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As we enter the home stretch of the midterm elections, Democrats’ chances of holding the Senate appear to be fading, and commentators on the left are beginning to panic. Abandoning honest analysis in favor of conspiracy theories and allegations of bias in the polls.Particularly egregious in this regard is the always excitable Rachel Maddow, whose plummeting ratings have apparently driven her to desperation.
In a recent report, Maddow, after noting that the Senate elections are essentially tied (debatable, but we’ll let her have that one), took a dramatic left turn into conspiracy land, warning that Republicans are likely to steal the elections through voter suppression efforts. Looks like someone has been faithfully attending her spin class.
Preemptive accusations of Republican cheating, with zero evidence, coming from a network that pretends to report the news, is pretty ridiculous. If Republicans were any good at stealing elections, would Barack Obama have been elected twice, and would Harry Reid have been able to hold onto the Senate for the past seven years?
If Republicans had any talent or inclination to steal elections, we would expect to see them performing better on Election Day than previous polls predicted, wouldn’t we? But Nate Silver, who is respected across party lines for his rigorous analytical methods, has pointed out that in the last two cycles, Republicans underperformed compared to pre-election polling. This is not consistent with a party that systematically suppresses votes or rigs elections.
In fact, the most credible evidence we have for actual voter fraud in recent years comes from Democrat Al Franken, who won his Minnesota seat in 2008, after multiple recounts, by an incredibly narrow margin of just 312 votes. After the election, it was discovered that, in two counties alone, the number of convicted felons voting illegally in the election exceeded Franken’s margin of victory. And let’s not forget the extensive fraudulent voter registrations coming from the liberal group Acorn in that same year.
Democrats should be very careful in crying about voter fraud, lest their own activities come under more scrutiny. They might just end up getting those voter ID laws they have so vehemently opposed. For now, however, Maddow comes across in much the same light as Karl Rove, throwing a tantrum on live television in 2012 after refusing to accept the reality of the election results. This year, the results remain far from certain, but I would at least hope that Democrats would have used this incident to learn something about losing gracefully.