Wednesday, November 05, 2014

So, About Those Election Results ...


Every time there's an election, and every time I make predictions, a few people say "you're wrong, but we know that you'll come up with some excuse for not admitting it later."

Since I'm usually right, there's not much hard evidence for me to use to dispute that claim of prescience. If nothing else, this election provides such evidence, so let's get with the non-excuses:

I WAS WRONG. BIG-TIME. NEARLY COMPLETELY. ON BOTH SENATE AND GUBERNATORIAL OUTCOMES.

So, now that that's out of the way, a few things ...

  • I'm going to go back through my US Senate and gubernatorial predictions and update them (with a clear system for differentiating my predictions from the outcomes, and a special present for Eric Dondero of "Libertarian" Republican), just so there's absolutely no doubt that when I'm wrong I don't just admit it, but shout it from the rooftops.
  • Will the new GOP Senate majority make Washington "more libertarian?" Well, here's a clue: The Hill just published its first "next on the agenda" story, and that story is that the GOP thinks it now has the votes to to pass a giant corporate welfare giveaway to TransCanada, allowing them to use government power to steal land from hundreds of private property owners to build their "Keystone XL" boondoggle. And they say they may attach it to some kind of "must-pass" budget bill so that US president Barack Obama won't be tempted to do the libertarian thing and veto it. So you kind of have an answer there already, don't you?
  • On the "spoiler" front -- major party candidates, usually Republicans, whining that the Libertarian Party cost them elections -- the worm may have turned. In Florida last night, Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Adrian Wyllie more or less doubled the "spread" between Republican incumbent Rick Scott and Democratic challenger Charlie Crist. I hope there was some exit polling, because there's no doubt whatsoever in my mind that, to the extent Wyllie's votes came from people who would otherwise have supported Crist or Scott, the bulk of were from people who would otherwise have supported Crist. Rick Scott offered libertarian-leaning voters nothing, nada, bupkes, zilch, zero. Crist is at least nominally libertarian on marijuana and marriage freedom, to name two marquee issues. I suspect the same will be found true of Sean Haugh, the Libertarian candidate for North Carolina. And in Virginia, US Senate candidate Robert Sarvis also held the balance of power in a tight, tight race ... and when he ran for governor last year, exit polling said he hurt the Democrat more than the Republican.
  • In Florida's 13th US House district, Libertarian candidate Lucas Overby polled between 24-25% in a two-way race with big-government Republican incumbent David Jolly. That's probably the Libertarian Party's high-water mark this year in major races.
More later. Just wanted to get the admission of complete predictive error out there.

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