Wednesday, June 20, 2018


These are the most depressing poll results I've seen in a while, even though the Democrats seem to be doing reasonably well in the poll:
A Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday shows far greater engagement in this year’s elections among both Democrats and Republicans than in the 2014 midterms. The Democratic wave is building: Voters who say they intend to support the Democratic candidate in their congressional district are far more enthusiastic than in the two midterm elections under President Barack Obama — they’re even more enthusiastic than at this point in the Democratic landslide year of 2006.

But this year's Democratic wave may be crashing against a well-fortified GOP wall. Enthusiasm among Republicans about voting is higher now than before almost every midterm election going back to 1994 — the only exception was June 2010, just before a GOP wave netted the party 63 seats and control of the House of Representatives.

... Democrats are slightly more enthusiastic than Republicans: 55 percent of voters who say they intend to vote for the Democratic candidate in their district say they are more enthusiastic than usual, compared with 50 percent of Republican voters.

But the gap between supporters of each party is smaller than in recent elections. In June 2006, 47 percent of Democratic voters expressed enthusiasm, compared with 30 percent of Republican voters. In June 2010, voters backing Republicans were 13 percentage points higher on this question than those supporting Democrats.

... Despite the focus on Trump and his low approval ratings — just 40 percent among Americans in the new Pew survey — the poll suggests he may not be the drag on his party that Obama was in 2010, or George W. Bush was in 2006.

More than one-quarter of voters, 26 percent, say they think of their vote for Congress as a vote for Trump — greater than for any president since Bush in the 2002 midterms....
This is just one poll, and it was conducted before family separation became the biggest story in America -- but it's a poll from Pew, a firm that does a good, thorough job. If it's accurate, it means that Donald Trump's vengefulness, chest-thumping, trash-talking, and gleeful hostility toward decency and norms are all working electorally, even if they're not working in any other way. Robert Mueller isn't going away, the stock market is reacting to Trump's trade war with anxiety, and the public was appalled by family separation. But if all Trump really cares about is winning the midterms, it may not matter whether he's winning on any other front -- he's successfully rallying the base, and that's all that matters.

Trump holding a campaign rally tonight in Duluth, Minnesota. He's there because he wants to be visibly on offense at all times. On offense, but also aggrieved: He can tell the deplorables that the events of the past few days prove that he's under siege and they have to turn out to crush his enemies -- basically the same message he regularly delivers on the Russia investigation. Pew says this is working.

We have to beat the Republicans. Democratic enthusiasm is high, but it needs to be higher. The Trumpers have loved the last seventeen months. They're ready to vote for more of the same.

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