GOTV 2022

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Get Out the Vote 2022

Thank You SML Democrats!

Thank you to everyone who helped with our GOTV efforts this year! Postcards, donations, poll workers, phone calls, etc. – it all adds up! We thought the 2020 presidential election was “the most important one ever” to save our democracy, but it’s happening annually: the outright lies being told by campaigns, the extreme ideas around history and how to govern the country, and the conspiracy theories that people are believing all threaten our democracy by stretching it to the limit. We lost Democratic leadership in Virginia last year, and we see how quickly things change in a way that hurts people, disregards the environment, threatens democracy. This year, we must keep Democratic control in the federal government. All our combined efforts help push us toward being the best we can be by helping our fellow citizens, neighbors and the international community with good policies, honest leadership, and truthful narrative.

2022 Election Results Are Mostly Positive for Democrats

At Smith Mountain Lake, we worked hard to get out the vote, and while our area is still “in the red,” there were positive outcomes of the recent election. Control of Congress is still unknown as of 11/10/22, but at the state and local levels, there were many instances where Americans voted for rule of law, decency, sanity and basically saved democracy in their voting. In the past, the mid-term elections usually resulted in big change against the party in power. This year was different: there was no big red wave against Democrats. In fact, Americans spoke out against many of the Republican party’s most extreme views, such as election deniers and anti-abortion laws.

Following are summaries and thoughts about the election from various sources.

Republicans did get a major pickup from Virginia when GOP candidate Jen Kiggans defeated Democratic incumbent Rep. Elaine Luria in Virginia Beach [largely due to redistricting]. But Dems fended off strong challenges in other key races: Reps.Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) , Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas) and Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio ) will all be headed back to Washington for another term. Democrats held onto a Rhode Island district the GOP had made a serious play to flip. A GOP majority remains in sight, but hopes of a blowout or red wave have nearly evaporated. Source: Politico Huddle, 11/9/22.

A summary of Democratic wins from Robert B. Hubbell’s Today’s edition Newsletter, 11/10/22: Democrats now control  both chambers of the legislature in Michigan and the governorship (Gretchen Whitmer)—a new trifecta for Democrats! Other Democrats were elected (or reelected) in hotly contested races, including Wisconsin (Tony Evers), Pennsylvania (Josh Shapiro), Maryland (Wes Moore), and Kansas (Laura Kelly). Each of those wins gives Democrats control—or veto power—over legislation. … Democrat Maura Healey was elected as Massachusetts’ first female governor. Healey made history “as the first out lesbian to be elected governor.” … Democrats appear to have gained control of state chambers and the governor’s seat in four new states—Minnesota, Michigan, Maryland, and Massachusetts. But flipping legislatures isn’t the only measure of success. Democrats prevented trifectas or defeated “veto-proof” GOP legislatures in Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Montana and are on the verge of gaining control of the Pennsylvania House. 

Also from Robert B. Hibbell, Today’s Edition Newsletter, 11/9/22:

  • Americans reject election deniers. There were hundreds of election deniers on the ballot in the midterms, but it appears that the six who were likely to do the most damage in 2024 have lost. See Talking Points MemoAmerica Starts To Reject Election Deniers
  • Americans want reproductive liberty. The tide continues to run strongly against Republicans on the issue of reproductive liberty. When voters are given the chance to vote on state control of reproductive choice, choice always wins. …Exit polling shows that reproductive liberty drove voters to the polls to vote against Republicans. Given that any GOP majority in Congress will immediately seek to criminalize abortion nationally, Republicans are clearly on the wrong side of this issue.
  • Younger voters made a difference. See WaPoWhat 2022 exit polls show about how the U.S. voted. Democrats should increase their investment in motivating turnout among those constituencies—as well as Hispanic/Latino and Asian voters, who make up the next largest groups of reliably Democratic voters. Every four years, twelve million young people become eligible to register—and when they do, they lean heavily Democratic in outlook and party affiliation.
  • Americans want to address climate issues. Kudos to Vox for examining the impact of the midterms on the climate. See VoxThe midterm results on climate change in state races. As noted in the article, Minnesota and Michigan can now pass long-awaited climate bills. So, too, with Maryland and Massachusetts. See Inside Climate NewsFour States Just Got a ‘Trifecta’ of Democratic Control, Paving the Way for Climate and Clean Energy Legislation. In Wisconsin and North Carolina, Democratic governors have issued executive orders on climate issues; Democrats held off veto-proof majorities in the legislatures, ensuring that those orders will remain in effect. And in Texas, Democrat Lina Hidalgo was re-elected as “Judge” (the equivalent of a CEO) of the Houston area. Hidalgo expanded the county’s pollution budget and air monitors, but her opponent said that “climate” was not a “priority.” Houston is one of the nation’s largest petroleum producers, so Hidalgo’s reelection is significant.
  • For those readers whose candidates lost, the real measure of success is whether we fortified the foundations of democracy by bringing new voters to the polls. We did that on November 8th, which is why it was a “good day for democracy.” Every member of the resistance who contributed to that “good day” should be proud and grateful.

From Joyce Vance’s Civil Discourse blog, 11/9/22: Big takeaway: Democracy can still win. Ultimately, it’s the voters who have the greatest ability to impose accountability on politicians who violate their trust, just like they did with Trump in 2020. Never bet against America.

  • And the youth vote! Videos showed packed lines at polling places full of college student. Statistics, like those in Wisconsin where the youth vote was said to be up 360% over 2018 even before election day itself, tell the story, as do statistics on 18-29 year olds breaking heavily Democratic. 
  • When the Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs, many people told me I was wrong to suggest that the loss of abortion rights would drive voters to the polls in the midterm elections. But a generation of fierce women voters, who, having fought a long and hard battle for rights that permitted them to control their own bodies, make their own decisions about starting a family, and participate in the economy were not about to go back, joined hands with their daughters and granddaughters and voted. The Court may have awakened a sleeping giant—young women who now understand that when they turn out they can begin to regain control of the future. The economy matters, but democracy and our fundamental rights matter too.
  • John Fetterman’s Senate victory in Pennsylvania, picking up a seat for Democrats, was such a standout. He’ll be an important voice for Americans who have struggled with health issues and other challenges.
  • One caution: down ballot races matter. In far too many cases, supporters of the big lie prevailed in state elections. Some of them will be in positions like Secretaries of State that will give them substantial control over the process and outcomes of future elections. In North Carolina, where state court judges are elected, Republicans won control of the Supreme Court. There are voting rights cases pending, including one that will impact the rights of people with old felony convictions to vote. We are going to have to be vigilant about protecting our elections and every American’s right to vote in the future. 

From The Recount, 11/9/22: Here’s how some under the radar ballot initiatives turned out:

  • Five states voted on whether to ban slavery … Yes, really. Voters in Alabama, Tennessee, and Vermont voted “yes” to stripping their state constitutions of language that permits slavery as form of punishment or means to repay debts. In Oregon, “yes” was leading, but was too early to call as of Wednesday morning. Louisiana, however, voted “no.” Local Louisiana reporter Wesley Muller tweetedabout the result: “For everyone freaking out, this proposition had problems that prompted the author to withdraw his support for it.”
  • Voters across the country made a choice on … choice. In the wake of SCOTUS overturning Roe, several states voted on ballot initiatives on reproductive rights. California, Michigan, and Vermont all voted to enshrine reproductive freedom into their state constitutions. Kentucky appears to be voting down a constitutional amendment that would have declared no right to an abortion. Montanans look like they will be voting against a “born alive” infants measure.
  • Money, honey: Nebraska and Washington, D.C. voted to raise the minimum wage. In Nevada, “yes” was also leading as of Wednesday morning.
  • Collective bargaining was on the ballot in Tennessee and Illinois, but for different initiatives. Tennessee voted “yes” to enshrining the “right-to-work” in their constitution – meaning workplaces would be banned from requiring union membership as a condition of employment. Illinois looks like it will be voting “yes” to codifying collective bargaining into the state constitution.
  • Nevadans are leaning towards adopting ranked-choice voting, the same system that helped elect Rep. Mary Peltola (D-AK).
  • South Dakotans look like they’ll be voting “yes” to expanding Medicaid coverage. Republican leaders in the state had voiced opposition to the proposal, arguing Medicaid needs to be overhauled and not expanded.

From Jessica Craven’s Chop Wood, Carry Water blog on 11/9/22:

  • Obviously it wasn’t all good news. And there’s a lot that’s still unknown. But today I am going to dwell only on the fact that what we’ve done—even so far— is extraordinary. We defied ALL (except for Michael Moore’s) predictions. The news coming out of the states is particularly exciting. We flipped the Michigan AND Minnesota statehouses, y’all! Held off a supermajority in both NC and WI! Kept our majority in Maine! These are not small victories. They are incredibly meaningful for the people living in those states, and for democracy itself. These victories will greatly matter in 2024.
  • We also beat many of the most toxic, Trumpy election deniers running for statewide office.
  • And we did all of this while being told relentlessly, with absolute mansplaining certainty, that we wouldn’t.
  • Never. Ever. Forget: It’s about what we do. Not what we believe. And when it comes to us and elections they will underestimate us every time. So the next time the “experts” tell you you’re going to lose, give a little smile, then keep chopping wood and carrying water.

Finally, a note to remember as we go forward to keep up the fight for democracy and ALL Americans: “[Today’s] Republican Party is working against the interests of every American . . . on democracy, the economy, taxes, Social Security, drug prices, climate, reproductive liberty, gun safety, personal privacy, LGBTQ equality, . . . [fill in the ellipsis as appropriate for the circumstance].” Source: Robert B. Hubbell, 11/2/22, in Today’s Edition Newsletter. So, let’s start writing letters to Georgians to help Rev. Warnock retain his Senate seat, and let’s get to work on how to influence our own community for good in the coming year.

Let’s Go Blue Together
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SML Democrats includes members from communities around Smith Mountain Lake: Bedford, Glade Hill, Goodview, Hardy, Huddleston, Moneta, Penhook, Redwood, Union Hall, Westlake and Wirtz.