The Election 2018: Riding the Blue Wave

So, I know that many people are kind of sick of the mid-term elections and have to be thinking “We already know everything we need to know, right? House blue. Senate red.” if you’re in a hurry to go back to not thinking about politics, by all means, it’s not for everyone. However, there remains a couple points probably indicate turning our attention away from the election is more than a little premature.

The first is, of course, that the elections aren’t actually finished. Counting continues in many races, and, in some cases, there either could be or will be mandatory run off elections. As of Saturday morning, November 10th, 2018, there are several House of Representatives races undeclared. So that should be more than enough reason to devote a few minutes to thinking about the elections just a little longer.

The second point is admittedly a bit more wonky. There’s still the question as to whether or not the Democrats actually got the “Blue Wave” they’ve been pushing for since 2017. Remember, the Republicans defiantly predicted the Democrats wouldn’t be able to take the House or the Senate, even going so far as promising a “Red Wave” that would end the Democrats for good. Well, that clearly didn’t happen.

I think we’re going to do well in the House. I think we’re going to do really well in the Senate.
– Donald Trump, November 5th, 2018

As we all know by now, the Republicans failed to keep the House of Representatives, and the Democrats will have a comfortable majority. The Republicans did retain control of the Senate, largely because more states are red than blue, even if there’s more cows than people in most of those states, and their largest cities would barely qualify as a suburb practically anywhere else in the world.

Because the urban focused Democrats have no substantial electoral base in those states, we can expect this to be the norm for a few election cycles. Regardless, did the Democrats get their “Blue Wave” or not? Simple mathematics tells us that they did and easily. Now, the political opinion establishment types may disagree here, so I’m going to need a couple paragraphs of your time to parse this out.

Basically, I used basic statistics to analyze every Congress from 1913, when the House of Representatives first grew to 435 members, to 2018 and applied a handy little statistical tool called a standard of deviation used by every statistician in the world to objectively identify what constitutes a “statistically significant increase (or decrease)” to objectively judge the 2018 midterms.

That anger … means they’re going to show up no matter what. As I’ve said, they’ll crawl over broken glass to show up [to the polls].
– Ted Cruz, November 4th, 2018

So, from 1913 to 2018, the standard of deviation of over a century of Democratic Party delegations is 41.00658. We’ll round that down to 41 and compare the 38 projected seats (as of this article) the Democrats picked up in this last midterm election. Obviously, 38 seats alone is less than 41, so why do I believe the Democrats got their “Blue Wave“? Because that 38 number can’t be considered “alone“. Bear with me.

Republicans have bragged incessantly about the 2010 midterms when they gained 64 House seats. The problem of thinking strictly in terms of the 64 seats retaken in 2010 that it included 21 seats the GOP lost in 2008. If GOP hadn’t lost those 21 seats in the first place, they wouldn’t have been available to retake in 2010. Make sense? So controlling for those 21 seats, the GOP really only netted 43 seats in the 2010 midterms.

What does this have to do with 2018? Well, in 2016, even though the Republicans won the White House, Democrats actually picked up 6 House seats. Since those 6 seats were already in Democratic control, they weren’t available to be “retaken” in 2018, were they? So, tacking on those 6 seats, the Democrats seized a net 44 seats in the House in 2018 midterms. Notice, 44 is both greater than the 41 target and the 2010 “Red Wave“.

Cowabunga!
– Michelangelo, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

If we instead use the standard of deviation of changes in House seats per election instead of total seats, the standard of deviation is only 36.67. So even if we disregard the 7 governors and 333 state legislature posts, or the hundreds, if not thousands of other down-ballot offices the Democrats picked up across the country, erasing decades of GOP political expansion, the Democrats obviously got their “Blue Wave“.

Surf’s up, Republicans.

 


Liberty is For The Win!

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