Thursday, November 9, 2023

Good News For John McCain

I realize I may be whipping this point beyond your patience, but bear with me.  Here it is: I am getting very tired of hearing that no matter how well the Democrats are doing in off-year elections and the Republicans are a trainwreck with a felonious engineer at the throttle, the Very Serious Pundits are still convinced that Joe Biden is gonna lose.

Almost every Tuesday election since the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has brought good news for Democrats.

Last night was no exception.

Abortion rights and marijuana legalization prevailed in Ohio. Democrats held the governor’s mansion in Kentucky, took full control of the State Legislature in Virginia and won a Supreme Court election in Pennsylvania. They even were competitive in Mississippi.

In one sense, the results were no surprise. The polls showed Democrats and their causes ahead in these races, and the party has excelled in low-turnout special elections over the last year.

But the results were especially elating for Democrats against the backdrop of the latest polls, including the newest New York Times/Siena College poll, which seemed to spell doom for the Democrats. There was no doom Tuesday night.

To many, the contradiction between Democrats’ success at the ballot box and their struggles in surveys seems to suggest the polling can’t be right.

It’s an understandable response — but it’s probably wrong.

There’s no contradiction between the polling and Tuesday’s election results. There’s not even a contradiction between the polling and the last year of special elections.

Put simply: Tuesday’s results don’t change the picture for President Biden heading into 2024.

This is the equivalent to the mantra we heard in 2008 when Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination and the VSP’s agreed that it was good news for John McCain.  When Sarah Palin blew across the stage like a sugared-up eight-year-old and blathering about Obama being a terrorist, that was good news for John McCain.  And when Barack Obama won the election in November 2008, it was — wait for it — good news for John McCain because he could regroup and come back in 2012 without the burden of the nitwit from Wasilla.

Tuesday night’s election results are nothing but great news for the Democrats across the country, and guess what: Joe Biden is a Democrat and he’s the president.  And as I explained the other day, poll numbers a year before the election are meaningless.

What’s even more fucking annoying is that the Democrats are predictably losing their collective fecal matter and publicly wondering if it’s too late to repeal the 22nd Amendment and get Barack Obama out of retirement.

Let this cooler head prevail.  E.J. Dionne in the Washington Post:

Tuesday’s bombshells pointed almost entirely toward Democratic resilience and Republican weakness. Yes, Biden has much work to do in dealing with voters’ worries about his age, high prices and immigration. But imagine what we’d have heard if Republican efforts in Kentucky and, at the end, in Virginia to make the elections about Biden had defeated Democrats. Dodging that bullet gives Biden a chance to regroup and to crow just a little, as he did on X: “Voters vote,” he wrote. “Polls don’t.”

As I said the other day, stop already.

One bark on “Good News For John McCain

  1. I had to turn off MSNBC last night because it was mostly meaningless jabber about polls. Chris Hayes in particular reminded me of the Monty Python arguments sketch (“This isn’t an argument….it’s simple contradiction.” “Is not.”)

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