Across the pond, Americans have been voting (or for about a third, Diebold’s been voting for them). Despite the polls, I can’t believe W might lose control of Congress – the Republican machine for retaining power is simply so much better-organised.
It’s horrifying to see what really happened in 2000 and 2004: far away from the cameras in Florida and Ohio, hundreds upon hundreds of electoral districts were being quietly flipped in favour of Bush. Whole boxes of ballots carried off, whole neighbourhoods getting their votes switched, with a bias towards Bush far too great to be coincidence. (Genuine errors would have produced equally-divided votes, not a huge bias in Republican favour.) Dubya didn’t win in 2000 OR 2004, and there’s never been much anger from Americans.
Of course, with techniques refined, there’s no way the polls predicting (probably accurately) a Democratic victory will be borne out. Even as I blog, a few ultra-loyal Republicans are choosing districts least likely to arouse suspicion, planning to flip a block there, a district here, just enough to prevent the Democrats from gaining 15 seats. It’s going to happen.
My guess: Republicans will retain the Senate with losses of only 2, and will (more surprisingly) retain Congress, losing fewer than 10 seats. That’s what my instincts tell me. We’ll see.
(And given that only this morning my ‘instincts’ prevented me losing out when an eBay scammer tried to fool me with forged postal orders – postal orders a Post clerk and a Bank teller had told me were genuine – I think I’ll trust them.)