Democrats face congressional rout amid historically terrible headwinds | The Hill

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  texan1211  •  2 weeks ago  •  18 comments

By:   Reid Wilson (The Hill)

Democrats face congressional rout amid historically terrible headwinds | The Hill
Midterm election years are almost never good for a president's party. Even before the calamitous events of the past 10 months, Democrats knew the first midterm election of President Biden's tenure in office would be a challenge. But the cascade of catastrophe that has so dented what little American optimism remained in the waning days…

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



by Reid Wilson - 06/16/22 5:28 AM ET

Midterm election years are almost never good for a president's party. Even before the calamitous events of the past 10 months, Democrats knew the first midterm election of President Biden's tenure in office would be a challenge.
But the cascade of catastrophe that has so dented what little American optimism remained in the waning days of the pandemic and the associated economic recovery has even the most optimistic Democratic Party strategists and pollsters staring into an unprecedented abyss. Their standing, about five months before voters head to the polls, is worse than it has been for any president in modern times, by almost any indicator.
A new study compiled by Gallup comparing widely used barometers of midterm attitudes since 1974, which has made the rounds widely in Democratic circles this week, underscores just how bad the atmosphere has become.

Biden's approval rating stands at an average of just 41 percent in Gallup surveys, tied with former President Trump before the 2018 midterms and lower than any president except George W. Bush in 2006.
Just 18 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, the lowest figure for a midterm year and 3 points lower than its rating in both 2018, when Republicans lost control of Congress, and 2010, when Democrats surrendered control.
Only 16 percent of Americans are satisfied with the direction of the country, another nadir. And the gap between those who see an economy headed in a negative direction and those who see economic conditions heading the right way is 32 percentage points, on par with the depths of the great recession ahead of the 2010 midterms.
"Today's polls indicate a tsunami," said David Paleologos, who heads polling at Suffolk University.
Interviews with half a dozen Democratic strategists and pollsters — most of whom declined to put their anxiety on the record — show a party clinging to hopes that voter anger can be spread across the aisle. They point to numbers that show that while Democrats aren't popular, neither are Republicans, and that several major events still to play out before the midterm elections will underscore the GOP's chief weaknesses.
"Abortion, guns and Jan. 6 are causing them real problems taking advantage of the political environment," said John Anzalone, who conducted polling for Biden's 2020 presidential campaign. "Voters may not be happy with the party in power, but they sure aren't excited about the alternative."
A spate of recent polls underscore the point that, while national indicators hint at a GOP rout, that hasn't translated into huge leads for Republican candidates.
In Pennsylvania, a survey out this week and last shows Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) leading celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz (R) by a 9-point margin in the race for an open Senate seat and Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) leading state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R) by 4 points in the race for governor. In Georgia, Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) and former NFL running back Herschel Walker (R) are tied.
One survey this week of voters in North Carolina showed former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (D) leading Rep. Ted Budd (R) in the race for Senate, whilethreepolls last month showed Budd with leads. And in Ohio, a state Trump carried by a wide margin, an initial survey showed Trump-backed author J.D. Vance (R) outpacing Rep. Tim Ryan (D) by only 3 percentage points, with nearly 20 percent undecided.
"It is a challenging environment, one that we could have predicted years ago because it follows historic trends. It's very difficult to break those historic trends at the national level. But there certainly is an opportunity, race by race, for Democrats to chart a different course," said Matt Canter, a Democratic pollster. "A lot can change. Things can get worse, but there's no question that things can get better as well."
Under the hood of those promising — or at least not disastrous — results are more warning signs for the Democratic incumbents. Biden's approval ratings are even worse in those swing states than they are nationally. They stand at 38 percent in Georgia, a state he won by just 11,000 votes, and 39 percent in Pennsylvania, a state Biden carried by 80,000 votes.
History is not a source of hope for Democrats, especially those relying on pro-Biden sentiment for their own chances. Only twice since 1974 has a president's party gained seats in midterm elections: In 1998, when Bill Clinton's approval rating stood at 66 percent and Americans had a positive impression of economic conditions by a 60 point margin, and in 2004, when 63 percent approved of George W. Bush's handling of the presidency and Congress's approval rating stood at 50 percent, a margin unmatched since.
Some Democratic pollsters point to partisanship as another cause for concern. Today, 45 percent of Americans say they are Democrats or lean toward the party, and the same number say they are Republicans or lean that way. In the last three midterm elections in which the two parties were at parity or within one point of even, Democrats have lost seats — including in 2010 and 1994, the two years when Republicans reclaimed 63 and 53 U.S. House seats, respectively.
Paleologos, the Suffolk University pollster, said the Democrats who are doing relatively well in his surveys — Ryan in Ohio and Fetterman in Pennsylvania — are running as outsiders.
"These Democrats are threading the needle into the current political fabric by being populists, winning among independents and talking about solving bread-and-butter issues county by county while distancing themselves from Biden and D.C.," he said.
Canter, the Democratic pollster, said his party has routinely failed to create a national brand. And while the GOP's national brand may not be popular in a vacuum, it still creates an affinity among millions of voters who backed Trump in 2020.
"Their brand today is the party of Trump. That's what we have to work with, and it's not perfect. Trump got 72 million votes, so just being the party of Trump in this environment is not enough to lose. What we have to do is build a brand for them that uplifts the most offensive and egregious and concerning aspects of Trumpism," he said in an interview. "That's what the MAGA messaging is about, developing a message and narrative that both mobilizes our base and communicates something that at a minimum is not unhelpful to swing voters."
The most optimistic Democrats cautioned that there are still variables to consider before voters go to the polls: a Supreme Court ruling expected to overturn a national right to an abortion, the Jan 6 committee hearings that will shed light on the GOP's complicity in Trump's efforts to overturn a national election, gas prices that could come down and inflation that could ease as the Federal Reserve acts to raise interest rates.
But the reverse is also possible, and potentially more likely. The summer driving season has not yet fully begun. Russia's war on Ukraine shows no sign of slowing. The Fed's move to raise interest rates by as much as three-quarters of a percent, if it does stem inflation, may also tip the economy into recession. Biden's numbers, low as they are, may not yet have hit bottom.
"If there is a market crash or if we go from recession to deep recession (or depression) come November, it's over for Democrats," Paleologos said.


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Texan1211
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Texan1211    2 weeks ago
But the cascade of catastrophe that has so dented what little American optimism remained in the waning days of the pandemic and the associated economic recovery has even the most optimistic Democratic Party strategists and pollsters staring into an unprecedented abyss. Their standing, about five months before voters head to the polls, is worse than it has been for any president in modern times, by almost any indicator.

Looks like the catastrophes will continue for at least a while.

Gas prices continue to rise. Inflation rates at over 40-year highs. A colossal mess on the Southern border. Interest rates see the biggest hikes in over 25 years. Stock market getting hammered.

What's not to love about the Biden Presidency?

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
PhD Guide
1.1  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Texan1211 @1    2 weeks ago
Gas prices continue to rise. Inflation rates at over 40-year highs. A colossal mess on the Southern border. Interest rates see the biggest hikes in over 25 years. Stock market getting hammered. What's not to love about the Biden Presidency?

250+ days into the Biden Dumpster Fire

Nothing Built

Nothing Back

Nothing Better.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.1.1  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @1.1    2 weeks ago

You know it is bad when even a CNN contributor unfavorably compares Biden to Carter.

But, why worry, right?

Inflation is temporary, right, Joe?

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
PhD Guide
1.1.2  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.1    2 weeks ago
You know it is bad when even a CNN contributor unfavorably compares Biden to Carter.

I have seen that even the Democrat propaganda center is turning on them.  

You know they don't give a shit about the inflation or any of that.  They have their own TV show to distract the simple minded away from all that.

And I stand corrected 513 days into the Biden Dumpster Fire, not 250.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
1.1.3  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @1.1.2    2 weeks ago

I remember when one of the members here was touting the fantastic Biden economy just a few short months ago, but I haven't heard nary a PEEP about it lately.

Maybe Joe is right--inflation IS temporary--until we go into a deep recession.

Thanks, Joe.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
PhD Guide
1.1.4  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Texan1211 @1.1.3    2 weeks ago

I know who you're talking about.  Dude hasn't said anything about Biden doing good in ANYTHING in the past few weeks.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
PhD Principal
2  Nerm_L    2 weeks ago

Looks like it's time for a few panic panders.

Democrats have tried social unrest and protests.  That didn't work.  Democrats have tried beating the war drums.  That has only made Democrats look weaker.  Democrats have tried reviving their best scapegoat since Reagan.  That's been a yawner.  Democrats have tried sweeping problems under the rug.  Now they keep tripping on the carpet.  Democrats have tried lying their Biden off.  Hasn't moved the needle.  Democrats have even hosted pity parades for victims to gin up outrage.  Seems the public expects more than speeches and promises.

So, the only thing left in Democrats' bag of dirty tricks is to throw money around.  Gas tax relief, maybe?  Student debt forgiveness, maybe?  Obamacare goodies, maybe?  Democrats are even hamstrung with panic pandering because deficits matter again.

What Democrats need is a little soul searching and a change in course.  But Democrats don't have a playbook for that.  Democrats can't break through the wall of public expectations simply because they don't know how.  Democrats only know how to pander, promise, divide, disparage, blame, and whine.

Democrats are victims of their own politics.  So, there's nothing Democrats can do to save themselves now.  Except abandon their own politics, maybe.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Nerm_L @2    2 weeks ago

Looks like Democrats are content with their "Orange Man Bad" strategy to motivate voters for the midterms.

Should we let them in on the fact Trump isn't on a ballot?

Or just let them keep thinking they have the secret to success, despite history?

 
 
 
Nerm_L
PhD Principal
2.1.1  Nerm_L  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1    2 weeks ago
Looks like Democrats are content with their "Orange Man Bad" strategy to motivate voters for the midterms.

Should we let them in on the fact Trump isn't on a ballot?

Or just let them keep thinking they have the secret to success, despite history?

Democrats can't even do anything about Trump -- except whine.  The public is expecting Democrats to actually do something about Trump.  So, where's the beef?

One thing we won't hear about is the low voter participation in the California primaries.  California mailed postage-paid ballots to every voter.  California adopted extended early voting.  Voting couldn't have been easier or more convenient.  Early results showed a voter participation of 16 pct.  And the expectation is that number will climb to about 25 pct sometime later this month (?) as the ballots are counted.  Are you fired up, ready to go?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2.1.2  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Nerm_L @2.1.1    2 weeks ago

California is overwhelmingly blue, maybe they woke up and are starting to realize that they have nothing to be fired up FOR if they are still voting that way in the midterms.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.3  Vic Eldred  replied to  Nerm_L @2.1.1    2 weeks ago
So, where's the beef?

That's the big question. They hate him, yet they can't stop him. Why?

Obviously they think they're only chance is to run against him.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
PhD Principal
2.1.4  Nerm_L  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.1.3    2 weeks ago
That's the big question. They hate him, yet they can't stop him. Why?  Obviously they think they're only chance is to run against him.

Democrats are better at whining than doing.  Whenever Democrats try to actually do anything, they screw it up.  Democrats can't even spend public money without screwing up everything. 

Democrats already screwed up two impeachments of Trump.  It's no surprise that Democrats are afraid that they'll screw up a prosecution of Trump, too.  

Democrats really are victims of their own politics.  Democrats' biggest problem is that voters really are expecting Democrats to do something.  Democrats don't know how to do that without screwing up everything.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1.5  Vic Eldred  replied to  Nerm_L @2.1.4    2 weeks ago

So we are better off with the whining.

As for the screwing up, it has been devastating.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3  seeder  Texan1211    2 weeks ago

Over $3 TRILLION lost in retirement accounts due to stock market decline just this year alone.

How long can retirees stomach these kind of losses, and who in their right minds want Democrats in charge any longer?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4  seeder  Texan1211    2 weeks ago

The S&P 500 has sunk 22%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost nearly 13% and the Nasdaq Composite has fallen more than 30%.

Just so far this year.

Come on, Joe, what are you going to do about millions of people losing a substantial chunk of their retirement money?

Will you forgive tons of their debt, as you are seemingly willing to do for college debts?

You know paying a mortgage on a fixed income is a struggle.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
5  seeder  Texan1211    2 weeks ago

Maybe losing the House will give Democrats the impetus to get rid of Pelosi once and for all.

 
 
 
Snuffy
Senior Guide
5.1  Snuffy  replied to  Texan1211 @5    2 weeks ago

So long as her district continues to re-elect her, I have a hard time seeing her give up the power and prestige being an elected member to Congress gives.  And when she leaves, there will be a (IMO) large dip in fund raising due to her absence.  No, I think the only way she leaves is by her decision.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
5.1.1  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  Snuffy @5.1    2 weeks ago

The Squad seems to be gaining traction within the Democratic Party, and I think they want her gone. Losing the House affords them the chance to get rid of her, and I don't think Pelosi's ego would ever allow her to be just a Congresswoman and not the leader of the Democrats in the House.

 
 

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