“This is the most important election of your life.”
That’s what they always say.
“The only poll that counts is the one on election day.”
The candidate who is behind in the polls always says that, too.
Truth be told, the upcoming midterms are not that big of a deal. It is, for example, reasonably unlikely that Trump’s supporters will all-of-a-sudden decide to defect and vote for a Democratic candidate from a political party that is becoming more left-wing by the day. Nor is it reasonable to think that Democrats and progressives will vote for Republicans when they have convinced themselves that Republicans are the modern definition of evil.
What is likely to happen is that the Democrats will probably pick up enough seats to take over the House, while the Republicans are likely to hang on to the Senate, but just barely. The result would be gridlock, a thoroughly unremarkable result. In that case we can easily imagine a Democratic House issuing a blizzard of subpoenas for investigations of the Trump administration. On the other hand, Mitch McConnell and the Republicans would continue to confirm judges to the appellate courts, and might get a crack at another Supreme Court nominee.
If there are surprises the real question will be whether the surprises are the result of candidate quality, or a genuine shift in voter sentiment that might be a harbinger of things to come. It is way too early to speculate on that. We will have to wait until Tuesday when the results come in to begin that analysis.
Keep in mind that the two sides are (mostly) making the same standard issue arguments they have been making for several decades. But there are exceptions. The Republicans are acting more like the protectionists and freewheeling spenders who have dominated the Democratic Party for decades. And the Democrats showed their true colors when they decided to launch a fair imitation of the Salem With trials during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings in the Judiciary Committee.
Aside from newly minted Republican protectionism, a true cause for concern, the changes we see are of degree, not fundamental pivots. With the exceptions noted, there is not a lot new to see here. So this is not the most important election of your life.
It’s not even close.