We are about 3 weeks away from the midterm election and people are already voting across the country. By now most Americans have made up their minds about who they will vote for. There are some stragglers of course, but not a lot of undecideds at this point. Because the two parties represent such different ideologies and futures for America, it matters a lot whether a Democrat or a Republican wins in every district.
For that reason, every district is a battleground. Ironically, those undecided voters who can’t make up their minds until the last minute will be the ultimate deciders in many of these races which will deeply affect the direction of our country. A vote for Democrats is a vote for governmental sanity and the continuation of a democracy that supports working Americans. A vote for Republicans is a vote for the end of our democracy, the installation of an autocracy that will favor the rich, and a victory for Trump and his allies.
Shifting Political Fortunes 
As gas prices came down (and they are still coming down, by-the-way) and Biden’s approval ratings rose in the last month or two. He is now at 46%. The political fortunes needle moved in the direction of the Democrats. But as we get nearer to the midterm election some of the indicators are moving the needle in the direction of the GOP and races are tightening.  Some of these economic headwinds are the result of global events that a president should not be blamed for because they are out of his control.
1) The Saudis have decided to help Putin and damage Biden by cutting back oil production which will raise the price of gas- (although Biden is going to release more of our stores of gas to keep prices down and he has called on gas companies to lower the price of gas for consumers instead of taking more profits for themselves. Will the gas companies listen?)
2) The war in Ukraine continues to push the world towards greater inflation and likely recession.
3) China’s overly harsh “no one is allowed to get Covid” policies forcing lock downs across China have added to global supply chain problems and it will take time to fix that given the Chinese policies about Covid and how bad their vaccine is at protecting their population.
Most of these things are global problems and not Biden’s fault. But Americans often blame their presidents for everything that happens on their watch. The GOP will probably benefit at the polls from these global problems.
Who is Angrier, More Worried, More Motivated to Vote?
One hard to predict factor is the righteous anger of American women who are furious because the Supreme Court removed a 50 year old constitutional right to bodily autonomy by overturning Roe. Younger women and men are upset about Dobbs and about life in general and are not fans of Trump or Trumpism, but it is not certain they will turn out to vote. They have a bad track record when it comes to showing up on Election Day especially for the midterm elections.
Americans (about 21%) say they are worried for the first time about what will happen to our democracy. But our country is so divided and tribal that the fear about our democracy depends on your party affiliation. Republicans fear that Democrats will win and Democrats fear Republicans will win. Each side thinks the other side will destroy our democracy.
Just to be clear, only one side is right about that prediction. The GOP is hell bent on destroying our democracy and pretending they are not. They are using lies and propaganda to convince voters that the Democrats will ruin their lives with critical race theory and they are using culture wars to scare people about bathrooms, they are using the fear of crime to get voters to vote for them even though it is Republicans who want to defund the FBI and Republicans who cheered on the criminality of Trump and the violent assaults on law enforcement at the Capitol on January 6th and refuse to even consider sane gun laws.
The GOP is doing everything it can to suppress the vote of black and brown people using a variety of dirty tricks: gerrymandering is still a thing, purging voter roles, disinformation and misinformation is rampant, and election denialism is the litmus test for being a card carrying Republican these days. In a true democracy everyone should have their vote count and the parties should try to appeal to all Americans no matter what their skin color, not just white Americans, Evangelicals and the ultra rich.
Independent State Legislative Theory Nightmare
Even more frightening, the Supreme Court is on the verge of giving the GOP a huge boost that could help them to sustain their political power and the presidency, possibly forever, by changing our election laws. This is coming. The case is Harper v Moore. There are 4 to 5 justices (Thomas, Gorsuch, Alito, Kavanaugh and probably Barrett) who have signaled in their prior writings that they are in favor of adopting what used to be a crackpot idea: the Independent State Legislative Theory (ISLT).
The adoption of ISLT by the Supreme Court will change which governmental entities have the unfettered power to make federal election laws and run federal elections. Instead of a check and balance system we have now where state laws can be reviewed by state courts and vetoed by state governors if they are unfair or violate the state constitution, the ISLT could give state legislatures unreviewable power to determine the rules for national elections in their states which means the fair election of presidents reflecting the will of the voters will be at risk.
The ISLT could be a wrecking ball for our democracy. It could make the John Eastman playbook a reality.
How would this be done?
We have already seen how it will be gamed out. Republican state legislators will claim vote fraud even if there is no evidence of that, and then they will substitute their own slate of electors for the slate that the voters in their state wanted and voted for. Because there are more Republican led state legislatures in our country, if those states send a substitute slate of electors to the Electoral College given the sheer number of GOP state houses it will result in a Republican presidential win every four years.  In other words, we could be about to change from a representational democracy to an illiberal democracy.
The Democrats could also do this if they had control of more state legislatures, but the Democrats would not do it. They would not override the will of the voters. It is only the GOP that needs to shatter our democracy to stay in power because it is a party that no longer tries to appeal to all Americans. It is a White Nationalist party that is shrinking but trying to hold onto power. Because it does not even try to appeal to the rising multicultural majority it has to “win” by cheating.
Looking Ahead
Will the Dems keep the House and the Senate? I think it is touch and go right now, but the outcome will matter more than any other election in our country’s history. The outcome will depend on turn out and turn out will depend on whether how much outrage there is driving voters to the polls.
There’s the rage and fears of millions of educated suburban women and the men who know it is unfair to take away reproductive rights. And there are the kitchen table worries of apolitical, misinformed Americans who may blame Biden for their financial woes even though they shouldn’t. And then there are the deplorables, the paranoid millions in Trump’s base of voters who fear the browning of America and being “replaced”.
Adding to the uncertainty of prediction this midterm is that pollsters confess that they are not able to trust their own polling these days. Why? because so many Trump supporters either will not talk with pollsters or give false answers when asked questions by pollsters, and there are too few ways to connect with voters who have cell phones instead of landlines.
To make matters worse, there are close to 300 election denialists running for office who refuse to say whether they will accept the result of this election if they lose. For example, Kari Lake, the Republican running for governor of Arizona, refuses to say what she will do if she loses. She simply says she will win. But if she loses it is likely she and others like her in the GOP will pretend they have won, following the new GOP cheat to win playbook written by Donald Trump.
What Could Be in Store if Republicans Win Back Both Chambers of Congress
So what will happen if the GOP regains the House and the Senate?
1) The GOP will block everything Biden wants to do in the second half of his first term. There will be few if any more federal judges appointed. Biden had been appointing a very diverse group of judges to the federal bench. All of that will stop.
2) The GOP will also undo almost everything Biden has done by executive order. No more school debt relief, for starters. They will reverse everything they can. They will try to undermine the social safety net: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and more will be at risk.
3) Marjorie Taylor Greene and other MAGAs will dominate the House and create mayhem because they have no agenda other than owning the libs, shattering our democracy, and getting Trump back in power. Oh, and helping the rich get richer. I almost forgot their guiding principle.
4) Our democracy will be under constant attack. What that means in plain English is that our country under the control of Republicans in the House and Senate will shatter our rights and freedoms and our votes will not count anymore. LGBTQ rights. The right to reproductive health care. The right to marry someone of another race could be at risk. The Republicans will introduce a national abortion ban that would erase our freedoms in every single state- red or blue.
5) There will be endless investigations of Hunter Biden, Anthony Fauci, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and others.
6) Kevin McCarthy just said he would not give Ukraine a blank check anymore. Putin must be toasting his fellow murderers in his inner circle after hearing that.
7) The January 6th Committee will be dead in the water. Other investigations into Trump might be at risk even though the DOJ will still be operating under Merrick Garland and presumably following through on their work. But the GOP will be doing everything they can to attack DOJ and defund the FBI to keep Trump and his base happy.
8) Trump could make a bid to become the Speaker of the House. I have written about this before. The Speaker of the House does not need to be an elected official. This would give Trump a platform and make him the center of attention again.
Are We Pre-Destined to Get This Outcome? NO!
 WE STILL COULD PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING IF WE VOTE IN LARGE NUMBERS. There are way more of us than them. Many of us are not as noisy and outspoken as the Trump people are. We exist even in ruby red states. We are the majority. We do not want Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy ruining our country again, but we have to vote like our lives depend on it. Because they do.
If you don’t want a national abortion ban that will make abortion and IVF illegal and ruin the lives of millions of American women who are going to experience ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages or botched abortions, then we have to GET OUT OUR VOTERS!
If you don’t want endless baseless hearings about Hunter Biden, Dr. Fauci, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and others that the House Republicans can’t wait to torture, then we have to GET OUT OUR VOTERS!
If you don’t want to get more Federalist Society judges and have the end of Biden’s appointments of way more diverse judges for the federal judicial system, then we better GET OUT OUR VOTERS!
If you don’t want to see the end of climate change legislation, GET OUR OUR VOTERS!
If you want to be sure you still have Social Security and Medicare then VOTE FOR THE DEMOCRATS!
If you don’t want to get Donald Trump back as president, then GET OUT OUR VOTERS!
Many of these key races will be won by a HANDFUL OF VOTES. Literally, a few hundred, or a dozen or even one vote could make all the difference in a district that then makes all the difference in the outcome in a state.
Please do what you can to get out the vote in your state. Canvass. Make calls. Text voters. Send postcards to voters to remind them how much it matters. Tell your friends and relatives to vote for Democrats up and down the ticket and explain what’s at stake. Support groups that help voters get to the polls by providing rides.
This is the moment. It’s all hands on deck. This is for all the marbles not only now but for the foreseeable future.