I went to bed with CNN showing Scott Walker trailing by a few hundred votes. The first thing I checked this morning were the results in Wisconsin.
Walker had lost.
Few results from yesterday’s midterms were more satisfying, although as one Wisconsin political activist told me, it will takes decades to clean up Walker’s mess.
Still, memories of a cold winter in 2011 driving weekends to Madison to protest Walker’s attacks on teacher unions still remain fresh in my mind.
Yesterday the upper Midwest returned to blue. This is the region that the Democrats surrendered to Donald Trump two years ago, handing the presidency to Trump.
As I watched the returns early in the evening, it seemed as if the Democrats were about to blow it again as the number of predicted Congressional seats kept dropping from 40 to less than the 23 required to take control of the House.
By 9PM CDT, the trend line turned back up, helped by two big suburban congressional flips in Illinois for the Democrats. Although the final number of Democratic Party congressional seats is yet to be determined – it may still go as high as a +40) – they now have a no-excuses majority.
This is true in Illinois as well.
Bruce Rauner’s Carhartt jacket will need to find a closet other than in the Springfield governor’s mansion. Of course, he has nine homes to choose from.
The Democrats swept statewide offices in Illinois and seemed poised to return to their veto-proof numbers in the legislature.
A progressive income tax? An elected school board for Chicago? Lift the ban on rent control (which got big numbers in three Chicago wards where it was on the ballot as non-binding referenda).
Billionaire Democrat JB Pritzker as Governor.
No excuses now.
How soon will we get an investigation into voter suppression in Florida and Georgia which led to the defeats of Black gubernatorial candidates Gillum and Abrams by numbers thisclose?
In Illinois congressional races, Arthur Jones – The Nazi – received over 56,000 votes, losing to the most conservative Democrat, Dan Lipinski. The 3rd Congressional district runs from our Lumpenradio home in Bridgeport, south west into the Chicago suburbs.
I wrote about NEA/IEA endorsed Republican Congressman Mike Bost who was running in southern Illinois. A committed Trumpster, Bost barely retained his seat with 51.8% of the vote.
The NEA/IEA union endorsement clearly provided the margin of victory.
A union and Democratic Party defeat that impacts teachers took place in Kentucky.
Kentucky, you recall, was home to one of last years Red State Teacher revolts.
But neither the teachers unions nor the Democrats could convert the massive teacher rebellion and the public support for it into electoral victories. The Republicans maintained their veto proof majorities in the Kentucky legislature, losing only one seat.
There were significant wins by women and women of color. Over 100 women, a record number, won their congressional races yesterday.
We will be doing more summing up of yesterday’s elections Friday on Hitting Left with in-studio guests, Rebecca Sive, author of Vote For Her: A Manifesto, and Cassie Walker-Burke, Chicago bureau chief for Chalkbeat. Tune in at 11 a.m. CT to WLPN 105.5 FM, streaming live at www.lumpenradio.com with podcasting later on Apple podcast and other podcast sources.