The Top Ten Midterm Races I’ll Be Watching Tomorrow (and Share Your Own!)

By | November 5, 2018

Truly, I care about all the races tomorrow, and I’d like to see as many Democrats as possible win representative seats, senate seats, Governor’s mansions, state legislature seats, schoolboard spots, dog catcher jobs, etc. Basically, if you’re a Democrat, I hope you win tomorrow, and I certainly hope that enough races go the right way that Democrats can take back congress, and hopefully even several state congresses. Still, there’s a few races I really want the blue team to take…

Runner-Up: Jon Tester vs. Matt Rosendale for Montana Senate…Tester seems like a great guy–arguably the best red-state Democratic senator not named Doug Jones–and his race with Rosendale is very close. [Trump has visited Montana so much, he seems to have made it a mission to take out Tester.] I really hope Tester can hang on to his narrow lead, and take it home.

10. Democrats vs. California Republicans (especially Dana Rohrbacher and Devin Nunes)…Sure, I want Democrats to win all congressional seats, but there are too many to focus on any individual races. But I think their best bet to make serious gains is on California’s roughly couple dozen congressional Republicans. The two I most want to go? Russian sleeper-agent Rohrbacher and Trump henchman Nunes.

9. “Soft” Democrats (Heidi Heitkampf, Claire McCaskill, Joe Donnelly, and even Joe Manchin) vs. Republicans…It’s not entirely fair to lump all these people together, but they are all red state Democrats who have exhibited only occasional bouts of backbone. Still, there’s absolutely no question Heitkampf, McCaskill, and Donnelly would be fantastically better than their Republican challengers–no question at all. More ambiguous is Joe Manchin (who I don’t like), but he’ll probably be much more reliable for Democrats once they actually control the senate. Either way, Democrats need to hold on to all of these seats and pick up two more to take back the senate.

8. Whoever vs. Scott Walker for Wisconsin Governor…Who is even running against Scott Walker? Don’t know, and don’t care; sure, it would take me about 5 seconds to look it up, but it wouldn’t change a damn thing. “John Doe” (Or Jane Doe, who knows?) is infinitely preferable to the human garbage pile that is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Since Paul Ryan isn’t running for re-election and Reince Priebus may very well be dead (again, who knows?), Walker is the most loathsome Wisconsite still in play.

7. Phil Bredesen vs. Martha Blackburn for Tennessee Senate…There hasn’t been a Democratic senator in Tennessee since Al Gore and Jim Sasser left to join the Clinton Administration over 20 years ago. I’m hoping against hope Bredesen will break that drought. Almost every poll shows the race is nail-bitingly close (though most put Blackburn slightly ahead), and it’s been such a coin-toss that Taylor Swift entered the fray–giving Bredesen his first real bounce in months. To win back the senate, Democrats will have to pick up this seat and one more in either Texas, Nevada, or…

6. Kyrsten Sinema vs. Martha McSally for Arizona senate…The second race where a red-state Democrat has to face off in a very close contest with a Republican woman named Martha. It wouldn’t surprise me if this race was too close to call or had a recount, meaning we may potentially not know which party controls the senate for a few weeks.

5. Walt Mattox vs. Kay Ivey for Alabama Governor…Sure, this race has absolutely no significance nationally (which is the only reason it’s ranked 5th instead of in the top three), but it will likely make a huge difference to Alabama residents. On the one hand, you’ve got the fantastic Mattox–who would easily be Alabama’s best governor in decades, and who’s the best candidate Alabama Democrats have put up in nearly as long. On the other hand, you’ve got an appointee who bankrupted Alabama’s PACT program, is long-rumored to be a daytime drunk, and who refuses to debate Mattox. That’s right, a Gubernatorial race without a single debate because Kay Ivey literally won’t show up for one. When has a sitting Governor ever been afraid to debate? Wouldn’t that be where they would show off their experience? Lord, I hope Mattox wins…

4. Andrew Gillum vs. Ron DeSantis for Florida Governor…As you may have already guessed, all of my top five races are going to be Southern contests. In this match-up you’ve got someone who would be Florida’s first black Governor (and the first black Governor in the former confederacy since reconstruction) vs. a white supremacist who has made many racist dog whistles. [Trump himself has, predictably, gotten in on the action.] This is also my pick for the Southern contest most likely to actually go to the Democrats. There’s only one non-senate race I’m more interested in, the very similar race for a different Deep South Governorship…

3. Stacy Abrams vs. Brian Kemp for Georgia Governor…I love Stacey Abrams and I hate Brian Kemp. Kemp–who really does exemplify everything that’s wrong with the Republican Party–deserves to get beat for his racist dog whistles, his chickening out of a debate (between him and Kay Ivey Republicans seem to believe they can win by disappearing), and especially his voter disenfranchisement tricks. If Abrams can win even though Kemp cheats, this will be a truly stunning political victory.

2. Ben Nelson vs. Rick Scott for Florida Senate…What’s so nail-biting about an incumbent Democratic senator defending his seat? Besides the fact that all Democrats have to hold onto their seats if we have a chance of taking back the senate, I also despise Rick Scott–the Tea Partying Florida Governor who decided it was a good idea to vehemently oppose any steps to combat climate change even as his state falls into the ocean. If voters are smart enough to stick with Nelson over Scott, it’ll mean people can learn from their mistakes, and perhaps give us real hope America won’t be dumb enough to re-elect Trump.

1. Beto O’Rourke vs. Ted Cruz for Texas Senate…Sadly, I don’t really think O’Rourke has a chance at beating back monster asshole Ted Cruz, but boy I hope I’m wrong. If Democrats ever felt like pulling out a miracle, this is the race. Not only is slimy Ted Cruz one of the worst politicians not named Donald Trump (and in true Cruz fashion, he’s gladly accepted Trump’s endorsement despite Trump dissing “Lyin’ Ted”‘s wife, his children, and saying his father assassinated Kennedy), but O’Rourke is a great candidate who’d make an easy VP candidate if he can win this race. Plus, a victory here would open Texas up to Democrats in the Presidential race (meaning Republicans would lose their biggest state in the electoral college), and that may be why O’Rourke has the best funded campaign of this season. We’ve gone all-in on a long-shot, but how sweet it’ll be if it pays off.

Go Vote Tomorrow! 

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