Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Election 2014 - Final Thoughts

My being undecided, "independent", non-partisan is something of a glib inside joke in certain political circles, but as I stood in the voting kiosk yesterday, I paused, truly not sure what I was going to do.

Unlike ridiculous Alison Grimes, I will not keep what I did a secret. I split my ticket. I voted for several Republicans and a few Democrats. I will leave the kimono closed just enough to let you guess which ones.

My temporary electoral existential crisis was caused by the revulsion of being in the same room, celebrating victory with this guy, but also the realization the Democrats had never really made the case for my vote.

With last night's lashing, my advice to Democrats is this: just once, try running on your record instead of away from it. The Republicans sure aren't afraid to. No matter how loony their record is, no matter how out of touch with reality it is, they understand the only way to convince people to trust them is to say, "here it is and that's the way it's gonna be!" Last night shows, it doesn't matter how freak show it gets, they still win.

You may still not get my vote ( or even many others ), but you certainly can't lose any more votes. At this point, I don't think that's conceivable. Even for Democrats.

Thus endeth the lessons. For now.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Final Thoughts For The Last 24 Hours

Not so random thoughts for your last day of election madness.

  • My standard response to everyone who has asked me over the past three weeks, "It's gonna be close"
  • Republicans are surging. As national pundit Taegen Goddard put it over the weekend, "if you are unskewing, you're losing". Democrats are mining for nuggets of optimism in a series of very bad polls.
  • However, the wise remember that the polls in the Republican primary were off. In some cases by a lot. There is a fair amount of evidence significant problems exist in the fundamentals of polling Georgia.
  • Bottom line - Democrats are not "unskewing" ala the Republicans in 2012. They aren't delusional. Maybe just a little naively optimistic.
  • You will hear a lot about turnout. Why this matters is a couple of ticks of percentage on the African American turnout or on Michelle Nunn winning women will be the difference in another typical Democratic loss or a runoff
  • Which leads to get out the vote efforts. For Democrats to win they will have to get voters who don't normally vote in a midterm to the polls in unprecedented numbers
  • Expecting this to happen may be more hopeful optimism, but the Democrats are more organized than any election year since the 90s.
  • Reminder. The big counties always report late. Expect Carter and Nunn to be significantly behind in the early evening and pull closer as the night goes on
  • If Perdue and Deal are only ahead by about 2 points with Fulton and DeKalb still out, there may not be enough face powder to hide the flop sweat
Final thought. Once the Republicans win, and they will, either tomorrow or in January, you will hear the phrase "the people have spoken" quite a bit. And the people will have spoken but it will be in a whisper, not a roar.

Nate Silver has an excellent round up of why this election is a mixed bag. It is not the "wave" the so-called "liberal" media is now trying to paint.

The House is a non-issue. 89% of the seats are considered a lock. As expected, Republicans will only pad their majority.

The Republicans will take the Senate. That has been the story all along and that is the way it will finish. The only reason the narrative veered is because Democrats made it much closer than expected in places they shouldn't have. Like Arkansas. Like Louisiana. Like Georgia.

If you wish to seek the dark place where Republicans worry, it is in the corner where the media barely ventures - the Governors. In a year where the sitting Democratic President has approvals hovering around 40%, some Republican Governors are fighting for their lives.

If this were a Republican wave year, Nathan Deal in Georgia and Rick Scott would barely have to open their mouths to win re-election. In a normal year, a state that voted +7 for Romney and has elected Republican super-majorities in both of its state houses should easily return a Republican Governor to a second term. Instead, Georgia may end up in a runoff.

As Patterson Hood once wrote, "there's a lot of bad wood underneath the veneer".

Some are wise enough to heed the warnings. They are the ones flinching from Ted Cruz acting like he already controls the Senate. They are the ones who quietly talk about 2014 being "a near death experience".

After tomorrow night, the question will be will those quiet voices have any chance to steer the Republican ship away from the obvious rocks or will the loud and self-righteous continue to drown out all who do not bathe in the waters of purity.