A Wall Street Journal article reveals some startling news about polling in three states - Arkansas, Colorado, and Iowa - that are critical for Republicans to take over control of the US Senate after Election Day on November 3 (see: GOP Gains in Key Senate Races as Gender Gap Narrows).
The news story notes the trouble that looms for Democrats in two weeks:
Trends among female voters are being closely watched by both parties at a time when polls show Senate races in nearly a dozen states are too close to call.
Women tend to make up more than half the electorate. But turnout among Democrats’ most consistent female supporters—single and minority women—usually drops substantially in midterm elections compared with presidential-year levels.
Considering that Democrats have placed a heavy emphasis on turning out women as a major campaign strategy this year, particularly focusing on abortion rights, birth control, and so-called pay equity, this trend in polling shows that GOP control may be well at hand before these campaigns are over.
In Arkansas and Colorado, the GOP candidates have taken the lead in polling among women, according to the article. In Iowa, the female candidate, Joni Ernst, is gaining with women and holds an edge overall in the race of 44-40%. Other than the GOP landslide election of 2010, Democrats have held a lead among women voters and Republicans the lead among men for several election cycles.
On the FOX News Channel show “Outnumbered” on Thursday, former Obama aide Kirsten Powers claimed in a discussion about the mid-term elections that if you had asked her or any of her fellow Democrat apparatchiks about the mid-terms a year ago, they would have told you that it would be impossible for Democrats to maintain control of the US Senate this year. Balderdash.
They knew it would be tough but there is no way they believed it would be “impossible” to maintain Senate control since at the time President Obama still had good approval ratings: 52% approve/47% disapprove (October 24, 2014), versus today when 47% approve/52% disapprove of the president’s job performance (Rasmussen: Obama Approval Index History).
A year ago the Obamacare website had not yet crashed and burned, the Islamic State had not yet taken over swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq, the Veterans Administration scandal had not yet come to light, and the government’s response to Ebola would never have been imagined. There are many reasons why Democrats are unlikely to retain control of the Senate, and Barack Obama’s very bad year is at the heart of most of them.
State-loving Democrats and many political strategists of all types love to split our country into sets of demographics. Franklin Roosevelt was the pioneer in this game. In the national election of 1936, he turned special interest politicking and governing into an art form, delivering custom government handouts to every interest group and division of society in order to gain their loyalty to the state.
A description of “The Forgotten Man,” Amity Shlaes’ enlightened tome about the Great Depression, describes this pioneering paradigm in the art of political persuasion:
…the roots of our disillusionment can be found in a single election year, 1936. In that year, Franklin Roosevelt systematically established the modern political constituency, from unions to artists, to senior citizens. Roosevelt's solution was to spend for these groups, so extensively that federal spending that year outpaced state and local spending, for the first time ever in peacetime. The consequence was the Roosevelt landslide of 1936 --but also the modern entitlement trap. Roosevelt often spoke of the Forgotten Man, the man "at the bottom of the economic pyramid." Yet, Miss Shlaes shows, his New Deal created a new forgotten man, the man who subsidizes the funding of other constituencies -- and who haunts politics in all developed nations today.
Today is no different – President Obama and his many followers up for reelection have divided us at every turn. Look no further than Ferguson, Missouri and the leak of a report about the police shooting of an 18 year-old to know how classes of citizens are being manipulated into believing that they have lifelong grievances that must be addressed by big government solutions.
Ronald Reagan was able to unite America better than any leader of our lifetime. He did so by inspiring Americans to strive to become more, and by promoting policies that would lift all boats through an improved economy.
It is hard to say if the Republicans running for the Senate in critical states, where they are polling better than their opponents among women voters, are appealing to all voters with fundamental messages of personal and economic freedom that should inspire everyone to strive for more and better in their lives. It’s possible that the appeals of Democrats to women focusing on so-called reproductive rights is backfiring since most people are concerned about their pocketbooks in the Obama economy, or their personal safety from disease and terrorism.
Control of the Senate by the GOP will not be a panacea of any sort. Our society is rotting, and economic servitude to the state through tax policies, and welfare and entitlement spending is at the heart of it. Nonetheless, it would be a good start.
Hopefully, GOP control of Congress may prevent further damage to our economy and society, and enable a constitutional conservative to build a winning strategy leading into the 2016 presidential race. Whether the majority of women are inspired by messages of freedom or are just fed up with being pandered to this election season, hopefully we can build on this election year to get back on a course of economic freedom for the long term and to the benefit of all Americans.