We Shouldn’t Feel Awful All The Time: Thoughts On the 538 Model

Every day, the website 538 is releasing their forecast for the House 2018 model. As of Thursday, the ‘classic’ model gave Democrats an eighty percent chance of taking back the House. This was immediately followed by (at least on Twitter) many remonstrations to ignore the model and keep working. We could lose. There’s a twenty percent chance Republicans could hold the House!

I realize why people are saying this: they don’t want people to take the outcome for granted (there’s also a ton of psychological bet hedging going on too after 2016). But we need hope as well. The last two years of the Trump administration have been a 200-decibel non-stop caterwauling freakshow–with the added bonus of horrific policy and, until the last two days, gormless Democrats unwilling to do anything to stop Il Trumpe et alia. Let people have their good forecast. It’s a lot more fun doing the work with hope that it is freaking out all the time, especially after the non-stop state of emergency of the last two years.

Because there’s a flip side to that coin: according to the model, there is also a twenty percent chance that Democrats gain 54 or more seats, yielding a 249-186 majority (or better). So do the work, but be optimistic for a change–it’s hard to know how the news could be better for Democrats.

Related: While we’re talking about forecasts, I think the Democrats will have a five to ten seat majority in the House and lose two Senate seats, even though we will have a massive edge in the popular vote. Because freedom.

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