Josh Marshall

 Have a tip? Send it Here!
Josh Marshall is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of TPM.

How Did You Feel About the Fetterman Win?

John Fetterman’s Pennsylvania Senate run turned out to be one of the most high-stakes, closely watched and — for many — most emotionally engaging of the cycle. Now we are going to learn how it unfolded from the inside. On Monday at 2 p.m. ET will be joined for a TPM Newsmaker briefing by Fetterman campaign manager Brendan McPhillips. We’ll talk about the early salad days when it seemed like Fetterman might win in a landslide, the tightening polls, press criticism over Fetterman’s absence from the campaign trail, the debate and what the campaign did to secure victory in the final days when many election analysts were predicting a Mehmet Oz win in a Republican wave.

TPM’s Kate Riga and I will lead the discussion and take your questions. The briefing is open to all TPM members. If you’re a member you should be receiving an email shortly with instructions on how to register and join us on Monday.

How the Press Missed the 2022 Non-Wave Prime Badge

Democratic strategists Simon Rosenberg and Tom Bonier were the two most prominent voices telling us for weeks that the 2022 Red Wave was a mirage. They were right. We talked to them yesterday about what they saw. If you weren’t able to join us live you can see the discussion after the jump.

Read More 
Ron DeSantis Will Go Through Some Things

One of the clearest takeaways from the 2022 midterm was that Trump-backed candidates did quite poorly. Meanwhile Ron DeSantis chalked up a thundering reelection victory in Florida, just shy of 60% of the vote. That is the kind of reelection victory that cues up a big state governor for a presidential run. DeSantis can say plausibly that he essentially owns the state of Florida and that he has a politics that sells in a large and diverse state. These factors have begun to coalesce into a push within the GOP to move not beyond Trumpism, which DeSantis embodies, but beyond Trump himself. Trump is old, profoundly divisive, in deep legal trouble. Meanwhile Republicans have suffered defeat in the last three electoral cycles largely because of opposition to him.

Moving away from Trump, though, will be a lot harder than it looks.

Read More 
It Looks Like Dems Hold Nevada

This has seemed more plausible over the course of the day. But events this evening make it seem like Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) very much has the inside track to claim reelection in Nevada. Not quite a lock. But getting close. Cortez Masto is currently still behind by about 16,000 votes, though she made up significant ground today. The key is that there are likely 100,000 or more votes outstanding. Those are overwhelmingly mail votes from the two big urban counties, a bucket of votes Cortez Masto has been winning by a two-thirds margin. If those vote totals are roughly accurate and something in the neighborhood of that percentage holds up she should cut right through Laxalt’s lead in the next few days.

It’s not a certainty but it’s getting close.

UNITED STATES - JUNE 23: Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., attends the House Natural Resources Committee hearing titled “Examining the Department of the Interior's Spending Priorities and the President's FY2022 Budget Proposal,” in Longworth Building on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland testified. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) Is Boebert Toast?

Rep. Lauren Boebert has been behind since votes started being counted last night. Over the course of today it appeared that she was most likely to eke out a victory by the smallest of margins. She was behind by a few thousand votes but the remaining votes seemed to favor her. Her margin got down to just over 60 votes. (It’s currently at 73.) But as of a short while ago those votes from Boebert-friendly areas are now tapped out and the much smaller number of remaining votes, according to an analysis Channel 9 in Denver, now come from counties where challenger Adam Frisch holds strong leads. They’re not quite calling it yet. But the math makes it seem inevitable.

On the contrary, “I’ve Seen Enough” Cook Report election analyst Dave Wasserman says reports of Boebert’s demise are premature.

Read More 
Join Us at 2:30 Eastern

Democratic strategists Simon Rosenberg and Tom Bonier were the two most prominent voices telling us for weeks that the 2022 Red Wave was a mirage. They were right. This afternoon at 2:30 PM eastern Rosenberg and Bonier will join us for a live TPM Newsmaker briefing to discuss just what they saw in the polls and early voting patterns that allowed them to see what others missed. If you’re a TPM member you’re invited to join me and TPM’s Kate Riga. There will be an email in your inbox with instructions on how to join us live at 2:30 PM eastern to answer your questions.

Josh Really Just Operating on Fumes Now Blog

3:44 AM: Okay, folks. I think that’s all I’ve got for tonight/this morning. Team did a great job. Hope you feel we had you covered. More tomorrow.

3:38 AM: Again, more details tomorrow. But Democrats seem to have performed pretty well in those Texas border districts that were such a question in 2020.

3:31 AM: Just to close the loop on this. Very, very likely that Georgia Senate goes to a runoff. And still a very real possibility that determines the majority.

3:19 AM: I mentioned yesterday that the polls are your pilot’s instrument panel. There was some non-trivial polling error understating Democratic strength. The bigger story though is that the polls were fairly on the mark. It was the campaign narrative that was off. There are a few cases like New Hampshire where polls seriously underestimated Democratic strength. But in most cases it’s hard to find results where you can say wow the polls totally missed that one. There was simply an assumption that a lot of the close races where going to go the GOP way and that didn’t happen.

3:08 AM: This is about as rough a night as one could imagine for Donald Trump. The candidates he forced on the GOP did quite poorly. Meanwhile Ron DeSantis, his biggest rival in the GOP, had an absolutely stomping night. He won a huge victory, did great in South Florida, with Hispanic voters, etc. Lots of people are predicting you’re now going to have governors like DeSantis, Youngkin, Abbott making the argument that it’s time to move past Donald Trump. Notably, it’s move past Donald Trump, not Trumpism. I suspect this is much, much easier said than done. I doubt Donald Trump is receptive to this new plan.

3:01 AM: I’m too bleary to get into all the details. But Democrats are doing well in a number of key state legislatures – Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania. I need to dig deeper tomorrow. And there will likely be more clarity then. But there’s a story there.

2:58 AM: Looks like Rep. Elissa Slotkin is going to hold on for the win in Michigan’s 7th district. Another big hold for the Democrats.

2:26 AM: Democrats have taken control of the Michigan senate for the first time since 1983. This is a big deal for many reasons – but a key one is no independent state legislature nonsense going into 2024.

1:44 AM: Note to self: write a post tomorrow about McCarthy’s leadership skills and how he’s positioned himself within the House GOP caucus.

Josh Going Totally Old School Blogging Blog #2

1:35 AM: Checked in with a few sources. Looks like Rep. Boebert probably squeaks through. But not a sure thing.

1:31 AM: It looks not impossible at this point that you have a very think GOP House majority that rests in significant measure in a series of close pick ups from New York State. That would be absurd and improbable and show the crazy repercussions of the New York State redistricting debacle. But it could also have some very weird effects in 2023. You get into a scenario where leadership needs to force inherently vulnerable Republicans to toe the Marjorie Greene/Jim Jordan line. Weird hypothetical. But at this point not that hypothetical.

12:58 AM: NBC calls the Pennsylvania Senate race for John Fetterman.

12:21 AM: It seems like there’s a real chance Lauren Boebert might lose her seat tonight (this morning, sorry.)

12:10 AM: It’s looking like it will be a very thin GOP majority in the House.

11:51 PM: A week ago I mentioned North Carolina’s Bo Hines, the Republican who was recommending community boards to review whether individual rape and/or incest victims had a rough enough situation to merit getting an abortion. Cook rated this race a GOP leaning toss up. He just conceded defeat.

11:36 PM: Nathaniel Rakich of 538 makes the very good point that while Tim Ryan went down to defeat against the odious weasel JD Vance his campaign probably played a key role in down-ballot D wins in the House.

Josh Going Totally Old School Blogging Blog

11:17 PM: Over the last couple weeks I’ve noted many times that we would not only have political winners and losers tonight but also pollster winners and losers. And well, we have ’em. The mainstream pollsters’ numbers look pretty solid. The numbers from GOP pollsters like Trafalgar, Insider Advantage, Rasmussen, etc. are taking it on the chin pretty hard. But it goes beyond differences of methodology. There was always a strong assumption from a lot of knowledgable people that those outfits had shoddy verging on bogus polling practices. So you take the mainstream number, tack on 5 points and that’s your poll. If there’s a major polling error for most pollsters you look pretty smart. But it’s sort of like a broken clock being right twice a day. Like I said, many thought this. But they’d gotten closer to the mark in 2016 and 2020. So it was hard to make the argument too confidently.

11:09 PM: Earlier in the evening I mentioned those three Virginia House seat bellwethers. We now have results in each. Luria, the most vulnerable, has conceded defeat. The other two held their seats. In advance this result seemed to presage Republicans winning the House but by a slender margin. And that’s where we seem to be.

10:57 PM: A huge bummer but not unexpected. NBC calls Ohio for JD Vance.

10:48 PM: Don’t want to assume anything else. But Lauren Boebert seems to have a race on her hands.

10:39 PM: I’ve been cautious about this. But The New York Times’ Nate Cohn has been looking at county totals in Pennsylvania and Fetterman is beating Biden’s 2020 numbers basically everywhere. This looks like a pretty strong signal in the noise. We need to see a lot more. But that’s pretty telling.

10:34 PM: NBC calls Virginia’s 7th district for Abigail Spanberger. [10:43 PM: Now AP too. This one’s done.]

10:28 PM: I think we can say with some confidence now that this is not a GOP wave election. But it’s still true that the GOP did not need a wave to win the House or even the Senate. We know a lot more about the outlines of this than we knew a few hours ago.

10:13 PM: To make the point more directly, I’m literally not looking at statewide totals in really any race. Or barely any. Sort of impossible for me to have any idea what they mean. Almost entirely looking at completed or near completed counties. And to be clear, look at what analysts I trust say about them. That’s when you can make comparisons.

10:08 PM: Possibly some encouraging signs for Fetterman in Pennsylvania. Will need to see more. Very early.

10:00 PM: Looking increasingly likely that Rep. Abigail Spanberger will hold on for reelection in Virginia 7. Not a shocker by any means but definitely a bellwether.

9:46 PM: Veteran Dem Rep Marcy Kaptur was supposed to be in some danger. Not likely to lose but in danger in a red wave. Ryan Brune now thinks she’ll win by double digits. It’s not a huge thing that Kaptur is reelected. But if she’s reelected comfortably that’s another result that puts some real bounds on the scale of Republican victories.

Josh’s Random Thoughts Blog #2

9:37 PM: Given all uncertainty created by different methods of voting and when those different buckets of votes are counted, it’s become a much bigger deal not just to look at key counties and precincts but when entire counties are counted. Once a county is fully counted, you can set aside election day voting, early voting and just look at earlier elections. So for instance, if a Democrat is exceeding Biden’s margins in a state Biden won that’s a clear signal, regardless of what the statewide totals are. Right now that kind of analysis is making New Hampshire look like a hold for Democrats and North Carolina a hold for Republicans. Again, broadly in line with the polls.

9:19 PM: Here’s one metric to see the night so far. Election watchers were looking at three House races in Virginia: Incumbent Dems Reps. Luria, Spanberger and Wexton. Luria was the most endangered. If she held on, significant GOP underperformance and conceivably even a Dem House hold. In a wave, Spanberger would lose too. In a total blowout even Wexton might go down. At the moment, Spanberger is looking like she likely, but by no means definitely, will hold on. And Luria is still in it. With those two races close, I assume Wexton is in good shape. Big picture that looks like GOP House pick up by probably not a big majority. Again, very early. Virginia’s one state. But this starts to give us a general sense of where we might be headed.

9:14 PM: You wouldn’t expect there to be much concern about a congressional race in Rhode Island. But there was a lot of Democratic fretting about Seth Magaziner in RI-2. The local affiliate has just called that race for Magaziner. So that’s a D hold.

9:05 PM: We’re still very early and at a point where it’s difficult to get an outline of big pictures. Having said that, what seems clear so far is that the polls were broadly accurate. By which I mean, the close races are super close. Maybe that’s not the hugest headline. But it’s a data point that’s still pretty key. On something like the Senate I think we’re still very much in jump ball territory. The races that were supposed to be super close appear to be super close. And we don’t know who is winning them.

8:58 PM: Fairly encouraging numbers for Democrats in New Hampshire. They’re running ahead of Biden’s 2020 numbers, at least in some key areas.

8:15 PM: We have some possibly encouraging reporting for Abigail Spanberger in VA-7. I want to be clear what my metric is here. To me, if a Dem who was supposed to go down in a GOP wave is holding there own, that’s encouraging. Doesn’t mean they’re going to win. But a good sign for them and gives us some hints about the broader story. More on this in a moment.

Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: