Looking Toward “Roevember”

Photo [of Alaska] by Andrew Hanson on Pexels.com

I’m trying not to get too giddy. We have a lot of hard work ahead to pull off democracy-saving Democratic wins in November—just a little over two months from now.

When I wrote my post “Abortion Is Actually Going to Save Democracy,” I cited the work of FiveThirtyEight, often described as the most reliable polling prognosticators. They interpreted the results of the House special elections trending toward the Democrats since the overturn of Roe as possible evidence of a shifting national mood.

Here’s a critical parenthetical from that August 24th article:

“(There is one data point missing from this analysis, however: the ranked-choice special election in Alaska’s at-large district. Currently, Republicans have 21 percentage points more first-place votes than Democrats in that race, despite Alaska’s R+15 partisan lean. But it’s not clear how meaningful that is, given the unusual dynamics at play in a ranked-choice election.

“In fact, when the ranked-choice votes are tabulated on Aug. 31, it’s quite possible that the Democratic candidate will receive more votes than the last Republican standing — which would be an even bigger upset than Ryan’s win. We’ll just have to wait and see.)”

We waited, and now we’ve seen. Mary Peltola beat both Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich. She’ll serve the remainder of the term of Republican Don Young, who died in March. Then she’ll have to redo what she’s just done to win a full two-year term. The odds were clearly against her.

When the Alaska results came in, FiveThirtyEight posted a new piece that throws a bit of a wet blanket on Peltola’s win, saying it may be more due to local circumstances, such as Palin’s being a poor candidate, than national trends.

Surprise! Alaskans weren’t thrilled that Palin resigned as governor to become a right-wing media darling. Republicans did seem to be thrilled with ranked-choice voting (which is actually a way to prevent the kinds of extremists who’ve run in many of their primaries)–until the Democrat won.

Now they’re against it, reinforcing President Biden’s contention in his Philadelphia speech that “MAGA” Republicans think only two things are possible in elections: “they win–or they were cheated.”

Quoth Palin, after her loss: Ranked choice voting is “new, crazy, convoluted, confusing,” and it “disenfranchised 60% of Alaska voters.”

Notably, about half of Begich voters either supported Pertola when he was knocked off the ballot or didn’t vote in the second round.

According to FiveThirtyEight, it seems likely that Begich would have defeated Peltola if Palin hadn’t been in the ranked-choice voting.

Still, they observe:

We already knew that something–probably Dobbs–had shifted the national environment in Democrats’ favor since midsummer. The Alaska result is, at best, consistent with that and, at worst, doesn’t contradict it.”

Regardless, it’s great that Alaska has elected a pro-choice woman who’s also the first Native Alaskan to reach Congress in the state’s one at-large seat. Peltola seems to have a lot going for her, including widespread agreement that she’s kind. How very refreshing!

She’s reputed to be a friend of Palin’s. But that didn’t stop her from campaigning as “Alaska’s best shot at keeping an extremist from winning.”

I’m thrilled that Palin’s wacky radicalism, including her extreme views on abortion, were smacked down—and hope it happens again in November. I’m equally thrilled that we’ll be spared her “chalk on the blackboard” voice. (That expression may date me, but I’m sure everyone understands it.)

And who knows? Maybe Peltola will win over more Alaska voters between now and November. I heard an interview in which she stressed that Native Americans like her–who were forcibly sterilized in the past–view abortion as inseparable from privacy and personal autonomy. Both her Republican rivals oppose it.

Rumor has it that Peltola’s win has shaken some Palinesque House candidates. It’s certainly encouraged every Democrat fighting a Big Liar.

Army veteran Marcus Flowers, the Democrat hoping to unseat Marjorie Taylor Greene, tweeted: “Sarah Palin was defeated. Marjorie Taylor Greene will be next.”

Here’s hopin’.

As the horror stories about abortion continue to mount, that former guy digs himself into a deeper hole with each court filing, the Democrats talk about their successful legislative efforts while the deficit falls—and President Biden appeals to Democrats, Independents, and non-MAGA Republicans to join in opposing the fascism that’s now engulfed the Republicans, people on Twitter urge us to:

“Roe, Roe, Roe the vote–to Democracy.”

And it seems that younger voters, who could be significant for Democratic victories, are fired up by the loss of reproductive rights.

From Politico:

“Younger voters are notoriously hard to turn out, especially in midterms. But motivation to vote among registered voters aged 18-35 in key battleground states has shot up since the Dobbs decision, according to a polling memo shared first with POLITICO by the liberal group NextGen America.”

From a March poll to one in July/August, there was a nine percent jump in the respondents who said they were “very motivated” to vote in November.

These voters were in key states with important races for governor and/or Senator: Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Two out of three voters polled said the Dobbs decision “has made them care more about what happens in November.”

Young women voters were strongly opposed to the Dobbs ruling, and even fifty-seven percent of Republican women were opposed. NextGen called the decision a huge stumbling block for the Republicans to overcome with younger voters.

FiveThirtyEight cautions that trends turn against the President’s party as the midterms near, but we’re in strange territory for any number of reasons now.

Speaking of trends, Tom Bonier, a strategist for Democrats who runs a data and polling company, wrote an essay in The New York Times headlined: “Women Are So Fired Up to Vote, I’ve Never Seen Anything Like It.”

“In my 28 years analyzing elections, I’ve never seen anything like what’s happened in the past two months in American politics: Women are registering to vote in numbers I’ve never witnessed. I’ve run out of superlatives to describe how different this moment is, especially in light of the cycles of tragedy and eventual resignation of recent years...

“With over two months until Election Day, uncertainty abounds. Election prognostication relies heavily on past precedent. Yet there is no precedent for an election centered around the removal of a constitutional right affirmed a half-century before. Every poll we consume over the closing weeks of this election will rely on a likely voter model for which we have no benchmark.”

So I’m thinking that there’s a confluence of factors helping, with the Democrats moving toward November 8th with “Roementum.” (I think I made that one up.)

How are you all feeling about the national picture?

Annie

25 thoughts on “Looking Toward “Roevember”

  1. In heavily Republican NY23, the loosing candidate in the Republican primary has reportedly filed a FOIL request for a list of all records maintained by three County Boards of Election. This election wasn’t close: 24,275 to 22,283. Whatever the loosing candidate’s intent, I believe this will further damage confidence in elections.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s been the goal all along, unfortunately. It is a huge problem. I’ve never understood how Republicans could convince their followers that there was rampant voter fraud in an election in which they won, but trump lost. And then to change election laws based on that false premise.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bullies if tolerated long enough will overreach.
    “Stalin’s response to Hitler’s invasion was slow and disorganized, especially in the first days of the war. Stalin’s response was ineffective because he trusted Hitler.” Philip Boobbyer
    We trusted in the system, we let our guards down and we have been hit with a 2×4. The first blow is the most important. Luckily it didn’t kill us. What we do next is all the marbles.
    The structural damage from the 1st hit usually allows the second to finish the job. What you do between the strikes determines the outcome.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It does look more and more plausible that 2022 will be “the abortion rights election” and that the theocrat-dominated Supreme Court has “aborted” the red wave that was building. As the Bonier quote says, “there is no precedent for an election centered around the removal of a constitutional right affirmed a half-century before.”

    I always try to judge by data, not intuition (which is too easily influenced by wishful thinking). Electoral-Vote‘s Senate map went live today. They follow a strict algorithm which considers only polls within the previous week, and eliminating any pollsters with a history of low quality or cooperation with either political party. Based on that, they currently have the Senate at 53-47, with Democrats picking up four seats (Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin) and losing one (Georgia). However, they caution that the only Georgia poll the algorithm allows is an outlier and that most have shown Warnock ahead, while Florida and North Carolina are really too close to call. So the best estimate based on current polling is that the Democrats will end up somewhere from 52 to 54 seats. Of course the election is two months away and things could change.

    The House is hard to assess, but the Alaska vote and the Kansas referendum suggest that keeping the majority or even enlarging it is a reasonable possibility. The Roe issue is such a wild card that precedent isn’t much of a guide.

    Palin has had a cult following since 2008, but it has tapered off a lot, and that never was the same as being a serious politician. The only major office she was ever actually elected to was governor of Alaska, and that was before the 2008 campaign brought out her penchant for erratic behavior. She almost certainly hurt McCain since even a lot of Republicans got anxiety about her becoming president if he died in office. There are parallels with Oz and Walker. They have cult-followings from non-political fields, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be widely judged fit to be senators.

    If the Democrats do hold the House and get a bigger Senate majority, it will be a revolutionary change. Remember, even the 2020 election was mostly a win for Republicans — the only exceptions were the presidency (where they had the worst candidate in living memory) and the Georgia and Arizona Senate races. To go from that to an unambiguous defeat, in an election where all precedent pointed to them winning big, will demonstrate that taking away an established Constitutional right is indeed political suicide. Something for both parties to keep in mind, going forward.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Infidel. I must get into the habit of checking https://www.electoral-vote.com/. Although pollsters have generally been off quite a bit in recent years, I do think the registration trends are significant. We know, however, that gerrymandering and blatant disenrollment are ongoing; Georgia is a harsh example. Groups aligned with Michael Flynn are using a truly Jim Crow-like state law to purge registered voters, and the local election boards are hard-pressed to keep up. It would be a disgrace if Warnock is replaced by the head-injured Walker, whom the Republicans so cynically are using for their purposes.

      While it’s true Palin has never been a “serious candidate,” that appellation could as well be applied to a growing number of Republicans— legislators supporting the Big Lie and spouting conspiracy theories. We must hope that “Roementum” and general concern for rights and norms are the winners in November.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Michigan voters will vote on abortion in November. This should ensure a good turnout. Meanwhile, the Wayne county GOP, in a training session for election workers and observers, reportedly urged poll workers to violate election laws by concealing cell phones and notepads.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’ve encapsulated the good news and the worrisome stuff in one brief comment, whungerford.

      Do you have any sense about Matt Castelli’s potential to unseat Elise Stefanik, the once-moderate Republican who’s now full MAGA (and #3 House R leadership)?

      Like

  5. You probably know that in my state of Michigan, our Supreme Court just ruled that voters will decided whether the right to an abortion is written into the state constitution. I can’t believe this happening but so it goes.

    I’ve been listening to “The Anthropocene Reviewed” by John Green. I highly recommend it. He also has a podcast that contains the same essays. Here’s a quote:

    “I still sometimes stop hearing the tune. I still become enveloped by the abject pain of hopelessness. But hope is singing all the while. It’s just that again and again, I must relearn how to listen.”

    Liked by 2 people

  6. “that former guy digs himself into a deeper hole with each court filing”
    So just to prove that the D’s are willing to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory again
    The DoJ agreed to a thuglican judge as a special master. All the talking heads are recycleing their comments from when Barr was first nominiated. How did that work out?
    Remember thuglicans, particualarly thuglican Justices and lawyers, owe their service to the thuglican party only and with their super power no having no shame do NOT see any problem in betraying their oath, the constitition, or any sense of justice when their political masters snap their fingers.
    Betcha if this clown is allowed to take the position of special master he will do nothing but delay, obstruct and disassemble.
    So once more the DoJ has shown its loyalty to demented donnie.

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    1. I was concerned about this decision too, anyname left—until I heard Andrew Weissmann speak about it. He’s one of the most knowledgeable and thoughtful former government commenters around, IMO. He said he’s known this judge well for years, that he’s fair and reputable and even kind—and he expects he’ll take over from Cannon. Remember, plenty of trump-appointed judges ruled against him in court. This guy goes back to Reagan. He’s not going to throw away a solid reputation for that criminal.

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      1. Gee one of the twit’s appointees who worked hand in glove with the twit’s justice department that justified torture as “enhanced” interragation and the other myriad crimes of darth cheney’s puppet regime.
        Sorry like addicts once a thuglican in thrall to their political masters always a thuglican obeying orders from his political masters.
        Just another thuglican Judicial hack like barr, Alito, whittaker et.al.
        You have much more faith in the possible redemption of these corrupted and lost souls then I have.
        Remember all the comments about barr being knowledgeable, respectful of the la and generous to collegues that we heard upon his nomination?
        So we should trust an addled ronnie judge based upon the recommendation of one of the twits minions?
        I think not.
        This seems to be nothing more then repeating that cycle.

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      2. If you’re claiming that there’s no such thing as a public servant loyal to his/her oath regardless of the political winds—ever, I reject that—and I don’t wish to pursue this matter further. Get back to me if the DOJ declines to indict tfg on any serious charges.

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      3. No there are public servants who are loyal to their oaths.
        Just not any thuglican political apperchek’s.
        Lets wait and see if the special master actually gets appointed and whether he becomes just another obstructionist or not.
        Personally I think the DoJ and others in the political “elite” are hoping that demented donnie has an anueryism so they can bury him as an “innocent” just as Ken Lay was buried as an innocent because he died before sentenceing.

        Like

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