It’s like ra-i-ain on your Election Day

IT’S LIKE RA-I-AIN ON YOUR ELECTION DAY…. The lead story from The Hill this morning strikes me as a little silly. There may be some merit to the underlying point, but forecasting nationwide weather conditions a week ahead of time is probably a mistake.

In more bad news for Democrats, rain is in the forecast for much of the country on Election Day.

Weather tracking websites, including and The Old Farmer’s Almanac, are calling for rain in the Midwest, Southeast and Northeast regions, with chances for precipitation in other parts of the country as well.

According to Laurel Harbridge, a Northwestern University political science professor, GOP voters are not typically discouraged by rain. “Republicans are helped by bad weather … it does harm Democratic prospects.”

Wendy Schiller, a political science professor at Brown University, echoed Harbridge. “Bad weather almost always hurts Democrats,” she said. “The traditional Democratic base tends to include lower-income people and the elderly. Both of those demographic groups have a hard time getting to the polls.”

When I saw the headline, talking about “rain in the forecast” for Democrats, I assumed it was metaphorical. But in this case, we’re talking about literal rain.

It’s certainly possible that bad weather could give the GOP an added edge in some areas, but (a) it’s tough to predict the weather a week in advance; and (b) it’s even tougher to forecast rain in “the Midwest, Southeast and Northeast regions,” which happens to cover most of a pretty large country.

Postscript: If you have no idea what the headline is in reference to, ask Alanis Morissette.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.