Kentucky gov race

S18E38: Election day matters

On Tuesday’s program we discussed the California fires and what to look for on Tuesday’s election.   A number of ballot initiatives were up, the governor’s races in Mississippi and Kentucky and the balance of power in the Virginia senate were closely watched races.

In the podcast, we discussed the significance of each.  You can listen below, but I also want to remind you to listen and download this podcast on your phone.  Simply search for The World As I Like It To Be Podcast in Apple iTunes store.  Don’t forget to subscribe so you can get the newest episodes as soon as they come out.

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A warning for Conservatives?

I said in the podcast, a loss in Kentucky is going to say a lot about not only Donald Trump, but the  republican party.  The thing about elections, particularly mid term elections, they tend to be a canary in the coal mine.   They tend to give political analysists an idea on where things are going and how the people, your people, think you’re doing.

Before I give my assessment on what this means for Trump, I remind myself Barak Obama was reelected while scores of democrats were being ousted nationwide.   So this may speak more about Congress than it does about Trump.

Also, it’s important to remember, in Kentucky Republicans swept all races down ballot. So while the democrats may control the executive branch, they will be hard pressed to do much.  According to reports, policy actions by the state governor can be overturned by a simple majority.

But Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell campaigned for the republican Matt Bevin on Monday.  Trump staked his political credibility on it. By Tuesday evening, it looks like Bevin may have lost to the democrat and attorney governor Andy Beshear. No national democratic politicians came out for Beshear. No Biden, Warren or Sanders rallies.   What gave the apparent winner the lead, was a toxic Bevin and a campaign that was focused on the issues and not Donald Trump.

Let’s remember what is occurring right now in the Republican party in the US Congress.  The party is basically an insurgency that, as I mention in yesterday’s blog, is not doing a thing legislatively except pushing through judges and protecting Donald Trump.

Time will tell of this policy is hurting or helping the GOP.

New Jersey and Mississippi

No one really expected Mississippi to be challenging for Republicans.  The governor easily won election.  The most interesting thing to come out of the state was the blatantly racist law in the state constitution that appears to be designed to prevent blacks from ever being governor in the state.

In  New Jersey, democrats were fighting to hold on to power and it appears that may have happened.  What is pretty interesting are republican vs republican and democrat vs democrat contests yet to be called. Once the election results are in, we will know if these democrats and republicans pull the state more or less to the extremes.

Did the Supreme Court help flip virginia?

Perhaps the biggest news of the night is the complete and total flip of Virginia.  The state, one of the first confederate states in the civil war, had been safe for republicans for generations.  Even tho it was one of the first states to have a black mayor, the GOP has dominated the legislature for years due primarily to racial gerrymandering.

The Supreme Court, earlier this year, refused to help Republicans when they challenged a lower court ruling that called some district maps to be redrawm.   It was one of the only cases, 5-4, where the high court was willing to rule on gerrymandering.   Just as a side note: the 5-4 ruling, surprisingly, went Ginsberg, Sotomayor, Kegan, Thomas and Gorsuch.  

The newer less racially gerrymandered maps, appears to have made their mark.  Democrats, who had already won (then almost lost) the governorship (remember the Ralph Northam, black face craziness that almost took out his Lt. governor Justin Fairfax?) now have full control of the Virginia government. This purple state is now blue.

Democrats gained two seats in the senate and six in the state House.  With the legislature controlled by Republicans, the governor had unsuccessfully tried to pass gun control legislation, minimum wage legislation, expand voting right and protect the right of the LGBTQ community.   With democrats now in control, Virginia could be the first in the state to address these truly progressive policies.

Both democrats and republicans apparently knew that.  The state brought in some 52 million from outside groups to advocate for either side.  Both vice presidents Pence and the former Joe Biden as well as Bernie Sanders, paid visits to the state. 

Brian Hagedorn

A side note about Wisconsin

Democrats apparently have given up on Wisconsin.  Even yours truly forgot to mention a supreme court judge race happening in the state.  The badger state that was once solidly blue has become more and more red. 

Democrats, although they won the governorship, still have a very red legislature which have a super majority.  And the state is one of the worst gerrymanders.   Democrats have found relief in the state courts.  In Pennsylvania and North Carolina it’s the courts that have forced democrats and republicans to work together on new non gerrymandered maps.

So if anyone thinks the state courts will help the Dems in Wisconsin, their hopes were surely dashed when another right wing judge won, narrowly, a seat on the state Supreme Court.  The judge Brain Hagedorn defeated Lisa Neubauer 50.2 to 49.7.

The census 2020

It is hard to quantify what all of this will mean for 2020 election.  The most significant impact it will have is on the census.  New maps will need to be drawn nationwide including in Virginia and Kentucky.  Those maps now have a chance to be drawn fairer.  The Virginia map for sure, but in Kentucky, if Bevin finally concedes, is sure to be a fight to make sure the map is not lopsided towards the GOP.

That has huge implications for the next decade!  The Virginia election is just the beginning of democrats attempt to reverse the stunning 958 legislative seats nationwide lost during the Obama administration.  Groups like Emily’s List and Eric Holder’s organization, the Nation Democratic Redistricting Committee, are pouring money into these elections well aware of the implications for the census.

Holder’s NCRC is also joined by Flippable, a grassroots Democratic group focused on winning statehouse races.  All are eying the 2020 election.