Saturday, November 10, 2018

Blue Rising

I gotta tell ya, I was nervous Tuesday night when the returns came in.  It was obvious soon enough that the Democrats were going to take back the House, but I got nervous when Florida Democrats fell short in their bids to win the governorship and hold Bill Nelson's Senate seat.  And I was on the verge of melting down when I saw that Scott Walker was winning his bid for a third term as governor of Wisconsin over Democrat Tony Evers while Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly was going down in Indiana and Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill was losing big time in Missouri.  Beto O'Rourke could not unseat Ted Cruz in the Texas Senate election.  And when I learned that the insufferable Marsha Blackburn was elected to the Senate from  Tennessee, I wanted to throw up.
But the Democrats have won more House seats than originally thought, as the votes continue to be counted. And something interesting is happening in the uncalled Senate contests.  Rick Scott's lead over Nelson in Florida is so tenuous that a recount is likely.  Ditto for the gubernatorial election there. Andrew Gillum has conceded, yet a recount could actually put him in the governor's mansion after all.  Well, it would be easy for him to move there from his house, as he is the mayor of Tallahassee.  But voting shenanigans in Broward County have led Governor Scott to try to stop the process - which would certainly benefit his candidacy!  
And despite his self-serving efforts to block a recount, Scott may have a case. Brenda Snipes, the woman in charge of elections there, is notorious for screwing up the vote count.  Even progressives are angry with her.  (She supposedly helped rig the Broward County vote for Debbie Wasserman Schultz's 2016 re-election bid!) 
Be that as it may, Florida's elections haven't been decided yet, and neither has the Arizona Senate race between Krysten Sinema and Martha McSilly - uh, McSally.  If Sinema, the Democrat, wins, and if Nelson should somehow pull through in Florida - and if Democrat Mike Espy somehow pulls off an upset in the runoff for the Mississippi special Senate election -  the Republicans would have a net gain of zero in their majority Senate caucus.  But who cares when Wisconsin voters, by a narrow margin, sent Scottzo the Clown packing!

Among the victories I did not see coming: Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine winning the governorship in that state - at the age of 71 - on the same day Sherrod Brown, who defeated DeWine's bid for a third term in the U.S. Senate back in 2006, win his third term in the U.S. Senate; Kansas electing a female Democratic governor, Laura Kelly, over phony voter-fraud crusader Kris Kobach; Mark Sanford's old South Carolina U.S. House seat going to Democrat Joe Cunningham after Trump Republican Kate Arrington won the nomination over Sanford for the seat and ran like she was the Donald's best friend, and: Democrat Lucy McBath in Georgia defeating Republican incumbent  Karen Handel for the seat in the state's Sixth U.S. House District, the same seat Democrat Jon Ossoff attempted to win in a special election last year.  Meanwhile, a runoff in the gubernatorial election in Georgia between Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams is still possible.
Despite Republican successes here and there, the Grand Old Party faces strong headwinds going into the 2020 presidential and congressional elections. Trump is toxic; the Democratic victories this past Tuesday were a clear expression of displeasure in the way he's "governed" this country.  Democrats, meanwhile, have been warned not to nominate so many progressives - and certainly not one for President - next time around, as so many progressive nominees, especially Ben Jealous, the Democratic nominee for governor of Maryland, lost big time.  I'm of two minds about that, particularly where it pertains to the presidential election in 2020.  I'll have more on that later. 
Oh, yeah, Mikie Sherrill was elected to the House from my district.  So let's celebrate the first Democrat to be elected to the House from New Jersey's Eleventh U.S. House District since 1982.  
Ladies and gentlemen, Rebecca Michelle Sherrill!
Oops!  Hold on, I'm still mixed up . . . 
There we are . . . ;-) 

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