Open Thread on yesterday’s election

It just goes to show what you can do with a motivated electorate. There was a high voter turnout, but Democrats turned out in greater numbers than Republicans to repudiate the Trump agenda. That’s promising for the future, but we have to remember that we can’t always vote against a bad thing, we have to be just as motivated to go to the polls for a good thing, and that’s where Democrats tend to fail.

So what local things feel like a personal triumph for you? The city of Morris passed a school bond issue to get our high school repaired and maintained, something that has been neglected for too long. I think responsible maintenance of our infrastructure is a great positive thing Democrats can stand for.

I’d also like to call for better, more equal representation in local and state government. Republicans have gerrymandered and suppressed voters to set up a system where their party is stacked with white men, and our leadership does not look like our communities. Let’s change that!


  1. rpjohnston says

    NoVa voter gere. And damn am I enthused.

    Winning is just the first part though. Now we have to hold the Democrats’ feet to the fire – make sure they actually DO things, not just get lead around by the nose by the Right in the name of “working for everybody”.

    And we need to defend our ground. Republicans at all levels will try to destroy Virginia to make the Democratic victors look bad. Just like how they’ve been sabotaging Obamacare and blaming the Dems. So we need to be prepared for that, be ready to fire back with propaganda and policy, and to repel them.

    If we can do that, if we can make Virginia successful, then we can sweep 2018.

  2. says

    From having lived in the Old Dominion for twenty years, I’m elated over the Democratic victory there. Repudiating Ed Gillespie’s racist dog factory-whistles roundly, preparing the way for a rollback of years of GOP gerrymandering, kicking Kobach’s Crosscheck racket out… these are a great start.

    Relatives in New Jersey are also happy, it seems, with their newly elected D governor. Here in the Rochester, NY, area, where I just read the results at the web page of our local Sinclair station (gotta learn not to click the top relevant result without looking further), it was D all the way, from re-electing Lovely Wilson as Mayor to putting Baxter in as our Sheriff.

    The last was a bit controversial, perhaps. He’s an ex-Republican, and we got a mailer that called him out as a Republican “using the Democrat Party to get elected.” A day later, I listened to a robo-call from Baxter where he said he had left the GOP, and urged voters not to believe Republican lies about him. I ended up not writing in the name on the mailer, and I’m a little embarrassed I didn’t spot “Democrat Party” right away. Seems like a bit of a giveaway.

  3. robro says

    Surprisingly there were no elections in my area of California yesterday…”surprisingly” because we have so many layers of government it seems every first Tuesday in November is election day.

    Yes, gerrymandering really needs to change, although Democrats are as guilty of stacking districts to elect their white men as Republicans. What seems sensible is to take redistricting out of the hands of state legislatures which will inevitably reflect the agenda of the party in power. That process just seems to land in the courts who end up vetting the district maps. I’m not sure where that leaves it, but I’ve read a little about using AI systems to draw districts…perhaps there’s something to that.

  4. Allison says

    For what it’s worth, we voted out our Republican, racist, etc., county executive. (Westchester County, NY)

    However, I noticed that roughly 2/3 of the offices on my ballot had only one person running. Basically, all of the town and village offices and some of the judgeships had only a Democrat. Kind of “any color you want as long as it’s black.”

    No statewide (or national) offices on the ballot.

  5. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    Another Virginian voter here. What enthuses me:
    –Racist dogwhistle campaign inspired by Corey Stewart’s primary candidacy defeated.
    –African American Justin Fairfax elected Lieutenant Governor, beating the woman who made “transvaginal ultrasound” a household phrase. (And because a governor can’t serve consecutive terms here, that makes him the frontrunner for the Dem nomination in four years.)
    –Our awesome Attorney General Mark Herring was reelected.
    –A trans woman, Danica Roem, was elected to the house of delegates by beating the dotard who tried to get a bathroom bill passed.
    –In the Blacksburg area, Chris Hurst, the boyfriend of the reporter who was murdered on air two years ago, defeated the incumbent.
    –Overall the results are a big FU to the NRA in its home state.
    –Depending on the outcome of a few recounts, the Dems could control the house of delegates, which would put them in good position to lead the gerrymandering redistricting process after the next census.

    And it’s largely thanks to black women.

  6. birgerjohansson says

    MSNBC host Joe Scarborough pins Dem wins on women voters: ‘Women standing in the rain in long lines weren’t going to move’

    Yeah, this worked so well in Berlin 1945:
    “Fox ignores Dem wins and celebrates Trump’s ‘historic victory’ by playing highlights from 2016 election night”

  7. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Last night I was listening in on telephone townhall meeting run by my democratic congresscritter. My updated phone system even allowed me to vote, whereas the old system would disconnect me if I tried.
    The congressional district I’m in is a swing district, voting for the democrat during presidential years, and for the republicans during the off-year elections. The interesting thing is that the total number of republican votes doesn’t change between elections, but the democratic turnout is always down during off-year elections. We have an unpopular republican governor who may be primary challenged from the right next year. Hard right candidates generally don’t do well in state-wide general elections. There are a plethora of candidates vying to be the democratic challenger. Hopefully, this will energize the democrats to show up and vote in the off-year election, which would help to re-elect my present congresscritter, and give us a democratic governor.

  8. robro says

    Just learned of Roem’s victory in VA over Bob Marshall. That’s very exciting news. And good riddance to him and his stupid bathroom bill, and arming teachers and school staff.

    Also just learned there’s a transgender victory in Minneapolis: Andrea Jenkins won her race for a seat on the city council.

    There’s another vote coming December 12th…the special election in Alabama to replace Sessions featuring Bible thumper Roy Moore. It seems close. Wish I knew what to do to help with that one other than donate more to Doug Jones, but that’s probably the best I can do.

  9. inflection says

    Our community had just one thing on the ballot: renewal of a property tax assigned to support our local public library.

    You’d think this would be a no-brainer, but just last year a town on the outskirts of our library district voted down its renewal, leaving us with a smaller district. Fortunately, we won — 89% to 11% — which, yeah, we’re a university town, but still, we’re kind of rural. It tells me that people are willing to support taxes when there’s a clear connection to the value you get for them.

  10. thirdmill says

    Trump had two things going for him in 2016 that he won’t have going for him in 2020.

    First, a lot of apathy because nobody thought he could win (and some people who voted for him as a protest specifically because they thought he wouldn’t win.) Now that we all know better, hopefully the mistake won’t be repeated.

    Second, a bad opponent. Yes, Hillary Clinton would have been a far better president than the catastrophe he’s turned out to be, but that’s not the same thing as actually being a good candidate herself.

    Third, the good economy that Trump inherited from Obama won’t be there; it’s already showing signs of softening under GOP misrule. An economy usually runs about two years behind current events, which means the Trump chickens will be coming home to roost just in time for the mid-terms.

    And if the Democrats take back Congress and spend the next two years after that investigating his ties to Russia, his kleptocracy, his assaults on the rule of law, well, at that point it could be all over for the GOP for many years to come.

    When Trump got the nomination, I thought he would wreck the GOP. I just didn’t realize he’d actually have to be elected POTUS first. I just hope his damage can be kept to a minimum in the meantime. With no Obamacare repeal and likely no tax cuts for the rich, what exactly will they have to show their donors (notice I said donors, not base).

  11. Azkyroth, B*Cos[F(u)]==Y says

    Wow, you mean less-bad things happen when people show up and vote even if they don’t get a pony? Who could have predicted?!

  12. DonDueed says

    Framingham Massachusetts recently voted to change its organization from town to city. Its first mayoral election was yesterday. The very first Mayor of Framingham will be Yvonne Spicer, a woman of color.

  13. Ichthyic says

    Yes, gerrymandering really needs to change [yes, it does], although Democrats are as guilty of stacking districts to elect their white men as Republicans. [actually, no, they really really aren’t, though they should have been]

    you’re wrong about dems, but you can still help. This is what Obama started working with first thing after leaving office:

    and they certainly could use everyone’s help.

    if you want to see change in 2018, you MUST reverse a lot of the illegal gerrymandering that has occured over the last 30 years.

  14. Ichthyic says

    … but really? with the damage ALREADY being done by this administration that everyone seems to be merely flailing their hands at… you don’t have TIME to wait until even 2018. If you aren’t going to revolt, you better hope Mueller et. al. tear this government down before it does much more damage.

  15. robro says

    Just read that a Democrat, Manka Dhingra, won a state senate seat in Washington flipping that state’s senate. She got more than 55% of the vote, so a solid lead.

    Ichthyic — Thanks for the link to the redistricting effort. I’ll check it out. I guess I don’t have as much confidence in Democrats as you, but overall I trust them way more than Republicans. Of course, I’m from the South where “Democrat” used to be what are now called Republicans.

  16. Pierce R. Butler says

    ichthyic @ # 18: …if you want to see change in 2018, you MUST reverse a lot of the illegal gerrymandering …

    Uh, how? The Constitution mandates redistricting after the national census in 2020. Texas, aka the national laboratory of bad government, did so in an off year (for strictly Republican partisan purposes), but even in that minority of states with Democratic legislative majorities, we don’t see anything like the revanchist mood necessary to overturn precedent in that way.

    And please remember 2006: even with a strong mandate to fix damage done by unbelievably dysfunctional Republicans, the current Democratic leadership boldly does next to nothing.

  17. Tethys says

    The citizens of St. Paul, MN (Minneapolis’ is the better known twin) have elected Melvin Carter the very first African American mayor. The opponent Pat Harris had some race baiting ads backfire on him in a big way in the weeks before the election.

  18. robro says

    Tethys — “The very first African American mayor”…do you mean for St. Paul? Willie Brown, an African American, was mayor of San Francisco some years ago. Shirley Franklin was the first African-American woman mayor of a major Southern city, Atlanta, elected in 2002. There have been many other African American mayors, including quite a few during the Reconstrution Era.

  19. robro says

    Tethys — Or perhaps you meant the first African emigre elected as major of a major American city?

    In any case, there was a lot of diversity in the election results throughout the country. A Sikh major of Hoboken, NJ. A Liberian refugee elected mayor of Helena, MN. A lesbian major of Seattle. Many, many women. A black lieutenant governor in Virginia (only the 2nd one since the Civil War!). A Sudanese woman elected to the Iowa City Council. There are many others listed here.

    We need this kind of diversity in state legislatures, in the US congress, and in all of our governments. There are just too many white men running things.

  20. says

    When people say that Hillary was a bad candidate, I think they often forget that that many of the votes against her had absolutely no base in reality. Whoever the Dem nominee was, they’d have faced the Republican lie machine and the Russian lie machine. We’d have had people furious with Bernie for sunning a child prostitution ring out of a pizza parlour and convinced he’s had inconvenient people murdered, and the anti-Semites would have been in full cry.

  21. blf says

    Syria to join Paris climate accord, leaving US as only non-member [sic†]:

    Syria told the UN climate talks in Bonn on Tuesday that it would join the Paris Agreement, leaving the United States as the only nation in the world opting to stay outside the landmark treaty [sic‡].

    “We are going to join the Paris Agreement,” the Syrian delegate, speaking in Arabic, said during a plenary session at the 196-nation talks, according to Safa Al Jayoussi of the IndyAct NGO, who was monitoring the session.

    [… T]he spokesman for the UN climate body, Nick] Nuttall identified the Syrian delegate as Wadah Katmawi, the deputy minister of the ministry of local administration and environment.

    Syria must submit their “instruments of ratification” at the UN headquarters in New York before their adherence becomes official, he added.

    According to the Syrian parliament website, a bill was passed on October 22 to ratify the Paris accord […]


    “When even Syria — with all its problems — can see the sense of a global climate agreement, it really shows how ideologically wedded to climate denialism the US Republican Party has become,” said Mohamed Adow, International Climate Lead for Christian Aid.

      † The States are a member until, at the earliest, late in 2020.

      ‡ The Paris agreement is very carefully designed to not be a “treaty” — at least for the States — so as to preclude oil-funded thugs in the senate from sinking the agreement.

  22. Tethys says


    …do you mean for St. Paul? and- Or perhaps you meant the first African emigre elected as major of a major American city?

    Auto-correct changed their to the, and I never notice the substitution until after I hit post. As I said, St. Paul elected Melvin Carter III THEIR first African American Mayor. His major opponent was also DFL, but some racist dogwhistles from a PAC clearly angered the citizens of St. Paul, because he went from being a front runner to only getting 15,000 votes compared to Melvins 31,000. We had ranked voting this year and there were six people on the ballot, none of whom were GOP. . No idea where you got the notion that he is an emigre.

  23. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says


    A black lieutenant governor in Virginia (only the 2nd one since the Civil War!).

    The second elected to a statewide office. The first was Douglas Wilder, who was elected governor in 1989.