So... What happened? I stayed up late. And I have to say... it is NOT all bad. If, like me, you are a California Republican you are used to weird election nights. As usual I watched the election at home. (I'm not a party animal.) But... I also actually like to watch the DETAILS instead of just shrieking or sobbing as a network "calls" a state. Because guess what? The networks have a twenty year history of getting ahead of their skis. So... With the help of a laptop and some index cards and a big fat sharpie I chase the election results on my own.
And my day after takeaways are as follows.
You can watch the video... Or print out my cheat sheet.
1) Quinnipiac had a really bad night and your very own Millennial Republican had a good night. No... my "team" as Fox News persists in calling a major political party did NOT have a red tsunami. But the polls, particularly the Quinnipiac polls, seem to have been ALL WRONG this year. And I actually may have successfully called 46 out of 50 states in the first week of October. Yes... check this blog post here from October 3rd... The map I colored in? The states I had as toss-ups? Seems like solo with no budget I (a total amateur) beat the forecasting abilities of some of the best paid professionals in the business. If I was Donald Trump I'd do my own peppermint patty version of the twist right now. But this isn't just about me being right, it is about the appalling lack of value of professional pollsters. We --or at least the media-- "call" elections based on polling data long before the actual count is in... but the pollsters seem to have been wildly wrong a lot of the time this year. (And back in 2016.) So maybe polling is a problem? I actually thought polls were and WOULD BE a problem pre-election. You can see the video I made and posted about polls pre-election here.
2) The Blue Wave Doesn't Exist. If you are, like me, a Republican you probably heard a lot of people talking on social media about how they FELT the "red tsunami" coming yesterday. Until about 5pm... then the optimists became pessimists and started drinking hard. I stayed sober yesterday, I'm also more of a realist than an optimist or a pessimist. Realistically it was going to be a tough night for Republicans. I was hoping for a decisive win for Trump. I knew there would NOT be a decisive win for Biden. (I didn't want it to come down to a few ballot boxes in Michigan and Pennsylvania... but I thought it was a possibility.) You can see the video here. Apparently we are looking at a situation which is somewhere between my scenario #2 and scenario #3. Basically we may be facing a replay of 2000. We don't really know what the outcome of the presidential election is right now. But... the smart money yesterday morning thought that there might be a "blue wave" in the House and Senate. Basically people thought the Democrats would pick up seats and possibly gain control of the Senate and go full on radical super majority in the House. That is NOT happening. In fact... Republicans seem to have held the Senate. And... some Democratic incumbents LOST their seats to feisty upstart Republicans. Once again.... I was weirdly right... Nicole Maliotakis looks like she won her race for the House. A couple of days before the election I wrote a snarky quick and dirty guide to watching the election and I tossed Nicole Maliotakis in to the mix as my New York state darkhorse candidate to watch. You can read about that here. It looks like my longshot gut feeling about Nicole Maliotakis was right. And SHE IS THE POTENTIAL FUTURE OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. She's an upper age range Millennial. She's the anti-AOC. She's half Cuban, half Greek, all New York. She hates communism. And she got elected in an urban district when Republicans don't compete well in urban districts. Quite frankly, I wish we could clone her. Not just for the Republican party, but for America as a whole. Because we need more candidates like Nicole Maliotakis.
3) The Red Tsunami Sort of Happened. No, the national map didn't go Reagan Red. But Florida did have a genuine red tsunami. I called Florida for the Republicans over a month ago. But I thought it would be tight. Maybe Trump would take Florida by 1-2 points by running up the panhandle vote. Guess what? Florida wasn't even close. Florida was a decisive blow it out of the water victory for the Republicans up and down the board. Trump won and the Republicans picked up some seats. More importantly, the Democrats' weird fascination with Socialism and race baiting seem to have failed in Florida. Florida Latinos LOVE TRUMP AND HATE SOCIALISM. So... Florida wasn't even close. Truly shocking.
4) I was totally wrong about Minnesota. Yes, I truly felt Minnesota might be in play this year. But... Minnesota seems to have reverted to whatever passes for normal this year.
5) Drugs Suck. If, in a few weeks when they actually STOP counting votes in Arizona --the networks "called" Arizona but as of now the Secretary of State says there are still too many uncounted ballots-- and Arizona goes blue it will be because of drug legalization. When pot legalization is on a state ballot it is ALWAYS a bad year for Republicans. Always. Oddly the toker vote is not the Republican vote. The toker vote also seems to be a single issue voter. (More so than the "religious" vote.) I truly suspect pot is the reason Republicans may never be contenders in Colorado again.
6) America is Worth A Few Long Nights: On Monday I actually spoke to a member of the press... I was a free range Republican in the wilds of Blue Marin not afraid to be seen on camera representing on behalf of all the closeted Republicans. I don't have a social life these days anyway so what the hey? And although I'm fairly certain we had nothing in common politically... He rather kindly said I was wonky and brilliant. More importantly, he asked a question I've been thinking about for a couple of days. Maybe it was a leading question, in the hours leading up to a vicious and contested election he wanted to know how I felt about Democracy. I love questions, I'm all about the questions. It is one of the main reasons I think of myself as a First Amendment voter. I like questions. And censorship --which I truly think is the enemy of 2020-- kills questions. So in answer? Yes, I feel good about Democracy. Win, lose or draw I believe in America. And I do really wish this race wasn't going to be decided by a couple of precincts in a state with a questionable history at the ballot box. (I've been to some of the cool museums in Philadelphia... Philadelphia has a lot of history, a lot of great history, and a lot of seedy moments politically.)
So remember... this isn't over yet. In fact this election is still in progress. And that is o.k. Until recently we didn't usually know on election night who won and who lost.