Login Register Logout Edit Account search
One Last Look at the Old Polls While the New Ones Are All Over the Place
Dov Fischer
by

The polls going into Tuesday are all over the place. Some are obvious and clear: Pocahontas will win in the tribal lands of Massachusetts, Gillibrand will win in New York, Hutchinson in Arkansas, Bernie in Vermont, McMaster in South Carolina. But lots of key races really are hard to gauge.

The pro-Trump personalities whom I like, like dear wonderful Sean Hannity — though I wish to tears he would let his conservative guests finish their thoughts uninterrupted — boldly predict the Republicans will hold the House. It feels good to hear, but these assertions arise from pure wistfulness, though they might turn out true. Kind of like the Ghost of Christmas Future. Other pundits “boldly” predict the Republicans will barely hold the Senate but lose the House by 5-9 seats. Again, that takes no genius — just a peek at the daily Real Clear Politics (RCP) averages that anyone can do. 

The numbers this mid-term are so unpredictable. Maybe polls will prove to be spot-on. Maybe not. They are oh-so all over the place.

In Florida for example: Rick Scott up one, Bill Nelson up two — both within the margin of error. Does that even make sense? Scott has been so successful statewide as Florida governor, and Nelson is such a nothing, not even a half-nelson. In Arizona, Sinema up 3 or 6, yet McSally up 7. But does that include the Taliban vote? Next door in Nevada, Rosen up 3, but Heller up 4 or up 7. In Missouri, between Hawley and McCaskill — a tie. A tie? Eight out of the last twelve Missouri polls have it at a tie? In a state of six million people, exactly the same number of Democrats and Republicans are going to trade off votes and end up in a tie? Well, show me.

In 2016, there were some real doozies: the RCP average going into Election night had Democrat Katie McGinty winning the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate seat by 2 points. In fact, however, Republican Pat Toomey won. In Indiana, Republican Todd Young beat Democrat Evan Bayh for United States Senate by nearly ten points even though the RCP average had the two within less than a point’s difference from each other. Likewise, Republican Ron Johnson beat Democrat Russ Feingold for United States Senate from Wisconsin even though 30 out of 31 polls predicted a Feingold victory. 

Two years earlier, at the last midterms in 2014, the RCP average gave the North Carolina U.S. Senate seat to Democrat Kay Hagan, but the voters gave it to Republican Thom Tillis. They gave the Kansas seat to Greg Orman by 0.8 points, but Pat Roberts won it by 10.8. They correctly had Joni Ernst winning Iowa, but the RCP average of 2.3 was way less than the 8.5 percent by which she actually won. Same with David Perdue’s win in Georgia: RCP averaged Perdue at plus 3.0, and he actually won by 7.9. Yet the RCP average was spot-on with Dan Sullivan’s win in Alaska and Cory Gardner’s in Colorado.

So what to make of it all? A few weeks ago, RCP published a New York Times poll that had my Congressional representative, Mimi Walters, down but still barely within the outer contours of the margin of error. And then suddenly on Saturday, that same polling agency now has her roaring forth, practically tied with a 4.6 margin of error to boot. If we can hold a few of those Mimi Walters seats, maybe we save the House, get a Middle Class tax cut, protect the border and finally build the Dam Wall, keep up the pressure on Iran and the Korean Doughboy, and — most importantly — prevent Pelosi and Maxine from closing down the country for the next two years with endless investigations into Trump’s haircuts, Trump’s cholesterol counts, and Trump’s Nielsen ratings.

Remember: Typical polls emerge from surveying some 500 to 2,000 likely voters. So they do convey percentages as to how Christians will vote, Jews, Blacks, Asians, Latinos, Whites, men, women, union workers, left-handed Albanians, Deplorables, Felons, Democrats reposing in Chicago and Minneapolis cemeteries, Illegals. The trick is then to project those percentages onto a likely turnout. Ay, there’s the rub: Guessing the turnout.

Usually, after enough voting cycles, the pollsters evolve some sense of likely turnout: how many Blacks will vote, Whites, men, women, Jews, Christians, dead people in Chicago, Virginia felons, college kids, seniors. The turnout predictions are pretty reliable. But this year may be really different — or maybe not.

College kids, for example, have their professors exhorting them to vote against Trump. But they also have classes, assignments, and parties to balance. Well, if they could text their vote, sure: 1 4 pillow C LOL. But the Democrats have not yet passed a Constitutional Amendment to extend the franchise to texting. So what’s a college kid to do? Mail the ballot? Dude, that takes a — waddyacallit? — stamp and an envelope. (Eyes roll. Snorting sound while inhaling through two nose rings and a pin.) And where ya gonna find a bio-degradable stamp with organic glue on Election Day? Because, like, there’s trees and stuff.

So, yes, many collegiates will vote. But who knows how many? Some are laser-focused on the elections, others in Watters World.

Q: Whom did we fight in the Revolutionary War?
A: Uh, the Revolutionists?
(spoken in uptalk)

Q: Whom did we fight in the Civil War?
A: China?

Q: Whom did we fight in the Vietnam War?
A: The Koreans?

So how accurately can that turnout be discerned? And even if they do show up at a balloting station, and they are not threatened by the New Black Panthers, what happens when they find that Trump is, uh, not on the ballot? Dude!

Next. African Americans historically have lower turnout than do Caucasians. The Democrats, mired in Identity Politics and projecting their own racism onto everyone else, blame it on Voter ID laws. In a country where you have to show your ID at the doctor, the supermarket check-out line, the high-tech store, the pharmacy, the airport, and the bank — and African Americans have no problem obtaining health care, food, technology devices, and medicines; and no problem flying and depositing or withdrawing money at the bank — Left Democrats dishonestly blame Voter ID laws for suppressing turnout. In reality there was a robust Black voter turnout in cycles when Obama was on the ballot, but not so when Obama merely was campaigning during mid-terms. So how does that play out in 2018?

And do we really know whether Black voting will parallel prior cycles when that community tragically put all its eggs in one deplorable Democrat basket? Has the African-American community seen the profound improvements in their lives during the first two Trump years, the record-low in unemployment, the concomitant record number of good-paying jobs, pay bonuses, salary increases, reduced crime outside the cities run by Democrats? Is that enough to bring out more African Americans voting Republican or at least just sitting home and letting the Democrats sucker some other demographic? Surveys reflect that President Trump has made serious inroads in the Black community, but does that translate on Election Day? Hard to know.

Same with Latinos. Many are hard-working entrepreneurs with small businesses. Any small-business owner knows, whether in “1 for English” or “2 for Spanish,” how life and business has improved with the Trump Republican slashing of Obama job-killing regulations. Again — salaries are rising, businesses are profiting, the unemployed are back at work with the lowest Hispanic unemployment numbers ever. Do Univision and Jorge Ramos overcome that? I don’t know. In terms of logic, I don’t see how. “Judge Judy” titled one of her books: Don’t Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It’s Raining. Can the past two years of urinating by Ramos and Don Lemon and all the Trump-haters really convince People of Color that they never have had it worse — that it is raining — when in fact they never have had it better? I don’t know. In terms of logic — impossible. But Hitler taught us that a Big Lie, if repeated often enough, eventually comes to be believed. For two years, even three, the Big Lie at CNN and MSNBC and WaPo and the New York Times continues to be disseminated: ICE are Nazis, the Illegals just are a bunch of aspiring patriots who wave El Salvador flags and lovely women and scrumptious children, thousands of dollars in pay bonuses and large salary increases are just crumbs. If only we can have another 20 million Illegals to feed, clothe, educate, and medically service, how much better and happier we all would be — and won’t that be especially beneficial for African American and Latino employment and take-home pay!

Logically, that message should not resonate among Americans of Color. And with Asian Americans rightly suing Harvard over race discrimination, do they really want Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters at the helm, legislating always-expanding Affirmative Action programs that denigrate their merit? And yet the Big Lie has been repeated non-stop for more than two years. Has it impacted?

And then there are women. Women actually are kind-of similar to men. They like to eat when hungry, sleep when tired, dress warmer when cold, increase the A/C when hot. Yes, despite fifty years of liberal university education aimed, often successfully, at convincing men to be more feminine — and sociology majors and Women’s Studies majors and final exams questions in all fields outside STEM demanding them to parrot that there is absolutely no difference between the sexes — there are differences.

For example, women are more sensitive than are men about their appearances. Oooops — not supposed to say that. Take it back: Men and women absolutely have no difference whatsoever in terms of how they feel about their appearances. It’s just that men forget where they left their lipstick, blush, eye shadow, rouge, mascara, make-up, eyebrow pincers, and sparkles.

OK, so in the world of reality, where there really are only two genders — because that really is all there are (Gen. 1:27) — women and men do have some differences. Thus, for example, it is an abject disaster any time a man calls any woman a “horseface” — especially, ouch! — less than a month before the elections. Ouch! But will that impact how women vote on Tuesday?

Many women have higher priorities, like a greater concern for safety than do men. First of all, men are socialized to be tougher, even those who get feminized by their social sciences professors and the Politically Correct campus culture. Sure, women get into bar fights — all the time? — by throwing the contents of a drink in their antagonist’s face. By contrast, when men get into bar fights, the result is a page-one story, a movie, and three life sentences (resulting in an execution in Texas or in the opportunity to run for elected office in San Francisco). Not only are women less physically tough, less socialized to put up their dukes — did you ever hear a lady challenge another to “put up your dutchesses”? — but they are more endangered because evil-doers pick on them more readily. Given a choice between attacking an unsuspecting man or woman, most criminals go for the woman.

So if women are more security-conscious and sensitive to crime, one would expect they would vote Republican. Under President Trump and Republicans, crime is pursued more energetically. Police are firmly supported instead of demonized by haters from Antifa and Black Lives Matter, who actually chant to kill cops. Prisoners are locked up and kept there. Don’t women want that? President Trump is trying to protect the southern border from the ingress of opioids, MS-13 animals, human trafficking of children and women, and Middle-Eastern-inspired terrorists. Data in cities that Democrats rule and where the worst crime statistics exist — Chicago, Detroit, Memphis — could not be more clear. Don’t women want safety?

Moreover, women want jobs just as men do. Women are sensitive to the economy, to feeding themselves and their spouses and their kids. Under the Republicans, the Obama economic nightmare is over. People are back to work. Incomes rising. Bonuses. Tax cuts. How is that not a great reason for women to vote for the GOP? The majority of Caucasian married women selected Donald Trump over “I’m with Her.”

To the degree that the Democrats set up the Brett Kavanaugh hearings to foil a great Supreme Court nomination, and simultaneously to purloin the women’s vote, by now that not only has backfired but has been proven another Big Lie. It took a month, but more Americans than ever now know that Christine Blasey Ford is a liar and perjurer who, by the way, now has made a cool million bucks in a month of crowd-funding while becoming a living legend hero at Palo Alto College. There are moments when one wonders why more men, too, don’t write letters to Dianne Feinstein telling her that Kavanaugh also raped them. A million bucks in a month, and such an easy lie. Not to mention Swetnick, Avenatti, and the rest of the circus that now has left town. #WeBelieveConnivers.

So how will women vote? Will married Caucasian women really opt to give Maxine Waters the House Financial Services Committee? Do they really want to bring the feces and urine of Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco to a theater near them? Hard to know.

It all will come down to turnout. And, of course, the ultimate Unknowable: the Trump Factor.

We now know from the 2010 and 2014 mid-terms that Obama had no coattails. If anything, he backfired. In so many elections where he campaigned, the Republican won. That was becauseHis arrogance oozed, especially once Americans got to know him. But African Americans came out in droves to vote for him, understandably in light of the historical Black experience. Ironically, he snookered Black America for a ride, becoming a multi-millionaire many times over on their unsuspecting backs, while leaving African Americans with abysmally depressed economic figures and cities like Ferguson and Baltimore burning. They never got to golf with him on Martha’s Vineyard.

But what of Trump? He has been barnstorming like crazy, all over the place. He fills stadiums. For the past month, every day that he campaigns my wife and I just hunker down at the TV late at night when we are done for the day, and we YouTube the day’s Trump campaign speech. It is the best 75 minutes on television. We now know all the lines by heart, all the Brooklyn shtick. It is like when my grown daughters still were in the early school grades, and they would watch the VHS of The Sound of Music four hours every night. That’s we: two little kids wiggling our toes, drinking our cocoa, merrily watching the nightly “Trump on the Stump.” It starts with Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to be an American.” And soon all the catch phrases. Pointing at the back and waving his arm horizontally: 

“The Fake News. So fake. They won’t tell you that Black and Hispanic unemployment are at record lows. I wish I could say the same for women, but it’s only the lowest in 65 years. So I guess I have let women down. Watch — tomorrow the Fake News will say [artificial deep voice] ‘Trump Admits He Lets Women Down.’ Oh, they are so fake.

“President Xi. I like him so much. We are great friends. But we are not going to let China cheat us anymore. So we are ready for a trade war. But there won’t be any trade war. This election is about Kavanaugh, Caravans, Crime, and the Economy.

“I used to call her ‘Pocahontas,’ but now I can’t call her that anymore because she has less Indian blood than I have — and I have none! But if you don’t mind, I will keep calling her that anyway. OK?”

By now the crowd is warmed up: Build the Wall! Lock her up! Drain the Swamp! Jobs not Mobs! USA! USA!

But will the people who love him come out to vote? To the degree that the polls are projecting results based on the soft science of prior midterm turnouts, has Trump sufficiently energized the base to convince people that the Trump you love is going to be detoured if he is tied up all day with sabotage from a Democrat House of Resistance? Every survey seems to say that 50% of the people will vote. Call me a pessimist, but that ballot is half empty: Will half the people in this country not even vote when everything that improved in only two years can revert to the eight-year downward spiral during the Obama Blight that threatened to end the America we know?

The polls are everywhere. Turnout is the Unknowable. But we’ll know soon enough whether enough Americans really can be that ignorant, or whether it is the pollsters who live in bubbles within the margin of error.

Dov Fischer
Dov Fischer
Follow Their Stories:
View More
Rabbi Dov Fischer, Esq., a high-stakes litigation attorney of more than twenty-five years and an adjunct professor of law of more than fifteen years, is rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County, California. His legal career has included serving as Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review, clerking for the Hon. Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and then litigating at three of America’s most prominent law firms: JonesDay, Akin Gump, and Baker & Hostetler. In his rabbinical career, Rabbi Fischer has served several terms on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America, is Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Coalition for Jewish Values, has been Vice President of Zionist Organization of America, and has served on regional boards of the American Jewish Committee, B’nai Brith Hillel, and several others. His writings on contemporary political issues have appeared over the years in the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Jerusalem Post, National Review, American Greatness, The Weekly Standard, and in Jewish media in American and in Israel. A winner of an American Jurisprudence Award in Professional Legal Ethics, Rabbi Fischer also is the author of two books, including General Sharon’s War Against Time Magazine, which covered the Israeli General’s 1980s landmark libel suit.
Sign Up to receive Our Latest Updates! Register