Election Self-Reflection

The election is over;  it is now time for some self-evaluation here at The Midnight Sun. We pride ourselves on calling it like it is, whether that supports the positions of those on the Left or those on the Right, no matter who it ticks off, we try to stay above the fray. (Even though it tends to tick off a lot of people)

In order to fully embody that spirit, we have to call it like it is on our own prognostications and assumptions going into the election. That’s what this article is about. What did we get right and what did we get wrong.

If you think we missed anything, feel free to post in the comment section what you think missed and we’ll be sure to address it.

Where We Were Right

Legislative Races

We were spectacularly right on our legislative predictions. Here were our final legislative race ratings:

State House

State Senate

As you can see we nailed 49 of the 50 legislative races. That is both pretty damn good and a bit deceiving. By our count, 17 of the races had only one person on the general election ballot. Those would have been pretty hard to get wrong.

Of course, this count assumes Rep. Charisse Millett, who is up only 45 votes against challenger Pat Higgins, pulls out the victory. We think she will, but maybe we’ll be able to add that to the “what we got wrong” column soon enough.

Where We Were Wrong

Juneau/Mendenhall Race

There is still that pesky one race we rated “lean Republican” and yet the Democrats still won.

We feel pretty good about that rating even today. Rep. Cathy Munoz looked to have regained her footing against challenger Justin Parish in Juneau and still maintained her labor support. That was more than enough to think the incumbent had a good shot at winning.

A “lean” rating was the right call, because even though a great many people thought she had regained her shoe-in re-election status, we felt the race could easily go the other way. It did.

It was a miss, but a very small one.

Where We Were Right

Federal Races

Anyone who listens to The Midnight Sun Podcast knows we never bought into several polls showing Hillary Clinton and Steven Lindbeck having a real chance at winning in Alaska. We similarly stated several times our view that there was little chance Joe, Miller, Margaret Stock, and Ray Metcalfe had a realistic path to victory over Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Overall, we nailed the federal races these elections lock, Margaret Stock, and barrel.

Where We Were Wrong

Like everyone else in the universe, we thought Hillary Clinton was going to beat Donald Trump, We know many of you have been in PTSD counseling since the election over that one, so we won’t say anymore that we were wrong.

Where We Were Right

For months we had been projecting a depressingly low voter turnout in Alaska.

Early indications were that we might have dramatically missed the mark on that one. Just over 39,000 people early voted this year, shattering the Alaska’s previous all-time high of 32,000 from 2008. To boot, all we heard on election day were talk radio callers and tweets about the massive lines and election worker tales of heavy voting at polling places.

We thought for sure we had gotten this wrong and turnout would prove to be at least on par with previous elections. It wasn’t.

In a presidential election year, voter turnout is normally about 65%. So far Alaska is hovering just above 48%, and is likely to end up between 50-52% when all is said and done.

We speculated early on that voter turnout wouldn’t break 50%, but with the entrance of Joe Miller into the race we upped that to a projection in the mid-50s. It looks like that was a bit over generous, but you’d have to squint to see the difference.

It looks like our view of Alaskans being largely turned off was right on. Overall nationwide turnout was also at a 20-year low, so it all makes sense.

  • Lynn Willis

    “R” and “D” mean nothing in the Alaska Legislature because all that counts is the mighty “C” (Caucus).

    • oxo beppo

      That’s ludicrous.
      Republicans and Democrats aren’t the same.
      A caucus without any Democrats isn’t the same as a caucus which includes Democrats.

      • Lynn Willis

        Well oxo, I offer the current situation in the Legislature to support my thesis that “caucus uber alles” is the guiding principal of the Alaska Legislature. After being elected, party affiliation means very little when opportunity for power and influence presents itself.

        • oxo beppo

          You’re arguing that the split caucus is the same as the last Republican majority caucus?

          Party affiliation can’t be dismissed that easily.

          Yeah, I get that you don’t like the caucus but it’s not convincing to tell me there’s no difference between now and then.