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US Midterm Elections 2018 |OT| Babs is Surging

Oct 25, 2017
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Ohio
www.twitch.tv
#1
- Don't post in here about complacency or Not Believing The Polls, or I'm going to send you a very sternly worded message and also probably report you for low-effort shitposting.

It's not productive and all it does is arguably demoralize people more than an "fuck yeah we're gonna win this and I'm gonna make sure of it myself" attitude - people like being winners more than they like hearing the implication that Actually Nothing We Do Matters.

Take the energy you'd use to post that and use it to canvass people and otherwise bring turnout and political participation higher yourself.

- You might have a hot take on Wednesday about how the Democrats would've won XYZ seat if only they'd adopted your policy preferences/if only the DNC or some other committee totally irrelevant to next week had done XYZ messaging thing. Here's a thought: think about it, think about it some more, and then don't fucking post it.

- This is the only explanation you're getting for this title.

(e: Okay, fine, I'm adding a bit more: in spite of the polling average you can clearly see in that link, the GOP has thrown countless tens of millions of dollars into this race in what are probably going to be the vain hopes of keeping Cornstock in the House.)

- Most of the remainder of this OT was brought to you by Aaron, who I'm pretty sure once called every state in 2012 correctly on a napkin.

I've been in a coma since January 20, 2013, how'd we get here?



Nearly two years ago, Donald Trump (R) pulled off an upset even he didn't anticipate over Hillary Clinton (D), by winning by about 80,000 votes across three states despite losing the popular vote. After a rocky first two years as President and a string of high profile special election wins by the Democrats, the 2018 midterm elections will serve as the first major electoral challenge to Trump and his Republican majority.

(Jon's note: If you're wondering why the first paragraph of this post is there, it's because people keep blaming the above on nebulous "complacency" and not, like, the enormous October Surprise of Anthony Weiner's dick pics reopening the Clinton email investigation ten days before the election.)

What's at stake?




* 435 House districts
* 35 Senate seats (out of 100, including two special elections in Minnesota and Mississippi)
* 36 Governorships (out of 50)
* 87 State Legislatures (out of 99)
* Various state and local offices, ballot propositions

For the sake of brevity, I'll focus only on the U.S. House, Senate, and Governorships, and which ones pundits and analysts have considered competitive.

(Jon's note: Also gonna partially transcribe Taniel's cheat sheet into my second post on here because it also covers state legislatures and referenda.)

The House



Democrats must make a net gain of 23 House seats in order to win the House majority. While all 435 House seats are up for election, many are considered safe or leaning towards one side or the other - only 22 are considered Tossups by Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball. However, Sabato considers 20 Republican-held seats to be leaning or safe for the Democrats, with only 2 Democratic-held seats to be leaning or safe for the Republicans. Additionally, Republicans hold 21 out of the 22 Tossup seats, meaning Democrats must only win 6 of the Tossup districts in order to win the majority.



Noted statistician Nate Silver (who produced remarkably accurate work in 2012, and... somewhat less accurate in 2016) currently pegs Democrats as having an 85.3% chance to take over the House. It should go without saying this is not an ironclad prediction, but it would certainly be surprising if they did not win the majority.

(Jon's note: every single quantitative model of this election has an average of about 30-45 seats flipping, the Republicans have triaged enough races that it's going to take a very selectively aimed meteor to keep them from losing less than 23, and even Trump is going out of his way to only visit places with Senate races and not competitive House races.

Probably the only reason anyone even thinks it's not flipping is because Strong White Daddy syndrome is ingrained too much and because people blindly hate Pelosi for reasons they don't want to consciously admit.)

The Senate



Democrats must make a net gain of two seats to win the majority in the Senate. Here's where the math gets a bit dicier for the Democrats - because only a third of the Senate is up for election, and Democrats have performed very well in recent years with this particular set of states (gaining seats on this map in 2000, 2006 and 2012), there are very few pickup opportunities.



There are five Senate races currently considered a Tossup - Missouri, Indiana and Florida (all D-held), and Nevada and Arizona (both R-held). However, North Dakota, another Democratic-held seat, is currently regarded as likely to flip to the Republicans. Therefore, even if Democrats won all five Senate Tossup states, the best they could do is tie the Senate at 50-50 - they would then either need to hold North Dakota, or pick up a further reach Republican-held seat like Texas or Tennessee in order to flip the chamber.



Winning the Senate majority is arguably even more crucial than winning the House, even though Democrats' chances of flipping the chamber are significantly worse (in the vicinity of 20%, according to Silver), as the Senate has the power to block judicial and executive appointments made by the President. Two more Democrats in the Senate, for example would have managed to stop Brett Kavanaugh from being confirmed as a Supreme Court justice. So while it's a long shot, there is immense pressure on the Democrats to pull through, and on the Republicans to hold even.

(Jon's note: that having been said, if we're going into November 7th with the seats looking like 50D-49R and 51 is Mississippi, that's a net win. If, God willing, it's 51D-48R, then we are well within our rights to begin partying.)

The Governors



And finally, the Governors. This is almost the inverse of the Senate map - as most governorships are up every four years, the current crop of governors were mostly last elected in 2014, a great year for the Republicans. But with the national tide against them, this puts Republicans at significant risk of losing several important governor's races, with little in the way of offensive opportunities - only Alaska (with a technically independent governor) is considered likely to flip from the Democrats to Republicans, while Sabato already pegs Democrats as being likely to pick up the governor's seats in New Mexico, Illinois and Michigan. There are seven seats considered Tossups: Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin, all currently held by Republicans.



While governors don't have a direct impact on federal policy, they do help influence the shape of future Congresses through a process known as redistricting, wherein states draw new legislative and Congressional maps every decade to reflect updated Census data (incidentally, this can also alter the number of votes each state has in the Electoral College, depending on how quickly or slowly the state's population has grown, or even shrunk). After 2010, Republicans won an overwhelming majority of governorships and state legislatures, allowing them to ensure nearly unbeatable majorities in crucial swing states through a process known as gerrymandering. While some states have nonpartisan or bipartisan commissions to ensure maps are fair to both parties, in most states these are usually passed by the state legislature and signed by the Governor. With President Obama hobbled by a Republican House for most of his presidency, even after 2012 where Republicans lost the House popular vote and still held onto the majority, the stakes for Democrats to do well in these governors' races couldn't be clearer.

(Jon's note: WE'RE TAKING MAINE AND MICHIGAN AND OHIO BACK, BITCHES)

Voting



And now, the PSA portion. If you've already voted early, great! If you haven't, please check out vote.org. You can find your polling place and check your registration status if you're unsure about either of those things.

Also the currently-stickied thread about the elections has a whole bunch of shit you can click on, like Ballotpedia in case you're wondering about any initiatives.

(Jon's note: If you can vote early in-person or absentee, please do! That makes it less likely that a low-propensity election-day voter gets dissuaded by waiting in line forever.)

What Now?



Now, my friends, we wait.

Polls close at (all times Eastern Standard):

6:00pm - Indiana (EST), Kentucky (EST)
7:00pm - Florida (EST), Georgia, Indiana (CST), Kentucky (CST), South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia
7:30pm - North Carolina, Ohio, West Virginia
8:00pm - Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida (CST), Illinois, Kansas (CST), Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan (EST), Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota (CST), Tennessee, Texas (CST)
8:30pm - Arkansas
9:00pm - Arizona, Colorado, Kansas (MST), Louisiana, Maryland (CST), Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota (MST), Texas (MST), Wisconsin, Wyoming
10:00pm - Idaho (MST), Iowa, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota (CST), Oregon (MST), Utah
11:00pm - California, Hawaii, Idaho (PST), North Dakota (MST), Oregon (PST), Washington
12:00am - Alaska (AKST)
1:00am - Alaska (HAST)

(Jon's note: I'm probably tuning out before 11 and checking where everything stands in the morning, not because of disinterest but because I have a 4-hour civil service exam first thing next Wednesday.)

Results

While most national news networks and websites will have up-to-date results as they come in, probably the best source would be the NY Times' Upshot, also known as THE NEEDLE™. Upshot compares the current results against benchmarks set by previous candidates in a given state or district, allowing them to give a pretty reliable on-the-minute forecast of how the rest of the race will turn out. Obviously things can change if a candidate overperforms or underperforms in other parts of the district, but things tend to stabilize pretty quickly.

(Jon's notes: I'll update this OT with the actual results sometime the next day if Democrats have a good night, although if I'm in a bad mood I'll probably just delete everything

THE NEEDLE GIVETH, THE NEEDLE TAKETH AWAY)
 
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Midnight Jon
Oct 25, 2017
1,844
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Ohio
www.twitch.tv
#2
Non-federal races to watch

STATE RACES

I'm going to stick to Taniel's highlights for the states:

Medicaid expansion is on the ballot in 4 states (ID, MT, NE, and UT), all of which have Republican governors, and all of which seem very likely to pass.
Florida Amendment 4 requires a 60%+1 majority in order to pass, and would restore voting rights to approximately 1.5 million currently-disenfranchised felons.
Michigan will be voting on redistricting reform as well as a package of voting rights reforms that includes automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration, and no-excuse mail-in ballots. (Also, if Whitmer wins by enough it's probably going to flip both the MI Senate and House.)
Minimum wage increases are on the ballot in Arkansas and Missouri.
Marijuana legalization is on the ballot in Michigan, North Dakota, Missouri, and Utah, with the first two being recreational and the latter two being medical.
Criminal justice reforms are on the ballot in Florida, Louisiana, and Ohio, and Marsy's Law is on the ballot in Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Nevada, Kentucky and Oklahoma.
Abortion restrictions are on the ballot in Alabama, Oregon and West Virginia.
Renewable energy requirements are on the ballot in Arizona and Nevada, with a carbon tax on the Washington ballot, an offshore drilling ban on the Florida ballot (Amendment 9), and a fracking limit on the Colorado ballot.
Affordable housing is on the ballot in Oregon, San Francisco and San Jose, and statewide rent control is on the California ballot as Proposition 10.
Transit bond issues are on the ballot throughout the country, and several gubernatorial elections will likely decide the level of state investments in public transit and infrastructure.
Massachusetts Question 3 is an initiative to uphold a ban on anti-transgender discrimination in public places (i.e., a "yes" vote bans discrimination and a "no" vote allows it).
A public bank is on the Los Angeles ballot.
Universal home health care is on Maine's ballot.

Competitive state chambers to watch include the Alaska and Connecticut House and the Washington Senate (all Dem-held), as well as the Arizona House, Colorado Senate, Florida Senate, Maine Senate, New Hampshire House, New York Senate, Pennsylvania House, and Wisconsin Senate. Supermajorities to watch (keep or break) include the California Senate and both chambers of North Carolina's notoriously-GOP-gerrymandered legislature.

State supreme court seats to watch include Alabama (where a Roy Moore ally faces off against the guy who lost by 1% 6 years ago), Florida (where the new governor gets to appoint 3 new justices upon being sworn in), Michigan (where two Snyder appointees face re-election in a race that could swing control to the Democrats), North Carolina (where Democrat Anita Earls leads two Republicans including the incumbent justice Barbara Jackson in a race that has been a comedy of errors since the NC GOP tried to force through court-packing measures), and two in Ohio (where the GOP already holds an overwhelming majority).

Other statewide offices to watch include 13 attorney general races, 9 secretary of state races (including Ohio's, where Kathleen Clyde has vowed to stop the state's voter purge methods just validated by the SCOTUS), 3 auditor races (including Ohio's, where the new officeholder would sit on their new redistricting commission), and Florida's two other cabinet races (the CFO and Commissioner of Agriculture)

LOCAL RACES
I would like to add one more thing. Some minor positions need to be have some light shed on as they have a great of an influence as some of the national races.

Prosecutors (DA, state attorney, etc)

Jefferson Co., AL (Birmingham)
Marin Co., CA (San Rafael)
Cumberland Co. (≈Portland), ME
Berkshire County, MA
Suffolk County (≈Boston), MA
Plymouth, MA
Hennepin Co., MN (Minneapolis)
Tulsa Co., OK
Payne and Logan counties, OK (Stillwater and Guthrie respectively)
Bexar Co., TX (The asshole incumbent already got primary'd so it's just the matter of beating the Republican)
Dallas Co., TX
Salt Lake, UT
Bennington Co., VT
King Co. (≈Seattle), WA

Sheriffs

This is mostly to stop sheriffs from cooperating with ICE

LA County (Seriously? You guys haven't had a D sheriff in over 100 years?!)
Orange Co., CA (Will probably determine how well the Dems are doing in that county)
Hillsborough, FL (Don't trust the incumbent just because he got cozy with the Dems there. Having a guy like that in Tampa is inexcusable. Vote him out)
Marion County, IN (Indianapolis)
Hennepin Co. (≈Minneapolis), MN (Again. You guys have a lot of cleaning up to do. Don't disappoint me)
Wake Co., NC (Raleigh/Cary)
Buncome Co., NC (Asheville) (A bit tougher than the one above, but still important to cover all the major cities in NC)
Bergen County, NJ (Again, the Dems supported the asshole incumbent because fuck the machine, but his resignation created an opportunity for a better alternative)
Dona Ana, NM (Important as this is a border county)
Salt Like City, UT (You guys have a huge opportunity with both DA and sheriff. Hopefully McAdams can pull your candidates across the finish line)

For control of the county
Harris County (Houston) (Main fight is for the commissioners, including the 'County Judge' Also will need to clean house of some precincts who has had Republicans for years... especially the County Clerk #FireStanart)
San Diego city council (Another city that has voted R until recently. Hopefully the Dems can gain more control)
Montgomery Co. Executive (Washington suburbs) (There's a fear that the progressive and independent may split the votes against the Republican)
San Juan Co. Commission Read this: https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2018/11/01/people-are-energized/
 
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Oct 25, 2017
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#13
This is the first time the US is really speaking their mind on what the hell is going on. Don't let me down America.

I'm mentally prepared for Democrats to lose seats in the Senate though.
 
OP
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Midnight Jon
Oct 25, 2017
1,844
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27
Ohio
www.twitch.tv
#14
Where do I go to find out what all is going to be on the ballot in my local area?
If your local county/parish board of elections' site is like mine, they should have sample ballots available behind a rudimentary login

(in Franklin County, OH's case, you provide first and last name, house number, and birth year and then they've got printable sample ballots at the bottom of the resulting page)

I'm not voting Tuesday and you can't make me







Cause I voted weeks ago
I voted within 30 minutes of early voting starting in Ohio 3 weeks ago, and the only reason it wasn't even sooner is that I woke up a little bit too late
 
Oct 26, 2017
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#25
Despite your sternly worded warning I am very wary of the polls this year just simply due to the fact that I don't think they are accounting for the massive amounts of newly registered first time voter.

I am very excited about seeing turnout numbers. Im going full crazy and predicting we will see voting levels close to those of a general
 
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Midnight Jon
Oct 25, 2017
1,844
0
27
Ohio
www.twitch.tv
#28
Despite your sternly worded warning I am very wary of the polls this year just simply due to the fact that I don't think they are accounting for the massive amounts of newly registered first time voter.

I am very excited about seeing turnout numbers. Im going full crazy and predicting we will see voting levels close to those of a general
Yeah, to be clear I'm not saying "don't be cynical about polls" because there's every chance on the planet that they're gonna be off by about 3% in either direction

just that we've had enough of the "DONT BELIEVE THE POLLS, VOTE" posts cumulatively across all political ERA for the past two years and really don't need to keep saying it more
 
Oct 25, 2017
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#29
Married a man from California, dragged him here to Texas, and both of us voted straight Democrat in a red county. We did our part.

Save us, Beto
 
Oct 26, 2017
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#30
Yeah, to be clear I'm not saying "don't be cynical about polls" because there's every chance on the planet that they're gonna be off by about 3% in either direction

just that we've had enough of the "DONT BELIEVE THE POLLS, VOTE" posts cumulatively across all political ERA for the past two years and really don't need to keep saying it more
No I totally get where your coming from and the posts you are talking about are insufferable.

I'd like to add I'd love it if this thread could be a positive optimistic place. As the poll posts are to you the constant "chicken little" posts bemoaning the dem party are to me.

We have legitimate issues that could use fixing but overall the dem party is in a great place with the widest most diverse group of minorities and women than we've ever had. It's exciting that such a diverse group has found such a large amount of support in our party.
 
Oct 27, 2017
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#32
Yeah, to be clear I'm not saying "don't be cynical about polls" because there's every chance on the planet that they're gonna be off by about 3% in either direction

just that we've had enough of the "DONT BELIEVE THE POLLS, VOTE" posts cumulatively across all political ERA for the past two years and really don't need to keep saying it more
As a friend told me today: ignore the polls and vote, not because we mistrust them, but because they are not for us. None of us depend on the polls, we should just vote. The polls are used by the strategists to decide ad buys, focus resources, and canvas. The media uses polls to evaluate what races to run, but for ordinary people they make zero difference.
 
Oct 27, 2017
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#36
As a friend told me today: ignore the polls and vote, not because we mistrust them, but because they are not for us. None of us depend on the polls, we should just vote. The polls are used by the strategists to decide ad buys, focus resources, and canvas. The media uses polls to evaluate what races to run, but for ordinary people they make zero difference.
They're informative and mostly tell us about places we can't vote in.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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#42
I'm fairly optimistic for next week, but I've got this recurring feeling that fuckery is afoot.

Still, I'm praying for the best. I doubt the Senate will work out for the Dems, but I like our chances for the House.
 
Jun 23, 2018
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#45
Already voted. My only regret is I don't live in Steve Kings's district to vote against that racist shitbag. The upside is I don't live among people who would vote for Steve King in the first place. I'm hopeful Iowa is going to send some Dems back to the house and claim the governorship. There haven't been a lot of polls but the ones I've seen look good for the most part.

If the turn out is there its gonna be a good night.
 
Oct 27, 2017
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#46
I mean, we can only vote in our state for a senator and a representative in our district, along with a governor and other state officials. Almost all polling is about someplace else.
Oh, I get your point now. However, that is even worse. You literally cannot do anything about it, you cannot change it or prepare for it.
 
Nov 7, 2017
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#47
Indiana and Kentucky closing at 6pm EST lmfao

I'm hoping NJ flips 3 out of the 4 red house seats. Sherrill seems like a lock, Malinowski is likely but too close to call and Kim needs all the thoughts and prayers. Chris Smith is one of the least shitty Republicans you're gonna get in the House too which is ok.
 
Oct 27, 2017
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#49
Oh, I get your point now. However, that is even worse. You literally cannot do anything about it, you cannot change it or prepare for it.
Well exactly, I want to know! I can't do anything so tell me how the people who can do something are leaning.