I suffer an election hangover every November. This isn’t the result of my candidates winning or losing, but rather the countless hours spent trying to follow the polls leading up to Election Day. I scour the newspapers and newscasts for policy positions and track records before settling on a candidate, then watch helplessly as the lines are redrawn after the primaries. Candidates usually pivot again as the convention platform takes shape, leaving me wondering whether I’m backing the right horse. By the time the West Coast results roll in on that first Tuesday night in November, I’m desperate to get to sleep as the talking heads take over. It never happens.
I’m not proud to admit I’m a political junkie. I study down-ballot candidates and the successful prognostication percentages of the various polls the way seasoned bettors handicap NFL games. I study the electoral map as if I were Christopher Columbus navigating a new path to India … and often with similar success. Like any junkie, no amount of my drug is ever enough; I end each election season swearing I’ll never put myself through that again.