Sunday, November 11, 2018


Karl Rove is concerned.
Republican guru Karl Rove is sounding the alarm after steep losses in suburbs across America cost his party control of the House of Representatives....

“We’ve got to be worried about what’s happening in the suburbs. We get wiped out in the Dallas suburbs, Houston suburbs, Chicago suburbs, Denver suburbs — you know there’s a pattern — Detroit suburbs, Minneapolis suburbs, Orange County, Calif., suburbs,” Rove said Saturday during a panel discussion for the Washington Examiner’s Sea Island Summit.

“When we start to lose in the suburbs, it says something to us,” Rove continued. “We can’t replace all of those people by simply picking up [Minnesota’s First Congressional District] — farm country and the Iron range of Minnesota — because, frankly, there’s more growth in suburban areas than there is in rural areas.”
But what can Republicans do? Republicans in Congress will pay with their political lives if they try to cross President Trump, so he won't be convicted if there's an impeachment and therefore he's almost certain to be the 2020 nominee. He'll continue to be despised by suburban women like the ones Michelle Goldberg writes about:
In April 2017, progressives across America turned toward Georgia’s Sixth District for the race to fill the House seat vacated by Tom Price, who’d become President Trump’s (short-lived) secretary of health and human services....

A great many local women ... threw themselves into [this] campaign.

[The Democratic candidate, Jon Ossoff,] lost.... But last week, some of that investment finally paid off.

On Thursday we learned that a year and a half after Ossoff’s loss, Lucy McBath, an African-American gun control advocate, had flipped the seat.

... During the Ossoff campaign, “we built an army of volunteers,” said Stacy Efrat, a mother of three with a full-time job who’d organized voter registration drives most weekends this year. “We built the Resistance in the Sixth District, and we already had our infrastructure in place to work on the Lucy election.”
What will the GOP do in response to the 2018 results? I think it will try to suppress the votes of suburban white women, just the way it's tried for more than a decade to suppress the votes of young people and, especially, non-whites. (Rove, of course, was a key vote suppressor a decade ago.)

How will that be done? I'm not as clever as a Republican trying to subvert democracy, but I can make a few guesses. I know that the use of "exact match" was limited by a federal judge in the last few days of the campaign in Georgia, but I think Republicans might try it elsewhere -- it could catch women whose surnames after marriage are hyphenated (or sometimes unhyphenated) combinations of their maiden names and their husbands' names. There could also be restrictions on voter registration -- maybe other states won't want to go as far as Texas, which requires those who want to register voters to be deputized after one of the sporadically conducted government training sessions, but impediments could be added to the process. Also, it's easy to close down polling places in suburbs that are becoming bluer, or to adjust early voting so that it's less convenient for mothers.

This will happen, probably in states such as Ohio, Iowa, Florida, Texas, and especially Georgia, where the vote is increasingly Democratic even as control of the state government is Republican. Vote suppression -- it's what Republicans will do because it's what Republicans always do.

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