As I write this, election results are still being counted in mostly western states. While the Senate race in Georgia is headed for a runoff on December 6, Mark Kelly in Arizona and Catherine Cortez-Masto in Nevada have won their Senate seats, assuring that Democrats will retain control of the Senate in the next Congress. If Rafael Warnock wins the Georgia seat, that would give Democrats a 51-49 majority, which effectively means that Joe Manchin loses the outsize influence he has enjoyed for the past two years. That's good enough reason for us to do whatever we can to ensure Warnock's victory -- I plan to donate more money to his campaign, and to encourage my Georgia friends and relatives to vote for him. And even the House is still in play -- although the GOP is projected to win the House by the narrowest of margins, enough races are still too close to call that Democrats may still control the House as well as the Senate.
All these results make it clear that the projected "Red Tsunami" didn't happen -- not even a "Red Wave." More like what Joy Reid described as a "Red Tinkle." Young voters, voters of color, and voters who were concerned about reproductive rights, climate, and the future of democracy, turned out and created a Blue Wall that nullified any Red Wave being prophesied by Trumpist election deniers and White Christian nationalists. That means that at a National level, Congress won't be bogged down by two years of bogus investigations and impeachments, and Joe Biden might even have a chance to continue implementing his policies, and having his judicial appointments approved by a Democratic Senate, instead of being blocked at every turn by Mitch McConnell (who, we can only hope, will never again get the chance to be Senate Majority Leader).
In our home state though, the 40-year Republican stranglehold was not broken. Extreme partisan gerrymandering, voter suppression, name recognition, a shortage of national funding, and generational voting patterns were too much to overcome, even though our candidates were objectively more qualified and free from legal and ethical baggage. To me, one of the most encouraging results was Lina Hidalgo's win as Harris County Judge. As charismatic as Beto is, he has shown that he is unlikely to be able to win at the State level -- we need new statewide candidates. Lina will now begin her second term as the Chief Executive of a county that is bigger than the state of Kentucky. She is young, smart, and experienced, and she may represent the next best hope for the Democratic party statewide.
But the Texas Democratic party has to seriously analyze why we underperformed in this election, and take steps to ensure that Democrats have a better chance to win future elections. Today's Austin American-Statesman carried an article examining the possible reasons why Democrats didn't do as well as we had hoped, with experts weighing in on what the Party needs to change going forward. One of the points that caught my eye was the opinion of University of Houston Political Science Professor Brandon Rottinghaus, that "Democrats need to expand their organizing efforts to year-round if they expect to make true gains..."
And this is where WE come in -- as a local grass-roots Democratic party organization, we need to remain active over the next two years, signing up, organizing, and informing members, and working for a big turnout in 2024. We happen to live in a largely Republican area -- but if we work hard to convince our friends and neighbors that the Republicans have failed us, and that voting for Democratic candidates can positively impact our lives, we can help break the Republican stranglehold on our State government.
If you believe that we need a change in leadership in Texas, please think about what you can do to make that belief a reality. Make a commitment to continue to work with your neighbors in North Shore Democrats over the next two years, so that we can elect more Democrats to local, state, and national offices. We'll have some fun along the way, too. Your fellow NSD club members are unique, interesting individuals, and the more you work with them, the more you'll appreciate what a diverse and stimulating group we are. We hope to see you at our upcoming club events, which will be publicized in our newsletters and Facebook page. Let's continue to Stand Up Together!