It’s not a swing; it’s a couch
Rachel Bitecofer is a 42-year-old professor in Virginia who rocked the polling world when she unwaveringly predicted – five months before the 2018 midterms – that the Democrats would pick up 42 seats in the House. She was off by one! The reason she was able to stick with her findings from July: Bitecofer believes that the swing in swing voter is based solely on whether or not the person decides to vote — not who they will choose. In other words, the only thing that voters are changing their minds about is whether they’ll be voting.
In any election, 55% of eligible voters are likely to vote, but it’s been always been assumed that it’s the critical 15% of voters who move between parties that tip the balance of power. Bitecofer thinks that’s nonsense. She had this to say about Iowa:
“It would be one thing if that county had 100,000 people in it who voted in 2012, and then it was the same 100,000 who voted in 2016, but that is not what is happening.”
The Chuck Todd theory of American Politics
Bitecofer – who has more bravado than most forecasters – thinks the media gives way too much credit to voters. She calls it “The Chuck Todd theory.” Spoiler alert: Chuck probably isn’t going to be flattered after hearing Rachel’s explanation.
“The idea that there is this informed, engaged American population that is watching these political events and watching their elected leaders and assessing their behavior and making a judgment… is just not true.”
What you can do (Part 1)
If you’re reading this and you know of a “swing voter,” it’s your job to get them out of the house on Election Day. If you’re reading this and YOU’RE a “swing voter” – well, make sure you have “Vote” on your calendar. Oh, and here’s a calendar.