I have said virtually nothing about this election. Weird, right? Why is a political junkie silent about an upcoming election? I have two reasons. First and foremost, there are too many senate races that are too close to call. Nate Silver says that republicans have a 76.2% chance of taking the senate. That sounds crazy to me. Not because I don’t like what he’s saying, but because those six races are so close that it’s really going to come down to a factor that hasn’t been taken into account; ground game. Sam Wang, who was even more accurate than Nate Silver in 2012 (not in 2010) has republicans odds of taking the senate at 53%. Wang and Silver are actually in a math geek pissing contest. It’s kind of amusing to watch if you’re as geeky, but not as mathy.
53% makes more sense to me even though Wang only uses polling data to come up with his odds. Nate Silver takes some other factors (generic ballot polls, approval ratings, cash raised, etc) into account. So even though Silver incorporates data that I personally believe is important into his model, I think that Wang’s odds are better this time around. Neither of them factor in ground game. Ground game is going to be the deciding factor in six senate races.
I’m not going to go through them. This is not a horse race piece. I’m not going into it because it doesn’t matter. Control of the senate is as close to irrelevant as control of the senate has ever been in our history. The gridlock situation isn’t going to change. Republicans aren’t going to pass anything too insane through both houses because they’re working very hard to make sure they have no platform that can be attributed to them.
The most relevant thing about control of the senate this time around is the impact it will have on 2016. The first status update I posted in Facebook for 2014 was a promise that I wasn’t going to talk about 2016 until 2015. I’m going to break that promise a tiny bit (hey, 11 out of 12 months ain’t bad!). Republicans can’t pass too many bills because anything they’re erroneously blaming on Obama now can easily be turned around on them if they control two out of the three branches. So the river of bullshit blaming that has flowed in one direction for the past six years, will now flow in two directions. Republicans won’t risk that. They also won’t risk creating a platform for the first time in six years because any platform they put forward hurts their odds of taking the White House in 2016.
As an aside, that lack of a platform thing is what democrats are doing now, and it’s a huge mistake. They didn’t have a platform for the midterms. Elizabeth Warren tried to guide them, but they didn’t follow her. Offering absolutely nothing works well on conservative constituents, but it most definitely doesn’t work on liberals. Like any other public page on the internet, I get a decent number of trolls (I was so proud of myself when I finally got noticed enough to attract my first troll!) The one and only post I put up that is 100% troll proof, is the one in which I ask conservatives to tell me one single thing that republicans have done to improve their lives. That post leaves the trolls mute. They know the answer and they don’t care. They’re not interested in results or a promise to deliver results. They’re happy making less and less money every year, seeing their kids opportunities shrink, and losing liberties as long as their hate is fueled. I say this earnestly and with no hyperbole; the GOP motto should be, "I hate, therefore I am".
Liberals are inherently different. They need ideas and something in the way of a result to cling onto. There are a significant number of liberals that hare having none of the Hillary-is-the-inevitable-nominee talk. We’re not happy with the, "I’m married to Bill" platform. We’re not republicans, who were happy to vote for Poppy Bush’s dumbest son for no reason other than he was Poppy’s son.
Anyway, I digress. The point of this post is to day that this election is fairly insignificant. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
I will make one prediction about one too-close-to-call election that is actually really relevant. Get ready to say buh bye to Rick Scott. His approval ratings have been in the 30s for the past two years. It’s inconceivable to me that he isn’t going to lose tonight. Florida democrats despise Rick Scott more than Florida republicans like him. He’s gonzo. This is important because once Christ wins the seat, he’s going to keep it for a few terms. We need Florida in democratic hands in 2020 so that we can undo the redistricting damage.
That said, GO VOTE! Just because the national seats don’t matter much, doesn’t mean that your local races aren’t important.