I was feeling good last Tuesday on election night when it was clear that the widely predicted Republican Red Wave was going to be much closer to a Red Ripple.
Now, two days later, with more election results in, I'm feeling even better!
Which means that Republicans are feeling worse. My compassionate Buddha-nature is sorry for that, but not so sorry to prevent Democrat me from listing in this blog post some reasons why my political mood is so positive.
(1) Most importantly, Tina Kotek has been declared the winner of Oregon's Governor race over Christine Drazan. This was my #1 nightmare pre-election, having to spend four years watching a Republican governor undo Kate Brown's accomplishments -- notably her executive actions on fighting climate change. Nice to see this headline in tonight's online New York Times.
(2) Almost as importantly for me, it's looking increasingly unlikely that my #2 nightmare will come to pass, Democrats losing control of the U.S. Senate. If that happened exactly zero of Biden's judicial appointments would be confirmed by a Republican majority.
But election updates in Arizona and Nevada today have things looking good for two Democrat senators seeking another term, Mark Kelly and Catherine Cortez Masto. A couple of recent tweets tell the tale. Nate Cohn is the New York Times polling/political analyst.
(3) Democrat Andrea Salinas still has a 50-48 lead over Republican Mike Erickson in the 6th Congressional District race, same as on election night. Hard to see how Erickson can win. I'm happy that after so many years of having to put up with Kurt Schrader as my congressman, now I'll be represented by a genuine progressive Democrat.
(4) All four statewide ballot measures are passing in Oregon. On election night Measure 111, which puts a right to health care access in the Oregon constitution, was failing. Now it's passing with 51%. Measure 114, the firearm regulation measure, is passing by the same margin, 51%.
No big shock, 56% of voters are approving of Measure 112, which gets slavery out of the Oregon constitution. Only surprise is that 44% were OK with slavery being there. And it's great that Measure 113 is passing with 68% yes, as it penalizes state lawmakers who walk out of a legislative session for ten days or more by preventing them from running for office in the next election.
(5) I wish Raphael Warnock had won outright over Herschel Walker in their Georgia Senate race. Still, it was great to see Warnock coming out on top in the election, even if he didn't surpass 50%, which is required under state law to be elected. I've heard this is a holdover from the Not-So-Good Old Days, as it was intended to prevent Blacks from being elected in a multi-person race.
Hopefully Warnock will kick Walker's butt in the December 6 runoff election, since Walker strikes me as the least qualified person to run for the Senate I've ever come across. If he hadn't been a star football player, there's no way Walker ever would have gotten the Republican nomination.
Lastly, I love this quote from tonight's New York Times story mentioned above. It wasn't an accident that almost everything went right for Democrats in Senate races. Voters preferred Democrats because my party is on the side of ordinary people. Republicans cater to extremists these days, as exemplified by the grip Donald Trump has on the GOP.
“For Democrats to be in this position right now, every single thing had to go right for them on election night,” said Jessica Taylor, a Senate analyst at The Cook Political Report With Amy Walter. “And every single thing went right for them on election night.”
She added, referring to Arizona and Nevada, “I do think they’ll win both races.”