We are almost at the end of another exhaustingly long presidential election cycle. And if those of us not on the ballot think it has been exhausting, imagine how those on the ballot must feel.
Anxiety at the top
Obviously for most voters, the race for President of the United States is the most important. Or perhaps most troublesome, depending upon your outlook on life. As for the outlook on the election, a recent NY Times/CBS News poll found that 82% of those surveyed say that the 2016 campaign has made them feel more disgusted about politics. If they had asked me, I’d have made it in that 82%. What a disgusting cycle. Which disgusting major party candidate is going to be the next POTUS? My guess is Hillary Clinton but who knows?
As far as I’m concerned the worst thing for the country would be a razor thin victory by either candidate. What a nightmare that would be. I hope that whomever wins does so by a landslide. It doesn’t look like that is going to happen but one can hope. As a traditional conservative Republican, I think the best thing for the party’s ideas would be for Clinton to win in a landslide. If she does, maybe, just maybe we can save the party’s ideas from the populism and nonsensical policies that the Trump nomination has given us. John Tamny has written a very good defense of this position:
Why Republicans Should Hope Donald Trump Loses In A Landslide
All of which brings us to Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president. Republicans who care about the long-term health of the Party, Republicans who are proud of the great ideas that Reagan, Kemp and Forbes represented, and still represent thanks to Forbes, and Republicans who care about the Party’s brand as an optimistic one defined by free markets, growth, and shining city on the hill inclusion, must hope Trump loses on Tuesday. Better yet, they should hope he loses in an historically big way precisely because Republicans choose not to vote for him in big numbers.
If Trump were to win in any fashion, all of the battles we’ve fought on policy over the years are gone out the window as government expands beyond our wildest imagination and continues to constrict our freedom. The best thing we can do at that point is to hope that we were wrong all along about our theory of government and that his supporters get to say “told you so!” A Clinton win at least gives us a chance to regroup and try again in four years.
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Harris County predictions
Most of the Harris County elected officials, political consultants and political scientists that I talk to think that a Democratic wave will wash over Harris County. Which is terrible news for the Republican candidates on the ballot if true but remember that at this level, it is mostly hunches, educated guesses and guesstimates. If HCRP Chair Paul Simpson’s ground game is as good as advertised, then there may yet be hope. As the PC saying goes, it ain’t over till the gender neutral person with an excessive body fat percentage sings.
A couple of charts from Harris County:
The top chart shows the leap in registrations from the 2012 presidential election. The bottom chart tracks the trend of voters choosing to mail-in or early vote in person versus showing up on election day. The election day bar for 2016 is my estimate of the number of people that will show up to vote in Harris County tomorrow.
* 2016 Election Day % and Turnout % are estimates
If my estimate is right, that will total roughly 1.42 million voters for Harris County, an easy all time record. I also think that you are going to see an all time high in turnout for Spanish surname voters. And I don’t think that that is a good thing for the Harris County Republican Party’s strategy of turning out the base in lieu of expanding their pool of voters.
Hope for the outcome
As noted above, I’m hoping for a landslide for whichever presidential candidate wins. As for the Congress, it looks like a toss up for the Senate and that the Republicans will hold on to the House, albeit with a smaller majority. If the Senate flips, all of those predictions about a generations long liberal Supreme Court might come to fruition, regardless which candidate wins. Ouch. I sure wish that a Republican had won the Republican nomination. Imagine if…there I go dreaming again. Nevermind.
In Harris County, it is looking more and more likely that we will get a new direction at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office by electing Kim Ogg. I’m hoping that enough non-straight ticket or straight ticket with crossover votes prevail and elect deserving Republicans, most notably Sheriff Ron Hickman, Tax Assessor Collector Mike Sullivan and candidate for County Attorney Jim Leitner, along with most of the Republican judges.
If you do vote tomorrow, please remember to treat the election workers as you would wish to be treated. It will be a very long day for us.