Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Case For A Democratic Debacle In November

I’ve been trying to avoid getting too positive about the November elections, because it’s still a long time until November and many things can happen. But the evidence is coming in that the Democrats are going to get routed and that nothing will turn that around. Here’s the case for a huge disaster for the Democrats.

1. The Numbers Game. The Senate is a problem because there just aren’t enough Democrats up for election in November. But the House looks set for a Republican tidal wave. Here are some key facts:

• Republicans can capture 70 seats without picking up a single seat where registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans.

• Republicans lead the generic ballot by around 8%, and have done so for more than a year now. This translates into somewhere between a 70-100 seat pickup in the House.

• Turnout is critical in elections, and 62% of Republicans are excited to vote in November. Only 37% of Democrats are excited. And as we saw with CommiCon, the far left is demoralized and isn’t turning out and won’t be contributing time or money.

• The media talks about an anti-incumbent mood in the country, but polls show that 55% of people want their Republican representatives re-elected, only 41% want their Democratic representatives re-elected.

• Republicans look like they will capture 33 governorships covering 318 House seats (73% of the total). This could boost the above numbers simply with the coattail factor.
2. The Image Problem. Democrats have an image problem: 49% of Americans think the Democratic party is “too liberal.” You can win being too conservative in America, but you can’t win being too liberal. How bad have things gotten? Democrats are retiring or refusing to run all over the country, whereas Republicans are piling into the primaries. Even Harry Reid’s own son won't use his own last name in his ads for his race for Governor of Nevada (he still trails by 22%).

The Democrats also have shown that they are masters of corruption, which does not play well with the American public (usually listed as the number 2 or 3 concern of voters):
• Blagojevich is busy linking Obama and Rahm Emmanuel to attempts to sell Obama’s seat.

• Obama has been caught illegally offering government jobs to Sestak and Romanoff if they would drop out of their Democratic primaries.

• No one in Obama’s administration paid their taxes.

• Team Obama is thicker with lobbyists than K Street itself.

• Pelosi has spent like a queen on alcohol, office decorations, junkets and private planes.

• And every bill the Democrats pass is loaded with giveaways and dirty deals. And I’m not just talking about the Louisiana Purchase or the Nebraska Compromise, I’m talking about money for contributors and regulations to harm competitors of contributors, e.g. like ObamaCare preventing the creation or expansion of doctor-owned hospitals.
3. The Angry Middle. To win a general election, you need a majority of independent voters. For a year now, 2/3 of independents have been mirroring the views of Republican voters.

4. With Friends Like These. . . Meanwhile, the Democrats are fracturing. The left is running against moderates. The moderates have turned on Obama/Pelosi’s agenda. The activists are demanding suicidal policies be put in place while they still can, and Pelosi openly talked about sacrificing her moderates to get her agenda passed.

Moreover, none of them are defending ObamaCare or the Stimulus anymore -- their two big “achievements.” In fact, most are specifically avoiding town halls and won’t even do open questions at public appearances. And now, their left flank is forcing them into a war with Arizona and the vast majority of the American public.

Also, with the coming of election season, things are turning ugly in Democratic ranks. From the vaguely racist attacks on the winner of the South Carolina nomination, to the refusal to support the Lyndon LaRoucher who won the nomination in Texas, to the attempts to buy off competition for incumbents, the Democrats have shown themselves to be hypocritical corruptarians, who will do whatever it takes to protect “the establishment.”

5. The Unforgiveable Sins. The Democrats also have done several things that are simply unforgiveable to the public. They hoped that the public would forget about these by the time the elections rolled around, but the public hasn’t forgotten:
• ObamaCare: More than 60% of the public want ObamaCare repealed. In fact, this desire is so strong that the Democrats dropped their plan to paint Republicans as wanting to repeal ObamaCare.

• Seniors are furious about the $500 billion in Medicare cuts.

• Unemployment remains at 9.7%, with real joblessness above 17%.

• The Democrats have spent us into Greece-like levels of near bankruptcy. And they just can’t stop themselves.
6. A Deluge of “Other Shoes”. Everything the Democrats have done is starting to blow up on them. The Democrats have been hoping against reality that the economy would recover despite their economic policies and that people would give them credit for the recovery just in time for the election. But that’s not happening.

Twelve months after the end of a recession, we should be experiencing tremendous growth, massive job growth, and strong confidence across the economy. But growth is being projected downward again, consumer spending is anemic, bank failures are at their highest point in two years, foreclosures are at an all time high, unemployment is growing, and we are experiencing job losses -- not growth.

Also, their failure to act rationally last year and to trim state governments means that state governments will start running out of money, cutting worker pay and jobs right at the end of the summer.

7. All The Wrong Moves. Finally, the Democrats have one big handicap that will keep them from recovering: poor leadership. Obama’s approval rating remains stuck at the bottom of its range, between 40% and 45% (if you exclude black voters, this falls to 39% with 54% negative -- this is important because blacks are clustered in "majority-minority" districts designed to make sure black candidates get sent to Congress, which also means blacks rarely affect other districts). This is because he keeps making all the wrong moves.
• BP was not his fault, but it became his fault when he started dithering. He did the same thing he accused Bush of doing, only worse. Rather than going to the Gulf and appearing sympathetic, Obama remained silent. He played basketball, went on vacation, and went to the theater, all the while claiming he was too busy to do anything. Then he got angry, but never showed leadership. Instead, he flailed around impotently and looked like a man who wants to destroy all business. This hole is going to keep leaking right until the elections and every drop is hurting the Democrats. And even if it somehow stops in August, it’s destroyed the time the Democrats needed to repackage themselves.

• As I’ll outline in a couple days, Afghanistan is a failure. That won’t sit well with the American public. What’s worse, the fight with Gen. McChrystal reflects poorly on Obama (even though I fault McChrystal) because the public is already suspicious of the Democrats when it comes to the military, and this will only remind the public of the Democrats’ yellow streak.

• Obama also doesn’t know how to win the public back. He thinks trumpeting financial regulation will do it. Big whoop. The public doesn’t know what a derivative is or care.

• Finally, Obama has a penchant for insulting everyone with everything he does. The Democrats demonized the voters with their mocking of the Tea Party. They’ve blasted “greedy” doctors and “greedy” bankers. They blast the religious, the patriotic, and non-union workers. And they call us all nasty names because we want to see illegal immigration stopped. Moreover, Obama’s “famous cool” is turning out to be petulance and anger. People don’t like angry, whiny politicians.
To sum this up, the numbers favor us. All the poll numbers portend a tidal wave. The Democrats have alienated the middle, energized the right, demoralized the left. Their record is a record of failure and the few things that might have helped them are now turning sour. Moreover, they don’t seem to know how to fix this. And even if they did, they have insulted the public, and the public is no longer listening. Sounds like a disaster is inevitable now.


MegaTroll said...

Very encouraging stuff. Is there a counter-argument? And how many seats do you think the Republicans might get?

AndrewPrice said...

Mega, The counter arguments are that (1) all politics is local, and (2) the Democrats have time left to energize their base and depress the opposition. Buuuut. . . this year, all politics is national, which is rare, but not unheard of. Also, they were planning to use the summer to energize their base and then ended up getting lost in the BP spill. Plus, they've run into such an angry population that they're terrified to do anything to energize the base.

In terms of number of seats. I'm honestly thinking around 100 seats in the House and the Senate ends up 51-49 with us in the minority until the next election cycle. I'm waiting for a few more polls to do another Senate article.

Ponderosa said...

Counter arguments:

The Dems control all the levers of power for the government and have the media as cheerleader.

There are billions of unspent dollars floating around (Stimulus, etc.).

The economy could magically ‘recover’ (see above and Census Workers) in time for the election.

Unions (see billions, DISCLOSE).

Obamacare is no longer a front burner issue – they have successfully changed the subject.

The Republicans can commit unforced errors (see Joe Barton) or be perceived to make errors.

Obama could theoretically could move right – a bit.

Don’t forget about Bin Laden.

That said…I think Andrew is correct. It could be big.

I’ve been talking to people and they have not forgotten.
It is as if they’ve already voted. A switch has been flipped.

Oh and don’t forget the budget. It looks like they are going to "deem" it passed.

Unknown said...

Andrew: I'm like you. I think we're in great shape, but I'm worried that we'll manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

I must disagree with Ponderosa on one counter-issue. The scientific, non-partisan polls show that opposition to Obamacare is either holding or increasing, particularly among independents. The Democrats wish it would go away, but nobody is actually forgetting about either the legislation or the scandalous way in which it was passed. For review, see: Obamacare Makes The President Sick.

AndrewPrice said...

Ponderosa, I think the key in what you say is the idea of the switch having been flipped. I have never seen as few "undecideds" in my life. It really feels like the public has made up it's mind and is merely waiting until November. In fact, I see evidence of this in the lack of fluctuation in the polls and the fact that Obama doesn't get a bounce. I think the public really has stopped listening.

The counter arguments you make are good ones, except that I don't think any of them will matter. The unions only matter in a few areas, and those will be firmly Democratic. In fact, their debacle with Blanche Lincoln showed them to be a paper tiger outside of the Rustbelt.

As for the media, that's never stopped the public from moving right before, and now there are many more outlets for the truth than ever before -- also, the people who would mindlessly vote like the MSM tells them don't turn out in bi-elections. So I'm not worried about that.

As for the economy, they've been selling the magic recovery for a year now, but nobody's buying it. People know too many people who are unemployed to believe that things are getting better. Also, the stock market has stalled, and people treat that (wrongly) as an indication of economic health.

The big danger is a Republican mistake, see Barton. . . yep. The Republicans are exceedingly good at saying the wrong things at the wrong times. Also, the MSM is trying to saddle us with a couple of our worst politicians as "the new leaders" of the party in the hopes that they implode our side.

But in the end, I think the real problem for the Dems is that it's too late to change people's minds. The verdict is in, we're just waiting for the judge to read it.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I think that's correct. Every poll I've seen indicates that opposition has firmed up or gotten worse. And people still talk about it all the time.

In fact, the best evidence that this issue hasn't gone away is that the Democrats are avoiding town halls and are refusing to answer questions about it. That means they know its a hot button issue and they don't have answers that will make the public happy -- same thing with their attack on Arizona, which has them hiding under their desks as well.

Moreover, it's suffering from the death of a 1000 cuts. Every week something new comes out that just re-angers people -- like the point that 51% of people will lose their coverage within three years. And the idea that it's way more expensive than expected. And the fact they still can't get the doctor's fix through Congress.

It can't go away as long as these things keep coming up and re-opening the wounds . . . or opening new wounds. The thing about stopping doctor-owned hospitals only hit the news a couple weeks ago and has people furious in many rural communities which depend on those types of hospitals.

Tennessee Jed said...

I'm like Hawk. Republicans seem to find ways to get let than they are suppopsed to. One example is Democrats who run as moderate but then get bought or whatever. Sort of the Democrat version of John McCain.

Hell, as I have often pointed out, Obama was able to spin towards the middle during 2008 election, then governed hard left. And, as everybody has mentioned, there is plenty of time for an "October Surprise."

Bottom line, just as in match play, you must always expect your opponent to roll in the putt. Still, our position is better than the oppositions.

Ponderosa said...

Just being a wet blanket, I guess.
Team Obama still makes me nervous.

With everything listed - somehow they are still at 45% (per Rasmussen).

They were so good in 2008 and have been so bad since then. I keep expecting them to “wake-up”.

Unemployment drops to 7.9% and they are back in the game.

It is the start of the fourth quarter and we’re only up by a touchdown and they own the refs.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, That's definitely true that the Republicans are masters at pulling defeat from the jaws of victory.

But I think election will be different because this election is a referendum on Obama and the Democrats, not a referendum on the Republicans. We could be running a one-legged clown in each race and we would have the same chances.

The real problem for us becomes enacting an agenda after the election. If the Republicans can't get together a list of things they plan to do, which the public can rally behind, they won't have any mandate to do anything when they do take over the House. That's spells trouble.

AndrewPrice said...

Ponderosa, I understand the concern. . . trust me. I am very familiar with the Republican tendency to play the Lucy and the football game, over and over again.

But in this instance, I really don't think the Democrats have anyone with even a hint of competence in charge who can save them. And they have set out on the wrong strategy -- trying to do half-assed base-pleasing things in the hopes of turning on their base without angering moderates. That won't please either group.

As for the economy, the numbers simply can't turn around in five months -- especially since employment always falls at the end of the summer when temporary jobs are eliminated.

They might be able to fake the number down into the 8% range, but the problem is that the base number isn't the problem, it's the millions of Americans who know people who are unemployed and keep hearing about companies cutting back employees.

As for the 45%, consider two facts. First, you will almost never see either side below 43% because that's the natural constituency for both sides. To get below 43%, Obama would need to lose all the Republicans, all the independents, and start losing good numbers of Democrats. Even Bush (except for rare moments of true bone-headedness ) hovered around 43% because that was his "we love you no matter what" base.

Also, and this is key, Obama's 43% is overstated because it includes blacks who support him in the 92% range. As I mention in the article, if you exclude blacks, his approval number falls to 39%, with 54% opposed. And the reason you can exclude blacks is because they vote in black districts and have almost no impact on non-black districts.

Ponderosa said...

OK I re-read the article and I've changed from a defensive mindset to a let's finish this posture.

39% approval rating - that makes sense. Plus you're right there are only four more monthly job reports left before November.

I'm good to go.

AndrewPrice said...

Glad I could help! :-)

I'm not saying it's guaranteed, but the evidence is beginning to come in that this is way more likely than not. If nothing dramatic changes within the next month or so, then I would say we are in fact looking at inevitable.

CrispyRice said...

Great article and discussion, everyone!

I have little doubt that the Republicans will do well come November. My bigger concern, frankly, is that we are in for a double-dip recession, which will hit severely in oh saaaaay January, and the Republicans will take full blame for that.

Maybe I'm an eternal pessimist...

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, I think the Democrats are already planning for the double dip because they're running around claiming that the Republicans are causing it. If they didn't think it was coming, they would be talking about how things are going to get better, rather than how they will get worse.

In all honesty, I don't think that will work. There are three reasons for this. First, Obama will still be President, and the public blames the guy at the top. Reagan, Bush, Bush and Clinton all got the credit and blame for all things economic and budget, even though they had enemy Congresses they couldn't control.

Secondly, the Democrats are still likely to control the Senate as well, so we are headed for a strange form of "co-habitation," which usually makes it very hard for either side to blame the other.

Third, and most importantly, I think the Democrats have done some things that will stick with them. The biggest is that they have spent us to the point of bankruptcy. That scares people and makes the Democrats toxic again. Also, people know the economy is in horrible shape because of that, and I think they are likely to blame the Democrats for the poor economy because of the deficit unless the Republicans keep up the spending.

Ed said...

Great analysis! I want to believe all this will turn out like this, and you make me think it might. I don't want to jinx it, but I think November will be huge! I also agree that it seems like people have already made up their minds and nobody's listening anymore.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I see that too, though it's hard to prove it. Like I said above, I think the fact that Obama doesn't get a bounce anymore is a pretty good indication that no one is giving him the benefit of the doubt. Combined with the steady, negative poll numbers, I think it means the public has rendered their judgment. But you never know. We'll have to wait and see. In any event, I'm hopeful.

StanH said...

I agree Andrew, the winds are blowing right. We must not allow the MSM to define us, like the Joe Barton thing. Always remember the great Reagan’s 11th commandment! I’ve never been so excited about voting in a mid-term, come on November.

patti said...

while the news of late IS encouraging, i will not underestimate barry and his dirty-dealing ways. until the election results are in, i can't bring myself to be too encouraged. me thinks i'm suffering from barry-did-WHAT?! pts.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, I agree about Barton. But I will say that once again, it's an instance of a Republican rushing out to say the wrong thing when he should have sat back and watched Obama implode. In fact, the better strategy is to point out what they pointed out today -- that Obama has failed to act to let foreign boats into the area which could be absorbing the oil.

I'm excited too, and I think most on the right are. This could be a very good election!

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, I've been trying for the whole year to keep an objective eye on this and not get excited. But the evidence really is coming in of a Republican tidal wave. I certainly won't underestimate the other side -- or overestimate our team -- but it strikes me at the moment that the public has already made up it's mind and little could change that.

Ed said...

I was talking to my neighbor yesterday and they said the same thing, they are ready to vote and they stopped listening to the news because nothing is going to change their minds. I hope the rest of the country is like that.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I've heard similar things from people as well. But anecdotal evidence is dangerous because it doesn't actually represent the views of anyone other than the one person who said it. That's why I look at things like Obama's lack of a bounce as evidence that the public is no longer listening.

Don't get me wrong, I don't doubt your friend. But I just see that as more proof of trends that are already out there.

CrispyRice said...

Thanks, Andrew. It's encouraging!

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, I think so. Tell your friends!

Anonymous said...

Good stuff! Saw you at BH months ago. Just followed you over here. Keep up the good work. - J

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks J. Feel free to comment as much as you want. We're always happy for feedback -- even when we're wrong! :-)

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine e-mailed this to me. I so hope you're right. I don't think our country can take more of this, especially here in in Pennsylvania. Our government is a joke and they're going to destroy this country. I don't know if the Republicans are the answer, but they're better than what we have. God I hope people see that.

AndrewPrice said...

Anon, We can only hope. But I do have faith in the people of this country. They make mistakes, but they fix them pretty quickly.

Thanks for visiting, feel free to come back. And thank your friend for e-mail this.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing it. Where I'm at in Pennsylvania, we don't get a lot of not-liberal opinion, so I like reading things like this because the Gazette would never report any of this.

AndrewPrice said...

Anon, That's what we're here for. Pass our name on to your friend.

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