Friday, February 23, 2024

Executive News: What a mess!

As this issue of Oklahoma Banker goes to press, we still don’t know for absolute sure who the next president of the United States will be. Bummer.
What DO we know? Well, we know a few things:
The Oklahoma Hous

Photo of Roger M. Beverage
Roger Beverage, OBA President and CEO

e of Representatives gained some additional Republican members. The state Senate remained pretty much even.
State Question 805 was soundly rejected.
So was SQ 814.
The entire Oklahoma congressional delegation is now “red” once again.
State Sen. Chuck Hall (with Exchange Bank in Perry) has a really good shot at chairing the Senate Finance Committee (See below concerning current Chairperson Stephanie Bice).
President Trump received 65.4 percent of the votes in our state.
Sen. Jim Inhofe received 62.9 percent of the votes in our state.
Fifth District Congresswoman-Elect Stephanie Bice received 52 percent of the votes in the district. (FYI – The Association maxed out to Bice in both the primary and the runoff.)
It’s a bit premature, but it appears as if (for President Trump) Oklahoma is once again the only state in the Union that is solid red. Again.
Nationally, we know:
Susan Collins was re-elected to the U.S. Senate from Maine, where NO poll at any time showed her with any possibility of winning. She retained her seat with 51 percent of the vote. (Her Democratic opponent received only 42.3 percent of the votes.)
Twelve other incumbent senators blew away their opponents by at least 10 points: Tom Cotton (Ark.), John Cornyn (Texas), Steve Daines (Mont.), Joni Ernst (Iowa), Lindsay Graham (S.C.), Jim Inhofe (Okla. – by 30 points!), Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Shelly Moore-Capito (W.V.), Jim Risch (Idaho), Mike Rounds (S.D.) and Ben Sasse (Neb.).
Newcomers Bill Hagerty (Tenn.) [27 points], Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.) [47 points] and Roger Marshall (Kan.) [12 points] also blew away their respective Democratic opponent.
Colorado and Arizona flipped from each having a Republican [Sen. Corey Gardner (Colo.)] and Martha McSally (Ariz.) to now having a Democratic senator; BUT:
Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville flipped Alabama from blue to red.
The results in Georgia (two races) are a bit more uncertain. The totals so far show (with 98% of the “expected” votes having been counted) that incumbent David Perdue (R) has received 2,436,975 votes (50%) while his Democratic opponent, Jon Ossoff (D), has received 2,325,837 votes (47.7%). That seat is still “too close to call.”
The other Georgia senator, Kelly Loefler, was and is a candidate in a “special election” for her seat. She’s now in a run-off to be held in January because none of the four candidates received 50% or more of the vote. We won’t know the outcome for several weeks.
The results in North Carolina are also a bit confusing, primarily because of the mail-in ballot issue. Incumbent Thom Tillis has 2,640,381 votes (48.7%) and his Democratic challenger, Cal Cunningham, has 2,543,693 votes (46.9%). According to Politico, about 93% of the “expected vote” has been counted.
In Alaska, incumbent Dan Sullivan has received 118,978 votes (62.3%). His Democratic challenger, Al Gross, has received 61,362 (32.1%). However, only 50% of the “expected” vote is in.
There’s that term again: “expected” vote. Twice. I’m just not sure what it means in the context of counting the actual votes that have been cast.
So: The big prize – the presidency – is not yet known and likely will not be finalized for a few days if not weeks. Same with the question of which party controls the Senate. (The House keeps its Democratic majority).
At this point no one knows which party will control the Senate. Right now, its make-up results in a tie: 48 Democrats and 48 Republicans.
There are four outstanding races: Tillis, Perdue, Loeffler and Sullivan. All are leading right now; all are Republicans.
The cynic in me keeps having flashes about the people who are responsible for counting the ballots, and asking, “why is it taking so much time. Are they waiting to see how many votes they ‘need’ before ‘counting’ the rest of the mail-in ballots?”
“Does he really believe that?” you may ask. Only one other presidential election in my lifetime has had to deal with anything even remotely like this. And I’m certain that in the 2000 election, most Al Gore supporters thought the other party had “stolen” that election too.
The answer to the question I posed above is, “No, I don’t.” But I promise you, there are a LOT of people I know who do believe something like this is underway as this column is being typed.
What any of this means for the banking industry is anyone’s guess. But, remember who appoints the heads of the federal banking regulatory agencies. That’s where the election results will show up at your bank directly and have an impact on your bank’s bottom line.
Stay tuned.