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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Here’s a key moment when President Trump said the press “is a very divisive thing for this country.”

I’m going to start this morning with an email from TPM Reader JF. It’s a deeply pessimistic look at last night’s results. I thoroughly disagree with it. I’m publishing it partly because I like JF and like sharing a range of reader opinions but more because it’s a good statement of the view I disagree with. So it’s helpful to put out there as a clear, smart statement of the take I disagree with.

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Let me try to put this whole erratic evening into some perspective. This was definitely not one of those nights when a triumphant party drives everyone before it. The Senate results were brutal. There was a half hour or so mid-evening when it looked as though the whole thing might be a replay of the brutal 2016 result. There were key gubernatorial wins but also some disappointing misses – particularly Florida and Ohio. But I come out of tonight feeling good about the result. Why? The country is in a position where we don’t have the luxury of getting everything we want or getting overly disappointed if we don’t. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am that Gillum went down to defeat. But there was one absolutely critical thing that had to happen tonight: the Democrats had to reclaim a foothold of power in Washington to place a check on President Trump.

They did that. It wasn’t close. The victories had geographical breadth. That is critical.

2:20 AM: We don’t have network calls yet. But the Nevada Independent says Heller lost. That means he lost. Meanwhile, it’s starting to seem like Tony Evers is going to beat Scott Walker. If he does that’s both a big moral victory and a critical political victory, looking forward to both 2020 and redistricting in 2021/22. Big deal. Finally, Karen Handel is up by just 57 votes after 100% of the precincts are reporting. That must mean a recount, though I confess I don’t know the precise rules in Georgia.

1:51 AM: Here’s a surprising one. President Trump basically ran Mark Sanford out of congress. Democrat Joe Cunningham seems to have won his seat.

2:00 AM: This is the guy who knows Nevada. Pretty clear to me Heller will go down to defeat.

2:07 AM: Remember the state legislatures …

2:14 AM: You can take this to the bank …

Interesting. Stacey Abrams’s campaign manager says they think this race will go to a run off. In Georgia you need to get over 50% to win. Right now it’s 51 to 48. Very hard to see how Abrams can possibly come back. But she doesn’t need to. She needs him to come under 50%. Then there’s a run off.

Now if it does go to a run-off that’s a tough position for Abrams since the Libertarian candidate, who got about 36,000 votes gets eliminated and presumably his votes mainly go to Kemp. I know party operatives also were worried about whether Abrams turnout coalition could manage the same blitz again in a month or so. Who knows? But this one may not be over.

Don’t forget this. Florida’s results tonight were bitter for Democrats. But Amendment 4 won. That’s the amendment to end the state’s practice of lifetime felon disenfranchisement. Allegra Kirkland wrote about the amendment in one of the installments in our voting rights and democracy series.

This is not only an importance victory on principle, for democracy and voting rights. It’s also an important development for the future shape of the Florida electorate.

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