Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Ohio + Midterms

Tryanmax asked my thoughts on the Ohio special election and I thought I would make a quick article out of it and the midterms/special elections so far in general.

● Ohio: The media wants to make Ohio a big anti-Trump moment. They were more sure of this when it looked like the Democrat was going to win the historically Republican district, but even now that the Republican has narrowly won, they are happily (though nervously) calling this evidence of Democratic momentum. It's not.

Special elections are about turnout. The Republican won by 101.5k to 99.8k. That's 200,000 votes. In a normal election, roughly 360,000 people vote. So it's impossible to see a trend except that the Democrats turned out better. The Democrats usually get around say 130k, so it's not like they broke some barrier either. What's more, while the media says this shows that rural and suburban whites are turning against the GOP -- because that's what the district mainly is -- the reality is that 67% of the Democratic vote came from minority and poor inner-city neighborhoods around Columbus. So, about the only thing we can conclude is that core Democratic voters were more excited - 76% turnout to 50% turnout. That's not surprising, nor do I think that carries over to a general election.

● Socialist Flameout: Every single candidate endorsed by "wunderkind" Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lost in Democratic primaries across the country last night. Coincidentally, Bernie Sanders endorsed the same people. Sadly, I don't know that this shows anything. These kinds of elections are inherently local and I think all this tells us is that the name of the guy you know is stronger than the endorsement of some outsider. I guess what it does show us is what we already knew: there's no socialist wave waiting to wash away sitting Democrats. Indeed, even Ocasio-Cortez's election involved something like 4% of the voters, so it was a fluke really. Look for this to lower the intensity on the Democratic side significantly as the far(ther) left starts to mope.

● Year Of The Woman Again: As usual, the left is declaring the annual "Year of the Woman." They are pointing to the stillborn Pussyhead March and the moribund, now-boomeranging #metoo witch hunts as evidence that women are finally finding their voices (what a cliche), and they are dreaming that this means female candidates will sweep the nation. There was even talk the other day that women might sweep away the Democratic leadership and (oh boy, this is exciting) we might finally have a female Speaker of the House (uh, so what was Nancy Pelosi?). Anyways, the reality on the ground just isn't there... as usual.

I don't have any particular numbers (itself suspicious) and I'm not going to go do the math myself at the moment, but all the women the left points to as potentially creating this supposed Year of the Woman keep losing their primaries. Even more ironically, the couple that I've seen make it through the primaries are doing so against Republican women. Right now, I would say that womanhood is irrelevant to this election cycle.

● Washington State: Washington State seems to have the left giddy. They have a California-like system where everyone runs together and the top two advance. And last night, in three districts held by Republicans, the Republicans underperformed. What's more, when you add up the Democrats and add up the Republicans, the Democrats were only a point or two below 50% Oh boy! Yeah, and that's about turn out. When the bulk of GOP voters turn out in the general election, look for those numbers to separate significantly again.

If there's an overall takeaway from last night, it's that nothing unusual is happening this year. The incumbents lack enthusiasm, a normal problem in midterms for the incumbent party. There is no socialist wave. There is no estrogen wave. A couple incumbents lose, but it's mainly due to mistakes or negligence, and it's in both parties. This is a very normal year.


tryanmax said...

Thanks, Andrew. I don't have much to add except to reiterate my thoughts that low enthusiasm is what I expect from elections that will essentially be redone in three months.

AndrewPrice said...

You're welcome. I think all we can really say is that (1) Democrats are more enthusiastic (duh) and (2) there is no tidal wave of anything -- women, socialists, democrats. Right now, this looks like a boring election, though it will be a nailbiter.

AndrewPrice said...

This is rich... a Green Party moron (a real nut) took enough votes in Ohio that if those people had voted Democratic (unlikely) the Democrat would have won. So now the left is starting a conspiracy theory that those votes were the result of Russian meddling.

How hilarious is that? The left is angry at the fringe(r) left for voting for the fringe left and is accusing the Russians of somehow tricking them into doing it... even though the fringe(r) left has voted for the Greens for as long as I've been alive. Ha ha.

I recommend they settle this with clubs and knives.

Rustbelt said...

"I recommend they settle this with clubs and knives."

What? No torches and pitchforks? How can you have an angry mob without torches and pitchforks, Andrew?!

AndrewPrice said...

Rustbelt, I'm envisioning more of a Thunderdome situation than an angry mob. One million liberals enter... one leaves.

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