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For this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment, the hosts come up with conundrums for next week’s Chicago live show. Slate Plus members get an ad-free version of this podcast with bonus segments. Visit slate.com/gabfestplus and try it free for two weeks.
On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss the midterm election results, what it means for both parties, and the victory of Democrat-supported ballot initiatives.
Here are some of the links and references mentioned during this week's show:
- Republicans now outnumber Democrats in 67 of 98 state legislative chambers. In 24 states, Republicans control both legislative chambers and the governorship. There are only six states where Democrats control the same three governing bodies.
- Only 27 percent of likely American voters believe that the country is moving in the right direction.
- Congress’s approval rating is far lower than President Obama’s approval numbers.
- Despite David Purdue’s outsourcing gaffe and Georgia’s status as America’s most unemployed state, Michelle Nunn still lost among voters whose No. 1 concern was the economy.
- The Brennan Center hypothesized that new restrictive voter ID laws could have disenfranchised enough potential voters to allow Thom Tillis to beat Sen. Kay Hagan in the North Carolina Senate race.
- In recent elections, Democrats have seen the percentage of physical land that they represent shrink dramatically.
- Republicans now have their largest majority in the House since 1928.
- The new GOP Congress may look to compromise with the president on reforming the tax code and passing a trade agreement with 11 Pacific Rim nations.
- Earlier this year, outgoing Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin made the case for what an activist government can do, and what Democrats should aspire to accomplish while in office.
- Rick Santorum has been positioning himself as a populist, criticizing politicians who are perceived as being too cozy with Wall St.
- An otherwise depressing night for Democrats was slightly tempered by victory on several liberal ballot initiatives including marijuana legalization in three states, minimum wage hikes in four states, and the rejection of personhood bills in two states.
Emily chatters about the passage of California’s Prop 47.
David chatters about Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy.
For the credits, David speculated as to what kind of elected official each Gabfester would be.
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Podcast production by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Maxwell Tani.