Beware the Whiplash


Relief is abroad in the land, as the hunt for red November came up short. However, it is still quite possible that there will be a sting in the tail at the end of this tale, depending on how the last few Senate races end. At the moment, Georgia is going to a runoff since neither candidate broke 50%.

The missing piece is the 2.1% of votes collected by the Libertarian candidate Chase Oliver. In the runoff, both candidates will be trying to re-enlist every last voter they attracted this week, plus some of the voters that chased Oliver. In normal times, Libertarians tend to be closer to Republicans, so one might guess that a majority of Oliver’s 80,000+ votes will shift to Walker.

Of course normal times are virtually extinct, so who knows what will happen. However, Warnock is not out of the woods for another month, and there’s a significant chance–close to 50%–that he’ll lose. In Nevada, incumbent Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto is trailing Adam Laxalt by a point with 83% counted, and is also at a fair risk of losing to a Trumpster. In Arizona, incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly is 5 points ahead of Thiel’s boy Blake Masters with 70% counted, so he’s got a bit of breathing room, but it’s still too close to call.

Last but not least, in farthest Alaska, Lisa Murkowski is trailing Trump’s pick Kelly Tshibaka by a bit as they head into a ranked choice grinder that will distribute 10 points or so until a winner emerges. Put it all together, and all four of these dominos could fall to the right, leaving the Republicans with a last-call 52-48 majority, and Mitch’s reptilian derriere firmly re-implanted in the Majority Leader’s chair, where he will entirely owe his position to five Trump-loyal newcomers.

After the great gusts of relief expressed in the past 24 hours, this would come as quite a shock–we’ve already adopted a “dodged a bullet” mentality, and don’t want it to be rudely interrupted.

Tom Corddry
Tom Corddry
Tom is a writer and aspiring flâneur who today provides creative services to mostly technology-centered clients. He led the Encarta team at Microsoft and, long ago, put KZAM radio on the air.


  1. On the other hand, at least one commentator (MSNBC perhaps) pointed out that a majority of Oliver’s 2% were Republicans who couldn’t vote for Trumper Walker, but couldn’t easily vote for a Democrat either; advantage Warnock. And Masto still has blue votes from Vegas and Reno to be counted.

  2. All true Patrice! I think the worst case is unlikely, but I’m rationing my euphoria for a few weeks… That said, I think Dems have almost a 50-50 chance of getting to 51.

  3. I am avoiding the almost-post-election news and commentary as much as possible, but I appreciate those of you who pay attention to and comment on it. Maintaining my mental equilibrium is high on my list. Hey, Tom, I remember KZAM fondly!

  4. Thanks Tom, from this voter. As a culture war veteran and proud member of PA, I’m using this as a reference for what happened to us. As usual, it gives us wisdom as well as independently verifiable facts.

  5. The big story in this election, both in Washington and nationally? Abortion rights. Women and men who support choice did exactly what they said they would do — turn out in large numbers to support pro choice candidates. They just weren’t taken seriously. And it cost the Republican Party heavily.

  6. The big story?
    Democrats could and would have won much bigger had they not committed to (and without discussion no less) three very explosive issues.


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