Updates to the Midterms:
it must be recognized that these Trump polls are much less accurate
due to pollsters skewing toward Republicans (Rasmussen) or Democrats
(Gallup). Furthermore, in a polarized electorate, many respondents
are untruthful in their answers as they are reluctant to be viewed
negatively by saying they are Trump acolytes.
enthusiasm polls show that Democrats lead Republicans by nine points
(51 percent to 42 percent) for the upcoming midterms, a gap that
should be viewed with extreme caution as enthusiasm does not cast a
vote, people do.
are in a political conundrum with less than four months left until
votes are cast in the midterms. Although projected to take back the
House by picking up more than two dozen seats, their political
tactics remain at best confused. Notwithstanding the Democratic
base’s strong opposition to the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh
for the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), Senate
Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is refusing to lead a no
holds barred strategy to block it. He has quietly given permission
to three Democratic Senators, in tough reelection battles in Red
states Trump carried by more than 30 points, to vote for Kavanaugh:
Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Joe Manchin (D-WVA).
believes that he can regain the Senate majority by allowing Democrats
wide berths on which parts of Trump policies they choose to support.
In other words, these Senators will function as Democrats in Name
Only (DINO). Such an approach to rebuilding a Democratic Senate
advantage is as laughable as it is tragic.
their Republican colleagues, the Democrats still have muddled
positions to take into the midterms. They are for and against
abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency; they
are committed to conducting a civil discourse with Trump while their
base is ‘chomping at the bit’ for a more aggressive
response as evidenced by Congresswoman Maxine Waters; Tom Perez, the
Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair, has put his thumb on the
scale in supporting New York’s Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo
in his primary race (as former DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman-Schulz,
did for Hillary Clinton in her 2016 presidential primary); and it is
under-funding female and minority candidates running in the midterms.
most disturbing are the Democratic leaders’ criticisms of
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who toppled ten-term Congressman Joe
Crowley, the fourth ranking member in the House Democratic caucus, in
New York’s 14th District. They seem not to grasp
that her focus on kitchen table issues was the key to her victory,
and that they would do well to follow suit.
the Democrats have under-invested in setting up the infrastructure
for getting out the vote (GOTV) among its supporters. Naively, it is
believed that simply sending out well-known surrogates—former
President Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, Senators Kamala
Harris, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and other
would be 2020 aspirants for the Democratic presidential nomination,
will be the key to Democrats winning House races. Although several
of the aforementioned Senators campaigned for Doug Jones in his upset
2017 win over Judge Roy Moore for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat,
his victory had more to do with his laser-focused state-level
campaign focus than on any of the aforementioned Senate helicopter
Trump has launched a national battle plan to elect GOP House and
Senate members and governors as he crisscrosses the country with his
signature rallies bashing Democrats and his designated ‘fake
media.’ He is so fixated on the latter that he caused a
kerfuffle when he chastised his staff on Air Force One for watching
TV news channels other than Fox News on his return from the Helsinki
Summit. The rigidity with which he makes all Republicans tow his
party line is to be respected if not admired and/or feared.
omission of Democrats is the lack of attention given to public-sector
employees, especially teachers and their unions, in the aftermath of
their devastating defeat by SCOTUS in the Janus case which
eliminated the right of unions to collect fees from non-union
members. This decision will cost unions millions of dollars and
likely millions of members over time as they leave and as prospective
members do not join. There has been almost no Democratic show of
concern about this loss which would have served to revitalize an
essential component of the long-term Democratic Party foundation.
in particular, could be the deciding voting group in state
legislative, House, and Senate midterm races. The extent to which
they are not fully engaged may spell defeat for Democratic candidates
in the Blue states of Maryland and New Jersey where their votes could
flip House seats into Democratic hands, aiding in taking back the
House, and where they could help shift the governorship to a Democrat
in Maryland. Moreover, the recently elected Democratic governor of
New Jersey, Phil Murphy, has apparently backpedaled on overhauling
and equalizing public school funding, a key plank of his campaign
platform, which teachers overwhelmingly supported in their turnout
he was elected, he quickly pivoted and made legalizing marijuana the
centerpiece of his first 100 day schedule which he has been unable to
pass. In the meantime, the Democratically-controlled Assembly and
Senate have balked at his inaction on this measure, causing other
progressive legislation—pension reform—to be held up.
This is another example of Democrats’ failure to attend to the
needs of a vital component of its base.
conundrums are aiding Trump in maintaining his Republican majority as
he has demonstrated his ability to advance a unified front to the
voting public which his base finds appealing and that energizes them
to turn out and vote for his candidates.