As a non-republican … an independent voter who, at this point is leaning heavily toward the democratic platform … I have been buoyed by the confidence of many in the “blue wave” that many see as sweeping the mid-terms. At first, I was skeptical, thinking we were perhaps becoming cocky, over-confident, and that there were yet many hurdles to be either knocked down or jumped over. But, I eventually became a bit more optimistic and felt certain the democrats will take over at least one of the chambers of Congress in November. Turns out, my skepticism was justified. According to a piece in The Washington Post yesterday …
“With the Republicans’ House majority at risk, 47 percent of registered voters say they prefer the Democratic candidate in their district, while 43 percent favor the Republican. That four-point margin compares with a 12-point advantage Democrats held in January.” — 16 April 2018
Where did the other 8% go??? I wrack my brain, such as it is, trying to think why this should be the case. The republican candidates in a number of races are notably bad candidates with sometimes outrageous views and histories. Surely there hasn’t been any bright shining light from our current Congress, nor from the executive branch that would have driven a push to the right. So … WHY???
According to the analysis in the Post article, one reason is that Trump’s approval rating is hovering at right around 40%, as compared to 36% in January. Let us make note here that 40% is not a great approval rating by any standards, but it would seem that Trump set himself such a low bar to begin with that 40% now inspires the masses … somehow.
One issue that is almost certain to play largely into the equation in November is that of gun regulation. In the wake of the February 14 Parkland Florida mass school shooting, young people have taken the proverbial bull by the horns and made their voices heard around the nation. They want something done … now … before more of their friends die such a tragic death. And they are a force, for certain. But … before we become too cocky over that one, remember that there is also a push-back factor among those who see their right to own guns … any and all guns … as sacred. From the Post article …
“… three-quarters of voters who prioritize enacting new gun laws support Democrats for Congress, while 8 in 10 of those who give protecting gun rights greater significance support Republicans.”
So yes, more people, especially those who will be eligible to vote for the first time in their lives, will turn out to vote and will likely vote for a candidate who supports stricter gun laws. But at the same time, more people who might have let a mid-term election pass them by, will turn out to ‘protect’ their 2nd Amendment ‘right’.
It is the way of political campaigns to find a chink in the armour of the ‘enemy’ and blow it into a full-size chasm. The democratic party is not without its Achilles heels, one of which is Minority House Leader, Nancy Pelosi.
“Pelosi has a negative image, with 32 percent of Americans holding a favorable view of her, and 44 percent unfavorable. Among Republicans, she is well-known and widely disliked, with 74 percent holding unfavorable views of her, 63 percent strongly.”
CNN Politics has referred to Pelosi as ‘the Republicans’ secret weapon in 2018’.
As I noted in my three-part project last week, one of the biggest hurdles we face in November is getting people to the polls. I firmly believe that if we could get 85% of eligible voters to actually vote, the Democrats would sweep the mid-terms, but that is unlikely. Still, it behooves us all to work toward getting more people to vote, getting more people interested, reminding them what is at stake. We also face hurdles of gerrymandering, and while I applaud the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for their firm stance on re-districting, I don’t see other states following suit as I had hoped they would.
The Republicans are poised to play a dirty game of pool, and they are likely to continue to have the help of their friends, the Russians. Although it has been proven that the Russians did, in fact, interfere in several ways in the fairness of our democratic processes in 2016, the Trump regime has declined to take aggressive steps to avoid such interference this year. The Democratic Party must proactively counter the falsehoods and mud-slinging that is sure to start in earnest any day now, but it must do so without lowering itself to those standards. We must show the public the face of integrity, the face of values, ethics, compassion and intellect. Rather than engage in a mud-fest, we must prove why our candidate is the better one for the job.
So, why are the Democrats losing ground in the polls? Why is the ‘blue wave’ fading to aqua? I don’t have the answer, but we need to be finding it … SOON! There are 203 days left until election day.
The November mid-terms are too important for us to sit back and assume that anti-Trump sentiments will carry the Democratic candidates into a majority position in the House and/or Senate. It is said by many that Trump, himself, will doom the Republican candidates in November, and it is a comforting, appealing idea, but … it would be a mistake to become overly-confident. Remember 2016? We were so sure that a ‘man’ with no experience, no knowledge, and a big, loud, obnoxious mouth could never be elected to the most revered office in the land. Well, guess what, folks?