Millions of people across the United States voted in the 2022 midterm elections, the first national elections held since former president Donald Trump’s failed coup on January 6, 2021.
With votes still being counted in several key states, it is not yet determined which party will control the US House of Representatives and the US Senate. The widely predicted “red wave” failed to materialize, demonstrating broad popular opposition to the fascistic politics of Donald Trump. At the same time, the closeness of the vote shows a lack of support for the Democrats and growing disgust with the entire two-party framework through which the capitalist class has ruled for the past century and a half.
Democrats control Senate, Republicans hold narrow lead in House
The midterm US election seems headed toward a stalemated result, with the Democratic Party retaining its narrow majority in the Senate, and the Republican Party likely to win an equally narrow majority in the House of Representatives.
The result is a political setback for Republicans, who had expected to win a sizable majority in the House, with the outcome in the Senate uncertain. Instead the result is the opposite: the Democratic Party controls the Senate and the outcome in the House is uncertain, although the Republican Party is narrowly ahead.
In the last-decided Senate contest, in Nevada, US Senator Catherine Cortez Masto defeated former state attorney-general Adam Laxalt by a margin of just under 7,000 votes out of nearly 1 million cast. This gave the Democrats 50 seats in the Senate, assuring control since Vice President Kamala Harris holds the tie-breaking vote.
The Democrats could hold a 51-49 majority if incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock defeats Republican Herschel Walker in the Georgia runoff election on December 6. Warnock led Walker by 35,000 votes out of just under 2 million cast, but failed to reach the 50 percent mark required for election under Georgia law. Warnock won a previous runoff election two years ago, when he had actually trailed in the first round.
A Republican takeover of the House of Representatives is not guaranteed, and a failure to win the lower house would turn electoral setback into electoral disaster, given that both Republican and Democratic Party politicians and media pundits had declared a Republican victory inevitable.
The consensus media tally, based on races called by the Associated Press, found the Republicans leading by 212 seats to 209 for the Democrats, with a six-seat swing required to win a majority. This assumes the Democrats win both seats going to ranked-choice runoffs, in Maine and Alaska. They are well ahead in both contests.
Of the other 14 races still undecided, Republican candidates had significant leads in eight while Democrats led in four, although shifts were possible in either direction. Democrats would have to win all the seats in which they hold leads, and the two that are effectively tied, and overturn several Republican leads in order to retain control of the House. This is unlikely but certainly not impossible.
In Oregon and California, which account for 10 of the 14 seats, state law requires counting mail ballots which arrive as late as Tuesday, November 15, provided they are postmarked by Election Day. In effect, those elections are not over, as ballots are still arriving, making it impossible to determine a final result in any closely contested race.
Based on vote trends so far, according to media analysts, Democrats were likely to win three seats in California and the one in Oregon. Republicans were likely to win four seats in California, while in two more neither party had an advantage.
In the four seats where all mail ballots have been received, but many remain to be counted, Republican candidates are slightly ahead in each (two in Arizona, one in Colorado and one in New York).
Overall, the New York Times projected the most likely outcome as a Republican majority of 221-214, smaller than the Democratic majority of the last two years. The Washington Post projected six seats for the Democrats, four for the Republicans, and four too close to call, giving a current Republican lead of 216-215 and the final outcome dependent on a handful of marginal seats.
The indeterminate outcome has already led to back-biting within both capitalist parties. In the Republican Party, there are bitter recriminations over both the outright failure in the Senate and in the near-failure in the House, with much of the venom directed towards ex-president Donald Trump for backing ultra-right candidates who embraced his “stolen election” lies.
It was significant that in the six “battleground” states where Trump attempted to overturn a Biden victory and hijack the electoral votes in 2020—Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin—Democratic candidates defeated Republican election denialists in every contest for state government positions like governor and secretary of state, which are critical to overseeing conduct of the elections and certifying the results.
Republicans won only in Georgia, where Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger were particular targets of Trump because they rebuffed his entreaties in 2020 to “find” the number of votes required to give him a victory in the state. The gubernatorial race in Arizona was still not called by the media Monday evening, but the Democratic candidate, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, had a significant lead over Republican Kari Lake, a former local television news figure who is one of the most strident advocates of Trump’s election lies.
Republican Party infighting intensifies after midterms
The defeat of several Republican candidates for federal and state offices who were hand-picked by former President Donald Trump has exacerbated tensions within the Republican Party.
Tuesday’s election results demonstrated that there is no mass popular support for Trump’s fascistic policies and his false claims of a “stolen” 2020 election.
While votes are still being tallied in several states, such as Nevada, Arizona and California, nearly all of Trump’s major election-denying candidates who were in competitive races have lost or are losing, including Trump’s slate of “America First” secretary of state candidates.
At the same time, the tightness of the election, with the Republicans in a position to take control of one, if not both, houses of Congress, testifies to the widespread alienation, disaffection and disgust in the population for both capitalist parties.
An analysis by the Washington Post and Associated Press indicates that voter turnout was lower than the record midterm turnout in 2018, when just under 50 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot. Overall voter participation in the 2022 midterms is currently estimated at slightly above 46 percent.
According to the Post/AP analysis, only 11 states exceeded 2018’s turnout, two of those being Pennsylvania and Michigan. Trump endorsed election deniers Doug Mastriano and Tudor Dixon in the Pennsylvania and Michigan gubernatorial races, respectively. Both were soundly defeated, along with the rest of the Republican tickets.
Following the election, some pro-Republican media outlets, Republican politicians and even high-level donors are demanding that the party abandon Trump as the presumptive 2024 presidential nominee and back Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who was reelected by a 20-point margin.
In two articles published on Wednesday, “Trump Is the Republican Party’s Biggest Loser,” and “The GOP’s Midterm Failure,” the Wall Street Journal editorial board, the leading mouthpiece of the financial oligarchy, directly laid the blame for Tuesday’s lackluster performance by Republicans at the feet of the ex-president.
“Trump Republican candidates failed at the ballot box in states that were clearly winnable,” wrote the Journal, pointing as examples to the loss by Trump-backed election denier Don Bolduc in New Hampshire and the likely defeat of Peter Thiel-funded and Trump-endorsed Blake Masters in Arizona.
In a third editorial published on Wednesday, headlined “The DeSantis Florida Tsunami,” the newspaper heaped praised on the fascistic governor, saying his victory was a “vindication” of his campaign against school closures and other mitigation measures at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Journal made no mention of the seven million COVID infections and over 82,000 COVID deaths in Florida as of this writing.
The Wall Street Journal is owned by Australian-American billionaire Rupert Murdoch, founder of Fox News and News Corp, which controls publisher HarperCollins, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.
On Wednesday, the front page of the New York Post featured a photo of DeSantis and his family with a headline hailing him as “DeFUTURE.”
“It’s time the GOP dumped Trump the Grump and ran with DeSantis” read another headline in the Post, attributed to British broadcaster and former editor of the Daily Mirror, Piers Morgan.
Republican politicians, previously silent as Trump incited violence against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, decided to speak up following Tuesday’s poor showing.
In an interview Wednesday on CNN, retiring Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey blamed Trump for “inserting” himself in the races. There is a “high correlation between MAGA [Make America Great Again] candidates and big losses,” Toomey said.
Toomey’s seat will be occupied by Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, after Fetterman bested Trump-endorsed celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz on Tuesday.
On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal opinion section featured recent comments by Republican Virginia Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears. In an interview with Fox, Sears said she could not support Trump for president if he ran in 2024, adding that it was “time to move on.” Sears was previously a close ally of Trump and chair of “Black Americans to Re-elect President Trump” during the 2020 campaign.
Other prominent Republican politicians who have echoed these sentiments include former House Speaker New Gingrich and Mike Lawler, who defeated the incumbent Democrat in New York’s 17th Congressional District, Sean Patrick Maloney.
In an interview published by Politco, billionaire Republican donor Ken Griffin of Citadel investments said it “time to move on to the next generation.” Griffin, who gave over $65 million to Republicans this cycle, said that DeSantis had a “tremendous record as governor of Florida, and our country would be well-served by him as president.”
That sections of the ruling class are ready to dispense with Trump and his “election denialism” and elevate DeSantis as leader of the Republican Party does not signify a retreat from far-right, fascistic politics in favor of “moderation.” Nor is Trump’s future in the party by any means a settled matter. He retains significant support and he evidently intends to announce that he will run for president in 2024 from his Mar-a-Lago, Florida estate this coming Tuesday.
DeSantis is allied to fascistic and anti-Semitic forces and presents himself as a right-wing populist. He indulges in racist, anti-immigrant agitation and his set up a “voting police” force to arrest people, including immigrants and released felons, who cast ballots not knowing they are deemed ineligible.
However, he has distanced himself from Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was stolen in order to establish himself as a far-right alternative to Trump.
Trump has responded to calls for him to step back with attacks on “Ron DeSanctimonious” on his Truth Social media platform. In a rambling post Thursday, Trump took credit for DeSantis winning his 2018 gubernatorial race, in the course of which Trump seemed to admit that he interfered in that election on behalf of DeSantis by sending FBI agents to Florida to stop the counting of votes.
“After the Race, when votes were being stolen by the corrupt Election process in Broward County, and Ron was going down ten thousand votes a day,” Trump wrote, “I sent in the FBI and the US Attorneys, and the ballot theft immediately ended, just prior to them running out of the votes necessary to win. I stopped his Election from being stolen…”
Control of US House and Senate still undetermined
After three days of vote-counting, it is still uncertain which capitalist party controls the US Senate and the House of Representatives. Based on the current trends, the Democratic Party appears likely to control the narrowest of majorities in the Senate, either 50 or 51 seats, depending on the outcome of a runoff election December 6 in Georgia.
The media consensus, based on figures produced by state election officials, is that the Democrats have so far won 48 seats and the Republicans 49, with Democrats likely to win both the seats, in Arizona and Nevada, where counting of mail-in ballots is continuing.
In Arizona, Senator Mark Kelly was more than 100,000 votes ahead of his Republican challenger, venture capitalist Blake Masters, with about 500,000 votes still to be counted, mainly in Maricopa County (Phoenix), home to more than 60 percent of the state’s population. Tallies of recently counted ballots have tended to increase Kelly’s lead, and there is little possibility of Masters making up the gap.
In Nevada, the contest is much closer, with the Republican, former state attorney general Adam Laxalt, clinging to a lead of less than 9,000 votes over the incumbent Democrat, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. Most of the remaining uncounted vote is in Clark County (Las Vegas) and Washoe County (Reno), both of them carried by Cortez Masto.
Local media pundits predict that Cortez Masto will overtake Laxalt if she receives 55 percent or more of the votes still to be counted, and so far she has been getting 65 percent. It is well known that many more Democratic voters send their ballots in by mail, while more Republican voters went to the polls November 8 and their votes have already been counted.
If the Democrats win both Arizona and Nevada, the Georgia runoff cannot give control of the Senate to the Republicans, but would leave the upper house divided 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote. If Arizona and Nevada go opposite ways, then the Georgia runoff will decide which party controls the Senate.
The House of Representatives, despite claims by Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and much of the media, is only leaning towards the Republicans, but their majority is far from certain. As of Friday afternoon, based on multiple media tallies, it appears that the Republicans can claim 211 seats and the Democrats 203. The majority in the House is 218 out of 435 seats.
There are 21 seats not yet decided or projected. Of these, 19 seats are in the West: 12 of them in California, two each in Oregon and Arizona, and one each in Washington, Nevada, and Colorado. The remaining two undecided seats are in Maryland and New York. There are no undecided seats in either the Midwest or the South.
Democrats would have to win 15 out of 21 seats to gain a majority, Republicans only seven, but all the seats are closely contested, so a Republican majority in the House is likely but not a certainty. Currently, Republicans lead in 11 of the undecided seats and Democrats lead in 10.
There is nothing at all suspicious in the slow vote-counting which has delayed a determination of which party controls the House. Mail-in voting is the sole method in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Colorado, and is used to a considerable extent in Arizona. Voters may still go to the polls to turn in the ballot they received in the mail, but they usually cannot obtain a ballot at the polls.
Mail-in vote counting is inherently slower because the ballots are enclosed in a protective sleeve which must be removed before the ballot can be opened and run through a tabulator. Because of wear-and-tear in handling, mail ballots are far more likely to jam in tabulators and require hand-counting. In California and several other states, ballots postmarked by Election Day, November 8, are counted if they are received by this weekend. In these states, it is impossible to forecast exactly how many ballots are uncounted since more may still be in transit.
The figures released so far show that neither capitalist party made significant inroads at the expense of the other, contrary to the expectation in official political and media circles of a “red wave” favoring the Republican Party. Republicans have defeated only five Democratic incumbents, Democrats have defeated three Republican incumbents. The bulk of the seat changes stem from retirements and redistricting, not the defeat of incumbents.
By comparison, the Republicans defeated 52 Democratic incumbents when they took control in 2010, while the Democrats defeated 30 Republican incumbents when they regained control in 2018.
The result is a likely shift from a narrow Democratic majority (223-212 before the fall campaign began) to an even narrower Republican majority, currently estimated by NBC News at 220-215. Such a margin would mean that the defection of any three Republican congressmen could threaten passage of legislation, or even the election of the Speaker.
Four new CIA Democrats elected in 2022
The number of Democratic members of the House of Representatives drawn from the military, State Department and intelligence agencies continues to increase, with four new members added, while two of the original eleven CIA Democrats, as we dubbed them in 2018, were defeated November 8.
The four new additions came in New York, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Pat Ryan, a West Point graduate with two tours in Iraq as an Army intelligence officer, was elected to fill a vacancy in New York’s 19th Congressional District in August. With boundaries shifting due to reapportionment, he ran for and won the neighboring 18th District seat this past Tuesday.
Chris DeLuzio won the western Pennsylvania seat being vacated by another military-intelligence Democrat, Conor Lamb, who sought the Democratic Senate nomination but lost to Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, the eventual winner of the seat Tuesday. DeLuzio is a Naval Academy graduate who was a surface warfare officer in the Navy and then a civil affairs officer in Iraq.
In North Carolina, two state senators with military careers behind them were elected to House seats. Dan Davis succeeded longtime representative and member of the Congressional Black Caucus, G. K. Butterfield, who retired after the boundaries of his northeast North Carolina district were shifted to make it less heavily Democratic. Davis graduated from the Air Force Academy, and was an operations officer at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington DC—a key position since it is the nexus of presidential travel—before entering politics.
Career Army officer Jeff Jackson won a seat in the Charlotte suburbs, newly created because of population growth and reapportionment. Jackson enlisted after the 9/11 attacks, was deployed to Afghanistan, and is now in his 20th year in the military, having risen to the rank of major in the Army National Guard. Even after entering the state Senate, he continues regular reserve duties.
Three other Democratic congressional candidates with military or intelligence backgrounds are in races that have not yet been decided, although all are slightly behind in the vote count: naval intelligence officer Francis Conole, in New York’s 22nd Congressional District, flight surgeon and White House fellow Kermit Jones, in California’s Third Congressional District, and military intelligence officer Jay Chen in California’s 45th Congressional District.
The election of these four more than offsets the defeat of two military-intelligence Democrats first elected in 2018.
Elaine Luria, a former Navy commander and member of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, lost the race for her seat in the Norfolk, Virginia to Republican State Senator Jen Kiggans by a relatively narrow margin.
In New Jersey, Tom Malinowski, a State Department assistant secretary in the Obama administration, was defeated for reelection by Tom Kean Jr., former leader of the Republicans in the state legislature and son of former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean.
The net gain of two (at least) brings the total number of CIA Democrats to 13, or as many as 16 depending on the outcome of mail-in balloting and recounts. The CIA Democrat “caucus” continues to grow, even in a year where the overall Democratic Party caucus declined.
The 13 representatives now include the four newly elected members, as well as nine reelected members: seven holdovers from the class of 2018, Jason Crow, Jared Golden, Chrissy Houlahan, Andy Kim, Mikie Sherrill, Elissa Slotkin, and Abigail Spanberger, and two additions in 2020, Jake Auchincloss and Sara Jacobs.
Trump-aligned candidates, operatives stoke right-wing anger against election workers
As vote-counting continues in the pivotal Western states of Nevada and Arizona, Trump-aligned candidates and operatives are inciting anger against election workers and calling into question the veracity of the election results.
In an appearance on the Charlie Kirk Show Thursday morning, Trump-endorsed Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake attributed still incomplete vote totals showing her trailing her Democratic opponent to manipulation by election officials, naming in particular Maricopa County officials Bill Gates and Stephen Richer. Lake is running behind Katie Hobbs by over 12,000 votes as of this writing.
Kirk, a pro-Trump fascist, is the founder and president of Turning Point USA, a far-right campus organization.
Bill Gates, chairman of the Maricopa County Elections Department, is a self-described “life-long” Republican. Stephen Richer explained in a video Tuesday that a problem with about 20 percent of vote tabulators in the county, which includes Phoenix, had caused delays at election sites. Gates said this technical issue in no way affected the ability of voters to cast their ballots.
Speaking to Kirk Thursday, Lake claimed, without evidence, that “Gates and Richer” were “withholding and slow rolling the results” to make it look like Hobbs was winning.
“I am not talking about the big rich one,” Lake said, referring to Gates. “I am talking about the poorer one that is trying to mess with our elections here.”
“Poorer, shorter one,” Kirk chimed in.
“They are controlling the narrative of election night... And withholding and slow-rolling results. I think it’s despicable. Get the job done guys,” Lake hissed. She added, “Katie Hobbs is not winning. She has never been winning. They are just not counting votes.”
In her baseless right-wing attacks on fellow Republicans, Lake is deliberately channeling Donald Trump’s lie that the 2020 election was stolen and that any Trump or Trump-endorsed Republican defeat is due to fraud, cheating or subterfuge.
The former president joined Lake in casting doubt on the election, writing on his social media platform Thursday, “Arizona… They want more time to cheat! Kari Lake MUST win!”
In a Wednesday night appearance on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson program, Lake said she was going to win and that as governor she would get rid of voting machines and institute paper ballots.
Referring to her support for Trump’s lie that the 2020 election was stolen, Lake said she had been “sounding the alarm on 2020, November 3rd,” which she characterized as “disastrous.”
“And now,” she continued, “we are having the same problems.
On his “War Room” program Thursday morning, former Trump advisor and January 6 co-conspirator Stephen Bannon thanked Charlie Kirk for “all the work” he was doing in Arizona and reiterated Lake’s unsubstantiated claims.
Referring to the still-undecided Nevada races, Bannon launched into a tirade against the “Culinary Union” and “the Harry Reid machine,” the latter a reference to former Nevada Democratic Senator Reid. These two forces, according to Bannon, were “trying to steal” the election from secretary of state candidate Jim Marchant and US Senate candidate Adam Laxalt, both of whom have been endorsed by Trump.
According to the New York Times, as of this writing Marchant is leading his Democratic opponent, Cisco Aguilar, by 2,000 votes. Laxalt is currently ahead of incumbent Senator Catherine Cortez Masto by just over 14,000 votes, with an estimated 83 percent of the vote counted.
Given the razor thin margins, it is likely that the winners will not be known until next week, possibly as late as Friday, November 18, according to Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria. In Nevada, mail-in ballots continue to be counted as long as they were postmarked by Election Day (November 8 this year).
In an update Thursday afternoon, Gloria said that Clark County received 56,900 mail-in ballots. These are ballots that were dropped into mail boxes or dropped off at polling sites on Election Day throughout Las Vegas.
In addition to the outstanding Clark County ballots, there are thousands more votes yet to be counted in Democratic-leaning Washoe county, where Reno is located.
Bannon’s claims that the delay in counting votes in Nevada is due to fraudulent or nefarious activity on the part of the Culinary Union is a lie made of whole cloth. It is aimed at denigrating the largely immigrant and Hispanic membership of the 60,000 workers in the Culinary Workers Union (CWU).
Due to the treachery of the CWU bureaucracy, which, like most unions in the US, is tied by a thousand strings to the Democratic Party (current Nevada Senator Jacky Rosen is a former member of the CWU), rank-and-file members of the union have been forced to labor in COVID-19 infested restaurants, bars, casinos and hotels, which form the backbone of Nevada’s tourist-based economy.
Of the over 11,000 COVID-19 deaths reported in Nevada since 2020, 1,278 were reported in Washoe County (Reno), while 9,040 were reported in Clark County (Las Vegas), including 10 more yesterday.
Trump’s attempt to install election-denying loyalists in key battleground states falls short
In a number of races for secretary of state, the defining characteristic of the Republican candidates was their adherence to Trump’s lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen and their promise to assist Trump and other Republicans in overturning future elections, regardless of vote totals.
In Michigan, the Trump-endorsed Republican candidate for secretary of state was Kristina Karamo, an election-denying Christian nationalist.
Karamo earned Trump’s early endorsement for her efforts in assisting his attempt to overturn the vote in Michigan in 2020. As an election observer in 2020, Karamo advanced conspiracy theories that voting machines in Michigan flipped votes from Trump to Biden.
On Tuesday, Karamo was handily defeated by incumbent Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat.
Lesser known Republican candidates for secretary of state who denied the 2020 election results and lost their races included Kim Crockett in Minnesota, Audrey Trujillo in New Mexico and Dominic Rapini in Connecticut.
As of Wednesday afternoon, it appeared that only two election-denying secretary of state candidates, Nevada’s Jim Marchant and Arizona’s Mark Finchem, had a chance at winning.
Marchant was leading his Democratic opponent, Cisco Aguilar, by just over a percentage point, with 80 percent of the vote counted.
Results in Nevada’s election are not expected to be finalized until the weekend. In Clark County, Nevada, home of Las Vegas and the majority of the state’s 3.1 million residents, thousands of ballots have yet to be counted.
Marchant is the leader of the “America First” coalition of candidates running to head state election offices. He is a regular on Stephen Bannon’s fascistic “War Room” podcast.
Emboldened by Trump’s example, in 2020 Marchant unsuccessfully sued to overturn his own five-point congressional election loss. He has pledged that if he is elected, he will “fix” future elections for Trump and “get rid of mail-in ballots.”
In Arizona, the “America First” secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem is losing to his Democratic opponent Adrian Fontes by over 70,000 votes, with an estimated 72 percent of the vote counted, according to NBC News.
Finchem is an admitted member of the Oath Keepers militia group. The founder of the group, Stewart Rhodes, is currently on trial, facing seditious conspiracy charges for his role in Trump’s failed coup.
Video footage from January 6, 2021 shows that Finchem was in Washington D.C. and near the Capitol when it was being overrun by Oath Keepers and other far-right elements seeking to capture and/or kill lawmakers in order to block the Electoral College certification of Joe Biden’s election victory.
Finchem has been interviewed by the Department of Justice and the January 6 House Select Committee investigating the attack, but he has yet to be charged with a crime.
While the efforts of Trump and the Republicans to install their preferred candidates to high-level election offices in several battleground states seems to have fallen short, the new Congress will be chock full of election denying Republicans.
As of this writing, over 170 congressional Republicans who either voted against certifying the 2020 election after the attack on the Capitol or have since questioned the results of the 2020 election will be in the newly elected Congress. This includes the current House minority leader and possible future speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy.
Referendum results demonstrate widespread support for expanding democratic rights, increasing workers’ pay
Results from a series of referendums demonstrate widespread popular support among voters for both big business parties for expanding democratic rights and improving the wages and social conditions of workers.
In Michigan, voters overwhelmingly cast a ballot in favor of Proposal 3, which would incorporate into the state constitution provisions guaranteeing abortion rights and safeguarding freedom of choice “about all matters relating to pregnancy,” including the use of contraceptives.
Support for the constitutional amendment exceeded the vote for the incumbent and reelected Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, with 2,240,961 Michiganders voting in favor of Proposal 3 compared to 2,221,539 who voted for Whitmer.
Michiganders also voted in favor of proposals to expand early voting and increase financial disclosures by candidates running for office.
Amendments enshrining the right to an abortion also passed by large majorities in Vermont and California.
In Kentucky, where Republicans appear to have expanded their majority in the state’s General Assembly, voters rejected an amendment to the Kentucky constitution stating that “nothing in this constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.” As of this writing, the measure has failed by a margin of nearly 60,000 votes.
After the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this year, a previously enacted “trigger law” banning abortion, which had been passed by the Republican-dominated Kentucky legislature, went into effect. The law prohibits abortions under virtually all circumstances and is currently being challenged in court, with the Kentucky State Supreme Court set to begin hearing the case on November 15.
Nationwide polling conducted by the Associated Press indicates that roughly two-thirds of the population agrees that “abortion should be legal in most or all cases,” while only one in 10 supports a complete ban on the medical procedure.
Seeking to counter attacks on workers’ living standards and beat back sky-high inflation, voters in Nevada have passed an amendment to the state constitution increasing the state’s minimum wage to $12 an hour beginning on July 1, 2024. While this is still a poverty-level wage, the very fact that voters made clear they support an increase is politically significant in a state where Republican candidates for governor, senator and secretary of state currently lead their Democratic opponents.
In “blood-red” Nebraska, voters passed a measure to increase the state minimum wage by 66 percent by 2026. The measure would increase the minimum wage from the current $9 hour to $10.50 beginning January 2023, with yearly increases bringing the wage to $15 an hour by 2026.
Voters in Washington, D.C. passed “Initiative 82,” which will increase the tipped minimum wage to match the pay rate of non-tipped workers by 2027. The measure passed by an overwhelming margin, with 215,000 voting in favor, nearly three times as many as the 75,000 who voted against.
Supporters of the measure said that tipped restaurant workers should see their pay rise from $5.35 hour to $16.10 an hour by 2027.
According to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator, a “living wage,” that is, the amount needed to support two adults and one child, is over $68,000 a year, or roughly $34 an hour, in Washington, D.C.
Two Cheney-backed CIA Democrats win reelection
Representative Abigail Spanberger of Virginia and Representative Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, both Democrats, won reelection victories by narrow margins Tuesday, Spanberger by 10,559 votes, or four percent, Slotkin by 18,561 votes, or five percent.
The two congresswomen have other things in common: both are former CIA agents and were profiled in 2018 in the WSWS series on the CIA Democrats, exposing the number of former military officers, State Department officials and intelligence agents being plugged into top positions in the Democratic Party.
These reelection contests were the two most expensive House races in the country, with Spanberger and Republican Yesli Vega raising and spending a combined $37 million and Slotkin and Republican Tom Barrett raising and spending $34 million. The two Democrats substantially outraised and outspent the two Republicans.
These are vast sums, given that each congressional district has somewhat less than 800,000 people. Projected across all 435 congressional districts, this would add up to an expenditure of $15.2 billion, more than the total cost of the last presidential election campaign.
Both Spanberger and Slotkin were endorsed by Representative Liz Cheney, the warhawk Republican who is vice chair of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol. It was the first time that Cheney has ever endorsed a Democratic member of the House of Representatives for reelection, and these were the only two she endorsed.
Both Cheney’s endorsement and the vast sums raised demonstrate that the rise of the CIA Democrats is vital to the US military-intelligence apparatus and to the financial aristocracy which it serves.
Initial results: Neither party receives political mandate in midterm elections
With vote counting in the US midterm elections resuming in many states this morning, the results indicate that neither of the two corporate-controlled parties can claim a genuine mandate. The Republican Party appears likely to gain control the House of Representatives, but only by a narrow margin, largely due to reapportionment and gerrymandering, which shifted at least a half dozen seats in its direction, more than the net gain of five that it needed to achieve. The Wednesday morning media projections suggested a Republican gain of 10 seats or less, far from the 20-30 predicted in the week leading up to the vote.
The Democratic Party was narrowly ahead in the US Senate, capturing one Republican seat in Pennsylvania, where John Fetterman defeated Mehmet Oz, the only seat in the 50-50 Senate that has so far changed parties. Republican challenges to incumbent Democrats in New Hampshire, Colorado and Washington fell short, as did Democratic efforts to win Republican-held seats in Ohio, North Carolina and Florida.
Four seats remain contested between the parties: Arizona, Wisconsin, Nevada and Georgia, with Democrats leading in Arizona and Georgia and Republicans in Wisconsin and Nevada. Georgia has already scheduled a runoff election for December 6 because neither Democrat Raphael Warnock, the incumbent, nor Republican Herschel Walker will reach the required 50 percent of the vote.
In gubernatorial races, Democrats captured Republican-held offices in Massachusetts and Maryland and were leading in Arizona, while retaining control or leading in closely contested states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kansas and Oregon. Republicans were leading in only one Democratic-held state, Nevada.
Among the largest and most populous states, Republicans retained control easily in Ohio, Georgia, Florida and Texas, and Democrats won California, New York and Illinois.
The results demonstrated the failure of the Republicans to capitalize on the disastrous economic situation facing the bulk of the American population, and the failure of the Democrats to make gains from the assault on democratic forms of rule spearheaded by Republican ex-president Donald Trump and backed by the vast majority of Republican candidates.
The results also pose a challenge to Trump’s personal control over the Republican Party, with the equally fascistic governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, winning a landslide reelection, while Trump-backed candidates went down to defeat, particularly in Pennsylvania.
While President Biden raised the question of Trump’s attack on democracy in the final week of the campaign, this was done half-heartedly, while the real focus of the administration remains on stoking up the war with Russia in Ukraine and intensifying the US conflict with China in the Pacific.
On the basic class issues of war and attacks on jobs, living standards and social benefits, both parties are committed to doing the bidding of the financial aristocracy.
Although there is enormous political confusion engendered by the lies and demagogy of both parties, reinforced by a media barrage of immense proportions, neither party is seen by American working people as a credible vehicle for advancing their social and political interests.
The results of the election shed light on the shift to the left in the working class in one important aspect: every referendum to defend abortion rights was passed by comfortable majorities; every referendum to further restrict abortion rights was defeated, including in the supposedly conservative stronghold of Kentucky.
Initial midterm results show stagnating support for both parties
As of late Tuesday evening Eastern Time, the Republican Party appeared to be within reach of winning the House of Representatives in the first nationwide election held since it supported Trump’s January 6, 2021 coup attempt.
The results in many House races remain very close, however, and control over the Senate will likely not be known for days. The narrowness of the margins and the length of time required to count all votes set the stage for a protracted period of crisis, with a potential for violence. Trump is falsely claiming that the Democratic Party is engaged in fraud in states like Arizona, where a technical glitch caused a delay in vote tabulation.
Though Republicans will win seats from the Democrats, results do not indicate a substantial increase in support for the Republicans, whose hopes for a 30+ seat shift in the House do not seem to be materializing.
On the contrary, the national picture that emerges from the results so far is one of popular disinterest in what both parties have to offer. Republicans are performing well in Ohio and Florida but poorly in the Northeast, where they had expected to make gains.
Beyond Ohio and Florida, Democrats are also underperforming in Wisconsin and have been unable to deliver clear victories in Georgia and Pennsylvania, though the Senate races there remain undecided. Democratic Campaign Committee Chair Sean Maloney is presently losing his election for Congress in New York’s 17th District in what would be a substantial defeat for a Democratic leader.
The election also shows that Trump is not having success at expanding his base of support beyond a relatively narrow core. Many of the candidates most closely associated with Trump appear headed for defeat, including in gubernatorial races in Arizona, Michigan and Pennsylvania, three battleground states, though these results could still change as more votes are counted.
The results of a number of state ballot referendums also make clear the election does not reflect a shift to the right in popular consciousness. In Vermont, Kentucky and Michigan voters appear likely to enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution, and a similar measure will be voted on in California. Referendums in favor of legalizing marijuana are also passing in Maryland and Missouri, and voters in heavily Republican South Dakota are voting by a substantial margin to expand Medicaid for the state’s impoverished residents.
Three “former” Proud Boys hired as poll workers by Miami-Dade County Election Department
Three “former” members of the fascistic Proud Boys militia group have been hired on as poll workers by the Miami-Dade County Election Department in Florida.
On October 31, Miami New Times reported that Gabriel Garcia, an ex-Vice City Proud Boys leader who is currently facing six federal charges related to his actions on January 6, 2021 was hired on as a poll worker. The paper cited a video posted to the “Floridians FIRST” Telegram channel by Garcia in which he boasted, “That’s right, you heard it right, I’m working the poll. Cry some more, liberals. Enjoy your day.”
The Miami New Times, noted that Garcia, a former US Army captain was wearing a hat that read “F*ck Biden” during his video rant.
At the urging of Donald Trump and his Republican co-conspirators, the Proud Boys, along with the Oath Keepers, spearheaded the violent assault on Congress on January 6, 2021 in an attempt to delay the certification of the electoral college vote and install Trump as president-dictator.
In their statement of facts, the FBI notes that video footage from inside the Capitol on January 6, showed Garcia saying loudly, “Nancy come out and play,” a reference to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi’s husband, Paul, is still recovering after getting his skull bashed in with a hammer by a deranged Trump supporter last month.
In addition to Garcia, Miami New Times and WPLG ABC Local 10 News, reported that Christopher Barcenas and Nowell Salgueiro, both “former” members of the Vice City Proud Boys were also approved by the Miami-Dade County Election Department to be election workers.
According to the New York Times, Barcenas was also in Washington DC on January 6, 2021, but did not enter the Capitol. All three men, Garcia, Bacenas and Salgueiro, are current members of the Miami-Dade GOP [Republican] Executive Committee.
After the initial publication of the Miami New Times story on October 31, the Miami-Dade County Elections Department issued a statement saying that Garcia would not be assigned to a polling station, due to his indictment. The department made no statement regarding Barcenas or Salgueiro.
On Tuesday morning, the Miami Against Fascism Twitter account reported that Barcenas, “will be posted at a Coral Gables fire station today.” In their Twitter post @MIAagainstFash attached a photo Barcenas had uploaded from his Telegram account. Barcenas captioned the photo of himself standing in front of a fire truck, “The greatest precinct 614.”
Trump prepares to claim credit if Republicans win, plans to push party further to right
In the days leading up to the election, Donald Trump has given a series of speeches and interviews indicating he plans to claim credit if the Republican Party wins the election and push the party even further to the right.
In an interview with Fox News published Tuesday, Trump claimed he will not support current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell if the Republicans win back control of the Senate. Trump called McConnell a “lousy leader” because he has given insufficient support to him. “I think Rick Scott is a likely candidate,” Trump added, referencing the Florida senator who last Sunday refused to say he would support McConnell’s candidacy for majority leader in the event the Republicans flip the upper house.
“He’s tough—he’s tough, and I think he would probably go for it,” Trump said. “He’d have a lot of support. McConnell has been very bad for our nation. He has been very bad for the Republican Party. I would be in favor of somebody else—McConnell has done a very bad job.”
Trump’s support for Scott explodes Trump’s false attempt to posture as a defender of Social Security and Medicare. Scott is an extreme right-wing Republican who has openly called for massive cuts to the programs.
In a fascist speech Monday night, Trump made clear that if the Republicans win the House or Senate, he will see to it that the party carry out a vicious assault on the rights of immigrants and on all democratic rights. He pledged to essentially abolish the Bill of Rights by executing those suspected of certain crimes, like drug trafficking, without a trial. Trump is not a popular figure, but he is taking advantage of the political vacuum caused by the widespread lack of support for the Democratic Party’s pro-corporate, pro-war program.
“There’s a lot of bad things going on”: Trump calls on supporters to rally in Maricopa County, Arizona and Detroit, Michigan
As millions of people continue to vote throughout the country, former president Donald Trump has released a video on his social media platform calling on his supporters in Maricopa County, Arizona to not leave the polling station because “there’s a lot of bad things going on.”
In a video posted shortly before 5 p.m. EST, Trump called on the “great people of Arizona, Maricopa county in particular” to “stay where you are.” Using a previously reported issue with a small number of tabulators in Maricopa County, Trump baselessly claimed that election officials were deliberately trying to suppress the Republican vote in the fourth largest county in the United States.
“They say that the machines aren’t working, they say that they are running out of paper in different locations throughout different states,” Trump said, without naming any specific locations or states. Laying the foundations to claim that any Republican loss was due to deliberate sabotage, Trump declared, “There’s a lot of bad things going on.”
Stoking violence against election workers, Trump said, “They want to delay you out of voting. And you cannot let them delay you out of voting. So to the people of Arizona in particular, because that is the one that has come up right now, stay online. Don’t leave.”
“Already a lot of people have left and it’s very very unfair what is going on,” Trump added.
Prior to releasing the video Trump posted: “People of Arizona: Don’t get out of line until you cast your vote. They are trying to steal the election with bad Machines and DELAY. Don’t let it happen!”
While Trump has centered his fascistic incitements on Maricopa county, he has also published several posts on Truth Social casting doubt on the elections in heavily Democratic areas of Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Appealing to racists, Trump wrote, again without evidence, “Absentee Ballot situation in Detroit is REALLY BAD. People are showing up to Vote only to be told, ‘sorry, you have already voted.’”
He claimed that this was “happening in large numbers, elsewhere as well.”
The former president, who has yet to be charged for attempting to overthrow the government over 22 months ago, called on his supporters to “Protest, Protest, Protest!”
Exit polls reveal voters confront widespread, worsening economic hardship
Exit polls show that the vast majority of Americans confront worsening economic hardship as inflation remains high and wages stagnate.
According to exit poll data released by CNN, 78 percent of voters say the economy is “not good” or “poor.” Nearly half of all voters say their economic situation is worsening, while 35 percent say their economic situation is staying the same, compared to only 18 percent who say it has improved. Seventy-eight percent of voters say inflation has increased the level of economic hardship they confront.
Under these conditions, dissatisfaction with both big business parties and their leading representatives is also growing. Only 36 percent of voters said they believed Biden’s policies had helped their economic situation. However, Donald Trump’s popularity is only decreasing, with only 39 percent of voters approving of Trump compared with 58 percent who disapprove of him.
Both Trump and Biden are widely unpopular in battleground Pennsylvania, though Trump is slightly more unpopular than Biden. A quarter of voters said they voted today to oppose Trump, versus 18 percent who said they voted to oppose Biden. It is difficult to know how reliable exit polling data is because exit polls cannot accurately predict the proportion of voters who vote by mail, who tend to vote for Democrats, versus those who vote in person on election day, who tend to support Republicans.
Trump, Republicans incite violence against election officials after tabulation issues reported in Maricopa County, Arizona
The threat of fascist violence hangs over the election. As they did in 2020, Trump and his Republican allies have seized on a reported tabulation issue, in this case in heavily populated Maricopa County, Arizona, to undermine the election results ahead of time and incite political violence.
Responding to a viral video posted Tuesday morning by Charlie Kirk (founder and president of the fascist Turning Point USA) showing an election worker acknowledging an issue with two tabulators in Maricopa County, Chairman Bill Gates of the Maricopa County Elections Department posted a video response.
In the video Gates acknowledged that “20 percent” of the polling locations were reporting an issue with the tabulator. The Washington Post reported that officials confirmed to them that 20 percent of the 223 voting locations in Maricopa county, or nearly 50, were “experiencing problems.”
The officials explained that the tabulating, or counting, of votes does not in any way prevent voters from casting their ballot. The only change, as Gates explained, would be that ballots would have to be counted at a central processing facility, along with mail-in and “early voting” ballots, once the polls close at 7 p.m. In no way did the technical problem relate to an effort to suppress the vote.
However, in an attempt to further his election conspiracy lies and political violence, Trump posted on his social media network Tuesday afternoon: “Reports are coming in from Arizona that the Voting Machines are not properly working in predominately Republican/Conservative areas. Can this possibly be true when a vast majority of Republicans waited for today to Vote? Here we go again?”
Inciting right-wing militia elements, Trump added, “The people will not stand for it!!!”
Georgia Congresswoman and potential Trump vice presidential candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene boosted Kirk’s original video to her followers and demanded, “Get rid of the machines!” Donald Trump Jr. also retweeted Kirk’s video.
Jack Posobiec, a protege of Trump crony and long-time election provocateur Roger Stone, tweeted Tuesday afternoon: “Gitmo has opening for the people behind the Maricopa County disaster.” This was a reference to the US concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Earlier in the day, using language appealing to QAnon fascists, Posobiec wrote on Twitter: “Storm the polls.”