Wednesday, October 24, 2018

By the way

The latest word from Houston:

Harris County voters broke another record for turnout in the midterm elections on Tuesday.

Polling locations received 64,781 people Tuesday, while 1,534 people mailed in their ballots. With Monday’s turnout, 181,916 people have now voted in Harris County.

In the 2014 midterms, 83,347 voters had cast their ballots by the second day.

Turnout in the 2018 midterms is on par with early voting in the 2016 presidential election. By the second day of early voting in 2016, just over 200,000 people had cast their ballots.

Turnout at each individual polling location remained roughly the same, with areas west and northwest of Houston seeing the most votes. However, turnout is up across the map.
Josh Marshall is right:

 Everything Shows a GOP Resurgence Except for the Evidence

Which is why I'm ignoring AP articles like this:

Kavanaugh And Caravan Firing Up GOP Voters: Race ‘Closer Than People Think’

Which contain contradictions to their own thesis like this:

It took voters in the Houston area less than six hours Monday to set a new opening day record for early voting during a midterm election. And in some Florida counties, two and three times as many voters cast ballots on the first day of early voting Monday compared to four years ago.

Public and private polling, however, suggests the GOP is getting more excited as Nov. 6 approaches.

“Republican enthusiasm doesn’t quite equal the white-hot enthusiasm of Democratic voters, but the Kavanaugh hearings got it pretty close,” said GOP consultant Whit Ayres.
I have to say, this is the first article I've read mentioning a "Kavanaugh bump."  Even the President is trying to use immigrants and tax cuts to get people to vote.  Kavanaugh?  Who?  I think I'll rely on articles like this instead:

Angry Americans will be more likely to vote, and Democrats are generally more angry about their hot-button issues than Republicans, according to the Reuters/Ipsos data.

That is a change from two years ago, when Republicans and Democrats were equally furious, said Nicholas Valentino, a voter behavior expert at the University of Michigan who collaborated on the poll and analyzed the results for Reuters.

The data suggests Democratic candidates could get a turnout boost that exceeds expectations, he said, possibly tipping the scale for them in tight races.

“That’s what happened in 2016,” Valentino said. “A lot of people who were predicted to stay home were very angry at (presidential candidate) Hillary Clinton and the Democrats, and they showed up to the surprise of everyone.”
Sure it's my bias; but Harris County went for Clinton in 2016, and everybody seems to forget Trump lost the popular vote, and is stuck at 52% disapproval.  His base is small and even if it is motivated, angry Democrats outnumber angry Republicans across the country.

And recent polling shows Beto within 4 points of Cruz; and GOTV is the name of the game now. The truth is, even polls I like (or sort of like) are as valuable a predictor of the future as chicken entrails.  Voter turnout is up, enthusiasm is high, and I prefer to be optimistic at this point.

 So I think I'll buy some more popcorn.

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