Why might this fall’s midterm elections be an “unexpected” Republican rout? Three reasons. Plus, various items from hither and yon.
Yes, Rasmussen Reports offers polling which is often of an optimistic character for those of us who lean more to the conservative side of the political fence, and because of this fact, Rasmussen’s work product is sometimes ignored by the legacy media when it discusses the current political reality.
But recently Rasmussen released a poll result which shouldn’t be ignored. Namely…
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 74% of Likely U.S. Voters prefer a free market economic system over a socialist system. Only 13% think socialism is a better economic system, and just as many (13%) are undecided.
You’ll see evidence to the contrary of Rasmussen’s findings, of course. There are those polls saying that millennials are as interested in communism as in capitalism, and there is the more anecdotal evidence within the Democrat Party that Bernie Sanders-style socialism is ascendant. The Democrat primary victory by avowed socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over New York congressman Joe Crowley is being lauded as an example of the country’s lurch leftward; the party’s chairman Tom Perez even called Ocasio-Cortez its “future” last week.
But however skewed Rasmussen’s poll sample might be, that 74 percent number indicates the Democrats are in serious trouble if they actually believe a far-left push is the key to winning those mid-term elections. It isn’t. It is a complete invitation to disaster. The Rasmussen poll isn’t the only one recently offering an indication the Democrats are on the absolute wrong track this year. In another, this one from Reuters/Ipsos, the Dems are cratering among the millennials they’re trying to build their party around — dropping from 55 percent support over Republicans two years ago to 46 percent now. And among white millennials the numbers are catastrophic. Two years ago with white voters between 18 and 34, Democrats held a 47-33 edge over Republicans; now it’s 39-39. And with white male millennials it’s an almost unimaginable swing; what was a 48-36 Democrat advantage is now a 46-37 GOP edge.
Those polls indicate the fundamentals of this fall’s midterms spell disaster for the Democrats regardless of what some of those generic ballot polls might say. They’re one reason to look out for a red wave, rather than a blue one.
Another is the coming Supreme Court nomination, during which one of three perfectly respectable conservative jurists — according to reports, either Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, or Raymond Kethledge — will go in front of the Senate for what the Democrats promise will be a fight to the death for confirmation.
The Democrats’ behavior so far is bad enough, with a high-profile messaging campaign to date demanding that no Supreme Court appointment be made since this is an election year. Considering that Elena Kagan was nominated and confirmed to a Supreme Court seat just three months before the 2010 midterms, that argument has no leg to stand on. But what’s coming will be much worse.
Already, one of the dimmer lights in that party — Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington — has threatened her colleagues with extinction for the wrong vote. Cantwell said on Meet the Press Sunday that it would be “career-ending” if Senators voted to confirm a justice who helped overturn precedent in a case like Roe v. Wade.
She might be right, but what Cantwell is missing is that the vote itself could be career-ending for a half-dozen of her Democrat comrades. If Trump nominates someone uncontroversial in style and unassailable in scholarship and comportment, Joe Manchin for example is going to have a major problem with the voters back home in West Virginia if he refuses to support a confirmation. That goes for Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Joe Donnelly in Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, John Tester in Montana, and Bill Nelson in Florida — all of whom are in trouble as Democrats in states Trump won in 2016. A “yes” vote on a Kavanaugh, for example, will likely convince Democrat voters in those states their incumbent is weak and ineffective in fighting the president, while a “no” vote convinces everybody else that the senator is an obstructionist they’re going to be paying the price for.
This won’t necessarily translate to the House races the Democrats have been talking about winning, but it does augur very poorly for the Democrats’ hopes of keeping the Senate alive as a stumbling block to the GOP’s legislative aims. Lose those six seats and you might end up losing more; there are other Senate races the Democrats can lose this fall as well.
And the third reason a red wave could materialize is the country seems to be happy with the way things are going in America. On Wednesday, the National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar penned a piece noting the Democrats’ struggles in mobilizing the Hispanic vote — something it has bet big on this spring and summer with the nonstop messaging about immigration:
Even during the heat of the family-separation crisis, Democrats are underperforming in heavily Hispanic constituencies, from GOP-held border battlegrounds in Texas to diversifying districts in Southern California to the nation’s most populous Senate battleground in Florida.
If immigration affects the battle for Congress, it will be because of the anti-Trump backlash among suburban women as much as any increased mobilization in the Hispanic communities. The early returns are a sobering reminder for Democrats that, even as the Republican Party is becoming a more nativist institution, GOP candidates are still holding their own in diverse battlegrounds by distinguishing themselves from Trump.
Actually enforcing immigration laws being pronounced “nativist” aside, Kraushaar’s piece points out that the Democrats’ pro-open borders rhetoric only seems to be moving the needle with suburban white women. That’s not going to offset gains the GOP is making with black and Hispanic voters, and it shouldn’t — not when black Americans have never been closer to the national mean in terms of unemployment numbers, and not when 51 percent of Hispanic voters are actually for making the nation’s immigration laws stricter. That’s what you get when Trump’s approval rating hovers in the mid-40’s despite more than 90 percent unfavorable mainstream media coverage, something no president in modern history has faced.
It’s true that consumer confidence dipped in June, largely due to concerns over tariffs and what’s being touted as a trade war. It’s a decent bet, though, that most of the tariffs and threats thereof will result in negotiations to produce lower tariffs among U.S. trade partners per Trump’s stated aims — if that should happen before November it’s unlikely there will be much of anything the middle-of-the-road voter will find as a reason to vote Democrat.
Especially when the party has become so unhinged that 59 percent of America fears violence from anti-Trump extremists and 31 percent see a real possibility of a civil war. Running on a McGovernite platform was bad enough in 1972; turning the electoral environment into that of 1968, as the “Resistance” seems bent on doing, is only going to make things worse.
All that said, there is a serious concern to be had for the nation’s economy. We’re in the midst of a labor shortage which is becoming significant. The economy grew 177,000 jobs in June, which is a reasonably healthy number but it was down from the 190,000 projected. And the reason is businesses cannot find enough qualified people to hire.
Ask around among your friends who own businesses and you will soon amass colossal anecdotal evidence of this. But the numbers bear it out as well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said there were 6.7 million job openings at the end of April, vs. just over 6 million people it classified as unemployed in May. That’s never happened since these records have been kept.
To some extent, a labor shortage is a good thing — the laws of supply and demand indicate that a labor shortage will create upward pressure on wages and ultimately lift the standard of living of the country. But that comes at a cost — those labor costs can be inflationary influences, and if companies can’t find Americans who can do jobs, then they might well start looking elsewhere. That’s how you get problems like outsourcing and offshoring, and that’s how the economy can begin to stagnate. Not to mention technology will begin to step in and fulfill the prophecy of AI replacing human workers.
Before Skynet takes over all our jobs, though, what you’re going to begin to see is a long-awaited reckoning wherein corporate and small-business America begins pointing fingers at public and higher education for its unmitigated failure to produce the workers the economy needs. By now it’s an age-old tale; the Gender Studies degree holder with a six-figure college debt and the minimum-wage job at Starbucks, while the 80K job as an electrician or plumber sits vacant. Mike Rowe, for example, has been beating this drum for years.
Soon, you’re going to see the business sector begin investing in education. First, with training programs for prospective employees. Then, as an investment opportunity begins to be recognized, with education itself. As in, schools and quasi-schools to partner up with homeschoolers.
It’s coming. It’s inevitable. You’re not going to have a structural economic problem like this for very long without the private sector doing something about it. But for the hundreds of billions of tax dollars spent enforcing the government’s monopoly on K-12 education the market would have wiped out our terrible public schools a long time ago.
How do you know the #WalkAway movement, in which white millennials are abandoning the Democrat Party, is a real thing? That’s easy — the Left is making the accusation that Russian bots are behind it.
Speaking of dead giveaways, how do you know it’s a smear of Jim Jordan that he supposedly stood by and did nothing — and is refusing to participate in a current investigation — when a team doctor in the Ohio State wrestling program was supposedly molesting the athletes years ago when Jordan was an assistant coach?
That’s easy. The law firm sub-contracted to perform the investigation is Perkins Coie, of Hillary Clinton/Fusion GPS fame. Can’t get any more obvious than that.
Sen. Maria Cantwell (YouTube screenshot)