AuthorTopic: Election Errata  (Read 95838 times)

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🗳️ What Beto Won
« Reply #825 on: November 10, 2018, 02:03:27 PM »
I'll tell you what he also won.  National Attention.  Beto couldn't win in a Repugnant sewer like Texas, but he has a better shot on the national level.  I see Beto running for Veep on a ticket with Liz Warren.  I don't think the Repugnants can beat that.

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https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/11/beto-orourke-lostbut-profoundly-changed-texas/575521/

What Beto Won

The Senate hopeful lost his race to Ted Cruz, but reanimated the Texas Democratic Party.
6:00 AM ET
Christopher Hooks
Journalist based in Austin


Beto O'Rourke
Mike Segar / Reuters

They said it couldn’t be done and, in the end, they were right. Texas had been a one-party state for years. It’s true that the state’s motley, virtually nonexistent opposition party, hardly worthy of the same name as its national counterpart, had put up strong showings in the state in the last few presidential elections, and that the incumbent was a highly polarizing figure whose naked ambition and peculiar personal style caused many in his own party to disparage him behind closed doors, but none of that was enough. That November, Republican John Tower lost to sitting Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson 41 to 58 percent.

But that performance, which looked pathetic to outsiders, looked like an opportunity to the Republican Party of Texas, because things work differently under one-party rule. In the special election next year to fill LBJ’s seat after his elevation to the vice presidency, Tower ran again, caught his opponent flat-footed, and narrowly beat him. Over the years, the state changed, and so did the nation. Republicans started running, and then winning. And here we are.

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You could fill a book with the differences between the Texas Democratic Party in 2018 and the state GOP in 1960, just as you could fill a book with the caveats necessary to write any article that suggests there’s anything at all of interest to national observers about Texas Democrats. Many of those caveats have real weight, and I don’t think I’d put any meaningful amount of money on the proposition that the Texas Democratic Party is going to start seizing the levers of power anytime soon.
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David Frum: Beto’s loss was a blessing in disguise for Democrats.

But while the strong results the party scored across the board in Texas this year aren’t the end of the status quo, they just might be the beginning of the end. If we’re going to ask whether Texas might “turn blue”—the wrong question anyway, but let’s entertain it—it makes sense first to think about how Texas “turned red,” and how the state’s Democratic party got this weak in the first place. What happened in the state on Tuesday, from the marquee Senate contest between Beto O’Rourke and Ted Cruz down to the election for Harris County tax assessor, reflects that broader history. But the way many talk about Texas does not.

In fact, Texas has never “turned” anything. The Republicanization of Texas took nearly a half century to enact—it wasn’t until 2003 that the party completed its takeover of state government by winning control of the Texas House, after a particularly helpful round of gerrymandering, and didn’t reach its contemporary peak for another decade. The most commonly cited statistic about Texas politics is that no Democrat has been elected to a statewide nonjudicial office since 1994, which is true, but it’s also true that Democrats held a trifecta until that year. The party wasn’t fighting to hold on to its last outposts 25 years ago, but experiencing wild swings between favor and disfavor while struggling to maintain internal cohesion amid a fair amount of corruption and incompetence.

Ann Richards’s 1994 loss of the governor’s mansion to a young George W. Bush turned out to be a fateful blow, but it wasn’t half as devastating to the party as the next gubernatorial campaign in 1998, when Bush blew out the Democrat Garry Mauro by 37 points and the GOP took control of redistricting. Nor was it as crucial as the next 16 years, when the famously well-coiffed Rick Perry kept dominating the party in good and bad climates. Each subsequent drubbing of Democrats became more of a dark joke.

The effect of all that losing was to kick the structural supports out from under the Democratic Party one by one. The business lobby stopped donating to Democrats except to buy small favors in the legislature. Democratic donors in the state started writing checks for national causes instead of local ones. The party’s brand as a perpetual loser became a drag among swing voters and a disincentive for base voters to turn out. Why bother? Talented Democrats in the legislature quit, because there was no future for them, and the slates of Democratic candidates running statewide grew weaker and weaker.

Read: Beto O’Rourke’s national celebrity was his undoing.

Most damaging of all, the young people who make the party work behind the scenes went into exile. Many of the party’s up-and-coming strategists moved to D.C. or California or purple states, where they could be of help and lead fulfilling lives, or they stayed here and got out of politics entirely. Working for the party here became a kind of social work, a charitable endeavor performed at personal cost by people with a high tolerance for pain. All these things became their own drain on party performance, in a vicious cycle.

But some of that damage could be repaired quite quickly. A strong performance, even if it’s a loss, sends a signal to interested parties that things might just be changing. That’s something like what Tower did in 1960 and 1961. His initial loss didn’t discourage him, but neither did it make Republicans think that they were on an inexorable march to dominance. It simply made clear that the party could bide its time, be smart, and pick off races when it could.

That might just be—with a very strong emphasis on might—what happened to Texas Democrats in 2018. I’ve written elsewhere about what the results up and down the ballot look like for the party, but there are a few things to briefly note. One, Democratic statewide candidates scored extraordinary results. O’Rourke’s losing margin, which sits at about 2.6 points, was substantially better than the performance of many of this cycle’s incumbents, including Claire McCaskill in Missouri, who lost by 6 points; Joe Donnelly in Indiana, by 7.5 points, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, by 10.8 points; and Dean Heller in Nevada, by 5 points. Those were supposedly the tightest races in the country.

But Cruz wasn’t the only Texas Republican who struggled. Firebrand Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick won reelection by only about 5 points, and indicted Attorney General Ken Paxton won by about 3.6 points against a first-time candidate who ran a campaign that got little help from anybody. That’s not supposed to happen in blood-red Texas, and it’s possible only because Republican-leaning voters crossed over in specific races in a way they never had before.

It’s not just those races—the tide lifted everyone. Consider what would happen in 2020 if Texas Democrats won every congressional and legislative seat they won this year, plus every district they lost by less than 5 points. (This is, of course, a mental exercise, not a likely outcome.) The Texas congressional delegation would then consist of 19 Democrats and 17 Republicans, and the Texas state House would be tied 75 to 75. The Texas state Senate—speaking hypothetically, because seats won this year are not up for reelection in 2020—would contain something like 15 Democrats to 16 Republicans.

Read: The Democrats’ Deep-South strategy was a winner after all.

That’s in large part because Republicans gerrymandered Texas to make the most of its suburban vote, and the suburban vote abandoned Republicans this year. Suburban counties around Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Houston either went blue completely or delivered greatly diminished returns for Republicans up and down the ballot.

Here come the caveats—the Democrats have to actually make something of this opening. The planets might not line up this way again. Suburban anger has to persist. Much of this was possible because of O’Rourke and his money, and it may not be possible without him. (Though it has been repeatedly noted by O’Rourke’s allies that there happens to be another Senate seat up in 2020, currently held by Republican John Cornyn.) All this might well be a one-off. But if it turns out to be part of even a weak trend line, it’s not sustainable for the Republican Party here.

No one is more surprised to be writing this after the election than me, who consistently told people in the run-up to the voting that I thought O’Rourke would underperform the polls and lose by 7 to 8 points. (Or, as I stipulated for the office pool, 5.75.) But if there’s one thing that became clear over the last two years, it’s that no one understands this terrifically weird state well enough to know what’s actually going on here from moment to moment.

The volume of terrible takes written about Texas in the last year could pack a landfill to overcapacity. But terrible takes are written about everything—it’s what people got specifically wrong about Texas that’s wonderful. When O’Rourke became a national media phenomenon, people started responding to the phenomenon instead of looking at the race, and that led them to some very strange places. One pre-postmortem, written before the race was mort-ed, was written with the fairly common premise that O’Rourke had moved too far left to attract Republican votes, and so he wasn’t going to win any. He had blown it early on.

Dead wrong, it turns out—it looks like some 400,000 people voted for both Abbott and O’Rourke. O’Rourke wasn’t a wild-eyed lefty or a dead-eyed centrist. He was a former small-business owner who came to Congress by beating a Democratic incumbent in his primary from the right, and who spoke passionately about liberal causes while mostly avoiding specific policy prescriptions. He was pro-immigration and pro-trade, which is to say that he had common cause with the left-wingers at the Texas Association of Business.

O’Rourke was a Texas liberal, a member of a long-standing political tradition. The main difference between O’Rourke and previous Democratic candidates is that people liked him a lot. When he spoke to crowds, he talked of our obligations to one another, patriotism, public service, and investment in public projects. It may have been momentarily shocking for political reporters to hear a Texan running for office talking about marijuana, or the principle of universal health care. But 53 percent of Texans support legalizing pot, according to polling from the University of Texas, and 46 percent say that they support a “single national health insurance system run by the government.” A broad semiautomatic weapons ban only pulls 40 percent, but you could make a case that Cruz is the one who’s more out of step—a significant majority of Texans favor requiring criminal and mental-health background checks for all gun sales, including private ones.

Read: How both parties lost the Texas Senate race

Issues have never been the issue for Texas Democrats, just the same as Democrats nationally. Their problem has been putting together a coalition, and O’Rourke’s charisma and positivity gave people on both the left and in the middle a reason to invest in him. After the election, Republican House Speaker Joe Straus, hunted for years by the far right, strongly hinted that he had voted for O’Rourke. He warned that the “Republican Party and the state of Texas are moving in opposite directions.”

That points to the delightful wrongness of another common line on the Texas Senate race this year. In April, Josh Kraushaar wrote in the National Journal that O’Rourke was demonstrating the “limits of base-first politics,” and that a much better model for Democratic success could be found in Phil Bredesen, the old blue-dog centrist running for Senate in Tennessee. Bredesen’s most notable act as governor was kicking a lot of poor people off Medicaid.

Well, Bredesen got pulverized—he lost Tennessee, a state that has elected Democrats a lot more recently than Texas, by more than 10 points, which is just a little better than how bland centrist Democrats have traditionally performed in Texas. The conventional wisdom about what Texans want is plainly incorrect. Which is not particularly surprising, really. Texans like big personalities and frank talk—the last Democrat the state elected, after all, was Ann Richards—or as Cruz himself likes to say, “bright bold colors, and not pale pastels.”

Something very strange happened here this year. Like Tower’s bid, the full payoff may not come for many years. But the state party now has what the Republican Party then needed more than anything else: A reason to start building in earnest. That’s not much, doubtless. But it just might be enough.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.
Christopher Hooks is a journalist based in Austin.

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🗳️ Election Errata: Demodope Frontrunners
« Reply #826 on: November 13, 2018, 01:11:34 AM »
I am betting on a Beto-Liz Ticket.

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https://www.politico.com/story/2018/11/12/poll-biden-bernie-beto-lead-2020-dems-983995


More than a quarter of Democratic voters, 26 percent, say former Vice President Joe Biden is their first choice to be the 2020 Democratic nominee. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

2020
Poll: Biden, Bernie, Beto lead 2020 Dem field

By STEVEN SHEPARD

11/12/2018 04:00 PM EST

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) enter the 2020 election cycle as the leaders for the Democratic presidential nomination to take on President Donald Trump, according to a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll conducted in the immediate aftermath of last week’s midterms.

More than a quarter of Democratic voters, 26 percent, say Biden is their first choice to be the Democratic nominee. Another one-in-five, 19 percent, would pick Sanders, the runner-up for the nomination in 2016.

The two septuagenarians — Biden will be 77 on Election Day, 2020, and Sanders will be 79 — are the only two prospective candidates to garner double-digit support. The third-place candidate is Rep. Beto O’Rourke (R-Texas), who built national name-recognition through his losing Senate bid last week, with 8 percent.

“Beto O’Rourke is emerging to be an outside contender for the 2020 Democratic nomination, outpacing other potential nominees,” said Tyler Sinclair, Morning Consult’s vice president.

Following O’Rourke are three senators, all thought to be likely candidates: Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.). Warren is at 5 percent, Harris at 4 percent and Booker at 3 percent.

Of the 14 other possible Democratic candidates tested, no one else earned more than 2 percent support.

The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll was conducted November 7-9, surveying 1,952 registered voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Morning Consult is a nonpartisan media and technology company that provides data-driven research and insights on politics, policy and business strategy.

More details on the poll and its methodology can be found in these two documents — Toplines: https://politi.co/2RMVlkc | Crosstabs: https://politi.co/2Tb4819
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🗳️ Why the 2018 Midterms May Have Been Bluer Than You Think
« Reply #827 on: November 13, 2018, 01:33:30 AM »
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/11/midterms-blue-wave-statistics-data-analysis.html

Why the 2018 Midterms May Have Been Bluer Than You Think
The wave looks like it was real, even in places where the candidates didn’t win.

By Andrew Gelman
Nov 12, 20186:24 PM


U.S. map colored in purple and covered in question marks.
Photo illustration by Slate

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This story originally appeared on AndrewGelman.com and has been republished here with permission.

What can we really learn from what happened in the 2018 midterm elections? When we talk about election results, we’re always discussing them on three levels: their direct political consequences, their implications for future politics, and what they allow us to infer about public opinion.

At the national level, what happened is what we expected to happen two weeks ago, two months ago, and two years ago: The Democrats bounced back. Their average district vote for the House of Representatives increased by enough to give them clear control of the chamber, even in the face of geography difficulties and partisan districting.

This was party balancing, which I wrote about a few months ago: At the time of the election, the Republicans controlled the executive branch, both houses of Congress, and the judiciary, so it made sense that swing voters were going to swing toward the Democrats. Ironically, one reason the Democrats did not regain the Senate in 2018 is … party balancing in 2016! Most people thought Hillary Clinton would win the presidency, so lots of people voted Republican for Congress to balance that.

The swing in votes toward the Democrats was large, particularly in the context of our current state of political polarization. As Nate Cohn wrote, the change in seats was impressive, given that there weren’t very many swing districts for the Democrats to aim for. Meanwhile, as expected, the Senate remained in Republican control. Some close races went 51-49 rather than 49-51, which doesn’t tell us much about public opinion but is politically consequential.

The next question is geographic—where did the shift happen? Nationally, voters swung toward the Democrats. I was curious where this happened, so I did some Googling and found this map by Josh Holder, Cath Levett, Daniel Levitt, and Peter Andringa at the Guardian. The map omits districts that were uncontested in one election or the other, so I suspect it understates the swing, but it gives the general idea—the swing was the strongest throughout the Midwest, and even extended south to Florida and Texas.

Here’s another way to look at the swings. Yair Ghitza, a senior scientist at the data firm Catalist, made a graph plotting the vote swing from 2016 to 2018, for each election contested in both years, vs. the Democratic share of the two-party vote in 2016.


357 congressional districts that were contested in both elections.
Yair Ghitza

The result was pretty stunning. Here’s the key takeaway: The Democrats’ biggest gains in 2018 were in districts where the Republicans were dominant in 2016—that’s the story for all the districts that show up in the top left quadrant of this chart.

In fact, if you look at the graph carefully (and you also remember that we’re excluding uncontested elections, so we’re missing part of the story), you see the following:

• In strong Republican districts (Dems receiving less than 40 percent of the vote in 2016), Democrats gained almost everywhere, with an average gain of something like 8 percentage points.
• In swing districts (Dems receiving 40-60 percent of the vote in 2016), Democrats improved, but only by about 4 percentage points on average. A 4-percent swing in the vote is a lot, actually! It’s just not 8 percent.
• In districts where Ds were already dominating, the results were, on average, similar to what happened in 2016.

I don’t know how much this was a national strategy and how much it just happened, but let me point out two things:

1. For the goal of winning the election, it would have been to the Democrats’ advantage to concentrate their gains in the zone where they’d received between 40 and 55 percent of the vote in the previous election. Conversely, these are the places where the Republicans would’ve wanted to focus their efforts too.

2. Speaking more generally, the Democrats have had a problem, both at the congressional and presidential levels, of “wasted votes”: winning certain districts with huge majorities and losing a lot of the closer districts. Thus, part of Democratic strategy has been to broaden their geographic base. The above scatterplot suggests that the 2018 election was a step in the right direction for them in this regard.

When Yair sent me that plot, I had a statistical question: Could it be “regression to the mean”—did this just show things going back to normal? We would expect, absent any election-specific information, that the Democrats would improve in districts where they’d done poorly, and they’d decline in districts where they’d done well. So maybe I’ve just been overinterpreting a pattern that tells us nothing interesting at all?

To address this possible problem, Yair made two more graphs, repeating the above scatterplot, but showing the 2014-to-2016 shift vs. the 2014 results, and the 2012-to-2014 shift vs. the 2012 results. Here’s what he found:
Three charts: Those same contested congressional districts as seen in the 2016 House two-way; 2014 House two-way; and 2012 House two-way


So the answer is: No, it’s not regression to the mean, and it’s not a statistical artifact. The shift from 2016 to 2018—the Democrats gaining strength in Republican strongholds—is real. And it can have implications for statewide and presidential elections as well. This is also consistent with results we saw in various special elections during the past two years.

That means the current narrative is wrong. As Yair puts it:

    Current narrative: Dems did better in suburban/urban, Reps did better in rural, continuing trend from 2012-2016. I am seeing the opposite.

    This isn’t increasing polarization/sorting. This also isn’t mean-reversion. D areas stayed D, R areas jumped ship to a large degree. A lot of these are the rural areas that went the other way from 2012-2016.

    Not just in [Congressional District] races, also in Govenor and Senate races …

    Massive, 20  point shift in margin in Trump counties. Remember this is with really high turnout. … This offsets the huge shift from 2012-2016, often in the famous “Obama-Trump” counties.

Yair adds:

    The reason people are missing this story right now: focusing on who won/lost means they’re looking at places that went from just below 50 to just above 50. Obviously that’s more important for who actually governs. But this is the big public opinion shift.

I suspect that part of this was the result of deliberate strategy from both parties. On one side, the Democrats knew they had a problem in big swathes of the country and they made a special effort to run strong campaigns everywhere: Part of this was good sense given their good showing in special elections, and part of it was an investment in their future, to lay out a strong Democratic brand in areas that where they’ll need to be competitive in future statewide and presidential elections. On the other side, the Republicans had their backs to the wall and so they focused their effort on the seats they needed to hold if they had a chance of maintaining their House majority.

From that standpoint, the swings above do not completely represent natural public opinion swings from national campaigns. But they are meaningful: They’re real votes, and they’re in places where the Democrats need to gain votes in the future. As Yair wrote me, “Before the election, a scenario where the Democrats gained ground in urban areas and lost some in rural could have seemed perfectly plausible. Indeed that’s still the story being written to a large extent. I also do wonder whether familiarity with these statistical concepts (reversion to the mean, ceiling effects) makes smart people underestimate what happened on the ground—many Republicans in Republican areas voting for a Democrat for the first time in a long time.”

There are also some policy implications: If Democratic challengers are more competitive in previously solid Republican districts, enough so that the Republican occupants of these seats are more afraid of losing centrist votes in future general elections than losing votes on the right in future primaries, this could motivate these Republicans to vote more moderately in Congress. We’ll just have to wait and see.
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🗳️ How Democrats Won Over Older Voters—And Flipped the House
« Reply #828 on: November 13, 2018, 08:13:50 AM »
https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/11/13/2018-election-analysis-democrats-republicans-politics-222412

How Democrats Won Over Older Voters—And Flipped the House

 
 
A man and woman stand amid rows of kennels containing cows.

Patrick Cavan Brown for Politico Magazine

The Deciders

How Democrats Won Over Older Voters—And Flipped the House

Democrats were victorious because they fought Republicans to a draw among Americans age 50 and up. How they did that is the story of the 2018 election.

 

November 13, 2018

Continue to article content

 

The Friday Cover

A donkey and elephant illustration is shown.
 

WIND LAKE, Wis. — In this unincorporated town on the other side of the border from the famed political bellwether of Waukesha County, Gary Bebler could sense that something was going to be different about the 2018 midterm elections.

Bebler, the 62-year-old owner of Gary’s Wind Lake Boathouse, a rustic restaurant and bar in a sparsely populated area where everyone seems to know everyone else, tries to stay apolitical. “Being a bar owner, you’ve got to listen to both sides,” he told POLITICO Magazine in early November while sitting at a table in his establishment. And lately, he’s been listening to customers spout off about politics a lot more than usual. “In the past, I never heard that much,” Bebler said. “But this year, it’s common. Every night, somebody’s going to go off.”

 

His clientele is mostly people over age 50, overwhelmingly white, and heavily Republican. In 2016, Donald Trump won Wind Lake’s surrounding community by a 3-to-1 margin. Even so, said Bebler, “I have a feeling there’s more sleeper Democrats out there. But in this environment, they’re not going to say it.”

This year, “from what I’ve heard people saying, they think it’s really important to get out and vote,” Bebler said. He demurs when asked about his own politics. “But I can tell you what people say.”

One of Gary’s regulars is Willy Ellertson, a 55-year-old cardiac lab technician who volunteers on weekends as an emergency responder for the Wind Lake Fire Department. A Republican, he’s glad that Trump is in the White House, and says that people in these parts are happy “because of promises that he made that they are hoping change things.” Ellertson wants Obamacare repealed and replaced. Yet he’s troubled by aspects of the alternative offered by congressional Republicans. “I’m on the same page as everybody else in thinking that pre-existing conditions need to be covered,” he said. “And I do think it could affect how people vote for Congress.”

  

Gary Bebler, owner of Gary's Wind Lake Boathouse, a small but popular restaurant and bar, handles most of the kitchen and floor duties on Monday nights, his chef's night off. | Patrick Cavan Brown for Politico Magazine

The top concern for other regulars is what they see as the changing identity of America. At the bar, Tony Fischer, a 71-year-old veteran and retiree, sips from a bottle of beer. “Our country needs to be saved from itself,” he said when asked about his beliefs. “We should be one people, of one faith, of one country.”

It’s a refrain Bebler hears constantly: America doesn’t look like it used to. My health care is too expensive and doesn’t cover my needs.

 

Sometimes, the two gripes are married. Bebler said the main story he hears from patrons, over and over, is about people who don’t have insurance but who receive free care at the emergency room. Bebler, who doesn’t have health insurance, bristles at the thought. “I’d never do it in a million years,” he said. It’s a matter of pride and dignity.

It’s a sentiment shared by his clientele, according to Bebler, and something many of them see as distinguishing themselves from immigrants and people of color. While “people who don’t have any money and really need government help” don’t accept handouts, Bebler said, channeling his customers, “too many minorities take advantage of stuff that they shouldn’t be able to take advantage of. That’s what I hear.”

  

Top: While most political yard signs are created by campaigns or PACs for specific candidates, this one in Manitowoc County was homemade. Bottom: Protesters defiantly mock the president outside a Trump rally in Mosinee, Wisconsin, this October. | Patrick Cavan Brown for Politico Magazine

The back-and-forth at the Boathouse is a crystallized version of the competing narratives of the 2018 election and the two parties’ approaches to trying to win over older voters: Democrats’ messages about health care and protecting people with pre-existing conditions versus a Republican message that swapped talk about the booming economy for a more Trump-fueled culture-war approach that put immigration front and center.

Set aside the blue- and red-wave rhetoric of 2018 and take a broader view of elections over the past 25 years, and a different kind of wave comes into view. It’s not a political wave that ebbs and flows every few years, but a demographic wave that, for the past quarter-century, has gained strength. It’s not red or blue, but a gray wave.

In 1994, exit polls by Edison Research show that voters over age 45 made up just 55 percent of the electorate in House races. But in each of the three most recent midterm cycles—2010, 2014 and 2018—Americans in that same age bracket have made up roughly two-thirds of the national electorate. Sixty-five percent of voters in 2018 House races were over 45, according to the national exit poll; 56 percent were over 50, compared with 46 percent in 2016.

Democrats’ resounding victories in House races from coast to coast—nationwide, the party won the popular vote for the House by a 6.7 percent margin, as of late Monday—were driven by a marked improvement among all segments of the electorate. But because older voters made up a larger share of the electorate in this year’s midterms, Democrats’ stronger performance with this cohort was critical to their success.

Wisconsin's Deciders In Their Own Words: We asked seniors in Milwaukee—one of the most racially segregated and politically polarized cities in the nation—what they want the next Congress to do. Here’s what they told us. (CLICK TO OPEN) | Patrick Cavan Brown for Politico Magazine

Exit polls from 2016 suggest that in the 2016 House vote, Republicans defeated Democrats 54 percent to 44 percent among voters age 50–64, and by 53 percent to 45 percent among voters 65 and older. But this year, older voters were split almost evenly between the parties. Republicans carried voters in the 50–64 bracket by just 1 point, 50 percent to 49 percent—well within the margin of error for the exit poll, which was conducted for the National Election Pool by Edison Research. The results for voters 65 and older was nearly identical: 50 percent for Republicans and 48 percent for Democrats.

Nationally, Democrats won in 2018 because when it came to “the deciders”—those Americans age 50 and up—they fought Republicans to a draw.

And how they did that is the story of this election.

***

The main reason for Democrats’ electoral success this year with older Americans is that in 2018, Democratic candidates stopped seeing health care as a liability and began seeing it as a political weapon.

An analysis of House and Senate campaign ads by the Wesleyan Media Project found that from Sept. 18 to Oct. 15, 2018, a full 54.5 percent of all ads for Democratic House and Senate candidates discussed health care, while only 31.5 percent of pro-Republican ads did the same. It’s a striking reversal from the four election cycles since the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act—four elections in which no more than 10 percent of Democratic ads mentioned health care and during which Republicans were several times more likely to discuss the issue.

Health care was the single-most-discussed issue in political ads in 2018. Of the more than 3 million election ads that ran on TV this cycle, at least 1.2 million mentioned health care, according to an analysis by Bloomberg News based on data from Kantar Media/CMAG. Nearly three-fourths of those ads were paid for by Democrats and Democratic-aligned groups. And many of those were aimed squarely at voters over 50—and weren’t particularly subtle about that fact.

In western Houston, Democratic challenger Lizzie Fletcher hit Republican incumbent John Culberson for voting to repeal the ACA, President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, which has boomed in popularity since its passage in 2010. “The health care system is broken,” Fletcher said in a TV ad while walking in a large cement lot. “Congress could help fix it, but John Culberson is taking a wrecking ball to it,” she says as a large wrecking ball smashes through a cinderblock wall painted with the words “people 50 and over.” Fletcher won her race, flipping a House seat.

  

Top: At the polling place in a fire station in Burlington, Wisconsin, these red, white and blue cloth-curtained voting booths have been in service for more than 40 years. Bottom: One of the polling places in Cudahy, Wisconsin, is the gym of General Mitchell Elementary School. Cudahy, which is just south of Milwaukee, is a mostly white, working-class neighborhood with a high poverty rate. | Patrick Cavan Brown for Politico Magazine

It was one of the most reliable arrows in the Democratic quiver this year, a reference to a provision of House Republicans’ health care legislation that would’ve allowed insurers to charge Americans over age 50 up to five times more for health insurance than younger people. In races from upstate New York to the Arizona-Mexico border to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to the suburbs of Richmond, Va., Democratic challengers flipped GOP-held House seats while running ads accusing Republicans of supporting this so-called Age Tax, using a term popularized by the political arm of the AARP. (AARP underwrites POLITICO Magazine’s reported series, “The Deciders.”)

With health care front and center in the election, Republicans scrambled to respond, before deciding to return fire on the issue in ads that were aimed at seniors and alleged that Democrats plan to “end Medicare as we know it” by supporting the “Medicare-for-all” proposal backed by liberal stalwarts including Senator Bernie Sanders.

In an onslaught of TV spots paid for by the Congressional Leadership Fund, a Republican super PAC closely aligned with House Speaker Paul Ryan, Democratic challengers throughout the nation were accused of supporting a “radical” “single-payer socialist plan” that would “end Medicare as we know it,” “kick you off your health care plan, causing doctor shortages,” and “nearly double the debt.”

Nationally, Republicans’ attempts to parry the health care attacks failed to close the gap between the two parties on the issue. In a postelection POLITICO/Morning Consult survey, significantly more voters said they trusted Democrats in Congress more on health care, 48 percent, than they trusted Republicans, 35 percent.

Effectively tying Republicans among older voters allowed Democrats to exploit their long-held advantages with younger voters—leads that were larger than in recent elections, too. Democrats carried voters age 18 to 29 by 35 percentage points, voters in their 30s by 22 points and voters in their 40s by 6 points.

But where the senior vote was lopsided, not even overwhelming support from younger voters was enough to save Democratic candidates. The marquee pickups by Republicans last week—including the three Republicans who toppled Democratic incumbents in Senate races—were all instances in which Democrats were unable to match the GOP among older voters.

  

Top: A Friday night fish fry at a local supper club brings an early crowd. Supper clubs, which are fairly unique to Wisconsin, rose to prominence during the 1930s and ‘40s as prohibition roadhouses and have found new popularity in recent years. Bottom, left: The Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, better known as The Domes, in Milwaukee is home to a desert oasis, a tropical jungle and floral gardens. Bottom, right: A couple of residents of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, walk their Rottweiler along the shore of Lake Michigan. | Patrick Cavan Brown for Politico Magazine

In North Dakota, Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer knocked off Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in large part because of a 22-point lead among voters age 50 to 64. The two candidates actually split voters 65 and older—perhaps a vestige of the state’s long history of electing Democratic senators, like Quentin Burdick, Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan before Heitkamp.

It was the same in Indiana, where Republican Mike Braun, a former state representative, won 56 percent of voters 50 and older—crucial to his resounding victory over Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly, in which Braun received 52 percent of the overall vote.

In Missouri, Republican state Attorney General Josh Hawley won voters age 50–64 by 13 points, and voters 65 and older by 9 points, en route to an overall 6-point victory against Claire McCaskill, the Democratic incumbent.

For a few Republican candidates, winning older voters was not enough to security a victory. Nevada’s Dean Heller, the one incumbent Republican senator running for reelection in a state Hillary Clinton carried in 2016, won voters 50 and older by a roughly 15-point margin. But Nevada’s broader electorate was skewed young: Half of all voters were younger than 50—about 5 points higher than the nation overall, and higher still than the states where Republicans wrested away Senate seats from Democrats.

  

Top, left: Milwaukee, a city whose baseball team is called the Brewers, is known for its beer brewing. In addition to being the home of beers like Miller and Pabst, Milwaukee also has a number of local craft breweries, like Good City Brewing. Top, right: Dairy farmers in Wisconsin have been struggling in part due to the tariffs of the Trump administration. Bottom, left: Darrell Javorek and his truck driver Ed Meis take measurements of a truckload of freshly cut logs used for firewood. Ed has worked for the Javoreks, who in addition to being dairy farmers have also been in the logging business for many years, since the late 1980s. Bottom, right: Willy Ellertson, a 55-year-old Republican in Wind Lake, Wisconsin, works at a local hospital during the week and volunteers as an EMT on weekends. | Patrick Cavan Brown for Politico Magazine

There were Senate races in all four states featured over the past several months in POLITICO Magazine’s “The Deciders”: In Florida, the race is very close, and ballots are still being tabulated. If Gov. Rick Scott does unseat Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, it will be largely on the back of older voters, who made up two-thirds of the electorate in Florida and went for Scott by roughly 10 points. In Arizona, Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema edged Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally and flipped a Senate seat by fighting to a statistical 50-50 tie among voters 65 and older, while running up a 19-point majority among voters ages 18–44, according to exit polls.

Meanwhile, Republicans mounted only token challenges to Democratic incumbents in Ohio and Pennsylvania—running against poorly funded, lackluster GOP nominees— despite Trump’s victory in both states during the 2016 presidential election. Sens. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania both carried voters 50 and older in their races; Brown by talking about pocketbook issues like pensions that were important to union voters, and Casey by pledging his willingness to work across the aisle while slowly piling up legislative achievements ranging from ensuring the U.S. military uses American steel for armor plates to providing support for families hit hard by opioid addiction.

In polls conducted earlier this year for “The Deciders” series, voters 50 and older in each of the four states chose health care, Medicare and Social Security as their top issues—and the salience of these issues was confirmed by last week’s exit polls. In the Edison Research exit poll, 41 percent of voters cited health care as the most important issue facing the country. In second place was immigration, the top concern for 23 percent of voters. And the partisan breakdown on those issues was a mirror image: Among “health care” voters, 75 percent voted Democratic and 23 percent went Republican; for “immigration” voters, 75 percent voted Republican and 23 percent went Democratic.

Last Tuesday, outside polling places throughout Wisconsin—another key battleground state with high-profile statewide races—voters reflected that partisan breakdown.

  

Top: An attendee of Scott Walker’s Election Night campaign party shows off his Trump-supporting t-shirt. Hours later, the upbeat mood at the event would dissipate as Walker lost his re-election bid, the state’s Democratic senator kept her seat, and nationally Democrats took back the House. Bottom, left: A poll worker at Fratney Elementary School in Milwaukee helps a voter fill out her voter registration form on Election Day. Bottom, right: A "Vote Here" sign at General Mitchell Elementary School in Cudahy, Wisconsin. | Patrick Cavan Brown for Politico Magazine

At the Clinton Rose Senior Center in a predominantly African-American neighborhood of Milwaukee, Donna, 59, voted with her 74-year-old mother, Ruth. They declined to give their last names. “Congress needs to make it better,” Donna said. “Costs are on the rise. It’s terrible.” Both mother and daughter voted Democratic.

In Cudahy, a white working-class city sandwiched between Lake Michigan and Milwaukee‘s Mitchell International Airport, voters who spoke to POLITICO Magazine while leaving the polling place inside General Mitchell Elementary School were unanimous in citing immigration and health care as the most important issues. All declined to give their surnames.

“Build the wall. Have a proper procedure and a policy and a system,” said Dick, 74, as his wife, Jane, 72, nodded in agreement. “They can’t just come in. They have to be screened and vetted.” Both voted Republican.

“I hope they keep the Affordable Care Act. I know too many people who don’t have health insurance,” said Karen, 65. “And I think everybody should be afforded health care.” She voted Democratic.

Congress needs “to protect and improve the ACA,” said Danette, a 61-year-old Democrat. “Yeah, it needs some tinkering, but it needs to stay.”

Mike, a 62-year-old Republican, said he wants Congress to “secure the border,” and that “health care needs to be totally revamped.”

Mostly, though, Mike said he wants the new Congress to get along.

  

Top: At the Cudahy City Hall polling station, Doug, a 51-year-old Democrat, told Politico Magazine that he'd like Congress to "get this health care thing straightened out." "Perhaps single-payer," he said. "I’m not concerned about pre-existing conditions for myself, but for my fellow Americans, of course.” Bottom: A man blows the leaves along a sidewalk lined by political signs in Wind Lake, Wisconsin. | Patrick Cavan Brown for Politico Magazine

Back in Wind Lake, voters gave Republican candidates a 3-to-1 edge up and down the ballot, much like they did in 2016. But statewide, Democrats bounced back from their 2016 losses. Sen. Tammy Baldwin won reelection easily, and state schools superintendent Tony Evers narrowly unseated Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who was running for a third term. The Evers-Walker race marked a break from a trend in Democratic victories this cycle: Walker decisively carried voters ages 50–64 by 7 points, and voters 65 and older by 11 points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Evers’ double-digit margins with every age bracket under 50.

Even so, it was in keeping with another defining characteristic of 2018: the split between voters most concerned about health care and those most concerned about immigration. In exit polls, 46 percent of Wisconsin voters identified health care as the most important issue in the election; Evers won 73 percent of their votes. Twenty percent cited immigration as the top issue; Walker won their support by 41 points.

On election night, as Republican die-hards gathered for a watch party at the Ingleside Hotel in Pewaukee, hopes were high that the GOP could hold the governor’s seat and maybe even the U.S. House.

“I like what Trump’s doing,” said Gerry Kruschka, a 62-year-old Republican who owns Wild Wings Sportsmen’s Club, a hunting facility about an hour north of Milwaukee. “I wish more people would get on the Trump bandwagon and start pushing stuff through. I hope they get that wall built.”

  

A resident of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, walks along the breakwater to the Manitowoc Breakwater Light House looking out on Lake Michigan. | Patrick Cavan Brown for Politico Magazine

But the mood soured as the victories the Trump loyalists had hoped for moved out of reach. GOP Senate hopeful Leah Vukmir conceded to Baldwin behind a lectern bearing a sign reading “Wisconsin Strong.” After hours of the lead spot in the Evers-Walker race volleying back and forth, reports of tens of thousands of uncounted ballots from Milwaukee—a Democratic stronghold—deflated the room. And the likelihood of a Democratic-controlled House had, by then, already become an inevitability.

“I’m a little disappointed that when we had all the power, we didn’t get anything done,” Kruschka said. “It’s a little disheartening.”

Zack Stanton is digital editor of Politico Magazine.

Steven Shepard is editor for the Politico Caucus and chief polling analyst for Politico.

Ruairí Arrieta-Kenna is a news assistant at Politico Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @ruairiak.

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https://www.cbsnews.com/news/anti-pelosi-democrats-confident-they-can-keep-her-from-becoming-house-speaker-again/

By Bo Erickson and Rebecca Kaplan CBS News November 14, 2018, 2:39 AM
Anti-Pelosi Democrats confident they can keep her from becoming House speaker again


WASHINGTON -- Even as newly-elected members of the House arrived in Washington Wednesday for orientation, Democrats jockeyed behind the scenes in the battle over who the new House speaker should be.

A small but vocal group of returning Democrats is continuing a previous effort to block current Minority Leader  Nancy Pelosi -- the first woman elected speaker in 2006 --from getting the gavel again. Democrats will reclaim the House majority in January.

Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., one of the leaders of the anti-Pelosi effort, said he was "100 percent confident" that the contingent of lawmakers trying to block Pelosi had the votes to do it. They argue that the American people voted for new leadership in the midterm elections and don't want to see the same trio atop the party in the House that's been there for more than a decade.

Moulton and the other lawmakers said they plan to release a letter with enough signatures of members and members-elect who are pledging not to vote for Pelosi that it would become clear she doesn't have 218 votes needed to be elected speaker on the House floor. He wouldn't reveal the number who have signed on so far because, he said, more are signing on by the day.

Moulton said he and his allies are bolstered by at least seven members-elect he who have made firm promises not to vote for Pelosi.

"The whole point of the letter is to accelerate this process so that it doesn't spill out onto the floor. … We want to make it clear before it comes to that that she should step aside," Moulton said Tuesday. "We're trying to do the right thing for the party by solving this ahead of time."

Moulton has pledged not to run for leadership but said he believes several lawmakers will put their names forward if Pelosi can't win. The group isn't backing or putting forward an alternative to Pelosi; their sole aim is to ensure she's not elected speaker.

Critics of the anti-Pelosi group say it's wrong to try to kick out the highest-ranking woman in Congress in a year that saw hundreds of women run for office and dozens win.

"I think every single one of us that are part of this effort to forge new leadership are very mindful of the fact that women form a large part of our caucus," Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Texas, who opposes Pelosi, told reporters, "It's difficult to say now but I think every single one of us are motivated to ensure that we have a woman leading the caucus."

Pelosi's backers are also working to prove she has the necessary support among caucus members. Reps. Rosa DeLauro, D-Ct., is working on a letter from female lawmakers to show their support for the leader.

"We took the House of Representatives back. It was one individual who worked with many others but as the leader made it happen," she told reporters. "There would not have been an Affordable Care Act without Nancy Pelosi. I was there on economic recovery and we wouldn't have done that. Major, major pieces of legislation that got passed because of the strength of her knowledge, her experience, and the gut about what are the values of this country and what do we need to do. Therefore, she deserves to be speaker of the House."

Other backers argue that there's plenty of fresh perspective in the Democratic leadership sitting just below the current trio of Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and Jim Clyburn, D-SC.

"We're going to have a new generation of leadership. That is going to happen," said Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-IL, a Midwesterner who is wrapping up her first two years in leadership and running to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "We don't just have the top three spots in our leadership. This is a whole team." 
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🗳️ The Threat to Nancy Pelosi’s Speakership Is Suddenly Serious
« Reply #830 on: November 15, 2018, 12:14:53 AM »
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/11/nancy-pelosi-speaker-challenge-tim-ryan-seth-moulton.html

The Threat to Nancy Pelosi’s Speakership Is Suddenly Serious
Her antagonists have her full attention.

By Jim Newell
Nov 14, 20187:49 PM


Pelosi speaking at a podium.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi holds a news conference at the Capitol on Nov. 7 following the 2018 midterm elections.
Zach Gibson/Getty Images
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    Why the 2018 Midterms May Have Been Bluer Than You Think

Following House Democrats’ first full meeting with both their departing members and incoming members-elect, reporters asked Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan—who’s organizing a suddenly serious opposition to Nancy Pelosi’s bid for speaker—whether he and his allies would really follow through with the effort that’s driving such a rift within the caucus, on its first day in charge, during its first vote.

“Yes,” he said. He didn’t miss a beat.

Ryan claims that his group has members numbering in the “mid-20s” who are adamant that they would not support Pelosi in a floor vote for speaker. Of those known publicly, it’s about an even split between incumbents who’ve sought to overthrow Pelosi for years and new members who ran on a pledge not to support her. Since Pelosi can only suffer about 15 or 17 defections, and if this group’s resolve is as firm as its generals insist it is, she would not have the votes. On Tuesday night, Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton, one of Pelosi’s most persistent thorns, said with “100 percent” confidence that Pelosi would not have the numbers to become speaker, as did Texas Rep. Filemon Vela.

At some point prior to the Nov. 28 caucus vote determining the party’s nominee for the post, the rebels plan to release a public letter with the signatures of members who would not vote for Pelosi. (An early copy of the letter, obtained by HuffPost Wednesday, already had 17 signatures with more in the wings.) Ideally, they say, Pelosi would see the writing on the wall, bow out of the contest before the caucus vote, and allow House Democrats to nominate someone else who could get 218 votes, thereby avoiding an embarrassing spectacle on the floor.

Minds can change—but those close to Pelosi say that she will never do that.

“Pelosi has been clear she’s taking this to the floor,” one senior Democratic aide said. “She just elected the [most] diverse House of Representatives in history, and she’s not going to be deterred by five white guys.” Her strategy is to win the closed-door caucus nomination on Nov. 28, present the choice as a binary between her and Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, and turn the pressure to a boil, daring Ryan’s group to block her on live television.
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With each side expressing 100 percent confidence in their ability to succeed, the first House Democratic majority in eight years is headed toward a game of chicken that could play out on the House floor. Just how a majority loves to kick off a fresh congressional session in power.

Though she may dismiss her opposition with a flick of the wrist in public, the flood of emails pouring out from the Pelosi press office suggests that the insurgents have her attention. The leader has blasted endorsements out to reporters, including those from key committee chairmen; unions like the AFL-CIO, United Steelworkers, and the Service Employees International Union; NARAL; and, for some reason, former President Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. Pelosi has made appearances with the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus this week, and she’s throwing multiple dinners and receptions for new members who are in town for orientation. As Politico reported, she’s gotten Democrats like Andrew Cuomo, John Kerry, and Al Gore to call specific members. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton can’t be too far behind. The pressure is ramping up. Incoming members, who were all smiles to reporters as they showed up for their first day of orientation on Tuesday, have begun to wear a familiar look of terror and pick up their pace when they see a pack of pain-in-the-ass reporters ahead of them, ready to bug them about their first impossible vote.

Ryan and company have had their hands full swatting away what they consider lies or smears from Pelosi’s camp. The opponents take issue with Pelosi supporters’ endlessly repeated creed that “you can’t beat somebody with nobody”—i.e., that the rebels’ inability to line up a direct challenger dooms them. While some coup-curious members would like to have an idea of who would replace Pelosi before signing on, there’s truth to the rebels’ counterargument: You can, indeed, beat somebody with nobody if the somebody can’t get a majority of House votes. In 2015, after Speaker John Boehner was forced out, Kevin McCarthy was defeated by nobody: When it became clear that he couldn’t win the House Freedom Caucus’ votes, he bowed out of the race, and eventually Paul Ryan was persuaded to step up.

That talking point about the “five white guys” trying to oust a woman from her speakership riles up Pelosi’s antagonists, too. The group is broader than Ryan, Moulton, and a few other white guys. Reps. Kathleen Rice and Marcia Fudge are among the steadfast Pelosi opponents, while incoming members like Mikie Sherrill, Elissa Slotkin, Haley Stevens, and Abigail Spanberger have also said, to varying degrees, that they would not support Pelosi.
For now, both sides seem interested in destroying each other.

“I’m a woman, and a lot of our new members are women, and they should not be made to feel that they are anti-woman if they don’t want to vote for Nancy Pelosi,” Rice said. “We have an enormous number of talented women in the caucus. An enormous number of women. So it’s not ‘Nancy Pelosi’s the only woman or we’re not going to have a woman.’ It’s just not right.” Ryan indicated that he, too, would like to see a woman become speaker—there are plenty of “competent females” able to do the job, in his words—and rattled off names like Fudge, California Rep. Karen Bass, and Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos.

The incumbents challenging Pelosi argue that they’re trying to help Democrats hold the House majority beyond a single election cycle by allowing members who ran against Pelosi to keep their word.

“The untenable situation that we are giving all of these new members,” Rice said, “is saying to them, ‘You either violate the caucus rule,’ ”—of supporting the party’s speaker nominee during the floor vote—“ ‘or you keep your campaign promise.’ And I just think that that’s wrong. I think we have to do everything we can to keep all of these new members here.”

Ryan also dismissed another option that Pelosi has been exploring: convincing some new members to vote “present” on the floor, which would lower the vote threshold Pelosi would need to win.

“That’s a very dangerous proposition, because not only are you going back on your word, you’re getting cute,” Ryan said. “And the last thing voters want in this environment is someone trying to get cute.”

Pelosi supporters have a different argument for how, in fact, they’re the ones trying to protect new members—while it’s the incumbent challengers who are making things difficult. If the dozen or so incumbent rebels, most of whom won their re-elections comfortably, were willing to cut a deal with leadership for their votes, that would free the new members to vote against Pelosi while avoiding the humiliating floor spectacle and leadership void. For now, though, both sides seem more interested in destroying each other. Temperatures would have to cool before any deals are discussed.

Pelosi is far from finished, even if some of her public supporters, in private, are beginning to speculate about whether she can pull it off. She has six weeks left to apply her full arsenal of pressure tactics. In the worst-case scenario, she could also attempt to persuade some Republicans to either vote for her or vote “present,” something that seems difficult to envision but is under discussion.

One Pelosi ally, with an air of confidence that wasn’t particularly persuasive, told me that the letter Ryan, Moulton, and others are preparing to release will actually be helpful for Pelosi, since it will show her which members she needs to whip. I asked Ryan what he thought about that.

“So you want to flip one of our own who has promised their constituents, who just voted for them, in a huge election,” Ryan said, “[and] your goal is to get them to lie in their first act in Congress? They will not have been in Congress more than an hour, and our leaders are asking them to lie?

“I just think that’s not the way we should be doing business around here.”
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Re: 🗳️ The Threat to Nancy Pelosi’s Speakership Is Suddenly Serious
« Reply #831 on: November 15, 2018, 07:17:31 AM »
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/11/nancy-pelosi-speaker-challenge-tim-ryan-seth-moulton.html

The Threat to Nancy Pelosi’s Speakership Is Suddenly Serious
Her antagonists have her full attention.

By Jim Newell
Nov 14, 20187:49 PM


Pelosi speaking at a podium.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi holds a news conference at the Capitol on Nov. 7 following the 2018 midterm elections.
Zach Gibson/Getty Images
Recently in Politics

    Michelle Obama’s Memoir Is Refreshingly Honest and Revealing—Until She Gets to Donald Trump
    Trump’s “Voter Fraud” Reaction to 2018 Recounts Shows Us What to Fear for 2020
    Pelosi Will Almost Certainly Be Speaker Again—but the Race to Succeed Her Is Already On
    Why the 2018 Midterms May Have Been Bluer Than You Think

Following House Democrats’ first full meeting with both their departing members and incoming members-elect, reporters asked Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan—who’s organizing a suddenly serious opposition to Nancy Pelosi’s bid for speaker—whether he and his allies would really follow through with the effort that’s driving such a rift within the caucus, on its first day in charge, during its first vote.

“Yes,” he said. He didn’t miss a beat.

Ryan claims that his group has members numbering in the “mid-20s” who are adamant that they would not support Pelosi in a floor vote for speaker. Of those known publicly, it’s about an even split between incumbents who’ve sought to overthrow Pelosi for years and new members who ran on a pledge not to support her. Since Pelosi can only suffer about 15 or 17 defections, and if this group’s resolve is as firm as its generals insist it is, she would not have the votes. On Tuesday night, Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton, one of Pelosi’s most persistent thorns, said with “100 percent” confidence that Pelosi would not have the numbers to become speaker, as did Texas Rep. Filemon Vela.

At some point prior to the Nov. 28 caucus vote determining the party’s nominee for the post, the rebels plan to release a public letter with the signatures of members who would not vote for Pelosi. (An early copy of the letter, obtained by HuffPost Wednesday, already had 17 signatures with more in the wings.) Ideally, they say, Pelosi would see the writing on the wall, bow out of the contest before the caucus vote, and allow House Democrats to nominate someone else who could get 218 votes, thereby avoiding an embarrassing spectacle on the floor.

Minds can change—but those close to Pelosi say that she will never do that.

“Pelosi has been clear she’s taking this to the floor,” one senior Democratic aide said. “She just elected the [most] diverse House of Representatives in history, and she’s not going to be deterred by five white guys.” Her strategy is to win the closed-door caucus nomination on Nov. 28, present the choice as a binary between her and Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, and turn the pressure to a boil, daring Ryan’s group to block her on live television.
ADVERTISEMENT
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With each side expressing 100 percent confidence in their ability to succeed, the first House Democratic majority in eight years is headed toward a game of chicken that could play out on the House floor. Just how a majority loves to kick off a fresh congressional session in power.

Though she may dismiss her opposition with a flick of the wrist in public, the flood of emails pouring out from the Pelosi press office suggests that the insurgents have her attention. The leader has blasted endorsements out to reporters, including those from key committee chairmen; unions like the AFL-CIO, United Steelworkers, and the Service Employees International Union; NARAL; and, for some reason, former President Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. Pelosi has made appearances with the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus this week, and she’s throwing multiple dinners and receptions for new members who are in town for orientation. As Politico reported, she’s gotten Democrats like Andrew Cuomo, John Kerry, and Al Gore to call specific members. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton can’t be too far behind. The pressure is ramping up. Incoming members, who were all smiles to reporters as they showed up for their first day of orientation on Tuesday, have begun to wear a familiar look of terror and pick up their pace when they see a pack of pain-in-the-ass reporters ahead of them, ready to bug them about their first impossible vote.

Ryan and company have had their hands full swatting away what they consider lies or smears from Pelosi’s camp. The opponents take issue with Pelosi supporters’ endlessly repeated creed that “you can’t beat somebody with nobody”—i.e., that the rebels’ inability to line up a direct challenger dooms them. While some coup-curious members would like to have an idea of who would replace Pelosi before signing on, there’s truth to the rebels’ counterargument: You can, indeed, beat somebody with nobody if the somebody can’t get a majority of House votes. In 2015, after Speaker John Boehner was forced out, Kevin McCarthy was defeated by nobody: When it became clear that he couldn’t win the House Freedom Caucus’ votes, he bowed out of the race, and eventually Paul Ryan was persuaded to step up.

That talking point about the “five white guys” trying to oust a woman from her speakership riles up Pelosi’s antagonists, too. The group is broader than Ryan, Moulton, and a few other white guys. Reps. Kathleen Rice and Marcia Fudge are among the steadfast Pelosi opponents, while incoming members like Mikie Sherrill, Elissa Slotkin, Haley Stevens, and Abigail Spanberger have also said, to varying degrees, that they would not support Pelosi.
For now, both sides seem interested in destroying each other.

“I’m a woman, and a lot of our new members are women, and they should not be made to feel that they are anti-woman if they don’t want to vote for Nancy Pelosi,” Rice said. “We have an enormous number of talented women in the caucus. An enormous number of women. So it’s not ‘Nancy Pelosi’s the only woman or we’re not going to have a woman.’ It’s just not right.” Ryan indicated that he, too, would like to see a woman become speaker—there are plenty of “competent females” able to do the job, in his words—and rattled off names like Fudge, California Rep. Karen Bass, and Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos.

The incumbents challenging Pelosi argue that they’re trying to help Democrats hold the House majority beyond a single election cycle by allowing members who ran against Pelosi to keep their word.

“The untenable situation that we are giving all of these new members,” Rice said, “is saying to them, ‘You either violate the caucus rule,’ ”—of supporting the party’s speaker nominee during the floor vote—“ ‘or you keep your campaign promise.’ And I just think that that’s wrong. I think we have to do everything we can to keep all of these new members here.”

Ryan also dismissed another option that Pelosi has been exploring: convincing some new members to vote “present” on the floor, which would lower the vote threshold Pelosi would need to win.

“That’s a very dangerous proposition, because not only are you going back on your word, you’re getting cute,” Ryan said. “And the last thing voters want in this environment is someone trying to get cute.”

Pelosi supporters have a different argument for how, in fact, they’re the ones trying to protect new members—while it’s the incumbent challengers who are making things difficult. If the dozen or so incumbent rebels, most of whom won their re-elections comfortably, were willing to cut a deal with leadership for their votes, that would free the new members to vote against Pelosi while avoiding the humiliating floor spectacle and leadership void. For now, though, both sides seem more interested in destroying each other. Temperatures would have to cool before any deals are discussed.

Pelosi is far from finished, even if some of her public supporters, in private, are beginning to speculate about whether she can pull it off. She has six weeks left to apply her full arsenal of pressure tactics. In the worst-case scenario, she could also attempt to persuade some Republicans to either vote for her or vote “present,” something that seems difficult to envision but is under discussion.

One Pelosi ally, with an air of confidence that wasn’t particularly persuasive, told me that the letter Ryan, Moulton, and others are preparing to release will actually be helpful for Pelosi, since it will show her which members she needs to whip. I asked Ryan what he thought about that.

“So you want to flip one of our own who has promised their constituents, who just voted for them, in a huge election,” Ryan said, “[and] your goal is to get them to lie in their first act in Congress? They will not have been in Congress more than an hour, and our leaders are asking them to lie?

“I just think that’s not the way we should be doing business around here.”

Nancy Pelosi is a symptom of what's wrong with the Democrat Party, just like Hillary Clinton is or was....probably still is, since they have no viable candidates for the POTUS 2020.

Eventually all the Trumpism will cause a blue wave, but it'll be a NEW blue wave, with candidates who look more like Bernie Sanders than the well-coiffed rich bitches of the left.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

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Re: 🗳️ The Threat to Nancy Pelosi’s Speakership Is Suddenly Serious
« Reply #832 on: November 15, 2018, 07:44:58 AM »

Nancy Pelosi is a symptom of what's wrong with the Democrat Party, just like Hillary Clinton is or was....probably still is, since they have no viable candidates for the POTUS 2020.

Eventually all the Trumpism will cause a blue wave, but it'll be a NEW blue wave, with candidates who look more like Bernie Sanders than the well-coiffed rich bitches of the left.

I do agree Peloshit is a symptom of the failure of the Demodope Party.  I do NOT agree they have no viable candidates though.

IMHO, I think a Liz Warren-Beto O'Rourke ticket would be Un-Beto-able by Trumpovetsky.  Not sure who I would put on the top of that ticket though. ???  Liz would get the wimmen's vote.  Beto would get the white male vote.  Either one willl get the black and latino vote without actually being either themselves, over any Repugnant candidate.

Bernie is another Wild Card.  He's so old though, and I think the best bet is for him to back Liz & Beto and sign on as Secretary of State or some other big position in the cabinet.  Bernie is a proven fundraiser, and so is Beto.  They can build a campaign war chest that can buy the social media ads they need to get out the vote.

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« Last Edit: November 15, 2018, 07:47:09 AM by RE »
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Re: 🗳️ The Threat to Nancy Pelosi’s Speakership Is Suddenly Serious
« Reply #833 on: November 15, 2018, 07:45:39 AM »
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/11/nancy-pelosi-speaker-challenge-tim-ryan-seth-moulton.html

The Threat to Nancy Pelosi’s Speakership Is Suddenly Serious
Her antagonists have her full attention.

By Jim Newell
Nov 14, 20187:49 PM


Pelosi speaking at a podium.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi holds a news conference at the Capitol on Nov. 7 following the 2018 midterm elections.
Zach Gibson/Getty Images
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Following House Democrats’ first full meeting with both their departing members and incoming members-elect, reporters asked Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan—who’s organizing a suddenly serious opposition to Nancy Pelosi’s bid for speaker—whether he and his allies would really follow through with the effort that’s driving such a rift within the caucus, on its first day in charge, during its first vote.

“Yes,” he said. He didn’t miss a beat.

Ryan claims that his group has members numbering in the “mid-20s” who are adamant that they would not support Pelosi in a floor vote for speaker. Of those known publicly, it’s about an even split between incumbents who’ve sought to overthrow Pelosi for years and new members who ran on a pledge not to support her. Since Pelosi can only suffer about 15 or 17 defections, and if this group’s resolve is as firm as its generals insist it is, she would not have the votes. On Tuesday night, Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton, one of Pelosi’s most persistent thorns, said with “100 percent” confidence that Pelosi would not have the numbers to become speaker, as did Texas Rep. Filemon Vela.

//
Pelosi is far from finished, even if some of her public supporters, in private, are beginning to speculate about whether she can pull it off. She has six weeks left to apply her full arsenal of pressure tactics. In the worst-case scenario, she could also attempt to persuade some Republicans to either vote for her or vote “present,” something that seems difficult to envision but is under discussion.

One Pelosi ally, with an air of confidence that wasn’t particularly persuasive, told me that the letter Ryan, Moulton, and others are preparing to release will actually be helpful for Pelosi, since it will show her which members she needs to whip. I asked Ryan what he thought about that.

“So you want to flip one of our own who has promised their constituents, who just voted for them, in a huge election,” Ryan said, “[and] your goal is to get them to lie in their first act in Congress? They will not have been in Congress more than an hour, and our leaders are asking them to lie?

“I just think that’s not the way we should be doing business around here.”

Nancy Pelosi is a symptom of what's wrong with the Democrat Party, just like Hillary Clinton is or was....probably still is, since they have no viable candidates for the POTUS 2020.

Eventually all the Trumpism will cause a blue wave, but it'll be a NEW blue wave, with candidates who look more like Bernie Sanders than the well-coiffed rich bitches of the left.

In the recent election, but my wife and I did a great deal of on the ground volunteer work for the Democratic party, even though our candidate ran unopposed the general election. This amounted to a major "get out the vote effort" for the rest of the ticket. We found ourselves making phone calls for can gression all candidates in other districts, all in effort to mobilize the vote. It worked.

The Republican candidate in the Virginia 2nd District was Scott Taylor. He (and the RNCC) constantly ran a barrage of ads attacking Pelosi, to the point where if you were watching TV, you had to wonder whether he knew who his opponent was. Pelosi, Pelosi, Pelosi… it didn't work, and Democrat Elaine Luria won the election, aided in part by substantial get out the vote efforts.

One of the reasons that Republicans hate Pelosi is that she is so damned effective. Another is garden-variety misogyny. She's a consummate politician and a skilled fundraiser. That said, I'm not particularly a fan. But is not completely typical of Democrats that their first official act upon taking power will be to attempt to destroy one of their own?

Makes me nuts.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Re: Election Errata
« Reply #834 on: November 15, 2018, 08:12:43 AM »
Consummate politician. Yep. She knows how to work WITH Republicans to create bipartisan efforts to bring the country together an pass legislation that benefits.......

BIG BUSINESS.

$26 Million net worth.

A woman of the people, surely. She never met a special person she doesn't like.

Look, you guys. I want the Democrats to win, because Trump is a ticket to WWIII. But you got to wise up.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/H9PrqKQX2fg&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/H9PrqKQX2fg&fs=1</a>
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Re: Election Errata
« Reply #835 on: November 15, 2018, 08:18:20 AM »
Look, you guys. I want the Democrats to win, because Trump is a ticket to WWIII. But you got to wise up.

LOL.  This from a guy who buys into Capitalism, Gold and the Crypto of the day!  ::)  You haven't wised up, why should I?

RE
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Re: Election Errata
« Reply #836 on: November 15, 2018, 09:15:49 AM »
Look, you guys. I want the Democrats to win, because Trump is a ticket to WWIII. But you got to wise up.

LOL.  This from a guy who buys into Capitalism, Gold and the Crypto of the day!  ::)  You haven't wised up, why should I?

RE

That's some ad hom there. It's also beside the point.

In point of fact, I agree with Eddie. But I'm a big fan of picking your battles. And the question is, replace her with what?
You can't forget that politics is the art of half a loaf. I would like to see Pelosi and especially Schumer on the ashheap of history, but you better have someone in the wings who can twist arms, whip votes and raise $$$.
We're wondering (on other threads) who the Dems have that will beat Trump in 2020.
Who do they abide that will be more effective than Pelosi?
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Re: Election Errata
« Reply #837 on: November 15, 2018, 10:03:06 AM »
Who do they abide that will be more effective than Pelosi?

Beto O'Rourke.

RE
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Does anyone else find it suspicious that so many elections are 51-49 and need to be "recounted" all the time?  :icon_scratch:

RE

Palm Beach misses election recount deadline after machines stop working
Barnini Chakraborty
By Barnini Chakraborty | Fox News


Employees bring out boxes of ballots before resuming a recount at the Palm Beach County Supervisor Of Elections office, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP)

Palm Beach could miss Florida recount deadline

Recounting at Palm Beach facility could fall behind after staff given day off; Phil Keating reports from Riviera Beach, Florida.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – Florida's already-farcical recount was dealt yet another blow Thursday when Palm Beach County failed to meet a 3 p.m. deadline, with the election supervisor blaming faulty equipment.

As a result of the county failing to make the deadline, the only one of Florida's 67, the numbers from the initial count, which were completed Saturday, will stand.

The announcement came soon after a federal judge ruled that 5,000 voters whose mail-in ballots were rejected because of signature issues be given an additional two days to fix the problem.

As the 3 p.m. deadline passed, Palm Beach Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher said her county “got stuck with some mechanical issues.”

“It was a heroic effort and we just completed uploading our Saturday results, as was required by law,” Bucher said. “If we had three or four more hours, we might have made the time.”

A manual recount of 5,900 over-votes and under-votes was to begin at 4 p.m.

U.S. District Judge Mark Warner slammed state lawmakers and Palm Beach County officials for failing to anticipate election problems and said the state law on recounts appears to violate the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that decided the presidency in 2000.

U.S. District Judge Mark Walker also rejected a request to extend the deadline for all of the state’s counties to submit the results of a machine recount.

“We have been the laughingstock of the world, election after election, and we chose not to fix this,” Walker said in court.

Palm Beach County has been plagued with problems from the start, and things took a turn for the worse on Tuesday after Bucher announced some of the outdated machines overheated and stopped working. She was forced to fly in mechanics to fix the issue - setting back recount efforts there.

“The reality is that we were very close two nights ago and then our machines went down,” she said. “It’s not for lack of human effort.”

On Wednesday, she said she was in “prayer mode” to get just one of four recounts in on time. The county’s machines went idle Wednesday night because Bucher said her technical manager had been on the scene for 42 hours straight and needed a break.

“You see that we’re working 24/7,” she said. “It’s an unusual request to make of your staff. You know, can you leave your kids behind? Can you stay here and I’ll feed you sub sandwiches and pizza? And you’ll work your brains out and we’re trying to meet a deadline that, really, reasonably shouldn’t be there.”

Bucher’s chaotic handling of the recount has resulted in some calling for her to step down. It’s a suggestion she has pushed back against.

“This is our democracy and I am here to count every vote and I will take the time that’s required and you can see I haven’t been home for three days,” she said. “I don’t think you’re going to find somebody else that has the dedication.”

Secretary of State Ken Detzner said earlier this week that if counties fail to meet the 3 p.m. deadline, they should continue counting so that final tallies can be included in official state results.

Florida law mandates that any election decided by 0.5 percent or less will trigger a recount.

The undecided races include the state’s Senate race, which pits incumbent Nelson, a Democrat, against outgoing Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, and the gubernatorial race between Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis.

Florida officially declared a recount Saturday and since then, the state’s 67 county election offices have been racing against time running their ballots through the tallying machine. Some counties only have a few thousand votes but the likes of Miami-Dade has more than 800,000 and Broward clocks in around 700,000.

Both Miami-Dade and Broward finished their machine recounts ahead of the deadline.

Meanwhile, a federal ruling Thursday morning threw another wrench into Florida’s recount efforts.

Judge Walker gave nearly 5,000 people who had issues with matching signatures an extra two days to correct their mistake. His ruling was part of a suit brought by Nelson's campaign and Democratic Party officials.

“This is a case about the precious and fundamental right to vote – the right preservative of all other rights. And it is about the right of a voter to have his or her own vote counted,” Walker wrote in his 34-page ruling.

He added, “There are dozens of reasons a signature mismatch may occur, even when the individual signing is in fact the voter. Disenfranchisement of approximately 5,000 voters based on signature mismatch is a substantial burden.”

Walker ruled that election supervisors must require all voters who were notified they have mismatches signatures correct the problem by 5 p.m. Saturday – which is the same day the results of the manual recount are due.

Nelson’s lead attorney, Marc Elias, took to Twitter to praise the judge’s ruling.

“Big victory in our Florida signature mismatch lawsuit,” he tweeted. “Federal court extends deadline for voters to ‘cure’ their rejected ballots.

Gov. Rick Scott’s lawyers immediately appealed the ruling and said they were “confident we will prevail in the Eleventh Circuit.”

“Bill Nelson’s high-priced Washington lawyers went to court to argue against a process that they previously argued for,” Scott’s campaign spokeswoman Lauren Schenone wrote in a statement.

“It’s worth noting that Marc Elias is currently making THE EXACT OPPOSITE ARGUMENT in a similar case in Arizona. This also follows recent reports of the Democratic party encouraging and instructing to try to vote days after the legal deadline,” she added.
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🗳️ Demodopes make it clear: No MOAR White Men!
« Reply #839 on: Today at 03:57:49 AM »
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/11/democratic-presidential-candidates-2020-diversity-white-men.html

Democrats Have Made One Thing Very Clear About 2020: They’re Over White Men
Or, why Kamala Harris looks like a likely nominee.

By Jamelle Bouie
Nov 15, 2018 3:11 PM


Collage of potential Democratic presidential candidates
Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Joseph Prezioso/AFP/Getty Images, Jason Connolly/AFP/Getty Images, Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images, Jason Connolly/AFP/Getty Images, and Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images.

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The midterm elections did not give Democrats a singular leader to rally behind, nor did it settle ideological divides in the party. But the results can tell us a lot about the mood among Democratic voters, and what they might be looking for in a 2020 presidential nominee.

First, much hay has been made about the choice between progressives on one hand and moderates or “centrists” on the other. You could read the midterms results as vindication for the latter; outspoken progressives like Kara Eastman in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District and Leslie Cockburn in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District fell short, while a large number of self-described moderate Democrats flipped Republican-held seats in contests across the country.

A few facts complicate that analysis. First, aggressive, left-wing candidates had huge success in toppling Democratic incumbents in House and statewide primaries, from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York’s 14th Congressional District and Deb Haaland in New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District, to Andrew Gillum and Ben Jealous in the Florida and Maryland gubernatorial races. Given the choice between “establishment” Democrats and progressive insurgents, many Democratic voters chose the latter in their primaries.

What’s more, candidates like Stacey Abrams of Georgia and Beto O’Rourke of Texas may have fallen short, but the progressive energy behind their campaigns pulled other Democrats in those states across the finish line. Base expansion and mobilization may not have been enough to win in 2018, but those candidates closed substantial gaps and have set the stage for future success.
Democratic voters are leaning into the multicultural and multiracial nature of their coalition, facing the president’s exclusionary rhetoric with a spirit of inclusion.

There’s also the question of “moderation” itself. Moderate is a relative term; its placement depends on the larger, constantly moving picture. Democrat Max Rose ran as a moderate in his successful bid for the 11th District of New York, which includes Staten Island and went for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Rose emphasized his military service—the 31-year-old is a veteran of Afghanistan—and distanced himself from national Democratic leadership, going as far as saying he wouldn’t support Nancy Pelosi for speaker of the House. He rejected Medicare for all.

But his “centrism” reflects a Democratic Party that has moved to the left since it last held the House of Representatives. Rose’s “top priorities” for health care include a “public option” for insurance and a Medicare expansion that lowers the eligibility age to 55. Had he served in the 111th Congress, which passed the Affordable Care Act, this position would have put him to the left of the median Democrat and in line with the views of the House Progressive Caucus. While progressive candidates may have lost races on Election Day, Democratic voters have clearly moved to the left, and they expect their candidates to do the same.

Democratic primary voters are still moving in the two directions shown in their choices in the 2016 presidential race. Reflecting the influence of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, they want unambiguously progressive policies. The incrementalism of Hillary Clinton’s campaign has not worn well in the face of a radical, right-wing Republican presidency. And yet, Democrats still want to make history and elevate candidates from marginal and underrepresented groups. Instead of reacting to President Trump’s misogyny and racism by favoring male candidates, Democratic voters are leaning into the multicultural and multiracial nature of their coalition, facing the president’s exclusionary rhetoric with a spirit of inclusion.

Democrats’ desire for diversity is increasingly apparent. Democratic voters nominated an unprecedented 180 female candidates in House primaries, as well as 133 people of color, including Native American and Muslim American candidates. Democrats also nominated 21 openly LGBT candidates for Congress. For the first time in the party’s history, white men were a minority in the House Democratic candidate pool. And while election officials are still tallying votes in several states, the Democrats’ incoming class of House members reflects the diversity of their candidate pool.

This thirst for diversity extended to statewide races. Democrats nominated black candidates for governor in Florida, Georgia, and Maryland, for lieutenant governor in Michigan, for attorney general in Nevada and Illinois, and for Senate in Mississippi. The incoming senator from Arizona, Kyrsten Sinema, is openly bisexual, and the governor-elect of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham, is Latina. In CNN’s exit polls, 65 percent of voters who valued electing racial and ethnic minorities and 66 percent of voters who valued electing women backed Democratic candidates. It helps explain the striking success of nonwhite candidates in predominantly white districts, like Lauren Underwood of Illinois, Lucy McBath of Georgia, or Antonio Delgado of New York.

All of this brings obvious takeaways for the 2020 presidential race. Calls for Democrats to nominate Beto O’Rourke, former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, or Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown make sense—these are talented, charismatic politicians who might improve the party’s appeal with downscale whites. But they ignore or don’t take seriously the clear preference for diverse candidates among Democratic primary voters. Assuming they run, their odds of winning aren’t low—Sanders was the runner-up in 2016 and Biden is a popular figure in the party—but they aren’t as high as they might appear either.

The opposite is true for the cohort of white women and people of color who are clearly in the race for president. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren may have stumbled with her attempt to settle questions about her heritage, but she’s still in the running. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota may be unknown on the national stage, but they are skilled politicians with demonstrated appeal to rural and working-class whites. The same is true for Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who hasn’t made the same moves toward running as her peers but who might appeal to Democratic primary voters for her progressive politics, clear appeal to working-class whites (she won 60 percent of white union households in her re-election bid this year), and history-making potential: She would be the first openly LGBTQ president.

If there’s anyone who sits at the intersection of what Democratic voters seem to want in a candidate, it’s Sen. Kamala Harris of California. A nonwhite woman, she looks like the most active and loyal parts of the Democratic base. A black woman with South Asian heritage, she would make history as president. She’s close to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party (but not so progressive that she doesn’t have real opposition on the left, tied to her controversial record as state attorney general) and has built herself up as a tough, unapologetic opponent of the administration (although she has voted for some of Trump’s nominees). Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, likewise, would satisfy an apparently strong desire from Democratic voters to elevate a candidate of color to the White House. (This desire is why you also shouldn’t dismiss former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who is also considering a bid for the nomination and has support from top Obama allies.)

With all of that said, the very fact of a President Donald Trump should inspire humility about our ability to forecast or predict electoral outcomes. The midterm elections offer strong signals about what Democratic primary voters might want in a presidential nominee, but there’s no way to know how these candidates will perform once they hit the trail. Indeed, there’s no way to answer the only question that really matters for the 2020 race—who can beat Trump?
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