No red wave for Republicans

At the time of this writing, it looks like the big issue of the election, which party get majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate, remains up in the air. Republicans had been hoping for a ‘red wave’ that would easily give them control but that has not materialized. The typical situation where the party that holds the presidency loses big in the mid-term elections, did not pan out, despite Joe Biden’s low approval ratings.

Another provisional interpretation is that Joe Biden has defied the odds again. Just some years ago he was written off as a 2020 presidential candidate after a poor showing in Iowa and New Hampshire only to rally and win the party nomination.

Now the president looks set to best his Democratic predecessors Bill Clinton, who lost 54 House seats in his first term in 1994, and Barack Obama, who lost 63 seats in his first term in 2010. With the congresswomen Abigail Spanberger and Jennifer Wexton having survived in Virginia, it seems there will be no “shellacking” this time.

This is not just a Democratic phenomenon. The Republicans lost 40 seats in. 2018, the mid-terms held during the Trump presidency.

Other commenters have weighed in about the Republican’s disappointing performance.

The races have been close. The early results did show big gains for Republicans in Florida and Texas and I thought that signaled a significant Republican shift nationwide but that did not happen. It looks like all that showed is that those two states are becoming even more Republican strongholds than they already are.

It is still too early to get a full picture of what happened yesterday but there were some good outcomes. John Fetterman won his senate race in Pennsylvania, defeating Mehmet Oz. In Georgia, it looks like it will go a runoff. It is incredible to me that Republican Herschel Walker is even a candidate for the senate, let alone a viable one. Lauren Boebert, the fiery Republican from Colorado who never found an issue too nutty to sign on to, seems to be about to lose her seat in Congress, so that is good.

On ballot issues, the results were very encouraging, with measures expanding voting and abortion rights, legalizing recreational marijuana, and increasing the minimum wage, mostly passing.

More details about the down ballot races for state offices, where the most extreme reality-denying Trump acolytes and believers in conspiracy theories were running, will emerge later today or in the coming days, though the early results suggest that the crazies are not having a good night.

I will be out most of today and so will not be able to post updates so I will assume that readers will do so in the comments.


  1. larpar says

    I don’t know about down ballet, but the big three (Governor, Senate, House) dems I voted for all lost. (winners were all incompetents*, no flips)

    *spell check for incumbents, spell check knows all : )

  2. says

    And this is despite massive Republican voter suppression efforts. I also think the Florida and Texas results should be taken with a grain of salt because of that.

  3. Deepak Shetty says

    Wave or no wave , control of the house flipped (almost certainly) so bye bye to anything useful for the next 2 years .
    If the senate doesnt flip , then I shall pray to whichever Gods /Demons to cause some conservative justices to get caught in some scandal and/or retire (Obviously doesnt apply to Thomas or Alito who have no shame)

  4. lanir says

    It looks like Wisconsin kept Ron Johnson. I don’t live there but driving through some rural parts of it to visit a friend last month was like journeying to another world. He’s one of the biggest cheerleaders for the Big Lie. And his campaign slogan was all about how he was going to be tough on crime and how he was “fighting for freedom.” Kind of an incredible thing to get elected for when you’re providing cover to a minority of assholes who throw a tantrum when they don’t get to take over the country despite losing the vote.

  5. John Morales says

    Oh, yeah, to contribute to the thread and endorse its thesis, this dude seems to have a clue.

  6. says

    Well, it may have been a red ripple, but the Republican’s gerrymandered firewall seems to have held. And that means that they will be able to implement their announced agenda: spend two years impeaching Biden and his officers; and hold Social Security hostage to the debt limit. Being able to say “ripple” instead of “wave” is scant consolation.

    BTW, here in Ohio, even after a state constitutional amendment to make gerrymandering illegal, the Republican officials ignored it, the Ohio Supreme Court declared their actions unconstitutional, and then time after time, the Republican officials kept ignoring it. And in the election, the retiring Republican Chief Justice (who had the integrity to uphold the state constitution) was replaced with a Republican Chief Justice who will do no such thing. So, now the newly-constituted Ohio Supreme Court almost assuredly won’t even try to have the anti-gerrymandering amendment enforced.

  7. billseymour says

    I’m one of those who Beau said might not be around in two years, but I hope I am.  I’d like to continue voting against Republicans as long as possible. 😎

    I’m a 76-year-old cis het white male, but I fancy myself progressive.  (That’s a stastistic of one, but I’d guess that there are more than a handful of us out there.)  I definitely did not vote for Democrats.  Indeed, I confess to feeling a little bit of schadenfreude over the loss of the DCCC guy who switched congressional districts pushing another Democrat out of the race (even though it meant that one Democratic House seat flipped to the Republicans).

    I’m still looking at the Senate race.  We don’t know yet whether the Alaskan senator will be Murkowski or a flaming Trumpista; but either way, it’ll be a Republican.

    That leaves Nevada, Arizona and Georgia. If Democrats can win both Nevada and Arizona, then the worst that can happen is that they retain the 50-50 split.  If they win just one of those, then it’ll be up to the Georgia runoff next month.

    I’m hoping that the Democrats win all three.  If that happens, they’ll have 51 seats; and that in turn implies that, when Manchin and Sinema disagree, the folks who tend to display a bit more basic human decency will win.  Maybe somebody could convince Sinema that she could get more attention by thwarting Manchin. 😎

  8. says

    I’m just on tenterhooks waiting to see if Boebert actually lost. That would make my month!

    Georgia, though. Ugh. They steal elections openly down there and get away with it. Someone page WT Sherman to the white courtesy phone.

  9. Mano Singham says

    ahcuah @#10,

    On Sunday, This American Life had an entire show dedicated to the whole sordid story of how Republicans cynically thwarted the anti-gerrymandering move in Ohio.

  10. billseymour says

    Marcus @12:  Warnock is currently at over 49.5% of the vote.  I have no clue how much of the vote is still outstanding or how it might split, but it might still be mathematically possible to avoid the runoff.

    It’s looking like Boebert’s race in Colorado will be close enough (less that half a percent difference) to require a recount.

  11. Tethys says

    The gerrymandering is obviously why WI and OH have cretins winning elections. They are open about using right wing radio as their favored form of radicalizing the base in rural areas and the poor white christian homeschool demographic.

    The best news report I’ve come across about this election is that a Fox News pundit and a GOP official uttered truthful statements about the harm done to the GOP by tfg.

    Hooray, nothing would help restore our democracy faster than the GOP rejecting the head fascist and his cronies.
    I hope Liz Cheney is ready to serve the fawning acolytes some humble pie.

  12. says

    billseymour@11: Pretty sure Beau was referring to statistical tendencies, not individual human beings. And as such, he’s right—a party whose primary appeal is to Really Old Dudes, a party which actively repulses Younger Dudes, is a party whose grasp on democratic power just plain is going to steadily decline, thanks to the Really Old Dudes dying in greater numbers than Younger Dudes die.

    Sadly, the GQP, faced with this uncomfortable (to them) truth, has decided to tell democracy to fuck off, rather than change their messaging or strategy or anything else, really.

  13. says

    Mano, thank you for the pointer to This American Life. Sounds pretty much like I remember (with some new “inside” information). As to results, as I look at the statewide offices (Gov, SOS, Treas, etc.), Republicans won with around 58% of the vote. Using the formula that was required by the Ohio Constitution (that the new House of Representatives have about the same representation--this is what the Ohio Supreme Court said was not followed in the new maps) ought to have resulted in about 57 Republicans and 42 Democrats. It ended up with a 67/32 Republican House (67%). I have not yet seen any newspaper article pointing that out.

    Something else that occurred in this election that was new; You may recall that in the past elections for Judges was non-partisan. That is, the party of the judge was not listed on the ballot. Well, that got changed last summer (by the Republicans, of course). You see, recently Democrats were gaining seats on the Ohio Supreme Court, and the Repubs figured that, given the 58% margin in statewide races, they weren’t winning all of them because the people would not know who the Repubs were. So they changed the law. And so expect the Ohio Supreme Court to start losing their Democratic Justices, and never remove gerrymandering.

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