Home/Rod Dreher/Election Night Open Thread

Election Night Open Thread

Hey everybody, here’s the open thread for Election Night. I’m going to be updating it over the next few hours. Please add your own commentary in the combox. Keep it clean and non-stupid, please.

Politico and others say that President Trump is ready for bad news:

By evening, however, many Trump allies had assumed a crash position, anticipating bruising results that could anger the president. “I would not want to be in that room tonight,” one former White House official told POLITICO.

I just saw that ABC News called the Ohio Senate race for Sherrod Brown, the incumbent Democrat. It wasn’t remotely close. J.D. Vance was thinking earlier this year of getting into that race, but Trump’s announced support for Jim Renacci in the GOP primary pretty much closed that door. Hard not to wonder how things would have gone for the Republicans had Vance been on the ticket.

It’s 8 pm on the East coast. Should get a bunch of results shortly. Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) has lost, and lost big. But she was probably the most vulnerable Republican House member, so I’m not quite sure how much of a bellwether that is.

More to come…

UPDATE: I’m watching returns with my 12-year-old daughter Nora, who wants to be a public radio journalist. She’s really into it, just like I was at her age. Makes me so proud and grateful.

My son Matt, who turned 19 this autumn, voted in his first election today. I don’t post photos of my family as a rule, so I’ve altered this. In case you have missed it, his funk radio show, Motor Booty Affair, is on Saturday nights at 7pm on KLSU-FM (and livestreamed online). This past Saturday night, he had an Election Special. Here’s a link to the playlist and the archived broadcast. Here is your DJ, Brougham d’Elegance, voting today:

UPDATE.2: FiveThirtyEight is dialing back its House forecast. Nate Silver, speaking on ABC, says his model still favors the Democrats taking the House, but it’s not looking nearly as good as it did. It’s not looking like a blue wave is building.

This too from Five Thirty Eight:




Well, well, well.

UPDATE.4: Incumbent Democrat Sen. Joe Donnelly loses in Indiana. Donnelly voted against Kavanaugh. Good.


UPDATE.5: NBC News projecting that Democrat Joe Manchin holds on in West Virginia. Nota bene, he voted for Kavanaugh.

Republican Marsha Blackburn wins big in Tennessee for Senate, replacing Trump-critical Republican Bob Corker. She’s the first female Senator for Tennessee. So much for the Taylor Swift vote. David Muir pointed out that losing Democratic candidate Phil Bredesen is popular in Tennessee, but voters there love Trump even more. The opposite of New Jersey.

Democrats so far having a lousy night. “They are not winning where they thought they would win,” says ABC’s Jon Karl.

Man, if the Democrats fail to take the House tonight, as almost everybody expected them to do, liberal voters are going to lose their minds.

UPDATE.6: Like I said:





NBC News also.

Good news! A man who writes Bigfoot erotica is going to be a Republican Congressman from Colorado. #MAGA

UPDATE.8: Conservative analyst and native Texas Joshua Treviño writes on his Facebook feed:

At this stage in the evening, with over four million votes reported statewide — roughly half the estimated total — it almost doesn’t matter, in one specific sense, whether or not there is a United States Senator Beto O’Rourke, D-TX. Make no mistake, there may well be one. And that’s the point: lots of informed people, including myself, saw in him yet another of the dreary cult figures put forth for surefire losses by the perennially hapless Texas Democrats. He went statewide, got fawning media attention, and tried to sell himself on the Bernie Sanders platform.

Well. It is 2028hrs Central on the evening of 6 November 2018, and it looks like that may have worked.

We were wrong. I was wrong.

Your endlessly annoying Beto-cult friend was right.

We don’t know yet if it worked in the sense that he becomes a United States Senator, and Ted Cruz becomes a high-priced private attorney with a nice place in The Woodlands. We know it worked, though, in that this thing is competitive. Even if O’Rourke doesn’t win it, it will be absolutely unquestionable that he very much could have won it. That hasn’t been true for a statewide Texas Democrat in over a decade.

Credit the Texas Democrats with a lot of energy wholly unwarranted by empirical outcomes in the past generation. But understand that they didn’t get here alone. A lot of Republican and conservative complacency went into this outcome. They lost African-Americans, and they were fine with that. They lost a majority of Mexican-Americans, and they were fine with that. They lost all the big Texas cities, and they were fine with that. These things have a way of adding up. They have a way of yielding the outcomes and possibilities we see now.

Now the emergency is upon us.

UPDATE.9: More good news coming in for Democratic House candidates. Five Thirty Eight has moved the Dems back into the “likely to take the House” mode. And look at this, about the Kansas gubernatorial race:


Mitt Romney is going to be the US Senator from Utah.

UPDATE.10: ABC News calls Texas for Ted Cruz. Does anybody doubt that Beto O’Rourke is going to run for president in 2020, and will probably end up on the ticket one way or the other? There hasn’t been a close Senate race in Texas in a long time. Gotta hand it to O’Rourke. He lost, but he was not a loser.

The Democrats have lost Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, that seat flipping to the GOP. That means Republicans will definitely hold the Senate.

UPDATE.11: Watching the ABC News commentary tonight, I just heard ABC’s Byron Pitts, who is black, suggest that Florida’s failure to elect black Democrat Andrew Gillum governor means that white Floridians are racist. He said that black Floridians will want to “give their white neighbors the hairy eyeball tomorrow” over the DeSantis win. Republican analyst Alex Castellanos reminded the panel that Gillum is pretty darn progressive. News flash: It’s normal for people to vote for candidates who share their political views.

Republican Rick Scott is on the verge of ousting incumbent Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, by the way.

UPDATE.12: Not much going on in Louisiana tonight, but this constitutional amendment is a big win for the right side:


ABC News calling the House for the Democrats. It wasn’t a blue wave, but it’s still a very big deal. Now the Democrats will control all the House committees, and they are going to investigate the hell out of the Trump administration. The next two years are going to be miserable for the president.


The danger for the Democrats is that theywill push too far against Trump, and give him a foil for 2020.

Still, given that the Senate will remain firmly in GOP hands, it’s not the worst thing that the Democrats will take the House. Trump could stand some actual oversight.

Surely the Democratic members in the new Congress will not vote to return Nancy Pelosi as speaker. Right? They need new blood.

In other news

  • Dave Brat lost in Virginia. Brat was the guy who knocked off Eric Cantor a couple of cycles back. He’s also the guy who said this silly thing.
  • Josh Hawley is clearly on track to throw out Sen. Claire McCaskill, giving the GOP another Senate pick-up. McCaskill voted against Judge Kavanaugh. That will be the third pickup for the GOP tonight. Arizona’s Senate race — for John McCain’s Jeff Flake’s seat — is too close to call. GOP’s McSally slightly ahead, but it could go either way.


  • Looks pretty clear that Republican Brian Kemp is going to handily defeat Democrat Stacey Abrams for Georgia governor.
  • Michigan has just voted to legalize recreational marijuana.
  • Not sure what’s going to happen in Arizona, but if the GOP holds it with strong Trump supporter McSally, that’s going to give the GOP a comfortable margin if they get to vote on a SCOTUS nomination in the next two years. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski won’t have the leverage that they did with Kavanaugh. That looks good for a Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
  • One more thing, then I’m calling it a night here.


Right. White conservative women are racist for having voted for a white conservative. Black women voted for a white Democrat not because they are racially enlightened, necessarily, but because they share the views of the white Democrat, who was the only Democrat on the ballot.

UPDATE.14: OK, one more. This is hilarious.


about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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