Not all the results are in, but expect analysts to spend a lot of time debating just how Democrats pulled off their surprisingly good performance in Tuesday’s election. One theory making the rounds is that the party prevailed thanks to substantial support from young voters. The Guardian’s Erum Salam takes a closer look:
The 2022 midterm election delivered surprising results, with Democrats maintaining more House seats than projected and a Republican “red wave” failing to materialize. As the forces driving these come into focus, one group proved to be key: young voters.
While final figures are still pouring in, it is estimated that 27% of young voters aged 18-29 cast a ballot in 2022, making this the midterm election with the second highest youth voter turnout in almost three decades, after 2018. In some key battleground states, turnout was even higher, at 31%, and support for Democratic candidates was roughly over 60%, driven in large part by the fight for abortion rights after the supreme court overturned Roe v Wade.
An Edison Research National Election Pool exit poll showed that 18-29s were the only age group in which a strong majority supported Democrats. Support for Democrats was even higher among Black youth at 89% and Latino youth at 68%.
It is a trend that continues from the 2018 and 2020 elections, where youth voter turnout – historically perceived as low – surged and proved to be a crucial voting bloc, particularly for Democrats. But some young voters struggled to cast their ballot – raising questions about the particular hurdles this group faces to have a voice in elections.
Despite many of their candidates’ rhetoric about stolen elections and voting fraud before the midterms, Republicans who lost in Tuesday’s election don’t seem to be flocking to the courts to challenge the results. That could change.
Politico reports that on a Thursday conference call, Republican senator Lindsey Graham suggested that if the party’s Senate candidate Adam Laxalt loses in Nevada, it’ll be a sign of fraud.
“There is no mathematical way Laxalt loses,” Graham said, according to Politico. “If he does, then it’s a lie.”
It’s unclear if Laxalt agrees with Graham, who he would join in the Senate if elected over Democratic incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto. On Twitter, Laxalt has been projecting confidence as Nevada’s slow ballot counting process grinds on:
Outside New York City, House Democrat Pat Ryan has also triumphed in his re-election battle, the Associated Press says:
It was a close call for Ryan. He won 49.4% support against his Republican opponent Colin Schmitt’s 48.6% share of the vote, according to New York’s unofficial results.
Another vulnerable House Democrat has won reelection.
The Associated Press says David Trone has emerged victorious in a district stretching from western Maryland to Washington’s exurbs. Trone tweeted that his opponent, Neil Parrott, called him to concede the race:
The race was very close. Trone squeaked to victory with 50.5% support against Parrott’s 49.4%, according to the state’s unofficial results.
Meanwhile in Alaska, the state’s Democratic House representative is warning that it could be a while before voters learn whether she’s won election to a full term:
Alaska’s ranked choice voting system has made calling their elections particularly complex, and the Anchorage Daily News says don’t expect the final results in Peltola’s race until 23 November. Their preliminary data shows her in the lead over Republican challenger Sarah Palin – yes, that Sarah Palin, the one-time vice-presidential nominee known for her folksy brand of conservatism.
Peltola won a special election in August to replace Alaska’s longtime Republican House representative Don Young, who died in office.
Joe Biden has implored countries to do more to tackle the climate emergency, telling the Cop27 summit that world leaders “can no longer plead ignorance” and that time to confront the crisis is running out.
Biden told a large crowd of delegates at the talks, held in Egypt, that the “science is devastatingly clear – we have to make progress by the end of this decade.” The US president stated that America was taking action on cutting planet-heating emissions and that other major economies needed to “step up” to avoid a disastrous breach of 1.5C in global heating.
“Let’s raise both our ambition and speed of our efforts,” he said in his speech on Friday in Sharm el-Sheikh. “If we are going to win this fight, every major emitter needs to align with 1.5C. We can no longer plead ignorance of the consequences of our actions or continue to repeat our mistakes. Everyone has to keep accelerating progress throughout this decisive decade.”
Biden, buoyed by better than expected midterm elections for Democrats this week, said that governments need to “put down significant markers of progress” in reducing emissions. Scientists have warned that the world is heading for disastrous levels of global heating, with emissions still not falling fast enough to avoid severe heatwaves, wildfires, droughts and other impacts of the climate crisis.
“It’s been a difficult few years; the interconnected challenges we face can seem all-consuming,” said Biden, who accused Vladimir Putin of using “energy as a weapon” in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an action that has caused energy and food prices to soar globally. “Against this backdrop, it’s more urgent than ever that we double down on our climate commitment.”
You can read the full report here.
Four of the five supreme court justices who overturned the constitutional right to abortion showed up at the conservative Federalist Society’s black-tie dinner marking its 40th anniversary, the Associated Press writes.
Justice Samuel Alito got a long, loud ovation Thursday night from a crowd of 2,000 people, most in tuxedos and gowns, when another speaker praised his opinion in June that overturned Roe v Wade, long a target of judicial conservatives.
At a moment when opinion surveys show that Americans think the court is becoming more political and give it dismal approval ratings, the justices turned out to celebrate the group that helped then-president Donald Trump and Senate Republicans move the American judiciary, including the supreme court, to the right.
The Federalist Society has no partisan affiliation and takes no position in election campaigns, but it is closely aligned with Republican priorities, including the drive to overturn Roe.
Justice Amy Coney Barrett and Alito offered brief remarks that steered well clear of the court’s work, though Alito praised the Federalist Society for its success in the Trump years and hoped it would continue. “Boy, is your work needed today,” he said.
Barrett’s only allusion to the abortion case came when she responded to the crowd’s roar of approval when she was introduced. “It’s really nice to have a lot of noise made not by protesters outside my house,” she said.
Abortion protections were on the ballot in some states in the midterm elections earlier this week.
Three days after the midterm election, we’re still awaiting the results of Arizona and Nevada’s Senate races, which will be crucial to determining control of the chamber. The majority in the House is similarly uncertain, though it looks like Republicans have a better shot than Democrats at taking the majority for the next two years. Meanwhile, Donald Trump appears ready to announce a new run for the White House on Tuesday, even as some in the GOP question whether he’s the right candidate to continue leading the party.
Here’s more of what we’ve learned so far today:
Why is the Guardian’s count of Senate seats different from the AP’s? This is the reason why.
In the days before the election, another veteran Democratic pollster predicted a rough night for the party, in part due to frustration over crime.
Writing in The American Prospect, Stanley B Greenberg, who played a part in Bill Clinton’s successful White House campaign, argued that Democrats had failed to convince voters of their ability to stem rising crime. So bad was their handling of the issue that many voters believed the party wanted to defund the police, even though many Democrats reject the idea.
Greenberg spoke to New York Magazine in an interview published today about the reasons why Democrats ended up doing better in the midterms than his analyses predicted:
It’s important not to take the wrong lessons from the fact that we were saved by late partisan polarization, which reflects the post-2016 era where we have high turnout and consolidation of both parties. A lot of moderate Democrats in our October poll said they were voting for Republicans, about twice as many Republicans who said they were voting for Democrats. But that disappeared in the intense partisan polarization at the end. And that was driven on the Democratic side by worries about abortion, Social Security, and democracy. On Tuesday, about 3% of Democrats voted for Republicans and about 3% of Republicans voted for Democrats. A quarter of people in our survey said they made up their mind on the last day, or in the last few days before the election, which we’ve never had before. So we were on a knife’s edge, and it could have been and was poised to be much worse.
He also addressed why his prediction about the crime issue does not appear to have come true:
If you look at the candidates who won, they addressed the crime problem early on and spent a lot of money being clear that they were against defunding the police, and being clear that they opposed those in the party who are advocating it. Voters believe that we wanted to defund the police. And so if you didn’t make your message almost entirely about respect for police and funding the police, you were not going to make any progress.
I’m actually surprised how much voters are open to rethinking Democrats on crime, but not in the context of this election, where Democrats were mostly saying the wrong thing. They were making the issue more important, but without the right message. The national Democratic message was block grants for more police, banning assault weapons — a range of government programs that our data showed hurt us. If you look at what happened in New York, they led with that kind of messaging.
The Democrats’ success in Tuesday’s elections took many by surprise. But not Simon Rosenberg.
The veteran Democratic pollster and president of the NDN and New Policy Institute think tanks has been arguing for weeks that his party would perform better than polls indicated in the midterms, and ended up being more right than wrong.
Yesterday on Twitter, he shared some thoughts about what propelled Democrats to their surprisingly strong showing:
Have you heard of Chase Oliver? Democratic and Republican party leaders in Georgia certainly have. The Libertarian candidate garnered 81,000 votes in the tight race for Georgia’s Senate seat, which will now go to a run-off, in part because of his presence on the ballot. Here’s more about the “armed and gay” politician, from The Guardian’s Andrew Lawrence:
The morning after the midterms, Chase Oliver was back at work. “That’s what most other Georgians have to do after an election,” he tells the Guardian. “I have a job and have to pay rent and the bills.”
Oliver, 37, has two jobs, actually – one as a sales account executive for a financial services company and another as an HR rep for a securities firm. And as he toggled between email replies and Zoom interviews from his north-east Atlanta home, with three cats and a dog, Delilah, underfoot, you’d never suspect this natty, young Georgian had thrown a spanner into the cogs of American power. “You are possibly the most hated man in America right now,” read one post to his Facebook page.
Oliver was the third candidate in Georgia’s US Senate race: a pro-gun, anti-cop, pro-choice Libertarian who proudly announces himself as the state’s first LGBTQ+ candidate – “armed and gay”, he boasts. And on Tuesday night, this surprise spoiler scored an historic upset of sorts, siphoning enough support away from the Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock and his Republican challenger Herschel Walker to force the election to a 6 December runoff – Georgia’s second in as many election cycles. Until then, there’s no telling whether the Democrats will retain control of the Senate.
Vote counting is proceeding at an agonizingly slow pace in Nevada, where Democrats are locked in tight races to keep a Senate seat and the governor’s mansion.
For an idea as to why, take a look at this explainer from the Associated Press:
The vote counting is taking days, but that’s not abnormal for Nevada, where a chunk of votes have previously not been tallied until after election night. In the two most populous counties, officials warned up front that it would take days to process the outstanding ballots.
A few things have slowed Nevada’s vote counting in recent elections.
First, Nevada has also had problems with long lines of voters at poll close, although Nevadans have traditionally opted to vote early. The state won’t release vote counts until all voters who were in line at poll close have cast their vote.
Second, in 2020, Nevada greatly expanded absentee voting, sending a ballot to every registered voter. The state passed legislation to do that in future elections as well.
Also that year, nearly 15% of Nevada’s vote was not reported until after election night — and it took three days for the state to report 100% of the vote.
This year, voting officials in the two most populous counties, encompassing the population centers of Las Vegas and Reno, warned it would take days to process the outstanding ballots.
County election clerks will count mail ballots received until Nov. 12 as long as they were postmarked by Election Day.
Officials have until Nov. 17 to finish the counting and submit a report to the Nevada secretary of state’s office, according to state law.
The state has no mandatory recount law.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2022/nov/11/us-midterm-election-2022-senate-house-results-congress-democrats-republicans-politics-live-updates-latest US midterms 2022: Democrats’ Senate hopes grow as vote count edges forward – live | US politics