Two years ago Donald Trump lost the popular vote but still managed to become President thanks to the Electoral College. Americans now have the opportunity to weigh in on his performance, and early returns in many states are pointing to a significantly higher-than-normal turnout for a midterm election. By late Saturday, more than 33 million Americans had already cast their ballots.
The President’s name may not be on the ballot, but make no mistake; now we exist in Trump’s universe and it’s all about him.
A recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll had two-thirds of respondents saying Trump will be a factor in their midterm votes. A similar poll taken before the midterm elections of 2014 found that then president Barack Obama would be factor in voting for only 47% of respondents.
As everybody and their mother has said in recent days, the results of the November 2018 elections will hinge on turnout.
Local Republicans have relied on below-the-radar networking for much of their voter motivation in the past; the question in 2018 will be how many of those neighborhood doyens have stuck with the party.
Nearly 19.7 million Californians are registered to vote in this election. That’s 78% of eligible Californians, the highest number heading into a gubernatorial election in almost 70 years. Increases in voter registration since September are another indication of interest.
There are about 850,000 more registered Democrats than four years ago. About 200,000 more have been added to the voter rolls over the past few weeks.
Republicans have lost around 270,000 voters since the eve of the last gubernatorial election but have added some 60,000 since September.
No Party Preference voters have surged, growing by nearly 1.3 million since Brown won reelection in 2014 and adding more than 300,000 registrants since September.
As of November 2, Democrats voting by mail in San Diego County have returned 38% of the ballots mailed out to them; Republicans (who historically early vote in higher numbers) have returned 36% of their ballots.
No Party Preference and third party voters have sent in 26% of their ballots. None of this data tells you how people voted, so it’s silly to get too worked up over these numbers one way or the other.
What I am worked up about are the horrible numbers of returned ballots for younger voters of all parties: 10% for the 18-34 age group, 15% for voters 35-49 years of age. Old farts like me have returned 44% of our ballots. (Early voting data via PoliticalData.com)
The one thing I have seen this year differentiating it from past elections has been the breadth and depth of
For what it’s worth, I think the Democratic Party nationally will have a good night. But post-election vigilance locally seems like a sensible idea.
Once the votes are cast, the real drama will begin, at least here in California. Our state is painfully slow in counting votes. In a year with many tight contests, along with a President looking for personal validation, I’m worried about possible negative outcomes having nothing to do with vote totals.
In other Red-leaning states, the name of the game has been voter supression. Between Gerrymandering, closing polling stations in minority neighborhoods, egregeously enforced voter id laws, and questionable purges of voter rolls, the GOP has tried to stack the deck.
Former Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, writing at Medium.com, says to look for the Trumpanistas to use post-election day maneuvers to the same effect in California.
Every day as the count drags on — 7 days, 14 days, 21 days — — Trump will continue to weave his fake narrative of voter fraud, 280 characters at a time, to delegitimize the election and Democrats’ potential control of the House. He will whip up his rabid base into a frenzy of intimidation, all by design to threaten county registrars and employees as they come and go from work.
Her remedy for this scenario:
California’s Secretary of State needs to send official observers to every contested county registrar’s office to ensure they are complying with all state laws and are not caving to intimidation by GOP lawyers and protesters. Local law enforcement must be prepared to keep the peace as “citizen militias” inevitably descend at Trump’s whistle upon these county elections offices.
The Democratic legal infrastructure — in Washington and California — must be ready to counteract every Republican dirty trick Trump and the GOP will pull in courtrooms and in the court of public opinion. And Democratic spinmeisters should be ready starting
Democrats failed to prepare in 2000 because no one imagined that the Presidential election would hinge on 500 votes in Florida and something called “hanging chads.”
But, this year, there is no excuse for
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