Reversal of Tides, As Blue Wave Swamps the Ocean State

While the vaunted national “red wave” appears to have been more of a mild tide, it was a massive blue tsunami that swept Democrats into even stronger control over the Ocean State.

The ebb and flow of the posted returns during the evening varied markedly from the 2020 elections, when late-counted early-voting and mail-ballots dramatically turned the tide in many races. This year, in 2022, early and mail ballots were allegedly posted immediately after the polls closed at 8PM, showing initial leads for Dems, but many Republicans took the lead shortly thereafter as the election-day votes started to be counted. However, for reasons not yet known, Democrats then surged en masse into their sweeping victories as the 9PM hour approached.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: For a more thorough analysis of the election results, tune-in to In The Dugout at at 4:00 PM Wednesday, when former gubernatorial candidate KEN BLOCK joins MIKE STENHOUSE. 

Incumbent Governor Dan McKee thoroughly swamped his challenger, Ashley Kalus, by a massive 19-point margin, while all other Democrats for state office emerged with easy victories. Most observers incorrectly felt that earlier polls, showing a 10-point McKee lead, had likely tightened. Kalus’ percentage was barely better than Donald’s Trumps’ in 2020. McKee’s vote total of about 204,000 was about 6,000 votes higher than Gina Raimondo garnered in her 2018 gubernatorial victory.

In the most surprising result, current state Treasurer, Democrat Seth Magaziner won what many felt was a surprise victory in Rhode Island’s District-2 race for the US House of Representatives, over Republican Allan Fung, the former Mayor Cranston. Magaziner’s 4-point margin of victory came despite earlier polls that showed Fung as the clear favorite.

It’s unclear if state Republicans or pollsters should be more embarrassed about their dismal performance in the Democrats’ clean sweep.

In what was not a surprise, incumbent US Congressman David Cicilline easily defeated his opponent, Allen Waters, by a monstrous 64-36 margin.

One Republican operative texted to The Current that the evening was a “train wreck”. So caught off guard was the Fung team and other Republicans, who had gathered at Twin Oaks restaurant in Fung’s home town of Cranston, earlier in the evening were calling to invite supporters to join the party and to be on-hand to celebrate when the results came in. There was no celebration.

In the state’s General Assembly, the story was no different. Perhaps most symbolic of the strength of the Democrat’s blue wave, was that the two seats held by the Republican minority leaders in the Senate and House were flipped into Democrat hands. Neither Senate GOP leader Dennis Algiere or House GOP leader Blake Filippi sought re-election.

“The major Republican candidates were negligent in that they failed to tap into energy of the burgeoning parents movement across the state and proactively address their serious educational and parental rights concerns,” commented Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity. “Further, their inability to handle the sensitive abortion issue – and allow themselves to be pre-defined by their opponents – was a major self-inflicted wound for each of them.”

Once again, mail ballots and early voting swung many close races to the Democrats, despite promises from Republicans that they would be competitive this year in these arenas. In the CD2 race, where he won by about 6000 votes, Magaziner garnered about 8000 more mail and 7000 more early ballots than did Fung.

Overall in Rhode island, Democrats maintained 100% ownership of all statewide and federal seats of elected office. While a few races in the General Assembly were close enough to likely be subjected to a recount, it appears as if Democrat majorities, already at about 85% in both the House and Senate, will be further expanded.

Interestingly, far-left progressive candidates in Matt Brown’s “Political Cooperative” did not live up to their expectations, headlined by the fact that co-founder Jennifer Roarke, (the subject of the State House attack at the abortion rally), a Democrat, was defeated by Republican, Anthony DeLuca II.

Nationally, while many US Congressional races are too close to call as of early Wednesday morning, it appears that Republican are poised to take control of the House of Representative, albeit by a much smaller margin than they had hoped. Control of the Senate has not yet been decided, with races in Georgia and Nevada to determine which party may break what is now a 49-49 tie. The Republican holds a razor-thin lead in Nevada, while Georgia is headed to yet another runoff race next month. Republicans would have to win both of these races to win control of the Senate, given the tie-breaker vote of Vice President Harris.

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