Some random observations on the 2018 offyear elections, for Thanksgiving weekend pondering:

1. We hear continuously, and in some respects precisely, that Individuals are deeply divided politically. One other method to take a look at it: The variations between north and south, seen for 2 or three centuries, are vanishing. As Actual Clear Politics analyst Sean Trende tweeted, “Southern suburbs are beginning to vote like northern suburbs, northern rurals/small cities beginning to vote like Southern rurals/small cities.”

Republicans, who misplaced suburban Home seats on the coasts and within the Midwest within the 1990s, misplaced them this yr in metro Houston, Dallas and Atlanta. However Republican Home seats occupy virtually all of the territory within the huge heartland past the coastal Democratic districts — even because the celebration misplaced its Home majority.

2. A number of votes could make an enormous political distinction within the Senate. Democrats held two Senate seats (Montana and West Virginia), gained two from Republicans (Nevada and Arizona) and really narrowly misplaced one (Florida) with percentages that, rounded off, got here to only 50 %. The consequence: a 52-47 Republican majority.

But when all these shut contests had gone to Republicans, their 52-47 majority would balloon to a close to supermajority of 56-43. In the event that they’d all gone Democratic, it will be solely 52-48.

3. The moanings and lamentations about redistricting — and the way Republican redistricting put the Home out of attain of Democrats — ought to come to a sudden halt. Democrats gained a snug majority by profitable the Home fashionable vote by about eight %, a margin inflated by the very fact that there have been no Republican candidates in 38 seats and no Democratic candidates in solely three. The Democrats’ share of votes and of seats will become about 53 %.

Publish-2012 courtroom modifications of district strains in Pennsylvania, Florida and Virginia helped Democrats, and after the 2020 census, Republicans will management redistricting in fewer states than 10 years earlier than resulting from this yr’s governor elections and the institution of supposedly nonpartisan (however often liberal-dominated) redistricting commissions.

The grave risks to democracy posed by Republican redistricting, like these posed (with out the media a lot noticing) a number of census cycles in the past by Democratic redistricting, have turned out to not be so grave in spite of everything.

4. Equally, you must comb awfully totally via the outcomes to search out proof that the Supreme Court docket’s Residents United resolution, permitting firms to interact in political speech, biased the system towards Republicans and conservatives, as then-President Barack Obama intimated in his 2010 State of the Union deal with.

Actually, Democrats outspent Republicans in nearly each significantly contested race for Senate, Home and governor, simply as forces backing Hillary Clinton outspent backers of Donald Trump in 2016. Democrats benefited from huge contributors like George Soros, and from multitudes of small contributors motivated by worry and loathing of the 45th president. Spending by firms had little affect by hook or by crook.

5. Demographics aren’t all the time future, at the least within the quick time period. It has been extensively predicted, notably by pollster Stanley Greenberg and journalist Ron Brownstein, that an ascendant America with growing numbers of blacks, Hispanics, single girls and millennials will swing America to the Democrats.

In that course, maybe, however not all the time, at the least for now, as Donald Trump’s election confirmed. This yr, the slender defeats of black Democratic governor candidates Stacey Abrams in Georgia and Andrew Gillum in Florida disenchanted the ascendantists as soon as once more.

Abrams ungallantly blamed her 50 to 49 % defeat on the illegitimate results of voter suppression, as if historical past had stopped in Selma in 1965 and the Voting Rights Act was by no means handed. Truly, Georgia turnout was up 54 % from 2014, and solely 5 % beneath the 2016 presidential degree. Abrams acquired 1.9 million votes, 769,000 greater than her counterpart 4 years earlier than.

Florida was even nearer, with Republican Ron DeSantis beating Gillum 49.6 to 49.2 %. The rationale, in response to The Madison Institute’s William Mattox, writing within the Wall Avenue Journal: “college selection.” Florida has greater than 650 constitution faculties and helps fund 100,000 children’ non-public college scholarships; most beneficiaries are black or Hispanic.

Gillum, endorsed by trainer unions, promised to chop these applications again; DeSantis backed them. As Mattox identified, the CNN exit ballot confirmed an unusually excessive 18 % of black girls, in addition to 44 % of Hispanics, voting for the Republican. Faculty-choice dad and mom virtually absolutely made the distinction between victory and defeat.

Backside line: On a great Election Day for Democrats, there was some conflicting crosscurrents.

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