As has been reported in quite a few news organizations this fall, among registered voters, the majority still favor the Democratic party. 49% approve of the Democrats, while only about 44% approve of Republicans. Yet among LIKELY voters, the numbers flip: 49% favor Republicans, while 43% favor Democrats. If you run the numbers, and assume that all 43% of the Republicans are voting (which they likely are) the only thing capable of producing a percentage shift that large is if between 12 and 15% of registered democrats stay home.
That's a HUGE number! To suggest that well over 1 in 10 democrats just doesn't give a shit this election cycle is too mind-blowing to believe. Yet polls show it's true. So, while expectations for Republicans are high, and projections show that big gains will be had for the G.O.P. after today, the underlying numbers show that if that extra 12% of Democrats decide to get off their asses and go vote, the Republicans will suffer massive surprise upset losses.
What could possibly make the Democrats decide to go vote today?
Here's my answer: Republicans gloating in advance! Hell, it seems like conservatives have been guffawing all week about how badly the Democrats are going to lose. They're doing it so much, that they'll goad the apathetic Democratic base into getting pissed off and going to the polls, if they're not careful!
So, go ahead, Republicans! Gloat! Celebrate your victory too early! Tempt fate! Count those chickens before they hatch! Be as impolite today as you've been this entire year! Nothing will help get out the Democratic vote better. It might not get Feingold re-elected by itself, but it might make for an interesting photo-finish!