3 days to go to midterm elections: what if the media narrative is all wrong?

By Dave Andrusko

Every time polling guru Nate Silver — he who in 2016 told us repeatedly that Hillary Clinton’s election was a virtual lock — tells us that it’s all but certain Democrats will control the House after November 6, I feel better.

So, with that said, what additionally can we add to our daily election updates?

*We’re told 24/7/60 that “younger voters” have already and will continue to vote in unexpectedly large numbers. The assumption is that is huge boost for Democrats. Whether this proves to be true is certainly relevant. But consider this.

African-Americans are a core constituency of the Democratic Party. A headline in Wednesday’s POLITICO will be one to look back on if their turnout is less than Democrats need to win closely contested House, Senate, and governors’ races. The headline to James Arkin’s and Alex Thompson’s story reads, “Blacks to Democrats: ‘You want our vote, come get’ it.” The subhead is more informative: “In Missouri and other states, party wonders whether it engaged early often enough.”

*A report from NBC News  documented how much heavier early voting is this year:

Six days out from Election Day, over 24 million votes have been counted as early or absentee, a number that exceeds the total nationwide early vote from 2014.

As of Wednesday, 24,024,621 million early and absentee ballots have been counted nationwide in all states with early voting activity. …

As of Wednesday, 43 percent of early voters are Republican and 41 percent are Democrats. At this point in 2016, 43 percent of early voters were Democrats and 40 percent were Republicans. (Emphasis added)

Writing at HotAir, Ed Morrissey observes:

It’s a narrower lead than in 2014, but it’s still a lead. It cuts against the expectation of an oversized Democratic turnout that led to the “blue wave” predictions for most of this cycle. It also calls into question whether the turnout models used by pollsters will accurately reflect the final results — assuming that Democrats don’t turn on the afterburners on Election Day, anyway. Pollsters largely missed the mark on turnout models in 2016, and it’s very possible they’ve failed to learn their lesson in time for this election.

He adds the obvious caveat: Democrats need only a net gain of 24 seats to win control of the House, as pro-abortion House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) predicts her party will do.

But, as always, polls, models, etc. are just best guesses and extrapolations. The bottom line is really this.

You have “x” number of competitive race (the number varies according to the analyst) and the Democrats hold a slim lead among likely voters, but within the margin of error.

Let’s take one state — Florida — as an example. It has both a key Senate and governor’s race. A “progressive” website reported the following yesterday:

Turnout Summary: As of this morning before polls opened, 4,069,505 people have voted, which is a 30.65% turnout rate. This is, let’s face it, massive! The Republican turnout rate is 36.09%, while the Democratic turnout rate is 33.00%. NPA/Minor party turnout is 20.49%. The Enthusiasm Gap is at -3.4%, favoring Republicans.

As the publication said on Thursday:

This election could disprove the myth that “high turnout elections favor Democrats.”

It’s turnout, turnout, turnout.

*While I am not any sort of expert, I’ve watched politics since the 1960s. I’ve learned not to be spun by a media that is overwhelming pro-Democratic and provides countless millions of free advertising in the form of bogus stories.

Rasmussen Reports was one of the two most accurate polls in 2016, probably because it polls every day and reflects likely voters, not all adults. Talk about an intriguing headline Friday “Is Another Silent Red Wave Coming?”

You can read the entire article here  and you should. It brings into play ingredients I’d never thought of. Here are just a few.

His first point struck home with me, personally, because I know of so many examples that validate its findings. The fact of the matter is — for whatever reason — in 2016 and in 2018 many more Likely Democratic Voters than Likely Republican voters “say they are more likely to let others know how they intend to vote this year compared to previous congressional elections.” This year, 60% of Likely Democratic Voters versus 49% of Likely Republican Voters.

Point? The margin was not 13 points in 2016 but 6 [52% of Democrats, compared to 46% of Republicans]. Rasmussen Reports writes, “Some analysts before and after Donald Trump’s upset victory suggested that most pollsters missed his hidden support among voters fearful of criticism who were unwilling to say where they stood.”

*What else does the survey of 1,000 Likely Voters reveal [underlining again is mine]? Three things which all run against the dominate media narrative:

Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Republicans say they always vote in midterm elections, compared to 71% of Democrats and 63% of unaffiliated voters. The real story on Tuesday will be which side turns out even more than usual. …

Fifty-one percent (51%) of all voters now approve of Trump’s job performance in the latest Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll. Forty-seven percent (47%) disapprove. …

Democrats now hold a three-point lead on the survey which has a +/- 2 margin of error. (Emphasis added)

This is a reference to the generic congressional survey, where people are not given specific candidates’ names but asked which party they would vote for if the election were held that day. Other surveys have Democrats with many multiple times that advantage.

Stay tuned. Lots will happen over the weekend and we will fill you in Monday, the day before the midterm elections.