November 8, 2022

We’re here. Election Day. But now that we’ve arrived, it could be that the journey is only just beginning. This feels less like the end of a very long and bumpy road than the start of a very uneven trip full of potholes, detours and yelling. Lots and lots of yelling.

Vice’s Cameron Joseph writes, “Former President Donald Trump, his election-denying candidates, GOP operatives, and an army of conspiracy theory-believing activists are lobbing bad-faith lawsuits, attempting voter intimidation, and gearing up for disruptive protests to take advantage of slow ballot counts in this week’s midterm elections. And the closer the election results are, the longer it will take to determine a winner in key contests. Things could get very messy.”

Results in several states are likely to take days. Maybe longer. And this is the key: that is completely normal. Just because tabulating votes — day-of voting, early-voting ballots, vote-by-mail absentee ballots and so on — may take days does not mean there’s funny business.

The Washington Post’s Tom Hamburger, Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Patrick Marley report that officials in several states have “preemptively called for patience, acknowledging that some of the factors that bogged down the process in 2020 remain unresolved two years later.” They added, “Although the reasons for the delays vary from state to state, officials have been united in urging the public not to draw conclusions just because the count appears to be proceeding slowly.”

But conclusions will be drawn.

Joseph writes, “… that won’t stop bad-faith candidates — especially those who are losing — from using it to claim it’s being rigged against them, demand that officials stop counting ballots in places where mail ballots are counted late, and push their supporters to protest. Multiple Trump-aligned candidates have already strongly signaled they won’t concede, no matter the outcome.”

In fact, some Republicans aren’t waiting for votes to be counted. They are already crying foul. The Washington Post’s Amy Gardner and Emma Brown report, “Republican officials and candidates in at least three battleground states are pushing to disqualify thousands of mail ballots after urging their own supporters to vote on Election Day, in what critics are calling a concerted attempt at partisan voter suppression.”

Those battleground states: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Gardner and Brown write, “The suits coincide with a systematic attempt by Republicans — led by former President Donald Trump — to persuade GOP voters to cast their ballots only on Election Day. Critics argue that the overall purpose is to separate Republicans and Democrats by method of voting and then to use lawsuits to void mail ballots that are disproportionately Democratic.”

If all that isn’t depressing enough, check out this headline on a New York Times article from Steven Lee Myers: “Russia Reactivates Its Trolls and Bots Ahead of Tuesday’s Midterms.”

Now throw in the mess at Twitter, which is in total chaos with Elon Musk seemingly way over his skis in how to run such an influential social media company.

Ugh, who else needs a couple of Tylenol and a shot of Pepto-Bismol?

There is some good news. After today, we get a break from all the political ads. We now go back to Flo from Progressive, Jake from State Farm and Shaquille O’Neal being in every other commercial. 

Here is some more notable journalism about the midterms:


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Chief Twit

Elon Musk did weigh in with this political opinion on Monday. He tweeted, “To independent-minded voters: Shared power curbs the worst excesses of both parties, therefore I recommend voting for a Republican Congress, given that the Presidency is Democratic.”

Considering Musk’s popularity is in the tank these days, it’s hard to say if those endorsements help or hurt Republicans. Actually, let’s be honest, it likely has no impact one way or the other. But it does give us some insight into Musk’s line of thinking.

For the latest on Musk, it’s The Washington Post’s Will Oremus, Jennifer Hassan and Faiz Siddiqui with “Musk recommends voting GOP, bans Twitter accounts for ‘impersonation.”

Pelosi’s first sit-down interview

Nancy Pelosi outside her home in San Francisco last week. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke to CNN’s Anderson Cooper in her first sit-down interview since her husband, Paul, was attacked by a man with a hammer in their San Francisco home. Nancy was in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 28 when a man broke into the Pelosi home in California looking for Nancy. Paul was hospitalized with a fractured skull and injuries to his arms and hands, but has since been released. David DePape, 42, is facing several charges, including attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon, in addition to federal charges of assault and attempted kidnapping.

Nancy Pelosi told Cooper she was awakened by Capitol Police at 5 a.m.

“So I run to the door, and I’m very scared,” Pelosi said. “I see the Capitol Police and they say, ‘We have to come in to talk to you.’”

She said, at first, it didn’t dawn on her that it might be something with her husband. She was, instead, concerned about her children and grandchildren. Pelosi added, “I never thought it would be Paul because, you know, I knew he wouldn’t be out and about, shall we say. And so they came in. At that time, we didn’t even know where he was.”

From ESPN to the sidelines

The Indianapolis Colts fired head coach Frank Reich on Monday and replaced him with Jeff Saturday, a former Colts center who has been working as a studio analyst for ESPN. Saturday is one of the great players in Colts history, but has no coaching experience outside of coaching high school football in Georgia. Saturday is believed to be the first person since 1961 to be named an NFL head coach despite no coaching experience at the college or professional level.

Saturday is being hired on an interim basis and is familiar with the organization, but still, this seems like a strange hire. And it has been pointed out that Saturday, who is white, is getting a chance that a Black coach likely would never get. (In case you’ve missed it, The Washington Post has been publishing an excellent series this season called “Black Out,” about how the NFL hiring and firing practices disadvantage coaches of color.)

The Atlantic’s Jemele Hill, a longtime employee at ESPN, tweeted, “I like Jeff Saturday and enjoyed working with him at ESPN. This is not a critique of him, but rather a NFL system that constantly moves the goalposts for white coaches, but holds Black coaches to tighter standards. A Black coach likely would never be in Jeff’s position.”

ESPN writer Bill Barwell tweeted, “By all accounts, Jeff Saturday is a very nice, capable person, and I hope he does well in Indianapolis. This hiring is also a reminder that the arbitrary experience roadblocks put out in front of minority candidates are nonsense.”

Media tidbits

Hot type

A new season of “The Crown” premiers Wednesday on Netflix. The Washington Post’s Ashley Fetters Maloy reviews it in “‘The Crown,’ good as ever, may change your opinion of Charles and Diana.”

Andscape’s Clinton Yates with “Why Dusty Baker’s World Series win means more.”

Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Trea Turner is about to become a free agent. His agency sent a sizzle reel of his highlights and attributes to various major league teams. And it was narrated by actor Jon Hamm. 

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Tom Jones is Poynter’s senior media writer for He was previously part of the Tampa Bay Times family during three stints over some 30…
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