Alexandra Erin @alexandraerin Alfie Award-winning author and commentator. Support Me: QUERY: [email protected] (She/her) Nov. 05, 2018 4 min read

So, there's a point Nate Silver keeps trying to make that I'm not sure is penetrating, which is that saying something has a 1 in 6 or 1 in 7 or 2 in 9 chance of happening, or whatever, is *not* saying it can't or won't happen.

Those are real odds. Solid chances.

You shouldn't bet your life savings on a 1 in 6 chance, but you wouldn't bet your life against it, either.

Whatever anyone says, whatever odds anyone is laying, there is a real chance for us to seize the Senate tomorrow and there is a real danger that we lose the House.

What we od about both of those pieces of information is: we vote.

I think it's possible, even likely, that there are multiple factors at work in this election that no one yet knows how to poll for and that the models don't fully account for. Far-fetched? "I trust Nate Silver's methodology." Yeah, but his methodology allows for this.

It's why Nate gives odds and not predictions.

It's not "The Republicans are winning the senate with 80%", it's "There's an 80% chance the Republicans win the senate." The distinction is not trivial.

As @dynamicsymmetry just pointed out to me: virtually nobody of their age or younger answers phone numbers they don't recognize, but that's not even exclusively the "youth" vote.

If you're in your late 20s or early 30s and all of your friends are reasonably progressive and you're the "ugh, why would you leave a voicemail?" generation that uses your phones for everything but phones... you are under-polled.

Lot of people in their 40s are chiming in to say this applies to them, too. I believe it. I just think it's more of a solid generational thing the younger you get, and my point is that I think it solidifies well above the "youth" margin.

Now, the campaigns and parties have more sophisticated polling and data operations that they don't share (insiders call these "internals", or "internal polls") that often give them a more accurate picture of what's happening on the ground.

And I think there is reason to believe that, for instance, Ted Cruz is nervous, more nervous than the last public polls justify for him to be.

Now, Beto O'Rourke has been underwater for so long that I don't think the real odds are better than a coin toss. But victory is in reach. It's not about where the coin lands. It's about what we do. It's about if we vote.

The Republican strategy tips their hand every time. They try to depress turnout with smears and misinformation, they suppress votes with bureaucratic obstacles and threats of legal intimidation.


Because when The People vote, they lose.

There is not a state in this union that is so red that it does not have enough people of conscience, people of principle, people who love their neighbors and believe in a better future, that it could not flip at least some offices blue.

(I'm old enough to remember when I said I probably wasn't going to make any speeches today.)

The GOP wins because it does not concede that there are blue states. There are states they don't care about at the moment for the Electoral College, but Putin's not-so-secret agent Dana Rohrabacher is a California Congressman. Devin Nunes is a California Congressman.

Trump won the electoral college in part because of a data-driven campaign in the final days that shored up support in a small number of districts in a small number of state states that were "supposed to be" blue.

The GOP *keeps* going after things that are "impossible" or "political non-starters" or "not even on the table" and they force shifts in the Overton window and the terms of debate until the walls we didn't bother to defend come tumbling down.

We can do the same to them. We're watching that kind of shift happen with universal healthcare, for instance. We can go after them in their "fortress" states. We can force them to fight to defend Texas and anywhere else you've been told is "solid red".

"But can it possibly matter, with all the gerrymandering and voter suppression? Will it even be enough if we do everything we can?"

We can't possibly know the answer to that. The only way to find out is to try. If we do anything less than our best, we'll never know.

There's one of those nonsensical phrases that people throw around, "the proof is in the pudding". It's actually a mangling of a very sensical phrase: "The proof of the pudding is in the eating."

Is the pudding good?

Don't know.

But there's only one way to find out.

We're not going to know what's winnable until we try to win it. We're not going to know what's doable until we do it.

So, if you're seeing this thread RTed, then as they say dans la belle Tumblr,

~ * ~ follow for more soft e x h o r t a t i on ~ * ~,

and if you are able to vote and haven't yet, then


(And tip your Weird Twitter Politics Mom, she's had a grueling week. )

You can follow @alexandraerin.


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