Shrinkage!

No, this post isn’t about Seinfeld, it’s about what Elizabeth Vaughn reports:

Since 2004, Gallup has conducted a monthly party affiliation pollparty. They ask voters, “In politics, as of today, do you consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat or an independent?” Results from a November 1-6, 2016 poll showed that 31% of voters identified as Democrats, 27% as Republicans and 36% as Independents. A recently conducted poll indicates a significant shift in those numbers. Currently, 27% of voters consider themselves to be Democrats, 29% as Republicans and 38% as Independents.

What to make of the 4% plus in those identifying as Democrats? Did half of these voters make the switch to the Republican column and the other half to the Independent column? That would account for the two point increase in those two categories.

Also, while there have been many fluctuations along the way, a glance at the number of those who identify as Democrats show those figures peaking between October 2018 and February/March 2019. The  results ranged between 30 and 35 during those months. A major drop to 26% was seen following the release of the Mueller report and it has failed to recover.

Conversely, those calling themselves Republicans dipped in January of 2019 to a low point of 25%.

A comparison of what was going on in Washington at that time vs. now explains these changes.
Winter 2018/2019:

1. Special Counsel Robert Mueller was still riding high and Republicans were bracing for the horrors of what his long awaited report might reveal.

2. Democrats were riding high after winning back the House majority in the 2018 midterms. The incoming chairmen of the powerful House committees, such as Reps. Jerry Nadler (Judiciary), Adam Schiff (Intelligence), Maxine Waters (Finance) and Elijah Cummings (Oversight), were feverishly preparing their investigations which they were sure would reveal the high crimes and misdemeanors they needed to get rid of Trump once and for all.

3. We saw the ascendancy of the exciting, audacious new Congresswoman from New York City, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as well as the first two Muslim women ever elected to Congress.

4. A huge new crop of Democrats were kicking off their 2020 presidential campaigns with radical new ideas to transform the US into a “kinder, gentler” socialist republic. All were touting the Green New Deal, the masterpiece introduced by freshman firebrand AOC, telling voters we only had 12 years left to save the planet.

5. Presidential candidates have shifted farther to the left than at any other period in US history. Ideas which had been considered “radical” and “socialist” when first proposed in 2016 by Bernie Sanders have been adopted by most of the 2020 hopefuls.

August 2019:

1.  The Mueller report was released and as hard as he and his team of angry, Hillary-supporting Democrats tried, they failed to find sufficient evidence of collusion or obstruction of justice by the President. Then, Mueller reluctantly appeared before Congress to answer questions about his 22-month-long investigation. His disastrous, humiliating testimony immediately reduced the once feared special counsel to a weary old man who had long ago handed over the reigns to his subordinates.

2. The efforts of House Democrats to impeach President Trump have become, if not a joke, then at least a mere side show. Most amusing is that the average voter couldn’t tell you if Nadler has begun impeachment proceedings or even an impeachment inquiry against Trump if their lives depended on it. No one is paying attention to what he is doing. Both Nadler and his efforts have become irrelevant.

3. Similar to Robert Mueller, the three radical freshmen reps, who had initially taken Washington by storm, have seen their rockstar status fizzle. Their reckless rhetoric, their bigoted statements, and their transparent lust for power have turned them into pretty unsympathetic characters. They forged ahead carelessly without bothering to first acquaint themselves with the ways of Washington believing that by sheer audacity, they could achieve their goals. Better yet, Trump has managed to make these women the face of the Democratic Party.

4. Deeper analysis of the Green New Deal has turned AOC’s signature proposal into a joke. Outside of the far left fringes of the Democratic party, most voters understand that the GND (and other plans based on the GND) is nothing more than a power grab designed to turn America into a socialist nation.

5. The majority of Americans oppose the policies the 2020 Democratic candidates have embraced. Voters are against late term abortion, open borders, free healthcare for illegal immigrants, and they don’t see climate change as an existential threat.

The political landscape has changed dramatically between January, when 32-34% of voters identified as Democrats and the present, when only 27% do. The Democrats may want to rethink their strategy going forward because Americans aren’t buying what they’re selling. Additionally, William Barr’s appointment as Attorney General has upended the Democrat’s Russian collusion narrative to the point where the investigators have now become the investigated. And while the results of one poll don’t tell a story, Democrats have lost a lot of battles in 2019. And it sure looks like the advantage has shifted to the Republicans.

Some of this seems strange. How many people change their party affiliation based on election results? (As opposed to the results of the election results, the second five points.) It’s one thing if, like Ronald Reagan, you didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left you. If you claim to be a member of whichever political party did better in the last election, then we must wonder about your principles. (I suppose “winning” is a principle by someone’s definition.)

On the other hand, for those who despair about whatever GOP leadership is doing, well, Democratic leadership has apparently lost The Cap Times:

The Democratic National Committee will never be accused of having its act together, especially when it comes to Wisconsin. The DNC’s long history of misreading Wisconsin almost cost Democratic nominees the state’s electoral votes in 2000 and 2004, and the bureaucrats in D.C. finally did enough damage in 2016 to tip the state into the GOP column.

So it should probably come as no surprise that the party is bumbling arrangements for the Democratic National Convention in 2020. Yet it is somehow shocking to see the Democratic insiders blow the simplest of tasks: hotel arrangements.

The party made the right decision when it chose to hold the convention in Milwaukee, a great American city that is ready to be mobilized to end Donald Trump’s presidency. But now, the party bureaucrats have decided that thousands of delegates and alternates and convention guests will be spend much of the convention week in Illinois.

The DNC has determined that while 31 delegations will be housed in Milwaukee area hotels, 26 delegations will be staying in northern Illinois. In fact, so many large delegations are being sent across that state line that Wisconsin will barely house the majority of delegates. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “In all, 2,926 hotel rooms will be used for delegates in Wisconsin while 2,841 hotel rooms will be used in Illinois, according to the list.” In reporting the assignments, the Journal Sentinel explained, “It turns out the 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee is going to be very good for the Illinois hotel industry.”

It will not be so good for the hoteliers of Madison, Racine, Kenosha, Sheboygan and other Wisconsin cities that are as close or closer to Milwaukee than northern Illinois. Make no mistake, all of these cities have excellent hotels that would be outstanding bases for delegations. They are also more affordable than Chicago area hotels, which is no small consideration for a party that is supposed to maintain at least a minimal interest in attracting working-class voters.

We do not deny that there are fine hotels in the Chicago area, and we are aware that the Milwaukee bid for the convention proposed that some delegations would be housed in Illinois. That’s cool. What is not cool is that almost half of the delegates will be spending convention nights outside Wisconsin. And what is simply stunning is the decision to prioritize airport hotels in Illinois over outstanding hotels in Wisconsin cities that are more easily reached than the congested O’Hare area.

But this is about more than logistics. This is about something the Democratic National Committee should understand, but apparently does not: politics.

From a political standpoint is difficult to fully describe the scorching stupidity of the DNC’s approach. But let’s try.

In 2016, Illinois gave 56 percent of its support to Democrat Hillary Clinton and just 38 percent to Republican Donald Trump. In 2020, the state is expected to maintain that pattern.

Illinois is not a battleground state, not by any measure. But Wisconsin is.

In fact, it is a classic battleground. When Wisconsin’s electoral votes moved from the Democratic to the Republican column in 2016, along with those of Michigan and Pennsylvania, the Democrats lost the presidency.

Of the last five presidential elections in Wisconsin, three were exceptionally close calls. In 2000, Democrat Al Gore won the state by 5,708 votes out of roughly 2.6 million cast. In 2004, Democrat John Kerry won by 11,384 votes out of almost 3 million cast. Democrat Barack Obama won the state with ease in 2008 (taking 56 percent) and 2012 (with almost 53 percent), as he did the rest of the country, making him the first Democratic president since Franklin Roosevelt to win two consecutive national elections with over 50 percent of the vote.

But in 2016, Trump took Wisconsin by 22,748 votes out of just under 3 million cast. For the first time since 1984, a Republican carried a Wisconsin presidential vote. Fly-by-night pundits imagined that the state had tipped to the GOP. But two years later, Democrats won every statewide race — for U.S. Senate, governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, state treasurer and secretary of state. Several of those results were exceptionally close, however, confirming what anyone who knows anything about Wisconsin politics knows: This is a closely competitive state. And it is likely to be that in 2020.

So how will the race be decided? By generating lots of excitement in Democratic bases such as Milwaukee County and Dane County and by capturing counties that Democrats have won in the past but where they ran poorly in 2016. Such as: Racine County and Kenosha County to the south of Milwaukee on the Lake Michigan shore, and Sheboygan County to the north. Obama carried Racine and Kenosha counties in 2008 and fell just 400 votes short in Sheboygan County; in 2012, the Democrat again took Kenosha and Racine counties and was at a competitive 45 percent in Sheboygan County. In 2016, all three counties backed Trump.

So let’s review: To win Wisconsin, Democrats need a huge turnout in Madison and they need to carry or at least remain competitive in the lakeshore counties north and south of Milwaukee. And which communities has the Democratic National Committee decided to give the cold shoulder when making 2020 Democratic National Convention hotel assignments? Madison, Racine, Kenosha and Sheboygan.

The DNC could have created good will and electoral excitement in the places it needs to win the battleground state of Wisconsin in 2020. Instead, it decided to head for Illinois. Good luck with that.

Of course, heading for Illinois what minority Democrats in the state Senate did in attempting to engineer their coup d’etat against Republican Gov. Scott Walker. That not only failed to prevent Act 10 from passing, it failed to defeat Walker and it failed to wrest control of either house of the Legislature in 2012, the same election in which Barack Obama was reelected president and Tammy Baldwin was elected to the U.S. Senate.

Recall Will Rogers’ statement “I’m not a member of an organized political party; I’m a Democrat.” Or perhaps national Democrats are afraid of Madison.

 

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