Election reaction: No Red Wave, But No Blue Tsunami Either…WHAT Happened & What We’ve learned Here & Elsewhere…

Dems did much better than polls projected. Much, much better. Donald did very poorly. Very, very poorly. We assess the status of the race for the U.S.House and Senate and national trends suggested by the shocking results. We also compiled a detailed summary of all NM State House Rep races, all 70 of them and what those results suggest for the future. We offer SOS unofficial results with 100% of vote in and how every NM House race appears to have ended. And most all the news is good!!!!! Before we dive in, a shout out to our vets who have answered the call to serve in just and unjust wars alike. Their sacrifices should be honored, regardless.

On the national scene:

I’ve been working on this post since Tuesday night and every time I think I am done, some dramatic shift occurs that impacts the tone of the piece as well as requiring reworking of the details significantly. Major publications can assign staff to ensure timely, accurate reporting. We’ve got no staff, so we review and revise and what we wanted published on Weds, gets published on Friday. In Addition to this post, we have published a review of all 79 NM State House races with the latest results nd brief analysis of the implications.And there is much to report, most of it good, some of it very good.

  • Apparently it is still possible that the Dems hold the House! and even if they don’t, their losses will be historically low, with Dems doing far better than anticipated and better than any incumbent president in midterms in 20 years. To avoid a GOP takeover, experts have been saying that the Dems need to win most all of the races still in play and they keep doing just that, and so, as reported in an excellent Politico piece published this morning, it is still possible the Dems could hold the House. Stay tuned, but check out Politico, as they lay out the map clearly and concisely.;
  • Gabe has won!. While it is still statistically possible for Yvette Herrell to overtake Gabe Vasquez in NMCD2, the odds are so remote, KOB-TV has called the race for Gabe; Herrell has conceded graciously; and Gabe has claimed victory. A huge win for many reasons, as discussed below under “Election Implications.”
  • The election was an unmitigated disaster for Trump. As reported by Politico: ““Trump’s favorite candidates disappoint on Election Day, raising questions about his 2024 pitch,” read the CNBC headline. “Trump Hoped for a Celebration but Did Not Have Much to Cheer,” agreed the New York Times. “Trump’s biggest midterm bets don’t pay,” headlined POLITICO. “Why the 2022 election was such a disaster for Trump,” the Washington Post had it. “Trump Lost the Midterms. DeSantis Won,” anti-Trumpist David Frum gloated at the Atlantic. “Trump’s role in disappointing midterm elections could leave GOP in a box,” seconded the Los Angeles Times. “Trump gears up to run after midterms. Many Republicans appear unexcited,” reported Reuters.” We offer more on this, below, as this has significant repercussions in GA and its Dec 6 runoff. and for the general election in 2024.
  • Fetterman Wins in PA , running on an unabashedly progressive platform, illustrating that working class voters will support progressive policies, if the right candidate uses the write language to articulate his/her views;
  • Huge wins for abortion rights activists, some in unlikely places
    • Kansas and Kentucky rejected a constitutional amendment that would have made abortion illegal;
    • In Montana, voters rejected the “born alive” policy, ;
    • Constitutional amendments ensuring a woman’s right to abortion passed by wide margins in Vermont and California;
  • GA will have another runoff, as Warnock held off Walker and should have many big advantages in the run off, as explained in our Election Implications below;
  • Dems Should Keep the Senate, and may not even need to win the runoff in GA to do so;
  • GOP losers are uniformly and graciously accepting defeat, even in close races, e.g Oz in Pennsylvania and Herrell here in NM;
  • Voters in Michigan, Wisconsin and other states rejected Republican candidates who cast doubt on the 2020 election results. But such candidates won in Ohio and North Carolina.
  • Almost no claims of voter irregularities were raised this week. other than from Kerri Lake(self proclaimed as “Trump in a dress,” and candidate for AZ Governor, Lake has suggested that the vote was tainted, as she is trailing by a fair margin;
  • In Michigan, Democrats won both chambers of the Legislature and re-elected Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, giving the party a trifecta of power for the first time in 40 years.where nearly half of voters said abortion was their top issue, This is nothing short of amazing, given the level of opposition to Whitmer two years ago. Apparently, Michigan voters do not approve of trying to kidnap your Governor or Republicans trying to justify or defend the action.
  • In Pennsylvania, abortion overtook the economy as the top issue on voters’ minds. Democrats there won a Senate race (Fetterman) critical to their hopes of maintaining a Senate majority, as well as the governor’s mansion, and they seemed poised to flip control of the State House of Representatives.

Taken together, not only did voters reject GOP fear mongering dogma, they have not signed up to usurp government, if and when they lose. Is it possible we are turning a page and embarking on an era where rules and votes matter and winners win with grace and losers concede with the same dignity? Too early to tell, but Tuesday night and Wednesday and Thursday were good days for Dems, abortion rights advocates, recreational marijuana proponents and for dignity and mutual respect. It is hard to find anyone who saw this coming. More on the implications of the national results, below after a review of NM results.


  • NM Dems Swept Statewide Races. Dems won races for Treasurer, AG, SOS, Gov. Land Commissioner and Auditor, all comfortably. Dems won all statewide elections with wins ranging from MLG’s narrow 6% margin to Joe Maestas stunning 24% victory.
  • There were no significant Dem losses in NM House races, Indeed, Speaker Egolf projected that there would be no change in the number of Dems in the House (45) but with losses for two conservative DINOS and wins by more solidly progressive Dems in other races, in 2023, we will find the NM House ever so slightly more progressive (see summary). So the Roundhouse should be workable in 2023-24.
  • Augie Montoya lost in Dist. 22. and it wasn’t close. The lesson here is that even a great candidate can’t make up 1000 votes in a race against a well-funded, well-known opponent. Augie worked hard, but the 1000 difference in GOP-vs Dem turnout in the primary grew to a 2000 vote defeat, so rather than narrowing the gap, it grew.
  • BernCo voters soundly rejected centrist efforts to maintain control of the Commission, electing Barbara Baca and Eric Olivas to the commission. There is still a chance to convince the now lame duck Commission to select Julie Radoslovich over Maestas as their last act, but even if the outgoing Commission votes for Maestas, they are still outgoing and a new, far more progressive Commission will be deciding who will replace Maestas in the House and makin perhaps the final call on Santolina. So these were huge wins.
  • Constitutional Amendment I passed by an astonishing 70-30% margin, this is a clear indication that NM voters will invest in our future, our schools, and our children.
  • Constitutional Amendment II also passed albeit by a narrower margin, another indication of NM voters’ desire to invest, but here in relation to infrastructure. We opposed this amendment and have found other legislators who share the concerns Retake raised in our Amendment 2 and 3 recommendations post. We will be paying close attention when enabling legislation is drafted, as we view public-private partnerships as almost always being public subsidies to increase private profit. Stay tuned.

Election Results: Implications for the Future

National Implications

Georgia will matter, no matter what!

According to the NYTimes, the Dems are likely to hold the Senate. That projection is based mostly on the possibility that the Dems will sweep at least two of the three remaining Senate races. But even if they get all three, that would land them with 51 seats, a slim but potentially solid majority, if not for Manchin and Sinema. But if the Dems can get to 52, then Manchin and Sinema become politically irrelevant. Dems don’t need their vote and won’t need to compromise their bills to get their vote. So with only four weeks to go until the runoff, awe encourage Retake peeps to contribute, call and write letters and Retake hqs options for you.

Working America: has launched both letter writing and calling campaigns in Georgia and his is their message:

Once again, it all comes down to Georgia. The runoff is December 6th.

We know you can do this, simply because you have already done so much. But it ain’t over yet.

Help us re-elect Senator Raphael Warnock.

Thanks to the Georgia GOP, the run-off is a month earlier than it was last time. Just to make it harder for us.

But we can do this. And we will.

Sign up to start writing letters today by going to workam.org/LettersWA

Next week, Working America will send out the sign-up for phone calls to Georgia voters. Feel free to do both things. Retake will post th updqte on calling, but encourages you to get warmed up with some personal letter writing.

Can’t call or write, well there are ways to contribute cash to grassroots GA. organizations, as well:

Following the November 8th Georgia general election, the coalition that is the Georgia Alliance partners, are organizing communities to show up for the U.S. Senate Runoff on December 6th, 2022 featuring Senator Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker.

Georgia’s new voting laws have shortened the time between the general election and the runoff from 8 weeks to 4 weeks. As a result, our primary concern is raising the resources necessary for our coalition partners to continue the important work they did in the 2022 general election. This is the same coalition that knocked over 10 million doors in the 2021 runoff.  They are ready to do it again!

Georgia is a huge in size and population. As in New Mexico the efforts of non-party groups such as Georgia’s equivalents of CVNM, Planned Parenthood, Working Families, and Somos play a crucial role in urging their members and constituencies to vote.

Credit Card Donations: https://www.gapartnersfund.org

This umbrella group will send the funds to the group most needing it for their election plan.

More National Election Reflections

It certainly appears that voters are tiring of conspiracy theories and warfare over differences of perspective. In this context we may see a subtle shift toward substantive debate of issues, rather than knee jerk accusations replete with pre-packaged opposition. A guy can dream.

It is probably premature to declare Trump dead, but he is certainly wounded and flailing wildly. This could have huge implications in Georgia, significantly increasing the likelihood of a Warnock win. It also has implications for 2024. Follow this train down the tracks. DeSantis quickly heads to GA to campaign for Walker. At first, Trump just fumes, but soon he starts attacking Walker for being an ingrate and then turns on DeSantis. Trump publicly suggests that MAGA supporters will stay home, if Trump is not part of the campaign. MAGA voters take this as Trump’s way of telling them to stay home and so, many of them do, in lower numbers than Trump would have liked, but this race is razer close, so any diffusion of effort will be fatal. Walker loses, and DeSantis blames Trump and Trump blames DeSantis. And so the 2024 race for the GOP nomination begins in the ashes of a winnable loss. And the Dems hold the Senate.

No matter what the GOP do, Democrats need better messaging on kitchen table issues and a closer relationship with voters.. Progressive policies, if well explained, are popular. The GOP brazenly acknowledged plans to gut Social Security and Medicare. Dems need to lead with this everywhere they go. Elected Dems also need to come home more often and do issue-focused town halls where they do more than rattle off numbers. They need more human stories, less data and they need to listen.

Dems need to listen to constituents more. An Atlantic piece I reviewed recently describes how disaffected Dem Hispanic activists have become, because Dems take them for granted, assuming they will just fall into line, that Dems only come to them when elections come and they need their support and vote. A brilliant Dem strategy would be for Dem. Congressional leadership to announce a Dem. Congressional Listening Campaign in every House district in the country. In Dem-held districts, the Rep would show up and after 2-3 minutes of talk, would shift to; “What’s on your mind? What keeps you up at night?” and then s/he would listen, not defend, deflect or explain, listen. Great media coverage of Dems doing what they never do, listen to constituents. In GOP districts, send state Dem leadership, perhaps with a potential Dem candidate in that district. They follow the same process in Dem districts. This may not change many GOP minds, but maybe soften their opposition or even beginning to see the wisdom of one or two Dem policies, positions or candidates. Again, great media coverage.

In any case, I am out of steam and need to hit publish, so I can pack for our flight to Cleveland where he smiling faces of grandkids await. We may not blog at all while gone, but no promises. Back Nov 18. Don’t forget to check out the summary of all NM House racesand implications for the future by clicking here

In solidarity and hope ( way more hope than 4 days ago)

Paul & Roxanne

Categories: Election, Political Reform & National Politics

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1 reply

  1. Enjoy your grandkids and so much appreciation for all the two of you do.

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