While Politico warns that insider Democrats feel their prospects are “worsening,” which isn’t a bad bet at all considering the economy, Roll Call has a contrarian view, seeing anything but a foregone conclusion for Democrats losing the House. It’s interesting for one reason, which keeps tugging at my mind. There are likely as many Republicans disgusted with the wacky tack right of the GOP, especially represented by the Tea Party and Sarah Palin’s continued dominance of the narrative, as there are Democrats who are disgusted with what Obama and the party have done with their majority. From Roll Call:
Modeling: Hours after the polls closed in a special election in Pennsylvania’s 12th District earlier this year, Boehner was still predicting that businessman Tim Burns (R) would beat former congressional aide Mark Critz (D). Republicans’ polling showed Burns would win. Their polling was wrong, and Critz is now a congressman.
Democrats who kept a close eye on the Pennsylvania polls detected the same excitement gap that Republicans saw — Republican voters were much more enthusiastic than their Democratic counterparts. But Democratic polls also saw their voters come home in the race’s waning days, and adjusted their targets accordingly. Republicans did not, resulting in a blown call and a self-deprecating examination of the party’s polling techniques.
National Republicans maintain that the midterms won’t be like the Pennsylvania special election, held in a district where few voters characterize themselves as independents. Indeed, Democrats have lost independent voters’ confidence, and nationally, those voters are expected to break more toward the GOP. But models matter, and right now Democrats’ models are inspiring more confidence than Republicans’.
It’s too bad the DNC and the congressional and senatorial committees are focusing on running against Obama and Democratic policies, as well as trying to see who can be more independent and conservative, instead of simply going negative against the Republicans. I’d slam the GOP Tea Party hard, non-stop, every day using faces and soundbites to embarrass. I’d blanket ads across the country, except in districts where scorched earth isn’t needed, with the favorite sound bites of the Tea Party crew, including the worst of Sarah Palin, who’d I’d tie to Miller in Alaska and every anti women’s rights issue I could find, driving home that the Tea Party was against Lily Ledbetter and a woman’s right to equal pay for equal work. I’d raise the damn roof on that issue. I’d wed the Republicans to the wacky right, including Glenn Beck, Rush and the rest of the wackos, making the Republican Party an untouchable, as well as simply not viable to run the country.
Negative ads hurt the person running them, but they also tend to drive down turnout. That’s what Democrats should be focused on too, especially when it comes to marginalizing Republicans as a viable choice for Independents. It’s a cynical ploy, but this is midterm war at this point. It would also prepare the ground for a difficult re-election battle for Obama, cementing the Republican Tea Party early as too extreme for the times.
Negative ad blasting is simply the best and most viable option when you’re looking at a Democratic Party with no leadership, no soul and no spine.