Polling data is showing Cthulhu with a clear lead over the other candidates, leading to accusations of voter tampering. Still, Cthulhu is a highly polarizing candidate, with polling showing a cult-like approval and existential dread as the most common sentiment reported by those polled with very little in between the two. Some election officials are starting to question Cthulhu’s campaign promise to “get inside the mind of voters” in light of this new polling data.
One poll suggested the Democratic candidate might not have been too far off the mark, at least in part. (And we may want to think twice about our own perceptions of Lovecraft.) (Note to readers: This article contains spoilers.)
What’s the point of polling if it has nothing to do with the election results? It could indicate whether or not Cthulhu is gaining ground among Republicans, or whether the Democratic candidate might actually be getting more votes than she had hoped. If she wins the election on Nov. 8, what will the pollsters say, and how will this affect the way we vote?
Polling is a part of this election season, so let’s give the data some credit. The polling numbers are showing Cthulhu with a real-world lead, in large part because most people who voted in the primary didn’t know she was running as a Republican and had no idea of her affiliation. There was much ado in the election over whether Clinton’s lead would be bigger than the Obama one in the general, and many Republicans and independents had already given up on the party to run as a candidate. But polls show some evidence that she actually did just that.
What this data says is that there is something really resonant about Lovecraft’s ideas, and in particular how those themes run counter to the idea that the United States has always been ruled by white men. For instance, when we read Lovecraft’s tales as a child, there were a lot darker themes to consider than what we might think today.
It’s been suggested that the Cthulhu Mythos has a direct influence on the way people feel about politics. We’ve seen that some Republican primary voters have begun to reject the idea of Donald Trump as a Republican nominee, as well as those who are not voting Democrat in the primary. Some have even argued that Cthulhu could have helped to keep Trump out of office, which would be a pretty interesting story for Lovecraft to tell.
Cthulhu is certainly resonating with some voters, and it’s encouraging to know that some of those in the polling are actually listening. But there are still questions. Why Cthulhu? Is there some deep connection between Cthulhu — his Cthulhu Mythos — and what we feel about the world of politics and power that the United States has come to inhabit since the days of our founding? Or is Cthulhu just a weird fantasy created by a guy who writes his stories in the margins of an obscure, weirdly influential book he’s never read?