Thoughts on the Eve of the Midterm Elections
William Goldman is a novelist and screenwriter who wrote The Princess Bride, which is a fine book and movie. But that’s not important right now.
He also wrote a book on screenwriting, in which appears perhaps his most famous line: “Nobody knows anything.” He was talking about movie-making, but his words are equally true about how the election is going to go on Tuesday. Nobody knows anything.
But we all have some guesses. So here is some of the nothing that I personally know:
I know that I can’t trust my feelings on who is going to win, because the bias is strong within me. American voters broke my heart in 2012, when they re-elected Obama. I understood his initial election: he was superficially charismatic, and if you didn’t know much about economics or history or politics, what he said sounded pretty good. His race gave him a huge boost, despite the left’s slanderous insistence that America is a viciously racist country. Plus John McCain was a terrible candidate who seemed to intentionally sap conservatives’ will to vote for him.
But by 2012, everyone knew better. After Obama’s first term — the four biggest yearly deficits ever, the implosion of shovel ready jobs, the botched takeover of healthcare – Mitt Romney was conservative-ish, in a way that seemed tailor-made for the squishy, independent middle of the electorate who always claim to want niceness and moderation. He would never cheat on his wife with a porn star, and he’d never call anyone “horseface,” no matter how equine her features!
So I didn’t believe the polls showing that Obama was going to win. How could a majority vote for him against obviously decent Mitt?!
Cue the sad trombones for young Martin, in the dark November of 2012.
Fast-forward four years, and I mostly did believe the polls saying that Trump would lose. It was hard to imagine a majority voting for Hillary, but I could imagine a ton of people voting against Trump, and with the media spinning and covering up for her, plus her huge money advantage, I lost hope.
Oh me of little faith.
So now here we are. On the one hand, polls are often wrong, especially when it comes to predicting turnout. On the other hand, the polls in 2016 weren’t wildly wrong. Despite Trump’s comfortable margin in the electoral college, Hillary did end up winning the popular vote, and a relative handful of votes in a few states made the difference.
But after 2016, I can’t shake the hope that the GOP might barely hold onto the House. I know that might be mostly sentiment on my part, and that the parties of WH incumbents typically lose tons of seats in their first mid-term, the left is galvanized by Trump-hatred, and etc.
But three things give me hope:
1.The Kavanaugh effect seems to be real, and I can only hope that it still persists. The Dems behaved so terribly as they smeared him, to the point that even the most politically apathetic people had to see them for what they are, and be repulsed.
2. The illegal immigrant caravan seems to come straight out of central casting to help the conservative cause by illustrating the dangers of giving leftists control. And when top Democrats respond to even the most thoughtful questions about the wisdom of admitting thousands of unvetted foreigners into our country with cries of “RACIST!” they certainly don’t motivate people to join them. Speaking of which…
3. The existential awfulness of the left’s behavior. Between screaming protestors repeatedly interrupting the Kavanaugh hearings, and mobs of shrieking jerks hounding politicians through the halls of congress, and mobs of other shrieking jerks harassing people in restaurants and on the streets, I can’t bring myself to think that a majority of my fellow citizens will want to reward that behavior. Especially since the Dems are running on almost nothing except Trump hatred.
On the other hand, I know that you can’t reason someone out of a position or behavior that they did not reason their way into. And reason is the farthest thing from what motivates those mobs!
So, for what it’s worth, I think the GOP is likely to gain at least a couple of Senate seats. There is no logical reason why the red state voters in West Virginia, Montana, Indiana and Missouri should vote for Democrats who they know will ultimately vote to support the Schumers and Pelosis of the world, even if Manchin, Tester, Donnelly and McCaskill pretend they’ll be moderates.
There are a lot of very close races – in Florida, Arizona and Nevada, especially – that could swing to the GOP, and if I had to bet, I’d say that the Rs should take 1 of those three, and might take 2 of them. If it’s a good night for the GOP, they could pick up all 3.
I don’t know what to think about the House. So many of those races are local ones, and in places (CA and PA specifically) where the battlegrounds are said to favor the Dems. I would love to see the GOP narrowly hold on to control, but my gut says that they won’t.
I haven’t followed any governors’ races except the one in my state of Florida, and I’m shocked that a corrupt, leftist hack like Gillum appears to be leading in the polls. I can’t bring myself to believe that he’s going to win. (Do you sense a subtle theme here?)
It’s an empty cliché, but it really will come down to turnout, and I don’t know what to expect in that area. I know the Dems – and especially the most rabid ones – have gone to 14 on the Trump-hatred scale, and will likely crawl across broken glass to vote.
But the Kavanaugh hearings seem to have lit a fire under conservatives, and if those in the mushy middle were as turned off as should have been, I think they’ll be enough to stop a blue wave, at least.
I’m hoping that the polls are skewed to the left, and that the outcome is going to be better than we expect. And I’m hoping that CO nation will all vote.
Unless you’re one of the lefties with the good taste to follow CO. In which case, don’t forget to show up to the polls to vote on Veteran’s Day.
If it looks like the polling place is closed, never mind that. Just press your face to the glass, and continue to ask if anyone is there, until the sun goes down and the janitor comes out to ask you to go home now.