Along with other progressives, I'm trying to tread a middle way between undue optimism and excessive pessimism regarding tomorrow's Super Duper Important midterm election.
But after getting a politically-oriented phone call this evening from my daughter Celeste, who lives in Orange County, California (Laguna Niguel, to be exact), I'm tilting more to the side of "Democrats could have a great day on Tuesday."
Celeste has been interested in politics, but until this year I wouldn't call her an activist. Tonight, though, she excitedly told me that last weekend she did her first-ever canvassing -- for Harley Rouda, a Democrat who is running against Dana Rohrabacher in California's 48th District.
Rohrabacher, a conservative Republican who is known for his love of Putin and all things Russian, has held his Orange County seat for 30 years. But he's in a tough fight with Rouda this time around. FiveThirtyEight.com rates the race as a toss-up, with Democrat Rouda narrowly favored to win.
Celeste told me that over 1,100 people have volunteered to campaign for Rouda. Even more impressive, she said that young people were much in evidence at the Rouda meetings she's been to. (Celeste is 46, which I consider young, so those really young people must be in their 20s and 30s.)
She felt super-energized after canvassing for Rouda.
Remember, this is Orange County we're talking about. Sure, Laguna Beach leans liberal, but historically the 48th District has been solidly Republican. Celeste said it consists of coastal areas like Huntington Beach, which is a conservative stronghold.
So the mere fact that the Rouda-Rohrabacher race is so close is one reason to feel positive about Democratic chances tomorrow.
Another reason is the influx of fresh progressive energy into Orange County. Celeste proudly told me that she had recently joined WAVE, Women for American Values and Ethics, a non-partisan progressive group in Orange County formed after the 2016 election.
Regarding the Rouda campaign, Celeste told me that there were so many people wanting to canvass for Rohrabacher's Democratic challenger, they've been canvassing Democratic leaning households who haven't returned a ballot yet twice.
This sort of anecdotal evidence isn't proof that a Blue Wave is about to wash over the United States tomorrow.
However, when combined with polling, early voting, and other indicators of Democratic enthusiasm, my daughter's phone call tonight makes me pretty darn optimistic that November 6 will mark the beginning of the end of the national nightmare that began two years ago, when Trump soundly lost the popular vote but squeaked out a narrow victory in the electoral college.
Here's a photo of Celeste and her husband, Patrick, looking all southern California'y in Newport Beach.