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.
We are driving to Reno on Friday at noon and returning Sunday night after dinner. We can fit two people in our car who would like to join in with the canvassing Saturday and Sunday. We have a place to stay for two, so anyone who drives with us will have to find a place to stay (Swing Left may be able to help with this). Get in touch if you want to come along.
If you can’t travel to knock on doors, Swing Left has lots of good phone banks. This election will be decided by turn-out so let’s turn them out.
Vote Forward (votefwd.org) has chosen five vital campaigns to boost this week for the last week of letter-writing. If you want to write some letters, I am happy to print them and put them on our porch. We have lots of stamps. This will be a close election and your letter could be the one that makes the difference! Get in touch with any questions or for any supplies.
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.
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.