MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!
The Senate races are mostly tallied now. We’ll hear the outcomes and what they mean going forward.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: Also we’ll hear how state races and ballot initiatives turned out.
Plus some memorable concession speeches from the past.
And your prayers for our nation.
REICHARD: It’s Thursday, November 5th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
BROWN: And I’m Myrna Brown. Good morning!
REICHARD: Time for the news with Kent Covington.
KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Trump campaign files lawsuits over ballot handling in several states » President Trump’s path to reelection looks to be narrowing as a legal battle begins over the handling of ballots.
The Trump campaign filed lawsuits Wednesday in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia, demanding better access for polling monitors to keep a close eye on the vote counting.
Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said especially in Philadelphia, monitors couldn’t get close enough to see much of anything.
GIULIANI: The observers can be 20 or 30 feet away, never able to see the ballot itself; never able to see if it was properly postmarked, properly addressed, properly signed.
Republicans have also filed other legal challenges in Pennsylvania and Nevada, citing the same concerns, as well as absentee ballot issues.
Meantime, former Vice President Joe Biden sounded increasingly confident on Wednesday.
BIDEN: I’m not here to declare that we’ve won. But I am here to report that when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners.
His campaign even launched a transition team website on Wednesday.
The states where he currently has a lead add up to 271 electoral votes. If those leads hold, that is one more than the needed 270.
Biden appears to have won Michigan. Multiple networks on Wednesday also called Wisconsin for Biden, but the margin is razor thin, and the president’s campaign is calling for a recount.
Wisconsin Secretary of State Josh Kaul said because the margin is less than 1 percent, the Trump campaign has that right.
KAUL: The votes need to be certified so that they can be confirmed, and after that, a recount can be sought.
But if Wisconsin and Michigan are indeed off the board for Trump, then the president has only one possible path to victory.
He must win Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Georgia. As 2:30 a.m. this morning, he held slim leads in all three states. But that’s not enough.
Even with those three states, he would need to win either Arizona or Nevada and he is trailing in both of those states.
But Nevada is close. Trump is down by about a half a percentage point with 86 percent of the votes counted. Officials are expected to provide an updated vote count at noon today.
Republicans appear likely to retain Senate majority » While the White House remains up for grabs, the Democratic effort to seize control of the Senate appears to be on life support.
Right now, Democrats have a net gain of one seat. They beat GOP incumbents in Colorado and Arizona, while losing a senator in Alabama.
To take control, they need a net gain of four seats or three seats plus the White House, as the vice president breaks a tie in the Senate.
But the odds are stacked against them after Senator Susan Collins fended off a challenge in Maine.
COLLINS: I feel that this is an affirmation of the work that I’m doing in Washington to fight hard every day—to fight hard every day for the people of Maine.
The blue state Republican heard there Wednesday afternoon.
One day earlier, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham celebrated a reelection win despite his opponent’s huge cash advantage.
Democrat Jamie Harrison shattered a quarterly fundraising record, hauling in $57 million between July and September. Graham told his supporters…
GRAHAM: This is the worst return on investment in the history of American politics.
After failing to flip those seats—and others in Montana and Iowa—Democrats’ hopes now hinge on two states:
The first is North Carolina, where GOP Senator Thom Tillis holds a 2 point lead with 94 percent of the votes counted.
The other state is Georgia, where there were two Republican seats on the ballot.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger explains one of those races will spill into 2021.
RAFFENSPERGER: A Senate runoff election between Senator Loeffler and Raphael Warnock on January 5th.
No candidate topped 50 percent on Tuesday. By state law, that forces a runoff between the top two vote-getters.
Democrat Raphael Warnock grabbed 32 percent of the vote to Senator Kelly Loeffler’s 26 percent. But it was largely a three-way race against two Republicans, Loeffler and Congressman Doug Collins.
Together the two Republicans totaled 46 percent.
As for Georgia’s other seat, Incumbent Senator David Perdue appears likely to win reelection. He leads John Ossoff by nearly 3 points with 97 percent of the votes in.
But with 50.1 percent of the vote, the question now is whether Perdue will remain above the 50 percent threshold to avoid another January runoff.
England joins most of Europe in coronavirus lockdown » England is joining most of Europe in coronavirus lockdown today. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Londoners turned out for a last drink or shopping trip on Wednesday, ahead of a month-long lockdown that began this morning.
Schools and universities will stay open, but England is closing all nonessential businesses and facilities until at least Dec. 2nd.
The rest of the U.K. had already begun sheltering in place.
New coronavirus measures also took effect in several other European countries this week, including Austria, Greece, Sweden, Italy, France, and Germany.
That as many European nations recently reported record daily case counts.
Coronavirus cases also hit new daily highs this week in Russia.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.
COVID-19 hospitalizations reach record highs in seven states » In the United States, at least seven states have reached highs for COVID-19 hospitalizations this week. They are Missouri, Oklahoma, Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and New Mexico.
The seven-day rolling average for daily coronavirus deaths has risen over the past two weeks. The daily average is now 870. That’s up about 23 percent from one month ago, but still well below the April peak of more than 2,000 per day.
I’m Kent Covington.
Straight ahead: the blue wave that didn’t break over the Senate.
Plus, your prayers for our nation.
This is The World and Everything in It.
MARY REICHARD: It’s Thursday, the 5th of November, 2020. Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.
MYRNA BROWN: And I’m Myrna Brown. First up: the battle over the Senate.
Heading into Election Day, most polls favored Democrats to take control of the upper chamber. Democrats picked up two seats in Arizona and Colorado. But Republicans hung on to key seats in Iowa, Maine, and Montana. Senate control may well come down to close races in Georgia and North Carolina.
REICHARD: So how did the tide turn to wipe out that projected blue wave? WORLD’s Sarah Schweinsberg talked to experts to find out.
SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: As Tuesday night progressed, it became clear Democrats would not have an easy path to take over the Senate. The party needs to net four seats to take the majority.
On Tuesday three possible doors decidedly closed.
Democrats put big money down on flipping Iowa, making the race the most expensive in state history. But incumbent Republican Senator Joni Ernst warded off Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield.
With a worn out voice, Ernst thanked Iowans late Tuesday night.
ERNST: I’d also like to say something to every Iowan whether you supported me or not. We need to turn down the rhetoric and start listening once again.
Ernst won by a 4 point margin. That even though almost every major poll for weeks had her losing by up to 6 points.
And that wasn’t the only surprise GOP victory.
Maine looked like an easy Democratic pickup, but Republican Senator Susan Collins won re-election in another seemingly come-from-behind victory.
She defeated Democrat Sara Gideon by 7 points. Again, for weeks, pollsters had Collins losing by as much as 8 points.
She celebrated with supporters yesterday.
COLLINS: Let me say what an extraordinary honor it is to represent the great state of Maine…
Democrats also hoped to pick up a seat in Montana, but Republican Senator Steve Daines won his bid for re-election there as well.
Heading into Tuesday, polls predicted a toss up, but he won by a comfortable 10 points.
Karlyn Bowman is a political analyst at the American Enterprise Institute. She says these outcomes surprised analysts like her.
BOWMAN: The polls suggested to all of us that this is going to be a very good, good night for the Democrats. It doesn’t turn out to have been.
Whit Ayres is an analyst at North Star Opinion Research. He says in other contested states, Republicans won by even wider margins than expected.
AYRES: There were a number of other Republican senators that I thought would be pushed more than they were in their races.
Those candidates include longtime South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsay Graham who won by 10 points. Last minute polls projected he’d have the edge by just 2 or 3.
Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn also won re-election by 10 points. Few polls accurately predicted that wide of a gap.
In Alabama, Republican Tommy Tuberville also unseated Democrat Senator Doug Jones, picking up a seat for Republicans. Tuberville won by 20 points—also much more than predicted.
Republicans gave Democrats a run for their seat in Michigan, even though polls predicted Democrat incumbent Gary Peters would beat Republican challenger John James by at least 5 points.
As of Wednesday evening, unofficial counts had Peters leading James by just 15,000 votes—less than half a percentage point.
So what happened? Karlyn Bowman says the polls just got it wrong again.
BOWMAN: I don’t know whether it’s a systematic problem of the polls, if they’re under representing some groups and over representing others. That’s possible. I don’t think we know yet. But the polling error is very significant. So I think that there’s going to be a lot of soul searching in this business.
Noah Weinrich works with Heritage Action, a Conservative advocacy non-profit. He says Conservative messaging could have captured more voters in the days before the election.
WEINRICH: We think that issues of safety and security are very important to voters. And so when candidates say that they are going to provide for safety and security, they support law enforcement, that kind of message has a real effect for voters.
Two races the polls didn’t get wrong? Colorado and Arizona. As predicted Democrat John Hickenlooper, soundly defeated GOP Senator Cory Gardner.
And in Arizona, Democrat Mark Kelly unseated Republican Senator Martha McSally.
KELLY: Tonight it’s not about celebrating. Tonight is about getting to work. Some of you watching tonight didn’t vote for me. And that’s OK. I’m going to be your senator too.
As of Wednesday night, Republicans hold a 48 to 45 majority in the Senate but, of course, it’s too soon for the GOP to declare victory.
Ballots are still being counted in North Carolina and Michigan. And Georgia has one senate race headed to a runoff in January.
Noah Weinrich at Heritage Action says the surprise senate outcome goes to show in the end everything comes down to a candidate’s platform.
WEINRICH: Issues matter to voters. Voters are going to see past the campaign ads, they’re going to look at their candidates policies, and they’re going to vote for who has the best policies who they think is going to do the best for America.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.
MYRNA BROWN: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: voting down the ballot.
MARY REICHARD: Races that influence national politics drew the most attention Tuesday night. Yet Democrats and Republicans also vied for control of state legislatures. Voters weighed in on several big ballot initiatives.
WORLD’s Anna Johansen Brown reports.
ANNA JOHANSEN BROWN, REPORTER: State legislators don’t get much glory. But that doesn’t mean the races aren’t heated.
AUDIO: Some of the most important races in November feature candidates you’ve probably never heard of.
AUDIO: 150 seats in the Texas house up for grabs in November…Experts say it could be a tight race in many of those districts.
AUDIO: Republicans rule both chambers of the Georgia legislature. But Democrats see an opportunity in the state house of representatives to pull off a series of upsets and win control of the chamber.
There are 7,383 state lawmakers in the United States. Almost 80 percent of them were up for reelection on Tuesday. Democrats were especially optimistic about the number of seats they hoped to fill.
Ken Miller is an associate professor of government at Claremont McKenna College.
MILLER: Democrats did well in 2018, and they made gains in a lot of state legislatures and so they saw a trend line and were hoping that it would continue in 2020.
Traditionally Republican states like Georgia and Texas have had demographic shifts over the past few years. That gave Democrats hope that they might be able to pick up a few seats, and flip those statehouses from red to blue.
But that didn’t happen.
MILLER: And as it turned out, Democrats didn’t do as well as they thought in some of these red states.
Republicans kept control of both Texas and Georgia. Democrats did make some gains in Arizona, and they maintained control in states like Minnesota and Michigan. In general, the party that was in power stayed in power.
But Miller says state races are getting more competitive.
MILLER: It’s no longer a situation where you can just say, well, Georgia is going to be Republican and Texas is or Arizona is.
On top of the legislative races, 32 states also had ballot initiatives—120 of them. They ranged from tax reform to vaccine exemption policies to reintroducing gray wolves into Colorado. And a handful of states passed new drug laws. Arizona voters passed Proposition 207, legalizing recreational marijuana. Just four years ago, they rejected the same initiative. But this time was different.
Drew Savicki is a political analyst who focuses on state legislatures.
SAVICKI: This time voters approved by a wide margin. They came around to it and said, Yeah, we’re okay with it. And I think that’s something to watch down the line is, these marijuana initiatives start passing.
New Jersey and Montana also approved recreational marijuana, while Mississippi and South Dakota approved medical marijuana. And in Oregon, voters said yes to hallucinogenic mushrooms. Measure 109 allows licensed providers to administer psilocybin, a hallucinogen found in the fungus. But perhaps most notably, Oregon voters decriminalized the possession of small amounts of hard drugs like heroin, LSD, and cocaine.
Many state governments have been relaxing drug laws little by little in opposition to federal law. Ken Miller thinks we’re moving toward a tipping point.
MILLER: We’re going to get to a point I think, where we’re going to have to harmonize our our federal laws and our state laws. And that was the purpose really, of this effort at the state level, was to push national policy by incrementally changing state laws. And they’ve done that for a couple of decades through the initiative process. And this this year is just more of the same.
Another notable ballot initiative came from California.
MILLER: Probably the biggest one was a ballot measure put on the ballot by Uber and Lyft, which was basically a push back against the California legislature.
The legislature recently passed a bill requiring gig companies like Uber and Lyft to treat their drivers as employees, instead of independent contractors. That put a huge burden on companies that use the gig business model.
MILLER: And so the legislature passed this law and these companies put a measure on the ballot to exempt themselves from the this law.
Voters sided with the businesses, not the government.
MILLER: Even though California is overwhelmingly democratic, California voters on these ballot measures adopted some more conservative positions and rejected efforts by the legislature to sort of advance that progressive agenda even further in the state. So California was sending some mixed messages in a way.
In two other states, voters had a chance to protect the unborn. In Colorado, voters shot down a bid to ban abortion after 22 weeks gestation. Mallory Quigley of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List called the vote disappointing.
QUIGLEY: This was a really common sense ballot initiative.
Quigley says ballot measures are tough, because there’s no candidate hitting the campaign trail for people to rally behind. And Colorado isn’t very friendly territory for pro-lifers.
QUIGLEY: Colorado has been a tough state, it’s increasingly blue, you know, there’s a lot of pro-abortion voters moving from California, to places like Colorado and Texas and Montana.
But the second pro-life measure on the 2020 ballot sailed through without a hitch. In Louisiana, 67 percent of voters approved a change to the state constitution.
QUIGLEY: We were really encouraged to see Louisiana pass their amendment one, which basically says that there’s no such thing as a right to an abortion or right to a taxpayer funded abortion in the state constitution.
The amendment doesn’t change any specific law, but it lays the groundwork for future policies. It’s similar to measures passed in Alabama and West Virginia over the past couple years.
QUIGLEY: This is, you know, setting up states to just have a pro life disposition towards unborn children, and, and be sort of like a foundational value for any pro life laws that the state legislature passes.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen Brown.
MARY REICHARD: Well, we can report one drama-free race this week.
Both Republicans and Democrats voted in a new mayor in a small Kentucky town.
Wilbur Beast won with 57 percent of the vote.
Stacy Seligman Staat lives there. She said the other side didn’t campaign very much. Staat told WKRC…
STAAT: There is one candidate that is always found on the front porch napping, sometimes in the middle of the road. I’m not kidding.
Wilbur Beast’s campaign raised more than $6,000.
Pretty good for a French bulldog.
You see, the “mayor” of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky is an honorary office reserved for creatures with four legs.
The Rabbit Historical Society holds the election every four years to raise money. Each vote is attached to a $1 dollar donation.
Wilbur Beast edged out 13 other dogs and a donkey. And he easily ousted incumbent Mayor Brynneth Pawltro—a pitbull who took office in 2017.
It’s The World and Everything in It.
MYRNA BROWN: Today is Thursday, November 5th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.
Good morning. I’m Myrna Brown.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: concession speeches.
Perhaps one of the most difficult moments for a politician is having to admit defeat. It’s hard enough when it’s a political debate or a legislative loss. Getting up before a group of supporters to concede an election? That’s another level of difficulty.
CLINTON: Last night I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country. I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans…
BROWN: We’re not likely to hear a concession speech in this year’s election for a while—thanks to some close races.
But in close races, concession speeches can take on greater significance. They can call for shared commitment and the good will to work together.
REICHARD: WORLD’s Paul Butler combed through the archives and found a few examples of concession speeches that ended other close presidential races.
PAUL BUTLER, CORRESPONDENT: We can only guess, but it seems likely in the early days of our republic, most losing presidential candidates probably offered private congratulatory messages to the winning politician—though we don’t know for sure.
Reading some of the contentious debates and campaign materials from our political history does raise doubts that transitions of power were usually civil. Regardless, beginning in the late 19th century, the once private acknowledgment of defeat became a very public part of the political drama.
According to Scott Farris, author of Almost President, the first public concession occurred in 1896 when William Jennings Bryan sent William McKinley a congratulatory telegram. Eight elections later, Al Smith gave the first broadcast concession speech in 1928. Adlai Stevenson was the first to do so on television in 1952.
ADALI STEVENSON: My fellow citizens have made their choice and have selected General Eishenhower and the Republican party as the instruments of their will…
The 1960 presidential contest between Senator John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon was the closest election in 40 years. Republicans alleged voter fraud in Illinois and Texas—two states that would have elected Nixon instead of Kennedy if they had gone the other way.
But at 3:15 a.m. Eastern time on November 9th, Nixon stood before a room of supporters and conceded defeat. He began by thanking those who voted for him, then spoke to those who voted for Kennedy.
RICHARD NIXON: The other thing I wish to do is that I am sure that many are listening here who are supporting Senator Kennedy. I know too, that he is probably listening to this program. And as I look at the board here, while there are still some results still to come in, if the present trend continues, Mr. Kennedy, Senator Kennedy will be the next president of the United States. (GROANS)
I do want to say that having been to all of the 50 states of this nation, since the nominating convention in Chicago, having seen the American people, seeing them by the hundreds of thousands and perhaps the millions in the towns and cities of America, that I have great faith about the future of this country. I have great faith that our people, Republicans and Democrats alike, that they will unite behind our next president and seeing that America does meet the challenge, which destiny is placed upon us.
And so with that…so with that…so with that may I say again, my thanks to you, having had only two hours sleep last night and two hours sleep the night before, I’m now going to bed and I hope you do too. Thank you. (APPLAUSE)
Eight years later, Nixon was back, this time soundly beating Hubert Humphrey in the electoral college—and narrowly carrying the popular vote. The next morning Hubert Humphrey graciously conceded.
HERBERT HUMPHREY: I’m sure you know that I have already called Mr Nixon, expressed our congratulations. And I’ve sent the following telegram just a few moments ago to Mr Nixon. It reads as follows: “According to unofficial returns, you are the winner in this election. My congratulations. Please know that you will have my support and unifying and leading the nation. This has been a difficult year for the American people. I’m confident that if constructive leaders, of both our parties, joined together now, we shall be able to go on with the business of building the better America we all seek in a spirit of peace and harmony. Signed Hubert H. Humphrey.”
I have done my best. I have lost. Mr Nixon has won. The democratic process has worked its will. So now let’s get on with the urgent task of uniting our country. Thank you. (APPLAUSE)
In 1976, Gerald Ford lost to Jimmy Carter. Less than 20,000 votes separated them in two crucial battleground states. Gerald Ford conceded the morning after the election.
GERALD FORD: It’s perfectly obvious, that my voice isn’t up to par and I shouldn’t be making very many comments and I won’t. Now, the real spokesman for the family…Betty.
BETTY FORD: I’d like to read you the telegram the president sent to president elect Carter this morning:
“Dear Jimmy. Although there will continue to be disagreement over the best means to use in pursuing our goals, I want to assure you that you have my complete and wholehearted support as you take the oath of office this January. I also pledge to you that I, and all members of my administration will do all that we can to assure that you begin your term as smoothly, and as effectively as possible. May God bless you and your family, as you undertake your new responsibilities. Signed, Jerry Ford.”
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Paul Butler.
MYRNA BROWN: Coming up next, an excerpt from tomorrow’s episode of Listening In. This week host Warren Smith talks with pastor and author Jason Jimenez.
Now, these are divisive times. Sometimes it’s hard to have conversations with people with whom we disagree.
But Jimenez says if we learn how to love our neighbor, it becomes easier to have those conversations.
JASON JIMENEZ: You know the sad truth is because we’re dealing with a society who are biblically illiterate, I don’t think people really think through what they believe. They don’t really know it. And so what I wanted to do, based on what we’re talking about right now Warren, is like…ok, my tendency in the flesh, I could be the aggressor, right? I’m a philosopher by trade, theologian, apologist like you.
This is stuff we’ve studied and trained to do, we deliver, we write books about it, we do conferences about it. So I can have that tendency. But as we get older, and by God’s grace, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and actually my heart has softened through the years towards people.
I actually love talking with people of the LGBT community. I love talking to people who are progressive Christians. I love talking to people outside the abortion clinics. I care for those people. I like having those conversations because they matter for eternity. So, let’s start focusing on the advocate point of view. You will not win the argument, necessarily, but what will happen is that you will win the person over and that is key, because I believe in advancing the gospel. You have to love and befriend people.
BROWN: That’s Jason Jimenez talking to Warren Smith. To hear their complete conversation, look for Listening In wherever you get your podcasts.
MARY REICHARD: Today is Thursday, November 5th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
MYRNA BROWN: And I’m Myrna Brown. Next up, prayers for our nation.
Today’s Scripture readings come from Adrienne Varner, Linda Berg, and Lynn Woodman. Then we have Lyle Regier reading a portion of Romans 13, and Lois Kendall rounding it all out with a prayer.
ADRIENNE VARNER: Isaiah 46, verses 8 through 10: Remember this, keep it in mind, take it to hear you rebels, remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times what is still to come, I say, ‘My purpose will stand and I will do all that I please.’
LINDA BERG: Hebrews 10:23—Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
LYNN WOODMAN: Isaiah 41:10—Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
LYLE REGIER: Let everyone submit to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but too bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.
LOIS KENDALL: Lord, you are King of kings and Lord of lords. And we are so thankful that you are on your throne in Heaven. We pray that you would turn the hearts of our leaders toward you, that they would be men who love you and obey you and who repent when they’re wrong. We pray that you would help us to get through this election season with wisdom, peace, and even joy. We pray that whatever the results may be that we would know what work needs to be done next, and above all we pray that your will would be done, here on earth as it is in Heaven.
MYRNA BROWN: Tomorrow: John Stonestreet joins us for Culture Friday.
And, Megan Basham reviews a new drama about a famous criminal case in Chicago.
That and more tomorrow.
I’m Myrna Brown.
MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard.
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