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election results, reaction

November 8, 2018

UPDATE – Sinema (D) wins AZ!   bonus video (catching balls from various sports dropped from 165m dam)!

Final results are not in yet, but it went pretty much as expected.

Not even close to a complete reversal of the disastrous 2016 election, but a positive step in that direction.

Looks like Democrats will have a roughly 30 40 seat majority in the House, which means the more draconian aspects of Trump’s anti-immigration policy won’t get funded. Otherwise I don’t think we’ll see all that much difference there to be honest — I think Republicans did expect to lose the House this election (a completely standard pattern in US midterm elections) – so they forced thru their biggest priorities such as the tax cut. Beyond that, most of the goodies for the MIC/defense-contractors, pharma, finance, telecom monopolies etc have bipartisan support anyway. There are some specific energy industry issues that have a noticeable partisan split (e.g., Democrats prefer railroads to pipelines for oil transport, and Republicans vice versa). Maybe we’ll have some last-minute government-shutdown type drama next winter, but we’ve seen all that before.

Republicans are picking up 2-3 seats in the Senate, depending on how Arizona goes (due to that state’s logistics for so-called “late-early” ballots).

The extra Senate Rep. votes, could make a small but noticeable difference in any Supreme Court confirmations, should there be any — the number of “defectors” needed to defeat a confirmation vote has now doubled from about 2 to about 4.

On other matters, such as budgeting priorities, the impact is smaller, since one of the Rep. Senate pick-ups was Indiana, which was a DINO seat anyway.

Looking ahead, the 2020 Senate map will be a complete reversal of this year’s situation. Most of the Senate seats in play will be Republican, and a good number of them were elected to blue/purple-states in 2014, which was a strong Republican year — a lot of those won’t have the same kind of support again. Barring a major screw-up (always a possibility), the Senate should easily turn Democrat in 2020.

Democratic pick-ups for Governors could have an under-appreciated impact, if used wisely.

On a state-by-state basis, Trump’s net-approval polling was actually relatively high in the contested states.

Republicans did outperform polls in places like MT, MO, TN. In other words, the “likely-voter” models that are the unavoidable source of systematic error in all the polling (beyond the statistical MOE) definitely need some better calibration for 2020.

Beto made a race out of it in Texas. I hope we will be seeing more of him.

Ballot initiatives are worth following up on – I think several distinctly red states voted for referendums in favor of medicaid expansion. Pay attention centrist Democrats – health care and government funded services are a winning issue with most voters – don’t listen to the loudest voices of the center-right/libertarian ideologues!

Also, more marijuana legalization. Good!

Florida’s felon re-enfranchisement is a big deal! Possibly a game-changer for the state.

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