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The Guardian - US
The Guardian - US
Guardian staff

Stephen Colbert on midterms: red wave looks more like ‘pink trickle’

Stephen Colbert on the midterms: ‘So far, it does not look like a red wave. Too early to tell, but perhaps a pink trickle.’
Stephen Colbert on the midterms: ‘So far, it does not look like a red wave. Too early to tell, but perhaps a pink trickle.’ Photograph: YouTube

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert took The Late Show live on election night, as polls closed and projections for the midterm races rolled in by the hour. “So far, it does not look like a red wave,” the host said on Tuesday evening. “Too early to tell, but perhaps a pink trickle. They should really have that checked out.”

He tuned in first to the close Senate race in Georgia between Herschel Walker and Raphael Warnock, which remained too close to call as of press time. The pivotal race was “so tight, this could be decided by a margin of error of plus or minus Herschel Walker’s secret children”, Colbert joked.

In Florida, Democrat Charlie Crist was defeated by “Maga wannabe and presidential hopeful” incumbent governor Ron DeSantis. “And now, in accordance with Florida law, Charlie Crist will be forced on a plane and flown to Martha’s Vineyard,” Colbert quipped, referring to DeSantis’s decision to trick 50 Venezuelan migrants into boarding a plane to the Massachusetts resort island as a political stunt.

Without the presidency on the ballot, the focus on Tuesday was control of the House and Senate. “There are two possible outcomes tonight: either the Democrats will get more votes and keep the Congress,” Colbert explained. “Or the Democrats will get more votes and lose the Congress. That’s the way our government … works?”

Republicans were favored to take the House, which prompted Colbert to pose an important question: “Has anyone heard of January 6?”

“Remember when the folks who got elected today supported a violent attack on our government?” he continued. “Did people forget the zip ties, the shaman with the horns, the beating up of the cops, the calls to hang the vice-president?”

Jimmy Kimmel

“Republicans were expecting a big night, expecting to win control of the House,” Jimmy Kimmel reported from Los Angeles. “You know last time Republicans took control of the House, they were hitting police with flag poles and pooping in it.”

Kimmel then turned to the former president, who said of the candidates he endorsed for the midterms: “If they win, I should get all the credit, and if they lose, I should not be blamed at all.”

“He’d be a great football coach,” said Kimmel. “I think it was Vince Lombardi who said, ‘Boys, if we win, I should get all the credit. If we lose, that’s on you, I shouldn’t be blamed at all.’

“This is how much Trump cares about his party,” Kimmel added. When asked on Monday evening about DeSantis potentially running against him in 2024, Trump answered: “If he did run, I will tell you things about him that won’t be very flattering. I know more about him than anybody other than perhaps his wife, who is really running his campaign.”

“God, did Donald Trump have sex with Stormy DeSantis, too?” Kimmel wondered. “What does he know?”

Even before the polls opened, Republican candidates were “priming the pump to claim they were being cheated if things don’t go their way”, said Kimmel, by encouraging voters to flood the polls so Democrats wouldn’t have time to rig the machines. “Which is so nutty,” said Kimmel.

“By the way, if Democrats are capable of rigging the election in Republican states, not just once but two times in a row, if they’re smart enough and organized enough to do that, wouldn’t you want them to be in charge?” he added. “I mean, they must be very capable people.”

Trevor Noah

“All year long we’ve been waiting to find out if Republicans will take control of Congress and stop President Biden’s agenda, or if Democrats will keep control of Congress and somehow stop Biden’s agenda,” said Trevor Noah on The Daily Show. “And it’s all led up to today, election day: a great thing for democracy and for people who love waiting in lines.”

Noah reminded viewers that, as many observers said, “this may be the most important election of our lifetime. And I know they said that about 2020. I also know that they said that about the 2018 midterms, and they definitely said that about 2016.

“Which I know makes some people say, ‘Well, clearly none of these elections are as important as people say,’” he continued. “But maybe we’re thinking of it wrong. Maybe everything is getting worse and worse, which makes every election more and more important.”

Noah compared the dire warnings around elections to a car with the essential safety feature of brakes. “When you’re in your driveway, it helps to have brakes. But then when you get on the road, the brakes become more important. Then you’re on the freeway going a hundred miles per hour, the brakes are even more important,” he said.

“Then, a school bus gets stuck in front of you and then you realize that the school bus is full of puppies and the puppies are holding the only copy of Rihanna’s new album!” he continued. “Now the brakes are the most important brakes of our lifetime!”

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