I have no idea how the election Tuesday is going to turn out. Things are very volatile, and there’s a lot of evidence that independent voters will determine the outcome.
But it is fun to note how nervous Democrats are. Politico reports:
Haunted by memories of 2016, liberals around the country are riven with anxiety in the campaign’s homestretch. They’re suspicious of favorable polls and making election night contingency plans in case their worst fears come true. Some report literal nightmares about a Democratic wipeout.
“We’re kind of just in the bed-wetting phase now,” said Democratic pollster John Anzalone, a Hillary Clinton campaign alumnus who spent election night 2016 in Clinton’s Manhattan war room.
Silly me: it seems like the “bed-wetting phase” is more or less the permanent condition of liberals. Anyway, there’s more schadenfreudey goodness in this story:
At Vassar College in upstate New York, the college Democrats are moving their results-watching party to a new venue over concerns that revisiting the scene of their 2016 letdown would be too upsetting for some students, according to a member of the group. At Brown University in Rhode Island, the College Democrats have taken the same precaution after experiencing a “collective flashback” to Trump’s victory during a discussion of election night planning. . .
For many traumatized Democrats, heading into Tuesday feels like flying again after surviving a plane crash.
And there’s decent reason for them to be nervous. The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll out today reports a slight movement in favor of Republicans:
Heading into Tuesday’s critical midterm elections, Democrats retain their advantage in the battle for the House, but Republicans could be buoyed by increasingly positive assessments of the economy and by President Trump’s harsh focus on the issues of immigration and border security, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News national poll.
The poll finds that registered voters prefer Democratic candidates for the House over Republican candidates by 50 percent to 43 percent. That marks a slight decline from last month, when Democrats led on the generic congressional ballot by 11 points, and a bigger drop from August, when they enjoyed a 14-point advantage.
The last NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, also out today, has a similar finding:
President Donald Trump’s late campaign blitz targeting immigrants has rallied the Republican base of white working-class voters, helping to curb the Democratic advantage heading into Tuesday’s midterm elections for Congress.
The election-eve NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows Democrats leading by seven percentage points, 50 percent to 43 percent, among likely voters. That’s down from a nine-percentage point lead last month.
Keep in mind that the “generic” party split number doesn’t necessarily translate to the district-by-district House races, where Republicans look to be in better shape, though there really isn’t much decent poll data for many races.
Pollster Kristin Soltis Anderson, who shoots straight in her analytical work, has doubts about a blue wave:
At least for now, the indicators suggest a shift far less dramatic than the 63 seats Republicans picked up in the 2010 wave. Had the election been held a year ago, we very well could have been looking at that scenario. Today, while it is more likely than not that Republicans will lose control of the House, that we are even able to imagine and discuss a possible scenario where they do retain control is a testament to how things have changed over the last year.
And one of the more interesting comments from the last few days in the mainstream media comes not from a political pro, but from travel writer Paul Theroux, also writing in the Washington Post:
To write off Trump’s message, or to see his voters as racist and deplorable, is to miss the point. It is not that the Democrats’ elite are geriatrics, though they certainly are; it is that they are too entrenched, too tone deaf and out of touch in myriad ways. The Clintons need to retire to discover the ambiguous pleasures of obscurity that the rest of us already know. . .
A blue wave is predicted for the midterms. I’m not convinced of it. Trump proved most polls wrong for a reason. In Britain, a shy Tory is someone who will not reveal his or her intended vote to a pollster. There are many loud Trumpers, but there are shy Trumpers, too. So I distrust polls more than ever, especially as — after Trump won, and voters became more vocal — I discovered that many in my large and lovable and liberal-minded family, and maybe yours too, revealed themselves as shy Trumpers.
Finally, let’s check with the Saturday Night Live indicator. (Okay, there’s no such thing, but sometimes their sketches do capture something). They offered up this last night:
I still say the worst nightmare for Democrats will be to capture the House by a narrow majority. Their base will demand impeachment and fireworks from oversight hearings. They are likely to be disappointed, and then frustrated and bitter, setting up Trump to cruise to re-election in 2020. You think liberals are miserable and paranoid now!