Skip to main content

It turns out it's a whole lot easier to get amped about an election where your side is likely to kick butt than one in which it looks like your butt will be kicked. This has, I think, as much a role in the enthusiasm gap as anything. And while my sense is that most people reading a DailyKos diary are going to vote, it's worth laying out the case for why it is so damn important, particularly in this year.

There are lots of predictions of Republican gains in the election: Nate Silver thinks they'll win the house, and gain a bunch of seats in the senate. That seems to be the consensus prediction, and since the consensus is so robust you may feel it's a fait accompli. It's not.

This is an obvious point, but one worth remembering, particularly for the many poll junkies who I'm sure are reading this: Better models for predicting electoral outcomes do not mean outcomes are more foreordained than ever. The first reason to vote is the most obvious: the future is not yet determined. Turnout matters a great deal, and there are dozens of elections around the country that are going to be decided by razor thin margins. Tom Perriello won his 2008 race against Virgil Goode by a mere 700 votes. Al Franken (about whom more in a minute) defeated Norm Coleman by the preposterous margin of 312 votes out of more than 2.8 million cast!

And not only did those 312 votes gain Franken a senate seat, they also gave the Democrats (after onerous litigation) a fleeting, but important, 60 vote majority in the senate.

Which brings me to the second reason to get out and vote: margins matter. Even if Republicans win the house and the Democrats maintain control of the Senate as nearly everyone is predicting, the margins in both houses will be incredibly important. Remember that Republicans accomplished a tremendous amount of damage by keeping Al Franken out of the Senate. That was just one senator. Remember that the most significant pieces of domestic legislation of this last congress -- health care, financial reform, the recovery act, all passed by razor thin margins. A few votes in the other direction and none of it happens. Just because control of the house might change, doesn't mean that the last vote on a important piece of legislation (immigration reform for instance) won't be just as important. When you go out to your polling place, you have a chance to be electing that last crucial vote.

Our system is not a winner-take-all system, as we learned sometimes to our frustration over the last two years. If enough people get out and vote tomorrow,  there's going to come a time in the next two years when Republicans are just a few votes short of getting something they really want, something that would be genuinely awful for the country. You're the last defense.

Originally posted to chrislhayes on Mon Nov 01, 2010 at 05:09 PM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, maxomai, JekyllnHyde, Angie in WA State, vicki, tmo, Trix, Bill in Portland Maine, catdevotee, True North, BrooklynJohnny, teacherken, slinkerwink, askew, Danno11, nicolemm, saraswati, PeterHug, alicia, musicalhair, Shockwave, ChicDemago, cotterperson, bramish, hyperstation, eeff, SallyCat, bumblebums, sardonyx, Morgana, EvieCZ, understandinglife, Miss Blue, Cedwyn, high uintas, wader, jdmorg, Oke, danthrax, JimWilson, Kidspeak, joan reports, dwahzon, ohiolibrarian, Chirons apprentice, hazzcon, Sophie Amrain, MrFrost, KayCeSF, snowbird42, bay of arizona, Gowrie Gal, Julie Gulden, Brecht, Bluesee, radarlady, 3goldens, Superpole, Flint, BCO gal, panicbean, Brooke In Seattle, EJP in Maine, Laurence Lewis, boofdah, LNK, Pam from Calif, where4art, jane123, davidslane, CWalter, Lisa Lockwood, JanL, JanF, Land of Enchantment, terjeanderson, fhcec, begone, SSMir, Audio Guy, Knucklehead, BachFan, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, edwardssl, tobendaro, DemInLux, Ky DEM, Wary, TalkieToaster, cRedd, bubbanomics, Libby Shaw, Bush Bites, imabluemerkin, bleeding heart, Preston S, doinaheckuvanutjob, revgerry, shaharazade, AmySmith, lams712, One Pissed Off Liberal, BeninSC, Loudoun County Dem, tgypsy, desertguy, ninkasi23, yoduuuh do or do not, yowsta, Matt Z, hold tight, greenchiledem, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, joyful, jayden, quadmom, millwood, gchaucer2, yella dawg, Rumarhazzit, uciguy30, JML9999, gizmo59, bkamr, revm3up, glutz78, wyvern, ScottyUrb, Cordwainer, poligirl, OleHippieChick, bythesea, elwior, binkaroni, filby, CDH in Brooklyn, Mother of Zeus, VL Baker, robroser, tofumagoo, pamelabrown, geomoo, icebergslim, bluesheep, Populista, mofembot, petulans, o the umanity, joy sinha, allie123, priceman, Ellinorianne, dmhlt 66, Diogenes2008, mos1133, wtxdem, Neon Vincent, Rick Aucoin, Boycott for Peace, carolyn urban, velvet blasphemy, jennylind, DHinIA, Alise, allep10, Denise Oliver Velez, Plubius, sfarkash, ArthurPoet, sherijr, xylem, futureliveshere, deviant24x, citisven, smileycreek, brooklyns finest, political junquie, rb137, marabout40, patrickz, LaughingPlanet, amk for obama, jethrock, Proud Mom and Grandma, legalchic, renzo capetti, Mariken, sharonsz, Lolo08, abrauer, BlueFranco, ericlewis0, Otteray Scribe, skindig55, Onomastic, kktlaw, gobears2000, PaDemTerry, Wilma Rudolph, speak2me, BlueUU, thebluecrayon, wildlife advocate, We Want Change, Situational Lefty, Sand Hill Crane, KelleyRN2, elektra, princesspat, Cinnamon Rollover, evangeline135, dle2GA, Dugits, 36chambers, pensivelady, zapus, KingofSpades, Nightshade Q, MichaelNY, allergywoman, zenbassoon, deltadoc, YaNevaNo, piratedan, HamptonRoadsProgressive, KiB, We Won, delmardougster, dance you monster, effervescent, AreDeutz, belinda ridgewood

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site