As is historically the case, the opposition party to the one in power is poised for big gains during the midterm election. This time around, it happens to be the Democrats. Hopes for a so-called “Blue Wave” have steadily risen.
Meanwhile, the Republicans have fired back with their own “All Lives Matter”-esque counter-branding, by declaring an impending “Red Wave.” (The only thing I can think of every time I hear this slogan is the destructive ocean algae blooms known as “Red Tide.” But, that's neither here nor there.)
Polls have been cited in both directions. First the generic ballot for Democrats looked good. Then, Republicans seemed to have closed the enthusiasm gap.
“Just over a month away from critical elections across the country, the wide Democratic enthusiasm advantage that has defined the 2018 campaign up to this point has disappeared, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll,” reported NPR's Domenico Montanaro on Oct. 3. “In July, there was a 10-point gap between the number of Democrats and Republicans saying the November elections were 'very important.' Now, that is down to 2 points, a statistical tie.”
Because I am signed for practically every campaign email list in the area, I see this same news repeated on a local level. I can't count the number of fundraising emails which have clogged my inbox declaring the polls are moving in one candidate's director or another.
From a fundraising perspective, I guess I can understand the reasoning behind this messaging. No one wants to go out on a limb and throw money at a cause with no hope of succeeding. If they thought outside the box and wanted to suppress their opponent's turnout and bolster their own, here's what they ought to do: Instead of boasting about how well they're doing in the polls, what they should employ a little bit of reverse psychology by stressing to supporters it's a dead heat. (Of course, they'll never do that.)
The bad news is, no one knows if any of these projections are true. I, myself, stopped making bold electoral predictions some time during the early morning hours of Nov. 9, 2016. I would suggest everyone else follow suit.
The good news is, there is one poll that does count: Voting.
Vote early. Vote absentee. There's no reason to wait until Election Day.
I'm begging you: Vote.
Millions and millions of others around the world are not able to vote in any meaningful way. Democracy is not inevitable. Use it or lose it.
Don't count on any waves or tides to save us. All we have is us.