Tuesday, November 8, 2022

When the bomb under the chair is a bomb cyclone [Okay, technically not a bomb cyclone but we all cheat a little in search of the catchy title]

Just to review, we've previously used the metaphor of bombs under everyone's chairs to describe the large number of unprecedented, potentially cataclysmic, and entirely unpredictable events that could very well shape this and the next election. Some of the bombs we've mentioned are Dobbs, the rise of American fascism, election day voter intimidation and violence. Here's one that wasn't on our radar ( pardon the pun).

Of course, we've had major storms on Election Day before, but I don't believe they've ever had the partisan implications they do now. This is, as are so many political developments in 2022, the direct result of conservative disinformation, particularly the 2000 mules conspiracy theory, which is now morphing into feral disinformation. It is all but impossible to predict the consequences of having the majority of one political party convinced that the last election was stolen.

To be clear, I'm not saying that weather conditions out West (we're bracing ourselves for flash floods an mudslides here in California) will have a noticeable effect on turnout. If it does, we don't know if it will disproportionately affect one party. That's the point of this whole thread: we don't know.

To make matters worse, in some cases, we may be talking about real bombs.

Between these unpredictable, potentially big factors, the declining quality of polls, the huge range-of-observed-data problem with likely voter models, and the number of conflicting indicators, the only rational thing to do is ignore the horse race. We need to focus on solving crises, not on unreliable reports of how the battle is going.


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