Trump’s Biggest Nightmare Comes True: Americans Are Voting.
Americans are voting, despite Republicans' best efforts. It's wonderful to see. Election Day is next Tuesday, and CNN reports that more than 60 million people have voted already, and 33 states have blown past their early vote totals from 2016, the election that dare not speak its name.
Twelve of CNN's most competitively ranked states are among these states that have exceeded their total 2016 pre-election ballots cast.
They include: Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.
This is tremendous news considering that we're still deep in a pandemic. There were concerns that COVID-19 would suppress turnout, but we're seeing the opposite. It's true that the voters who have the opportunity to vote by mail are doing so earlier, especially given the potential for Trump-related skullduggery, but in-person voting is off the charts. People are enduring long lines, while wearing masks, because they won't let some two-bit wannabe dictator silence them.
We don't technically know who everyone's voting for, and we certainly hope that the registered Republicans are crossing party lines and making a sane, moral choice. However, because we're not Republicans, we actually don't care. We're glad to see Americans voting. Period. Liberals have fought to protect and expand voting rights for all Americans. We believe our policies and preferred candidates can win on their merits. We only ask for a clean fight, something modern-day Republicans will never understand.
TSU Votes: This morning, Texas Southern University accepted the early voting challenge from Mayor @SylvesterTurner!… https://t.co/pev2rQtdLq— Texas Southern University (@Texas Southern University)1602617592.0
Voter turnout in Texas so far is 82 percent of the state's total votes in 2016. As Beto O'Rourke has said, Texas isn't a “red state or a blue state. It's a non-voting state." He's worked hard to turn this around and register more voters, and now once deep-red Texas is arguably a swing state this year. A New York Times poll shows Trump just four points ahead of Biden. This is due mostly to Trump's relative strength with Hispanic voters. Otherwise, Biden's obliterating him in the suburbs. Ten percent of voters are undecided, and 60 percent of them disapprove of President Pandemic. If a Democratic candidate had this unsteady a lead in California or New York, a week before the election, we'd consider the race all but over.
Although it would be delicious to flip Texas, we don't need the state to win. What's especially good news for Democrats is that Biden is leading among most competitive Texas House districts. Places where Trump was up by eight in 2016, Biden is now ahead by five. Nate Cohn at the Times tweeted that the GOP "faces some pretty catastrophic risks down ballot."
Meanwhile, in Georgia, Black voter are turning out in droves. They remember how Governor Brian Kemp cheated his way to victory in 2018, and they're pissed.
Most waited for hours in lines that wrapped around their voting locations. Some were removed from the voter rolls arbitrarily, forcing them to fill out confusing provisional ballots on Election Day. Others stayed home altogether and — after watching Democrat Stacey Abrams lose the gubernatorial race by fewer than 60,000 votes — regretted that decision.
Now, voter enthusiasm among all races is at an all-time high in one of the most consequential battleground states in the country. So is voter anxiety.
This is what Abrams and O'Rourke achieved. They showed that a Democratic victory is possible in states once considered solidly, immovably red. In 2018, there were 6.9 million eligible voters. That's now grown to 7.4 million Georgians.
Since Oct. 12, the first day of early voting, a staggering 2.7 million voters have cast a ballot — a nearly 110 percent increase from 2016.
An Atlanta-Journal Constitution poll has Biden ahead by just .3 percent — but Trump won Michigan in 2016 by just .23 percent. Jon Ossoff is leading Senator David Perdue by a single point, and Raphael Warnock holds a clear lead in the special election for the seat Senator Kelly Loeffler currently leases. Hilariously, Loeffler is trailing both Warnock and Rep. Doug Collins, which means she wouldn't advance to the January runoff.
If control of the Senate were to come down to those two races, that's bad news for Republicans because Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who might've just voted to kill the Affordable Care Act, will have Democrats good and mad.
I voted for the first time in 1992, when Bill Clinton won Georgia. This year, the South I love might just rise against the GOP.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).