In every midterm election since 1876, with three exceptions, the President’s party has lost seats. Voter turnout is always significantly lower in midterm years than in presidential election years. Out of eligible, registered voters: 62.8% voted in 2008, 54.2% voted in 2012, and 58% voted in 2016. Meanwhile, only 40% voted in 2010 and an abysmal 37%, the lowest number in a century, in 2014.
Polls are fluctuating but generally show that the Democrats will take control of the House and Republicans will retain control of the Senate and maybe pick up 1-2 seats. Real Clear Politics takes the average of several polls to make their projections. As of November 1, Real Clear has projected 6 toss-up Senate seats: Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, and Nevada.
Democrats only need to pick up 23 seats in the House to take control and hand the Speaker’s gavel to Nancy Pelosi. Real Clear has categorized 15 House seats currently held by a Republican as leaning or likely Democrat, 30 as toss ups, and 43 as likely/leaning Republican. Meanwhile, only 2 seats currently held by a Democrat are categorized as likely/leaning Republican, 4 are toss ups, and 16 are likely/leaning Democrat.
I encourage you to take all of this, throw it out the window, and go vote anyway.
Back on Election Day in 2016, the New York Times projected that Hillary Clinton had a 99% chance of taking the Presidency. Pretty much no one thought Trump had any chance. As the night went on and results came in, that number got smaller and smaller, until around 3:00 a.m. when AP projected President Trump the winner.
There are an infinite number of theories as to why the polls were so wrong, and I am not here to speculate on those reasons. I am not a polling expert by any means, but the way we poll Americans has largely not changed. Most people don’t have landlines, don’t answer unknown numbers on their cell phones, and internet polls are unreliable and flawed (you can often vote more than once). Voter enthusiasm doesn’t always equate to voter turnout, this is especially true with young voters, and people who participate in polls or hold protest signs don’t necessarily show up to vote. However, angry people DO vote, and we have seen a lot of anger from the left.
The 2016 election will be analyzed for the rest of time, and unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, most people miss the point. 2016 was more than a referendum on President Obama’s policies, it was a referendum on D.C. as a whole. A very large population of the electorate felt intentionally ignored by both parties; people were tired of being promised the world and given nothing. Conservatives were tired of putting up good men only to see the left annihilate and slander them.
Now we are facing a similar situation. We know where the policies of the left will lead: government funded abortion, persecution for people of faith, , policies that deny ethical scientific principles, disrespect for the rule of law, and mob rule. People were appalled at the behavior of the left during the Kavanaugh confirmations and it will get much, much worse if those tactics are justified. A win on Tuesday for radical leftists who are calling for incivility against their peers and fellow Americans, will do just this.
A couple of weeks ago, I laid out what we have to lose in this election. I witnessed first-hand the rage and frustration of the mob. This is not politics as we knew it five years ago, this is unhinged tyranny. So, what can we do? It’s really simple, just show up. Don’t fall for the lie that your vote doesn’t count or doesn’t matter. Last year, the control of the entire Virginia House of Delegates was determined by one vote. If everyone in your family. friend group, or church thought, “my vote doesn’t even really count; I’m just one person”, then that adds up to a lot more than one vote.
If you are able, help your neighbors and co-workers who have mobility or transportation challenges get to the polls. This Sunday encourage members from your church to vote. Ask your pastor to make an announcement reminding everyone to vote on Tuesday. We have a great resource online that details political guidelines for pastors and churches if you’re not sure what you can say. Lastly, please pray for our nation. Regardless of the results of Tuesday’s election, we have deep divisions that cannot be healed by politicians or humans, but only through God’s love and redeeming grace.