The Warnock run-off

I received an email about whether to donate to the Reverend Warnock for the run-off.

The short answer is No. He will raise an unbelievable sum of money. Naomi and I made a $100 donation, just to show the flag.

A slightly longer answer is that we also donated, via Airlift, to the Georgia grassroots organizations. True, Stacey Abrams didn’t win. The Republican Administration of Georgia is relatively popular. That doesn’t reduce the importance of voter registration and engagement.

Friday update

The recent Nevada mail ballots have been even more pro-Dem than the ones counted earlier. Look for Cortez Masto to move into the lead in today’s count, and not look back. Governor Sisolak is still in trouble. Laxalt is paying the I-Love-Trump premium, running behind the rest of his ticket.

Arizona looks nerveracking, but so far the same pattern has held: late mail votes better for us, in every county, than early. So even batches that we expected to shrink the lead have expanded it. Mark Kelly is safe, because not only is he running ahead of Katie Dobbs, there is a Libertarian candidate taking 2%, which widens the gap. The AZ State Senate is coming into play with the mail votes.

If you want to know where all those Vote Forward letters mattered, we have flipped the lower house of the Pennsylvania legislature by two votes. Not two seats. We won the last seat by two votes.

I’m sorry to say our longtime friend Padma Kuppa lost her MI State Senate race by less than 1000 votes, but we did flip both chambers, making MI a Dem Trifecta.

The Nevada Senate math

Wednesday 8:00 pm. Too tired to say much about the election as a whole. Disaster averted. Control of the Senate still unclear. Let me try to explain the Nevada situation.

All election day in-person votes (heavily Rep) are counted. Essentially all of the “rural” counties—everything except Washoe (Reno + surrounding area) and Clark (Las Vegas)—is in, huge Rep margin there.

As of this writing, Laxalt leads Cortez Masto by over 18K votes. There are 131K votes not yet counted, and they comprise (1) Reno mail, (2) Reno drop boxes, (3) LV mail, and (4) LV drop boxes. I would guess another 9K ballots will come in between now and Saturday, the final deadline regardless of postmark. CCM needs to average 57% of these votes to take the lead. Bucket (3) has, I believe 16K ballots. Bucket (4) was announced as about 59,600. Dems had hoped for and expected significantly more. Bucket (3) is running at 65% for CCM, much better than required. But no one has any idea yet what is in Bucket (4). Is it like people who queued up to vote in person, which would make the situation difficult? Maybe. But the LV unions’ Get Out the Vote operation was pushing exactly this method of voting—so even though the quantity is smaller than expected, it might still provide a significant margin. It’s a complete mystery until the first release of results from the boxes, which I believe is tomorrow.

There are also the 60K+ votes from Reno. I don’t believe Bucket (2) is very large. Mail votes from Reno were heavily D until Election Day, when they were plurality R. No idea if that is a trend or a fluke. In any case, overall, Washoe County has Laxalt ahead by almost 5000 votes. Mail ballots, however, ran against him. I don’t know how much CCM can count on from here. 55% would be enough.

I’d expect the final margin to be less than 2000 votes, regardless of who wins.

The Washington Post slightly favors CCM despite her current deficit.

UPDATE Wed 10:00 pm. Good news. In the first batch of Washoe (Reno) mail ballots tallied, CCM won better than 60/40. Far above what she needs. This wiped out a 5000 total-vote deficit in the county. The winner of Washoe is usually the winner of the state.

Recommended essay in the NY Times

The opening paragraphs alone are enough to endorse it, for the understated view of the situation.

By Anand Giridharadas. Non-paywalled link.

Polls swing this way and that way, but the larger story they tell is unmistakable. With the midterm elections, Americans are being offered a clear choice between continued and expanded liberal democracy, on the one hand, and fascism, on the other. And it’s more or less a dead heat.

It is time to speak an uncomfortable truth: The pro-democracy side is at risk not just because of potential electoral rigging, voter suppression and other forms of unfair play by the right, as real as those things are. In America (as in various other countries), the pro-democracy cause — a coalition of progressives, liberals, moderates, even decent Republicans who still believe in free elections and facts — is struggling to win the battle for hearts and minds.

The pro-democracy side can still very much prevail. But it needs to go beyond its present modus operandi, a mix of fatalism and despair and living in perpetual reaction to the right and policy wonkiness and praying for indictments.

NY Times

Team Fascist has been more successful because they are more experienced and determined at engaging the electorate at psychological and emotional levels. A liberal response based in various dry policy issues doesn’t engender similar loyalty or enthusiasm. To Giridharadas’s taste, the Inflation Reduction Act is better policy than the student loan cancellation which he says is something of a mixed bag—but the latter has the chance to be life-changing for voters who will not forget it, and the former is more abstract, and wasn’t sold to voters as a liberal accomplishment. Not for the first (or last) time, Republican candidates are taking credit for the capital improvements in their districts financed by a law they voted against.

I was also endeared to the article by its pointing out the Democrats are much better at asking you for money—over and over again—than at fostering a sense of participation and membership. It’s always nice to have priors confirmed, when he points out how the Right uses church groups, shooting ranges, and other places to cement emotional membership. There are too few Democratic groups doing the same. We can be proud of belonging to just such a group.

Fighting Fascism should be, occasionally, fun. Not just the constant feeling of dread.

Minutes from the Oct 9 meeting

We spent time writing letters. Many letters. Many races.

Link for Grandmothers for a Brighter Future.

Our acquaintances fall on both sides of Berkeley Measure L (bonds). Here is part of an email for a Town Hall in favor of L. (Yes, that is tomorrow.)

Please join us for a Town Hall
Wednesday, October 12 7:00 – 8:30 PM – BY ZOOM
To Learn About Measure L
RSVP by Clicking HERE
Measure L is a Bond Measure to Renew Berkeley
Pro-L Town Hall Invitation

We will be at College and Ashby on Friday, October 14, at 4:00 to hawk our Defend Democracy yard signs.

Note, I have recorded money given to me for signs from Bruce and Jane. There are two of you whose donations I missed; please let me know who you are.

Meeting Sunday 9/24, 4:00 pm

Usual place. As I mentioned before, we will have special guests by Zoom. We will, of course, put them up on a screen here, but anyone who doesn’t plan on attending in person can watch with this link. Please join this a few minutes’ early: to prevent any embarrassing Zoom-bombing, you won’t be admitted until I can approve that we know you. (The Zoom part of the meeting will start at 4:30.)

Any friends who may want to donate… the link is above.

Let me also mention that Mandela Barnes is the only 50/50-or-better Democratic Senate candidate with fundraising woes. The Republican SuperPACs are coming to rescue Ron Johnson, if they can; they are cutting their losses by conceding Arizona and redirecting the ad money.