Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 26, 2010

IT'S LIKE RA-I-AIN ON YOUR ELECTION DAY.... The lead story from The Hill this morning strikes me as a little silly. There may be some merit to the underlying point, but forecasting nationwide weather conditions a week ahead of time is probably a mistake.

In more bad news for Democrats, rain is in the forecast for much of the country on Election Day. Weather tracking websites, including weather.com and The Old Farmer's Almanac, are calling for rain in the Midwest, Southeast and Northeast regions, with chances for precipitation in other parts of the country as well. According to Laurel Harbridge, a Northwestern University political science professor, GOP voters are not typically discouraged by rain. "Republicans are helped by bad weather ... it does harm Democratic prospects."

Wendy Schiller, a political science professor at Brown University, echoed Harbridge. "Bad weather almost always hurts Democrats," she said. "The traditional Democratic base tends to include lower-income people and the elderly. Both of those demographic groups have a hard time getting to the polls."

When I saw the headline, talking about "rain in the forecast" for Democrats, I assumed it was metaphorical. But in this case, we're talking about literal rain.

It's certainly possible that bad weather could give the GOP an added edge in some areas, but (a) it's tough to predict the weather a week in advance; and (b) it's even tougher to forecast rain in "the Midwest, Southeast and Northeast regions," which happens to cover most of a pretty large country.

Postscript: If you have no idea what the headline is in reference to, ask Alanis Morissette.

Steve Benen 10:10 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (16)

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The Farmer's Almanac? Bruh-ther.

However, if there was a surplus of black flies in some Chardonnay, that would definitely keep the irony vote at home.

Posted by: chrenson on October 26, 2010 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Meanwhile, I'd suggest giving all those elderly and low-income voters a free ride to the polls.

Even if they've already paid.

Posted by: chrenson on October 26, 2010 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

A willingness to go out in the rain is a test of character. That's why a rainy election day is good news for Republicans and bad news for democrats.

Posted by: Al on October 26, 2010 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

Whatever you say, Al.

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© on October 26, 2010 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

in other news, a plethora of one-way streets at polling sites confuse Tea Party voters; delays until Nov 3rd expected. . .

Posted by: DAY on October 26, 2010 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

While we're consulting Alanis, can we provide her with a dictionary containing the definition of "ironic"?

Because I don't think that word means what she thinks it means ...

Posted by: Mark D on October 26, 2010 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

I always thought that a willingness to go out into the rain was a test of stupidity. As in: "Al is too stupid to come in out of the rain."

Behold! This is the Republican meme:

Low-income or senior citizen = No character!

Test of character, my ass.

Posted by: chrenson on October 26, 2010 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

It rained in VA in 2008.

Whey they start pinning their hopes on rain...

Posted by: mikefromArlington on October 26, 2010 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

As folks like to comment on Eschaton and elsewhere: THIS IS VERY GOOD NEWS!!! FOR TEH GOP!!!

It always is.

Posted by: ManOutOfTime on October 26, 2010 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

I read but don't comment at 538
however, I'd like to see Nate Silver pitch in on
this "rain is bad for dems" cw.

Posted by: cwolf on October 26, 2010 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

Of course, if it's true that more Democrats are voting early, then rain on election day would help. And doesn't this bit of conventional wisdom go against the narrative they've been trying to sell us about how seniors are all voting Republican this year?

Gee, you'd almost think they were looking for factors that are bad for Democrats...

Posted by: Redshift on October 26, 2010 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

If you have no idea what the headline is in reference to, ask Alanis Morissette.

I was going for The Beatles, but then I am of that age. (Who is this Alanis Morissette of which you speak?)

Posted by: Mustang Bobby on October 26, 2010 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

If it's mostly older voters who stay home because of bad weather, that should help the Dems.

Posted by: sacman701 on October 26, 2010 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone knows Democrats are water-soluble.

Posted by: Roddy McCorley on October 26, 2010 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Rain? You call that rain? Around here we call that a light mist. Besides we vote by mail, and you know what the USPS says about the postpersons, dont'cha.

"We are mothers and fathers. And sons and daughters. Who every day go about our lives with duty, honor and pride. And neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, nor the winds of change, nor a nation challenged, will stay us from the swift completion of our appointed rounds. Ever."

Posted by: thebewilderness on October 26, 2010 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Does this mean Republicans always win Washington and Oregon? And if we're going on the Farmer's Almanac, I've got some chicken entrails they might want to consult.

Posted by: Col Bat Guano on October 26, 2010 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK



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