The midterm election ... so far: Today So Far
"So far" is generally the theme of the day after Election Day.
This post originally appeared in KUOW's Today So Far newsletter for November 9, 2022.
In the warmer months, there is an algae bloom that often shows up around Puget Sound. You'll see it along waterfronts, on ferry rides, and around docks. It appears red, and some years it coats the water far and wide. But after some time, when the sun goes down, the agitated water gives off an electric blue light. That's the impression I'm getting from the midterm election. Many were predicting a red wave to wash over the results, but with time, as waves of votes came in, there were more hints of blue than expected. So far, ultimate results are unknown. More votes are being counted, but it appears that the red wave didn't strike as strong as some hoped and others feared.
The title of this newsletter, "Today So Far," is perhaps most apt for a day like today. "So far" is generally the theme of the day after Election Day. While some races can be called, there remains a lot of uncertainty around many others. We can only report on how things stand, so far. Only time will tell for how the Senate and House will look.
Check out initial election results for key local races here. And here's a roundup of all KUOW's post-election reporting, so far.
- Washington Democrat Patty Murray wins in Senate race after first ballot count
- Democrat Kim Schrier leads WA-08 race after first count
- Republican Dan Newhouse survives Trump’s revenge in WA-04
- Southwest Washington congressional race too close to call as vote counting continues
- Late voters find long lines in Seattle and Bellevue
One thing I've noticed so far is that independents are said to have been the ones to swing election results. Independent candidates, however, haven't had as strong of an influence. From Oregon to Washington (and a bit beyond) all the independent candidates that Northwest News Network's Tom Banse profiled in the lead-up to the midterms have fallen short.
For example, initial results show Independent Julie Anderson with 47% of the vote, trailing Democrat Steve Hobbs (50%) for secretary of state. Independent (and former GOP official) Chris Vance has 44% to Republican Phil Fortunato's 55% for state senator. Down in Oregon, Independent Betsy Johnson only has 9% of the vote for governor.
I also found NPR's assessment intriguing, particularly the points about Trump-backed candidates and the abortion issue. Four states put the abortion issue up to voters. In three states, early results favor placing pro-abortion rights into state constitutions. In Kentucky, an effort to write anti-abortion language into the state constitution is failing.
As for the Trump factor, the former president made more endorsements in 2022 than in previous election years. Some are making it through the general election and some are not. Either way, Republicans are not seeing their anticipated red wave, nationally. One analyst told NPR that the lack of Trump appeal with independent voters is a big reason why (there are those independents again).
For a closer look at Washington's results, check out KUOW's Paige Browning on Seattle Now this morning.
AS SEEN ON KUOW
Debbie Blodgett, left, and Mary Jennings, right, celebrate as election results appear on screen during a Republican Party election night gathering on Tuesday, November 8, 2022, at the Hyatt in Bellevue. See more scenes from election night here. (Megan Farmer / KUOW)
DID YOU KNOW?
November 9 is a notable date for two reasons in German history, one pretty negative and one positive, that should be remembered for different reasons.
November 9, 1938 has gone down in history as Kristallnacht, a night when Nazis began to terrorize Jewish citizens throughout the country. "Kristallnacht" translates to "night of broken glass," referencing how Nazis broke windows of Jewish-owned businesses, homes, synagogues and more. About 100 Jews died and about 30,000 Jewish men were rounded up, arrested, and sent to concentration camps.
November 9, 1989 was a very different day for Germany. That is when the Berlin Wall opened up, signifying a sense of unity and triumph over oppression. It put East and West Germany on a path to reunification the following year. The wall would also be demolished over that year, reconnecting a city that had been divided since 1961.
ALSO ON OUR MINDS
Russia announced a troop withdrawal from the key Ukrainian city of Kherson on Wednesday, in what would be a major blow to President Vladimir Putin's war effort. But the government in Kyiv was skeptical of the move.