Wednesday, June 20, 2018

November: Democrats Are Counting On A Wave, While Republicans Count On Gerrymandered Districts


Monday morning, the right-wing Washington Examiner tried painting a picture that the Blue Wave is no sure thing. I guess they hoped no one would dig down into their article-- which pretty much shows-- as far as anything 4 months away can do-- that it really is. They cite polling numbers that go up and down but end by admitting the Democrats are ahead in generic polling now by between 7.3 and 7.7%. And they don't talk much about independent votes who have turned against the GOP and who aren't affected by a gerrymandered map.

They then quote a former conservative Democratic hack who spends his time on Fox News, Pat Caddell, as though he were an actual Democrat. Caddell, a blowhard is always available to be the "Democrat" who proves whatever the GOP wants him to prove but even he couldn't say there was no wave coming. "I think the blue wave has receded somewhat," said Pat Caddell, a longtime Democratic pollster and consultant who is now a Fox News contributor. "I still think that as long as this election remains unclear about how it’s focused, there is an instinct in off years for anybody who disapproves of anything about the incumbent to vote no" on the presidential party.
Karl Rove dismisses the idea of a blue wave even in the House. “Instead, 2018 will be a brutal district-by-district battle,” he wrote in the Wall Street Journal. “Each outcome will be determined as much by the quality of candidates and their campaigns as by the national climate.”

That doesn’t mean all is well for the GOP, however. Republican strategists conceded to the Washington Examiner that there is still an “intensity gap” that favors the Democrats. “Voters are motivated by three things: greed, anger and fear,” said Brian O. Walsh, president of the pro-Trump outside group America First Action and a former NRCC political director.

Republicans aren’t greedy because they have just gotten a tax cut, they aren’t angry because they are in power in Washington and they aren’t afraid because they are not yet convinced those majorities are in jeopardy.

Republicans have underperformed in special elections dating to last year, even when they have won. And they have lost their share: a Senate seat in Alabama, where Trump won by 27.8 points; a Wisconsin state senate seat where Trump won by 17; a Pennsylvania congressional seat in a district Trump won by 20.

Pennsylvania is a problem because of court-imposed redistricting Democrats say reverses Republican gerrymandering and Republicans contend merely re-gerrymanders the state for the Democrats’ benefit. Either way, it is likely to lead to a net loss in Republican seats in a year where the party doesn’t have many to spare.

“With the majority of primary elections behind us, it’s clear that Democrats have nominated incredibly strong candidates who uniquely fit their districts and have built top-tier campaigns,” said Tyler Law, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “With a huge pickup in Pennsylvania, highly effective maneuvering of the California top-two system, and a historically unpopular House Republican agenda on healthcare and taxes, Democrats have all the momentum heading into the midterms. That said, we take nothing for granted given that Republicans will have a massive resource advantage with all of their dark money outside groups.”

California is a good example of the mixed signals this election cycle has sent. Democrats feared their overcrowded primary fields, riven by ideological divisions between factions loyal to 2016 nominee Hillary Clinton and her progressive challenger Bernie Sanders, would deprive them the opportunity to contest some Clinton-won districts in the state currently represented by GOP congressmen. Because California had adopted a top-two “jungle primary” system regardless of party affiliation, the concern was that Democratic votes would be so split in some of these districts that none of their candidates would make it to the general election ballot.

Instead Democrats advanced in all these districts. “First, we didn’t get locked out of anything,” said Brad Bannon, a Democratic strategist. “This gives Democrats an opportunity to play to November… Second, if you look at some the Republican incumbents, yeah they finished way ahead of their Democratic opponents, but they ended up in the high 40s. The reality is, they’re going to have to do better than that to win in November."

...Republicans also have a conflict in their messaging. Trump is an asset in the Senate races that will decide the majority but a liability in some of the at-risk congressional districts. That means different approaches to the president not only for each race, but arguably each legislative chamber.

Trump and congressional Republicans are also split on the winning formula. The latter would like to focus almost exclusively on the tax cut. Trump mentions taxes but also wants to talk tough on immigration, trade, MS-13 and national security, emphasizing his full agenda.

Caddell contended the tax cut is still “too controversial” and recommended “weaponizing the economy, impeachment, raising taxes and [the Democrats'] defense of many things that I think are indefensible. Otherwise, the natural structural tendency is to favor the Democrats.” He also suggested Republicans could sharpen their critique of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., by picking their own successor to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., before the election.

Pelosi has emerged as a powerful GOP counterweight to the Democrats’ use of Trump to motivate voters. Republicans credit anti-Pelosi ads with helping save a seat in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District last year. But some GOP operatives fear their base doesn’t take the threat of a second Pelosi speakership seriously enough to turn them out.

“The Democrats can’t have it two ways,” Caddell said. “They can’t say ‘I’m not for her, but I’ll see what happens. Uh-uh.” Pelosi’s grip on the caucus could be loosened if Democrats win a small majority, amplifying the influence of a small number of defectors, or a particularly large majority where the amount of new blood makes things unpredictable-- and she is certainly at risk if her party doesn’t capture the majority at all.

Democrats are going to force a similar choice on Republicans regarding Trump. In Virginia, where as many as three GOP-held House seats may be at risk, that will be magnified by the candidacy of Republican Senate nominee Corey Stewart, who is arguably more prone to controversy than the president. This isn’t good for vulnerable incumbents such as Rep. Barbara Comstock, who already faces criticism for being insufficiently pro-Trump-- an argument her primary challenger made on his way to winning 40 percent of the vote.
Maybe it would have been more important to mention that 53,843 Democrats voted in VA-10 on primary day compared to just 46,575 Republicans. Comstock should be looking for another job, because having neo-Nazi Corey Stewart at the top of the ticket she's running on isn't going to sit well with independent voters-- nor will it encourage mainstream Republican votes to go to the polls in November. And even if Caddell, Fox and the Washington Examiner don't get it, yesterday the Cook Report switched their rating in the VA-10 race from "toss-up" to leaning Democratic.

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At 6:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your poster at the end! Please send a copy to every newspaper in the country and one to the White House.

At 8:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No. The Nazis are counting on hate and the haplessness of the democraps. Gerrymandered districts help, but not enough.

And it's an anti-red wave, if it is any color of wave.

“The Democrats can’t have it two ways,”

The democraps have had it two ways since 1981. They've sold policy to the corporations while pretending, badly, to still give a fuck about the people.
They've HAD it both ways because voters are too goddamn stupid to see the fist that keeps punching them... while it says it 'feels their pain'... or some other lie.

They CAN have it both ways... as long as voters let them. So far, voters have let them.

At 8:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The democraps have done nothing to earn any wave. They have no credible message, no honest policy issues, no record and no empty slogan worth running on; they have damn few charismatic candidates. Their only advantage, if it exists in November, will be the retarded Nazi in the wh and his keystone cops Reichstag surrounding him... and the fact that they are not them... close, but not quite.

It's an anti-red wave.

Once the democraps prove, once again and still, that they don't deserve and will do nothing with majorities, they'll be swept aside, again, as 10s of millions of their voters just give up.

At 1:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Slaves follow the orders of their masters. The "dems" are paid to lose - and they will.

At 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "democrats" are giving away the store with their inaction.

The CA Legislature just pushed through amendments which gut the loudly touted state net neutrality protection law. As the Legislature is heavily dominated by "democrats", they cannot claim that Republicans forced them to do this.

At the national level, trump is sending active-duty JAG lawyers to the border area to prosecute those detained. How long before military justice is visited upon the rest of us?

Roland Freisler grins in Hell!

And the "democrats" do NOTHING - AGAIN!

At 1:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:34, the 'craps are unable to do anything since their numbers make them irrelevant.

The question is what might they do if they DO become relevant, perhaps next January?

To answer that question, I invoke memories of 2009. They had total power, unassailable numbers, and refused to do anything at all... EXCEPT continue and expand what cheney/bush had started; keep criminal CEO/CFOs in place and their corporations whole; massively empower health insurance and phrma corporations by handing them 30 million more victims from whom to profit; austerity; new xxFTAs and a whole list of smaller gifts to corporations.

Whatever the democraps DO will be in the shopping list of the corporations that own them. It's entirely possible that they are anathema to comprehensive immigration reform because of their love of cheap labor.

Besides, keeping immigration the chaotic cluster fuck it is gives them 'issues' on which to run after 10s of millions of their voters give up once they see, again and still, that the democraps are shit. We'll still have stories of DACA and babies separated from their mothers in 2020 or 2022.

The Nazis have been milking the abortion and gay thing for 45 years now. They could have made both illegal in the '80s under Reagan or in the 2000s under cheney/bush if they wanted to. They don't. They need hate and fear issues to make their brain dead voters show up.

The democraps have learned from the Nazis.


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