Oct 28 2010
I have put this off long enough, it is time to put out my predictions for Tuesday’s election. Sadly, my being burned in 2006 and 2008 by underestimating the anger of middle America with the GOP left me vowing to avoid making predictions in elections. That vow was never going to last. Actually, in 2008 I knew it was a lost cause well before election day, but decided not to dampen any enthusiasm by admitting McCain-Palin were not going to win. Both rounds were ‘teachable’ moments.
Since then I have tried to be objective and brutally honest. So here I go, without hesitation and fully aware that the middle America voters are not voting for the ‘true conservatives’ this cycle, but voting against rampant liberalism.
The Dems are in trouble because their centrists rolled over and let Obama, Reid and Pelosi run rampant. Obama is in power because middle American voters put him there in the first place – a big mistake everyone now sees. But mistakes can be fixed, and the voters are hell bent to fix their last one come Tuesday. (Point of order – I supported McCain-Palin in 2008).
I am not going to try and nail the most likely outcome to the fraction of a seat (like a Nate Silver does). That is a waste of time and not how to deal with this election. There is no precedent to this year, therefore historical trends are blinders on pollsters and statistical models this cycle – not a source of insight. This is that 1% case the stats know is out there, but cannot model. Gallup has been one of the few organizations willing to really let the data tell the story as it is:
Gallup’s latest figures on the composition of the 2010 electorate suggest that, consistent with an earlier Gallup report, those voting in this year’s congressional elections across the country will be similar in gender, age, and education to 2006 voters. At the same time, they will be substantially more Republican in their party orientation, and more conservative than has been the case in the past several midterms.
But even Gallup still assumes that party voters are monolithic and tied to party and not to something larger (like country). It is their Achilles Heel. While the middle America voters are rejecting the Democrats, they are not embracing conservatism (which they threw out of power in 2006 and 2008). This means people see this as a rejection of the Democrat leaders – which opens a lot of people to vote differently. Fiscal conservatism (a.k.a. a libertarian streak) is back in vogue because just about everyone agrees the federal government is way too intrusive and way too incompetent and corrupt. The liberal experiment of the last two years was an unmitigated disaster and forced everyone outside the far left to conclude big government is wrong and needs to be stopped – now. We understand that we need to rely on the American people and their strength, honor and diversity to lead this nation – not brain dead bureaucrats struggling to be God’s gift to humanity. The common ground from center left to far right is the feel we have a libertarian emergency.
Just as we banded together after 9-11 in common cause, we are forging a force to roll back government and return power to the people and the states. This transcends party lines, just as the core of the Tea Party does.
There are signs all over the place this race is going to be a wipe out. Predictions from nearly every objective corner see Dems losing 50 seats – or more. I put the number of Dem House seats lost in the 70-80 seat range. And with that large a wave, the Senate will go to the GOP too. The GOP will pick up WV, WA, and CA, along with PA, CO, NV, IL, IN, AR, ND and WI. That will be the easy part. I would not be surprised to see CT and DE added to the list – the anger with the left is so intense out there.
The reason this will be such a huge wipe out is because of three factors, two of which are well known:
(1) There is an ‘enthusiasm gap’ of enormous proportions out there. The GOP has never had such a wave of support in living memory. Yes, the GOP is energized to vote this year, and the Democrats are not. But that is only part of the wave.
(2) The voters are rejecting the liberals in the Democrat leadership, and this rejection includes independents and centrists. All pollsters show the party faithful being faithful – and voting 9 to 1 for their party’s candidates. This happens every year pretty much. What is different this year (and in all wave election years) is the center has decided to tilt heavily to one side. The GOP is holding a +20% lead with independents this cycle, which is why there are so many races in play. This is the second part of the wave.
(3) The final piece of the wave is Democrat defections. This is not being folded into the polling very well. I think most center-left Democrats are angry with their party for being so hyper-partisan and screwing up so badly that they are playfully telling pollsters they will vote D – when in reality they have no intention to. The center-left is as angry as everyone else, maybe even more so. They see their party becoming some alien monster right before their eyes. They are the true believers who were crushed when Obama turned out to be just another forked tongue, liberal politician. The Clinton and DLC wing of the Democrat party are going to send a huge message – and they are the ones who will be joining the center and making this historic.
It takes all three elements to create a super wave: enthused GOP voters, independents moving en mass to the GOP and center-left Dems defecting in droves. I think the nation is so fed up with our lousy economy and endless deficits they know there is only one answer, and that is to neuter the DC liberals and tie down Barack Obama’s ego. The center and center-left may have finally agreed to the libertarian element of conservatism – and that is a great thing to have happen. It is not a mandate for conservatives, it is an opportunity to join hands as Americans, vote the Dems out and start rolling back Big Government, and the Political Industrial Complex.
And that is why this election is one for the century.