The election is upon us. Tuesday, about 50% to 55% of those eligible to vote, plus some dead citizens, some non-citizens and others totally ineligible to vote, will head to the polls and cast their votes to be tallied with the votes of those (dead and alive, and otherwise eligible and ineligible) who already have cast votes in the early voting periods, and those who voted by absentee ballot.
The probable outcome: The Republicans will not do as well as they expect, and the Democrats will not do as poorly as they fear.
There are several reasons for this. One is that the news media have beat it into our heads that the Republicans are going to accomplish a sweep this election, so many Republicans who might have voted will not show up at the polls. Conversely, the Democrats will have instilled enough fear in their ranks that they can expect a more vigorous turnout than predicted.
Another reason is that the Democratic Party in particular is quite adept at voter fraud—it will do whatever possible to prevent absentee votes or to conveniently “lose” absentee ballots, on the assumption that the majority will be military personnel who tend to vote Republican; and we have heard numerous reports of people voting straight Republican tickets, only to have the voting machine record the vote for Democrats, a phenomenon explained away by elections commissioners (always Democrats) as “machine malfunctions that of course have been corrected,” who always follow that by claiming that the Republicans are guilty of “voter suppression” (and to be sure, that probably is true).
But the main reason is this: Americans are divided into three main political categories: Liberal (Democratic Party) and Conservative (Republican Party) compete in elections for the votes of a third group: independent Americans, meaning those the pollsters cannot ascribe to one of the other two groups. It is a fluid group generally comprising those who are honestly open-minded about which candidate for whom they’ll vote, those who have become disillusioned with the candidate or party for whom they last voted, those who don’t like either of the two major parties, and those who simply are ignorant of the candidates or issues attending a particular election, but who insist on voting anyway.
There are many more Democrats than Republicans, so elections are decided by the independents. Only if a large number of them vote Republican can Republicans win. In this particular election, a lot of independents who in 2008 voted for Obama are disillusioned with him; however, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will vote Republican. Some will, of course, and others just will not vote at all. But the bottom line is that if a significant number of those independents who voted Democratic in 2008 do so again in 2010, the Democrats will not fare as poorly as the media has predicted, especially if even a few Republicans are complacent and fail to vote.
My prediction is that Republicans will gain 60 seats in the House of Representatives to win control, but only 8 Senate seats, not enough to win control of that body.
That will be a good outcome. With Republicans controlling the House, but Democrats controlling the Senate, and a Democratic president who will wield a veto over legislation, the Congress will be able to do little for the next two years. When the Congress is deadlocked, Americans are safer, if only for a little while.