The GA-6 Special Election

Consider this a prototype. This is a project that my partner and I are working on in which we have been recording our conversations about (mostly) current events and exactingly transcribing them.

Though the final product has been very lightly edited, the idea behind this effort is to document what is undoubtably a historical era of our lives; to get a snapshot of how a pair of fairly typical, left-leaning Americans speak to each other about the events taking place around them; and to invite people to view the way we interact privately as partners. As such, the vast majority of stutters, trailing sentences, fillers, and the like have been left in place for this first run.

Submitted without further comment, a brief conversation on the GA-6 Special Election.

J: … I mean, there’s so many times [Nate Silver]’s always like, “well it’s just one data point so ultimately it’s almost meaningless.”

Z: Yeah…

J: (laughs) I mean, but he said, he made a good point —

Z (crosstalk): You mean no matter how it turns out?

J: Yeah.

Well, and the thing is though, he had a good point that sometimes things like this can end up making an outsize difference, whether or not they’re…

Z (crosstalk): Yes! Right, that’s what’s interesting.

J: Yeah. Right, yeah.

Z: I think this one will [have an outsize effect], regardless.

J: Probably, yeah, because it will be an indicator to Republicans whether or not… you know… what’s going on, and I mean there’s so many headlines that were like, “A REFERENDUM ON TRUMP!”

Z: Yeah…

J: So, we’ll see.

Z: I am hopeful but not particularly optimistic.

J: Yeah.

Z: But I think, what I’m really hoping, if he loses, and I know that this is NOT going to happen, that this is a ridiculous hope, but I really hope that… I assume it’s going to be relatively close and I hope it’s relatively close, I hope she doesn’t beat him by 10–15 points. That would be extraordinarily disappointing. I don’t believe it’s going to be like that, but it’s hard to say. But so I hope if it’s close, that cooler heads prevail and people realize that’s still a good sign. There are 71 more competitive districts than this one. A win here would be…

J: Right! Crazy. Price won…

Z: by, like, 23 points.

J: Yeah! 23 points. So it’s, I mean, in the FiveThirtyEight article it said “in 2016…” I was like yeah, 6 months ago. 7 and a half months ago. The Republican won by 23 points.

Z: 23 points. So, I mean, even if Ossoff comes close that’s — that’s a good showing in this kind of district.

J: Mhmm.

Z: This is not the kind of district that’s going to get as fired up as some other ones about Trump, or be as affected by some of Trump’s policies. It’s an affluent district. You know, the media talked about how Karen Handel’s “livable wage” comment, you know, probably doesn’t register much there —

J: Yeah!

Z: — because most people in that district aren’t living at that income level.

J: Yeah.

Z: Um… stuff like that. So, I’ll be interested to see what happens, I’m not crazy optimistic, I do think it’s fascinating, just, yeah…

J: The amount of money that’s been spent…

Z: The amount of money that’s been spent, the amount of stock that’s been put into on both sides. The problem, and the reason I’m not that optimistic too, just to finish this up… and again, I really hope — I hope it goes okay, I hope he wins, I hope he’s close, whatever. But polls were showing him with a lead, but a shrinking lead coming into tomorrow (the 20th). I think the most recent poll had him up by only one point. Granted, if there was a polling error in his favor he could be up 3–4 points in that poll.

J (crosstalk): Right. Well and…

Z (crosstalk): It’s been a downward trend.

J: he could also be bottoming and starting to trend up.

Z: He could be. He could be.

J: Right, right.

Z: But there was an overall… we did not see him start to trend up again from the more recent polls, but you’re right.

J: Yeah.

Z: And I wonder too if there’s a point of over-saturation.

J: I’m sure.

Z: Yeah… I mean I think a lot of people tuned it out a while ago, it sounds like, down there.

J: Yeah.

Z: But yeah. I hope they’re not annoying people at this point. Well, and I’m not —

J (interrupting): Oh, I’m sure they are.

Z: I meant enough to drive too many away.

J: Yeah.

Z: Of course they are…

J (crosstalk): Well, yeah.

Z: … they’ve probably been annoying people since Price left.

J: Right.

Z: But, I meant… annoy people to a true detriment.

J: Yeah. Growing up in a swing state, you get used to the… Well and the primaries, too, the caucuses in Iowa are so important, so you really get inundated then, too.

Z: Yeah, that’s really unusual for us in New Jersey.

J: Mhmmm.

Z: I remember when we went to Cedar Point that first time, we all remarked on…

J: Right!

Z: I think it was an election year, something was going on, we all remarked on all of the crazy political ads in Ohio.

J: Yeah.

Z: I think we were there in ’04.

(pause)

What other topics did you want to touch on? […]

We looped back around to finish our conversation on the GA-6 special election towards the end of the night, but it did not get recorded. We both agreed that we hope for the best, aren’t holding our breath, and whatever will be, will be.