This Week in Statehouse Action: The End Is The Beginning Is The End edition

... depressing but feels right

[[mumbles]] days to go!

Yes, the election is just a few days away, but even if we know who’s going to occupy the White House for the next four years on Nov. 3, we’re not going to have a clear picture of how the state legislative landscape is going to shake out.

For various reasons (which I discussed last week and won’t bore you with again), it’s going to take a few days to figure out which party is going to start next year’s legislative sessions with majority control in key legislative chambers.

But SO MUCH is riding on next Tuesday that, I confess, I’m freaking out a little.

Here’s why maybe you should be, too.

There Is A Light: The possibility persists that GOP leaders in Pennsylvania may attempt to declare the election “failed” in the event the U.S. Supreme Court invalidates thousands of lawfully cast mail-in ballots that arrive after Nov. 3 (which conservative justices have laid the groundwork to do).

Campaign Action

But if it doesn’t, that may not be the end of the ballgame.

That gives GOP lawmakers three full days to … well, do all sorts of things.

… like, say, a certificate of ascertainment for Trump’s electors ..?


The threat of an arch-conservative SCOTUS throwing out thousands of lawfully cast ballots doesn’t just exist in Pennsylvania (see also: North Carolina), but it’s a key part of a scenario in which GOP lawmakers go to unprecedented extremes to help steal their state for Trump.

But this is just one of many things keeping me up at night.

The Bug: Remember, the whole reason that unprecedented numbers of ballots are being cast by mail this year is the coronavirus pandemic.

But, back to elections.

Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me ...wait don’t kiss me there’s a pandemic on and that would Kill Me: I shared (and explained in boring detail) my chamber ratings in this space a couple of weeks ago, but that was three months ago in Trump/pandemic time, so I’ll drop them again here.

To save you a click, they are

I have a late addition to the list.

Does money win elections?

Absolutely not.

The fact that Republicans are out-raising Democratic candidates doesn’t mean that Republicans will actually defeat Democratic candidates.

… but money sure helps.

The Beginning Is The End Is The Beginning: Okay. Take a deep breath.

We have a lot more than five days worth of work do to.

Because after all this election mess settles out?

That’s when things get hard.

Winning is just the starting block. Governing is the marathon.

And when Democrats flip chambers in this election, they’re going to be in charge.

And they’re going to have all kinds of Republican messes to clean up.

Like, for starters, coronavirus stuff.

When Democrats win majorities, they’ll have to make these tough decisions.

And then there’s the matter of actually getting stuff done.

And this just scratches the surface.

Even with Democrats in charge in D.C., a lot of the grunt work of implementing federal policies will fall to the states.

Let’s hope there will be a few more Democratic majorities around after next week to help make that happen.

Okay. That’s a wrap for this week.

… and this cycle, I guess?

Thanks for hanging in. You’re why I do this.

So thank you. And good luck.

Stay safe. 

See you on the other side.

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