Turnout fears scaring Dems
It’s no secret that failure is everywhere in the Obama administration, and a major consequence is that Democrats are discouraged, and many may be embarrassed at the way their “god-like” champion has proven to be inept, incompetent, clueless, and disastrous. The natural human tendency is avoidance of the painful subject. In other words, tuning out.
And that is exactly what polling appears to reveal about Democrats. They are avoiding politics because it is a painful subject. And that means large numbers of them will not vote on Election Day.
That’s my interpretation of an article in The Hill by Cristina Marcos:
The Democratic Party's worst fears about the midterm election look to be coming true.
Polling in recent weeks suggests turnout on Election Day could be very low, even by the standards of recent midterms. That’s bad news for Democrats because core groups in the liberal base are more likely to stay home than are people in the demographic segments that lean Republican.
A Gallup poll last week found that voters are less engaged in this year's midterms than they were in 2010 and 2006. Only 33 percent of respondents said they were giving at least “some” thought to the upcoming midterms, compared to 46 percent in 2010 and 42 percent in 2006. Even more troubling for Democrats, Republicans held a 12-point advantage when those paying “some” attention were broken down by party.
In other words, midterm elections are always a problem for Democrats. They survive in presidential elections by dragging relatively uninformed and politically unengaged voters to the polls with their vaunted turnout machines. But absent a charismatic figure at the top of the ticket, and absent a demonized Republican to whip up fears about (Mitt Romney is going to give you cancer because he is so mean and greedy), it’s hard to get people who don’t care that much off their duffs. And those groups in particular are discouraged now:
Historically, the core Democratic constituencies of young people, minorities and single women are more likely to skip voting in midterm elections. The current projections suggest that months of effort by the Democratic Party to engage those groups on issues such as the minimum wage and women's pay may have been in vain.
The encouraging bit of data for Dems is that in states where hotly contested elections for the Senate are underway, places like Iowa, there is more voter interest than nationally. (Duh!) Dems are hoping this means that their low information cohort will turn out where it counts.
But really, does Harry Reid’s leadership inspire people to turn out and make him Majority Leader?
Hat tip: Ed Lasky