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What You May Have Missed

Today's the Day

Both Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Herschel Walker (R) have been barnstorming Georgia in advance of today's runoff. Warnock had the busier schedule over the weekend. He held six events, in different cities, and delivered the sermon at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he is the senior pastor. He noted that record-breaking early turnout is a good sign, but switching to his opponent's turf, he also said "don't spike the football before you get to the end zone." Walker appeared at only two events. He showed up at a tailgate before a University of Georgia football game on Saturday, but interestingly did not speak, despite it being at an event where he could have reminded people of his past exploits on the football field. He also held a rally in Loganville, a heavily Black town of 14,000 people in Gwinnett County, about 35 miles east of Atlanta. That was it. He will stump in Northern Georgia today.

Maybe it's not surprising that Walker doesn't talk to too many people. For one thing, he has made one gaffe after another. In an interview with Politico, Walker said: "They're not [less motivated] because they know right now that the House will be even so they don't want to understand what is happening right now. You get the House, you get the committees. You get all the committees even, they just stall things within there. So if we keep a check on Joe Biden, we just going to keep a check on him." Why did he talk about the House, which the Republicans have clinched and where he is not a candidate? Doesn't he realize he is running for the Senate? Also, read that again. It's kind of jumbled and not the kind of thing you say to a reporter when you are virtually certain that it will be published verbatim.

Politico has also been talking with both Democratic and Republican operatives in Georgia, and the consensus seems to be that Warnock has the momentum now and is the slight favorite to win a full term. For one thing, Warnock has dominated in fundraising and has consequently dominated the airwaves. For another, the recent polls show Warnock slightly ahead. And Warnock has been campaigning harder than Walker. In addition, Warnock has a bigger staff on the ground, with 900 paid workers knocking on doors and urging voters to go vote, to Walker's 400. Finally, as we noted yesterday, rain is expected in much of Georgia today, which will dampen turnout. Election Day turnout is more important for Republicans than Democrats because 1.8 million Georgians have already voted and Democrats tend to vote early whereas Republicans prefer voting on Election Day. Those votes already banked aren't going to be affected by downpours anywhere today.

The former chair of the Cobb County GOP, Jason Shepherd, said: "I think a lot of Republicans are hoping we'll be pleasantly surprised, but there aren't a lot of indications out there to base that on. Just a lot of hope and faith in things unseen. It's the Christmas season, after all." The Georgia Republican Party seems to see where this is heading. It sent out an e-mail talking about an "Election Night party" tonight rather than a "Victory celebration party."

The Washington Post also has reporters in Georgia. One of them talked to a Republican voter who complained about inflation, criticized the Democrats on the culture-war issues, and voted for Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA)... but is going to vote for Warnock. He said the Republicans "can't expect us to vote for garbage candidates." Painful. He's probably not the only one who is thinking like this. The Post article also cited Walker's remark to Politico where he didn't seem to realize which chamber of Congress he is running for.

For what it's worth, Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball changed its rating of the race yesterday from toss-up to leans Democratic. Part of their argument is that in the general election, every Republican running statewide won—except Walker. Sounds like that old "candidate quality" problem again, and the quality of the candidate hasn't improved since Nov. 8. If anything, it has gotten worse. Also, the early vote was extremely heavy, and again, the early vote is almost always strongly Democratic. (V)

Is a Website Like a Cake?

In 2012, a gay couple living in Colorado decided to get married in Massachusetts, where, unlike Colorado at the time, same-sex marriages were legal. They also wanted to have a wedding reception when they got home. For the reception, they went to a Colorado baker, Jack Phillips, and asked him to bake them a wedding cake. He said he could not bake them a wedding cake because his Christian religious belief was that a wedding was between one man and one woman. They sued him under Colorado's antidiscrimination law. They won and Phillips appealed. In 2018, the Supreme Court got this hot potato. Phillips argued that he did not discriminate against gay people since they were free to buy any product in his shop and he would happily bake them a custom birthday or other cake for anything except a same-sex wedding. The Court punted, ruling for Phillips because it said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission that handled the case was biased. The Court did not rule on whether religious belief was a legal reason to refuse to perform certain work.

Needless to say, finessing the issue of whether religious belief beats state antidiscrimination laws wasn't going to make anyone happy. The anti-gay crowd took another shot at it yesterday, when the Court held a hearing on 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis. The plaintiff, Lorie Smith, who designs websites, would like to get into the business of designing wedding websites, something she does not currently do. She doesn't want to design websites for same-sex couples and wants to be up front about that by announcing this fact on the home page of her business. She argues that she alone should determine what business she is in, and if she doesn't want to design websites that celebrate, say, violence, she doesn't have to. Same for same-sex weddings.

Smith's problem is that state law prohibits even announcing that you plan to discriminate against certain customers. So for example, a barber can't have a sign in his window reading: "I don't know how to cut Black people's hair, so no Black customers, please." Smith is claiming that when the state is telling her that she may not have a notice on her home page stating: "I design Websites for weddings but only for heterosexual couples" the state is restricting her freedom of speech, which it may not do. She claims to be an artist and the state has no business telling artists to produce art they don't want to produce.

Smith's lawyer, Kristen Waggoner, is the same one who handled Phillips' case and she has carefully constructed this one about freedom of speech, not religion, because then she can bring up different arguments than last time. It's a trickier case than last time. Imagine a thought experiment in which, say, famous dinner companion Nick Fuentes went to a Jewish baker and ordered a cake for a party celebrating Hitler's birthday and the baker refused. Can the baker be compelled to bake that cake, with whatever vile message on top Fuentes wants? The Court did not answer that question in the Phillips case.

Colorado Attorney General Phillip Weiser has argued that Smith doesn't have to make websites for weddings if she doesn't want to, but once she is offering to do them to the public, she has to do them for anyone willing to pay her fee. If you want to read a summary of an amicus brief filed by the A.C.L.U. the organization's legal director, David Cole, conveniently sent it to The New York Times, which published it here.

As an aside, Phillips may soon be back in court. A transgender woman has gone to him asking for a lovely blue and pink cake to celebrate her transition. He refused that one, too. You already know where this is going to end up. At some point, John Roberts may be thinking: "This job pays a lousy $280,000 and is a big pain. I could make double or triple that working for a big law firm and have a lot less grief."

The oral arguments at the Supreme Court yesterday went on for 2½ hours, which is very long for oral arguments. Key questions were: "What is speech?" and "Who is speaking?" Is a marriage website the couple speaking to the world or the website designer speaking to the world? While it didn't come up, this seems to be analogous to asking whether newspaper article is the reporter speaking or the person who does the page layout speaking. After all, a marriage website tells the couple's story, not the designer's. Nevertheless the Republican appointees seemed to be looking for a way to let Smith's religious views, however disguised, prevail.

The three Democratic appointees all pushed back. For example, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson asked Waggoner whether a photography store in a mall could refuse to take photos of Black people on Santa's lap. Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked if people who don't believe in interracial marriage can refuse to serve interracial couples (take that, Justice Thomas!). But Thomas didn't have to respond. Justice Samuel Alito jumped in to catch that ball and throw it back. He said it was unfair to equate same-sex marriage with interracial marriage. Jackson could have then asked him why is it different. The issue is whether a business can violate state law based on the owner's personal beliefs. The nature of the beliefs are secondary. But she didn't want to get into a pi**ing match with another justice. Thomas, who rarely says anything during oral arguments, did astutely note that "this is not a hotel, this is not a restaurant, this is not a riverboat or train" (because the law Smith wants overturned technically falls under "public accommodations.")

Justice Elena Kagan said the notion of speech in same-sex weddings is getting more and more strained. She asked if the rental service that sets up the chairs could refuse to do that for same-sex weddings. Waggoner said that she won't come back with the caterer.

Another thorny question that came up is whether discrimination against LGBTQ people is any different than discrimination against Black people. In general, the Court has held that race-based discrimination is unconstitutional. The three liberal justices kept pushing Waggoner on where the line was. Could a business refuse to serve a disabled couple, for example?

The Phillips case came up when Justice Neil Gorsuch said that Phillips was ordered to take part in a "re-education program." The Colorado Solicitor General, Eric Olson, immediately jumped in and said Phillips was not sent to a "re-education program." Then Gorsuch snapped: "What do you call it?" Olson said: "It was a process to make sure he is familiar with Colorado law."

A ruling is expected in June. (V)

Arizona Certifies the Election Winners

Yesterday, Arizona's secretary of state, Katie Hobbs (D), certified the winners of the election (on Zoom). Of course, that included her own victory as governor-elect. Some Republicans are claiming that is a conflict of interest. However, as far as we remember, we didn't hear them claiming conflict of interest when then-Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) certified his own election as governor of Georgia in 2018. In any event Hobbs' victory this year was also approved by Gov. Doug Ducey (R-AZ). In Kemp's case, no Democrat signed off on his win.

Once the process is completed, each winner will receive a certificate of election, suitable for framing. It also triggers three automatic recounts, required by state law. The highest profile one is for attorney general, where Kris Mayes (D) leads Abraham Hamadeh by 510 votes. Also due for a recount is the race for state superintendent of public instruction. There Tom Horne (R) beat incumbent Kathy Hoffman (D) by 0.4% so it is almost inconceivable that Hoffman could pull that one off. The third one is in a state House race.

Now comes the fun part. Candidates have 5 days to file a lawsuit objecting to the results. It is almost a given these days that every Republican who loses an election will file a lawsuit. Losing candidate for governor, Kari Lake, and losing candidate for secretary of state, Mark Finchem, are certain to do that. They are equally certain to lose in court because "I don't like the result" is not considered a valid legal objection. In races where there is a recount, the loser has to wait until the recount is finished before suing. Recounts very rarely change the results though because actual errors in counting tend to be random and usually more-or-less even out. (V)

Potential 2024 Republican Senate Candidates Are Starting to Rev Up

On account of reapportionment, Montana now has two representatives, Matt Rosendale (R) and Ryan Zinke (R). Neither of them likes the job. Both want to be a senator. Montana does have two senators, but only one of them, Jon Tester (D-MT), is up in 2024 and the other one, Steve Daines (R-MT), is a Republican. Expect the shootout at the O.K. Corral to move to Montana next year.

The same pattern will play out in Ohio and West Virginia as ambitious Republicans are eyeing the opportunity to take on an incumbent Democratic senator in a very red state. It won't be as easy as it looks on paper, though. Tester, as well as Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), won in 2012 and in 2018 as well. They are all battle-tested veterans with a history of winning elections in red states. In Montana, for example, Rosendale ran against Tester in 2018 and lost. Zinke resigned as secretary of the interior in a scandal. Tester knows that very well and might just bring it up if needed. One thing working against Tester, however, is that the incoming chairman of the NRSC is none other than Daines, who will surely be willing to shovel large amounts of money into the Montana race, no matter whom the GOP candidate is.

While Montana is a red state—Donald Trump won it in 2020 by 16 points—West Virginia is a much redder state, as Trump won that one by 39 points. On paper, that looks even more promising for Republicans to knock off incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) is already in, but West Virginia AG Patrick Morrisey (R) has already said he is not afraid of Mooney. Of course, Manchin beat Morrisey in 2018 and nothing has really changed since then, so Morrisey probably really wouldn't even be the favorite if he tries again. Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV), a coal billionaire, is also kicking the tires about a run. The other West Virginia senator, Shelley Moore Capito (R), said she expects Mooney to have company in the race. It could easily be a three-way or four-way race.

Across the border in Ohio, plenty of folks want to replace Brown. Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) is probably the best known, but state Sen. Matt Dolan (R) and businessman Bernie Moreno are likely to throw their hats in the ring as well. Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) has gone to the trouble of telling folks not to forget him. It could get crowded.

Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) has announced a run for governor, so that will be an open seat in 2024. Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) is almost certainly in. So is Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN). AG Todd Rokita (R) is likely to run either for governor or senator, but hasn't decided which would be easier. Same is true for Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN), who is retiring. Jennifer-Ruth Green (R), who lost a House race in 2022, might jump in as well. So it is likely to be a very crowded primary. (V)

Crossover Districts Favor the Democrats in 2024

The previous item took a peek at the key Senate races in 2024. Now let's look at the House. One could look at the details of individual districts, but it is probably a bit early for that. Instead, one can take a "macro-economic" view. A key indicator is crossover districts; that is, districts with a Democratic representative in a district that Donald Trump won and districts with a Republican representative that Joe Biden won. In both cases, the incumbent went against the lean of the district. Maybe that incumbent ran a really great campaign or had tons of money or just had a weak opponent, but any such incumbent is going to be a prime target in 2024. The question now is how many crossover districts there are. Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball counted them in all House election years since 2000, with these results:

Year Dems in red districts GOPers in blue districts Total
2000 46 40 86
2002 32 26 58
2004 41 18 59
2006 62 8 70
2008 49 34 83
2010 12 62 74
2012 8 17 26
2014 5 26 31
2016 12 23 35
2018 31 3 34
2020 7 9 16
2022 5 18 23

As you can see, the number of crossover districts has gradually decreased over time. Way back when, party-line voting wasn't so common. People voted for the "best candidate" in each race. Now people usually vote based on the (D) or (R). Nevertheless, there are 5 vulnerable Democrats and 18 vulnerable Republicans, all of whom are going to be heavily targeted in 2024. If the races split down the middle, the Republicans will pick of 2 or 3 seats and the Democrats will pick up 9 seats. This will be a net gain of 6 or 7 seats for the Democrats. The 2023 House is 213D, 222R. If the Democrats pick up 6 seats, the 2025 House will be 219D, 216R—that is, Democratic control by 3 seats. Talk about close. Of course, maybe the split won't be 50-50. Maybe all the incumbents will win. Still, the number and distribution of crossovers—especially in an election year— gives the Democrats hope for the 2024 election.

What will be especially interesting to see is how the 18 Republicans in Biden districts vote in the House. Will they follow the party line on everything? Will they regard Hunter Biden's laptop as the biggest issue facing the country in the next 2 years? They are surely all aware that their voting record will be under a microscope in 2024 and aren't going to want to take tough votes that can be used against them in 2024. But Since the Republicans can afford only four defections on any vote, the speaker can't tell all of them "vote your district." This puts them very much on the hot seat.

No doubt you are curious about who the endangered congresscritters are. Here's the list:

District Member Biden margin R margin Danger
NY-04 Anthony D'Esposito 14.6% 3.6% 11.0%
CA-13 John Duarte 10.9% 0.4% 10.5%
CA-22 David Valadao 13.0% 3.4% 9.6%
NY-17 Mike Lawler 10.1% 0.6% 9.5%
OR-05 Lori Chavez-DeRemer 8.8% 2.2% 6.6%
CA-27 Mike Garcia 12.4% 6.4% 6.0%
NY-22 Brandon Williams 7.4% 1.6% 5.8%
NE-02 Don Bacon 6.4% 3.0% 3.4%
NY-19 Marc Molinaro 4.6% 2.2% 2.4%
CA-45 Michelle Steel 6.1% 4.8% 1.3%
AZ-01 David Schweikert 1.5% 0.8% 0.7%
NJ-07 Tom Kean 3.8% 3.2% 0.6%
NY-03 George Santos 8.2% 8.2% 0.0%
AZ-06 Juan Ciscomani 0.1% 1.4% -1.3%
VA-02 Jen Kiggans 1.9% 3.4% -1.5%
PA-01 Brian Fitzpatrick 4.6% 10.0% -5.4%
NY-01 Nick Lalata 0.2% 11.8% -11.6%
CA-40 Young Kim 1.9% 13.6% -11.7%
District Member Trump margin D margin Danger
WA-03 Marie Gluesenkamp Perez 4.2% 0.8% 3.4%
PA-08 Matt Cartwright 2.9% 2.4% 0.5%
AK-AL Mary Peltola 10.1% 9.8% 0.3%
ME-02 Jared Golden 6.1% 6.2% -0.1%
OH-09 Marcy Kaptur 2.9% 13.0% -10.1%

There is a lot to digest in this table. Column 3 shows how much the presidential candidate won the district by. Column 4 shows how much the representative won the district by. The last column shows the difference between the two numbers. The table is sorted on this column. So for example, in NY-04, Rep. Anthony D'Esposito (R-NY) won by 3.6 points in a district Biden carried by 14.6 points. That puts him 11.0 points in the hole. D'Esposito was either a fantastic candidate or damn lucky that he won in such a blue district (PVI of D+5). He's in big trouble next time and will be the Democrats' #1 target. In contrast, Rep. Young Kim (R-CA) won by 13.6 points in a district Biden barely carried by 1.9 points (in an R+2 district). Republicans whose "danger" level is above 5.0, are going to be top targets next time. Republicans with negative scores are safer.

The bottom part of the table shows Democrats in districts Trump won. None of them are above 5. If they were, they would be in deep doodoo. Only Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, who is in Jaime Herrera Beutler's district (PVI of R+5) had better start campaigning right now. The others did as well as Trump, and Kaptur greatly outperformed Trump in an R+3 district.

Our conclusion is that in 2024, Democrats have a decent shot at picking up half a dozen or so seats while the only crossover Democrat in real danger is Perez. Of course, candidate quality, money, the presidential race, and many other factors will play a role, as they always do. Nevertheless, it is almost certain that most or all of these seats will be in play next time. (V)

Forget 2024; the 2026 Campaign Has Already Started

Brian Kemp just came off a solid reelection victory for governor of Georgia. By all rights, he should be taking it easy now, at most thinking about his legislative program for next year. But he is not doing that. He is out on the hustings, frantically campaigning for Herschel Walker, the protégé of his nemesis Donald Trump. And not only is he making appearances with Walker at gun stores, he has put his entire campaign apparatus, from door knocking to phone banking, to microtargeting at Walker's disposal. Chris Christie joked that if Walker wins, Kemp would be the "first human being who's ever dragged Herschel Walker over the goal line." But this is not political theater. Kemp is really doing everything he possibly can to elect someone to the Senate he very well knows does not belong there. What's going on here?

Kemp is not doing this to make up with Trump and he probably doesn't really care if the Republicans have 49 or 50 seats in the Senate since his focus is Georgia politics, not national politics. No, Kemp is genuinely working his a** off on account of a guy name Ossoff. Kemp wants to show Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the national Republicans that he is a team player. Specifically, his second and final term as governor ends in January 2027, the same time the term of Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA) ends. Kemp will be 63 then and is clearly thinking of his next act. It is pretty obvious that he is trying ingratiate himself with McConnell, the NRSC, and Senate Republicans so that when 2026 comes around, they will support him (and get the big donors to support him) in the GOP primary. So this is the opening shot of the 2026 battle for the Senate: Kemp vs. Ossoff.

Walker is probably going to lose today, but everyone will blame Trump and no one will blame Kemp for that. Senate Republicans fully understand that they have a "candidate quality" problem in Georgia and its not Kemp's fault. What they will see is that Kemp is genuinely doing everything he possibly can to help Walker now—despite his totally ignoring Walker in the run-up to the general election, when he was afraid Walker might pull him down and hurt his own chances. McConnell and the other GOP leaders understand the bind he was in and see that now that he is safe, he is doing what he can for the team. He could have just sat back and watched Walker go down in flames and then blame Trump. He's not doing that and he hopes they will remember this in 2026. If they don't, he is sure to remind them in a couple of years. (V)

Michigan Losers All Want to Suddenly Become Winners

Michigan was ground zero for Trumpy Republicans. Tudor Dixon lost the gubernatorial race, Matthew DePerno was defeated for attorney general, and Kristina Karamo lost her race for secretary of state. All three were endorsed by Donald Trump. But unlike Arizona, where the Democrats also secured the triplex, Democrats also flipped the state legislature in Michigan.

So what are the three big losers in Michigan going to do? Start their own podcasts so they can continue ranting about how Trump was cheated in 2020? Nope. They all want to become the chair of the Michigan Republican Party so they can recruit more like-minded candidates who will probably also go down, as they did. The chair will be elected at a party convention in February. The losers will presumably say the election was rigged and they were cheated.

Normally party chairs aren't so visible or important outside internal party affairs. However, because there are no Republicans in state offices in Michigan and the speaker of the state House, the majority leader of the state Senate and both U.S. senators are Democrats, the chair of the state party is nominally the highest-ranking Republican in the state. This means he or she will represent the state party to the media and the national party. And to have a very Trumpy chair just at the moment the national party is (cautiously) trying to rid itself of Trump is going to be a problem. If one of the Trumpists wins the job, this will surely inspire some of the Trumpy losers in other states to attempt to take over the state party there as well. In a few cases, it may be tricky. For example, Mehmet Oz will have to decide if he wants to run the New Jersey Republican Party, where he lives, or the Pennsylvania Republican Party, where he campaigned. But more likely he will go back to being a quack hawking worthless supplements to the rubes.

Establishment Republicans in Michigan are hoping for a white knight—a sane Republican who can unite all factions of the party. A couple of names have been bandied about, but so far no moderate Republican has announced a run. Lavora Barnes, chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, said the "biggest gift the Republicans can continue to give us is infighting within the state party and nominating candidates who are crazy and right of crazy."

RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel has formed a commission to write an autopsy report on why the Republicans did so poorly in the midterms. Michigan beat her to it. A state party memo analyzing the situation was already circulating a few days after the midterms. It said that Donald Trump was very popular among the grassroots but not so popular with independents and women. This is less succinct way of describing what Mitch McConnell called "candidate quality." What the Michigan GOP concluded was that grassroots voters, with Trump's encouragement, picked candidates who were popular with the base but incapable of winning a general election. Brilliant analysis. Who knew? What the memo didn't specify is how the Party can fix the problem. (V)

Sinema Might Actually Co-Author a Law

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) is famous for blocking proposed laws she doesn't like. But now, in a reverse, she is working on a bill with Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) that actually has a (small) chance of passing. The bill would allow immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children to become legal and get a pathway to citizenship. Democrats want this. In return, border security funding would get a huge boost of $25-40 billion. Republicans want this. The bill also includes an extension of a Trump-era policy that allows the summary expulsion of migrants caught at the border. Republicans like that a lot. In the past, it was common for bills that gave each party something it wanted to pass, although that is increasingly rare. Sinema and Tillis are hoping this one will be the exception to current practice.

Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Dick Durbin (D-IL) has said that he supports the framework drawn up by Sinema and Tillis. The authors hope it can come up during the lame-duck session of Congress because even if it passes the Senate, it has a greater chance of passing the current House than the next House. The respective party leaders, Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY), have not commented on the bill.

Actually getting a major bill enacted into law would be a massive feather in Sinema's cap. If she is primaried in 2024, which seems likely, she could then argue that she can work with Republicans and get things done, something that has eluded most other Democrats. Of course, if the bill fails, her (primary) opponents are going to argue that trying for bipartisanship is a waste of time and that Democrats simply need to get large enough majorities that they can abolish the filibuster and pass laws over Republican objections. (V)

The Dobbs Decision Has Led to a Windfall for--Vasectomy Clinics

Sometimes political events have political consequences. The Dobbs decision may have cost the Republicans dozens of seats in the House and maybe a few governorships and state legislatures as well. That is somewhat predictable. But Politico has discovered a somewhat related but completely unexpected side effect of Dobbs: the number of vasectomies is surging.

Men who don't want to be fathers and were always counting on abortion as a backstop if they got someone pregnant have suddenly come to realize that option may not always be there. In many states, it is already gone. So by visiting their local vasectomy clinic they are only a couple of snips away from not having to worry about that.

Physician Esgar Guarín is trying to make that easier. He has a mobile clinic and an agreement with Planned Parenthood that allows him to park it in the parking lot of their clinics and open for business. The 24-foot, 11,000-lb vehicle has gone viral as "the nutcracker." On the side in giant letters is his slogan: "One small snip for a man, one giant leap for humankind(ness)." He provides services to liberals, conservatives and, naturally, men who are strongly opposed to abortion. He charges $699 for the procedure, about half of what many doctors charge, and allows patients to sign up online. This makes it easier for some men who don't want to talk to a (female) receptionist to schedule the procedure. Guarín has done over 3,000 of the procedures and is still going strong. One of his first was on himself, on camera. He also trains other doctors how to perform the procedure.

He will take on any man above 18 but first asks them if they have done sperm banking because reversing the procedure is difficult and has mixed results. Of course, for a man of 45 who has seven children already there are different issues than for an 18-year-old kid who just wants to have some fun with no consequences.

The spike in vasectomies is a result of a spike in conversations among romantic partners about contraception and whose responsibility is it. No doubt the Dobbs decision was the accelerant here since with abortion no longer available in around half the states, the need to avoid pregnancy has become much more acute for many couples. For some couples, vasectomy is a relatively cheap and foolproof solution. (V)

A December to Rhymember, Part II: Challenge Met

Yesterday, we wrote that we got many, many poems about Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) last year, and that this year's version of the Senator, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), might not generate as many because Cruz rhymes with many more things than DeSantis does. Readers took that as a challenge, and came up with some very clever stuff. To start, from E.W. in Skaneateles, NY:

Florida Governor DeSantis?
Less charming than even a plant is...
So many Americans will chant this:
"Go f**k yourself, Ron! We can't stand this!"

And from K.C. in Los Angeles, CA:

A Florida Man named Ron
Wants to challenge the king named Don
Now policies aren't really their thing
Only culture war jive can they bring
Both masters of the Republican Con

We'll probably run a couple more tomorrow. And we're going all month long with the poetry, so keep those submissions coming. (Z)

Today's Senate Polls

Here are the final polls for the Georgia runoff. If the polls got it right, Warnock will win by a small margin. (V)

State Democrat D % Republican R % Start End Pollster
Georgia Raphael Warnock* 51% Herschel Walker 46% Nov 18 Nov 28 U Mass, Lowell
Georgia Raphael Warnock* 51% Herschel Walker 48% Dec 04 Dec 04 InsiderAdvantage

* Denotes incumbent

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
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Dec01 Mike Braun Will Not Run for Reelection in 2024
Dec01 Ranked Choice Voting Changes Everything
Dec01 RNC Will Conduct Another Autopsy
Dec01 Senate Democrats Are Arguing about Rules and Power
Dec01 Do You Want to Have a Beer with Ron DeSantis?
Dec01 A December to Rhymember
Nov30 Sedition! Sedition!
Nov30 The Lawsuits Are Flying in Cochise
Nov30 Progressives Have Their 2024 Presidential Candidate
Nov30 Walker Campaign A Soap Opera 'Til the End
Nov30 Senate Passes Same-Sex Marriage Bill
Nov30 The Word Cup, Part III: Reform
Nov30 Reports from the Front Lines, Part III
Nov29 Biden, Democrats May Play Strikebreaker
Nov29 Arizona, Pennsylvania Counties Offer Potential 2024 Preview
Nov29 Trump Criticism Still Verboten...
Nov29 ...But It's OK to Go After Ronna Romney McDaniel
Nov29 McCarthy Warns Republican Conference about "Playing Games"
Nov29 Rep. Donald McEachin Dead at 61
Nov29 The World Cup: U.S.-Iran Matchup Has Much Ugliness