Nearly the entire mainstream media has spent the past week telling us that the Democrats will get blown out in the midterms. Tonight they’ll cherry pick the ugliest exit polls and hold them up as proof. Then if we lose Florida they’ll say it’s all over. Then they’ll insist Republicans have huge leads in other states. And it’ll all be bullshit.
For starters, the expert predictions of a big Republican win are based entirely on polling down the stretch, which even polling analysts have admitted has become unreliable. The experts are also insisting we ignore the early voting data that appears to heavily favor Democrats.
Then there are the dreaded exit polls, which due to the frantic way they have to be conducted, are even less reliable than normal polls. They’re essentially always wrong, and usually way wrong. Yet the exit polls arrive at a time in the early evening where the media has no other numbers to work with, so it disingenuously hypes them.
Of all the heavily contested states in 2022, the evidence suggests Florida could go the most poorly for the Democrats. It’ll also be one of the first states where races are called But the Democrats lost the major races FLorida in 2018, and the Democrats still ended up taking the House. If Republicans do win Florida tonight, the media will conveniently forget this.
We already know that several key states will begin announcing Republican-dominated same day voting, before announcing Democrat-dominated early and mail-in voting. We saw this “red mirage” in 2020 but still won. We’ll see who in the media is honest about this as it’s happening, and who in the media uses it as an opportunity to manufacture suspense by pretending the Republicans are way ahead.
Control of the Senate will likely come down to Arizona and Nevada. The House may come down to Arizona, Nevada and California. Those are all in later time zones. We’ll see if the national media even admits those western states exist, while it’s hyping east coast results as supposedly definitive of the national trend.
Georgia will go to a runoff in December if neither candidate hits 50%. But if Herschel Walker is ahead coming down the stretch, it’s possible the media will build phony suspense by letting audiences think he’s about to win, then only acknowledge the runoff system at the end of the night.
There is also a very good chance we’ll wake up tomorrow still not knowing who won the House or Senate majority, due to the time it takes to count mail in ballots. So tonight could just be one long exercise in fretting, with no meaningful results either way. Prepare yourself.
I do not know if we will win. I believe it will be close, and will come down to how many of you put in the work on getting out the vote. But if we win, I expect the entire media and pundit class will spend all night insisting we’re going to lose (or have lost), before we win.
Finally, in any midterm cycle, even if your party wins the majority, some specific people you like will lose. And it will suck. It always happens, and it always sucks. But remember: what matters tonight, in terms of everything we’re hoping and trying to do, is the MAJORITY. Everything else is secondary.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report