I don’t think these have been touched on enough.
Our ‘Haunted’ Yard Signs
One spooky story comes to us from Missoula, where campaign yard signs are being vandalized.
Something tells me these aren’t the Tester and Williams and other Democratic signs.
Nope, I can’t help but think that these are Gianforte and Rosendale and other Republican signs that are getting the axe…or the boot…or just a pair of strong hands to rip up their stakes and throw them to the winds or in the bushes or the back of a hybrid so they can find their place into the dumpster or the street or the river.
That’s liberal Missoula for you.
- Now, maybe it’s just some teenagers out having some fun.
- Perhaps it’s a Halloween ghost.
- Maybe it’s those damn deer.
But something tells me that’s not the case.
I mean…look at this one:
I’d admit – I have to laugh.
First we have a Republican put the sign up, then some Democrat or Progressive – or more than likely, someone that doesn’t even vote – comes along and writes on it.
“Don’t Vote Republi-cunt,” their clever phraseology went.
Then another Republican comes along and scribbles over the ‘Don’t’ and writes in ‘Always’ with an arrow pointing to ‘Vote Republican.’
I think it’s funny. It makes me laugh. But some aren’t laughing. Some are calling the cops.
I think it’s another example – like the Steve Bannon one below – of Democrats continuing to be unhinged following the 2016 loss.
Instead of trying to convince more people to vote for them, they try to limit free speech…either by saying who can and can’t talk at private conferences, or by vandalizing campaign yard signs sitting on private property.
No respect for the law, no respect for the Constitution.
Missoula Progressives Try to Block Free Speech
The same city has a group called Missoula Rises that’s trying to convince the university to kick Steve Bannon off a speaking slot in an upcoming conference.
Supposedly Bannon is going to talk up ideas for how tech companies can train workers from minority groups, and other aspects of marketing virtual goods.
Missoula Rises is a very left-leaning Democratic group, one that calls themselves progressive.
Progressives typically try to implement social reform, usually through new, liberal ideas.
That’s great, but what troubles me is that this group also favors limiting the freedom of speech for people they don’t like.
Missoula Rises says “the university should be more proactive before he [Bannon] arrives, barring him from having stage time at the institution.”
Missoula Rises doesn’t buy the argument that Bannon will only talk about tech and marketing. “We don’t need to give the alt-right any additional platform or legitimacy,” the group said.
Hey, I’m no fan of Steve Bannon, but I do think if he wants to speak and people want to hear him, then it should be allowed.
I really don’t care. It doesn’t bother me. If I don’t like it and don’t want to hear it, I simply won’t listen.
So why does Misosula Rises care so much?
And how would Missoula Rises feel if people tried to limit their ability to speak at a conference?
I bet they wouldn’t like it, and they might even sue to ensure they can talk. But when it’s someone they don’t like, it’s not an issue.
I find this hypocritical.
Missoula Rises’ mantra is “no hate in our state,” but it seems to me Missoula Rises is the only putting forth the hateful message and rhetoric at the moment.
What I hear from the group is, ‘We hate you so much Steve Bannon that we’ll do everything we can to make sure you can’t talk here, and if you do – God forbid – have a chance to speak, we’ll show up with a handful of people to protest.’
I’ve never been a fan of Missoula Rises, and their vigor to limit someone’s freedom of speech won’t make me one.
I wish the group luck, and I hope they can become a little less reactionary and knee-jerk, and a little more openminded.
I also think they and other Democrats need to figure out what it is they stand for, not just what they stand against.
Because right now, I have no idea.
The Spooky Predictions
Lots of spooky predictions and polls and pundits telling you how the election will turn out next week.
Folks, no one knows.
No one knows who’s going to win majorities in Congress, or the various races happening in the various states.
Like all things in the future, we just don’t know. Anything can happen.
There are lots of educated guesses out there, but a lot of these same smart people were wrong before.
We all know how wrong they were in 2016, and sadly, “almost two years later, very little has changed in polling and analysis at major institutions and news media,” writes the Hill. “If anything, the polling has drifted even further from reality when you look at the questions being asked and, more importantly, the questions not being asked.”
Sometimes the pundits and pollsters we hold up on pedestals have only gotten it right once, like Nate Silver in 2008.
But “for all of its mathematical rigor, the dark art of polling sometimes depends on what you might call educated guesswork.”
Anything can happen. Most polls are telling us things are so close that we can only hold our breath and wait.
Voting will also help.
And don’t forget surveys.
Candidates have been taking surveys for 70 years, but in 2016 Hillary didn’t “conduct standard surveys in a number of states that turned out to be crucial in the three weeks before the election.”
There were no good statewide polls that year, just national polls. I wonder if Democrats will do better this year with that.
But surveys aren’t what they used to be.
“Once upon a time, survey groups could expect 80 to 90 percent of people to answer their home phone and share their views,” writes the Boston Globe. “These days, with social trust at a low ebb and mobile phones having replaced land lines, response rates are often below 10 percent, which makes it much harder to put together a good, representative sample. Internet polling is getting more sophisticated, but there, too, it can be hard to ensure a representative sample of respondents.”
Let’s not forget late surprises, like Comey bringing up Hillary’s emails a week before the 2016 Election.
Increases in ad spending or scandals can also change things up in the final days when polls are coming out.
It’s important to remember that any polls coming out now won’t have factored things in like more ad spending or scandals.
Undecided voters don’t make up their mind until they get into the voting booth, and polls can’t accurately account for them.
“People change their minds, right up to the last minute. Such late-deciders were a big reason Trump outperformed the polls in 2016.”
That’s why most races are still toss-up, but by November 7 we’ll know who won. It’s because of that margin of error, or what we call the undecideds.
So while many are guessing, no one really knows who’s going to win in a year when so many candidates are drawing “their core support from unlikely voters and have cast their races as a quasi-referendum on a historically unpopular president.”
And there’s no guarantee that strategy will work.
“Maybe there is a blue wave coming. Or maybe it’s just another mirage,” the Hill continues. “With polling as one-sided as most of the polling in the mainstream media today, no one can know for sure. When the president takes an absolute pounding from Democrats, the media and even some anti-Russia, never-Trump Republicans, yet is still standing steady in the polls, it’s a stunning result.
“These one-sided polls with slanted issue questions could once again easily miss the impact of 4 percent growth combined with more muscular trade and immigration policies. Unless the polls really reflect all the sides of the national debate on the issues before us, they will never reflect the nation they are supposed to capture.”
Galston, William A. “Are the 2018 midterm election polls accurate?” Brookings. 30 October 2018. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brookings-now/2018/10/30/are-2018-midterm-election-polls-accurate/
Hall, Mari. “Missoula Rises wants UM to bar Bannon from speaking at high-tech conference.” Missoula Current. 30 October 2018. https://www.missoulacurrent.com/government/2018/10/missoula-rises-bannon/
King, Jon and Chrestenson, Nick. “Missoula Police Receive Reports of Vandalized Political Signs.” KGVO. 30 October 2018. http://newstalkkgvo.com/missoula-police-receive-reports-of-vandalized-political-signs/
Horowitz, Evan. “Heading into the midterms, expect the polls to get it wrong.” Boston Globe. 5 September 2018. https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/09/05/heading-into-midterms-expect-polls-get-wrong/PRF2kKWgfK5bODSK8rLsRM/story.html
Penn, Mark. “Polling Could Be Missing Reality Again.” The Hill. 26 July 2018. https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/398940-polling-could-be-missing-reality-again
Prokop, Andrew. “Polls can be wrong.” Vox. 19 October 2018. https://www.vox.com/2018/10/19/17995454/elections-2018-polls-predictions-democrats