Tag Archives: Pew Research

Midterms Looking Very Bad

Nate Silver

Nate Silver

New Orleans    About the best thing that Democrats can say these days is that November is still seven months away and that anything can happen in politics in that time.  True that, but otherwise for Democrats facing the mid-term elections, if it weren’t for bad news, they wouldn’t have any news at all.

            Master big data man, Nate Silver, of the 538 blog who has become legendary in recent elections for calling the numbers and the states on the electoral count, is saying that Republicans are in the lead to take the Senate. 

            The nonprofit Pew Research polls find Democrats behind in three critical categories among independents, whites, and millennials.  Republicans are leading 47 to 38% among independents who are often the tie breakers.  Where millennials were solidly with the Democrats a couple of years ago with 59% support they are now down to 49%.  Among white voters Democrats are now behind 38 to 53%. 

Oh, and worse, whites are expected to be 80% of the midterm electorate.  

You want more bad news, where Democrats are leading heavily among Latinos but of course not having delivered on immigration reform, voter participation and registration has declined among Latinos in both the 2010 and 2012 elections and is expected to continue to fall for the 2014 midterms.

And to put a cherry on top of all of this the President’s popularity is only at 44%.

Can massive voter turnout turn all of this around?  Sure, but usually the falloff of voter participation drops from over 60% of eligible voters in presidential elections down to less than 50% in the midterms, and, did I already mention that 80% of those voters are expected to be white as a sheet?

The discouraging news in the Senate is also based on where the contests are taking place in states where Republicans are rising like Arkansas, Alaska, and of course Louisiana.  A story in the Wall Street Journal reflecting on Senator Mary Landrieu’s frighteningly close ties to the oil and gas industry in her home state, seemed to argue that she could pull it out, but to say something is a tight bet is different from a sure thing.

Meanwhile other commentators are pitching the emerging battle as essentially the Koch brothers, who are already committing money tens of millions in pushing the Senate buttons, against Obama. 

The one thing that recent months seem to have produced in startling fashion is voter fatigue even though there were no elections since these days we seem to all be victims of eternal campaigning.

There’s time for a turnaround of course, but someone has to grip the wheel and for progressives I get the sense that no one is in the driver seat.


Americans are Liberals – Get Over It!


New Orleans On ACORN International’s research projects over the last six months, I have often credited our “intern army” of young interns and older researchers.  I’m now “crowdsourcing” more research.  Today thanks go to Jesse Ginsburg, a hard luck Baltimore Orioles diehard fan (congrats on their hot opening this season!) who sent me a couple of Facebook links on recent reports by Cenk Uygur on MSNBC rapping out the facts on where Americans really stand on the issues and it turns out that real red-blooded Americans are pinker than a Little Kitty knapsack!   Oh, yeah, ask them if they are liberals or conservatives and only 25% will say liberal and the majority claim they drink nothing but tea, but ask them about the issues and they are sign waving, street stomping radicals compared to their Republican wannabe leaders.

Here is what the polls from Pew Research, Gallup, and several universities are revealing:

  • 69%           believe government should help the helpless
  • 42%           more than 2x the number (23%) believe that government should increase services.
  • 77%           believe Congress should increase the minimum wage!
  • 62%           believe that Roe vs. Wade, the abortion decision protecting women, should be sustained.
  • 60%           believe that guns should be controlled.
  • 75%           are willing to pay more for power from renewable sources
  • 52%           believe government should invest in renewable energy
  • 68%           demand more conservation of energy rather than production
  • 69%           want government to increase access to health care
  • 62%           want to increase taxes for health care
  • 77%           don’t want to cut social security
  • 81%           want to raise taxes on the rich

You get the drift.  We’re a bunch of raging revolutionaries!  Unfortunately the “branding” for progressive issues has become so  bad in the dominant political culture, that the same majority of Americans who want change also don’t want to be called liberals for god sake.

As a people most of us want the same things and the right things for each other, but we simply don’t have the institutions anymore or the leadership that are willing and able to fight to get us what we want.    The polls didn’t say that.  I said that.  Turns out we probably all believe that too.