Sometimes you just have to take the win

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Based on the batches of votes that came in late last night in the AZ-01, AZ-06, and CA-41 House races, let’s just say that the Democrats’ path to winning the House majority just became a lot narrower. These were three of the most winnable House races left on the board, and the numbers were worse than expected in all three.

At this point the remaining votes tallied in all three of these races will need to be better than expected for the Democrats, which is entirely possible. And hopefully that’ll still happen. But I’ve always tried to characterize the path to the House majority as becoming wider or becoming narrower at any given time, and it’s now as narrow as I’ve seen it. It could yet become wider again today.

I’m spelling this out for two reasons. For one, I try to make you aware of what’s really going on, good or bad, and what we saw in the House numbers last night was not exactly good. But even beyond that, it’s important to put these entire midterms in a broader context.

Thus far we’ve managed to give the Democrats the Senate majority for another two years, with a chance to add a pivotal 51st seat. We’ve managed to stop Mitch McConnell from becoming Senate Majority Leader. We’ve won most of the Governor and Secretary of State races that were competitive to begin with. Crucially, with Kari Lake now very likely to lose, we’ll have defeated every election denier who was running for Governor and Secretary of State with the intention of meddling with the 2024 presidential election. And, in what may be our most “improbable” victory of all, we will have played the House to essentially a draw.

To be clear, there’s a huge difference between the Democrats having a tiny House majority and the Republicans having a tiny House majority. The Democrats won’t be able to pass any legislation into law. And the Democrats won’t control the various House committees. These are big things. But hey, if House Republicans want the majority that badly, and they do narrowly win it, go ahead and let them try to function with a tiny majority. These House Republicans are all dysfunctional to begin with, and half of them are outright nuts. Now imagine these wackos trying to come together to elect a Speaker, which would require 218 of them voting for the same person, if there are only 218 to 220 of them to begin with.

Sure, Kevin McCarthy has dreamed of being Speaker of the House. And now maybe he will be. But he imagined having the job with a twenty or thirty seat majority. That’s enough to be able to find the votes to make most basic things happen. But with a majority of just one or two votes, House Republicans would be in a situation where every one of them could go full Manchin on any given vote. It’s one thing to have a couple rogue members with their hands out, like the Democrats do in the Senate. A House Republican majority could have 218 Joe Manchins, each with their hand out, each refusing to cast the deciding vote unless they’re given whatever pork barrel thing they’re demanding. Now imagine someone as unintelligent and weak as McCarthy trying to herd these cats.

There are no moral victories in elections. But when you consider the huge difference between a Republican House with a large majority and a Republican House with a tiny majority, that’s not a moral victory – it’s a tangible one.


So even if we do end up having to hold our noses and accept letting House Republicans destroy their own 2024 prospects by utterly failing to function with a super narrow majority, keep in mind that this is the worst that happened to us in the midterm elections, and that the races for Senate, Governor, and Secretary of State all went positively for us. You don’t always get a complete win. But while this may only be a partial win, it was still an overwhelming win on the whole. Sometimes you just have to take the win. Now let’s go win the Georgia Senate runoff!

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