Election? What Election?

My attitude toward tomorrow’s election is, wake me when it’s over. I have been immersed in the midterm campaign since January 2017, when President Trump was inaugurated.

But it is important to remember that not everyone follows politics like the typical Power Line reader. In fact, most people don’t. My youngest daughter is the Chairman of the College Republicans in Minnesota. In that capacity, she and her friends have been canvassing on behalf of Republican candidates. She reports that in one exurban community where she recently door-knocked, “Many didn’t know there was an election coming up.”

This is stunning to me. Among other things, it means they don’t watch television. Good for them. My daughter adds that a number of these blessedly out-of-the-loop folks “were slaughtering deer as we spoke to them.” She says she “literally watched a guy chop off a deer’s head right in front of me.” My daughter knows nothing about hunting–I fell down on my parental responsibilities there–but happily, one of her co-knockers is a hunter and could kick off the conversations.

I told her that these are our people, and she should offer to drive them all to the polls. But more seriously, it is a reminder that most people’s lives do not revolve around politics. There is a reason why midterm election turnout has generally been between 35% and 40% of eligible voters. Many people, not massively dissatisfied with how things are going, have outsourced governance of our country to others–i.e., those who show up and vote.

Those numbers make it easy to understand why political pros tend to see elections mostly in terms of turnout. People who hunt deer will almost certainly vote Republican. But will they show up? As usual, that is the great imponderable as we await tomorrow evening’s election results. Everyone expects turnout to approach record levels. I hope that turns out to be correct.

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