Our friends at Four Directions sent me a link to the Jon Ralston story from Sunday’s Nevada Independent.
This quote from Jon Ralston below is only half of what he says before he shares his predictions: (bolding is mine)
Let me start this biennial venture into brave foolishness with a remembrance of things past.
I engage in this Proustian exercise to make myself feel better as I make election predictions, not shirking from my annual tradition, in the most puzzling and difficult year since I began.
I think pundits should make predictions based on data, which is important; on experience, which can provide insight; and by gut, which is born of the first two. I also think one needs to provide a rationale for why one’s crystal ball says what it says.
Here is my theory of the case:
The early voting numbers don’t indicate a red wave, just the possibility of one if everything breaks right for Republicans. This is not like 2014, when all the early voting data confirmed a red wave – I knew after a couple of days – and it was just a question of how many boats would be lifted by the red tide.
This year, the Democrats have a slight advantage with more mail to come enhancing that edge. The Democrats are in the game — a game they have no right to be in, considering President Biden’s subterranean numbers and sticker shock everywhere Nevadans shop. The Reid Machine, even with Harry gone, is a real thing, folks; it was built a decade and a half ago or so, and it is still around, this time a ship sailing into what may turn out to be a perfect storm.
The real mystery is what Election Day turnout will look like: Are tens of thousands of Republicans really waiting for Tuesday, or are Clark Democrats ready to flood the zone? And will inclement weather deter Election Day voters while neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays the postmen from the swift completion of their appointed rounds?
The two top of ticket races – U.S. Senate and governor – are very difficult to pick.
I would not be surprised by any outcome — both incumbents win, both incumbents lose or a split decision. I am even more at sea in the governor’s race than the Senate contest for a variety of reasons – see below – but mostly because I can logically chart a path for Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto to hang on, but it is not so simple to find one for Gov. Steve Sisolak. She has a weaker opponent, probably will run stronger in populous Clark and may just win Washoe. Sisolak may have been harder to tie to Biden – although Sheriff Joe Lombardo’s campaign has done its best with those tricky sign pairings – but the COVID hangover, his weakness in the rurals and the adverse environment make finding a road to victory more difficult. Oh, it’s there — if non-major party voters tilt Democratic and if Lombardo has not consolidated the GOP base because Joey Bag of Hydroxychloroquine has poisoned the well. I would not be surprised at all to see the governor get re-elected.
If Clark turnout increases enough because of thousands of mail ballots yet to be counted this week, thus diminishing the rural GOP landslide, Washoe County will be The Biggest Little Cincher. It could change everything.
Before I get to all my predictions, my theory of the case in the down-ballot races is simple: I don’t believe Nevadans, if they are paying attention, will act against their own interests. At least I hope not. There are three manifestly unqualified people running for important state offices, all three of them obviously dangerous and whose election would be inimical to Nevada’s interests. I don’t think it matters at all that they are Republican; I see no evidence they believe in any principle except conspiracies and grievances they have conveniently concocted.
Having said all of that, I can dither no more:
Only then does he share his predictions.
What is likely to get spread around?
Cortez-Masto is predicted to win! The governor will lose! Oh no, I love Susie Lee and she’s going to lose!
Once more, because we probably all need to be reminded…
No one can fucking predict the results of the election because if anyone has an accurate voter turnout model for this year, it will be a total fluke, mostly dumb luck.
These next few days will be less of a roller coaster ride if we can all remember that.