Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Reasons to Be Optimistic About the Midterm Election

For weeks now--maybe even months--the media narrative has been that the Democrats are going to get destroyed in the midterm election. I've been skeptical, for a variety of reasons (ranging from my own hardheadedness to the
Republican party's apparent repugnance). But I've also been skeptical of lopsided polls (such as this one that put Republicans up more than ten points), since I figured they were probably heavily skewed towards older people with landlines, who, as a whole, tend to vote much more conservative than their younger counterparts.

Now Nate Silver, the election oracle over at Five Thirty Eight, has cited "the cellphone effect" as the number one reason why Democrats might do better than pundits are expecting. A study by the Pew Research center concludes that a failure to include cell phone users--who are typically younger, more urban, and less white--could "bias the polls" by 4 percent or more. Which could be the difference in any number of close races.

I remain optimistic. The Republicans might win the House, but it won't be nearly as bad as everyone has been predicting. I just wish Silver had written this article a week ago.

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