What It Was Like To Ride The Blue Wave On Election Day

by | Nov 12, 2022 | Politics

DETROIT ― The email arrived a little after 9 a.m. on Election Day. It was an update from Lori Goldman, a Democratic political activist from the northern Detroit suburbs. She was so upset, she said, that she was feeling physically ill.Just weeks before, Goldman had been confident of victory ― for an abortion rights initiative on the ballot, for Democrats running for the U.S. House and state legislature and, especially, for incumbent Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. But now Goldman was hearing from friends and neighbors unsure of their votes and, in the governor’s race, contemplating Whitmer’s Republican opponent, former right-wing commentator Tudor Dixon. Advertisement“I hope I am wrong,” Goldman told me, “but I fear I am not.”I was in no position to argue. At the time, I was at a polling place in Brighton, Michigan, in one of the state’s more conservative counties. It was the first of several I planned to visit on Election Day as I made my way from the state capital in Lansing, where Whitmer had held a launch event for door-to-door canvassers, to Detroit, where she would address supporters at the Motor City Casino Hotel. The campaign hoped it would be a victory rally. But Whitmer’s lead in the public polls had shrunk from double digits to single, with some surveys reporting a lead of just 1 or 2 percentage points. Dixon’s supporters were flooding social media with gleeful, sometimes taunting messages about the impending wipeout for Whitmer. They were difficult to ignore, especially with Democratic prospects across the country apparently diminishing at the same time. The party had fallen behind in the generic congressional polls, while modeling from outfits like FiveThirtyEight were predicting a Republican takeover of both House and Senate, as well as key state positions, for the first time in months.But at 8 p.m., the polls closed in most of Michigan, as they did in many other states. And soon a very different storyline emerged. Around the country, it was about a red wave that never materialized. In Michigan, it was about a blue wave that made history.AdvertisementMichigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks at a campaign rally Monday at Michigan State University in East Lansing, her last stop before Election Day.Brandon Bell/Getty ImagesThe Democratic attorney general and secretary of state defeated their MAGA challengers easily. The abortion rights ballot initiative passed, and so did one to shore up voting rights. Rep. Elissa Slotkin and other U.S. House Democrats in tough reelection races eked out victories while another Democrat, Hillary Scholten, took a GOP seat. Democrats even won majorities in both the houses of the legislature, giving them full control for the first time since 1983.As for Whitmer, a governor who’d faced vitriolic opposition from Republicans in Washington and Lansing, not to mention a kidnapping plot by right-wing extremists, she won with more than 54% of the popular vote and finished more than 10 points ahead of Dixon. That was bigger than Whitmer’s winning margin in 2018, the year of intense voter backlash against President Donald Trump. It was also bigger than President Joe Biden’s margin in 2020 or P …

Article Attribution | Read More at Article Source

Share This