As expected, polling for the midterm elections is tightening up in a number of key races. As a result, we’ve seen a lot of hand-wringing among Democratic voters and, as usual, the MSM amplifying our concerns because they love a tight horse race.
This morning on MSNBC, they played back-to-back clips of trump stumping for GOP candidates repeating, over and over, at different rallies: “A vote for [insert GOP name], is a vote for me!”
And I Smiled.
Why? Because I’ve been noting a number of trends that I believe have been under-reported, or outright ignored, by the media. Let’s start with traditional conservative Republicans.
Over a week ago, I saw a video interview of three conservative women who self-report always voting Republican. Forgive me for not recalling which news outlet ran the broadcast but I do have total recall of what they said. And it made me sit up and take notice.
One woman admitted to being a single-issue voter who always cast her ballots for GOP candidates because she is anti-abortion. And then she said: “I now see I was wrong.” The other two women nodded in agreement. She went on to talk about regretting her vote for trump because his immigration policy is separating families at the border and putting children in cages and doing so is “un-American.”
The next woman who spoke was appalled by the nomination of Kavanaugh and stated she believes Dr. Ford 100% and then she expressed her abject disgust with how trump ridiculed Dr. Ford. The third woman made clear her overall disgust with trump representing our country and her rejection of the hateful things he says.
When asked how they will vote in the midterms, they all played their cards close to the chest and I came away with the impression they’ll likely stay home in protest or, possibly, vote for Democratic candidates.
Now, I can’t claim these three women are solid proof of a significant percentage of anti-trump Republicans who will swell the Blue Wave beyond what we see in the polls. However, as someone with decades of experience in marketing, one fact stands out to me – these women were willing to go on TV and risk personal backlash from fellow conservatives in their churches and where they live. That’s significant, in my opinion, and also supported by this article in The Atlantic:
College Educated White Women Turning Away From Trump
“If anything, college-educated white women may shift even more dramatically from prior patterns. They typically lean Democratic, but usually by modest margins. Hillary Clinton carried 51 percent of them against Trump in 2016, and Democratic House candidates have not carried more than 52 percent of them in any election since 1992, according to exit polls; they only split them evenly with Republicans in 2016.
But polling points to the possibility of unprecedented advantages for Democrats with those women this year. In Quinnipiac polling from March, about three-fourths of college-educated white women said Trump did not respect women as much as men, and in July, nearly three-fifths said he’s racist. In the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, exactly three-fourths said his behavior as president “embarrassed” them. Likewise, in this week’s Quinnipiac survey, two-thirds said they didn’t like Trump as a person, and more than three-fifths said they didn’t like his policies or approve of his job performance. Those attitudes suggest these women may tilt sharply toward Democrats in November; for months, many public polls have shown that about 60 percent—sometimes slightly more, sometimes slightly less—prefer Democrats for Congress.”
Then I read this October 19th New York Times article:
Suburban white men who oppose President Trump are quietly lobbying their conservative peers to join the opposition
“I own a small business. I have a big stock portfolio. Since Trump: I am now paying less taxes. My portfolio’s value has exploded. My daughter is making more money at her job. I have gone from wealthy to rich. I wish Hillary had won. I would trade it all for him not to be president.”
“I’m from Ohio, I’m a veteran of two wars and 30 years in the Marines, and my late brother lived in the suburb next to Dublin [Ohio]. I know that area well — McMansions and golf courses and boutiques run by the bored wives of doctors and lawyers. You guys at the country club make me sick, and it’s why I ceased being a Republican — after 40 years — when the gavel came down on the confirmation vote for Kavanaugh.”
These are just two quotes. The entire article is worth a read: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/19/reader-center/suburban-white-men-speak-out-we-dont-all-support-trump.html
Then there are multiple articles and interviews in which high-profile conservatives like George Will, Steve Schmidt, and Max Boot are urging fellow conservatives to vote a straight Democratic ticket in the midterms. Note this compelling Max Boot quote from a recent interview in Mother Jones:
“I’m ashamed to admit that it took the emergence of Donald Trump. I was in my conservative bunker, and I thought this was a gross libel against the Republican Party to claim that we were catering to racism, or that it was a libel on America to claim that America was a pervasively racist society. And then Trump came along and I realized, “Wait a second. There is a much larger constituency for racism and xenophobia than I had realized.” And it made me think, “Oh, my goodness. This is why a lot of people were voting Republican.” It wasn’t because they loved supply-side economics. It wasn’t because they supported NATO. It was because they were looking for a candidate who would champion the interests of white people. And Donald Trump did that more unabashedly and more unapologetically than previous Republican candidates had done. That was a wake-up call.”
The media loves to cover MAGA-hat-wearing trump supporters at his rallies who scream: Lock her up. But, my gut tells me there are far more conservatives who, as Max Boot said above, experienced their own wake-up call and will either stay home in protest of their party, or vote for Democrats, in the coming midterm election.
Now – about those polls.
As registered Democrats in central Florida, my husband and I cast primary votes for Andrew Gillum for Governor and fully expected him to lose based on the polls. Polls showed him, at best, in third place among the contenders, at worst, in fifth place. Then he beat out the assumed favorite, Graham. Here’s why:
“Young voters and African-American voters — who ended up turning out heavily for Gillum — were potentially among the groups that were underrepresented in these polls…. Polls missed youth turnout, and that happened in other races like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s. …”
Add to this, there’s evidence in states like Texas the Latino vote is also underrepresented in polls:
“… national exit polls have misled the public about the Latino participation in elections by drawing conclusions from non-representative samples, according to several analysts, including Matt Barreto, a political science professor at the University of California Los Angeles and co-founder of Latino Decisions. That is one of the reasons why, in the last presidential elections, exit polls significantly undervalued the Latino vote, as did a subsequent U.S. Census survey of the results that estimated a dismal increase of the Hispanic turnout by only 2.2 percent compared to 2012.
An actual count of Spanish surnames by the Texas Legislative Council, based on the Secretary of State voting records, later revealed that the Latino vote grew more significantly in every measure between 2012 and 2016. While the eligible Hispanic population increased by 15 percent, the surname count showed that their voting registration rose by 20 percent, and their turnout, by nearly 30 percent, much higher than exit poll assessments….”
Follow the money: Democratic fundraising blows away Republicans in the final stretch of the midterms.
When I look at polls showing Democrats Heidi Heitkamp, Beto O’Rourke and Claire McCaskill struggling in their races, it’s hard to reconcile with the fact that all three of them are, simultaneously, breaking records out-fundraising their GOP opponents.
Seriously – how can Beto O’Rouke be 10 points behind Ted Cruz yet pull in triple the amount of donations? If we follow the money, I’m thinking Beto looks like he’ll win this and prove the polls wrong.
Simply put – I believe these fundraising stats show people are voting with their wallets. To put a finer point on it — the GOP is struggling to raise money because the voters they usually count on are keeping their wallets closed. Traditionally, when conservatives get pissed off at the GOP, they stay home on election day.
With very few exceptions, Democrats are out-fundraising Repubs across the nation.
“The number of Democrats who outraised GOP incumbents in this quarter continued a trend of record-setting fundraising that has helped empower Democrats in 2018….
… Only two Republican candidates in the most competitive House races raised more than Democratic incumbents, federal filings show….
…In 25 of the most competitive House races in which incumbents are not seeking reelection, Democrats outraised their Republican opponents.
… In 14 of the most competitive Senate races, Democrats also largely outraised Republican opponents.
…Incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), who is widely considered among the most vulnerable Senate Democrats seeking reelection this year, raised $3.8 million between July and September, her federal filings show.
Her GOP opponent, Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), scored a bit short of $1.7 million in the same period.
…In Texas, Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) turned heads last week when he announced that he had raised more than $38 million between July and September — a record haul for a Senate campaign. His opponent, incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz (R), brought in about $12 million.
Despite O’Rourke’s massive fundraising advantage, he has never led in a public poll against Cruz and the prospect of winning a Senate seat in Texas remains a long shot for Democrats.
…In another hard-fought Senate race, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) raked in more than twice the amount of her GOP opponent, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley.”
Democratic fundraising is primarily small donations and this is something we can be proud of. However, let’s not overlook the strong possibility this phenomenon may mean conservatives are voting with their wallets by NOT donating to GOP candidates.
Add to this, some of the uber-wealthy are breaking away from the GOP and donating money to Blue candidates across the nation:
“Seth Klarman was once the biggest donor to the Republican Party in New England. This year he’s giving some $20 million to Democrats.”
“The stock market may be booming. Unemployment is hitting record lows. Republicans pushed through $1.5 trillion in tax cuts. But despite all that, for the first time in a decade, the broader financial community is on pace to give more money to Democratic congressional candidates and incumbents than their Republican counterparts, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks campaign donations.” (Emphasis mine.)
So. what does it all mean?
After considering all of the above, I believe there’s a sea change at play that the media and pollsters are grossly underestimating. I believe trump’s disapproval ratings are far, far higher than the 52% reported. I believe the vast majority of Americans, no matter their party affiliation, are deeply disgusted by the hatred, racism, xenophobia and misogyny he represents.
And I believe, every time he says, “A vote for [insert GOP name], is a vote for me!” it’s another nail in the coffin of the current incarnation of the GOP.
I’m under no illusion that this country will rise from the ashes of trumpism as a wholly progressive nation. We will continue to have the push-pull between conservative and liberal ideals. However, I believe trumpism has pulled the veil away from the very worst of us and these deplorables are on the brink of extinction, starting this November.
Surf’s up. Ride The BLUE Wave.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.