The most momentous choice in our lives is due in less than a week.
I expect that many of you who are reading this to have decided by now who will be President of the United States in 2021 and serve you in the U.S. House and Senate. I suspect, however, that some of you have yet to be convinced of something: that you have to go and cast your ballots.
It is a cruel twist of fate that the most important election we have seen in modern American history should take place during the worst pandemic we have seen in modern American history. The COVID-19 virus has challenged every aspect of our lives – social, personal, business and civilian.
Nonetheless, it is vital that you choose – and that you encourage and help your friends and family to choose.
It is especially important for you if you want to see President Donald Trump in a second term. If all of President Trump’s supporters – and all of their friends and family members – turn out to be winners, he will win in a landslide so big that no amount of election rigging can overcome it. It could also help to weaken Democratic resistance in Congress after the elections (note: I said weaken, not eliminate). The Democrats spent most of Trump’s first term in office removing him from office to the detriment of the country. If he is re-elected with a wide enough margin, perhaps enough of the Democrats will realize that they should stop the #resistance and start governing again.
So it is important that you all vote – no matter where you live. It doesn’t matter whether you believe your district or state is safe for President Trump and the Republicans. And it doesn’t matter if you believe that your district or state has no chance to elect them. Every vote counts – and none can be taken for granted.
If you consider your community a Trump country and you can’t imagine that it works for Biden – or any other Democratic candidate – think again. In the 2018 midterm elections there were a number of Democratic victories in places traditionally safe for conservatives. This made Joe Cunningham the first Democrat to represent the first congressional district of South Carolina since Mendel Jackson Davis retired in 1981. In Utah, two-time Republican Congressman Mia Love lost her supposedly secure seat with less than 700 votes to Democratic Congressman Ben McAdams.
If you think you live in an area that is hopelessly blue and your vote doesn’t matter, think of the Republicans taking over Congress in 2010, when we won 63 seats. Massachusetts had not elected a Republican senator since 1972. No one in the political class believed that a Republican could win a statewide federal election here. But in 2010 Republican Scott Brown defeated a Democrat and ended the term of the late Senator Ted Kennedy with 108,000 votes (52 percent of the total). That same year, Joe Walsh – who had lived out of his car late in the campaign – won Democratic Congresswoman Melissa Bean with less than 300 votes in the Chicago suburbs.
No matter where you live, you can’t believe the polls. Nearly all major national polls were completely wrong in 2016, and nothing significant has changed in the way the same Washington Beltway pollsters are polling Americans today. They continue to include too many Democrats and too few Republicans in the sample and focus on largely liberal urban and suburban areas while ignoring the center of the country. There is no reason to believe that the big Biden is at the top of some of these polls.
Remember, in 1980 Ronald Reagan was so far behind President Jimmy Carter in the polls a week before the election that it was almost a foregone conclusion that Carter would keep the White House. A week before the election, Reagan was 8 points behind Carter in the polls. But on election day Reagan scored a landslide victory of 489 to 49 points in Electoral College. (This is largely because Reagan was so strong during their only television debate, which took place a week before election day).
Perhaps the most historic example of how wrong polls can be was the election of President Harry S. Truman in 1948. The political elite were so convinced that Republican New York Governor Thomas Dewey would win that the Chicago Daily Tribune pre-printed the newspaper with “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMANAN” after the election to avoid a printer’s strike. Truman won 303 to 189 votes, and the photo of him cheerfully holding up the Tribune’s embarrassing front page is an iconic reminder that American elections are never predictable-and that every vote counts.
The latest, most significant example of why every vote counts is, of course, Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016.
As I have followed the course of the 2020 campaign cycle, I have seen many of the same patterns repeated by the political elite and the Washington establishment. They believe that they have this pattern in their pockets.
So go vote, make sure all your loved ones vote, and let’s prove them wrong once again.
To read, hear and see more of Newt’s comments, visit Gingrich360.com.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author….