Monday, November 5, 2018

Mid-term Elections

So here was my Facebook post this morning:

I love numbers and stats. I especially enjoy getting my election predictions from a company (Nate Silver's 538) owned by the same company (ESPN) who predicts that my Fantasy Football team will win EVERY WEEK! (I'll be 5-4 unless Ezekiel Elliot scores 23 points tonight). With that anecdote in hand, I present to you the 538 stats on the House race. 538 aggregates polls and produces beautiful statistical analysis and graphs. As of this writing, Nate gives Democrats 85.6% chance to take back control of the House. Currently, Republicans hold a 235-193 majority in the House (+42 advantage). There are 435 seats, so currently there are 7 vacancies. All 435 are up for vote tomorrow. In the Senate, The R's hold a 51-49 (+2 advantage). 538 is giving the R's 85.6% chance to hold the Senate. This post of mine is not trolling for political commentary, but trolling for your predictions! What say you!? What do you predict will be the outcome after tomorrow? No need to say why. You can explain your reasoning after you are proven right (or wrong) come Wednesday.
My prediction on the balance after Tuesday:
House: R + 11, Senate: R + 7.

Of course that led to more commentary than predictions. And surprisingly, the odds have increased for the Dems since this morning, to 87.5%. Oh well, guess it's over.

I'd like to say I'm 100% confident this poll aggregation is wrong.  But who really knows.  I think that after 2016, when the polls so strongly broke for Hillary, you can hardly trust them again in the age of Donald Trump.  So I say the aggregation of 2 or dozens or scores or hundreds of BAD polls, still gets you a bad aggregation.  And the Trump base is more likely to hang up on, or troll, a pollster.  So I think that polls under-report the Trump effect.  You look at the rallies he's holding around the country for Republican candidates and they are huge crowds.  There is more excitement around Trump now than in 2016.  As my friend Keith Johnson said, "people who held their nose and voted for Trump in 2016 are behind him now."  And I think that is for a few reasons:  1) he's not screwed up  2) things (like economy and consumer sentiment) are doing pretty well and 3) he's fulfilling his promises.  Why would Republicans not be elated at that?  Why would any American not be elated by that?  By any measure, I think Trump has exceeded expectations.  Even haters should admit, if they were honest, that he hasn't done nearly as bad as they thought he would.  Things could not have gone better these last 2 years if you're a Republican.  If the roles were completely reversed, I could see the media contemplating a 100% sweep for Democrats.  Seriously, as ridiculous as that sounds.  

So this will come down to turnout, as usual.  The Democrats have run on "hate Trump" more than any policy ideas.  They just don't like him and think that the rage against Trump's manners will translate into votes against Republicans who are not even Trump.  So, just because I despise person X, I'm going to vote against person Y who's associated by political party to X, even though things are generally going OK in the country.  That just seems like a really weak bet.  Some people are that vindictive and I get that, but is it enough voters to win scores of elections across the country?  I don't think so.  Certainly, if the economy was stagnant or we were in a new war, I expect we would have problems.  But we are far from that.  I can't see troves of blue collar voters, who didn't have a job in 2016 but have one now, decide they're going to go vote out the people in office now just because they're associated with that mean rude Trump guy.  No, they will either not vote, or they will vote Republican.  

So the question is, has Trump offended enough people, including all minorities, Muslims, Latinos, and women, to drive them to the polls to essentially vote AGAINST the economy? (Remember, "It's the economy, stupid") I say, NO.  The rage against Trump is largely among the white elites who already hated him in the first place. There's some minority opposition to Trump, but his favorability among that group has grown - not declined - since 2016.   I mean, everyone likes low employment and lower taxes, if they're honest.  I think there has been more movement via #walkaway from D to R in the past year than ever before.  The Democrats are losing their stronghold on Black voters.  That's why the Democrats want more illegal immigration to provide a permanent underclass and take the place of those voters formerly beholden to their party.

So I just have a hard time believing the polls, and by aggregation, 538's predictions. It's more of a common sense thing than a mathematical thing. There's a 538 article which is titled, "Republicans Need a Systematic Polling Error to Win the House." So there ya go.  I think the polls under-poll true conservatives, Blacks who are walking away, and over-poll people who already are anti-Trump.  So there's my reasoning.  We'll see who's right after tomorrow.

1 comment:

Tim E Arthur said...

Rs will take it and “surprise” the media again. Trump is doing what he said he wiould do. People get behind him because of that. Unfortunately, neither party is making promises to reduce the debt.