Campaigns/Elections

Don't Follow the Numbers

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Today's vote is driving folks so crazy that some are actually making multiple predictions. Election Projection has taken a final look at the polls and has decided they are full of bad info.

The numbers say a 25-seat gain for Dems in the House, but EP doubles back to say that the Dems will pick up, at most, 18 seats. That number is in the 15 to 20 seat Dem gain sweet-spot for most projections this year.

But EP actually goes further to predict that the GOP will only lose 11 seats, and thus barely keep control of the House. Like I've argued, that outcome would not completely shock me, given the scatter-shot nature of the overall Democratic campaign. Let's just hope we do not have to wait until December to find out what really happened.

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  1. Let’s just hope we do not have to wait until December to find out what really happened.

    I’ll admit I’m kinda hoping for that scenario, if only to revel in the spectacle of Nancy Pelosi slowly twisting in the wind, painted mannequin face cracking and peeling, eyes glazed, repeating over and over, wistfully, “Madam Speaker, Madam Speaker…”

  2. I’ll go out on a limb and say the GOP loss will be closer to 30 than to 20. I live in a district where the incumbent Republican just squeaked in in 2004. I’ve spoken with any number of people who voted for him in 04 who won’t now. Also, this area’s unemployment is down around 3.4%, yet many people, who should know better, think the economy stinks and they blame Bush and the GOP. I can only imagine what that perception is like in other areas of the country…the GOP did a terrible job at being defined instead of defining themselves
    (except, of course, as fighting the bogeyman.)

  3. Creech,

    Due to extremely high levels of income inequality, unequal gains from growth, and other quirks over the past few years, aggregate numbers do a very poor job of describing the economic conditions of the most people.

    For example, total compensation continues to go up for the middle class. However, if you look closer, you see that wages have stagnated but the value of benefits have increases. If you look even closer, you see that employers are paying more for exactly the same health plan. So while they are spending more on their employees, the economic status of those employees isn’t even keeping up with inflation, for many people.

    Over the past six years, average incomes have risen. If you look closer, you see that they haven’t budged at all for the bottom 90%; they’ve doubled for the top 1%; they’ve tripled for the top 0.1%; and they’ve quadrupled for the top 0.01%.

    And while I don’t have any figures at hand, there are also dramatic differences in the growth rates from region to region. Not just in incomes, which there has always been (the south being poorer than the northeast, for example), but in actual rates of growth.

  4. Well here in Florida people will vote for whoever tells them that they can live in a hurricane zone and not pay high insurance premiums.

    So far that’s everyone that’s running for office.

    Of course, I suppose, elsewhere in the country people will vote for anyone who tells them they can evade reality some other way.

  5. I’ve been perfectly clear the whole time. The Democrats will win the house and the senate, unless Republicans can hold on to it.

    joe:

    For example, total compensation continues to go up for the middle class.

    Still waiting for mine.

    Isaac:

    here in Florida people will vote for whoever tells them that they can live in a hurricane zone and not pay high insurance premiums

    It’s called democracy. And it’s doomed the moment a politician realizes he can sell his vote. Even if he’s selling it to his own constituency.

  6. Methinks the hordes of lawyers (on both sides) are lining up for tonight like snowplow drivers in the dead of winter… waiting for that first flake.

    Okay people, let’s do a warmup of the endless months to come:

    FRAUD!!!
    REP SO-AND-SO STOLE THIS ELECTION!!
    VOTING IRREGULARITIES!!
    MINORITIES BARRED FROM THE POLLS!!
    WOMEN BARRED FROM THE POLLS!!
    LEFT-HANDED ESKIMOS BARRED FROM THE POLLS!!!
    ELECTRONIC HANGING CHADS!!
    FRAUD!! FRAUD!!! FRAUD!!!
    RECOUNT!! RECOUNT!! DOUBLE-RECOUNT!! TRIPLE SECRET PROBATION RECOUNT!!

    Okay, everyone breath. Relax. NOW LET’S DO IT AGAIN!!!

  7. It is quite amazing that nobody recognizes the health of the current economy — Republicans included. If Republicans did recognize it, I should have had fewer “Liberal BlahBlahBlah will not send American troops to defend the border with Mexico”. None of the ads said anything about the economy.

    Contrast this to the economy in 2000, which was grinding to a near halt as the stock markets crashed. This allegedly healthy economy was supposed to propel Gore into an easy win.

  8. Trying to get a prediction on the record somewhere, but the squirrels are bouncing me.

    D +25 House
    D +6 Senate
    D +8 Govenors

    Pretty much what Kos said yesterday. Makes sense.

  9. Isaac Bertram,

    I was in Florida the week before the primaries, and all of the ads were about whether the candidates received property tax rebates. I don’t get it.

    Paul,

    Read a little farther into my comment – I explained that the increase is illusory.

    Ammonium,

    Is it possible that the figures you’re looking at when you say “healthy economy” don’t accurately describe what is happening to most people?

  10. joe

    Since I didn’t vote in the primaries (although I was tempted to Register Dem so I could vote for Rod Smith but that’s another matter) I didn’t pay much attention.

    However the two big issues seem to be homeowners insurance premiums and property taxes.

    Homeowners insurance premiums because we live in a hurricane zone and everyone but the people who live here have figured out that they need to be higher. So while the rest of the country hates the Arabs because they control the oil in Florida we hate the Swiss because they control the reinsurance industry. Or something.

    Property taxes well just because they’re too high. Or something.

    As near as I can tell the winners here will be they candidates who are most convincing with they’re schemes to evade reality.

  11. Please ignore really stupid spelling and usage errors. You know what I mean.

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