Sunday, November 26, 2023

The Ten Day Rule For Beginners And Updated For Old Hands

As usual, and of course understandable, there was much gloom and handwringing when the Virginia results came in despite Youngkin’s valiant efforts (and perhaps misguided emphasis on abortion-hopefully GOP’s lesson finally learned.)

 Over the ensuing days as analysts and cooler heads looked at the results, article after article appeared showing there were, near insurmountable, indirect forces which actually made the result impressive-in fact the GOP only lost by one seat in both Houses despite boundary changes having made the road much harder than previous.

 Below is the antidote to such instant political grief, and the bottom line being in all the years I have posted The Ten Day Rule after the depression du jour, there has not been a single instance when after the allotted time what appeared to be terminal, the big picture was in fact affected to a small degree and almost always not affected at all! So, chin up and you will find the sky is in fact not falling. 

 Richard Baris said it succinctly: "Last month, it was 'Ukraine.' Week before Roe, it was 'Gun Safety.' We call them 'News Cycle DEMs.'" This is of course perfectly true, but the corollary is that, unfortunately, many Republicans react to these Dem media and Twitter onslaughts in total Chicken Little mode. A seemingly major event takes place, often artificially magnified in its supposed political importance by the Twitter Dembot mob and the usual media suspects, followed by an equal-in-volume GOP chorus of e.g. "the midterms have slipped away from us," "we are doomed," and endless variations of these morose themes flood Republican timelines and articles.

 Recall former British prime minister Harold Wilson's eternal political dictum: "a week in politics is a long time." I'll add my less well known dictum: "always remember the “Ten Day Rule.” Regarding Wilson's statement, a few moments of consideration will show that what seemed momentous in the fast-changing media cycle was totally removed from the voter's consciousness, if it ever penetrated it in the first place, within a matter of days as the Baris cycle pedaled on.

 But using the Ten Day Rule, Republicans can divest themselves of this unfortunate habit and direct their energies to more profitable use. So what is "The Ten Day Rule"? Quite simply, it is that whatever the political framework may be, for example the midterm congressional polling, no matter how seemingly earthshaking an event may seem, ten days after it, is the point at which a real judgment as to its effects, or not, can be determined.

 If at the end of ten days the event, bolstered by Dem activity, has shown a marked change against the GOP in the polling aggregate, then by all means proceed to freak out. However, such negative movements have simply not happened, so nil desperandum

. The first example of an event that caused a GOP freak-out was the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade leak on May 2. The RCP midterm aggregate was GOP +4. Ten days later, May 12, despite all the furor and GOP doom and gloom, it was GOP +3.8. On May 24 the Uvalde tragedy. GOP +2.2. On June 3, it was GOP +2.1. On June 9, the 1/6 Commission starts. GOP +3.5. On June 20, it was GOP +2.8. On June 24, Roe overturned/bipartisan gun bill passes, the latter of which produced huge GOP "angst." GOP +3.4. On (holiday intervening) July 6: GOP +2. 

This seeming move down was distorted by three push polls over the period from the usual suspects: Politico; PBS, which came out one day after the Dobbs ruling; and a ludicrous midterms Dem +7 Yahoo "poll." During this entire period, the GOP's midterm congressional lead fluctuated from between +1.5 and +4 (Rasmussen, a daily tracker, accurately captures these reactions to events), which is entirely to be expected, given when different polls with their Dem or GOP demographic structural leanings report their findings. 

 The mean would be about GOP +2.5%, which would be historically near landslide territory. Update: Weeks of GOP Speaker chaos and MSM/Dems “Republicans in turmoil” saw the generic vote aggregate at the start as GOP +plus 0.6 to, at this writing Dems +0.4 and I suspect it will shortly shift back to a GOP lead. (Update-it has.) 

 The bottom line is that unless an event is a genuine game-changer (the Afghanistan withdrawal fiasco was such an event) or a series of events that structurally changes the voters' mood, and the change is bedded in over a reasonable time, after ten days at a minimum, Republicans can stop worrying over each media sensation. The overall cake is baked.

1 comment:

Alf said...

Thank you for being a positive force in the online space, spreading inspiration.