The 2022 midterms are foundational for the 2024 Presidential General Election. Shifting the balance of power in the House and the Senate is a critical strategic building block for Republicans. Shifts at the gubernatorial and secretary of state levels are also key building blocks for 2024. Results on Friday, November 11, hint at Republicans having a much slimmer majority than some projected. The Senate's slimmest of majorities hangs in the balance with a Masters win in Arizona and a December 6 runoff in Georgia for Herschel Walker. Republicans sit at 49, requiring 51 seats for the majority. The House stands at 210, with 218 needed for a Republican majority.
Trust in our elections has eroded to epic levels because of the suspicious or nefarious shenanigans in our elections, depending on how jaded you might be at this point. Swing states are important, and it feels like the Democrats, and maybe even the RINOs, have a more strategic and robust apparatus in place, given the wins in this election. It may be why the election results in Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado have been playing out in torturous slow motion. Lauren Boebert just flipped to a win with the narrowest of margins, a critical seat to keep. Nefarious activity or not, the midterm election meltdown and the challenges of the 2020 Presidential Election have ratcheted up the distrust levels to DEFCON 5. The distrust in itself is a massive problem for the nation's electorate.
Arizona: A Strategic Ground Zero for Republicans
Arizona hangs in the balance for now. Arizona's Fab Four ticket is a critical win for most conservatives. It isn't just Arizona that would lose. It will be important for the national map because of Tuesday's losses in other swing states. As of Friday, Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake is within one point of Hobbs. Her Senior advisor believes it will be Election Day votes that will push her through the tape. Most expect her to pull it off. She certainly has the chops to do it, and her popularity is approaching Trumpian levels. Abe Hamadeh, the candidate for Attorney General, seems to be running parallel to Lake. He is less than a point behind Kris Mayes. Senatorial candidate Blake Masters is currently 5 points behind Democrat Mark Kelly. Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem is also within 5 points of former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes.
Many in the nation are outraged by the utter chaos that has unfolded in Maricopa County's election, all a potential challenge for the Republican tally. Early voting and mail-in usually lean Democrat. Election Day voting tends to bring Republican votes, especially this election, because of the strong messaging in conservative circles. Republicans were encouraged to vote on Election Day or, at a minimum, to turn in their mail-in ballot in person on Election Day. Baris confirmed on Bannon's War Room on Friday that Election Day is and will be a "heavy Republican vote."
Those metrics make the tabulator malfunction a red flag for the Republican voter. 20 percent of the tabulators repeatedly rejected ballots in multiple vote centers, many in Republican strongholds, according to the Lake campaign. The tabulators were reportedly purring along the night before during testing. On Election Day, however, as much as 20 percent of the ballots were rejected. Many ballots had to be dropped in "Door 3" to be adjudicated at a later time. About 17k ballots are now inside "Door 3." The Door 3 procedure was brought out expressly for this election, causing suspicion among poll workers and Election Judge Michele Swinick, who wonders whether the "machines were programmed" so that ballots could be set aside for high jinks later in the day. In addition, the Dominion machine tech didn't show up to fix the problem until much later in the day. Swinick wonders why a technician wouldn't show up sooner for such a pressing and material problem. The lines were brutally long, risking impatient voters who may have left in disgust or simply had to go to work. At another poll, a GOP election observer, Sarah O'Neill, reported more ballots were counted than people who checked in by 200 ballots.
Kari Lake tweeted a link Friday afternoon to the Charlie Kirk show with an interview between Tyler Bowyer and Gina Swoboda. Swoboda is an election expert who has worked in almost every role possible in election administration. She believes there are more than 17,000 ballots in the "Door 3" bags because of some errors in a couple of the vote centers. She also says the adjudication numbers are not clear, and there "is room for mischief" in those counts. Swoboda believes she is not getting clear communication on what buckets the ballots are in. She also believes 350,000 people in the August primary have not had their votes tabulated yet. Swoboda spoke in an informative interview with The Conservative Circus on Friday about the Arizona 2020 and 2022 midterm elections. In her Kirk interview, Swoboda explains the "Door 3" issue at the 5-minute mark. The tweet with her interview is below:
Now add to that chaos the apparent strategic slow-walking and/or strange numerical jumps of the count in states like Arizona and Nevada. It is hard to keep up, and even local officials can't seem to keep their stories straight, except for one constant. They all say the count will take days, if not weeks. On Thursday, officials told reporters the Arizona count would not be final until early next week. Over 1.1 million votes have already been counted in Maricopa County. There are about "400 to 410,000 to be counted," according to Bill Gates, District 3 Supervisor for Maricopa County and Chairman of the Board of Supervisors for Maricopa County. He said the "goalposts have changed" because of exceptional voter participation on Election Day. "292,000 mail-in ballots were dropped off on Election Day," according to Stephen Rich, the Maricopa County Recorder. Last night's update can be viewed below.
After several posts from the Lake campaign and reports from MSNBC about dumps of ballots that favor her, shortly after election officials dropped dumps that favored Democrats, almost as if to demoralize the Lake voter. In addition, no one seems to know how many ballots are out there. Caroline Wren, the Senior Advisor to Kari Lake, ran through the remaining votes with Bannon on Thursday. She believes the Election Day drop-offs, when counted, will break closer to 70 percent in favor of Lake. She also says they can break at 52 percent in favor of Lake, and she would still win. She encourages Lake voters to refrain from being disheartened and watch for the Election Day counts:
Kari Lake believes there is no mathematical path for a Katie Hobbs win, according to her November 10 interview on the Joe Pags Show. She says mail-in ballots are "ripe for fraud and trouble" and should be terminated for good. She promises to fix elections on "day one" if elected. It is a perplexing fact that Florida can report 7.5 million ballots, supplying its final tally within a short time after polls close, but Arizona and Nevada won't have their results until next week.
Wren says the path is much more difficult for Masters, partly because of the lack of financial and political support from Mitch McConnell and the Republican party. A win for Republican Mark Finchem for Secretary of State would mean complete election reform if he fulfills his campaign promises. He will make it much harder to draw out election counts and ensure all laws are followed. This is bad news for election fraudsters who most certainly hope he doesn't win.
Nevada Results are Slow to Materialize
Nevada has its own set of challenges. As with Arizona, Republicans have a full slate of 4 candidates whose wins hang in the balance. All races, Governor, Attorney General, Senate, and Secretary of State, are strategically important for this and the 2024 election. It appears the race for Attorney General is the only race that isn't close. GOP AG candidate, Sigal Chattah, is behind by about 6 points. With that in mind, the state is experiencing many of the same issues as are being seen in Arizona.
According to beaumontenterprise.com, the slow count is not abnormal for various reasons. However, Election Day voting was plagued with long lines in many places, even though Nevadans traditionally vote early. Beaumontenterprise.com reports, "The state won't release vote counts until all voters who were in line at poll close have cast their vote." The state also expanded absentee voting in 2020, "sending a ballot to every registered voter." It took three days in 2020 to count those votes. The state said it would count "mail ballots received until November 12 as long as they were postmarked by Election Day. And, "o]fficials have until November 17 to finish the counting and submit a report to the Nevada secretary of state's office, according to state law."
Senatorial candidate Adam Laxalt is in a tight race with Catherine Masto. The race has yet to be called. They are running neck and neck with less than a point between them as of noon Friday with 94% of the votes in:
Nevada Senate Race/Laxalt/https://www.peoplespunditdaily.com/elections/live-results-2022-us-senate-elections/
The Nevada Governor's race is in the same spot. GOP candidate Joe Lombardo is only ahead by a fraction of a point. And the critical for elections Secretary of State race currently has Jim Marchant behind by less than a point too. Marchant told Bannon on Thursday he is struggling to get the correct number of outstanding votes from the County recorders. He estimated there were about 50,000 outstanding. Marchant said:
"We have people [who] are actually inside trying to get these numbers. They're actually poll workers. And, you know, one of them I know actually has a candidate in the race and is actually working inside. And they're even trying to get the information and they will not tell them. The people in this office just are not forthcoming with the data. And that's unfortunate. And it's that way in Washoe County."
Reno is the county seat in Washoe and it is the second-most populous county in the state with 486,492 people in the 2020 census.
"The Livestream computer application lost connection with the courtesy cameras at 11:24 p.m. the evening of November 9. All staff had left for the night about 60 minutes earlier and did not arrive back at the office until 7 a.m. Connection was restored at 7:53 a.m. the morning of November 10."
Pollster Richard Baris spoke with the War Room on Friday and said:
"The way things are going right now, things would have to go dramatically different in Washoe for Marchant to win."
He says Laxalt and Lombardo are probably the only candidates who can win at this point. Laxalt was winning every ballot until the cameras went dark. A ballot drop came in, and suddenly, he and others fell behind. Baris continued:
"The bottom line here is when your surveillance system goes out in the middle of the night, whether something's wrong or not, when you're surveillance goes dark, as they put it, and then the ballot drop does not match the pattern, people start to get up in arms. But whether it's legitimate or not, you cannot conduct elections like this. The ballots were dropped like 9 minutes after it went dark. So, you know, Twitter and the Social Universe blow up. You know, countries cannot stand elections like this. I mean, eventually civil society starts bursting from the seams."
Tucker Carlson went ballistic on the Arizona, and Nevada counts as well as "key House races" this week, saying whether it is fraud or something else, the "mechanics of our elections are out of control and unreliable:"
Strategizing for 2024
While this is speculation only, what voters have seen in this election at the state level could be strategic to the impact on the 2024 election—specifically if one considers the wins in swing states. Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania are now in the hands of Democrats at the top of the ticket. Democrats won gubernatorial elections in those states. Kemp won in Georgia, but the verdict on his loyalty to populist conservatives is highly questionable given his behavior during the 2020 election integrity investigations. Kemp was, by many reports, uncooperative and no real friend of MAGA. Raffensperger is perceived the same way. In Wisconsin and Michigan, Democrats took the SoS wins. Wisconsin was narrow, with Douglas La Follette winning by less than a point to Amy Loudenbeck. Michigan was, unsurprisingly, more decisive, with Kristina Karamo losing by about 14 points to Jocelyn Benson. Pennsylvania stays the same with its acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman, who is fulfilling the term of Boockvar, who resigned because of a bungled 2020 election in the state where rules were changed in contravention to state laws because of the pandemic.
Florida is now solid red, partly due to a strong Governor, Ron DeSantis, who has fortified laws and is committed to prosecuting election crimes. Florida also benefits from conservatives moving in and a solid America-loving, faith-based legal immigrant population from countries like Cuba and Venezuela. Therefore, the only real swing states in play now are Arizona, Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. That list may be why knives are out in Arizona and Nevada. The coming days will tell the tale. And if Nevada and Arizona do not have a strong four at the top, it will be much more difficult for conservatives to win in 2024. Governors and Secretaries of State really can make a difference when it comes to Presidential elections. The Republican Presidential candidate in 2024 will arguably have to bring out the conservative base in record numbers to win, given what we have been witnessing in 2020 and the 2022 midterms.