The election is tomorrow. No need to predict, just vote.

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Jonathan Weiler/Substack:

What’s going to happen, Part I?

Brace yourselves…

This post will focus on some of the forecasts of Tuesday’s results (which may take several weeks to fully determine, since we’ll likely have a runoff for the Senate seat in Georgia, and California, among other places, takes a long time to count all its votes. Oh, by the way, Brazil managed to count 120 million or so votes in about four hours last Sunday)…

In that vein, some political scientists do think – contra Lewis-Beck – that there could be special factors this cycle that have the potential to upend normal expectations. Writing in the Guardian last week, Laurel Elder, (friend of the substack) Steve Greene and Mary-Kate Lizotte believe that abortion might help Democrats in ways that neither the structural approach nor the polls-based models can fully capture.

Elder, Greene and Lizotte note that one of the hardest problems to solve in election polling is figuring out who is going to turn out to vote. Pollsters make assumptions about who is a “likely” voter, and give those assumptions more weight as elections approach. They also assume, correctly, that younger voters will tend to turn out at lower rates than older voters.

But, Elder, Greene and Lizotte, say that assumption might be missing the depth of anger among young women, in particular, in the aftermath of the Dobbs decision:

A recent poll of Gen Z Americans in swing states supports this, providing empirical evidence that young people are energized to vote and continue to rank abortion as their top issue, even while the issue has slipped in importance for older Americans. Young people’s passion on issues has failed to translate into actual action in the voting booth in the past; however, if young pro-choice women actually do turn out in higher numbers than forecasting models are expecting, this could provide a multi-point bounce to Democratic candidates in key House and Senate races.

Speaking of uncertainty, how about turnout? Pollster NIck Gourevitch:

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On the other extreme you have the presidential where nearly everyone votes and you risk oversampling engaged folks. Now what about a special election for Congress – where does that fall… Or this midterm? Or a lower turnout midterm like 2014? Or 2021 in VA and NJ? It’s tricky!

— Nick Gourevitch (@nickgourevitch) November 6, 2022

See, despite the “tricky”, “what do I know?”, “unusually unpredictable”, “special factors”, etc., the Republicans all know with certainty they’ve won big.

Well, I know who’s won big. Political advertising firms:

Dahlia Lithwick/Slate:

The Only Way to Navigate the Election Storm Ahead

It is easy to feel despair. The folks who keep disparaging those who worry about the future of democracy seem uninterested in the fact that one party refuses to accept election results, inflames election violence, admits the entire plan is one-party rule, and brushes off and even jokes about vigilante violence. Those same people have been adept at pushing us into semantic arguments about whether we’re using the right words to describe what we see happening right before our eyes. The problem with wasting our time fighting about whether the best word to use in this particular situation is “authoritarianism,” or “fascism,” or “vigilantism,” or “lawlessness,” is that such things can often only ever be empirically established in retrospect. We can hold the I Told You So Olympics in 10 years. Let’s get that on the books.

Call it whatever you like, but this speedy descent into a world in which people who are fundamentally unethical and unserious hold too many levers of power is not normal and it’s not funny. Even for the people striving to find meaning and purpose in the ugliness, the temptation to cede ground, give up, and go small is alluring. That they want you to cede ground, give up, and go small is in fact the problem we can name right now.

My rabbi recently reminded me of a useful way to think through the fog. Citing another spiritual hero last weekend, Aurora Levins Morales, she reminded me that there is always a difference between the weather and the stars. Morales, teaching in 2017, warned that it is too easy to be buffeted by the changeable weather, and in so doing, to lose sight of the immutable stars. The stars, in this telling, are a “constant to steer by, sometimes hidden by storm clouds, but high above them, untouched by wind or rain.”

The weather is different. Weather, Morales conceded, can be “violent, drenching, harsh.” But it isn’t constant. If we do nothing but chase and feel the weather, she wrote, “we could spin forever from emergency to emergency, shouting no to each new crime—but that would be steering by chasing clouds.”

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I threw together this chart showing the median age of early voters (nationally) by day. You’ll see that the median early voter was between 65 and 71 up until a week ago, when the electorate started skewing younger. Friday was the youngest day, at 59. pic.twitter.com/Ru8ycpw9Iv

— Tom Bonier (@tbonier) November 6, 2022

Norman Eisen and Taylor Redd/CNN:

It’s not OK for armed election deniers to intimidate voters

Major victories in two separate voting rights cases this week stunted efforts to harass early voters in Arizona and overwhelm election offices in Michigan with frivolous challenges.

In the first of those cases, Clean Elections USA – an organiztion motivated by the falsehood that there was a “coordinated effort to stuff” ballot boxes in 2020 – was ordered by a district court judge on Tuesday to refrain from engaging in conduct around Arizona drop boxes that voters found to be intimidating.

Meanwhile, in another victory for voting rights, the Michigan Republican Party and Republican National Committee lost their case Wednesday against the city of Flint’s election clerk and commission.

Flint appeared to be cooperating with a Republican request to hire more GOP poll workers. In late October, the Michigan Republican Party and Republican National Committee had sent city election officials a letter with the names of interested Republicans candidates, and the city hired approximately 50 more Republican poll workers, bringing the number to 120 Republican poll workers out of the 682 total.

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🚨MICHIGAN Detroit News/Glengariff poll (Oct 26-28)

*Among Independent voters*

What is the most important issue facing michigan?
40% Inflation
31% abortion

Which issue is most motivating you to go to the polls?
35% abortion
34% inflation

— umichvoter 🏳️‍🌈 (@umichvoter) November 4, 2022

Jonathan Cohn/HuffPost:

Gretchen Whitmer Is Both Loved And Hated In Michigan — And Still ‘Fighting Like Hell’

The story of the midterm elections is playing out in this closely divided state, where the incumbent Democratic governor stands in the way of MAGA

State Republicans have called her and her allies in government “witches,” described her as a tyrant and sued to strip away her emergency powers. Some of their supporters have marched on and then into the Capitol building while brandishing semi-automatic rifles. A handful of militia members plotted to kidnap her, while some talked about hanging her, before the FBI arrested them.

The backdrop for the plot, the protests and the name-calling was Whitmer’s public health orders during the first months of the pandemic, and the wrath they brought from former President Donald Trump, who was tweeting things like “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” At a rally in Lansing, Trump, indignant that Whitmer continued to criticize him after “our people” helped her — an apparent reference to federal law enforcement arresting the would-be kidnappers — mused of the affair: “People are entitled to say maybe it was a problem. Maybe it wasn’t.”

The major public health orders lapsed long ago and Trump isn’t president anymore. But the animosity toward Whitmer has endured, and Trump’s supporters, who now control the state party, have put forward a slate of candidates who think, talk and promise to act like him. Tudor Dixon, Whitmer’s challenger, is one of them.

Craig Mauger/Detroit News:

How inflation, abortion, gender became Michigan’s election battle lines

Women, supporters of abortion rights and residents of Metro Detroit are fueling Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s bid to maintain power with eight days remaining before Election Day, according to the survey’s results. Whitmer is leading Republican challenger Tudor Dixon of Norton Shores by 9 percentage points, according to the Oct. 26-28 poll of 600 likely Michigan voters sponsored by The News and WDIV (Channel 4).

But men, concerns over inflation and frustration with Democratic President Joe Biden two years into his first term are boosting Dixon’s campaign, according to the poll, which was conducted by the Lansing-based Glengariff Group.

“We have two competing election waves, and they’re about to crash into each other,” said Richard Czuba, founder of the Glengariff Group, referring to opposition to Biden and the push for abortion rights. “That makes this midterm very unique from other midterms.”

My bold, because that’s what’s making it hard to figure.

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Hochul: All we have to do is see the name trafalgar. It shows that were neck and neck, or shows that he’s beating me today. Our own polls show that that’s wildly wrong. But you’re making money off of it.. because you gave them a fake poll.. All I need is Democrats turning out pic.twitter.com/U4ks2GBl5H

— Acyn (@Acyn) November 5, 2022

Denver Post:

Colorado River conditions are worsening quicker than expected. Feds prepare to step in.

The megadrought plaguing the West is worsening and Lake Powell could sink below a critical level without enough snow this winter

The path forward for Reclamation, the states and dozens of Native American tribes is narrowing, Brad Udall, a water and climate scientist with Colorado State University, said, calling the implications “beyond serious.”

If the federal government comes in too strong, requiring massive cuts to water use, the entire scheme could devolve into a morass of expensive and time-consuming lawsuits, Udall said. Not strong enough and the river dwindles further, endangering the way of life for more than 40 million people and an estimated $1.4 trillion chunk of the national economy.

Reclamation officials announced Friday that they will consider whether to turn down the faucet for downstream states next year and in 2024. A draft plan should be ready by spring.

Philadelphia Inquirer:

The Pa. Supreme Court has issued a second order on mail ballot dates as the legal fight continues

The justices on Saturday clarified what they meant when they ordered earlier this week that wrongly dated mail ballots be rejected. Meanwhile, a new lawsuit was filed in federal court on the issue

A state Supreme Court order Tuesday — that many had earlier hoped would settle the matter for this election — directed counties to reject mail ballots missing those dates as well as those where the voter put a wrong date on their ballot.

But the decision has since stirred uncertainty among elections administrators over what exactly constitutes an incorrect date and drawn new litigation from advocates who say rejecting ballots over what amounts to a mistake threatens to potentially disenfranchise thousands of legal voters.

On Saturday, the state Supreme Court unexpectedly issued an additional order clarifying its definition: Mail-in ballots are to be rejected in this election if the handwritten dates fall before Sept. 19, 2022, or after Nov. 8 (Election Day), and absentee ballots are to be rejected if they are dated before Aug. 30, 2022, or after Nov. 8.

There’s still uncertainty and expect more clarification.

Final words from an optimist who thinks Ds are finishing strong, not fading:

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Dems have to run the table in a very tough environment to hold the House. It’s not impossible, but it’s also not the most likely outcome. So I can’t criticize anyone who feels that way. It’s a weird election, we’ll see.

— Tom Bonier (@tbonier) November 7, 2022

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I hear you. I sure hope we have good early signs on Tuesday night, but it’s possible that the Senate comes down to a GA runoff (early Dec), and there are a lot of competitive House races in states that take a loooong time to count.

— Tom Bonier (@tbonier) November 7, 2022

Your palate cleanser:

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Twice in MY lifetime, I have seen this amazing work by nature along salty freezing shorelines. These are frozen ice made into balls by gentle ocean waves, nature’s magical work.

Elders calls them Ice Eggs. Mannet nelaujat. pic.twitter.com/bQ0E3Ukizy

— angusandersen900 (@AndersenAngus) November 4, 2022





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