Plain English with Derek Thompson - Instant Reaction Pod: Midterm Election Winners, Losers, Surprises, and Takeaways

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An Instagram post gets an unexpected boost Tick-Tock catches in the algorithm sometimes that’s all it takes to launch someone in to internet Fame.

But then what this blew up is a new podcast documentary that reveals how social media stardom is made, it’s a different kind of Fame.


That’s not always as glamorous as it looks from Spotify and the ringer podcast Network, I will list the Perez neck.

You can listen to this blew up on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

Today’s emergency pod is about the midterm election.


No guest today, just me and the mic and my thoughts and it’s more results come in.

I expect we’ll have more guests on this show to chew over all the implications.

But for now, the situation is this pundits broadly expected, Democrats to have a terrible night on Tuesday, to lose the house in a landslide, to lose the Senate to build an on-ramp for Donald Trump to announce his intentions to run for president next week.


But for Now, for now it appears that Republicans, very likely one that house but barely that’s important to guarantees divided government for the next two years.

But in the Senate, Democrats defied, The Vibes and expectations, and they appear very close to maintaining their control of that chamber.


They flipped a seat in Pennsylvania.

That was John fetterman, defeating dr.

Oz, they are leading in Arizona, and that means they only need one of Georgia or not.

Vada to hold the Senate both States.

Georgia and Nevada are going to a photo finish right now.


The New York Times projects, both to be slightly leaning toward Democrats.

If Democrats win both, they have 51 seats in the Senate.

That means they will have added seats in a midterm, very rare situation.

By the way, if if Democrats lose Nevada there’s a possibility that the second consecutive election will end with a December runoff in Georgia features.


During the Democrat, Raphael Warnock for control of the Senate, deja vu all over again.

So what does it all mean?

We’re going to do five takeaways five takeaways from the macro to the micro takeaway.

Number one, count the damn votes.


It is astonishing to me that we do not know who Americans voted for last night because States refused to pass laws that allow for the timely processing of ballots.

Like can we count votes?

I like a normal developed country.

The US has a GDP of 21 trillion dollars.


Democracy is a 2000 year old technology.

How do we not know who voted last night and half the country?

We still don’t have 25% of the vote from Nevada.

We still don’t have 30% of the count.

From Arizona, I’m saying this, by the way at 9:00 12:00 a.m. eastern standard time.


We don’t have 70% of the vote from several races in California.

This is nothing against the men and women Staffing.

Because wedding locations this is about systems and laws Florida which got embarrassed in 2000.

Totally pantsed changed its laws and now they count votes like a proper civilization more than 95 percent of votes.


Have been counted in Florida.

Please America, learn from Florida, feel shame and act on it count votes, like a real civilization goodness gracious.

Number two, The polls were right, and The Vibes were wrong.


So in the last week, many pundits, including myself became increasingly convinced, the Democrats were facing a red wave, a total blowout getting crushed in the house, getting crushed in the Senate conservative pundits.

Were sure of it liberal pundits were dreading, it.


Meanwhile, the 538 weighted average of polls had this race at 50/50.

Nobody believed it, but the 538 weighted average of polls had this race at 50/50.

And right now, the most likely outcome is probably 50, 50, 50, Republican Senators, and 50 Democratic senators.


Which by the way, means a Democratic Senate because the vice president can cast a decisive 51st vote in the event of a tie.

So, this is confusing people because I think they are over fitting to 2016.

Remember the polls whiffed in 2016.

And then they lift again, even more in 2020 and both of those whiffs overstated, the Democratic vote share.


In other words, Trump over performed.

His polls in both elections, but coming off of that, I think a lot of people assume that this is, this is the nature of polls.

Polls are always going to be wrong for Republicans, but actually, this is now the second consecutive midterm election where the polls were if anything slightly wrong in the opposite direction, they Aided Democrats strength.


So, what does this mean going forward?

Number one, maybe just like downshift Vibes.

The polling industry is not utterly destroyed, it is not existentially screwed, it makes sense to look at the data to average.

It also means as Nate, silver likes to say that the direction of polling errors is pretty random.


It’s pretty hard to predict because pollsters are reacting to pass elections, right?

It’s really embarrassing.

Racing to overstate the Republican vote, share by Five Points in every single election.

It makes you look like an idiot and it’s result pollsters change and the direction of the error keeps flipping between Democrats and Republicans.


I think that’s an important thing to carry forward.

This also means, by the way that the wave of last-minute right-leaning pollsters who came in at the end were way too optimistic about Republican.

Chances are, we’re going to talk about what that means in a little bit more detail in a few minutes.


Takeaway number three.

Florida is basically Alabama light now, right?

So, okay, I just said the post the polls were surprisingly accurate and if anything, they understated Democrat strength across the country, that’s basically true.

If you ignore Florida, if you only look at Florida, if you only looked at for it, if you went to sleep last night at 8:45 p.m.


Eastern Standard Time, holy shit, Republicans looked like a juggernaut Governor Ron DeSantis was supposed to win this.

The state by about 10 to 13 points, according to the polls, he’s going to win by 20 and that’s not just because de santis is a potent and talented politician.


It’s because Florida really is a red state right now.

A deep red State.

Here’s a stat.

That is incredible and it was one of the first things that I saw last night in 2016.

Hillary Clinton won Miami-Dade County by 30 points on Tuesday is Senator Marco Rubio and Governor DeSantis.


Both one, Miami-Dade by 10 points.

That’s a in six years from a 30-point democratic advantage to a ten-point republican Advantage.

A 40-point swing in.

A major Metro that is basically unheard of throughout the Country.


Florida is cooked for Democrats.

Totally cooked.

The Cuban American population and the Hispanic population of Southern Florida has absolutely sprinted away from the Democratic Party in the last six years and I should probably it.

Some point.

Try to figure out why this happened so fast.


I think my favorite take and this is from a private chat.

So I won’t say which journalist friend said it, but a journalist friend said it and it’s good enough to steal.

My favorite take is that an underrated aspect of Bernie Sanders Legacy is that bringing back the word socialism had an interesting trade-off.


It energized Young Americans, but at the cost of absolutely destroying Democratic approval among Hispanics, that left Cuba and Venezuela and other socialist countries, many of whom now live in Southern Florida.

So that’s a take, I think that is worth chewing on if not quite accepting fully but there is something here that demands an explanation Obama won Florida. 10 years ago in 2012 Obama won Florida and today the state looks like a double-digit, Republican state, that’s astonishing.


And frankly it was confusing last night to like Florida votes.

Were counted very quickly hats off to you Florida.

And that means we learned about the GOP blowout in Florida before we learn about anything else.

So, like my first text of the night, we’re all two friends being like, holy crap.


Miami-Dade is a bloodbath Democrats are screwed, but it turned out the Florida’s results were completely uncorrelated with the rest of the night.

In the biggest picture, America remains a 50-50 country and Florida has basically become the tropical tale of Alabama.


Both things are true.

Okay, we’re getting to the most important stuff right now.

Big, takeaway number four is the Trump tax.

Is this where things get pretty juicy?

I think, Tuesday night dramatically increase the odds of a real showdown in the Republican primary.


So let’s start by imagining this scenario.

That’s best for Donald Trump and his re-election Ambitions, right?

The scenario from last night.

That would have been best for Trump.

I think it goes like this, Trump’s handpick candidates.

When up and down the country Herschel, Walker romps in Georgia, dr.


Oz and mastriano win the Senate and governor race in Pennsylvania, carry Lake and Blake Masters Shadow, the Democrats in Arizona, you got Maga, candidates winning, their Secretary of State campaigns.

There is no extremism penalty to be paid anywhere.

It’s a total Red Wave and Trump is like this king cnut or Moses figures, right?


The commander of the wave that the ocean tide mover wizard, dude.

Meanwhile, This ideal scenario still from last night, we’re super still in the parallel universe.

His chief rival for the GOP Presidential nomination.

Ron DeSantis would only eke out a win in Florida, right?


The takeaway would have been the Trump.

Is this kingmaker supreme and DeSantis is just this slightly more boring version of trump.

Who’s more of like a regional fixture than a national figure, right?

Now, open your eyes.

Everything happened, the opposite way everywhere everywhere, DeSantis clobbered in Florida.


The Trump acolytes failed.

The Red Wave puddled out and as a result, most of the conservative pundits that I follow have.

Now seized on the fact, that team to sandesh out performed team Trump in this election by an astonishing margin and that, therefore, it might be sort of cowardly and bizarre for DeSantis to let Trump bully him at the primary at this.



So I’ve made this point before, I’ll make it again, Trump is a loser from a majoritarian perspective.

That’s not an epithet.

It’s a description of reality Trump.

Lost the popular vote in 2016.


Then his party lost the midterms that he lost the popular vote and the Electoral College in 2020 and then last night he dragged the party down in 2022.

So across the board and across the country, Republicans who kept him at arm’s length.

With outperform the candidates who embrace the Maga label in competitive races.


So this is a, this is a complicated Dynamic for Republicans because Trump enjoys the support of about 35 percent of the electorate, maybe, you know, 65 70 percent of Hardcore Republicans.

And that means his endorsement is gold in the primaries, but it’s an anchor in the general election.


And if you’re a Republican strategist or you know, if you’re somewhat the RNC hear a republican donor, right?

A multi-millionaire During out, where to allocate your money, how much more evidence do you need to see reality for what it is?

This guy is a loser.


He’s a detriment to your party.

You raise a billion dollars for Trump and you might as well be donating to a GoFundMe account for his legal troubles.

You are not helping Republicans Nationwide so I’m not making a prediction here.


A history is long and memories are short and I don’t know what’s going to happen.

In in 2024 but sweet Jesus.

How much more evidence do?

Republicans need to understand that they’re going to keep paying a trump tax every single election day that this guy puts himself on the ballot.


All right, now the finally sets up takeaway number 5, maybe the most important takeaway we got Dobbs in democracy.

Here’s the big picture analysis, the midterm elections to me like the one biggest, takeaway inflation is over 8% and Joe.


Biden is among the least popular presidents at this point in his term since 1950 and midterm elections are typically were any incumbent, majority goes to die and despite all of that Democrats might keep the Senate And I think a lot of this comes down to candidate quality, like you.


Look at a place that Georgia.

Republican, Governor, Brian Kemp won going away.

While the GOP Senate candidate Herschel Walker is in a close fight and very well might lose.

But it also comes down to two other factors Dobbs and democracy over the summer at the Supreme Court overturned Roe v– Wade and I think we’re going to learn that that decision motivated, a ton of turnout among Democrats in a year.


We’re typically it’s a party out of power that has the most Mojo.

What also happened for the last two years is that Republicans have astonishingly, rallied around an ex-president who invited and cheered.

The invasion of the capital who called for overturning and election, who fought for candidates across the country who talked about democracy.


As if it were something Expendable, you had governor candidates like mastriano in Pennsylvania, who, To insist that the 2020 election was stolen and even introduced a bill, that would have allowed him as Governor to exert total control over the election process.


This is total, kooky weirdo, monarchy stuff and mastriano.

Got wrecked.

He got destroyed.

So I know a lot of liberals who find Republican rhetoric on Democracy to be purely terrifying.


I do not find it terrifying yet.

I find it abominable, I find it grotesque, but I think last night we learned that a lot of Americans agree enough, Americans agree.


And the fact that enough Americans agree that this sort of rhetoric is disgusting and these sort of policies are anti-democratic and unamerican.

I think that should give us a little bit of hope that America isn’t The Aurora.

Probably broken hellscape that some people imagine it to be. so, in conclusion, Never one, Trump lost extremism, lost number two.


DeSantis one Florida is a red state number three, moderates, one, the extremists by and large did not win their elections last night.

Number four, the institutional pollsters one.

And number five, Democrats seem to have narrowly lost the house and narrowly held the Senate.


We don’t know for sure yet and that’s because America sucks and Counting votes.

An estimate terms.