Did you hear the one about Biden’s unpopularity will be the story?

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 06: Voters arrive to cast their absentee ballots at the Madison Central Public Library on the last day of early voting on November 06, 2022 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A record number of votes for a midterm election are expected to be cast across the United States. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


Bolts:

Measures to Protect Abortion Rights Triumph on Tuesday

California, Michigan and Vermont became the first to explicitly codify the right to abortion in their state constitutions.

Voters in California, Michigan, and Vermont on Tuesday adopted constitutional amendments that enshrine abortion rights into their state constitutions. The referendums came in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling, which in June overturned federal protections for abortion.

The result in Michigan will have the most immediate effects since, unlike California and Vermont, Michigan has a statutory ban on abortion on the books. Proposal 3, which affirms a “fundamental right to reproductive freedom,” passed on Tuesday, overturning the state’s abortion ban and protecting access going forward. ABC News called the race in favor of the measure which, as of publication, led 53 percent to 47 percent.

Meanwhile,  California voters overwhelmingly to  add a “fundamental right to choose to have an abortion” and a “fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives” to the state’s constitution. Vermont voters also approved language adding a  “right to personal reproductive autonomy” to that state’s constitution by a wide margin on Tuesday.  

NY Times:

Trump Hoped for a Celebration but Did Not Have Much to Cheer

The former president endorsed roughly 300 candidates in the midterm elections. With votes still being counted, those in competitive races appeared to have mixed results.

Elon Musk won’t be too happy, either. Neither will Moscow, though Kiev will.

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Solid chance that Democrats win Secretary of State races in all of WI/AZ/NV.

Combine this with their MI SoS + PA Gov wins + Raffensperger in GA and you may not have an election denier as Secretary of State in any of the core 6 presidential battlegrounds.https://t.co/olCOAbswi9

— Ryan Matsumoto (@ryanmatsumoto1) November 9, 2022

There’ll be a lot more tweets than stories because we are mid count, with those stories yet to be written. But we’ll have a few non election/election adjacent things to ponder at the end.

Politico Playbook:

How Biden and Trump squelched the red wave

Many of the (plausible) outcomes predicted by top GOP officials didn’t materialize. There was no massive shift of the Hispanic vote toward the GOP. There was no surge of hidden Trump voters. There was no widespread takeover of deep blue House territory. There was no expansion of the Senate map into New Hampshire, Colorado and Washington, where incumbent Democrats cruised to reelection. The governor of New York won easily.

There was no red wave.

Once again, Biden defied expectations at the moment he seemed destined for a catastrophic loss — just as he did when he resurrected his left-for-dead candidacy in South Carolina in 2020, and just as he did when he resurrected his left-for-dead legislative agenda this past summer.

White House aides were giddy Tuesday night. We’re told that Biden is now leaning toward holding a traditional post-midterm press conference before he leaves town on Thursday for a lengthy foreign trip.

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Big caveats that it’s still early here, but man, this doesn’t look like the night Republicans were hoping for.

— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) November 9, 2022

NBC: 

Key takeaways: Democrats avoid Biden backlash and hold their own in 2022 races

Analysis: The returns show Biden’s low job approval ratings and the pain of inflation didn’t have the impact Republicans had hoped for.

An election that Republicans hyped as a red wave is turning out to be anything but, with Democrats over-performing the expectations of many in House and Senate races.

The results are not final and control of both the House and Senate remain up for grabs, despite Democrats going into the election with wafer-thin majorities. Expectations of widespread GOP gains have not been realized, even though the party retains a chance at winning the Senate, and a plausible shot at the House.

Here are five takeaways from the 2022 election results so far.

“And we would have won if it weren’t for you meddling kids” ~ Republicans in every state. 

The above is a very good piece.

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Big 2024 implications. Trump set out to get his handpicked candidates in battleground states….and that’s flopped so far — bigly, one might say https://t.co/nqia320j99

— Jessica Taylor (@JessicaTaylor) November 9, 2022

Big win in Michigan for Big Gretch, with SoS and AG leaning Dem as of this writing. That means election deniers lost. 

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The Michigan Senate just flipped to Democrats for the first time in 40 years, in case you were wondering how the “red wave” is going.

— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC) November 9, 2022

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Pretty stunning result in the preliminary (incomplete, subject to change!) exit polls from Michigan: almost HALF of voters said that abortion was their top issue. Which is, of course, relevant because they were voting today on whether abortion should be a constitutional right.

— Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux (@ameliatd) November 9, 2022

Democratic governors winning (•) or leaning D as of this writing include Hobbs AZ; Shapiro•, PA; Evers•, WI; Kotek, OR; Lamont, CT•; Mills, ME•; Kelly, KS and Hochul, NY•. [The lead for Hobbs, especially, and Kotek are still tenuous, though.]

Maybe Rs weren’t closing fast in NH Sen (Maggie Hassan won by 10) and NY Gov (Kathy Hochul won by 5) and that narrative was all wrong. And maybe the polls were right. The pollsters had a better night than the Republicans. Well, most pollsters, anyway:

Here’s a bright spot for Republicans, which fooled them into thinking the rest of the night would be like Florida:

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A Democratic hive collapse during a Republican murder hornet attack

I can’t stop thinking about that political metaphor in Florida right now

Obviously, we’ll have to wait until final results

But all indications are that this election will resemble a murder scene or abattoir https://t.co/24ruLgwoIL

— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) November 8, 2022

But then it sunk in…

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Fox News’ Marc Thiessen: The midterm results are “a searing indictment of the Republican Party … The Republican Party needs to do a really deep introspection look in the mirror right now because this is an absolute disaster.” pic.twitter.com/m4aOfLTjLG

— The Recount (@therecount) November 9, 2022

Kevin Robillard/HuffPost:

Democrats’ Elevation of Election Deniers Worked

The party played with fire and avoided any burns with its midterm election strategy.

Throughout the late spring and into the summer, Democratic operatives made a series of risky choices to elevate Republican candidates who wholeheartedly embraced former President Donald Trump’s cornucopia of lies about the 2020 presidential election.

In Republican primary after Republican primary, Democrats aired ads serving two purposes: promoting seemingly unelectable candidates to the GOP base while attacking them for a general election audience. The ads noted how close the Republican candidates were to Trump, played up their support for strict restrictions or bans on abortion and other things the GOP base loved but general election voters hated.

Trump really had a bad night, especially in PA.

Crime! Inflation! Caravans! Crime! CRIME!!

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Maryland Gov.-elect with a line I suspect other Dems will like: “You will feel safe in your own neighborhood and you will feel safe in your own skin”

— Michael McAuliff (@mmcauliff) November 9, 2022

Anyway, more to come but yes, Dobbs/Roe mattered (a lot), and yes, the kids showed up. 

A very good night for America as the red wave falters.

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I mean, seriously, we could easily wind up with anything from a 51-49 D Senate and Ds keeping the House to a 51-49 GOP Senate and GOP +20-25 seats in the House. Those average out to a rather bad night for the GOP but they’re pretty different outcomes.

— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) November 9, 2022

Meanwhile:

Charlie Warzel/The Atlantic:

The Musk era of Twitter has so far been defined by unhinged tweets, fleeing advertisers, and botched layoffs.

With each passing day, Musk seems to be digging a deeper hole. This morning, to the dismay of many brand advertisers who strive to be apolitical, Musk used his 114-million-follower platform to endorse the Republican slate of candidates for tomorrow’s midterm elections. “The dude could’ve napped and saved billions of dollars,” Webb said. “Every decision he’s made has lost him money. It’s astonishing.”

Musk’s marketing debacles are not the stuff of visionaries, but they pale in comparison to his management skills. Here’s a brief summary of how he has steered the company so far.

And relatedly:

Chris Stokel-Walker/MIT Technology Review:

Here’s how a Twitter engineer says it will break in the coming weeks

One insider says the company’s current staffing isn’t able to sustain the platform.

A massive tech platform like Twitter is built upon very many interdependent parts. “The larger catastrophic failures are a little more titillating, but the biggest risk is the smaller things starting to degrade,” says Ben Krueger,  a site reliability engineer who has more than two decades of experience in the tech industry. “These are very big, very complicated systems.” Krueger says one 2017 presentation from Twitter staff includes a statistic suggesting that more than half the back-end infrastructure was dedicated to storing data.

While many of Musk’s detractors may hope the platform goes through the equivalent of thermonuclear destruction, the collapse of something like Twitter happens gradually. For those who know, gradual breakdowns are a sign of concern that a larger crash could be imminent. And that’s what’s happening now.

Gizmodo:

Homeland Security Admits It Tried to Manufacture Fake Terrorists for Trump

The Department of Homeland Security launched a failed operation that ensnared hundreds, if not thousands, of U.S. protesters in what new documents show was as a sweeping, power-hungry effort before the 2020 election to bolster President Donald Trump’s spurious claims about a “terrorist organization” he accused his Democratic rivals of supporting.

An internal investigative report, made public this month by Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat of Oregon, details the findings of DHS lawyers concerning a previously undisclosed effort by Trump’s acting secretary of homeland security, Chad Wolf, to amass secret dossiers on Americans in Portland attending anti-racism protests in summer 2020 sparked by the police murder of Minneapolis father George Floyd.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:

On Eve Of Voting, ‘Putin’s Chef’ Prigozhin Admits To U.S. Election Interference

In a post on his Telegram social media channel on November 7, Prigozhin, widely known as “Putin’s Chef” for his company’s catering contracts with the Kremlin, responded bluntly to a question from a follower asking about Russian efforts to influence elections in the United States by saying, “We interfered, we interfere and we will interfere.”

The follower’s question was posed after RFE/RL cited a Bloomberg article highlighting new attempts by Russia to interfere with U.S. congressional and gubernatorial elections on November 8.





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