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It’s not easy being a weekly columnist. Every week, in order to keep my readers, I must challenge conventional wisdom to a fistfight.
Sometimes this means saying the things other people are thinking. Other times, it means saying the things people think they are thinking, but think they shouldn’t say.
I don’t think many people are thinking what I’m going to say this week. But who knows? In a few weeks, maybe they’ll start to.
The way I see it, there’s only one way the GOP can hold onto Congress. And that’s if they fix the elections.
I know this sounds crazy. Or even vaguely Democratic. But trust me: I say this as neither a Democrat (which I’m not), nor a concerned American (which I’m not). I am simply a casual observer who has casually observed Republicans screwing up the country over the last six years.
If the vast majority of political polls are correct, roughly one Republican congressman will hold onto his congressional seat in this year’s midterm elections. Perhaps it’s too soon to call this a foregone conclusion, but let’s face it: It’s not too soon to call this a foregone conclusion. If any victory has ever been guaranteed, this year’s Democratic landslide would be it.
That said, we need to start asking: What if they lose this thing? What if Republicans manage to stave off destruction?
I’m not asking “What if?” in terms of how we’ll survive. I’m asking in terms of: How could this happen?
Really, it couldn’t.
Unless, of course, there’s a fix.
I know this idea will not be popular. And some people will write and call me a conspiracy theorist. But it’s not about conspiracies. It’s about an odd crack in the system.
In 2004, exit polls showed John Kerry trouncing George Bush all throughout Election Day. Somehow, we went to bed without a president-elect that evening. And when we woke up the next day, Kerry was dead.
(Okay, he conceded. But same thing.)
We accepted this fate for a number of reasons. One, because we didn’t want to go through Election 2000 all over again. And two, because Kerry was vastly unappealing, and didn’t seem worth the time.
Few people thought that election was fixed. And make no mistake: I’m not saying that it was. But the media blamed themselves for getting the exit polls “wrong” that day. If this happens again—if all these pre-election, pro-Democratic polls turn out to be false positives—we’ll have to consider the real possibility that something is rotten in the state of Denmark (or Florida, or Ohio, or whichever state it will be).
The only other way to explain it would be we’re a nation of liars, and the polls are all based on lies.
Neither explanation is comforting. But I invite you to take your pick.