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Gretchen's List: Election Day 2022
Tomorrow is election day! Nobody knows what’s going to happen.
I have read every poll and all of Twitter (RIP) and the entire Internet, and I assure you: no one knows what’s going to happen; too many races are toss-ups at this point. But with everyone else releasing polling with no regard for legitimacy, I am very happy to report that, based on a sample of My Friends Who Live in Nevada Who Have Texted Me Pictures of Their Ballot, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto is about to be reelected in a landslide. (Screenshot of raw data below; thank you, Lilly.)
Obviously, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I feel neither my most optimistic nor my most pessimistic for this cycle, mostly because I’ve calibrated my definition of “a good night.” Here’s what I think we could call a solidly good night:
Maintaining a 50/50 Senate. I think Maggie Hassan (NH) and Mark Kelly (AZ) will win, I think we’ll win one of the Senate races in Nevada or Pennsylvania, and I think Georgia will go to a run-off (and that Warnock will win it in December).
Keeping three of four gubernatorial seats in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Nevada. I think Josh Shapiro (PA) and Gretchen Whitmer (MI) will win, and I’d be please if we kept at least one of the other two (probably Wisconsin).
Keeping the House margin close enough to regain it in 2024. I’m not counting out any individual House races, but it’s clear that it’s a very, very steep hill for many candidates. If we can stay within 10-15 seats, I think we can regain the House in 2024.
A lot of really terrible stuff can still happen within these criteria: Ron DeSantis is going to be reelected! Beto O’Rourke and Stacey Abrams are very probably going to lose! JD Vance is more likely than not going to be a Senator! Kari Lake, an absolute threat to all Arizonans and American democracy, is on track to be a Governor! Each of these losses will sting, and they should — but I’m just trying to figure out the minimum that we need to keep our democracy afloat for the next two years. If we can accomplish that in this political climate, it’s a victory. (In fact, it would be the best midterm performance that a party has had while holding the White House in a very long time.)
Read on if you’re looking for action items for next 24 hours (phone and text banking, ballot curing), and what to expect as results come in tomorrow evening.
What To Do Before Polls Close
Monday, November 7
Join a phone bank for Senator Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada at 5pm PT/8pm ET. This is the most critical Senate race in the country right now; take some time this evening to phone bank with Nevada voters.
Join Sister District to phone bank for high-priority state legislative races across the country. These phone banks are happening all day today and tomorrow.
Tuesday, November 8 (Election Day)
Vote! Bonus: Do you have friends in Pennsylvania, Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, Texas, George, North Carolina, or Kansas? Send them an individual text reminding them that their vote will have national consequences, and that you’re hoping that they’ll take time to vote for the Democratic senate/governor/state legislator/Attorney General/Secretary of State candidates on their ballot.
Join a GOTV text bank with Supermajority to get women out to vote at 5am PT/8am ET or 9am PT/12pm ET. I especially encourage you to join the session for Pennsylvania later in the afternoon, but they are also organizing in Michigan, North Carolina, Arizona, and Georgia.
Cure ballots in Pennsylvania with Working Families Party. Mail-in ballots get returned, and then rejected on a technicality: lack of signature, missing dates, etc. There are over 3,500 ballots in Pennsylvania that have been rejected. Before tomorrow night, you can reach out these voters to correct their errors to that their ballots will count.
What To Do After Polls Close
Here’s what I think we might know when, including some results earlier in the evening that might be a bellwether for what’s to come:
4pm PT/7pm ET. Polls close in Virginia. Watch three key House races: Elaine Luria (VA-02), Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), and Jennifer Wexton (VA-10). If Elaine wins, Democrats are having a good night. If Abigail wins, we’re holding our ground; if she loses, we are having a bad night. If Jennifer loses, we’re screwed. (Also this hour: polls close in Vermont and Kentucky; watch for a “yes” win on Proposal 5 to protect abortion access in Vermont, and a “no” win on Amendment 2 in Kentucky to reject an anti-abortion enshrinement.)
5pm PT/8pm ET. Polls close in New Hampshire. Races are always stupidly close in New Hampshire, but we’d like to see an indication of strong results for Senator Maggie Hassan sooner rather than later. (Also this hour: watch for very strong results out a Michigan, including a strong victory for Proposal 3 to protect reproductive freedom.)
6pm PT/9pm ET. Watch for fast counts in Colorado, which usually announces results quickly: in addition to Senator, Governor, and Secretary of State, look for Yadira Caraveo (CO-08), a potential pick-up in the House. In Arizona and Michigan, watch not just the governor’s races, but Secretary of State and Attorney General, too.
7pm PT/10pm ET. Polls close in Nevada, where there’s a crucial Senate race, a governor’s race, three swing House races, and both Attorney General and Secretary of State up. As we know from 2022, Nevada does not count quickly, so we might not know anything for a while.
8pm PT/11pm ET. Oregon will be keeping us up late with a tough governor’s race and key House races. Tina Kotek solidifying a win at top-of-the-ballot will bode better for the down-ballot race. (Also this hour: watch for a victory on Proposition 1 to protect abortion access in California.)
Later in the week. Pennsylvania can’t count their mail-in ballots until Election Day! Do not expect quick results there — it might take many days to know who won, not just the Fetterman/Oz senate race, the key House races like Susan Wild (PA-07) and Matt Cartwright (PA-08). We are likely to know the governor’s race sooner, only because Josh Shapiro is likely to have a wider margin.
December. If the Georgia Senate race goes to a run-off, it might be a 2020 repeat where control of the Senate comes down to Raphael Warnock, and we’ll be going all-out, once again.
Between Pennsylvania and Nevada being slow and the potential for a run-off in Georgia, we are unlikely to know who will control the Senate tomorrow evening. We will have a much clearer sense of the House and most of the key gubernatorial races.
Donor, sociologist, researcher. Board member at WDN Action and Emerge America, and steering committee member at Electing Women Bay Area -- but all content here is mine alone and not on behalf of any organization. My goals are to help others find their networks and feel more comfortable and informed participating in the political giving space.
Currently reading: All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days by Rebecca Donner.