When Good News Depresses Activism


Did you see the good news about more midterm races leaning towards the Democrats?

To tell the truth, I LOVE information like that. And after this week’s runoff elections, the ratings for a handful of key races shifted. Many in our favor, a few not.

But here’s the thing. I’m not keen on sharing that news widely. Why? Because it makes people complacent. If the polls look good, some people take their foot off the gas. If a race moves from Toss Up to Lean Democratic, you can feel a sigh of relief rise up in yourself and a thought bubble appears, “Ah, good. I don’t have to worry about that race as much.”

The last thing we need is a lot of people thinking that the “blue wave” is in the bag. No! What we have is the wind at our backs. We have the opportunity to bring the wins home. But sitting on the couch at home isn’t going to get us the result we want.

By sharing good polling or ratings news, I worry that I might accidentally depress activism and therefore turnout. Instead, a good way to think about any race at any time is to act as though we’re behind in the polls.

That said, if you’re a bit of an elections nerd (as I seem to be rapidly becoming), here are three of the best resources I know of to stay on top of ratings, races, and polls (oh my!)

Cook Political Report

Sabato’s Crystal Ball

Daily Kos Elections

You’ll be the most informed person in the room about elections if you follow these three sources. Just be careful if and how you share the information.

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