6. Pelosi The Prognosticator
By now we’ve all heard a gracious plenty about how historic November’s midterm elections were. And they really were historic, but I think that fact has been talked about to death. What has not received as much coverage is that virtually everyone seemed to have seen it coming — everyone, that is, except Nancy Pelosi. The soon-to-be-former House Speaker was oddly confident on Election Day that the Democrats would retain control of the House, despite the prevailing conventional wisdom otherwise.
As far back as May, amidst early buzz about a Republican rout, Nancy Pelosi predicted victory for the Democrats:
Despite some predictions of a huge GOP wave this fall, Pelosi says it’s not going to happen: “One thing I know for sure is that Democrats will retain their majority in the House of Representatives.”
In September, she repeated her boast:
The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi…predicted that Congressional Democrats would emerge victorious in the midterm elections because voters would decide that they do not want Republicans to restore the policies of President George W. Bush.
That same week, the predictions from pretty much every other source was the opposite:
As of today, the Republicans have a 70.2% chance to take over the [House] according to Intrade. According to my model, since the GOP needs 39 seats to have the majority, that means that I guess that the Republicans can be expected to gain about 58 seats in the House this cycle.
Even as late at 6:35 p.m. on Election Day, she was confident:
“With the early returns and the overwhelming number if Democrats who are coming out, we’re on pace to maintain the majority,” she said.
Oddly enough, from six months before to the end of the election cycle, Pelosi’s ridiculous confidence went completely against pretty much all conventional wisdom. What was her confidence based on? We may never really know. Then again, it’s just as much of a mystery why she was one of the Democrats who was reelected.