Thursday, October 15, 2020

Samantha Bee explains the importance of voting for U.S. Senators

In the same episode where Samantha Bee asked her viewers to Power The Polls, she explained the importance of down-ballot races, specifically the U.S. Senate, in a monologue that her show uploaded in two parts on YouTube. Here is Part 1.

It’s easy to blame Trump for the current hellish state we find ourselves in. But much like his business “success”, when it comes to enacting harmful legislation, Trump couldn't have done it alone. November is the perfect time to hold his accomplices accountable.
Since this was uploaded four weeks ago, the FiveThirtyEight Senate Forecast shows that Jaime Harrison has a 23% chance of winning to Lindsey Graham's 77%. That's not as good as Bee made it out to be, but it's better than one would have expected a few months ago. FiveThirtyEight's Perry Bacon Jr. explains how that happened in How Did Lindsey Graham End Up In Such A Close Race? Click on the link to read his answers to the question.

The situation is reversed in Arizona, where former astronaut Mark Kelly is leading Martha McSally 79% to 21%. FiveThirtyEight's Clare Malone explains what is happening in Arizona Is The Democrats’ Purple Splotch In The Sunbelt.

Bee continued describing the state of the race in the more visible Senate elections in Part 2.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from horror movies, it’s to always expect the worst. So when it comes to the 2020 election, voting Trump out of office won’t be enough to save our country. We have to also get rid of the monsters that lurk down the ballot!
Bee and her Emmy-winning writers were right about that attack ad on Sara Gideon; it looks like something her campaign could have produced as a positive ad. It may actually be helping the Democratic challenger. A few days ago, the Maine Senate election was the closest one at FiveThirtyEight, with Collins marginally ahead. Now, it's the third closest, with Gideon having a 63% probability of winning.

TBS aired this episode of Bee's show before Cal Cunningham's sexting scandal broke or she would have mentioned it. Despite that, the polls haven't moved much, which FiveThirtyEight's Geoffrey Skelley tried to explain in Despite A Sexting Scandal, Democrat Cal Cunningham Is Favored In North Carolina’s Senate Race, noting "On Oct. 2, Cunningham had a 67 in 100 shot of winning; today, Cunningham has a 67 in 100 chance, according to the Deluxe version of FiveThirtyEight’s Senate forecast." Right now, it's 66%. Still, not much movement considering the potential from a sex scandal, however mild.

Other close contests for the U.S. Senate Bee didn't mention are happening in Iowa, Georgia, Montana, Kansas, and Alaska. For those, I recommend reading Why Democratic Senate Candidates Are Competitive In Red States Like Alaska, Kansas And Montana and Will Georgia Turn Blue?, both on FiveThirtyEight. Maybe Bee and her writers will find enough material for a monologue about these contests in the next three weeks. Stay tuned.

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