What to watch this Election Day

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Election Day is here! If you haven’t already voted, we encourage you to make a plan to do so before the polls close tonight. Do your public duty. There’s a lot at stake, so for this week’s Closer Look, we are giving you a run-down of the key races and ballot initiatives we are watching.

The Big Picture:
You could very well say that the fate of American democracy is at stake in this election. The majority of Republican candidates in this cycle are proponents of the “Big Lie” – the baseless claim that the 2020 election was stolen through massive, widescale fraud – and are also gearing up to make similar claims over tonight’s results if they lose. These are very dangerous developments: for our democracy to survive, Americans must trust that our elections are secure, and that simply won’t be the case if elected leaders reject the outcome of our elections just because the results are not what they wanted.

Denial is a river in Egypt. It shouldn’t be a campaign strategy.

These are Personal: 

  • Columbus County NC Sheriff’s Race: The Patriotic Millionaires recently launched The Great Economy Project in Whiteville, NC to understand how everyday people think about the economy and what changes they believe will make it work for them and their families. Whiteville has a very heated Sheriff race on the ballot today pitting Democrat Jason Soles against Republican Jody Greene. An alleged Oath Keeper, Sheriff Greene is running for re-election despite having resigned from his post after a recording emerged of him on a racist rant.
  • Michigan State House 42nd District: Justin Mendoza, the husband of PM Director of Partnerships Izzy Weir, is running for State Representative in Michigan’s 42nd District. Justin will work tirelessly to safeguard the votes and voices of all Michiganders – unlike his election-denying opponent, incumbent Republican Matt Hall.
  • Ann Arbor District Library Board of Trustees: Another Michigander to look out for on the ballot is our very own State Campaigns Manager, Catherine Hadley! Catherine is running for an open Library Board seat.

Key Ballot Initiatives:
In addition to candidates and races, there are some critical ballot initiatives related to taxes and wages that we are following. They are:

–        Massachusetts Question 1 – if passed, would institute an additional 4% tax on incomes over $1 million and will use the revenue raised for education and transportation purposes.
–        California Proposition 30 – if passed, would institute an additional 1.75% tax on incomes over $2 million and will use the revenue raised to subsidize efforts to combat climate change.
–        Colorado Proposition 121 – if passed, would make the state’s tax code more regressive by reducing both the state income and corporate tax rates to 4.4%. Sadly, but unsurprisingly, Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat and a multi-millionaire, supports this tax break for rich Coloradans like him.
–        Washington, D.C. Initiative 82 – if passed, would eliminate the tipped minimum wage, gradually increasing it to match the non-tipped minimum wage by 2027. This will bring DC in line with 7 states that already have One Fair Wage. Shout out to our partners at One Fair Wage for their work on this initiative.
–        Nebraska Initiative 433 – if passed, would incrementally increase the state minimum wage from $9 an hour to $15 an hour by 2026, at which point it would increase along with inflation.
–        Nevada Question 2 – if passed, would increase the minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2024.
–        Portland, ME Question D – if passed, would increase the minimum wage to $18 an hour over three years and eliminate the sub-minimum tipped wage. It would also eliminate the tip credit for service workers and reclassify ride-share and delivery drivers as employees.

PM Endorsed Candidates:
Of course, there will be a lot of attention on federal races and candidates tonight. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to focus your energies, we recommend following our endorsed federal candidates. They are:

        Jevin Hodge (AZ-01)
        Kermit Jones (CA-03)
        Josh Harder (CA-09)
        Katie Porter (CA-47)
        Lucy McBath (GA-7)
        Cindy Axne (IA-03)
        Hillary Scholten (MI-03)
        Deborah Ross (NC-05)
        Andy Kim (NJ-03)
        Jamie McLeod-Skinner (OR-05)
        Ashley Ehasz (PA-01)
        Summer Lee (PA-12)
        Chris Deluzio (PA-17)
        Colin Allred (TX-32)
        Greg Casar (TX-35)
        Jennifer Wexton (VA-01)
        Ann Roe (WI-01)

All of our endorsed candidates – who include some newcomers in addition to incumbents – are economic justice and tax fairness champions. We are confident that, if elected, they will work to advance our High Wage/Smart Tax agenda and help make the economy work for everyone in America, not just for rich people like us.

Key Races for House and Senate Control:
In addition to our endorsed candidates, we also recommend paying attention to the following key forecast races in the House and Senate:

House

–        California District 22: Rudy Salas (D) vs. David Valadao (R, incumbent)
–        Colorado District 8: Yadira Caraveo (D) vs. Barbara Kirkmeyer (R)
–        Maine District 2: Jared Golden (D, incumbent) vs. Bruce Poliquin (R)
–        Michigan District 7: Elissa Slotkin (D, incumbent) vs. Tom Barrett (R)
–        Nebraska District 2: Tony Vargas (D) vs. Don Bacon (R, incumbent)
–        Nevada District 1: Dina Titus (D, incumbent) vs. Mark Robertson (R)
–        New Mexico District 2: Gabriel Vasquez (D) vs. Yvette Herrell (R, incumbent)
–        Ohio District 1: Greg Landsman (D) vs. Steve Chabot (R, incumbent)
–        Oregon District 6: Andrea Salinas (D) vs. Mike Erickson (R)
–        Virginia District 2: Elaine Luria (D, incumbent) vs. Jen Kiggans (R)
–        Virginia District 7: Abigail Spanberger (D, incumbent) vs. Yesli Vega (R)

Senate

–        Arizona: Mark Kelly (D, incumbent) vs. Blake Masters (R)
–        Colorado: Michael Bennett (D, incumbent) vs. Joe O’Dea (R)
–        Georgia: Raphael Warnock (D, incumbent) vs. Herschel Walker (R)
–        Nevada: Catherine Cortez Masto (D, incumbent) vs. Adam Laxalt (R)
–        New Hampshire: Maggie Hassan (D, incumbent) vs. Don Bolduc (R)
–        North Carolina: Cheri Beasley (D) vs. Ted Budd (R)
–        Ohio: Tim Ryan (D, incumbent) vs. J.D. Vance (R)
–        Pennsylvania: John Fetterman (D) vs. Mehmet Oz (R)
–        Washington: Patty Murray (D, incumbent) vs. Tiffany Smiley (R)
–        Wisconsin: Mandela Barnes (D) vs. Ronald Johnson (R, incumbent)

These races will likely determine whether Democrats will get to continue to advance President Biden’s agenda on a variety of issues over the next two years, or whether they will be stonewalled at every turn by Republicans.

We will be watching these races and ballot initiatives unfold throughout the night. (Follow us on Twitter for our live reactions to various developments!) Naturally, we’re crossing our fingers for representation that aligns with our views on issues like taxes, wages, and equal political representation.

Regardless of how things turn out, rest assured that the Patriotic Millionaires will keep fighting to build the kind of country that hard-working Americans deserve.

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