Maybe I’m just looking for trouble, but I’m getting a sick feeling about these midterms. Even the ostensibly good news, that turnout looks like it will be through the roof, has me worried. And that’s for a fairly simple reason. The Dems are, more often than not, breaking the historic norm and doing better with likely voters than registered ones, which means that higher turnout won’t necessarily favor them in the ways we would expect it to.
When one party has a solid intensity advantage, it’s not a plus for a lot of low-intensity voters to show up. Still, there are plenty of good signs for the Democrats if you choose to focus on them. The intensity level of blacks, Latinos and young voters is trending up rather sharply, and early voting looks robust, which is almost certainly creating initial leads for the Dems. As long as they still have some voters left on Election Day, these built-in leads could form the basis for some big upsets.
But, to demonstrate my angst again, seeing presidential level early voting gives me less confidence than ever in the polling companies’ turnout models. I’ve never had less faith in polling than I have this cycle, and it’s not just a hangover from 2016. I can see that the models are wrong already, so I have no expectation that the polls are anywhere close to accurate.
It looks like Trump’s base is going to come out in force, and that’s not normal for.a president’s party in a midterm. It’s going to blunt the Democrats advantages and take some seats off the table that looked very winnable.
This isn’t an election to be a spectator. Contact your local party and get involved so you don’t feel like a worthless piece of crap on election night.