Election day has lastly arrived, and with it, the tip of this unsettled marketing campaign season is in sight. That’s to not say the outcomes will come rapidly. In actual fact, in lots of key races throughout the nation, it might take days or perhaps weeks to depend ballots — so be cautious of any untimely declarations of victory.
Whereas the nation waits for polls to shut — after which waits and waits some extra — right here’s a primer on the important thing questions of this election cycle.
Will there be a ‘red wave’ within the Home?
The basics of this election have all the time been in Republicans’ favor. Historic precedent is just not type to the get together that occupies the White Home throughout a midterm election and cussed inflation and President Biden’s lackluster approval scores haven’t finished the Democrats any favors. In latest weeks, polls present these financial issues are high of thoughts, particularly for essential impartial voters.
Republicans solely want 5 seats to win the Home majority and most projections have them simply clearing that bar, with estimates starting from 12 to 30 pickups. Whether or not this qualifies as a “red wave” will come right down to the margins — a Home chamber with a slim Republican majority can have a far totally different tone than one dominated by the GOP. Republicans are even competing in districts the place Biden beat President Trump by double digits, equivalent to Rep. Katie Porter’s Orange County seat.
Poor efficiency in blue states is a bleak signal for Democrats, though a few of their incumbents in swing or crimson states are holding their very own in polling — which can assist them keep away from an even bigger wipeout. A real wave would wipe out these weak Democrats as effectively.
Will the tide flip within the Senate?
Democrats have just about no room for error to keep up their management of the Senate, and their most weak incumbents are locked in tight races based mostly on public polling. However the get together’s prospects are higher than they’re within the Home, largely as a result of Senate races are typically extra formed by particular person candidates than nationwide dynamics.
Over the summer season, GOP Senate Chief Mitch McConnell downplayed expectations that his get together would win again the chamber, citing “candidate quality.” Some Republican contenders in essentially the most aggressive races made it by way of their major with the facility of Trump’s endorsement, even when they didn’t have the broadest attraction to the final voters. Candidates equivalent to Blake Masters in Arizona and Don Bolduc in New Hampshire have been seen as comparatively weak candidates to tackle their state’s in any other case weak incumbents, Sens. Mark Kelly and Maggie Hassan.
However political gravity nonetheless has pull and the Arizona and New Hampshire races have tightened. The GOP is especially hopeful that Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto will fall to Adam Laxalt, the Republican former state legal professional normal, and that soccer star Herschel Walker will oust Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock. There’s a chance Georgia voters must go to the polls once more on Dec. 6 if neither Walker nor Warnock will get greater than 50% of the vote; a run-off is required underneath state regulation if no candidate will get a majority.
Democrats have some pick-up alternatives as effectively, most notably in Pennsylvania. Their candidate, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, is squaring off towards Mehmet Oz, the well-known tv physician. Oz’s recognition took a beating throughout a tough GOP major, however Fetterman’s candidacy was hobbled by a severe stroke, which he continues to get well from.
Who would be the governors within the 2024 battlegrounds?
Each main battleground state is holding governor’s races this yr, with ripple results that might be felt within the 2024 presidential race. Trump acolytes equivalent to Kari Lake in Arizona and Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania have refused to just accept the outcomes of the 2020 presidential race, elevating questions of whether or not they would respect the end result of future elections. Whereas Mastriano, a GOP state legislator, has trailed considerably in polling behind Democratic state Atty. Gen. Josh Shapiro, Lake, a former newscaster, has had a a lot stronger exhibiting towards Katie Hobbs, Arizona’s present secretary of state.
Within the higher Midwest, Democrats Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Tony Evers of Wisconsin are attempting to fend off challenges from Trump-backed candidates Tudor Dixon and Tim Michels, respectively. Whitmer’s race specifically might have large implications for a rising star of the get together. And talking of rising stars, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is favored to simply beat Democrat Charlie Crist, however an particularly giant margin of victory might assist play into a possible 2024 bid.
What does this imply for the way we conduct elections?
Secretary of state races are often sleepy affairs, however Trump’s persistent lies about election fraud have put new gentle on this place. A number of GOP election deniers are working in battlegrounds, equivalent to Mark Finchem in Arizona and Jim Marchant in Nevada. Their vows to overtake election administration might upend the presidential race in key states.
If these candidates win, the implications might be huge. Republicans have been attempting to curtail early voting and mail ballots, a voting technique that was as soon as predominantly utilized by GOP voters till Trump complained about alleged election fraud. Among the most distinguished election denier candidates, citing baseless voting machine conspiracies, have additionally known as for prolonged hand counts of ballots, which consultants say might result in delayed and inaccurate tallies. Others have mentioned they’d not have upheld the outcomes of the 2020 election, calling into doubt if they’d certify races sooner or later.