midterms 2018

House seat hangs in the balance over North Carolina Republicans' shady absentee ballot scheme

The House race in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, which still hasn’t been certified by the state’s elections board, is looking more suspicious all the time. Republican Mark Harris has a narrow lead over Democrat Dan McCready, but there are big questions about that lead thanks to an absentee ballot-harvesting scheme led by a Republican campaign operative. The numbers are suspicious, the witness signatures on absentee ballot envelopes are suspicious, and people have come forward to say that their ballots were collected, unsealed, by strangers—strangers who we now know were paid by Leslie McCrae Dowless, who was working for the Harris campaign.

Keep reading... Show less

Trump country turnaround: Why the president's faux-populism could return the Rust Belt to its Democratic roots

Politically, the Rust Belt has been one of the most volatile parts of the United States. While New England and the West Coast lean Democrat and many of the southern states have been reliably Republican, the Rust Belt has generally had a mixture of blue states and swing states (with Indiana being the most GOP state in the Rust Belt). But in 2016, President Donald Trump’s faux-populism not only resulted in a victory in the swing state Ohio—Trump also flipped three states that usually go Democrat in presidential races: Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is still fuming over the fact that Hillary Clinton was the first Democrat to lose Wisconsin in a presidential election since Walter Mondale in 1984. 

Keep reading... Show less

These are the gun safety proposals taking shape in the new Democratic House

Although Democrats won’t take over the majority in the House of Representatives until January, they’re already spelling out an ambitious agenda. Democratic leaders and incoming representatives have been giving details about some of the issues they hope to tackle, such as a broad ethics reform package, which would include campaign finance reform, voting rights, and ethics and accountability.

Keep reading... Show less

Here's how activists drove the blue wave to victory

What makes this midterm wave election different? With all the caveats and confusion still hanging in the air after this week's victories (and defeats), what stands out? The role of grassroots activists, working through new and old organizations, certainly played an outsized role. Matt Ewing of Swing Left says he has seen that happen before — if not quite on the same scale seen this time around. What stands out for him is the generational leadership impact, which could fundamentally change the course of history.

Keep reading... Show less

Here’s How 5 of the Most Racist, Bigoted Candidates Performed on Election Night

Tuesday, November 6, will be remembered as a day in which racism was both celebrated and rejected in the United States. During the 2018 election, President Donald Trump and his supporters played to the worst instincts of Republican voters with blatantly racist campaign ads and nonstop fear-mongering over the caravan of Central American refugees that originated in Pedro San Sula, Honduras, reached southern Mexico and was gradually making its way north. And in some places, it worked: Republicans increased their majority in the U.S. Senate, and white nationalist Ron DeSantis narrowly defeated Tallahassee Gov. Andrew Gillum in Florida’s gubernatorial race. But it was a different story in the House of Representatives, where Democrats will have a majority in 2019. As of Wednesday morning, November 7, Democrats had won 28 seats in the House.

Xenophobia and bigotry were rewarded in some races, yet rejected in others. Here are five of the most racist Republican candidates of 2018—some of whom were more successful than others.

1. Rep. Steve King

Iowa is a complex state politically. While its neighbor to the west, Nebraska, is deeply Republican—Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 26% in Nebraska in 2016—President Barack Obama won Iowa in both 2008 and 2012. But Rep. Steve King, who has been serving in the U.S. House of Representatives via Iowa since 2003, is not shy about expressing his racism. King endorsed Faith J. Goldy (the white nationalist who ran for mayor of Toronto this year) on October 16, calling her an “excellent candidate.” And he granted an interview to Austrian neo-fascist Caroline Sommerfeld for the alt-right Unzensuriert website. But as much of an embarrassment as King is, he won a ninth House term on November 6 and defeated Democrat J.D. Scholten by 3%.

2. Rep. Ron DeSantis

Florida’s 2018 gubernatorial race became a referendum on multiculturalism and inclusion versus fear and racial polarization—and Florida voters went with the latter when Gillum (who would have been the state’s first African-American governor) lost to the stridently pro-Trump DeSantis by 1%. DeSantis ran a polarizing campaign, accepting a $2000 contribution from Steven M. Alembik (an anti-Muslim extremist who used a racial slur to attack Obama on Twitter).
During a heated debate, Gillum noted that DeSantis has “got neo-Nazis helping him out in the state. He has spoken at racist conferences. He’s accepted a contribution and would not return it from someone who referred to the former president of the United States as a Muslim n*****. When asked to return that money, he said no. He’s using that money to now fund negative ads. Now, I’m not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist. I’m simply saying the racists believe he’s a racist.”

3. Brian Kemp

In Georgia, Brian Kemp was not only the GOP gubernatorial candidate—he was also Georgia’s secretary of state. And when he used his position to blatantly suppress African-American votes, the Rev. Al Sharpton asserted that “Jim Crow would blush” in response to Kemp’s efforts to prevent blacks from voting in Georgia. Kemp’s voter suppression efforts were as corrupt as they were blatantly racist, and his Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams, called for him to step down as Georgia’s secretary of state because it was a conflict of interest. Kemp refused.

The Road to Power, an Idaho-based white supremacist group, became champions of Kemp’s campaign as well as DeSantis’ in Florida. And on top of all the racist anti-Gillum robocalls to Florida voters, The Road to Power bombarded Georgia residents with racist anti-Abrams calls.

As of Wednesday morning, November 7, Kemp was ahead of Abrams in the vote count by about 2%. And Abrams (who would have been Georgia’s first African-American governor) was refusing to concede the race. Hopefully, Abrams will demand a full recount.

4. Kris Kobach

When centrist Democrat Laura Kelly defeated Kris Kobach in Kansas’ gubernatorial race on November 6, it was a rejection of racism and voter suppression. The far-right Republican, as Kansas’ secretary of state, has a been a master of suppressing non-white votes—and it was Kobach who invented the debunked conspiracy theory that Trump would have won the popular vote in 2016 had it not been for 3 million votes from illegal immigrants. On top of that, Kobach is a “birther” who promoted the conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama wasn’t really a U.S. citizen. Kobach is a shameless bigot through and through, and his defeat on November 6 is cause for celebration.

5. Corey Stewart

Although Corey Stewart was born and raised in Minnesota, the alt-right Republican and white nationalist has a bizarre fetish for the Confederacy. And defending the display of Confederate flags and other symbols of slavery and oppression was a hallmark of his embarrassing 2018 U.S. Senate campaign in Virginia, where he ran against incumbent Democrat Tim Kaine. Speaking at a Confederate-themed event, Stewart declared Virginia to be “the state of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.” But Stewart’s Confederacy fetish didn’t play well on November 6, when Kaine defeated him by 16%

Watch This Democratic Congressman-Elect Jump for Joy After Pulling Off a Surprise Victory in South Carolina: 'It's Called, Baby!'

While North Carolina—which President Barack Obama won in 2008 but lost in 2012—has evolved into a swing state, its neighbor South Carolina is still widely regarded as a deep red state. South Carolina gave us major Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham and former Gov. Nikki Haley. But while South Carolina is a heavy lift for Democrats, one South Carolina Democrat who is celebrating Wednesday is Joe Cunningham—who can be seen jumping for joy in a short raw video posted online after he learned he had defeated Republican Katie Arrington in South Carolina’s 1st congressional district.

The video captures Cunningham joyously declaring, “It’s called, baby!” right after the Associated Press had declared him the winner. Cunningham can be seen hugging friends like a French soccer fan who just found out that France had scored enough goals to defeat Croatia in the 2018 World Cup—or a Chicago Cubs fan finding out that the Cubs really did win the 2016 World Series.

It was a close race. But about 30 minutes after midnight, Cunningham ascertained that he had pulled off a narrow victory in a district that had been going Republican since the early 1980s.

In the video, one of Cunningham’s friends is heard inquiring about the AP’s declaration and asking, “How did it happen so quickly all of a sudden?” And Cunningham responds, “Beaver County. Beaver County. Their numbers came in.”

The far-right Arrington ran as a hardcore Trumpista, defeating incumbent Rep. Mark Sanford in a GOP congressional primary and lambasting him for not being pro-Trump enough. On June 12, 2018, President Donald Trump endorsed Arrington over Sanford, posting on Twitter, “Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA. He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He is better off in Argentina. I fully endorse Katie Arrington for Congress in SC, a state I love. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes. VOTE Katie!”

After her primary win, Arrington declared, “We are the party of President Donald J. Trump.” But when all was said and done, it was Cunningham who won the general election.

With Cunningham’s victory, South Carolina will have two Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2019. Jim Clyburn, who has been South Carolina’s lone Democrat in the House, was reelected.  

Although Republicans increased their majority in the U.S. Senate on Election Night, Democrats won a long list of House races and will have a clear House majority next year.

Keep reading... Show less

The Fight Continues: Here's What to Expect After Tuesday's Split Verdict for Democrats

Good morning. Welcome to the first official day of the 2020 presidential campaign! I'm sure you're all ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work. It that makes you feel like burying your face in a gallon of Ben & Jerry's and never coming up for air, I don't blame you. But it's the truth. Tuesday night marked the end of the beginning of the Trump era. We can only hope we're now at the beginning of the end.

Keep reading... Show less

After Retaking Control of House, Democrats Will Demand IRS Hand Over Trump's Tax Returns: Report

Within just moments of major news outlets declaring that Democrats will retake control of the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday night, MSNBC's Ari Melber reported that sources within the leadership of the party have already decided they will utilize their new-found check on President Donald Trump come January to demand the IRS hand over his long-concealed tax returns.

Keep reading... Show less

A 'Very Big Deal': Fox News' Chris Wallace Says 'Heads Are Exploding' After Network Calls House for Democrats Early on Election Night

Fox News made the early call on election night that Democrats had taken control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Keep reading... Show less

‘Dónde Votar’ Is the Top Trending Search Term on Google Right Now - Here's Why that Could Be Great News for Democrats

Google Trends reports the top trending search term Tuesday morning is "Dónde votar," Spanish for "Where to vote," and that's great news for Democrats. Google says the search term is "spiking 3,350%."

Keep reading... Show less

Ranked: These Are the 6 Republican Incumbents We’d Most Like to See Dealt Humiliating Defeats on Tuesday

While most polls project Democrats to gain a significant number of seats in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, not all victories are created equal.

Keep reading... Show less
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.