An important bellwether is the question of which party voters would prefer to control Congress, and it has long been the case that men prefer a Republican Congress and women favor a Democratic Congress.
But the poll conducted Sept. 3-7 found that women’s Democratic preference had shrunk to a 47%-40% margin — down from 51% -37% a month earlier. The swing was especially sharp among white women, who gave Democrats a 4 point edge in August; in the new poll, Republicans enjoyed 48%-40% advantage.
In a sign of the left’s new aggressiveness, a coalition of liberals is trying to marginalize a centrist Democratic policy group that was responsible for a Wall Street Journal op-ed article this week that said economic populism was “disastrous” for the party.
The coalition, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and three other liberal advocacy organizations have urged their members to contact a group of congressional Democrats who are honorary leaders of the centrist group, Third Way. It published the op-ed article on Monday contending that the liberalism of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio of New York City and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts would lead Democrats “over the populist cliff.”
The political case for “Obamacare” is going to have to be made by advocacy groups, party committees and politicians themselves. And it will have to be made non-stop via every viral and high-profile means available, at an intensity level that matches the few short hours devoted to the health law at the Democratic convention last summer. “They haven’t grappled with fact that this is going to be a continual fight. You cannot rest,” says Andrea Camp, a strategist who has advised groups that support the act. “You keep talking about it. It has to be top of mind, and that’s how you drive up the favorables on this.”
No Lawyers – Only Guns and Money has cross-indexed this post of mine about at-risk 2014 Democratic Senators and cross-indexed it with said Senators’ National Rifle Association (NRA) and Gun Owners of America (GOA) rankings. Some good advice there for people wanting to put pressure on the seriously at-risk Senators; as to the list there, I should note that since I wrote it it’s come out that Al Franken’s still waiting on getting a serious opponent lined up (which would make his seat a little safer), and Jay Rockefeller has decided to retire (which will make his seat considerably more at risk). I presume that the list will fluctuate between now and the nominal start of the 2014 election cycle (as opposed to the actual start, which was Election Day 2012)…
OK, now that I’ve read this Politico article about how the supposedly soon-to-be-triumphant Democratic party* is not going to get more than five seats at best (and may actually lose seats), and I’ve stopped laughing, let me do my civic duty for the day and explain what actually happened. There are three real reasons for this slow motion car wreck, and none of them are redistricting, outside money, and/or chicanery:
Nancy Pelosi. There is a reason why Speakers of the House tend to resign after being handed an electoral shellacking of the kind that was handed to Madam Speaker in 2010, as events since have shown. The woman is simply weaker as House Minority Leader than she would have been if she had never been Speaker of the House at all; less ability to command others, and decreased deference when it’s not to her face. There are people in the Democratic party who would rather badly like to actually react realistically to what happened in 2010, even if their solutions may not be realistic… but as long as Nancy Pelosi is running things, they won’t. She doesn’t think that she did anything really wrong. I understand that Pelosi is an earner, but honestly: get her out of the house and give her a Super PAC, then. (By the way: most of the ostensible answers in the Politico article happen to come back to the meta-problem – for Democrats, anyway – of Nancy Pelosi keeping her job.)
Barack Obama. You can argue about whether Barack Obama is a drag on House races or not, but it’s largely academic anyway: Obama for America simply can’t make itself care about the downticket races when they’re in trouble. Which is why House races have dramatically shifted towards the GOP in the last month. If you’re a Democratic candidate in a swing state, you might have seen the President stop by and help you out. Might. If not… well? Good luck?
Wave election fatigue. …We’ve had three wave elections in a row: two Democratic ones, and one Republican one that wiped out the first two. We’re pretty much out of low-hanging fruit. We’ll have some more in 2014 – it takes two to three terms for a Member of Congress to decide that he or she is invincible – but right now everybody’s mostly hunkered down and taking no changes.
And… that’s how it is. With one important caveat: none of this would really matter if the Democrats happened to have, say, a six point advantage in the electorate this year.
*Actually, to be fair to Politico they actually referred to Democrats as “a party that has a legitimate shot at keeping the presidency and the Senate on Tuesday.”
Obama ads like the one found in this Politico article are going to make it difficult for me:
Yup. Somebody thought that this was a good idea. I hope to God that it runs in every swing state, including the ones with a lot of people wondering whether Obama is really as Presidential as they once thought. I also wouldn’t mind hearing whether or not the Sesame Corporation is happy with them being identified with the Democratic party at this point; after all, I have Christmas shopping to do.
Politico, by the way, is not happy:
…the president, as others have noted, and his team have been going fairly small at a moment when Romney is consistent in a message and pivoting toward going bigger (the foreign policy speech, more emotion on the trail, and so forth). And this video is the kind of small ball that Boston smacked over for months.
It would appear that the Democratic party cannot afford a fourth day of festivities, to the point where they’re going to cancel their orignial kickoff event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. But don’t worry: the ceremonial anointing of The One will still be taking place at the Bank of America Stadium. Hold on, let me repeat that, for the benefit of the six remaining progressives out there who are still pretending that the President cares about their somewhat sad attempt to create a populist movement:
THE CEREMONIAL ANOINTING OF THE ONE WILL STILL BE TAKING PLACE AT THE BANK OF AMERICA STADIUM.
…leaving no-one in particular to challenge the Republicans.
Instapundit has reminded me of this story about retired General Ricardo Sanchez’s dropping out of the Democratic TX-SEN primary. The very short version: Sanchez was the handpicked recruit of the DSCC, much to the cynical amusement of hardcore partisan Republicans who looked forward to savaging rabidly anti-war DSCC chair Patty Murray for recruiting and running the guy who ran the infamous Abu Ghraib prison. And then Sanchez’s campaign… pretty much went nowhere, to the point where the man has decided to drop out from the race three days before the filing deadline. As to his possible replacements… well, as Lawrence Person’s BattleSwarm Blog put it: “So, Texas Democrats: Right now the only two candidates on your side who have filed are Sean Hubbard and Daniel Boone. Or a guy that doesn’t look old enough to drink, and a guy who’s been dead for 191 years.”
In other words, it’s not quite at Alvin Greene territory; more like Tara Hollis territory. Tara Hollis, for those who don’t remember, is a schoolteacher who ended up being the Democratic sacrificial lamb in Louisiana’s last gubernatorial election; her party leadership adamantly refused to send someone up against Bobby Jindal to be slaughtered, so they let that poor woman do it for them. As you might guess, I respect Hollis for that; and I’m pretty disgusted with her state party leadership for their cowardice. And now the Democratic Party of Texas, too. Continue reading Ricardo Sanchez drops out of TX-SEN Democratic primary…
If you have ever wondered why the GOP leadership’s first instinct in time of scandal* is to immediately jettison the offenders (whether they like it or not)… well, there’s a reason for that: it rarely gets better if you let things fester. Case in point… Politico reports that a Democratic caucus Tuesday devolved into a bit of a screaming match; Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey felt obligated to chastise Rep. Allyson Schwartz of Pennsylvania over the latter’s call for Weiner’s resignation. Pascrell has appointed himself as Weiner’s unofficial defender, which means that he apparently feels entitled to dictate to others (especially, well, female others) what is or is not an acceptable response to Weiner’s poor life choices.
Anyway, it got so bad that they had to send the aides out of the room, lest they gossip and leak – which didn’t help, of course. It never does. What does help in these cases is clear-headed pragmatism and the moral courage to accept a bit of pain now to avoid more pain later… which is why the Democrats are still in this mess (they haven’t even stripped this guy of his committees yet!), because their leadership is apparently incapable of either. It’s enough to make an outside observer want to give two for flinching. Continue reading The Tuesday Weinergate Democratic screaming match.