Pluribus AM: The red wave that wasn’t; big night for abortion rights; longest-serving AG loses

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Good morning, it’s Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. Anybody else tired this morning? In today’s edition, the red wave that wasn’t; abortion rights have a big night; longest-serving AG loses re-election:

Top Stories

MIDTERM RESULTS: An angry electorate that dislikes both its political parties and fears the future delivered a sharply divided verdict in Tuesday’s midterm elections, likely dragging Washington to a screeching halt for the next two years. Democrats appear on pace to retain control of the Senate, possibly contingent on a December runoff in Georgia, while Republicans are on pace to win a narrow majority in the U.S. House. (Pluribus News)

IF YOU’RE A DEMOCRAT: This is the happiest any party has ever been about losing control of the House. Most Democratic incumbents survived, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) flipped a U.S. Senate seat, and the party appeared to make gains in state legislatures across the country.

IF YOU’RE A REPUBLICAN: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will have to wait to declare victory, but he’s the next likely speaker of the House. Though ballots are left to count, results show Florida is moving out of the swing column and to the right, and Republicans reclaimed control of critical state Supreme Courts in North Carolina and Ohio.

IF YOU’RE NEITHER: You probably hate both parties. Exit polls showed most voters see Democrats and Republicans unfavorably, and as too extreme. Majorities see both President Biden and former President Donald Trump unfavorably. Three-quarters say the economy is not so good or poor, 80% say inflation has caused hardship, and two-thirds say American democracy is threatened.

ABORTION RIGHTS: Ballot measures adding abortion rights to state constitutions passed in Michigan, California and Vermont on Tuesday, while measures backed by abortion opponents were trailing in Montana and Kentucky. The results represent resounding victories for rights advocates in the months after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade. (Pluribus News)

LEGAL MARIJUANA: Voters in Maryland and Missouri approved constitutional amendments legalizing recreational marijuana on Tuesday, though voters in Arkansas and North Dakota rejected legalization measures. Another initiative legalizing pot appeared headed to defeat in South Dakota. (Pluribus News) A decade after initiatives passed in Colorado and Washington, supporters are running out of places where ballot measures are an option.

GUN RIGHTS: Oregon voters appeared to approve Measure 114, which would require residents to obtain a permit to buy a firearm after passing a safety course and ban the sale or transfer of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. (Oregonian) Iowa voters backed an amendment to the state constitution adding a right to keep and bear arms. (Des Moines Register)

GEORGIA: Allies of House Speaker David Ralston (R) have cleared the way for Majority Leader Jon Burns (R) to replace him in leadership elections later this year. Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones (R) and state Rep. Matt Hatchett (R) dropped their bids and backed Burns. Burns still has to get through state Rep. Barry Fleming (R), one of the House’s more conservative members. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

CALIFORNIA: Jim DeBoo, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) executive secretary, is stepping down after two years. Newsom has tapped Dana Williamson, the longtime Sacramento political strategist and a former top aide to ex-Gov. Jerry Brown (D), to take DeBoo’s place. (Los Angeles Times)

More Results

MICHIGAN: Democrats have won control of the state House and likely the state Senate, while Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) won re-election and Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) led their Republican rivals. If the Senate results hold, it would give Michigan Democrats full control of state government for the first time in 40 years. (BridgeMI)

IOWA: Attorney General Tom Miller (D) has conceded defeat to Guthrie County Attorney Brenna Bird (R). With 98.5% of the estimated vote in, Byrd led Miller by 20,000 votes, or about 1.6%. Miller, the longest-serving attorney general in American history, served 10 terms and survived GOP waves in 1994, 2010 and 2014. (Des Moines Register)

MINNESOTA: Democrats defended their slim majorities in the state House and appeared headed toward a majority in the Republican-controlled state Senate. Three Democratic winners — Clare Oumou Verbeten, Zaynab Mohamed and Erin Maye Quade — will be the first Black women to serve in the Senate’s 164-year history. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

ARIZONA: Control of the state Senate hangs in the balance as five races hang in the balance. If Democrats win two of the five seats, the parties would split control of the chamber 15-15, forcing a power-sharing agreement. (Arizona Republic) Don’t forget, Arizona counts slooooowly.

NORTH CAROLINA: Republicans appeared to fall one seat short of winning a supermajority in the state House, while they reached supermajority status in the state Senate. The results will likely prevent Republicans from advancing new abortion restriction measures over Gov. Roy Cooper’s (D) veto. (Raleigh News & Observer)

TEXAS: Republicans swept statewide offices on Tuesday and appeared poised to expand their majorities in the state legislature. Republicans will hold at least 19 of 31 seats in the state Senate, up from the 18 they held prior to the election. (Texas Tribune, Dallas Morning News)

FLORIDA: Republicans swept all three of Florida’s statewide offices Tuesday, while Sen. Marco Rubio (R) kept his seat in the Senate. The results mark the first time since Reconstruction that Florida Democrats have held no statewide offices. (Orlando Sentinel) Florida Republicans appear set to grab supermajorities in the state House and Senate. (Tampa Bay Times)

KENTUCKY: Republicans added to their state House supermajority on Tuesday as at least four Democratic state representatives lost or were trailing. (Kentucky Fried Politics)

CALIFORNIA: The most expensive political contest of the year is ending in defeat for both Native American tribes and major gaming companies who sought to open sports wagering in America’s biggest market. Props. 26 and 27 were headed to defeat by overwhelming margins after the two sides spent more than $600 million on their campaigns. (Pluribus News)

By The Numbers

12: The number of Big Macs political candidates and their outside allies could have purchased every American with the $16.7 billion spent on this year’s midterm elections, according to spending projections from OpenSecrets. (Sacramento Bee) Of course the standard unit of measure is the Big Mac.

48 years: The length of time since Alabama’s state legislature has had a Jewish member. That streak will end when Rep.-elect Phillip Ensler (D) is sworn in to office, after he ousted state Rep. Charlotte Meadows (R) in a Montgomery-based district. (

2: The number of states where women will occupy both the governor’s office and the lieutenant governor’s office. Arkansas voters chose Gov.-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) and Lt. Gov.-elect Leslie Rutledge (R) on Tuesday, while Massachusetts voters picked Gov.-elect Maura Healey (D) and Lt. Gov.-elect Kim Driscoll (D). (Pluribus News)

Off The Wall

Crypto entrepreneur Sam Bankman-Fried, who spent millions bankrolling Democratic candidates this year, saw his net worth plummet 94% on Tuesday as rival Binance bailed out his company, FTX. It was the biggest-ever one-day loss for a billionaire tracked by Bloomberg.

Quote of the Day

“We have rewritten the political map.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who beat ex-Rep. Charlie Crist (D) by 19 points four years after he won office by just 33,000 votes. (Pluribus News) Florida is on the path Ohio has taken in recent years.