:02 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


And Obama will just veto the vast majority of the shit bills he's sent because he can take one for the team. Legistlatively they'll just run out the clock and try to protect ACA.

Basically the only thing this means is that getting any judicial nominees through is zero.
posted by vuron at 8:02 PM on November 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


And what is it about flu shot+voting

Already got a flu shot, so I voted and then donated blood. Tried unsuccessfully to find a little old lady to help across the street. Tried though.
posted by eddydamascene at 8:04 PM on November 4, 2014 [7 favorites]


This is the next thing to a GOP wave, they're looking good to get to 54 or 55 seats.

And that makes it practically impossible for the Democrats to take the Senate in 2016.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:07 PM on November 4, 2014


I know it's competitive and there are so many options available to me, but there aren't really many people in the GOP ranks right now that I dislike more than Scott Fucking Walker.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:08 PM on November 4, 2014 [5 favorites]


You all have much more confidence in Obama than I do. I can envision all sorts of stuff he'd be unwilling to veto, we've seen time and time again he's ready and more than willing to compromise simply for the sake of compromising as its own worthwhile end. What makes you think he's suddenly going to become a roadblock with the veto pin? I've not seen a credible argument yet.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:08 PM on November 4, 2014


Any news yet on how bad disenfranchisement has been this year thanks to the new Voter ID laws? I need to plan my alcohol consumption tonight based on whether I need to not be too hungover to riot tomorrow. Please advise, thanks.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:08 PM on November 4, 2014


Holy crap. MSNBC says that NC & VA are both in trouble and Baker is taking the lead in MA right now. Scott Brown is refusing to concede.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:09 PM on November 4, 2014


I wonder how much Obama is going to be forced to use the veto. Some stuff will need to get passed in the next couple years. If the GOP keeps sending him extreme bills then he'll have to veto it all. But if the Republicans are forced to compromise enough to just get enough Democrats votes for it to be signable, they would probably pass more of what they want and they can always chip away more later. I'm guessing they're going to be sending Obama a bunch of somewhat less extreme bills that cut away funding from a bunch of small things rather than trying for big Republican goals.
posted by downtohisturtles at 8:10 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


With Clinton as "presumptive nominee", she'll be Great Big Target #1 for the GOP Machine starting tomorrow. And even if Impeachment has zero chance of taking Obama down, if they base the charges on Benghazi, look who gets to be in the hot seat for a few weeks of televised Senate abuse... Ms. Ex-Secretary-of-State.

Also remember, Obama can't veto anything into existence. If the GOP Machine wants to defund everything associated with the ACA, they only have to wait for next year's spending bills.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:10 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


If the Dems playing this one like such cowards, not turning up at the polls in protest, was all just BS posturing to strengthen the case for a Hillary ticket down the road ("See? We need someone more hawkish on defense--that's what cost us!") I'm going to be pissed! It's already a given Clinton will be a strong contender.)
posted by saulgoodman at 8:10 PM on November 4, 2014


I'm seeing reports that there'll be no results tonight in the too close to call CO governor race. The Democrats did take back the two state senate seats lost in the wake of the NRA-fervor-driven recalls (but could still lose their one-seat majority).
posted by audi alteram partem at 8:15 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ugh, Larry Hogan is looking like the next governor of Maryland. I feel sick.
posted by codacorolla at 8:15 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


The bad news is that the pundits and the pols will all take the wrong message from this and assume Dems need to move further to the right. Plus, the republicans will be insufferable. Didn't think it was possible they could be more so, but damn, guess so. I've never been a believer in the idea that you have to hit bottom before recovery, that seems needlessly risky -- but I guess we may be about to find out if there is any merit to that theory.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:18 PM on November 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


Keep in mind that it's next to impossible for the House to not send crazy as fuck legislation to the Senate and this Senate is nowhere near Red enough to pass crazytown bills so a good percentage of bills will still die in the Senate.

Obama just needs to play defense on the remainder and push for continuing spending bills rather than a Budget compromise that in any way defunds ACA.
posted by vuron at 8:20 PM on November 4, 2014


Ben Casselman tweet: So voters want a higher minimum wage, legal pot, abortion access and GOP representation. Ok then.
posted by Perplexity at 8:20 PM on November 4, 2014 [24 favorites]


Keep in mind that it's next to impossible for the House to not send crazy as fuck legislation to the Senate and this Senate is nowhere near Red enough to pass crazytown bills so a good percentage of bills will still die in the Senate.

You say that now. Let's just hold off on the "they're not crazy enough to do X" talk until we see.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:21 PM on November 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


Nut case tea-bagger and celebrated hog castrator Joni Ernst wins in Iowa. The horrors.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:32 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


Also, Republican Tom Emmer has won Michele Bachmann's seat in Minnesota's 6th District.

(not an improvement)
posted by triggerfinger at 8:42 PM on November 4, 2014


I'm taking solace in the fact that nothing gets done in the second half of a democrat's second term anyway. And that cock-sure republicans will shoot themselves in the foot given half a chance. And that presidential election cycles are becoming a fading dream for the GOP.

But still, liberal voters, stop only getting excited about cults of personality!

Midterms are decided right now by shit-scared old people who watch FOXNews and have nothing better to do. That is a very, very defeatable demographic!

And as much as I will be fine with Hillary Clinton as the next president, Elizabeth Warren has less baggage, way lower unlikable numbers, and a much, much better view for the future.

Let's make the country better starting today, huh?
posted by Navelgazer at 8:42 PM on November 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


So the children and mental services renewal levies got voted down but the senior services levy passed with flying colors. At least the city school district got its improvement levy passed, too. Batting 50%.

Nothing important to vote on at all, no. The national elections are all bought so just ignore the elections that decide if your fucking road gets paved.
posted by charred husk at 8:43 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah, by the time 2016 rolls around, the Republicans will have shown (again) how utterly crazy they are, because they can't help themselves; reminding (again) the people who voted for them that they're unfit to do much more than tie their own shoes, which provides the Democrats a very nice path to take it all back (again).

I swear this is becoming a pattern.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:49 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


The 2016 presidential election is only going to be good for Democrats who think that Hillary is more liberal than a 1980s Republican.

She's a hell of a lot more liberal than a 2014 Republican, which is enough to get my vote.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:54 PM on November 4, 2014 [19 favorites]


It's too bad that the Rs won the Senate regardless because if they had lost it by 1 and lost Virginia then the R howling over Sarvis spoiling the election would have been glorious.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:02 PM on November 4, 2014


Illinois' new governor previously on Metafilter.
posted by sparkletone at 9:03 PM on November 4, 2014


So are there any real surprises yet? Is this GOP win about as predicted, or more or less?
posted by Perplexity at 9:05 PM on November 4, 2014


More.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:06 PM on November 4, 2014


Oh, yeah, Rauner, I can't even. He put somewhere north of $25,000,000 of his own money into the race. So far, it looks like he won big in the Chicago suburbs, carrying every Illinois county beside Cook.

Minnesota is going to be the ONLY Midwestern state with a Democratic governor!
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:08 PM on November 4, 2014


Well, I am cheered in an albeit bitter way after hearing Joni Ernst's wackadooodle acceptance speech - you must listen to it if you get the chance so you will enjoy the inevitable SNL parodies. She'll be bringing the crazy we've so very much missed with Michele Bachmann gone.

The roster of extremists has grown considerably tonight. We can count on one thing: The Republicans never show restraint, they will overplay their hand in an enormously big way. Get up everyday and take Dramamine to counter the nausea, then buckle down for a wild ride.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:10 PM on November 4, 2014 [6 favorites]


I'm glad I wasn't the only one who thought that speech was batshit insane. WHAT WAS THAT EVIL ROBOT CACKLE?
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:15 PM on November 4, 2014


Bookmarked for two years from now: Scott Walker is your next President.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:17 PM on November 4, 2014


Bookmarked for two years from now: Scott Walker is your next President.

YOU TAKE THAT BACK
posted by dialetheia at 9:20 PM on November 4, 2014 [17 favorites]


Hillary remains the odds-on favorite for next president, nothing tonight changes that one bit.
posted by Perplexity at 9:23 PM on November 4, 2014


Walker is too used to being loved for his extremism because of his wacky Milwaukee suburbs base. He won't be able to believably adapt to the centrist role he'd have to play nationally, I think - people will find him too phony because he's not practiced enough at faking moderation.
posted by sallybrown at 9:24 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


Paul Lepage is looking strong for re-election in Maine HOW THE FUCK OFF YOUR MEDS SHOVEL-TO-THE-HEAD TOUCHED DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO RE-ELECT PAUL LE FUCKING PAGE?
posted by Navelgazer at 9:28 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


...which is one reason the assumption that the batshit craziness of today's GOP is NOT an automatic failure. They got Paul LePage, Scott Walker, Bruce Rauner, etc. elected/re-elected Governors of purplish states.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:32 PM on November 4, 2014


So are there any real surprises yet? Is this GOP win about as predicted, or more or less?

More. It's another wave election, similar to 2010. It's brought in the radical-right as a part of the mainstream establishment - doubling down on radical conservative issues won them something.

I see claims that the white, conservative demographic's hold on power is slipping as being so much pipe-dreaming. I see the conservatives have an effective and relentless path to power, beginning at the school board and moving up the line to statewide and then national office, and the vaunted Obama ground-game is worthless against them. I see the Democratic party refuse to take any damn kind of stand at all, on anything, while on the stump. No-one knows what the party fucking stands for, because they're terrified of the polling optics. Well, try these optics on for size - as badly as Obama polls in Kentucky, Grimes only lost the race when she refused to say, "Hell, yea, I'm a member of the Democratic Party, of course I voted for the President. Duh."

So. No, the Conservative movement is not losing strength. No, the Democratic party can't organize and motivate it's base, and Obama's machine can't apparently help them organize and drive voters to the polls. Yes, the Republicans will use this opportunity to consolidate their hold on power, including totalitarian tricks like voter suppression in states where it looks like minorities, the young or the poor can swing things.

How bad is it? Here in RI, we had a third party candidate for Governor. He's an idiot. He's a goofy, bearded guy who just likes running for governor to piss people off. He spent NO money on the campaign. None. He just grew his beard extra long.

He got 22% of the vote tonight. The Democratic Party nominee, a latino woman, who featured a popular local beer company in her campaign ads, barely squeaked by a corrupt small-town mayor on the GOP ticket with something like 39%. Massachusetts may not be so lucky.

Whatever the Democrats are doing, they're failing at it. What are they doing? What was their strategy, here? The national message?
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:34 PM on November 4, 2014 [25 favorites]


Hillary remains the odds-on favorite for next president, nothing tonight changes that one bit.

I think it shows that all of the Dem messaging, War on Women, GOP Overreach, soft pedal support of Obamacare, all fell very flat, and the overarching national climate is buying into GOP anti-government, anti-Obama much more than they thought. Ds had their little window from 2008-2010, then lost complete track of any national message since then and have yet to regain even a foothold. The GOP has won the messaging war since 2010, and only shooting themselves in the foot allowed Dems to hold on to the Senate for this long.

Walker fits the bill of a Romney-like, white guy in a suit with good hair candidate who can be the sane one in a field of Ted Cruzes, I think he walks to the nomination. And unless Dems can reverse course on this repudiation, articulate some sort of vision that resonates with the electorate through the next two years of GOP scandalmaking, he can win in 2016 over a Hilary who's still running scared from every Obama accomplishment.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:39 PM on November 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


OMG, I just checked the comments on Robert Sarvis's Facebook page. The Republican tears and rage are glorious. ahahahahahaha
posted by Jacqueline at 9:39 PM on November 4, 2014


What was their strategy, here? The national message?

"Obama? Never heard of him."

(ProTip: If you run as Republican Lite, they're just going to vote for the real thing. Also, check with Dr. Einstein about the definition of insanity.)
posted by tonycpsu at 9:39 PM on November 4, 2014 [9 favorites]


Really DNC? Joni Ernst? Joni Goddamned Ernst? Am I really going to have to hear about Senator Joni Pig-Castrating Ernst for the rest of my goddamned life?

Closer to home the Georgia Democrats couldn't even beat Jody The Sandy Hook Massacre was punishment from God Hice. About whom the nicest thing you can say is that he's a Baptist pastor and conservative radio show host, and one of the most frightening is that he believes that the "blood moon" portends world changing events.

Georgia Democrats ran Ken Who? Dious against Hice. Dious' website had so many typographical and grammatical mistakes that it looked like it was prepared by high-schoolers. Have I mentioned lately how the Georgia Democratic Party could screw up a two car funeral?

As noted above, we're almost certain to get even more Michelle Nunn types in the future. The DNC will run even more "centrists" who are indistinguishable from a Republican circa 1956 and we'll wind up with the world's greatest deliberative body being indistinguishable from the monkey house at the zoo.

God damn do I hate the Democrats. Too bad for me I'm one of them.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:53 PM on November 4, 2014 [5 favorites]


"Obama? Never heard of him."
  • Intensification of drone strikes on civilian populations.
  • Two Goldman Sachs CEOs on the cabinet.
  • Collusion with state governors to repress popular protests.
  • Solitary confinement for whistleblowers.
  • Diplomatic persecution for journalists.
  • ACA a poison pill.
  • Said nothing about the prison industrial complex.
  • Did nothing about the national security state.
It's not a great strategy, but it's the best they've got.
posted by clarknova at 9:54 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


I almost never vote Democrat for top tickets, as I'll generally vote for a Green when one's running; but today I voted for Martha Coakley, a pretty sad excuse for a candidate, because there was amazingly enough nobody representing my party/views better in the gubernatorial race. Falchuk had the independent thing going for him, but his platform seemed standard-issue neoliberal and not more progressive than MA Democrats. I am proud that we are passing the no-brainer sick pay question and deeply disappointed that we are repealing scheduled gas tax increases.

And props to New Hampshire for not accepting our sloppy seconds.
posted by threeants at 9:59 PM on November 4, 2014


God I'm just really, really hoping for Warren to run and barnstorm the hell out of the country right now.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:07 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]




It must be noted that newspaper comic strips have to be submitted to the syndicator with much more lead time than editorial cartoons, but IMO, Darrin Bell excels at both.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:38 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


You know what I do if I'm Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi tomorrow? I tell every member of my caucus to simply get the fuck out of the way and give the GOP enough rope to hang themselves with. Let Americans get their nightly newscast full of quotes from Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Joni Ernst, Allen West, and Louie Gohmert. Let people see the unvarnished crazy for what it is. Forget horse-trading with the six remaining Republican moderates -- hell, just forget about governing entirely and let the Republicans shovel whatever ridiculous shit they want into bills that Obama can put down for Bo and Sunny to poop on before sending them back with the [VETO] pen. Which in my ideal world he would re-christen as the [BITCH PLEASE] pen.

I've pretty much given up on Democrats running as Democrats, so failing that, they might as well just step aside and give the American people a chance to see just what Hell awaits us if these people actually have the power to enact their ideology into law. And then Hillary, Warren, or whoever-the-fuck-else can just tour the country holding up a veto pen and asking voters if they want them holding it, or someone like Rand Paul or Chris Christie holding it.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:57 PM on November 4, 2014 [7 favorites]


I'm not even American and I'm upset.
posted by Quilford at 11:26 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


The USA is so fucked. I gotta find a Norwegian woman willing to marry me and give me sanctuary from this madness.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 11:38 PM on November 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


The Republicans Who Know A Gay Guy lost a lot of seats tonight to the Republicans Who Think FEMA Runs The Shadow Government
posted by Awful Peice of Crap at 12:10 AM on November 5, 2014 [15 favorites]


Sheesh, what a bloodbath.
posted by JimBJ9 at 12:14 AM on November 5, 2014


Congrats Alaska, DC, and Oregon! Better luck next time Florida, where apparently 57% Yes means No.
posted by Joe Chip at 1:56 AM on November 5, 2014


CA continues to do pretty well. And lots of R-states will flip again in two years.
posted by persona au gratin at 2:33 AM on November 5, 2014


The USA is so fucked. I gotta find a Norwegian woman willing to marry me and give me sanctuary from this madness.

Could you look for one who has a single brother?

See this excellent analysis from billmon over a series of tweets - here's one important point:
11. GOP will be defending 24 seats in 2016 -- many of them in the 2010 wave. Dems will defend only 10 -- in a presidential year.
posted by madamjujujive at 3:52 AM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Won't make a damn bit of difference unless they grow a spine
posted by sonic meat machine at 4:14 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


It's weird how self-sorted and gerrymandered we are. I live in this little bubble of Democrats in Western PA surrounded by some of the hardest right Republicans in the country. My Democratic state rep won with 86% of the vote but just a few miles up the parkway the horrible religious nutcase Daryl Metcalfe won his district easily.
posted by octothorpe at 4:30 AM on November 5, 2014


It's weird how self-sorted and gerrymandered we are.

Gerrymandering is weird and profoundly American. Self-sorting is not, though; that's a psychological phenomenon. We want to live around people who are similar to ourselves, in outlook at least: liberal, cosmopolitan people want to live in liberal, cosmopolitan places, and people who think that black people are the devil want to be as far away from them as possible.
posted by sonic meat machine at 4:50 AM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Bookmarked for two years from now: Scott Walker is your next President.

Flagged.
posted by drezdn at 5:00 AM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


Illinois voters overwhelmingly voted yes on a meaningless "advisory question" to raise the minimum wage to $10 while electing a governor who once promised to reduce the state minimum wage. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by theodolite at 5:14 AM on November 5, 2014 [10 favorites]


Any news yet on how bad disenfranchisement has been this year thanks to the new Voter ID laws?

Here in RI, we had a third party candidate for Governor. He's an idiot. He spent NO money on the campaign. He got 22% of the vote tonight. The Democratic Party nominee, a latino woman ... barely squeaked by a corrupt small-town mayor on the GOP ticket

I spent a long day as an election worker Tuesday. (Partly just cos I could use the whopping big $125.)

"Interesting" from start to finish. In an overall R(TP) bastion, this precinct was a mixed bag of an area, from people of color, renters, etc. but some women carrying Coach bags and big-boat-owning guys.

The MI law is that you can say you don't have a photo ID with you, and sign an affadavit to that effect and get a ballot. But if you refuse to produce one, you are denied a ballot. Had a few of the former.

But I also got several people who used that as an opportunity to rant loudly about all those OTHER people who cheat. You know what Others I mean. (And one slick douche who repeatedly tried to engage me - a polling place worker - as to my opinion.)

Also from what I saw on write-in ballots, some people sure know how to waste a vote. Why do I get the feeling it was potential Dem voters who instead wrote in cartoon characters or themselves or "None."
posted by NorthernLite at 5:17 AM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Thanks to decades of work & millions of dollars the right has invested in poisoning the well of our discourse (e.g. Frank Luntz), US attitudes toward policy questions are deeply confused. Phrased one way, a policy like a minimum wage raise, will be welcomed with open arms while phrased in another way (or offered by the "wrong" kind of spokesperson) it will be reviled.
posted by audi alteram partem at 5:29 AM on November 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


A short breakdown why I don't think Walker has a shot at the R nomination in 2016
1. He's not even the most popular Republican presidential choice in his own state (Wisconsin Republicans prefer Ryan)
2. It wouldn't be that hard to build a negative campaign against him. Wisconsin lags behind the rest of the Midwest in job production. He will most likely need to pass a budget repair bill next year because tax collections haven't been as good as he expected. Plus the dude has so many skeletons in his closet.
3. Remember Dukakis in a tank? Here's Walker on a zipline.
4. He doesn't have a nationwide version of the support network he has in Wisconsin.

Reasons why he might have a shot...
1. He's good friends with Reince Preibus.
2. He bridges the gap between business conservatives and religious conservatives.
posted by drezdn at 6:11 AM on November 5, 2014


Thank God there's still Halloween candy to drown my sorrows in.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:15 AM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


S I G H
posted by FunkyHelix at 6:22 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Bookmarked for two years from now: Scott Walker is your next President.

Ah, I see someone has never lived in Wisconsin. Scott Walker can win elections here because Wisconsin is virulently, breathtakingly racist. Wisconsin imprisons more black men than any state, we disenfranchise and segregate and incarcerate people of color with impunity. In addition to the TNR article sallybrown linked above -- Scott Walker's Toxic Racial Politics -- this special report from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel covers it well, with lots of visual aids to accompany the data: Dividing Lines: Democratic, Republican voters worlds apart in divided Wisconsin.

For the duration of his stint as Governor, Walker has had a Republican-led state legislature to inspire and enthusiastically enact his most racist, sexist, and classist whims, which is how we wound up living in the Republic of Fitzwalkerstan. A Governor is only as effective as their state legislature will allow them to be, and in Wisconsin, they're in lockstep. But the dude is a known failure -- how 'bout them 250,000 jobs, Scotty? -- and he's dumb as a box of rocks. Not like GWB silver spoon kinda dumb, but being found guilty of illegal campaigning while running for college president kinda dumb. The kind of guy who gets his lackeys to do ostentatiously illegal shit for him and then lets them take the fall: That's Scott Walker in a nutshell.

So all y'all people who don't live here can go all Chicken Little over his 2016 bid, that's fine. We're the only ones who'll have to live with the madness that's already happened -- the abortion restrictions, the voter disenfranchisement, the union-busting -- along with the unfathomable madness that's about to ensue; you know it as well as we do. Still, every Wisconsin Democrat I know, myself included, is on tenterhooks just waiting to see that little beady-eyed fucker eat truckloads of shit on a national stage. His campaign, if he somehow manages to get the nod over the similarly execrable Paul Ryan, is going to explode into glorious ruin. Scott Walker is not going to be our next President. But it's sure going to be fun watching him try.
posted by divined by radio at 6:28 AM on November 5, 2014 [29 favorites]


And since I'm apparently about as dumb as Scott Walker: being found guilty of illegal campaigning while running for college president, non-borked version.
posted by divined by radio at 6:48 AM on November 5, 2014


i'm pretty sad about wendy davis and wonder how impact the voter ID law that was passed at the last minute had anything to do with her loss. is there any to actually know this?

i am also sooooo happy Wolf beat Corbett. maybe we'll get a severance tax on fracking and expanded healthcare. and maybe, just maybe, more education funding. the 5% severance tax he wants would give us a ton of money as a state.
posted by sio42 at 6:50 AM on November 5, 2014


i'm pretty sad about wendy davis and wonder how impact the voter ID law that was passed at the last minute had anything to do with her loss. is there any to actually know this?

Anecdotal evidence, but a friend of mine who voted in an area with a lot of college students saw a lot of students being turned away for "improper" ID. She -- a new arrival in TX -- was turned away from early voting for trying to vote with her TX voter registration and her driver's license from where she used to live. She had to go and get her passport (!) as ID.
posted by dhens at 6:54 AM on November 5, 2014


I'm not sure how much Wolf can get done with the current Republican controlled PA house and senate. The red districts in the center of the state are going to do their best to block anything he proposes.
posted by octothorpe at 6:55 AM on November 5, 2014


I hope you're right, but I don't see anything disqualifying there in a country that just ushered Mitch McConnell into the big seat. The rest of the country is gobbling up the tea party story line, and Walker has the "best" track record of a teabagger governor. Everything you mentioned helps, not hurts, him in the primary, and this election just proved that complete failure of actual governance is a boost, not a drag, with independents. The country is buying into the story of everything is government's fault on an emotional level, facts are completely optional and probably actually hurt a candidate in this environment. While a Hilary campaign will be saying, "look at Wisconsin's below average job growth under Scott Walker", a Walker campaign will be screaming, "SHE LOVES OBAMA AND OBAMACARE AND ILLEGALS AND TAXES AND GOVERNMENT AND HATES COAL AND BABIES AND JOBS". We just saw which is the more resonant message.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:56 AM on November 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


I'm not sure how much Wolf can get done with the current Republican controlled PA house and senate. The red districts in the center of the state are going to do their best to block anything he proposes.

Damage control.

Voted absentee in PA.
posted by dhens at 6:57 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


I hope you're right, but I don't see anything disqualifying there in a country that just ushered Mitch McConnell into the big seat. The rest of the country is gobbling up the tea party story line, and Walker has the "best" track record of a teabagger governor. Everything you mentioned helps, not hurts, him in the primary, and this election just proved that complete failure of actual governance is a boost, not a drag, with independents.

Turnout was terrible for the good guys. Of course, you gotta give folks a reason to turn out , but I don't think these results indicate that the rest of the country is "gobbling up the tea party story line."

Meanwhile, the country didn't elect Mitch McConnell Majority Leader -- Kentucky did.

On days like these it's helpful to remember that despair is a luxury.
posted by notyou at 7:06 AM on November 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


Brownback and Roberts both win in Kansas. Thomas Frank was right, What is the matter with Kansas?
posted by dhens at 7:07 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Paul Lepage is looking strong for re-election in Maine HOW THE FUCK OFF YOUR MEDS SHOVEL-TO-THE-HEAD TOUCHED DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO RE-ELECT PAUL LE FUCKING PAGE?

As a Mainer I have been sort of fascinated by this. If you look at the numbers for some of the southern towns/cities, it seems almost certain that a number of people voted both for Pingree, one of the most liberal house members, and Lepage, one of the most conservative governors in the north. People really love incumbents? People just pick random boxes to fill in?

Honestly at the end of the day Michaud is a really underwhelming politician (and we elected Baldacci! Twice!), there was a bit of Cutler factor, and I really think the Nextgen money spent here (which seemed to be 90% attack ads on Lepage narrated by evil-sounding robot people) backfired. Given the voters here, I think Democrats really, really have to dig at the bottom of their pockets and change-purses and find someone who can actually muster visible enthusiasm for running for Governor, and maybe even say some interesting stuff.
posted by selfnoise at 7:19 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


tonycpsu: "You know what I do if I'm Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi tomorrow? I tell every member of my caucus to simply get the fuck out of the way and give the GOP enough rope to hang themselves with. Let Americans get their nightly newscast full of quotes from Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Joni Ernst, Allen West, and Louie Gohmert. Let people see the unvarnished crazy for what it is."

THIS! This is 100% what I've been saying. Here you go - you want it? You got it.

But that's giving the Americans too much credit. :(

Alas.
posted by symbioid at 7:24 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Can someone convince me the R's aren't smart enough to use the next 2 years "compromising" on some of the less controversial issues (uh...leave the ACA alone? marijuana? minimum wage? women's something-other-than-abortion? I don't know) in order to gain approval in the polls and actually get an R in the Whitehouse, at which point they'll bring the hammer down on everything they actually care about? Please?
posted by jermsplan at 7:26 AM on November 5, 2014


triggerfinger: "I know it's competitive and there are so many options available to me, but there aren't really many people in the GOP ranks right now that I dislike more than Scott Fucking Walker."

Have you heard of Glenn Grothman yet? You will, and the GOP and Wisconsin have brought him to you.
posted by symbioid at 7:28 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


symbioid: Have you heard of Glenn Grothman yet? You will, and the GOP and Wisconsin have brought him to you.

Yeah, after seeing him a lot on TV during Walker's collective bargaining fiasco, he's my dark horse as Rookie of the Year in the Michele Bachmann/Louie Gohmert "current TV camera and microphone technology can't adequately capture how batshit we are" competition.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:36 AM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


dialetheia: "Bookmarked for two years from now: Scott Walker is your next President.

YOU TAKE THAT BACK
"

WE KEEP TRYING!!!
posted by symbioid at 7:47 AM on November 5, 2014 [13 favorites]


Dang. Even my Democratic State House Representative Jenise May, who was doing things like increasing daycare resources for low income families, lost—and by less than 600 votes with turnout at around 35%.
posted by audi alteram partem at 7:47 AM on November 5, 2014


Just like in 2010, California remains a bulwark against the red tide. We've sustained some losses, but the damage has been limited. Meanwhile, I look over at Arizona and Texas, and just marvel at the idea that "any day now, Texas is going to turn blue!" - it seems like it'll be a cold day in hell. It's like with fusion power, forever 20 years into the future. And another Bushie won, even more spectacularly than any Bushie before him, and the dynasty keeps going on, ever harder right; Texas, you are not a land of contrasts.
posted by VikingSword at 8:02 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


FiveThirtyEight:
While most people are paying attention to the Senate races tonight, Republicans also had an amazing night in gubernatorial elections.

The GOP won all the close races in which its candidates were favored, such as Michigan and Wisconsin. Republicans won the vast majority of close races in which they were slight underdogs, such as Florida, Illinois and Maine. They won in Kansas, where we gave the GOP incumbent, Sam Brownback, only a 20 percent chance.

And Republicans have even taken Maryland, where they had only a 6 percent chance of winning according to our last pre-election forecast. The Republican candidates are also leading in Colorado and Connecticut — three races where polls favored the Democratic candidates.

To put it mildly, this is a wave.

Also, for those saying the 2014 results don't really matter, this election has put a significant damper on the chances of the 2016 election riding to the rescue. According to Sean Trende at RealClearPolitics, the GOP Senate majority of 54 seats we're likely to see will mean Democrats have only a 59% chance of retaking the chamber while winning the White House -- and a 43% chance if they fail. The odds of winning back a filibuster-proof majority are basically nil.

And if you can stomach contemplating this far in the future, the 2018 race -- the first midterm for the next president, featuring seats contested in 2012 -- looks to be another bloodbath for Senate Democrats. Virtually all of the tossup and leaning seats are in Democratic hands, and a lot of Dems that squeaked by in 2012 thanks to Obama's coattails, crappy GOP candidates, "legitimate rape," etc. will be in a very vulnerable position.

Add to that the continued Republican lock on the House until at least the next Census in 2020, and their utter domination of state politics, and we have basically all hopes riding on Hillary Clinton doing quite strongly in 2016.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:06 AM on November 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


What is the matter with Kansas?

20 percent of voter registrations were kicked out this year for some pretext or another. For comparison, a normal year in Kansas is 0.8 percent registrations denied.

This may have swayed the election. But I know people who can't stand Brownback but voted for him anyways.

Based on people I know who work for the local school district, many of those voted for Brownback even though they knew he is going to continue with the education cuts and this would mean their schools would start to rival Mississippi. There would even be a chance they would be laid off.

I talked with my friends and family about this. They agreed with me that this was the likely outcome. And said they were going to vote for Brownback anyways.

I don't get it. At all.
posted by honestcoyote at 8:07 AM on November 5, 2014 [11 favorites]


The problem Democrats have in Gubernatorial and Senate elections all come down to turnout. Democratic voters simply do not show up to the polls in off-year elections. So long as that is the case nothing the Democrats do in terms of policy or messaging will fix this. If your people don't vote you will lose.

The House is a different matter, obviously, and would remain a problem (though somewhat less of one) even in the face of higher turnout because of gerrymandering. But leaving the House aside the Democrats are screwed as long as the people who show up to the polls are mostly Republican voters. And Democratic voters have nobody to blame but themselves as long as they aren't showing up.

Yes, Republicans are doing awful and scummy things like disenfranchising voters. But that is a drop in the bucket compared to the number of people who don't bother to vote because reasons.
posted by Justinian at 8:11 AM on November 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


Have you heard of Glenn Grothman yet? You will, and the GOP and Wisconsin have brought him to you.

Yep, that dude is totally off his rocker, and has been for as long as I can remember. For the uninitiated: Glenn Grothman, Glenn Grothman, Glenn Grothman.

Glenn Grothman, how long have I loathed you? Coming up on two decades now, and it feels like forever. I have extremely personal, first-hand experience with his work as an attorney and I just cannot fucking FATHOM the fact that the kneejerk right-wing nutbag I went up against in court circa 1999 is the guy who's going to be a sitting Congresscritter come January. It's breaking my brain. Does not compute.

No one outside of ALEC and the populace of southeastern Wisconsin had ever heard of him before, which was something of a relief, but now that he's been elected to the United States House of Representatives, the last vestige of faith I had in the sanity of my home state has officially been shattered, doused in kerosene, and pitched into the maw of a goddamn volcano. I hate Scott Walker with the fire of ten thousand suns, but Glenn Grothman makes him look like friggin' Mother Teresa. I can't wait for Wisconsin to become even more of a nationwide laughingstock than it is already. The next 4-6 years are gonna be a real trip.

So if there are any unmarried dudes living in more civilized places who might be looking to bring a lifelong liberal Wisconsinite into the fold... well, I know a gal.
posted by divined by radio at 8:12 AM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


It looks like Colorado gets to keep Governor Hickenlooper, just barely. So that's something.

I'm still disgusted with the Denver Post. I canceled my online subscription for unrelated reasons just before they endorsed Gardner, and I wish I could go back and change my reason. I'd planned to re-subscribe with a different online subscription method (they seem to offer multiple options? It's confusing, which was why I'd canceled) but fuck that, they get no money from me after that endorsement.
posted by asperity at 8:14 AM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


Democratic voters have nobody to blame but themselves as long as they aren't showing up.

Why is turnout so low in U.S. elections? We make it more difficult to vote than other democracies
posted by audi alteram partem at 8:24 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


I guess this is the part of the movie where the bad guys just completely dominate for a really long time and the only way to survive is to die a little inside and plunge ahead with a forced smile on your face and lay low until things break down so badly, an opportunity finally appears. Or this isn't a movie and we're just digging ourselves deeper and deeper into the crap and there's just no realistic hope of turning this doomed ship around anymore. Damn. It's my wife's birthday and she's miserable about the results. I'm going to just force on that smile.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:26 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


divined by radio:
Glenn Grothman, Glenn Grothman, Glenn Grothman
I AM SUMMONED
posted by Glenn Grothman at 8:27 AM on November 5, 2014 [14 favorites]


And Democratic voters have nobody to blame but themselves as long as they aren't showing up.

I think that's part of it, but at the same time as people do have a responsibility to vote for the lesser of two evils, Democrats needed to do a better job explaining why they were better, and instead many of them chose to run away from Democratic accomplishments and take their chances being the alternative to the crazy. The Republicans saw this and whitewashed away most of the crazy, which works during an election where they can control their message. My feeling is that when the campaign consultants are off the case and we have to listen to what the GOP actually wants to do voters will suddenly realize maybe they should have shown up, but will they remember that two years from now? History says no.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:27 AM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


Goddamn it, Hydra.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:33 AM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


They won in Kansas, where we gave the GOP incumbent, Sam Brownback, only a 20 percent chance. ... To put it mildly, this is a wave.

This is the other side of the "polls say..." coverage that drives me crazy: when turnout is different from what they predicted, the media interprets it as a wave of popular sentiment like all those people actually changed their minds, instead being rightly attributed to a difference in turnout and motivation. It's not like America woke up yesterday and fell in love with Republicans and their (lack of) policies, it's just that the people who turned out to vote were more conservative while more liberal people stayed home. It doesn't mean that a bunch of liberals became more conservative, or that people were swayed by conservative policies.

Buying into this "winning hearts and minds" framing has the detrimental effect of driving Dems further to the right and further depressing liberal turnout, especially in crappy low-turnout midterms like this; instead of being proud of themselves and their policies and actually doing something to motivate the liberal voters who elected them in the first place, they backpedal, run away from Obama, and disclaim their own policies in an effort to win over Joe Teapartier. It's absolutely ridiculous but they seem so terrified of mobilizing their own liberal base by advocating and standing up for even a single liberal policy, and I just can't understand why. I get that a lot of what was going on this year was that Dems had won a lot of seats in traditionally-conservative districts in the Fuck Bush election of 2008 and many of those districts are just reverting to their natural conservative state, but the national campaign messaging has still been absolutely terrible this year.

20 percent of voter registrations were kicked out this year for some pretext or another. For comparison, a normal year in Kansas is 0.8 percent registrations denied.

Then when stuff like this happens, since our framing is all in terms of "convincing people" and voters "changing their minds," it can still be interpreted by the media as a wave of support for the GOP instead of goddamned voter suppression. Ugh.
posted by dialetheia at 8:33 AM on November 5, 2014 [11 favorites]


Add to that the continued Republican lock on the House until at least the next Census in 2020, and their utter domination of state politics, and we have basically all hopes riding on Hillary Clinton doing quite strongly in 2016.

And if she loses, President Walker gets at least 1, probably 2, SCOTUS appointments. Karl Rove's permanent GOP majority prophecy is fulfilled, 8 years off schedule. Very, very dark times ahead.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:33 AM on November 5, 2014


The one thing which gives me hope is how fast the turnaround is these days on political waves. After a strong victory in 2004, the Republicans get knocked out in 2006 & 2008. Then the Republicans have another big wave in 2010. Democrats have a good year in 2012. And then there's 2014.

I couldn't begin to predict 2016 based on recent history.
posted by honestcoyote at 8:35 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Republicans Ran a 2014 Campaign. Democrats Ran a 2012 Campaign.
This New York Times article explains how Republicans kept candidates from going off message:
Little was left to chance: Republican operatives sent fake campaign trackers -- interns and staff members brandishing video cameras to record every utterance and move -- to trail their own candidates. In media training sessions, candidates were forced to sit through a reel of the most self-destructive moments of 2012, when Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock's comments on rape and pregnancy helped sink the party.

... in the end, the disciplined approach worked: no Republican imploded with the kind of fatal campaign gaffe that crushed the party's hopes in the last two elections. Every establish candidate prevailed in the primaries. Republicans credited this to their rigorous training program. The fake trackers would even surprise candidates at the curb outside the airport when they flew into Washington to meet with National Republican Senatorial Committee officials, who then forced candidates to sit down and watch themselves on film.
"But wait," you say. "Didn't Joni Ernst denounce Agenda 21 as a massive UN fascist conspiracy?" Yeah -- in 2013. And Cory Gardner rejected the personhood bill he'd supported in March of this year. Republicans understand that if an embarrassing thing wasn't said recently, to the average moderate voter it doesn't count, especially if you have to explain why the embarrassing thing is embarrassing (which is why the Agenda 21 assertion never mattered -- if liberals and moderates watched ideological TV as relentlessly as conservatives watch Fox, they'd understand this, but they don't).

Republicans also understand how to work the rhythms of bad news for Democrats. So much of what went wrong for President Obama in the past year consisted of problems he hadn't headed off but ultimately got a handle on. Is there an Ebola epidemic in America? No. Have we had stateside ISIS beheadings? No. Did the child refugee wave on the border eventually abate? Yes. Does the Obamacare website work? Yes. But Republicans know how to work these issues when they're front and center in people's minds. Republican burn them into America's collective brain as Obama failures. Each seeming crisis settles down, and on some level we realize that we're not all going to die, but many of us never forget the outrage and fear.

Democrat[s], by contrast, seem to have absolutely no ability to imprint Republicans' failures in the minds of voters. Voters utterly forgot last fall's government shutdown. Voters forgot what they hated about Rick Scott and Paul Le Page and Scott Walker. There's a way to do this in the modern media environment, and to overcome the limits of modern attention spans -- we know that because Republicans know how to do it. Democrats don't.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:40 AM on November 5, 2014 [26 favorites]


So long as that is the case nothing the Democrats do in terms of policy or messaging will fix this. If your people don't vote you will lose.

The democrats employ very expensive people whose job it is to solve these problems. If they fail to do that, they suck at their jobs and are bad and should feel bad.

I got 3,459 emails in the past ~2 months from the dems, and they were all begging for money.* Not so much any emails telling me what they would do different, or bragging about what they had accomplished.

*I made the mistake once of donating to a democratic campaign in 2012. I won't do that again.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:47 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Democratic voters have nobody to blame but themselves as long as they aren't showing up.

And as long as that's the lesson you get from the incredibly successful voter suppression programs ("20 percent of voter registrations were kicked out this year for some pretext or another. For comparison, a normal year in Kansas is 0.8 percent registrations denied."), the Republican Party is the Future of America.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:49 AM on November 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


You know, years after the internet made me a bit of a politics junkie, I've spent so much time reading and informing myself and thinking and knowing what was up on all issues nationally, who's who and etc., this year I finally had enough and just turned it all off and tuned it all out. I read almost no articles about the election, avoided all coverage and discussion of polls, and switched off or shut the browser on any news story that was about electoral politics and polls rather than actual issues.

And for the first time in like 15 years, I've had a fall in an even-numbered year that was calm, where my mood has been generally balanced, and where I've spent NO energy worrying or being angry about things over which I have no control. I voted yesterday--don't mistake my disengagement from discourse for non-participation--but then didn't look at any election coverage, and just woke up today and read a summary of the results.

So while I understand the anger and frustration expressed in this thread, I must admit I am happy that I don't share it. Not because I don't agree, but because I'm trying to expend my emotional energy on things I can control or at least influence, or at the very least, participate in meaningfully. I am just tired of news media amping up the emotional stakes for everything, the hyperbole, and the stupid, and my days are so much lovelier now that I've mostly opted-out.
posted by LooseFilter at 8:50 AM on November 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


Turnouts in the 30% range. That's getting awfully close to the Crazification Factor.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:53 AM on November 5, 2014 [8 favorites]


It sucks that Maine doesn't have runoff elections. Neither Michaud nor LePage got >50% (Elliot Cutler, an independent got 8%). In a more just world the plurality would not be enough for election and so a second ballot with just Michaud and LePage would have to determine who won.

I really like Cutler though, shame independents don't have a chance...

edit: I'm sure more states than just Maine need runoff elections but I'm from there
posted by Strass at 9:03 AM on November 5, 2014


Also, the mixed results do make some sense to me, i.e., socially liberal issues getting positive electoral results while at the same time so did radical conservative candidates. I think it's because at least Republican candidates typically stand for things, and clearly. Even batshit crazy things, at least they have conviction.

I don't think most people vote on issues or because of reasons. They vote like we all do most of the things we do in life, because of our feelings. Voters clearly like strong, well-defined, authority-conveying personalities in our elected officials. Democrats nationally are still hung up on issues, like it matters if you support Obamacare or not. I think many Democratic candidates lost simply because they refused to take a stand about anything, even things they really believe in. It seems Americans are more willing to vote for someone they disagree with, simply because that person is clear about where they stand and is passionate about it. I just get the sense that the Democratic Party thinks it can not actually have the courage of its convictions, take firm stands for what its constituency values, because they're afraid of losing.

This is not how you woo a lover, or win a job, or persuade someone to take a deal, by being blandly non-offensive and avoiding having firm convictions about which someone may possibly disagree. (Grimes, in KY, by dodging the did-you-vote-for-Obama question--yes, some coverage, despite my best efforts, seeped in--I think appeared to be feckless to many in KY, and that's not the kind of person you want to vote for even if you agree with her.) This likely also affects turnout, because attraction draws more people to action than revulsion. I am much more likely to show up and support someone I believe in than to protest someone I do not.

Does this make sense? Not rationally, but it sure does emotionally. So while all kinds of pundits write and speak all kinds of words in the next few days looking for reasons, I think they're making a category error: this election was not about reasons but about feelings. Like most of them.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:06 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


LooseFilter: You must have the luxury of not working on the frontlines of the public sector. It's hard to avoid this stuff when your job involves implementing the crap.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:07 AM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


What we actually need is instant runoff or another, more sophisticated voting scheme. That would make third parties genuinely viable.
posted by sonic meat machine at 9:08 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


And if she loses, President Walker gets at least 1, probably 2, SCOTUS appointments.

I'm not trying to be antagonistic here, I'm genuinely confused -- there are prospective candidates on the 2016 GOP roster who are significantly more electable than Walker, even in his own home state, so could you fill the rest of us in on what has so thoroughly convinced you that Scott Walker not only can, but will get the nod for the top spot from the GOP apparatus, and then go on to win the Presidency? I'm keeping an open mind, because this is obviously incredibly relevant to me as a lifelong resident of Wisconsin, and I'll always work to ensure his failure even if he's not running for any office more consequential than dogcatcher, but I'm just not seeing this frankly meteoric rise to success for him outside of the limited realm where he's already experienced it.

Like, I get the rampant fearmongering and the paint-peeling racism and the far-reaching ramifications of Citizens United and everything. I get that he's the right-wing lunatics' new favorite poster boy, someone with an uncanny ability to throw lots of red meat to both the hateful religious extremists and the craven pro-business sociopaths. Totally get all of that. But the guy is just not cut out for the national stage, or any stage larger than the small and very deeply segregated corner of the country that he and his party have managed to dominate for the past handful of years, and we haven't elected a President who failed to graduate from college in almost 70 years. Thinking ahead to the pre-primary debate schedule, I'm nominating Scott Walker as most likely to make Ted Cruz look like a Rhodes Scholar. He's... well, he's not the sharpest tool in the shed.

I mean, this is the guy we're talking about. So as someone who has a whole lot of boots-on-the-ground experience living under his regime and campaigning against him as County Executive and as Governor, I'm gonna need a little more data in support of the idea that President Walker is a foregone conclusion, preferably something a little more substantial than "the teahadists are winning."
posted by divined by radio at 9:11 AM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


saulgoodman: You must have the luxury of not working on the frontlines of the public sector.

Not really, I teach at a state university and the political climate here has certainly affected my work directly. I'm trying to remind myself regularly that, while it may be maddening and outrageous that I have to deal with my state legislature's (or other politically-appointed body) stupid decisions, getting personally angry or outraged on a regular basis is only bad for me, very unhealthy. I am trying to focus my emotional energy towards things I can actually influence. Some days, this is an hour-to-hour struggle, I admit, but it's been worth it.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:12 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


So, Colorado, with its ballots mailed to all registered voters, weeks for early voting by mail-in or drop-off, and election-day registration, is currently reporting 51.97% turnout of registered voters for this election. (1,892,221 ballots cast, 3,640,922 registered voters.)

The 2010 midterms got 1,821,028 ballots cast, the 2012 election had 2,596,173. I don't have the number of registered voters in 2010 handy, but 2012 wasn't very different from now, with 3,648,008.

It looks like the increased availability of voting in Colorado had very little effect on turnout, and certainly didn't stop our Democratic senator from being unseated by a Republican. Can we please, please, please stop with the vote suppression attempts elsewhere? The one bright side of this for me is that it might diminish Republican enthusiasm for disenfranchisement.
posted by asperity at 9:12 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


LooseFilter: You know, years after the internet made me a bit of a politics junkie, I've spent so much time reading and informing myself and thinking and knowing what was up on all issues nationally, who's who and etc., this year I finally had enough and just turned it all off and tuned it all out. I read almost no articles about the election, avoided all coverage and discussion of polls, and switched off or shut the browser on any news story that was about electoral politics and polls rather than actual issues.

Yeah, let me second this. My first taste of American politics was as a fresh grad student, when the Clinton impeachment mess made me a partisan Democrat, and then the 2000 recount left me radicalized. I was a TOTAL political junkie through the Bush years (shed a tear for me), through my refugee years in Australia, and I knew state by state, precinct by precinct, what numbers were needed when Obama faced McCain.

And this year, I just couldn't do it any more. There are these graphs floating around on Twitter, with the tick-tock "white fraction of electorate" and "65 and older fraction of the electorate", and they basically made clear what was coming. And yep, here we are. It's just depressing.

I said before that the one silver lining I was hoping for was Brownback losing in Kansas, and even that didn't pan out. Sigh.

But I have good news, everyone! The 2016 Presidential primary season is officially open, and the Republican clown car is revving its engines! It'll be ... delightful! Sob.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:21 AM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


What we actually need is instant runoff or another, more sophisticated voting scheme. That would make third parties genuinely viable.

We aren't getting that for the same reason we're keeping the electoral college: direct democracy is dangerous.
posted by clarknova at 9:28 AM on November 5, 2014


Of course we're not.
posted by sonic meat machine at 9:30 AM on November 5, 2014


Holy crap, I had no idea about Paul LePage. From a boston.com article:

LePage had been called one of the most vulnerable gubernatorial incumbents this year. Politico labeled him “America’s craziest governor,” citing his telling the NAACP “kiss my butt” on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. He also told students, “If you want a good education, go to private schools. If you can’t afford it, tough luck. You can go to the public school.” More recently, he made a suicide joke about a critical columnist from the Portland Press Herald.

What went wrong with people?
posted by Melismata at 9:30 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


I...just marvel at the idea that "any day now, Texas is going to turn blue!"

When people say that, they mean blue from a holding-their-breath tantrum.

they were going to vote for Brownback anyways

Did you ask why?
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:31 AM on November 5, 2014


On the plus side, the major propositions in California had the good side win. The off-reservation casino compact lost but that isn't a huge deal in the larger scheme of things (unless you're one of the Native Americans it will hurt, sadly) and Proposition P passed which is kinda bullshit but again, relatively minor.

Still, it was a decent day overall here in California.
posted by Justinian at 9:35 AM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Why is turnout so low in U.S. elections? We make it more difficult to vote than other democracies

We could double turnout and if Republicans are still much more likely to show up that would only increase their margins of victory, not decrease it.
posted by Justinian at 9:36 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


could you fill the rest of us in on what has so thoroughly convinced you that Scott Walker not only can, but will get the nod for the top spot from the GOP apparatus, and then go on to win the Presidency?

Like I said, I don’t see anything you’ve brought up as disqualifying, and Im not sure that Ryan or Christie will be the choice, although my point about SCOTUS doesn’t really rely on Walker specifically, Ryan or Christie would have the same effect.

But they don’t need a Rhodes Scholar, they need someone to sit in the Oval Office and sign the agenda who isn’t Barack Obama. There’s going to be enough digbats fighting for the Republican nod between Cruz, Perry, Paul, Santorum and whatever parade of horribles they won’t be able to keep off the stage that Walker and maybe Chris Christie or Paul Ryan will be able to play the role of the Romneyesque straightman basically by default. Christie has his own personal baggage, and Ryan was just part of a losing ticket, that leaves Walker as the default white guy with good hair who just has to read the cue cards and not go off script. If he get the nomination, then runs Romney’s same campaign in the general as a Blandy McBland BusinessGuy, who, hey, also implemented a ton of red ticket base policies in Wisconsin, that might be all it takes. By then the voter will have forgotten why union busting was a thing, it’s not really clear that abortion issues have any traction after Udall got dropped with an exclusively War on Women message, and if you think voter fraud allegations in a college election 20yrs ago is going to be the silver bullet, well, I don’t know what to tell you.

If the Dems continue to fail to implement any coherent national strategy beyond “those other guys really suck”, Im not sure a generic repeat of the Romney run won’t be enough without the Obama cult of personality on the other side and the anti-Hilary vote out in full force. Is that data? No, but I think it’s a plausible outcome, and I’m feeling pretty pessimistic.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:36 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


that leaves Walker as the default white guy with good hair

Ummm... You might want to look closely at pictures of Walker. Not even that closely...
posted by drezdn at 9:44 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


On a refresh of the Colorado election results, the turnout numbers are going up, so perhaps increased access really did make a difference in turnout. Unfortunately, I think this is what happened:

We could double turnout and if Republicans are still much more likely to show up that would only increase their margins of victory, not decrease it.
posted by asperity at 9:48 AM on November 5, 2014


We could double turnout and if Republicans are still much more likely to show up that would only increase their margins of victory, not decrease it.

Yes. Still worthwhile to enact the reforms discussed in the article, especially as part of a Democratic message devoted encouraging citizen participation and fostering a big tent, which might result in more Democratic voters turning out disproportionately as would many other factors in this very complex system.
posted by audi alteram partem at 9:50 AM on November 5, 2014


Like I said, I don’t see anything you’ve brought up as disqualifying, and Im not sure that Ryan or Christie will be the choice, although my point about SCOTUS doesn’t really rely on Walker specifically, Ryan or Christie would have the same effect.

I have a friend who is convinced that John Kasich is the precise combination of bland, "centrist," "accomplished," and swing-staterrific to sail through the whole process unscathed.
posted by psoas at 9:52 AM on November 5, 2014


I take your point on Walker, because like Shrub, he is a useful idiot - not too curious, not too bright - and very willing to allow smarter people to work behind the scenes.

That said, I don't know that he's got the people behind him that Shrub did.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:52 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Election reform to increase participation is still certainly the right thing to do. Even the housebound, all info from Fox News voters deserve the accessibility of a mail-in ballot.
posted by asperity at 9:53 AM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


We could double turnout and if Republicans are still much more likely to show up that would only increase their margins of victory, not decrease it.

They doesn't seem to be how it works though, Democrats seem to benefit when more of the electorate shows up. It just seems that the electorate needs to be given a compelling reason to show up and Democrats don't/can't always offer one. This election seems like a good example.

Too much infighting among the leaders which led to no strong national message, too much flawed political calculation, not enough of a quest for creative wedges to encourage the youth. It was a strange election.

The night had few bright spots for Democrats — but there were some for liberals. The personhood ballot initiatives lost in Colorado and North Dakota. Marijuana was legalized in D.C. and Oregon (and we're still waiting on Alaska). The minimum wage was raised in Arkansas, Illinois and Nebraska. Washington state expanded background checks on guns. "So voters want a higher minimum wage, legal pot, abortion access and GOP representation," tweeted FiveThirtyEight's Ben Casselman. "Ok then."

Walker does seem like a pretty credible possible choice for the Republicans right now. I wouldn't count him out in a general by any means. I'd still say Hillary winning is the most likely outcome, but there is so much time before the election that everything could change at some point.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:53 AM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


I admittedly kind of forgot about Kasich, who could probably tag in for Walker seamlessly in my scenario. Flip a coin and may the best patsy win.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:55 AM on November 5, 2014


Wow. The Denver metro area went completely red, as did most of Colorado. That was unexpected.

We still have our donkey governor, and a new donkey in the House, however. Only the senate seat went elephant.
posted by clarknova at 9:55 AM on November 5, 2014


Chris Christie is likely to get either the nod or the Veep slot, and he will bring in a lot of votes from moderates. It will be 3+ years removed from Bridgegate and Sandy, and he has a lot of personal presence and charm. In addition to Christie, Ryan will also be a serious candidate who isn't nuts. Walker, Ryan and Christie - three non-looney candidates right there.

Clinton's running away with it now because she's a "brand" - when we get closer, that will matter less and less and less.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:58 AM on November 5, 2014


Meanwhile, I look over at Arizona and Texas, and just marvel at the idea that "any day now, Texas is going to turn blue!"

That is exactly the thought in my head as I read through the options for my Texas ballot. This state is so Republican that on a huge chunk of the state and local races, it was a choice between a competent Republican that stands for everything I dislike in American politics today, or some oddball Democrat or Green Party candidate that didn't even bother running a campaign or telling anyone their positions on any issues. I assume there are reasonable, slightly less conservative people in this state who could potentially do the jobs, but they don't run, because why bother? It's really depressing voting here. The Democrat running for Senate against John Cornyn didn't even do any fundraising. Wendy Davis may be popular in other parts of the country, but even if she hadn't run an abysmal campaign, she wouldn't have had a chance. I actually didn't want to vote for her myself because her campaign left such a bad taste in my mouth. But I couldn't quite bring myself to vote for our Green Party candidate either. A love of googly-eyes and being outside shirtless is not really what I'm looking for in a governor.

The results are always a foregone conclusion, but even so, I'm always surprised to see just how very far to the right most of the state is. The only districts where the Republican Congressional candidates won by less than 80% were the areas just surrounding DFW. 80%!!! In that bastion of liberalism, DFW, Republicans still took all the Congress seats, but with only 60-70%. Sigh.
posted by Dojie at 9:59 AM on November 5, 2014


I see claims that the white, conservative demographic's hold on power is slipping as being so much pipe-dreaming...Whatever the Democrats are doing, they're failing at it. What are they doing? What was their strategy, here? The national message?

Last year, I thought the Democrats had a decent chance of branding the Republicans as the party that nearly destroyed the US's credit rating, and oh yeah...the party of "legitimate rape."

Once again, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
posted by malocchio at 9:59 AM on November 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


Well, anybody remember who was the leading GOP candidate 2 years prior to 2008? Rudy Giuliani.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:01 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


We still have our donkey governor, and a new donkey in the House, however. Only the senate seat went elephant.

Well, it looks like we might lose the state house to the Republicans. Which means my awesome state rep might have less ability to do awesome things (or stop terrible things.) Bleah. Looks like some of those races are going to recount, though, so it'll be a while before we know for sure.
posted by asperity at 10:01 AM on November 5, 2014


As a poster above has written, the Republican Party is the Future of America and we should just get used to it. The GOP has been running a long game here with a real clear strategy to dominate the political landscape and they have almost completed their total domination. It's a complete encirclement. The GOP controls the SCOTUS in essence, the GOP controls both chambers of the Legislative branch, they control over half of State governorships and have dominance at local government level. It's really breathtaking.
posted by RedShrek at 10:02 AM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Well, it looks like we might lose the state house to the Republicans.

The state Senate went to them too.

Seeing as the state legislature can regulate retail cannabis any way they like, we're going to get what they like. Which will probably be a mild re-invigoration of the black market.
posted by clarknova at 10:05 AM on November 5, 2014


At least Hick's still got the veto.
posted by asperity at 10:11 AM on November 5, 2014




Go Big Or Go Home
posted by homunculus at 10:19 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


CHART: The 2014 Electorate Was Really, Really Old

Somewhere, Barack Obama is muttering to himself "THANKS, MILLENNIALS!"
posted by tonycpsu at 10:20 AM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


True, tonyspsu, but if he actually cared, he might have thought twice before dismantling OFA.

Oh well. On to the next.
posted by notyou at 10:23 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


What really went wrong for Democrats
These pollsters argued that this was above all the result of a failure to connect with these voters’ economic concerns. At the root of these concerns, Mellman says, are stagnating wages and the failure of the recovery’s gains to achieve wider, more equitable distribution.
posted by audi alteram partem at 10:30 AM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Somewhere, Barack Obama is muttering to himself "THANKS, MILLENNIALS!"

It would be pretty ungrateful of him considering how much they helped elect him twice and how much the national Democratic leaders infighting contributed to the bungling of this campaign season.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:40 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


These pollsters argued that this was above all the result of a failure to connect with these voters’ economic concerns.
...which was necessary to connect with potential donors' economic concerns. They didn't want the GOP to get ALL the speechmoney.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:45 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


At the root of these concerns, Mellman says, are stagnating wages and the failure of the recovery’s gains to achieve wider, more equitable distribution.

1. Be concerned about stagnating wages and inequality.
2. ?????
3. Vote Republican
posted by entropicamericana at 10:45 AM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


there is a theory out there that says many revolutions happen not when things are at their worst, but when things start to get better, because things don't get better fast enough. I suspect that is part of what happened last night. Economically we are a bit bette roff then we where 6 years ago, but IT'S NOT FAST ENOUGH DAMNIT, so we elect back in the people who started the mess int he first place.

Anyways.. Mostly ok here in MN. The State House switched hands which means gridlock silliness, but DFL Gov and Franken and most constitutional offices so that's good. Our US Rep (Nolan-DFL) managed to beat back a stiff challenge from THIS GUY from about 2009. Noaln won by less than 1.5%
posted by edgeways at 10:46 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


1. Be concerned about stagnating wages and inequality.
2. ?????
3. Vote Republican


I think it's more, "Don't show up to vote because you feel hopeless and powerless." Hope and change isn't just an Obama brand, it's an extremely good message for nearly any campaign, even incumbents.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:47 AM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


I have a friend who is convinced that John Kasich is the precise combination of bland, "centrist," "accomplished," and swing-staterrific to sail through the whole process unscathed.

Your friend may very well be right - he's already got plenty of experience bouncing between "saying outrageous stuff to make the wingnuts happy" and "appearing fairly reasonable."


I admittedly kind of forgot about Kasich, who could probably tag in for Walker seamlessly in my scenario. Flip a coin and may the best patsy win.

Admittedly, my perspective may be skewed from living in Kasich's state, but it doesn't seem like he's gotten the kind of national negative attention that Walker has, so that could weigh slightly in Kasich's favor.
posted by soundguy99 at 10:49 AM on November 5, 2014


"I make liberals angry!" can actually be an asset in the Republican primary though.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:53 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


It's not so much an asset as a requirement.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:03 AM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]




As a poster above has written, the Republican Party is the Future of America and we should just get used to it.

2004: DEMOCRATS ARE DEAD, REPUBLICAN MAJORITY FOREVER!
2008: REPUBLICANS ARE DEAD, DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY FOREVER!
2014: DEMOCRATS ARE DEAD, REPUBLICAN MAJORITY FOREVER!
2016: ???
posted by Justinian at 11:10 AM on November 5, 2014 [8 favorites]


Oh, and since he hasn't been mentioned yet, big up to Dannel Malloy for holding on in CT. He's one of the few (perhaps the only?) unapologetically Democratic governors who saw a fiscal hole and had the balls to raise taxes to pay for government services. He almost lost his seat for it, but I'm hoping that his kind of leadership can serve as a template for how wishy-washy Democrats can give voters something to vote for in 2016.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:13 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Listening to the McConnell press conference - he literally just said "There's only one Democrat that counts - the president."
posted by jbickers at 11:14 AM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


I admire Mr. Turtle for his honesty, and he's right. Cory Booker loves to talk about how he's working with Rand Paul and Bob Corker on different things, but now that Mitch is in the driver's seat, you might as well replace all the Senate Democrats with potted plants.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:16 AM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Today In The Glory Of Third Party Politics

Are you just trolling the net for random links that blame anybody but the Democrats who actually ran the campaigns at this point?
posted by Drinky Die at 11:20 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


2016: ??? All hail our new ant overlords!
posted by drezdn at 11:21 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


He's one of the few (perhaps the only?) unapologetically Democratic governors who saw a fiscal hole and had the balls to raise taxes to pay for government services. He almost lost his seat for it, but I'm hoping that his kind of leadership can serve as a template for how wishy-washy Democrats can give voters something to vote for in 2016.

Okay, consider my last comment withdrawn. Sorry.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:22 AM on November 5, 2014


To put it mildly, this is a wave.

This would mean we've had "wave" elections in 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2014. Which implies strongly that we're in an era of high electoral volatility and strong national-politics effects on lower races, since seeing that series of "waves" more or less demolishes the idea of a wave.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:24 AM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


isn't that kinda how waves work?

Tide goes in; tide goes out. Can't explain it. Never a miscommunication.
posted by subversiveasset at 11:27 AM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


Drinky Die: Okay, consider my last comment withdrawn. Sorry.

OK, but in addition to the one you quoted, I also said:

"(ProTip: If you run as Republican Lite, they're just going to vote for the real thing. Also, check with Dr. Einstein about the definition of insanity.)"

and

"I've pretty much given up on Democrats running as Democrats"

and

"at the same time as people do have a responsibility to vote for the lesser of two evils, Democrats needed to do a better job explaining why they were better, and instead many of them chose to run away from Democratic accomplishments and take their chances being the alternative to the crazy"

and also linked to a piece talking specifically about the Democrats running a 2012-style campaign in 2014. So I have no clue where you get the idea that I'm not blaming Democrats.

At the same time, third party spoilers are a real thing in non-preferential voting systems, and that was clearly part of the story in Maine last night.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:29 AM on November 5, 2014


(I came late to this thread because I didn't realize it was here so I've skimmed most of it at best. The millennial and third party links were what I associated you with in this thread. But yeah as I said, my bad, don't generalize someone's comments when you haven't really even read them.)
posted by Drinky Die at 11:32 AM on November 5, 2014


Well North Carolina was a clusterfuck. The only bright spot is that here in Raleigh the Dems now have 7-0 control of the county commissioners, so we might get some progress on local school and transport issues. I've lived here all my life so I remember the Jesse Helms days. Ugh. Thom Tillis is like Jesse 2.0. Kay Hagan, who lost the Senate race, is a pretty inoffensive centrist business-y Democrat, so I think the huge influx of out-of-state attack ads must have sunk her. My 9 year old said that she was getting anti-Hagan ads before every YouTube video. She said "I can't even vote! I'm not even part of the equation! C'mon people!"

I did vote for one Republican for the state legislature (Barringer). She's pretty focused on child and medical stuff and isn't from the nutty wing. Plus her Dem opponent was a kid who's a cashier at a wings place and was mainly focused on pot legalization. I didn't feel the Dems needed him as a spokesperson. I mean yay weed or whatever, but when that's someone's main issue alarm bells go off for me.
posted by freecellwizard at 11:32 AM on November 5, 2014


Oh, and since he hasn't been mentioned yet, big up to Dannel Malloy for holding on in CT. He's one of the few (perhaps the only?) unapologetically Democratic governors who saw a fiscal hole and had the balls to raise taxes to pay for government services.

Not the only!

How Jerry Brown Got Californians to Raise Their Taxes and Save Their State
posted by Room 641-A at 11:58 AM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


"I make liberals angry!" can actually be an asset in the Republican primary though.

Sure (and Kasich is perfectly capable of doing that, which I pointed out), but can Walker dial it back enough to appear plausibly "moderate" in the general election?

So far, Kasich hasn't fucked up badly enough to face a recall. It's entirely possible that the Republican Powers-That-Be will take that as evidence that Kasich would be a better choice than Walker.
posted by soundguy99 at 12:06 PM on November 5, 2014


T.D. Strange: "Bookmarked for two years from now: Scott Walker is your next President."

I just assumed you were talking about the musician and started looking forward to a national mandate in favor of percussive meat punching.
posted by invitapriore at 12:15 PM on November 5, 2014


I think Walker can dial it back based on his ability to survive a recall and keep winning. I'm not sure that even counts as a fuckup, it's fairly triumphant even. "I make liberals SUPER angry and get elected in a competitive state anyway."

I don't know enough about Kasich to comment on his chances, honestly, so you may be right he is in a better position.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:15 PM on November 5, 2014


Looking at the turnout numbers and voter demographics today, I think it's clear that Democrats simply failed to GOTV.

Please learn from your mistakes and get better at getting out the fucking vote!!! Sheesh. I feel like I say this to my Democrat friends every other election.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:31 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Well, obviously if more people receptive to the Democratic message turn out, the Dems do better, but that requires both the electoral machinery to turn people out as well as a message that those people want to hear. You're suggesting their message was good enough, but that they just didn't do enough knocking on doors or TV ads?
posted by tonycpsu at 12:40 PM on November 5, 2014


Well, I'm usually a lot closer to the action than that, and it's hard ignoring the problems with elected leaders when their ineptness is your problem every day, directly. I'm not saying it helps to be deliberately bitter about it, just saying it's even uglier and harder to ignore when you're closer to the source. And you have kids whose futures you are watching being dismantled on the daily.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:40 PM on November 5, 2014


One thing everyone seems to forget is that this result is expected, not because of any policies or politicians, but because this is how people tend to vote in the midterm election. The results don't necessarily represent much more than how people sort of swing back and forth when it comes to voting. The disenfranchisement and increasingly toxic politics of the reactionary backlash is a big concern, but I think we would have had a similar outcome regardless - any significant departure from this voting pattern would be much more indicative of any kind of sea change. This is business as usual. Not that I'm going to become too cynical. It just means change is incremental and hard to achieve, that it never comes to pass at all without a lot of dedication and hard work, over many, many elections. Sometimes it never comes, or we take a step back. The work is still valid and necessary. Back to work.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:18 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Don't Just Do Something, Stand There!
As cynical political strategy, it's hard to argue with the logic here. Republicans probably are better off doing nothing for the next two years except mocking President Obama and throwing out occasional symbolic bits of red meat to keep the rubes at bay. Usually, though, this is the kind of thing you talk about quietly behind closed doors. It's a little surprising that we've gotten to the point where apparently this level of cynicism is so routine that no one thinks twice about spelling it out in public in explicit detail. Welcome to modern politics.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:21 PM on November 5, 2014


One thing everyone seems to forget is that this result is expected, not because of any policies or politicians, but because this is how people tend to vote in the midterm election.

A loss for the Dems was expected, but if you look at the polling this is a loss that exceeded expectations. But yeah, focus on the next one. No use drowning in tears.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:25 PM on November 5, 2014


Ted Cruz Will Be New Senate Majority Leader, Pope, Astronaut, And Ballerina, The Wonkette, 05 November 2014


P.S. Does the thousand years of darkness start tonight, or not until the new congress is sworn in in January?
posted by ob1quixote at 1:27 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


The problem Democrats have in Gubernatorial and Senate elections all come down to turnout. Democratic voters simply do not show up to the polls in off-year elections.

The scolding letters the Democratic party sent didn't help. They made me angry - I could see someone refusing to vote out of pique at getting such a nasty, ominous letter.
posted by winna at 1:30 PM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


The (finally successful) McConnell strategy: "You Broke It, You Won It", which suggests strongly that not trying to accomplish anything, just complain that you can't, could be a winning strategy for the GOP for 2016. After all, there really are parts of the electorate who (1) just want to be follow 'a winner' or (2) "don't care what you do, just do something". They may be the most dangerous groups of all.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:35 PM on November 5, 2014


The scolding letters the Democratic party sent didn't help. They made me angry - I could see someone refusing to vote out of pique at getting such a nasty, ominous letter.

Oh wow, if Democrats ever send me that letter they will never receive a vote from me again.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:38 PM on November 5, 2014


You're suggesting their message was good enough, but that they just didn't do enough knocking on doors or TV ads?

I'm suggesting that there are enough people who would vote a straight D ticket or at least NEVER vote R that you could win but that those people are far less likely than R voters to actually turn out to vote unless actively organized to do so.

You have a turnout problem, not a message problem.

Straight R ticket voters are vastly more consistent voters because their voting habits are supported by so many other institutions in their life -- they go to church on Sunday and are reminded to vote on Tuesday, they're reminded by the right-wing talk radio on their car radio, they're reminded by the Fox News on their TVs, they're reminded by the election coverage in their morning newspapers (yes, the demographics of typical R midterm voters are such that they still get dead trees delivered to their doorstop every day), and they're reminded by conversations in their social circle of fellow crotchety old white people.

In contrast, potential/likely D voters come from incredibly diverse backgrounds with much more variation in their day-to-day activities, media consumption, and demographics of their social circles. You don't have the same easy channels to reach and motivate large segments of your voters like the Rs have for their voters. So you have to work a lot harder to reach and motivate them, but it's totally doable AND IT'S BEEN DONE BEFORE.

For example: One of my UNLV MBA professors related his experience as a GOTV volunteer for the Obama campaign in 2008. He had never volunteered for a political campaign before, but he volunteered on Election Day morning thanks to a successful volunteer recruitment campaign that persuaded thousands of otherwise non-volunteers that getting up early and giving a few hours of their time was the most critical thing they could do to ensure an Obama victory. He showed up around 6am at the designated volunteer meeting spot and was given a bundle of GOTV door hangers and a list and walking map of registered Democrats. Everything was so well organized before the volunteers even arrived that any idiot could complete the task of distributing the door hangers to the correct households. Which was good, because they'd also imported tons of volunteers from California to help the GOTV efforts in Nevada (a swing state) -- I knew a few people who had volunteers crashing on their floors and couches the night before -- and thus they couldn't rely on ANY local knowledge or political savviness for their plan to work.

The Obama campaign in 2008 -- in Las Vegas, Nevada, at least -- had basically done for GOTV campaigns what McDonalds did for multibillion dollar international fast food juggernauts: they created a system that allowed ordinary people to achieve extraordinary things despite their lack of skills, knowledge, or training. And so, by the time the polls opened on Election Day, every registered Democrat in the area (in the state?) had something hanging on their front door reminding them to go vote and where and when to go do it.

So I know it can be done. The Obama campaign did it in 2008. Hell, you've had the necessary IT infrastructure in place for these systems since at least the Howard Dean campaign of 2004. Y'all just seem to keep forgetting what works from one election to the next and thus are left reinventing the wheel. In the years you succeed in reinventing that wheel you do well but in other years you do poorly. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory indeed.

IMO, as an outside observer, the biggest problem in the Democratic Party is the lack of institutional memory on how to consistently a) identify and register your likely supporters and b) GET OUT THE FUCKING VOTE. I don't know if this lack of institutional memory is due to high burnout/turnover or a failure to share learned best practices from campaign-to-campaign and state-to-state or what, but y'all need to get your shit together. Because if everyone who COULD vote DID vote, the Democrats would win a majority of elections every time.

Please get your shit together, Democrats.

Love,
A disgruntled left-Libertarian
posted by Jacqueline at 1:39 PM on November 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


"There's only one Democrat that counts - the president."

Procedural filibuster.

The GOP is going to find out how hard it is to actually govern now that they are in the driver's seat and not simply the party that blocks stuff. And, it's going to be a bear. Mitch HOPES that the only Democrat that counts is the President, but all it takes is the stated intention to filibuster to create a filibuster nowadays and as much as I do think that is a crock of shit, it is now a crock of shit the Ds can throw. If that makes the Rs actual overhaul the filibuster then... well, long term that is ok, because sooner or later they'll fuck up enough to lose power again.
posted by edgeways at 1:40 PM on November 5, 2014


The scolding letters

I agree with one of the recipients: "creepy." I do appreciate their wanting to know why people don't vote, but I wish they would have approached the question differently. Also, I wonder how genuine their desire for feedback is. I found the Texas Democratic Party unresponsive to my inquiries.

I got a nonpartisan version of that mailer which chided me for my "below average" voting record compared to my neighbors. They didn't take into account that I've only lived in the state for a year and half. (I have voted in every election I was eligible for while here in CO.)
posted by audi alteram partem at 1:43 PM on November 5, 2014


Jacqueline: So I know it can be done. The Obama campaign did it in 2008. Hell, you've had the necessary IT infrastructure in place for these systems since at least the Howard Dean campaign of 2004. Y'all just seem to keep forgetting what works from one election to the next and thus are left reinventing the wheel. In the years you succeed in reinventing that wheel but in other years you do poorly. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory indeed.

You make some good points, but here you're making a category error by pointing to a non-midterm election (2008) as an example where Democrats got out the vote. It's easy to get out the vote when you have a charismatic top-of-the-ticket Presidential candidate, but the 2010 results show that not even Obama's been able to solve the problem of getting them to show up when he's not on the ballot.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:43 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Filibuster "reform" - please, Brer Fox, please don't throw me into the briar patch.

It's anti-democratic, hard to explain to the low information voter ("We have a majority but they wouldn't let us vote on it" - Wut?), usually a conservative (let's not change things) tactic, and it would be nothing short of awesome if the Republicans abolished it now, while facing Obama's veto pen and the prospects of Senate turnover in 2 years.

Which is why it won't happen.
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:45 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Obama was at the top of the ballot for the Republicans for both 2010 and 2014. The problem is that he wasn't for the other side. They ran as far away from him as they could, because they thought that was the best political calculus. Probably a mistake, I think?
posted by Drinky Die at 1:48 PM on November 5, 2014


I mean literally top of the ballot. It's much easier to run against a President than it is to tell the people who support him that they have to have his back by making sure his party keeps control of one or both houses of Congress in an off-year election.

But yeah, they would have done better if so many of them weren't actively running away from the Democratic legacy of the past six years. I still think the GOP would have taken over the Senate and increased the size of their House majority, but maybe folks like Udall and Hagan could have hung on if they'd stood for, like, anything.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:53 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


I got a nonpartisan version of that mailer which chided me for my "below average" voting record compared to my neighbors.

Here in NC I got the voting record mailer and two separate versions of the scolding letter, all from the Democratic party. It seemed so creepy and ham-fisted that I assumed it was a false flag thing until I called the party headquarters and got told that yes, they sent them.

They got snippy with me when I said that I didn't think sending those letters would accomplish much in the way of encouraging people to vote.
posted by winna at 1:56 PM on November 5, 2014


The scolding letters the Democratic party sent didn't help.

Jonathan Coulton got one of those. He tweeted about it.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:57 PM on November 5, 2014


Yeah, we're on the same page there Tony. My biggest fear for the Democrats for 2016 is somehow convincing themselves they need to run away from Obama again. It can't go down that way or the Republicans are going to win. Obama's Secretary of State or VP doesn't win if the campaign is about anything other than praising what he did as a leader and offering ways to expand on it.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:00 PM on November 5, 2014


Have we not talked about this yet? Now this is serious, "We are all doomed," territory.

Sen. Inhofe, denier of human role in climate change, likely to lead environment committee
posted by Drinky Die at 2:07 PM on November 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


It's easy to get out the vote when you have a charismatic top-of-the-ticket Presidential candidate, but the 2010 results show that not even Obama's been able to solve the problem of getting them to show up when he's not on the ballot.

And I'm saying that it's less about whether it's a Presidential vs. midterm election year and more about whether you consistently use the GOTV systems that have proven to work. Based on what I've seen of how inconsistent their GOTV efforts from year-to-year, the Democratic Party seems to be making self-fulfilling prophecies that their people aren't going to vote anyway so they're not going to bother trying as hard to get them to polls.

Now, I'll admit that a charismatic top-of-the-ticket Presidential candidate makes it a lot easier to motivate people to volunteer to do the Election Day drudgework of getting out the vote. But you know what? If you can't get enough people to volunteer to do this work for free then FUCKING PAY PEOPLE to do it. An army of temp employees going door-to-door with doorhangers just before the polls open on Election Day would get you a LOT more votes-for-your-buck than the marginal votes gained by spending the same amount of money on yet another TV ad.

Budget for an organized Election Day GOTV effort, set that money aside at the beginning of the campaign, and resist all temptations to dip into those funds for flashy ads, pricey consultants, and other gimmicks. Meanwhile, the state and national parties should set aside some of the funds they raise during Presidential years to offset the cost of paying people to GOTV in the midterms. Keep your eyes on the long game instead of on the current campaign.

The Republicans have been much better at running their campaigns from year to year as an ongoing business because that's the paradigm they're used to. But just because the Democrats lack the same level of business experience doesn't mean you can't study these things and apply the relevant lessons to your campaigns too.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:09 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, and since he hasn't been mentioned yet, big up to Dannel Malloy for holding on in CT. He's one of the few (perhaps the only?) unapologetically Democratic governors who saw a fiscal hole and had the balls to raise taxes to pay for government services.

Mark Dayton in Minnesota just got re-elected, and he raised income taxes.

I'm generally puzzled by how much the fortunes of the democratic parties in Wisconsin and Minnesota have diverged. Minnesota's democrats haven't been entirely successful the last so many years (they just lost control of the state house), but they've generally done very well and certainly weren't swept away by some nationwide wave. They kept the two U.S. house seats that were thought to be in contention, and won every statewide election on the ballot this year (governor, senator, attorney general, state auditor, and secretary of state).
posted by Area Man at 2:11 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's anti-democratic, hard to explain to the low information voter ("We have a majority but they wouldn't let us vote on it" - Wut?), usually a conservative (let's not change things) tactic, and it would be nothing short of awesome if the Republicans abolished it now, while facing Obama's veto pen and the prospects of Senate turnover in 2 years.

As I said in the previous thread, I believe that were the Republicans to abolish the filibuster this time around, the Democrats would probably restore it next time they got a majority, just to give themselves an excuse to do nothing with their majority. Democrats don't like power. They're scared of it.

They've just had years of by far the most obstructionist minority in American history and never moved to reform the filibuster. Last time the Republicans controlled the Senate under a Republican president they said they'd kill the filibuster unless the Democrats agreed never to filibuster anything. The Dems duly complied. But when the Democrats held the Senate under a Democratic President they were perfectly happy to let the Republicans block absolutely everything (just by saying that they would filibuster; the D's never actually made the R's actually do it. That would have been un-gentlemanly).

So what conclusion can you draw but that the Democrats are either professional losers or Republican double-agents? Their main role in American politics seems to be, firstly, to lose elections, and secondly, to make sure that if they accidentally manage to win that they still allow the Republican minority to govern.

I just get the sense that the Democratic Party thinks it can not actually have the courage of its convictions, take firm stands for what its constituency values, because they're afraid of they prefer losing.
posted by moorooka at 2:12 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


My biggest fear for the Democrats for 2016 is somehow convincing themselves they need to run away from Obama again.

Seriously. The "his" flyers mailed to my household from the Gardner campaign went on about how Udall "voted with Obama" most of the time, never mind what that's supposed to mean when Obama doesn't have a Senate vote. This is not likely to be a huge problem for the people who voted Obama into office twice. Own it, and maybe have a better chance of pulling all of us back to the polls.
posted by asperity at 2:14 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


I should just be in charge of the Democratic Party. :P
posted by Jacqueline at 2:16 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


And I'm saying that it's less about whether it's a Presidential vs. midterm election year and more about whether you consistently use the GOTV systems that have proven to work.

Yeah, but the Obama turnout machine was still alive and well in 2010, and they still got smoked in terms of young voter turnout. By all accounts their GOTV ground game was phenomenal, but it wasn't enough to motivate enough of the base. I get what you're saying, I just don't think you're making a good factual case for it. You're right about the built-in structural advantages (church attendance, etc.) but I think you're really underselling the impact of the message as a way to goose turnout, and one that doesn't depend on micro-targetting voters and sending phalanxes of volunteers to knock on their doors. Would that have helped? Yes, but it was there in 2010, and the results were just as bad as they were last night.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:28 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


When your message is "we need an impossible 60+ Senate seats to do anything" then why the fuck should anyone lift a finger?
posted by moorooka at 2:32 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Sen. Inhofe, denier of human role in climate change, likely to lead environment committee

The Climate Lost Big-Time in Tuesday's Election
posted by homunculus at 2:32 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'd vote for you Jacqueline. We need Democrats in charge who aren't still terrified of the "liberal" label, understand firing up the base is better than aiming at the aimless & squishy middle, don't still have nightmares about floundering during the Reagan years, and are sworn enemies of the DLC and its progeny.

We might still lose again, but we'd have a much better fighting chance.

On top of that, is there any work at all being done on getting Democrats elected to dog catcher and school boards in swing and red states? To state legislatures? Something needs to be done about the long game.
posted by honestcoyote at 2:34 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think a major stumbling bloc right now is we talk about the two parties as if they are made up of similar basic groups just on different sides of the coin, so o speak. However, I believe that the constituent parts of the Ds and the Rs are very different. By and large the Republicans are pretty similar to one another, there are variations but that tends to be the difference and not the norm. that is their strength, the have a solid bloc of people who turn out and the message can essentially be the same from Florida to Oregon, change the names and plug in the same copy and you got it. Very efficient, very sterile. The weakness is they are slow to adapt so changing populations or shifts in popular opinion on long standing topics (marriage equality say) leave them vulnerable.

The Democrats are a messy patchwork, they are made up of a lot of disparate elements, many of whom may even be single issue voters. Any party that contains Joe Manchin and Elizabeth Warren is a party that will have national messaging problems. People hate the idea of triangulation or identity politics, but that really is the only way a menagerie like the Democrats can hold power, that is why B. Clinton was successful, I have a lot of a lot of issues with B. Clinton, but he was the quintessential successful Democrat because he could be different things to different people. The Democrats strengths are they tend to be more welcoming to new populations and new ideas and so can embrace wider potential audiences, I think Democrats have a much bigger potential voting base. The weaknesses are it is really hard to have a consistent national message, single issue voters in the party are relatively quick to support minor candidates at the expense of the Democrat in the race. If there is not a strong top of the ticket race/candidate to provide the illusion of unity (unity that Republicans tend to have baked in) getting people out, especially on off year elections, is always going to be extra hard. Everything has to be tailored to the audience of the now.

I know conservation blabber mouths often try and tie liberals to communism, but in honesty I think the GOP acts a lot more like the USSR Communist party then Democrats have ever done. And I'm not saying that for rhetoric or pejorative sense, or to be fighty, but in that the cohesion and strict adherence to party line is a primary trait to both. It is strong, but it is also brittle.

Long term? Who knows. Next two years is a clusterfuck of quagmire though.
posted by edgeways at 2:36 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Well, from what I saw in Las Vegas, they really didn't try as hard in 2010 as they did in 2008 despite the looming horror of Sharron Angle. But I suppose that's just my anecdata from one city.

It would be interesting to see actual numbers of whether they contacted registered Democrats as many times and in the same ways in both years. The lack of a national campaign in 2010 could have led to a more inconsistency in GOTV activities from state to state, which would explain our different impressions of the level of effort in midterm elections.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:36 PM on November 5, 2014


moorooka: When your message is "we need an impossible 60+ Senate seats to do anything" then why the fuck should anyone lift a finger?

Well, they did restrict its use to only legislation (not allowing them to routinely gum up the works for all executive/judicial nominees), and if I remember right they had 40+ on record willing to abolish it entirely, but a handful of them (Leahy, Feinstein, Levin, and a few others) objected. That doesn't make it a party-wide "Democrats don't care about eliminating the filibuster" problem, it makes it a "some Democrats wanted some things, and other Democrats wanted other things" problem. Harry Reid couldn't credibly threaten half a dozen powerful members of his own party to force them to eliminate the filibuster.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:37 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


You call it a "some Democrats wanted some things and other Democrats wanted other things" problem. I'd call it a "some Democrats are Republican fifth-columnists" problem. Either way, the problem is still the same. Why vote for a party that can't govern itself - let alone volunteer for such a party? The GOP doesn't have the problem of a sizable component of their own party actively working for the opposition.
posted by moorooka at 2:46 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


So your argument is we should let efficient implementation of evil ideas win over inefficient implementation of good ideas?
posted by tonycpsu at 2:51 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'd vote for you Jacqueline. We need Democrats in charge who aren't still terrified of the "liberal" label, understand firing up the base is better than aiming at the aimless & squishy middle, don't still have nightmares about floundering during the Reagan years, and are sworn enemies of the DLC and its progeny.

Heh, and I'm neither a Democrat nor a liberal! The DLC must really suck if you'd rather have me.

It's just so frustrating watching y'all lose again and again to the greater evil that it brings out all these "oh you poor hopeless things, let your Libertarian Auntie Jackie fix it for you" impulses in me. :D

On top of that, is there any work at all being done on getting Democrats elected to dog catcher and school boards in swing and red states? To state legislatures? Something needs to be done about the long game.

Yes, this. The Democrats (and various liberal/progressive organizations seem) to do as well or perhaps even better than the Republicans (and various conservative organizations) do in recruiting college students as activists, but then the Democrats seem to drop the ball after these recruits graduate whereas the Republicans continue to nurture them into becoming candidates and campaign managers for entry-level offices (e.g. the efforts of The Leadership Institute etc.).

I'm impressed that the Democrats continue to put forth as many candidates as they do, given that they don't seem to do nearly as much to nurture their pipeline of future candidates. More evidence of an untapped Democrat majority, I suppose.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:52 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think a major stumbling bloc right now is we talk about the two parties as if they are made up of similar basic groups just on different sides of the coin, so o speak. However, I believe that the constituent parts of the Ds and the Rs are very different. By and large the Republicans are pretty similar to one another, there are variations but that tends to be the difference and not the norm. that is their strength, the have a solid bloc of people who turn out and the message can essentially be the same from Florida to Oregon, change the names and plug in the same copy and you got it. Very efficient, very sterile. The weakness is they are slow to adapt so changing populations or shifts in popular opinion on long standing topics (marriage equality say) leave them vulnerable.

The Democrats are diverse people with similar views while the Republicans are similar people with diverse views. There is nothing in Democratic primary politics comparable to having to appeal to social conservative culture warriors, libertarian leaning Republicans, and mainstream pro-business Republicans all at the same time.
posted by Drinky Die at 2:57 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


So your argument is we should let efficient implementation of evil ideas win over inefficient implementation of good ideas?

No. My argument is that efficient implementation of evil ideas will always win over inefficient implementation of good ideas. That's the problem; you set yourselves up to lose from the start. Why volunteer for people who like losing?
posted by moorooka at 2:59 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think it's extra-super-frustrating watching this as a Libertarian because even if we stopped being a party of dysfunctional nutcases we'd still lose elections because not enough people support our ideology (yet?) for us to win majorities.

Whereas the majority of the US population actually wants what the Democrats want and you have a much lower rate of nutcases per capita in your candidates, leadership, and activists (compared to both the Libertarians AND the Republicans) yet you still lose because your party is just that staggeringly incompetent.

It's like watching someone with the kind of talent, resources, and privileges you'd KILL for cluelessly floundering about failing in their attempts to achieve the thing that is your own heart's FONDEST DESIRE and you just want to SMACK them upside the head because UGH WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU IF I HAD WHAT YOU HAD I WOULD DO SO MUCH MORE WITH IT ARGH IT IS WASTED ON YOU FUCK ASKJDLFASJLDHF
posted by Jacqueline at 3:03 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


But the interests the Republican party serve benefit just as much from their party failing to govern while in office, because really their overarching agenda is just to make sure the state isn't used to remedy systemic power imbalances and occasionally throw some big public dollars or resources to the private sector to stir up the feeding frenzies we call economic booms. The state doesn't have to be effective to serve those interests, it has to be ineffective. And it is. Pretty much across the board, when it comes to effective implementation, the state is kept hamstrung and ineffective to protect people against the worst kinds of economic exploitation and social inequality. The powerful having unfair advantages is the natural state that the state has to work effectively constantly to help remedy, like a bucket brigade bailing out a leaky boat. The republicans only appear to be efficient because inefficiency is generally their goal. They win by making sure problems aren't fixed.
posted by saulgoodman at 3:12 PM on November 5, 2014 [10 favorites]


The Democrats are diverse people with similar views while the Republicans are similar people with diverse views. There is nothing in Democratic primary politics comparable to having to appeal to social conservative culture warriors, libertarian leaning Republicans, and mainstream pro-business Republicans all at the same time.

I don't really agree with that. There are plenty of Democrats who are, say very pro gun control, plenty who oppose that. There are Democrats on both sides of the abortion debate... pick almost any major issue and you will have Democrats on three sides of it. Seriously. I live in a moderately liberal district in MN, our (re) elected Rep had to appeal to mining supporters, anti mining supporters, hunters, anti-war, pro defense, jobs, environment, LGBT, traditionalists, Twin Cities Suburb folks and very sparsely populated wilderness area... all in the same fucking district. This is the area he had to cover. Democrats have some overlap with conservatives, Republicans have no overlap with liberals. Republicans are really not that diverse. Boils down to two things 1. Social conservative 2. Anti tax. Throw in guns as well. And you know? That could well be the platform for a Tennessee Democrat. There is no counter corollary.
posted by edgeways at 3:18 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Where were all the Democratic voters? They were following Alex from Target on Twitter after a teenage girl tweeted a his photograph with the one word "YOOOOOOOOOO".

Climate change is going to end our way of life, we have a Bible literalist climate change denier taking charge of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, and people are talking about Alex from Target.

I just ... I can't deal any more.
posted by RedOrGreen at 3:24 PM on November 5, 2014


The Republicans are quite efficient at kicking liberals out of their party. Whereas the Democrats see nothing wrong with running candidates who stand for nothing but sabotaging the Democratic policy agenda.
posted by moorooka at 3:26 PM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


There are plenty of Democrats who are, say very pro gun control, plenty who oppose that.

Yes, but the Democrats who support it have long ago learned they will eat the shit sandwich in any situation where it comes into conflict. When we talk about gun control in 2014 we debate along lines of "Should we background check for violent felonies or severe mental illness or not?" And then the position where we don't do that somehow wins despite being less popular.

That isn't quite like the Republican situation with something like immigration, where half the party is desperate for reform and the other half will die on the hill of opposing it.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:27 PM on November 5, 2014


Why volunteer for people who like losing?

Well, you haven't provided any compelling evidence that Democrats "like losing." Your point about the filibuster was incomplete at best and misleading at worse. They want to win elections, and they want to govern (unlike the GOP who wants to win elections but not govern), but absent a plan to put liberal Democrats in deep red states, they're going to be swimming upstream against malapportionment in the Senate and gerrymandering in the house. These are structural factors that you're leaving out of your attempt to make this about an entire party that's supposedly just in it for the lulz.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:55 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Sorry Jacqueline. Didn't realize you were libertarian.

Will respectfully withdraw my nomination.
posted by honestcoyote at 4:00 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hope you took at least a couple seconds to consider..."Maybe my view of libertarians isn't 100% accurate if she can be so convincing."
posted by Drinky Die at 4:02 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Well, as we've discussed in countless threads, "libertarian" (small-L) is a word that covers so many different ideologies that it tells you almost nothing about what someone's individual policy preferences are, but at the same time, I don't think it would be unfair to view Jacqueline's support of the capital-L Libertarian party as a disqualifying factor for our imaginary parlor game of choosing a new benevolent dictator to make the Democrats less sucky.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:21 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm thinking of her more as a very well paid consultant than a dictator. :P
posted by Drinky Die at 4:28 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


I was a member of the Libertarian Party briefly in 2005-6. Used to subscribe to Reason and participated in all sorts of libertarian forums back in the day. This was my reaction to the crushing defeats of 2004 and feeling that the Democrats would never ever recover because they were so feckless. I'm more optimistic today than I was then.

So there's plenty of libertarians I like and Jacqueline would be one of them. But I would have to pick an actual Democrat for my imaginary chairman. No disrespect intended or implied.

If I could have anyone, it would be Howard Dean. Preferrably in a cape with the number '50' on the back. His first words on the job would be "You want me to scream motherfuckers?" and then there would be much asskicking, and then he'd get to work re-directing some funds to small Democratic offices across the country for the 2016 minor league races so that we can finally have a farm system to rival the Bad Guys.

Of course, imaginary Dean would agree with me completely on what our priorities should be.
posted by honestcoyote at 4:38 PM on November 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


Democrats Didn't Lose Governor's Races Because of a GOP Wave. They Lost Because of Bad Candidates.
At the national level, pundits and triumphant Republicans are pointing to Republican Larry Hogan's win over Brown in Maryland as the ultimate evidence of the 2014 anti-Democratic wave. Not only did Republicans win Senate seats in red and purple states, the claim goes, but they won governorships in true-blue Maryland, Massachusetts, and Illinois as well.

I'm skeptical of that claim. No doubt, disaffection and low turnout among core Democratic voters hurt the party's gubernatorial candidates in blue states as it did Senate candidates in red and purple ones. And anti-Washington, anti-Obama sentiment certainly played a role in the GOP's Senate takeover. But to explain why some Democratic gubernatorial candidates lost in blue states while others (such as Gina Raimondo in Rhode Island, Dannel Malloy in Connecticut, and John Hickenlooper in Colorado) managed to hang on, one really needs to take into account the state and local context of the races.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:38 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


This seems relevant: The Big Lie The Media’s Telling You About Obama’s Approval Rating
McClatchy Newspapers highlighted the “dropping approval ratings,” while the Washington Post declared “President Obama’s approval ratings have plunged to record lows.” The Christian Science Monitor noted the numbers have “plummeted.” The Washington Examiner stressed the president’s approvals were “sinking to historic lows,” while an Atlantic headline announced, “Obama’s Sinking Approval Could Drag Democrats Down With Him.” ...

No, his approval ratings are not stellar. [At 43%,] They’re only 3 percent over his all-time low of 39 percent. Historically, Obama’s lowest ratings are higher than the lowest of any President since John F. Kennedy. That’s right. At Saint Ronnie Reagan’s lowest, he was at just 35 percent. George W. Bush once hit 19 percent.

Back to the present, Congress has an approval rating of below 13 percent, yet somehow, it’s Obama’s approval ratings, at more than triple that, that makes headlines and makes congressional candidates turn tail and run.
posted by dialetheia at 4:40 PM on November 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


Your point about the filibuster was incomplete at best and misleading at worse.

My only point was that when the GOP had a majority they made a credible threat to kill the filibuster. But when the Dems had the majority they didn't - even though they were dealing with the worst abuse of the filibuster in its history. Why can the Republicans do it but not the Democrats? Because the D's are fucking pathetic losers!

You rejoined that the reason that the Dems couldn't kill the filibuster was because some of them didn't want to, and not because none of them wanted to. Well okay; I know that not all Democrats prefer losing, just enough to make them ineffective as a party. There's a critical mass of saboteurs in its ranks.

This means that they can't exercise power even with a majority of 50+ senators. Even with a rare, improbable 60+ majority they won't be able to exercise power because some of that 60 will belong to that fifth column. So what's the point? Why bother volunteering for a party that allows the Republicans to call the shots whether they win or lose? You might as well stay home.

I chanced to catch a few minutes of a new episode of the Simpsons the other day, one set many years in the future. Like most new episodes it was crap, but I did chuckle at one thing. It went something like:

"I can't believe Congress raised the retirement age to 90. The Democrats have a 99 seat majority!"

"Yeah, but that 1 Republican is really good at getting his way."

Like, how many seats will the Democrats need before the Republicans stop calling the shots? 60's not enough, 70? 80? It's never going to happen, so fuck it!
posted by moorooka at 4:45 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


My only point was that when the GOP had a majority they made a credible threat to kill the filibuster. But when the Dems had the majority they didn't - even though they were dealing with the worst abuse of the filibuster in its history.

Uh, no.

The 2005 "nuclear option" debate resulted in the creation "Gang of 14", which led to a 'memorandum of understanding" (essentially a "gentlemen's agreement") that said the filibuster would only be used in "unusual circumstances." The Democrats, being Democrats, kept their end of the bargain for the most part, allowing several reactionaries to be confirmed to federal appellate courts. They eventually did try to filibuster Sam Alito, but the "Gang of 14" stepped in (including 7 Democrats) to break that filibuster.

Meanwhile, the 2013 "nuclear option" debate led not to a gentlemen's agreement, but to an actual full-stop prohibition on filibustering Presidential nominees. In other words, the Democrats did substantively more to curtail the use of the filibuster than Republicans.

I've tried to be as nice as I can about your earlier factual errors, but at this point, if you don't know the facts, I don't really have any interest in continuing this conversation.
posted by tonycpsu at 5:04 PM on November 5, 2014


A local (Pittsburgh) blogger who covers economics/politics/demographics of the region posted a map today showing 108 PA state congressional districts with candidates running unopposed. It seems to me that if you can only get two competitors for half of your districts, maybe it's a good time to shrink the number of seats.
posted by tonycpsu at 5:22 PM on November 5, 2014


Maybe I don't follow this carefully enough - I'm not American - but isn't the difference that the GOP was blocking all nominees to executive branch positions? Meaning that the Democrats had positively no option but the nuclear option because the Republican minority was effectively using the filibuster to close government agencies by ensuring that key positions went unfilled? That doesn't seem comparable to how the Democrats were exercising the filibuster in 2005 - blocking only the most extreme, unqualified judicial nominees - when the Republicans first raised the nuclear option.

Generally, nothing the Democrats have ever done with the filibuster is comparable to how the Republicans have exercised it since they became a minority; blocking everything and forcing a 60 vote majority for all legislation. It was in 2009, when the 60th "Democrat" Lieberman was threatening to filibuster health care reform, that the Democrats should have killed the filibuster. The fact that even in 2009, with a once-in-a-generation majority, the Democrats rolled over and let the Republicans walk all over them proves that as a party they are completely hopeless, and that you can bust your ass as a volunteer but at the end of the day, the Republicans control Congress, win lose or draw.
posted by moorooka at 5:42 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, the 2013 "nuclear option" debate led not to a gentlemen's agreement, but to an actual full-stop prohibition on filibustering Presidential nominees. In other words, the Democrats did substantively more to curtail the use of the filibuster than Republicans.

And why didn't it lead to a gentlemen's agreement? Because the Republican party isn't full of "gentlemen" (i.e. losers) who will do the other party's work for them. The Republicans made the Democrats actually follow through, instead of pre-emptively caving like the Democrats did when the shoe was on the other foot.
posted by moorooka at 5:50 PM on November 5, 2014


Hey, if you want to move the goalposts from "what the majority party did to limit the use of the filibuster" to "how aggressive the minority party was in using the filibuster" we can do that, but you're not going to get any argument from me, because I was absolutely in favor of holding to the filibusters against Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen, and the rest of those appeals court nominees in 2005, and disappointed when the Democrats in the "Gang of 14" broke the filibuster against Alito, even if it meant the Republicans would have invoked the nuclear option. I wish the filibuster didn't exist, but as long as it does, I don't want my team unilaterally disarming.

Look, you make some good points about individual Democrats doing cowardly things, but the idea that we should just let them lose and let the GOP take over is a bridge too far. If you want good policy outcomes, you vote for the people who share your policy views. If they're shitty strategists, or cowards or whatever, then you push for better ones, but you haven't provided any template for actually doing that, and you're painting with a pretty broad brush given that we're talking about the actions of a handful of old guard Democrats, some of whom actually are cowards, some of whom just wanted to maximize their own individual power (remember that the filibuster is great for people in the 40-60 range ideologically), and some of whom just felt that retaining the ability to filibuster in the future against a hypothetical President Paul was more important than getting things passed now. I happen to disagree with them, but it's at least an argument worth taking seriously.

So yeah, we agree that the Democrats need to show some spine, and that the filibuster is a terrible thing that should die. You're still wrong about what the parties did to stop the other party from using it, and I strongly disagree that their failure to kill it means they're not worth "lifting a finger" for.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:07 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm sure I'm not the first person in this thread to say this, but it really burns me up to hear the GOP operatives on the radio/TV today simpering on about how this election is a clear mandate against liberal ideology, a resounding repudiation of Obamacare, etc. If I wasn't in an airport I'd spend some time digging up links to the dozens and dozens of instances of the same people saying that the victories in 08 and 12 didn't represent mandates because reasons, by which they mean fuck those with the misfortune to be born poor or unwhite.
posted by feloniousmonk at 6:36 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Tonycpsu, I'm not intending to shift the goalposts; it's just that the goalposts are already in very different places when it comes to the two cases. The Republican "nuclear option" related to the Dems blocking a handful of ultra-extreme judicial nominees (not every judicial and executive branch nominee plus every single piece of legislation). The R's were prepared to kill the filibuster, even though it was only being used in line with tradition; sparingly.

And even then, they didn't need to exercise the nuclear option, just threaten it, and that was enough for the chickenshit Dems, who immediately caved and stopped filibustering the nut-job judicial nominees.

In 2013 the Democrats were prepared to prevent the Republicans from abusing the filibuster to close, de-facto, agencies of the executive branch. But in all the years since the Democratic wave of 2008 they were never prepared to prevent the Republicans from abusing the filibuster to raise the bar for passing all legislation from 50+ votes to 60+ votes. They seem to think that it's perfectly reasonable that all legislation should require a 60+ vote majority. That's the difference.

And that's the problem! Because if the Democrats had used their 2009 window of opportunity to actually exercise the power that was in their grasp, then a lot could have been achieved. Instead it was wasted, because the majority was not big enough, even though it was bigger than we may ever see again in our lifetimes.

That's the problem, because if you need more than 60 Senate seats to wield actual power, then you might as well just give up now. 51 seats is a realistic prospect; people can be motivated for a goal like that. But 60 seats isn't a realistic prospect. So, are you really surprised that people cannot be motivated to vote for, let alone volunteer for Congressional Democrats? At least if you volunteer for a Republican you know that you're volunteering for a party that actually wants to wield power over the opposition, instead of trying to share power with the opposition. With the Democrats you're just volunteering for a party that doesn't seem to care whether it has 59 votes or 0.

The "solution" is not to let the Dems just lose; Dems losing is the consequence of their current pusillanimous strategy, and such a predictable consequence as to make it seem as though they "want to lose", even if they don't (I'm not actually sure, to be honest). The Democratic leadership need to decide whether or not they actually want power, and if they do, that means a purge of those in their ranks who are happy to share it with Republicans. It means they need to say that if they get a majority they'll use it to legislate, even if it's a majority of less than sixty.
posted by moorooka at 6:41 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


You're correct that Democrats used it more in line with tradition, and I'd love it if the Democrats were more cohesive ideologically, but Senate malapportionment means it's very hard to do that and still have a majority. The choice wasn't Mary Landrieu or a liberal Democrat in Lousiana, it was between Mary Landrieu or a conservative Republican. There are times I'd rather have a Republican than a conserva-dem, and there's no excuse at all for someone like Lieberman in a blue state (which did lead to the Dems mostly getting out of the way of Ned Lamont's primary challenge against him) but if it comes down to a majority with Ben Nelson or a minority with some Republican in Nebraska, I'll grudgingly take the former.

So yeah, if you have a plausible scenario where Democrats can get a 51+ majority without relying on conserva-dems in reddish states, by all means let's see it. I'm not saying it can't be done, but it's not as simple as "1. Purge the non-believers 2. ??? 3. Majority!" I'm also not saying that it's necessarily a zero-sum game between ideological cohesion and the number of seats, but there's certainly some tension there between the desire to have an ideologically cohesive party and the desire to have a governing majority, and I kind of feel like you're being hand-wavey about that as you try to pin the problems all on Democrats not showing sufficient resolve.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:03 PM on November 5, 2014


The Irony is staggering. Last night Alaskans voted to raise the minimum wage, impose a restrictive law on mining, and legalize pot – and then they voted for the conservative big business Republican. And you’ve got ask yourself, in a state that just legalized weed, that dealt a blow to business and stood up for the little guy and the environment, how in the hell could the Democrat lose?

And that, right there, is a metaphor for the rest of last night’s Democratic disaster.

Instead of distancing themselves from the President, Democrats should have stood firmly with him.

Oh yes, they should have.

Because if there is one Democrat, one, who knows how to win and win big, it’s Barack Obama.


(from Stonekettle Station)
posted by triggerfinger at 7:05 PM on November 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


I can believe that there are red states with "god, guns and gays" voters who won't stand for certain liberal positions on social issues. What I find hard to believe is that these red state voters like being ripped off by the banking and private health insurance industries. Ben Nelson wasn't out to join a Republican filibuster of the public option because that's what his socially-conservative constituents wanted. He was out to filibuster the public option because he was a corporate whore. The big problem with the Dems is that they use the existence of socially conservative voters as cover for taking economically conservative positions.
In any case, I didn't mean that the Dems should purge themselves of anyone who isn't a Kucinich liberal. I meant they should purge themselves of anyone who would even contemplate joining in a Republican filibuster to block the passage of Democratic legislation. During the health care reform debate there were several Dems who did this and it wasn't because that's what their red-state Democratic constituents wanted.
posted by moorooka at 7:21 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


I can believe that there are red states with "god, guns and gays" voters who won't stand for certain liberal positions on social issues. What I find hard to believe is that these red state voters like being ripped off by the banking and private health insurance industries.

You're familiar with What's the Matter With Kansas, yeah? This voting against one's self-interest thing is pretty well-trodden ground, and I can assure you it doesn't just exist in Kansas.

Again, I want the same thing as you seem to -- an ideologically cohesive liberal majority in the Senate -- but you're just not making a case that there was any chance of that either then or now.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:26 PM on November 5, 2014


Missing the point. the Kansas hypothesis is that redstate voters prioritize culture-war issues over their economic interests (and therefore vote Republican).

That gives you a reason why redstate Dems can't run on a liberal culture-war platform but it doesn't give you a reason why redstate Dems (or any other Dems) have to sell out the economic interests of the 99%, or roll-over when a Republicab minority uses obstructionist parliamentary tactics.

In fact the Kansas hypothesis suggests that the only hope the Dems have in red states is to focus on economic populism. Instead we get Ben Nelsons doing everything they can to ensure that working-class Americans get ripped off by health insurance corporations, and pretending it's because they're from a "conservative state". Bullshit!

There is no constituency in any state, red or blue, for "moderate" positions like "stop the public option" or "bipartisan social security reform". The only constituency for these policies is a handful of very wealthy plutocrats. My impression is that these are the people that the Democratic party work for, playing good-cop to the Republican bad-cop. That's why they don't seem to care very much about whether they win or lose, and why they roll over for the GOP even when they don't have to.
posted by moorooka at 9:05 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


moorooka: There is no constituency in any state, red or blue, for "moderate" positions like "stop the public option" or "bipartisan social security reform".

So yeah, Social Security "reform" is pretty much a solution looking for a problem and most people recognize that even if it was a part of the Simpson-Bowles madness, but there was definitely an anti Obamacare sentiment in 2010 during the summer of town hall meetings that led to the Tea Party wave election, and though I seem to recall the prospect of a public option was already dead or mortally wounded at that point, it's definitely true that the people screaming "death panels" were anti public-option. There absolutely was a very large anti-public option constituency at that time, even if a large percentage of the people who showed up to those town halls would have probably personally benefited from the availability of a public option (another echo of the Kansas hypothesis.) Contra what you've said, being anti-Obamacare (and anti public option) in 2010 was economic populism. (National polls of public option polled from 40-55% depending on how the question was asked, but in some states, it was far, far less than that.)

Of course there are Democrats doing the bidding of big business and wealthy plutocrats, but it's simply delusional to claim that a public option was a slam dunk populist winner in all 50 states.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:23 PM on November 5, 2014


Oh yeah, the "keep the government's hands off my Medicare" town-hall tea-baggers. The way to deal with that sort of abject ignorance and misinformation is to confront it head-on, not use it as an excuse to fuck-up one of the Democratic party's most significant public policy achievements.

Would "Medicare For All" have been such a hard sell? I doubt it. Put your OFA infrastructure into action and sell the fucking thing, instead of going into a four-year hibernation. Buy TV-ads, door-knock, say "Look at every other first world country, now look at us, let's fix this". And make it a proud Democratic achievement instead of dicking around trying and predictably failing to make it "bipartisan".

The Democrats suck at messaging and tactics so hard that it almost has to be deliberate.
posted by moorooka at 9:43 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm sorry, but this "sell the fucking thing" smacks of Green Lanternism, pure and simple. We don't pass federal laws via ballot referenda -- congress has to vote for them -- and there's no way in hell single payer, or even just an expansion of Medicaid or a lowering of the Medicare age -- was going to get even 50 votes in the Senate when the public option could only get 44.

We surely must be in "agree to disagree" territory here, because your claims keep getting more outlandish and unsupportable by the historical record, and the evidence you support them with keeps getting thinner and thinner. I've enjoyed the discussion, but you seem to have a very crude understanding of how politics actually works here.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:59 PM on November 5, 2014


I'll concede that, since I'm not American and haven't even been to America. It's probably worse than I can imagine.

But if Democratic Senators decided to join with Republicans to filibuster the public option because of some angry racist geriatrics howling stupid self-contradictory crap like "keep government out of Medicare" at town halls then that proves how totally pathetic the Party is.

Again, I wasn't there, but what I saw was an anti-black-President sentiment and an anti-"death panels" sentiment coming from an extremely misinformed and very vocal minority. There was no "anti-public option" majority sentiment; the mainstream discourse was too corrupted by Koch brothers lies for that sort of genuine policy debate.

The Dem Senators weren't against the public option because the American people were against it. But to the extent that Dem Senators were sabotaging health-care reform because they were concerned about community ignorance and their political futures*, that's what I mean when I say "sell it"; get the OFA machine out to support Democratic Senators sell their vote and sell health-care reform and sell the public option to their community instead of just ceding the public debate to the Kochs and tea-baggers. Yes I know it wasn't a popular referendum.

* I don't believe this is true. I think it was opposition from their corporate overlords that they were actually worried about.
posted by moorooka at 10:49 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Rand Paul, celebrating the Rump Republican victory in a way calculated to appeal to this "youth vote" the GOP has heard so much about, is added photos to his Facebook album #HillarysLosers. Yes, it's juvenile, but the fact remains that despite HRC stumping for Bruce Braley, Martha Coakley, Alison Grimes, Kay Hagan, Michelle Nunn, Mark Pryor, Mark Udall, they all lost.

Once he's finished with that, though, he'll get back to real work, i.e. changing Kentucky primary rules he can run simultaneously for president and senator in 2016.
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:38 AM on November 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


On his way to a slim victory in a changing Va., Warner may have wooed wrong voters
But what is also clear from that margin — and from the final weeks of the campaign — is that Warner’s operation didn’t really adapt to the partisan reality of the new mood. A self-described “radical centrist” who prided himself on his appeal among Republicans and independents, Warner steadfastly continued to court those voters despite strong evidence that their tolerance for Democrats had dramatically waned.

Warner also may have missed out on a new advantage for politicians with D’s after their names in Virginia’s changing demographic landscape.
By positioning himself as a moderate, he may have missed a chance to gin up more enthusiasm within the state’s expanding Democratic base, earning fewer votes in such deep-blue communities as Arlington County and Alexandria than left-of-Warner Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) did a year ago.
posted by octothorpe at 6:49 AM on November 6, 2014 [2 favorites]




From that Wonkette piece:
We are dazed and confused that while voters in Colorado voted against the state’s latest attempt to enact a personhood amendment declaring every sperm is sacred, those same voters elected Republican Cory Gardner, big HUGE fan of personhood, to the Senate. Which means voters in Colorado are against the very policies their new senator supports, which does not make any kind of sense, but hey, maybe all that legal recreational weed affected their rational thinking?
It actually makes perfect sense. Gardner lied about what personhood means to him & it's implications. He distanced himself successfully from a policy he has supported, likely still supported on election day and will support in the future, and few elements in the media called him on it.

Faiz Shakir's point is essential: "actual progressive policies remain popular with voters in red and blue states." The right has broken our civic discourse, but not irreparably. There are ways of campaigning that will help voters connect their support for progressive policies with the candidates most likely to get those policies enacted. But the Democrats can't play according to the rules painstakingly set up over the past thirty years of monied, rightwing propaganda that says it is shameful to be a liberal.
posted by audi alteram partem at 7:46 AM on November 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


GOP Still Excellent at Cheerily Orwellian Euphemisms for Denying People Help
Wow -- the "Hire More Heroes Act." Who could be against hiring more heroes? And the bill did pass the House 406-1 (only my congressman, Jerrold Nadler, voted against it). It got caught up in procedural maneuvering in the Senate, but it has strong support.

So what does it do?

[...]

Oh. So while it provides an incentive to hire more veterans, the incentive is that you as an employer get to deny the rest of your employees health care at the same time.

And "a proposal to restore the traditional 40-hour definition of full-time employment"? What an inspiring phrase! That could have come straight out of an FDR speech! It conjures up images from Frank Capra movies and Norman Rockwell paintings! And yet I thought a lot of Americans already were working 40 hours a week (or more). So what exactly is McConnell referring to?

Oh, this:

[...]

So it's another way to deny workers employer-provided health care. And it won't (as McConnell puts it in this Time interview) "restore the 40-hour work week" for affected workers -- it will restore the 39-hour work week, up from 29, as employers squeeze as much work out of employees as they can without giving them health care.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:06 AM on November 6, 2014 [9 favorites]


The Democrats Have Two Choices Now: Gridlock or Annihilation

"So what happens now? In the short term, nothing. The newly minted Republican leaders are mouthing the requisite platitudes about cooperation. But Mitch McConnell did not become the majority leader by cooperating. His single strategic insight is that voters do not blame Congress for gridlock, they blame the president, and therefore reward the opposition. Eternally optimistic seekers of bipartisanship have clung to the hope that owning all of Congress, not merely half, will force Republicans to “show they can govern.” This hopeful bit of conventional wisdom rests on the premise that voters are even aware that the GOP is the party controlling Congress. In fact, only about 40 percent of the public even knows which party controls which chamber of Congress, which makes the notion that the Republicans would face a backlash for a lack of success fantastical.

McConnell’s next play is perfectly clear. His interest lies in creating two more years of ugliness and gridlock. He does not want spectacular, high-profile failures that command public attention — no shutdowns, no impeachment. Instead, he wants tedious, enervating stalemate. McConnell needs to drain away any possibility of hope and excitement from government, so that the disengaged Democratic voters remain disengaged in 2016."

posted by madamjujujive at 9:11 AM on November 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


Boy, if there's anyone who's good at tedious, enervating stalemate, it's McConnell. The larger problem, in my view, is that Americans now believe that government inaction is *preferable* to government action.
posted by GrammarMoses at 9:47 AM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


The thing is, government inaction is actually preferable to the sort of action the Republicans want. And they more or less refuse to compromise. So you're left with two choices; let them do what they want or do nothing. So we do nothing.
posted by Justinian at 10:04 AM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Let the Ass Covering Begin!
posted by tonycpsu at 11:47 AM on November 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


Here is the weird shit - places that voted for pot, against abortion restrictions, for minimum wage hikes, they fucking voted Gee Oh Pee for Sens and Govs.

On the one hand, what could this mean? Do they expect the Republicans to suddenly come around and be liberals?

Or... perhaps... if there were some actual liberals to vote for, they would have.? Voters prefer conviction over issues. TAKE. THE. HINT.

Allen Grayson for DNC chairman. Putting that out there now. We need ultra-partisan axe-murderers manning the helm in the here-and-now.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:32 PM on November 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


Christ, not that pompous ass, though. There are plenty of true progressives who don't make me want to take a shower after watching them in an interview.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:58 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Too bad. Being all middle-of-the-road bland gets you where in this political climate? Where are the reasonable and nice lefties? On the losing end, pretending to be GOP-Lite. Alan Grayson, pomposity and all, and even worse than him, let's put them up front. Why? ice-breakers.

These are ludicrous ships. Massively thick hulls, with juuust enough bouyancy to keep immense engines afloat, and they're run into thick, polar ice on purpose. They do a damned good job. Other, less intense and ludicrous ships follow through the channel they bashed through the ice.

Let the voters know there is a choice, and the side representing all of the initiatives they voted for is savage and dedicated.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:24 PM on November 6, 2014


Something something, passionate intensity, widening gyres ...
posted by weston at 8:54 PM on November 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


So you're left with two choices; let them do what they want or do nothing. So we do nothing.

The same choice the Republicans have made since Obama entered office. I can't see how it is ever going to change until the filibuster is reformed.

Christ, not that pompous ass, though. There are plenty of true progressives who don't make me want to take a shower after watching them in an interview.

I guess we can rule out another Anthony Weiner comeback tour too then. :P
posted by Drinky Die at 7:50 AM on November 7, 2014


The same choice the Republicans have made since Obama entered office.

I disagree; I believe that Obama would have been happy to compromise. To the point of angering his base. It's the Republicans who have rejected compromise at every turn.
posted by Justinian at 8:11 AM on November 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


That's what I said.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:48 AM on November 7, 2014




But we've been assured that there is not one whit of meaningful difference between the parties, madamjujujive!
posted by Justinian at 10:51 AM on November 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


madamjujujive: Why do I have such a bad feeling about this?

Yeah, I figure that'll get an FPP, but my gut reaction is that Roberts has been getting hammered on the right for providing the fifth vote to uphold the ACA, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get back in good graces with the Federalist Society crowd.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:58 AM on November 7, 2014


(Or, jumping from fourth to fifth-dimensional chess, this was Roberts' plan all along.)
posted by tonycpsu at 10:59 AM on November 7, 2014


Oh, hey, there's the FPP.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:08 AM on November 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


My county is still chugging through the last of its ballots, and I took a look at their latest count. The numbers include for each race the total votes, votes for each candidate and the blank votes where people had cast a ballot but not selected any candidate in a particular race. I've never looked at those blank vote numbers before and they're interesting and a little appalling.

My state rep lost by 229 votes with 1701 people not bothering to cast a vote in the race. In my county about 1800 people didn't vote for anyone for senator or governor, a number which jumps into the 6000+ range for the other state-wide offices.

I completely respect people who say that there isn't a candidate they can vote for, but surely in those 1701 people who chose to cast a vote elsewhere on the ballot there were some who could have been persuaded to vote for the state house rep.
posted by audi alteram partem at 1:30 PM on November 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


But we've been assured that there is not one whit of meaningful difference between the parties, madamjujujive!

There are lots of differences, both parties grind their axes about why they are owed votes using totally different simplistic cliches about people who criticize the two party system.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:42 PM on November 7, 2014






Drinky Die: There are lots of differences, both parties grind their axes about why they are owed votes using totally different simplistic cliches about people who criticize the two party system.

Christ, dude, that's a total straw man. Nobody here (or just about anywhere else) says that any candidate or party is "owed" a vote. A citizen's vote is theirs, and they should use it however they want to. At the same time, people have every right to question the logic others use when they vote for no-shot third party candidates, just as someone else has the right to question the logic of those like me who defend lesser-of-two-evils voting. Furthermore, nobody is defending the two party system when they criticize people for voting third party, because a third party vote doesn't do diddly squat to change the two party system. It's simply a cold game theory calculation of how to use the blunt instrument of a first-past-the-post vote in a rigged two-party system to maximize the chance of a good outcome.

Look, I've actively supported organizations that work on pushing for preferential voting so that third party votes can be cast without throwing the person's vote away. However, as long as that is the case, I hold people who vote for also-ran third party candidates in some contempt because it accomplishes nothing and goes against that voter's own interests. (Of course it's possible to not have a preference among the candidates who can win, but I've found this is rarely the case, and if it is, it's often due to being uninformed about what the candidates positions are.)

So yeah, go ahead and attack the logic of lesser-of-two-evils voting if you want, but engage with the actual arguments, not what you imagine we're thinking about you.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:17 PM on November 7, 2014


Dude, it was hyperbole because of your own strawman, I'm not playing this game with you again. Go back to mega-derailing the other thread with the same tired arguments instead.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:32 PM on November 7, 2014


How exactly does linking to a blog post critical of the third party spoiler effect in Maine constitute a straw man?

And if you have a problem with my participation in another thread, you know where the flag button and MeTa are.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:02 PM on November 7, 2014


Sorry, Justianian's straw.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:12 PM on November 7, 2014


Uh, what?
posted by Justinian at 9:30 PM on November 7, 2014


The one I quoted. The points people make can't really be summarized as claiming the parties are precisely the same. It's really tiresome to see.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:03 PM on November 7, 2014


Obstruction And How The Press Helped Punch The GOP's Midterm Ticket
But why? Why don't voters blame Congress for gridlock?

Why would the president, who's had virtually his entire agenda categorically obstructed, be blamed and not the politicians who purposefully plot the gridlock? Because the press has given Republicans a pass. For more than five years, too many Beltway pundits and reporters have treated the spectacular stalemate as if it were everyday politics; just more "partisan combat." It's not. It's extraordinary. (See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.)
posted by audi alteram partem at 7:29 AM on November 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


Welcome to the Great Liberal Hangover of 2014.

On Tuesday night, a lot of Republican-ish candidates got crushed by the official Republican candidates, confirming yet again that a gutless, wincing version of one kind of politics always loses to the robust one. Nobody first starts drinking Diet Coke because they think it tastes better, and the only people who keep drinking it are the ones who’ve drunk nothing else for so long that actual flavor seems weird. Why vote for someone hesitantly and semi-apologetically tacking toward the right when you can just vote for someone who goes balls-to-the-wall rightward and is damn proud of it? At least that person gives off the sense of actually enjoying his own beliefs.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:46 PM on November 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Progressive Victories You Didn't Hear About in the Midterms -- And Some That Could Happen
But while Democrat candidates were going down to defeat, liberals and progressive won some impressive but little-publicized victories on important issues—including minimum wage hikes—especially in red and purple states, suggesting that voters are not as conservative as the pundits are pontificating.
posted by audi alteram partem at 2:15 PM on November 8, 2014


The human sunbeam and the red meat warriors
Gardner is now seen as a model — and rightfully so — for how a Republican can win in a purple-trending-blue state.... So how could Gardner win with that record in Colorado against a mainstream Democrat like Udall?

Here’s my thesis: Even as Colorado has trended blue, it is still, if you look closely, an ever-so-slightly center-right state, and one in search of a Republican who fits that center-right model. They just couldn’t find one. For a decade, they couldn’t find one. We may have made fun of the constant Gardner smile — and certainly of George Will’s fawning “human sunbeam” description — but optimism and a happy-warrior style can work, especially in an off-year election, if you can just look moderate. It can even beat a Udall, whose “war on women” strategy is taking the blame. It can even win — apparently — when you duck and dodge every hard question about your record.
posted by audi alteram partem at 3:16 PM on November 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Obama Takes Responsibility for Midterm Results

"We got beat," Obama said of Tuesday's results in an interview CBS's "Face the Nation," which aired Sunday but was taped Friday. "As the head of the party, if it doesn't do well, I've got to take responsibility for it," Obama said, adding that the voters "know one person in Washington, and that's the president of the United States."

Obama admitted that sometimes he gets hung up on thinking that if a policy is right, "that's what should matter," but he also knows an important component is effectively presenting the idea to the American people and to the "stubborn" opposition. "We’ve got to sell it. We've got to reach out to the other side … and I think there are times where I think we have not been successful in going out there," Obama said.

posted by Drinky Die at 11:29 AM on November 9, 2014


Hagan, Grimes ask donors to give to Landrieu

I'm conflicted. Mary Landrieu's nobody's idea of a progressive, but it's freaking Lousiana, so I'm amazed the Democrats pulled the plug on her so early. I get not wanting to throw good money after bad, but if she can be the 60th vote for cloture (or the 40th vote for a filibuster if absolutely necessary) I'd rather have her than some Tea Partier, and it's not like they did anything else good with their money this cycle. Having to scrounge for pocket change from under the dead carcasses of Alison Grimes and Kay Hagan is a really sad way to go out, and though she was a pain in the ass, she was a pain in the ass that could occasionally be there for an important vote.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:39 PM on November 10, 2014


Financial projections released late Monday paint a grim picture for Kansas's budget in the wake of Gov. Sam Brownback's (R) decision to sign massive income tax cuts into law.

The estimates showed that the state is on track to collect $1 billion less in revenue next year and in 2016 than had previously been projected, according to the Kansas City Star.

The estimates also said the state will use up $380 million in reserves and still have to cut another $280 million for fiscal year 2015 to balance the state's current budget. In addition, in 2016, revenues are expected to be $436 million short of expenditures according to the forecast.


Welp, Kansas got what they voted for.
posted by octothorpe at 4:15 PM on November 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


I said back before the election, as the awful contours of the likely outcome became clearer and clearer, that the one silver lining might be Brownback's loss. But no, Kansas decided it hadn't had enough. Well, more power to you, Kansans - I hope you remember your Bible and don't take it out on the weak and powerless, but I fear the worst.
posted by RedOrGreen at 7:14 PM on November 11, 2014


A reality-check on the 2014 results
GOPLifer takes a hard, sober look at his own party's results and is not celebrating. This analysis cheered me.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:11 AM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Dunno. He says a lot of things I want to agree with, but then he says this:
- Keep an eye on oil prices. Texas, which is at the core of GOP dysfunction, is a petro state with an economy roughly as diverse, modern and complex as Nigeria, Iran or Venezuela. It was been relatively untouched by the economic collapse because it is relatively dislocated from the US economy in general. Watch what happens if the decline in oil prices lasts more than a year.
Which isn't true. Texas industry is very diversified, with major tech and manufacturing sectors and a heaping helping of agribusiness and transport. What is true is that energy extraction calls the shots politically, but that's more down to the inherited wealth from the first oil boom dominating upper-class society, and it's also true these oil-barons are now seeing a renaissance in their fortunes thanks to fracking. It's not true that they're being hurt significantly, and even if oil dips under $70/bbl, it won't hurt profits from current production, but will only slow new exploitation of more difficult (and therefore expensive) reserves.

So, there seems to be a lot of wishful thinking and misapprehension of the facts on the ground in that piece - the most significant to my mind is overlooking the solid lock the GOP has on local and state government in ostensibly "blue" states. The Democratic party has been ignoring small town and little city politics for way too fucking long, and we're feeling it bite and hard. Urban areas have thickly settled suburbs, and they will throw elections to Team Red.

If the urban vote was the end-all, be-all, Texas, with World City class metropolises in San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and even Austin, would be a blue state, as only Fort Worth voted red. Instead, it's the small towns and little cities that call the shots. Colorado is the same way, as is Wisconsin.

I also think it's a mistake to run as Republican Lite in those places - but the dems should definitely use the parts of their platform that speak the strongest to each constituency, and take some time to defend and promote parts of the platform that have been unjustly maligned, like the ACA and climate change.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:25 AM on November 12, 2014


Speaking of the lock on local and state legislatures - the GOP is going to gerymander electoral votes in purple and blue swing states, most notably Florida and Ohio. They're going to legally rig the presidential election to make sure the candidate with the most votes won't win, and there's nothing we can do to stop them.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:43 AM on November 12, 2014




Klobachar, Tester and Warren are part of the Democratic Senate Leadership. I think those are three very strong additions. Klobachar is senior senior from a state that didn't flip and had the highest voter turn out, Tester has success in Montana, despite not being a blue dog and Warren is Warren.
posted by edgeways at 2:09 PM on November 13, 2014 [2 favorites]






Gaming The System
posted by homunculus at 2:32 PM on November 18, 2014


Senate Narrowly Defeats Keystone XL Pipeline

Scott Lemieux is saying that if nobody changes their vote, this means there won't be enough votes to override an Obama veto.
posted by tonycpsu at 5:20 PM on November 18, 2014


madamjujujive: "A reality-check on the 2014 results
GOPLifer takes a hard, sober look at his own party's results and is not celebrating. This analysis cheered me.
"

Ooh! Me too! Thanks for posting the link.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 10:37 PM on November 18, 2014




Final results are in for my state House race, and the incumbent Democrat lost by 106 votes. The other two Democratic losses in the CO House were by 168 and 289 votes.
posted by audi alteram partem at 7:03 AM on November 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


And in my state Congressional House race, those incumbent Democrats who were in extremely close votes all won. In fact, California Demo House delegation gained one seat:

California Democrats appear to have gained a House seat

"Assuming the results stand, California will have provided a silver lining for Democrats nationally, who lost about 12 seats in the House of Representatives in the Nov. 4 elections and saw Republicans take the majority in the Senate.

Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, a Democrat, defeated Republican military veteran Paul Chabot for an Inland Empire seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Gary Miller of Rancho Cucamonga. Democrats will hold 39 of California's 53 House seats.

U.S. Rep. Jim Costa (D-Fresno), has outpaced challenger Johnny Tacherra, final ballot tallies indicate. (Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call)

All four freshman Democrats from California were reelected despite being targeted by national Republicans and their allies in high-spending races. In addition to Bera, Reps. Scott Peters of San Diego, Raul Ruiz of Palm Desert and Julia Brownley of Westlake Village prevailed against challengers. Ruiz's race turned not to be close.

The Peters and Brownley races had been too close to call on election night, but their respective opponents, businessman Carl DeMaio and Assemblyman Jeff Gorell of Camarillo, conceded as the counting went against them in the days following the election."

The blue are getting bluer and the red redder. California is definitely turning a deeper blue.
posted by VikingSword at 10:20 AM on November 20, 2014


Senate Of Attention: Keystone XL Pipeline And NSA Bills Defeated

WHY do I keep forgetting about Charles Pierce?? He is fucking fantastic.
posted by triggerfinger at 10:01 PM on November 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm reviewing the minutes from the first meeting of my county Democratic Party after the election [pdf]. Some interesting (and conflicting) viewpoints on what went wrong and what to do better:
Missing the Rocky Mountain News [folded paper that provided counterweight to Denver Post]

Angry people. We don't reach out until we need something.

Data management across the board was terrible.

How do we get someone who is happy, motivated to go to the polls?

We as Democrats are about talking to people and helping. Show why Democrats help people.

Unvoted ballots for local areas very high, but voted for state and federal.

Work hard to get candidates in, but there isn't the progress unions and people need.
posted by audi alteram partem at 11:06 AM on December 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


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