Election Predictions and Other Mistakes

I, along with many other people, predicted a Republican wave for the midterm elections.  Did it happen?  In a few places like Florida, Ohio, and a few congressional districts in New York?  Yes.  In most other places, no.

I think there are some clear, rational explanations for this.  However, if you expect me to start by blaming Donald Trump, you can go back to reading the New York Times or watching CNN.

How did I do pretending to be Karl Rove?  In the Senate, righteously awful.  I had one win, Vance in Ohio, five losses, and one no-decision: Walker in Georgia.  I was slightly better in the governor's races, with four correct and six incorrect.  In hindsight, Mastriano in the Pennsylvania governor's race and Smiley for the Senate in Washington were both a stretch.  I look like a fool for letting wave fever get to me.  The rest were more rational choices based on the polls.

In almost every contest I called, the RealClearPolitics polling averages underestimated Democrat strength.  There were a few races where Republicans outperformed the averages, such as DeSantis and Rubio in Florida, Stitt in Oklahoma, and Zeldin in New York, but that was about it.

Why were the polls off so badly in this election?

I believe that the final polls were wrong simply because they underestimated the Democrat ballot-harvesting machine.  Almost every polling organization uses a turnout model that predicts what percentage of registered or likely voters will vote in any given election.  Unfortunately, the polls overestimated the number of Republican-leaning voters and/or failed to consider the Democrats' effort to get out their vote.  

It is also possible some Republican-leaning voters stayed home.  Why?  Because almost every political pundit and writer, including yours truly, said a red wave was coming no matter what.

You could lay a little blame at the feet of Republican senator Lindsey Graham, too.  In September, Graham introduced a bill in the Senate to ban abortions nationwide at 15 weeks.  This came little more than two months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.  The point of overturning Roe was to return this issue to the states.  Graham effectively gave the other side something to fight for right before the election.

There were the usual Democrat lies.  Democrats declared that Republicans were out to cut Social Security, a lie they have repeated since the 1970s.  In a prime-time speech delivered on September 1, President Biden characterized former President Trump and MAGA Republicans as representing "an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic."  He also blamed everyone but the Chinese Communist Party and his administration for inflation and high fuel and food prices.  That would include the usual suspects like Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, and whatever American business group was in the crosshairs that day.

These lies were reinforced and repeated by the compliant leftist news media.  Democrats then used these lies and others to carpet-bomb Republican candidates with attack ads in close races.

Beyond the lies, there were also possible Democrat shenanigans.  For example, in Maricopa County, Arizona, ballots were not printed dark enough to be read by tabulation machines.  This reportedly caused problems at 70 out of 223 voting centers, or roughly 31%.  A second report claimed that the number of voting centers affected by printer/tabulator problems was almost 63%, accompanied by long lines at most voting centers.  

Was this a simple mistake?  The voting system was tested before Election Day as required by state law.  However, Republican Party chair Mickie Niland said pre-election testing of the printer/tabulator system had been largely ceremonial and insufficiently broad to catch the printer problem.  Yikes!

Many of our present election problems began during the run-up to the 2020 vote.  Some states altered election requirements under cover of COVID-19.  Universal mail-in balloting was allowed in some places, and early voting was extended in others.  In some cases, ballot-harvesting was allowed, and rules for signature-matching for mail-in ballots were relaxed in others.  Judges or state election commissions made some of these changes in violation of established election laws.

Why are these changes significant?  Mail-in balloting and early voting favor Democrats because turnout is often a problem for them.  If you give every registered Democrat a ballot, maybe fill out a few ballots for the deceased and those in nursing homes, and give them lots of time to get those ballots submitted, you solve the turnout problem.

Then there was the roughly $419 million that billionaire Mark Zuckerberg legally spent in 2020 to finance local government election offices.  According to the New York Post, this was simply a project to turn out the Democrat vote.

Since 2020, some things have changed for the better and some for the worse.  Twenty-four states have banned private funding of elections.  Five other state legislatures passed a ban, which was vetoed by the Democrat governor.  In three other states, legislation to create a ban failed to pass the state Legislature.  The rest are still happy to accept Zuck bucks, Soros simoleons, or whatever Democrats can liberate from the U.S. Treasury and launder through their various special interest groups.

Speaking of money, one change from 2020 is that Democrats decided to focus spending on their closest races.  According to Forbes, Democrats were outspending Republicans by 2 to 1 to keep the House.  The same thing is happening in Georgia, where Democrat Raphael Warnock is outspending Republican Herschel Walker by about 2 to 1 in a runoff.

Surprisingly, in California this year, Republicans utilized state election laws to harvest ballots.  This operational turnaround from the 2020 election may have saved some Republican House seats in the Golden State.

This brings me to my final point.  The Republican National Committee is starting to annoy me.  The people running it act like the French Army, always fighting the last war instead of adapting to the new battlefield.  If you can harvest ballots from your supporters to improve turnout, then do it.  If you are allowed an entire month or more to get your supporters to vote in person or by mail, then use it.  If you are dealing with a brand-new, unproven voting system, test it thoroughly.  Don't trust Democrats, and don't assume anything.  As football coach Vince Lombardi said, "winning isn't everything; it's the only thing."

In the past two years, Democrats have elected a senile old man to the presidency, a brain-damaged slacker to the Senate, and a dead man to the Pennsylvania State House.   Is megalomaniac Hillary Clinton next?  And will the RNC do anything besides file lawsuits after it's been outmaneuvered?

(Folks, you might be surprised to learn my writing endeavors extend beyond politics and into Christmas fiction.  I have a collection of short stories called The Bartender Who Saved Christmas, which is available on Amazon.com as an e-book or paperback.  As you might suspect from the title, this is not a kid's book, nor something you will see on the Hallmark Channel.  Click here to check it out, and thanks for reading.)

Image: Rafiq Sarlie via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0.

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