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States Vote Overwhelmingly For Health Care

Half a million Americans could gain coverage as a result of Tuesday’s votes. Vox: "Medicaid had a stunning victory at the polls last night. Three red states — Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah — passed ballot initiatives that will expand the public health insurance programs. Two states — Kansas and Maine — elected governors that are likely to join the Medicaid expansion, too. And one state, Wisconsin, put a Democratic governor in office who could roll back plans to require Medicaid recipients to work. Taken together, this could mean that 500,000 low-income Americans gain health insurance as a result of Tuesday’s votes. The Medicaid program has quietly proved to be a political success in a way that the Affordable Care Act has not. Even conservative voters who oppose President Obama and his health care law seem to support the program that gives health benefits to poor Americans.Medicaid expansion is part of Obamacare, but voters don’t seem to see it that way. Take, for example, a revealing poll from Boise State University. It asked potential voters whether they approve or disapprove of both Obamacare and of Medicaid expansion. It found that just 35 percent of Idaho voters approve of the Affordable Care Act — while 75 wanted the state to participate in Medicaid expansion. The portion of Idahoans who ultimately supported the ballot wasn’t quite that large but still really significant: 61 percent. That Medicaid could win by a double-digit in a state that is also electing Republican legislators and a governor by similarly large margins tells you something about the program’s bipartisan appeal. Medicaid has succeeded where Obamacare hasn’t: in winning over voters across a wide ideological spectrum."

Abrams Demands GA Runoff, Kemp Faces Lawsuit

Georgia Voters File for ‘Emergency’ Restraining Order Against Brian Kemp. MSN: "Voters have filed a lawsuit against Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp on election night that will determine whether he or Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams will become the Peach State’s next governor. The plaintiffs, registered Georgia voters, have been identified as LaTosha Brown, Jennifer N. Ide, Katharine Wilkinson, Candace Fowler and Chalis Montgomery. They are being represented by the “nonpartisan nonprofit” Protect Democracy, former U.S. Attorney Michael J. Moore and former Department of Justice Voting Rights Section attorney Bryan L. Sells. The plaintiffs seek to 'bar' Kemp from 'presiding over his own election.' That includes barring him from certifying results or presiding over 'any runoff or recount procedures that would normally be exercised by the Secretary of State’s Office or the Board of Elections, on which he also sits.' Kemp has previously dismissed voter suppression as a 'farce,' and has also said he wouldn’t recuse himself if the race between him and Abrams ended in a recount. He has also faced multiple claims of voter suppression that disproportionately affects immigrants, black voters, and people filing absentee ballots."

'Rainbow Wave' For LGBTQ Candidates

2018 is a 'Rainbow Wave' for LGBTQ candidates. NPR: "As the electoral landscape took shape earlier this year, at least one thing became clear: 2018 was set to become a year of firsts. Election Day promised to usher in a group of barrier-breaking candidates, blazing trails for diverse communities that have long gone unrepresented in Congress and other halls of power — and nowhere was that promise more evident than in its record-smashing class of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer nominees. More than 400 such candidates were on the ballot Tuesday, according to the Victory Fund, an advocacy group that supports viable LGBTQ politicians. The sizable crop of candidates had some people even speaking of a 'rainbow wave.' So, now that Election Day has drawn to a close, how has that record class actually fared at the ballot box? The final answer to that question will need to wait until all of the races are called, of course, but already some candidates have made history. Democratic Rep. Jared Polis won his bid to become Colorado's next governor — and, in the process, became the first openly gay man in the U.S. to be elected governor. The congressman ran on a progressive agenda of implementing universal health care and increasing the state's dependence on renewable energy. 'For the LGBTQ pioneers for equality in the generations before me, who endured so much hardship and hurt to make it possible for so many of us — myself included — to live and to love openly and proudly ... I want to say I'm profoundly grateful for all the work we've done to overcome,' Polis said in his victory speech."

Big Wins For Women Of Color

From Ayanna Pressley to Ilhan Omar,2018 was the year of women of color. Daily Beast: "On Tuesday, Veronica Escobar won the seat vacated by former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, joining Sylvia Garcia as the first two Latina congresswomen from Texas. Reflecting on her victory, Escobar said she was especially proud that, in the face of the administration's attacks on immigrants, 'it is our community that is fighting back by making history.' Her community was not the only one making history on Tuesday. In fact, while all eyes were on record number of women running for office, the most exciting story of Election Day may have been the historic firsts racked up by women of color. Former Boston City Council member Ayanna Pressley won her race for Massachusetts’ 7th Congressional District, becoming the first black congresswoman from the state. Michelle Lujan Grisham won the New Mexico gubernatorial race, making her the first Democratic woman of color to win a governorship. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan shared the distinction of being the first Muslim women in Congress, while Deb Haaland of New Mexico and Sharice Davids of Kansas became the first two Native American congresswomen. Davids will also be the first openly gay member of the Kansas congressional delegation and the first Democratic woman to represent her district."

Dems Gain Ground In State Government

Democratic governors will now lead a aajority of Americans. The Atlantic: "Scott Walker’s eight-year run as the union-busting conservative governor of Wisconsin ended on Tuesday night, and Kansas voters rejected Kris Kobach’s bid to take his hard-right views on immigration and voter fraud to the most powerful perch in Topeka. In Maine, voters replaced the combative and uncompromising conservative Paul LePage with a Democratic woman, Janet Mills, running on a message of collaboration. In all, Democrats on Tuesday captured seven governorships held by Republicans for the past four or eight years, reversing a swell that had given the GOP a record 70 percent of the nation’s executive mansions as recently as 2016. The Democrat J. B. Pritzker ousted Republican Governor Bruce Rauner in Illinois, and Democrats won open seats in Michigan, New Mexico, and Nevada. They now hold 23 of the nation’s 50 governorships, with Republicans likely to control the remaining 27 once all races are called. Democrats also flipped six state legislative chambers and gained hundreds of seats nationwide. In New York, Illinois, Colorado, Maine, and Nevada, Democrats now hold control of the governorship and both houses of the legislature."

New Citizen Votes Decisive In Midterms

Immigrant-advocacy group celebrates diverse collection of House winners. Q13: "This midterm election had one of the highest voter turnouts in the last decade, and now some of those who worked to get voters out are talking about the impact they had on elections locally and across the country. 'We’re really so proud of our communities. They showed up, and they showed up in big numbers,' said OneAmerica Votes Board member Mubarak Elamin. After last night’s midterm election results, groups like OneAmerica Votes are celebrating the record number of voters who turned out in Washington State and across the country. 'We had the largest voter turnout of people under 30 in the history of this country. In Texas, it was five times as high as it was in 2014,' said Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal from Washington's 7th Congressional District. Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal founded OneAmerica, an immigrant advocacy group that helps new Americans register to vote and lobbies for immigration reform. They say their members knocked on 10,000 doors throughout the state, resulting in at least 5,700 people casting votes. 'Seeing the turnout of your peers and having community members that I didn’t think were interested get interested, get involved was really important,' said Karishama Vahora, OneAmerica Votes Youth Leader. OneAmerica Votes says 22 of the 29 pro-immigrant candidates they supported were elected to office last night. With Democrats also taking over the House, Jayapal says she’s looking forward to working with one of the most diverse groups Congress has ever had."

Trump Fires Sessions, Loses Mind

Trump’s bizarre post-election press conference, explained. Vox: "He started with a weird — but not that surprising — effort to claim that the midterm results were actually a win for Republicans. But things then took a genuinely bizarre, and then alarming, turn as he started mocking House Republican candidates who lost and then snapped at a series of reporters and complained about the existence of skeptical questions. Along the way, he dropped hints that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Sessions’s deputy, and perhaps special counsel Robert Mueller might soon be fired. He threatened retaliation if Democrats tried to exercise their constitutional authority to conduct oversight of the executive branch. He accused them of wanting to unleash a wave of violent crime. He made a pitch that Democrats should drop the whole idea of investigating him and do a bipartisan deal on infrastructure instead. He even claimed to have a secret plan to resolve the polarized abortion debate. But shocking as it was in its way, it confirmed what we know about Trump. He is shameless, relentlessly dishonest, poorly informed about policy, disrespectful of the norms and principles of constitutional government, and fundamentally dangerous. He also continues to benefit from a benign economic situation and from a lack of crises abroad that make a serious impact on the typical American. For all of our sakes, we’d better hope that holds up because he does not appear to have the capacity to respond in a remotely appropriate way to any kind of adversity."

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