The Evening Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)
[I will be live-blogging the mid-term election results here starting at 6:00 p.m. Central Time Tuesday. Please join me in the comments section for tons of fun as the results either make me look like the smartest guy on the planet or a damn fool. Could go either way.]
Some pro tips for Election Night Results-Watching:
- We may have a very good idea on how the House balance of power will end up fairly early in the evening. – A large number of the “tossup” seats in this election are in closely-divided districts in Florida, Virginia, New York and Pennsylvania, all in the Eastern time zone. So, by 8 p.m. Central Time, we should have a pretty good idea of what the trend in those districts is, or if there is no trend at all.
- There aren’t many other key House districts in the Central or Mountain time zones. – Once you get out of the states on the Eastern Seaboard, you only have a handful of key House districts until you get to California, where the Democrats are heavily contesting 10 remaining GOP-held seats. If the Ds haven’t clinched the majority in the House by the time polls close in California, it’s going to be a long night. If they have, the state loses its importance in the grand scheme of things, though it will still be interesting to see if Rs like Dana Rohrabacher can hang in there for one more term in office.
- If the House goes early, the Senate probably will, too. – Here is where Florida is such a key. The Republicans are going to end up at least 60,000 votes ahead of 2016 in the early voting results. Trump won Florida by 117,000 votes in 2016, so if you add 60,000 to that, you get a fairly high hill for incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson to climb in his run for re-election against sitting GOP Governor Rick Scott. If we see Scott losing this race by, say, 5% or more when the early returns come in, then that will likely mean it’s going to be along night for the GOP. If we see Scott keeping it closer than that in the early returns, that means good news for Republicans is probably going to be coming in all night long.
- Georgia’s governor’s race is also key. – This race shouldn’t be as close as the polls claim it is. If the early returns show a neck-and-neck race here, then you can probably expect a pretty late night overall.
- Don’t be surprised if Irish Bob O’Rourke leads Ted Cruz early in Texas. – The major metro areas in Texas lean Democrat as a whole, and their returns always come in earlier than the rural counties. Hillary Clinton led Donald Trump by ~160,000 votes when the early voting was reported at 7:00 by the Secretary of State’s office. But then the rural counties started to come in and that more than reversed. In total, rural Texas went for Trump by more than 1 million votes in 2016. Expect to see a similar dynamic in this race.
- Ignore leaked “exit polls.” – At some point around mid-day, one more more major media outlets will report on “leaked” exit poll information showing Democrats well ahead and moving towards their long-coveted “blue wave.” Ignore those reports. First of all, these “exit polls” are commissioned by those same damn media outlets, and the “leaks” are designed to depress GOP turnout on Election Day. They’ve been playing this despicable game since 2000. The good news is, it never works.
- It’s Ok to watch CNN. – Aside from the obvious benefits of seeing all the long faces over there if the Republicans have a good night, John King was actually much better and more even-handed at reporting on results and trends than anyone else on Election Night 2016. Fox News was actually the worst place to be on Election Night 2016, as they focused far more on giving everyone with a contributor contract time to weigh in on stuff they know nothing about than on actually reporting on election results. Thus, Fox News was among the last to recognize the reality that Trump was actually about to win.
- Whenever Juan Williams or Shep Smith appear on your TV screen, change channels. – Trust me, it’s better for your blood pressure.
- Pace yourself on your favorite beverage. – Don’t hit the juice too hard early, because it could be a long night, just like 2016. And don’t break out the champagne too early like all the Democrats did two years ago – it’ll go flat in just a few hours, and that’s never good.
Personally, I’ll be drinking Tito’s and Topo Chico with a twist of lime and a couple of cubes of sugared ginger root – my own personal Texas Mule recipe. If Florida goes bad early, that’ll probably start showing up in my updates around 8:30 Central Time.
Be careful out there.
Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon
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