A Defining Moment In American Politics
The 2014 midterm elections are fast approaching. This may prove to be a defining moment in American politics, and certainly one for the future of America and for the Republican party. The Republicans have a real opportunity to take over the United States Senate. Democratic strategist, Joe Trippi said he thinks if the Democrats can pull out this election, “it will be a miracle”.
Never in the history of our nation, and our Constitution, has there been so much at stake for our country and our future than right now. Both parties are busy shoring up their bases in preparation to take the fight to the American voters in November.
President Obama is not up for re-election, but his policies are, and Democrats will bear the brunt of the nations ire and frustration. There have been six years of controversy—Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the IRS targeting scandal, Obamacare, the VA hospitals scandal, Solyndra, the Stimulus Package, Illegal immigration, the mad dogs of the Middle East (ISIS) waging war and unspeakable misery to Christians among their own, as well as the innocent of Israel and America’s homeland (the Infidels), high unemployment, the collapse of the housing market, staggering debt, and the gutting of the military….. and well…you get the idea.
With the tumultuous scandals, liberal policies, charges of racism, the war on religion, our President going rogue– armed with his pen and phone, the threat to dismantle our Constitution and our freedoms and rights, it is easy to feel helpless and disenfranchised, But there is a ray of hope—we still can vote! Yes, we still can vote and therein lies the power of the American people. Destructive liberal policies have rocked our nation, but our voices have not yet been silenced. The American people still hold the real power. Remember—the federal government works for us—not the other way around.
Without the full force of the liberal media advancing a leftist agenda, the Left would be without a serious advantage.
The polls as of Thursday, September 18, show that more Americans disagree with Mr. Obama’s handling of terrorism, the economy, foreign policy and domestic issues at home. The CBS/ New York Times poll on Wednesday, September 17, revealed that for the President, in nearly every category his numbers are at an all-time low approaching the 2014 midterm elections:
-This poll finds negative assessment of President Obama, including more than half who say he isn’t being tough enough in his approach in dealing with the Islamic militant group ISIS.
-The President received his lowest polling ever on handling terrorism and on foreign policy.
-More generally, 57% are unhappy with his presidency.
-Republicans are more enthusiastic about voting this November, and 55% of Republicans say their vote will be AGAINST the President.
-Americans are unhappy with Washington and disapprove of both parties in Congress.
-The Republican party has the lead over Democrats on key issues—the economy, foreign policy, and terrorism—and,
-Republicans have the lead in the generic congressional ballot.
On the President and the 2014 elections–despite his speech last week, the president receives criticism for his most recent foreign policy challenge—the situation with the ISIS militants—and his approval ratings on handling terrorist and foreign policy have also taken a hit. 57% of Americans don’t think President Obama is being tough enough in dealing with the ISIS militants while just 31% think his approach is about right. Republicans are particularly critical of this President on this measure–83% of Republicans don’t think he is being tough enough.
The Democrats have a lot to be fearful of going into the fall campaign. The GOP has a good chance of winning enough Senate seats in November to gain a majority in the body giving them control of both congressional chambers.
The President’s overall approval rating is about as low as it has ever been. According to a New Washington Post-ABC News poll, released on Tuesday, September 10, the President’s approval rating stands at 42 percent. That’s a bit higher than the latest Gallup poll, which has the President at just 38 percent. Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans think that Barak Obama is a failure. In a Wall Street Journal article Karl Rove said, “The Democrats face significant challenges in the midterm elections. It can’t help them that the party’s two most prominent figures—President Obama and Hillary Clinton—have become tone deaf.” And we expect that feeling to show up in the results.
With this election we can have a say in America’s future. Will we turn back the move toward Socialism, or will we help cement the path which leads to the fundamental transformation of our country?
In a piece in Townhall Daily.com on September 12, by Donald Lambro, entitled, “55 Days and Counting: When the Unemployed Get Their Turn to Fire The Democrats for Killing Their Jobs”, Lambro does a good job of laying it out. He says that weak job creation has gone from bad to worse in the past month. He points out that the nation’s employment numbers rose by just 142,000 in August and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reduced its job number estimates by 28,000 for July and August. Democratic leaders have remained—not surprisingly—quiet on this issue this close to the election, which affects the middle class, the very people they supposedly care so much about. And—it seems likely, even by the admission of some in the news now, that the voters may hold Democrats responsible for the dismal employment picture, and this administration’s worsening economy of the last six years. According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll published on Tuesday, September 8, 54% of Americans now disapprove of the way Mr. Obama is handling the economy, with only 42% (the base of the Democratic party) saying they approve. The same poll found that on the question of ‘who will you vote for in the House elections, the numbers are clearly favorable for the Republicans.This midterm, Republicans have the wind at their back. The President’s low approval ratings, the high percentage of Americans who think the country is heading in the wrong direction, and the pessimism about the economy and employment, all benefit the GOP.
Let’s take a moment and discuss money and donors; and, the Democrat Party has an abundance of both. While Harry Reid rants and froths at the mouth about the Koch Brothers, the Democrats have a few liberal big money donors of their own. One such donor (we’ve mostly talked about George Soros, the billionaire grandaddy of the liberal movement) is billionaire Tom Steyer. He has managed to escape a lot of “out-loud” discussion. Well, that’s probably because they have been heard far and near ranting about the Koch Brothers, so they can’t very well in the same breath bring up one of their own. And, they probably hope we won’t notice. They probably think we are too stupid to realize that the Democrat party is filled with them. At any rate, Mr. Steyer is every bit as much a force in politics as the Koch Brothers. Steyer has enjoyed relative anonymity, but as one person put it, that just “proves that the Left doesn’t care about money in politics—it’s about the WRONG money in politics.”
So, just where is Steyer putting his money? The Associated Press reported that when he vowed to spend as much as $50 million of his own money, and raise the same from like-minded donors, the billionaire electrified the political world with his promise to make climate change an issue in this year’s midterm elections. He completely shifted his election strategy. Mr. Steyer said in a recent interview, “our strategy is to do direct voter contact.” He stressed that particularly in an off-year election, it depends more on turnout. But, his operation will focus only on a handful of races, bypassing several coal and oil rich states where Democrats are in highly competitive Senate contests that could determine control of that chamber.
Steyer is dumping millions into campaign ads attacking Republican lawmakers that he deems not interested in the environment. BUT, poll after poll shows that for voters, even if some think the environment is important, that issue ranks down on the priority list. They, by far, think the economy and jobs are the biggest issue they face in America today and the subjects that will impact their votes the most. One critic called Steyer’s ads weird and bizarre and said they need some fact-checking, and some have drawn mixed reviews. At any rate, as you can see, for Harry Reid, he doesn’t mind big money in politics, it is where it goes that is the issue. And, it is a matter that Mr. Steyer and the other big money donors he hopes to engage, hope to compete with billionaire industrialists and conservative philanthropists Charles and David Koch.
In other news as we near the election—let’s take a look at Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the head of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). The Dems have had their long knives out for her recently. She has been receiving some harsh criticism from her fellow liberals. They seem to be disenchanted and ganging up on her. She always did shoot her mouth off without thinking about what she was saying. I actually think that she did think about it but just didn’t care. If you look back at the things she says, she for sure does it without fact checking, like the “back-of-the-hand” comment about Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker concerning women, comparing Walker to men who slap their women—and, she’s said things and made comparisons that didn’t even apply, like comparing the Tea Party to “wife beaters”. Wife beaters? Huh? How so?
But, Obama has always liked her, he seems to have confidence in her. On the other hand, it has been widely thought, and verbalized by many, that Hillary has never really liked how Wassermann Schultz has run the DNC. Why do the White House and the Dems stick with her– other than the fact that Mr. Obama has always seemed to like her. It all, however, is more than just about him. That takes us back to the Democrat party—the upcoming midterm elections in November, and looking further ahead to a Hillary run in 2016. There has been a lot of talk that the Dems want Wasserman Schultz’s hair—and there is a lot of it. Of course, that wouldn’t be sexist on their part—you know, a war on women. And, speaking of women, they put Barak Obama in the White House in 2008. They turned out big for Obama, in 2008 and 2012, and they represent a lot of voters—a huge block in the Dem party.
Of course, while the Dems have cringed at what comes out of her mouth and the possible “turn-off” value across all voting blocs—what about Harry Reid, who really is always shooting off his mouth with—most times—not a fact in sight? He has really put his foot in it at times, and in ways one would think would hurt Dems. But–one thing to keep in mind—Wasserman Schultz has beaten us twice.
Back to the midterms. Let’s take a look at how some women lawmakers are doing so far in the races for Senate seats. We have Mary Landrieu in Louisiana who is involved in a neck and neck battle with Republican challenger Bill Cassidy. In a recent poll, in this conservative state, of Louisiana voters—so far—51% say they prefer Mr. Cassidy as their next Senator while only 38% are in favor of incumbent Landrieu.
But, in the race for the Senate in Kentucky, Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell is trailing his female challenger by a narrow margin. Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is leading McConnell with 45% in her favor and 44% for McConnell. She is the current Secretary of State in Kentucky. McConnell has been accused by the opposition of not standing up for women in Kentucky. The National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman characterized the Kentucky Secretary of State as an “empty dress” who “babbles incoherently.” Her campaign demanded that McConnell step in and denounce the sexist, degrading, and offensive remarks– and others, made by the NRSC Communications Director, Brad Dayspring in an email to “The Hill”, a top U. S. political website.
Of course, at a time when Republicans are battling hard-fought ground wars against candidates in the Democrat Party, for coveted seats in the Senate that may, in part, define the future of the GOP itself, it would seem that leaders in the party such as Mr. Dayspring, would keep any unnecessary, and sexist remarks to themselves. Almost never has it been such an important time when all Republicans from now through 2016 will be under a microscope, and their liberal counterparts are looking for any—even the smallest blunder to jump on and spin into a potentially damaging story. I would have thought in our history, particularly of the past six plus years, we would know to leave the name calling and nasty vitriol to the Liberals who are so good at it.
In the Iowa Senate race, this important contest remains tight. At the moment, it is dead even. We have Republican Joni Ernst vs. Democrat Bruce Braley. This is an open Senate seat. Democrat Tom Harkin will not run for re-election. Braley is focusing on the minimum wage in his campaign while Ernst doesn’t support a minimum wage hike. As part of his strategy, Braley is taking his attack on Ernst on the minimum wage right to the voters, saying that Ernst is too extreme for Iowa. Harkin and his Republican counterpart, Sen. Charles Grassley have been a part of the Senate since the 1980’s.
But, in Iowa, there are other concerns with Bruce Braley as far as Republicans are concerned. Braley is labeled the second most liberal running in any targeted U. S. Senate race in the country, second only to Colorado Democrat Mark Udall, while his Republican challenger, Joni Ernst falls in the ideological middle among GOP candidates running this year.
But, there are a couple of things in play in Colorado that could potentially be problematic for Republicans. Democrats are counting on the demographics, which include a huge gender gap, which could help their fairly strong candidate, Sen. Mark Udall. Dems, and Udall, could be helped by new voting laws passed by the Democratic-controlled state legislature in 2013, which allow for same-day registration and a requirement that all registered voters receive a ballot in their mailbox. In Iowa, Democrats have a history of successfully reaching and turning out their voters– the GOP has had a problem with turnout, especially in Iowa. In both of these states Romney won by 10 points or more.
In the Montana race, also involving a woman candidate, Democrat Amanda Curtis, is opposing Republican Steve Daines for an open Senate seat to replace Democrat John Walsh who is not seeking re-election. The latest poll shows a wide margin for Daines at 53% as opposed to 35% for Curtis.
In the Georgia Senate race to replace retiring Republican Saxby Chambliss, a Democrat and daughter of longtime Senator Sam Nunn who served in the Senate for 24 years until his retirement in 1996, Michelle Nunn, is leading Republican candidate David Perdue 45% to 43%. This poll was conducted by a Republican strategist, which makes it especially bad news for the GOP and their hopes of taking the Senate. But, we will see. Anything can happen in the next month, and Democrats have done a good job of digging themselves into a hole so far. While it is true that Democrats are running scared, they could still pull it out of the fire. Democrat strategist and one usually admired for his honesty and thoughtful analysis, Joe Trippi—beside his remark that if Democrats do turn things around it “would be a miracle”— added that he thinks the accurate forecast is five to eight seats for Republicans in the Senate. The GOP needs to land at least six seats in their win column in order to take control of both chambers of Congress.
Other important states to watch during this election cycle are FL, VT, OK, and AZ.
Democrats in many midterm races across the country have been staying clear of the President. He was in North Carolina this summer to address the American Legion National Convention. Senator Kay Hagan wanted no part of him. The Democrats are not crazy about him there. Ms. Hagan in the North Carolina race to keep her seat, has a two point lead over her Republican challenger. The latest polls have her at 42% vs. 40% over her opponent. Polls show that about 12% of likely voters are still undecided.
In Alaska, Mark Begich made it known that he does not want President Obama to campaign for him. In Denver, Colorado, early in July, President Obama arrived in Denver to headline his first fundraiser for a Senate Democrat. Colorado Senator Mark Udall is in danger of losing his Senate seat. But Sen. Udall chose not to show up, deciding instead to stay in Washington. Sen. Udall feigned regret that he couldn’t be in Denver to greet the President, but, Udall had already been planning to limit his appearances with the President. In Colorado, as in other places, the President is not very popular. Mr. Obama’s popularity is way down in many states where he is polling in the low to mid 30’s.
Republicans have everything going for them in November. If the combination of a great environment, lower turnout by unenthused Democrats, and good candidates can get them to victory in swing states like Colorado and Iowa, it bodes well for the GOP in the midterms and a presidential candidate in 2016. The policies of Democrats, brought on by the current White House may unravel success for the Democrats. Key Democrats on Capitol Hill have, with the help of the mainstream media, been trying to distract voters from heavy evaluation or much thought on the policies and positions that have plagued the Democrat party. They will instead level baseless attacks on their GOP opposition in the absence of any accomplishments or policies that they can point to, and they certainly do not want to bring up any of the disastrous results of how they have managed issues that have come up, particularly over the past two plus years. How do they divert the attention of their voting blocs and give them something to latch onto and spin? They have been doing what they do best as a last effort to convince their voters that Republicans are bad for America. They have been concentrating since early spring on the one thing that they think is their ace-in-the-hole—“dark money”. Yes, they are painting the entire GOP with the “dark money” brush. It is obvious that the Left can’t compete with the Right with anything nearing the “truth” or “facts”. They simply aren’t credible. That leaves them with the only option available to them—attack the source of the funding for the GOP and its message. And big money, as we know, and I have pointed out here and in other articles, from outside the various states is flowing just as readily into the coffers of the Democratic party as the GOP or any other “party”. As one person put it, the source of funding is immaterial, what is material is the position, policies and decisions candidates hold and put forth. People should not be distracted or fooled by the Left’s smoke and spin. At this important time, everyone should be doing his research. And—be wary of the party heads, democratic lawmakers and the liberal media trying to keep those who were fooled the last couple of times–all of those in their voting blocks—and those that aren’t—drinking the Kool-Aid by feeding them their “spin”.
Lets take a little closer look at what the latest poll—the CBS/New York Times poll taken on Sept 17: President Obama’s handling of the threat of terrorism—once considered an area of strength of this President—after the killing of Osama Bin Laden, is now at the lowest of his presidency. Just 41% approve of his handling of the issue– a drop of 12 points since March. Since March, the President’s approval rating on the handling of terrorism has declined across the political spectrum: Republicans (down 11 points), Democrats (down 16 points), and Independents (down 10 points).
The President’s approval rating on handling of foreign policy, now at 31%, is also a record low. His ratings on the economy and immigration continue to be negative. The President’s overall job rating remains more negative than positive. 40% approve of his overall job performance—similar to last month (August), although his rating is 5 points lower than it was heading into the 2010 Congressional elections—when Republicans won control of the House of Representatives. At 40%, President Obama’s job approval rating is similar to George W. Bush’s in September 2006, before the 2006 midterm election when Democrats captured control of the House and the Senate.
Most Americans (57%) are disappointed in Mr. Obama’s presidency, including a third who are VERY disappointed. Much of this discontent comes from Republicans and Independents , but a quarter of Democrats express at least some disappointment.
The negative evaluations of the President may have an impact at the ballot box in November. Some registered voters—especially Republicans—say their vote for Congress this fall will be against President Obama. More than half of Republicans (55%) say that, as do a quarter of Independents.
ISSUES AND THE 2014 ELECTION
Despite the conflicts oversees, the economy (38%) is the most important issue to both Republican and Democratic voters in this election. Most continue to say the nation’s economy is in bad shape.Terrorism comes in second (17%) followed by health care (16%), immigration (10%), the federal budget deficit (8%), and international conflicts (6%). The Republican party leads the Democratic party on some key issues. Voters nationwide say the Republican party will do a better job on the economy (the top issues for voters), foreign policy and terrorism. The Democrats have the edge on health care, despite the unpopularity of the Affordable Care Act. The parties are even on handling immigration.
As recently as early August, the parties were even on the economy at 42% each. The poll asked voters how a candidate’s stance on some issues might impact their vote. A candidate’s support for a hike in the minimum wage looks to be a plus. By more than two to one, voters say they are more likely, rather than less likely, to vote for a candidate that supports an increase in the minimum wage.
The impact of a candidate’s support for the health care law or a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants is largely driven by partisanship. Most Republicans say that they are less likely to vote for a candidate who supports the health care law or a path to citizenship. On the other hand, majorities of Democrats say they are more likely to favor a candidate who supports both.
DISSATISFACTION WITH WASHINGTON AND THE POLITICAL PARTIES
Dissatisfaction among the public extends beyond the President. Americans give negative ratings to both parties in Congress, although the Republican Party gets a lower overall rating than the Democratic Party. Americans are clearly displeased with Washington. 77% are dissatisfied or angry about the way things are going in the nation’s capitol. Majorities across party lines are unhappy, but Republicans (39%) are more likely to say they are angrier than Democrats (16%). In addition, two-thirds of Americans say the country is off on the wrong track.
VOTING IN THE MIDTERMS
This year’s election campaigns have yet to capture the full attention of many voters. While 6 in 10 are paying at least some attention, just a quarter are paying a lot. And looking back to four years ago, more voters were paying attention then. 74% in September of that year, including 30% were paying a lot of attention. Nor is there a lot of excitement about voting this year. Nearly half of registered voters say they are less enthusiastic than usual about voting this year compared to previous midterm elections. 38% are more enthusiastic, but that’s down from 43% in 2010 and 2006. The level of enthusiasm among voters today is similar to what it was in 1998. But there is a partisan enthusiasm gap: Republicans (45%) are more likely to be enthusiastic than either Democrats 33% or Independents (36%).
CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS: MORE ON ENTHUSIASM ABOUT VOTING
If the elections for the U. S. House of Representatives were held today, Republicans would hold a six-point edge in a national vote among likely voters—those most apt to vote in this election. But, with about a month left to go before Election Day, there is time for change, as 12% of likely voters say they don’t know who they would vote for, or it depends. Even those who plan to vote for the Republican candidate for Congress this year disapprove of the Republicans in Congress, but they disapprove of Democrats, and President Obama much more. At this point, men are backing the Republican candidate for Congress, while women are more divided in their support. While most partisans plan to vote for their own party’s candidates, Independents say they will cast their votes for the Republican. Suburban and rural voters lean toward the Republican candidates, while those in urban areas are inclined to support the Democrats.
In this election we can have a say in America’s future. Will we turn back the move toward Socialism, or will we cement the path which leads to the fundamental transformation of our country.
But, Dems are trying everything. Jonathan Martin said in a piece in the New York Times that the Democrats, with their Senate majority imperiled are trying to mobilize African-Americans ( and others) outraged by the shooting in Ferguson, MO., to help them retain, at least control of the Senate, for President Obama’s final two years in office. Of course, we know that the Ferguson shooting has nothing to do with the 2014 Midterm elections—except for the Dems—race baiting. The shooting had nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans. It is too bad more voters can’t figure that out.
Matt Vespa wrote another good article in Townhall “….Democrats are Hemorrhaging Male Voters”. He points out that Republicans have a woman problem, but that Democrats have a problem with men—specifically white men. U. S. News and World Report pointed out that also. Democrats have more of a deficit with men than Republicans have a problem with women. This can be significant in a mid-term where we are seeing a handful of margin-of-error races that determine control of the U. S. Senate. This can be particularly true with some of the races that will be determined by voter turnout—those where the margin is razor-thin. A good example is the race in North Carolina where Democrat Kay Hagan is fighting for her political life. She has an 8-point lead among women, but the Republican candidate, Thom Tillis enjoys a 13-point margin with male voters.
Some fairly recent history shows that while some Democrat presidential candidates—Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barak Obama won with a growing Democrat electorate of women, particularly single women, and minorities—fewer of those voters participate in mid-term elections making the white male votes more potent, highlighting the struggle for Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections.
It is possible for Republicans to hand Democrats a crushing defeat—the loss of their power in Congress by taking them out of the majority in the U. S. Senate. And, it’s obvious by all of his actions, that Harry Reid is desperate as he realizes that. As Scott Wheeler, Executive Director of the National Republican Trust, says, “his days of being a Senate dictator are about to come to a screeching HALT!” As he correctly points out, “Reid smells us coming and that is why he has been savagely attacking Conservatives—trying to delegitimize our efforts to dethrone him. Reid even went so far as attempting to change the First Amendment of the Constitution to try to take away our right to free speech! Like so many other ruling class democrats, he is ruthless and will stop at nothing to stay in power.” And his team includes Nancy Pelosi and Barak Obama.” And—you can include the head of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz in those efforts. Negative and nasty vitriol has always worked for them for some reason. It just doesn’t work for Republicans and we have to keep our counsel and not make any blunders over the next month—the next two years really– or they will, as in times past, turn our campaign mistakes into positives for them.
I choose to be a little more cautiously optimistic, because I know, as you do that anything can happen. Let’s not do a victory dance yet. Democrats have been able to find a way to survive. And Republicans must do a better job with their ground game. As everyone knows, the Democrats over the years have had one of the best. When they have needed votes, they have managed to get their people to the polls. Turnout has NOT been one of their problems.
This time around, let’s see who does it best.