How Democrats could lose 86 seats in the election
At this point, you're probably getting bored of hearing me say that this election is about who turns out to vote, not what the country thinks. But this Gallup poll makes the point particularly well:
In other words, if all registered voters turned out, Democrats would be looking at a fairly manageable loss. In a low-turnout election where Republican groups are more invested, however, Democrats run 18-points behind. "According to one formula that models turnover in the House based on the Gallup likely voter model specifically," Nate Silver says, "a 13-point lead for the G.O.P. would translate into a gain of 71 (!) seats — and an 18-point, lead, a gain of 86 (!!) seats." He thinks both scenarios are a bit overstated, but you can't rule them out.
That both goes to show how important turnout is in this -- or any -- election, and how different our system is from the compulsory-voting systems you see in Australia and Brazil. In our system, you don't just have to win over the populace, but you have to get them to the polls. Democrats aren't doing too badly in getting voters to prefer them to the Republicans. But they're doing horribly in getting those voters to want to act on that preference.
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