For at least the last month, the political buzz has been focused on a “blue wave”, i.e. the election of large numbers of Democrats at the local, state and federal level. There has even been talk of the Democrats retaking the majority of seats in the House and, in a long shot, also taking back the US Senate. Left-leaning cable news shows have fed this narrative and in doing so, amped up expectations that after the November election, it will be Democrats who are in charge.

What is missing from this rosy scenario is a cold-blooded assessment of those factors that could turn the “blue wave” into something less. Such an analysis follows.

Turn-out by liberal voters

Historically, liberal voters, especially younger ones, have failed to show up at the polls in robust numbers. Anticipated sizeable turn-outs have not materialized. That is supposed to change this November. But will it?

Turn-out by conservatives

Expect Trump supporters to turn out in droves. Why? Because they understand that if the House majority flips to the Democrats, their president will be in a world of trouble.

Voter suppression

In a number of states, voter registration rolls are being purged of people who are known to be ineligible to vote, or are suspected of being ineligible. More stringent voter ID laws are also likely to keep some folks from the polls.

Russian meddling

Key members of the Trump cabinet have devoted themselves to keeping our election free of Russian interference. But, from all indications, Russia has “upped” its’ game, making their gambits harder to find and suppress. Consequently, we cannot now, make a reasonable estimate of how successful they will be.

End notes

Taken alone or in various combinations, the four factors cited above could turn the blue wave into a ripple. Think about that prospect for a minute, particularly viz a viz sky high expectations. If the latter are not met, how would that major disappointment be handled, emotionally by liberals? Even worse, suppose there is no blue wave at all, but evidence of successful Russian meddling is found. In such a case, how can the final results of voting be accepted as credible? How would the resulting grievance be treated by Trump and a Congress still under Republican control?

The best advice to be offered here is twofold:  Tamp down your expectations. There will be plenty of time to celebrate after the votes are counted, and get to the polls, even if that means walking over broken glass to get there.

 

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