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Year-End Advice for Democrats & Progressives: Ignore 2014 Polls

Republicans hit lowest approval since Gallup started compiling the numbers.

Year-end advice for Democrats and progressives revolves around a 2014 economic message that will beat the GOP negative drum beat against Obamacare.

Only deregulation can unleash competition. And only disruptive competition, where new businesses drive out old ones, will bring efficiency, lower costs and innovation. [Wall Street Journal]

CITING THE polls and the bad news is a needed wake-up call as Democrats look to the 2014 midterms, but just as important is resisting the urge to get depressed and think it’s over. “Disruptive competition” as a Republican economic message on Obamacare can easily get beaten by an economic message that focuses on the middle class, who’d get further damaged by such voodoo Reaganomics, which didn’t work the first time.

Latest polling from CNN reveals icy waters right now, but it means nothing this early.

Two months ago, Democrats held a 50%-42% advantage among registered voters in a generic ballot, which asked respondents to choose between a Democrat or Republican in their congressional district without identifying the candidates. That result came after congressional Republicans appeared to overplay their hand in the bitter fight over the federal government shutdown and the debt ceiling.

But the Democratic lead evaporated, and a CNN poll a month ago indicated the GOP holding a 49%-47% lead. The new survey, conducted in mid-December, indicates Republicans with a 49%-44% edge over the Democrats.

When you think about what Republicans face, the right-wing Tea Party crank caucus and the damage they could inflict on the GOP brand in 2014, Democratic politicians and progressive activists should take heart.

Democrats still have big challenges, the biggest and most obvious is Obamacare, the messaging around, as well as getting positive news in the press, nationally, locally and on television.

It still leaves Republicans with the record of not doing much on anything, except saying no, no, a thousand times, no.

If there’s one moment in time for Democrats and progressives to hold close and remember as winter deepens in 2014, it is when Virginia went blue for the first time in decades. An extremist Republican message began their problems, which still exist, but once the GOP shut down the government it was all over for them. The other message is that a Democratic candidate ran on a liberal social message, while keeping business close and the economic message in the forefront.

In 21st century politics, the majority of people don’t vote on partisan lines, as the number of independents overtake partisans, even if people still lean either left or right, depending on the issue. Non-partisans vote on what’s happening in their own world and who is getting in their way.

Americans love the underdog and right now the working and middle classes represent the largest number of underdogs.

What Democrats have to figure out is how to harness the economic message that will overtake the zeal with which Republicans will tout HealthCare.gov issues in the 2014 midterm season. More people are impacted by the economy than by Obamacare, and Democrats cannot make the mistake they made in 2010 by not finding an economic message that resonates and challenges what the GOP wants to do.

It won’t be easy, but it can be done.

It’s also why former President Bill Clinton could be one of the big Democratic go to guys of 2014, with Hillary Clinton emerging as the exclamation point on what Democrats have going for them as we all look to the future.

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15 Responses to Year-End Advice for Democrats & Progressives: Ignore 2014 Polls

  1. secularhumanizinevoluter December 26, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    “When you think about what Republicans face, the right-wing Tea Party crank caucus and the damage they could inflict on the GOP brand in 2014, Democratic politicians and progressive activists should take heart. ”

    INDEED!!! I look forward with enthusiasm to 2014!! The economy IS slowly improving.
    And as time passes and more people are actually exposed to the reality of the ACA and the BIG money they will save for BETTER coverage rather then the 24/7/365 drum beat of wingnut propaganda of the sky falling and the world ending I think you will see some dramatic turn around in numbers. And then we can ALWAYS count on the repugnantklan,teabagging,UBERChristians toi do what they do best…alienate huge swaths of the electorate with their unavoidable racist, homophobic, misogynistic brain farts.

  2. Ga6thDem December 26, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    I didn’t get too excited about the good numbers a few months ago and I’m not depressed about these numbers.

    I know there are a lot of predictions about the GOP taking over the senate but I bought into that story line in 2010 and 2012 and it didn’t happen. Like you say with the wild card of the tea party, you just don’t know what is going to happen. The way the districts are drawn changing the house is going to be difficult anytime soon.

  3. fangio December 26, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    The Democrats simply cannot articulate a message , and neither can their putative leader. The Republicans are the party of the past ; the Democrats should be the party of the future. The Republicans are the party of NO! ; the Democrats should be the party of YES! . The Republicans are cold and mean spirited ; the Democrats should be warm and humane . Most of all they should point out just what the Republicans have done to this country , loud and clear , everyday. They won’t though ; they and their leader are simply incapable of doing so.

    • secularhumanizinevoluter December 27, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

      Could not possibly agree more! WTF is wrong with the Dems?

  4. spincitysd December 27, 2013 at 1:49 am #

    There is a clear two prong attack for the Democrats:

    One, Unemployment extension, or the lack of it. Pin the Scrooge inspired ending of long term unemployment relief, during Christmas no less, on the Republicans. Point out when working Americans were just trying to keep their heads above water the Republican Party insisted on tossing them an anvil instead of a life preserver.

    Two, The minimum wage. Working people need a raise and the Republicans won’t let you have one.

    You can also point out how the Republicans screwed over Veterans by cutting their COLA. People who bitch about how much military stipends cost do not understand how much every service man and woman earned those benefits over the twenty plus years of service.

    As for the ACA, I don’t think this is the game changer that Republicans think it is. If the Democrats are smart they can boomerang most of the negativity back to the Republicans. “We went with the Republican model and then got bushwhacked by the Republicans who suddenly did not like their idea because it was put in action by a Democrat. They have not offered one bit of helpful advice but have spent all their energies in trying to kill the law. When they failed to kill the law, they attempted to blackmail the President by shutting down the government and when that failed they nearly bankrupted the Nation. They have nothing better to offer now and never will.”

    • Taylor Marsh December 27, 2013 at 9:09 am #

      What Republicans just don’t understand about ACA/Obamacare is that Dems have until September.

      Nobody but partisans think about midterms until the fall.

      A lot could change by then, with ACA already seeing a surge in interest. Wait until March!

  5. guyski December 27, 2013 at 4:12 am #

    Ignore the polls, unless 2013 was when the Democrats/Obama “Jumped the Shark”?

  6. mjsmith December 27, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    They talked about these numbers this morning on msnbc. The one thing that the democrats can rely on now to their advantage is the strong support for lousy candidates from certain people in the media during the GOP primaries.

    The shift from supporting the candidate who can win to voting for the most conservative candidate in the primary election is just a very dumb idea.

    Anyone who supports the kind of candidate that pays to go on television to say “I am not a witch” in an imbecile.

    • secularhumanizinevoluter December 27, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

      “They talked about these numbers this morning on msnbc. The one thing that the democrats can rely on now to their advantage is the strong support for lousy candidates from certain people in the media during the GOP primaries.”

      As opposed to the repugnantklan,teabagging,UVBEWRChristian BASE DEMANDING lousy candidates?!!

      “The shift from supporting the candidate who can win to voting for the most conservative candidate in the primary election is just a very dumb idea.”

      Dumb idea…oh, you mean same old same old for the GOP?

      “Anyone who supports the kind of candidate that pays to go on television to say “I am not a witch” in an imbecile.”

      Oh, you mean the repugnantklan,teabagging,UBERChristian base again?!!!!

      • mjsmith December 27, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

        secular – perhaps in 2014 you can learn how to put together a complete and coherent sentence.

        • secularhumanizinevoluter December 27, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

          Perhaps in 2014 you can learn that ? denotes a QUESTION…none of which you answered.

  7. casualobserver December 27, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    “What Democrats have to figure out is how to harness the economic message that will overtake the zeal with which Republicans will tout HealthCare.gov issues in the 2014 midterm season. More people are impacted by the economy than by Obamacare, and Democrats cannot make the mistake they made in 2010 by not finding an economic message that resonates and challenges what the GOP wants to do.”

    I look forward to the master strategy, if not even just the attempt. So far, not even your own strategy team members above have exemplified any unity of message. The generic voter moves more emotionally than analytically. And it is pulling on contradicting emotions to tout an improving economy at the same time raising emotions to support unemployment benefit extensions 3 months at time leading up to 2014. I guess you guys can go on the stump explaining the esoterics of structural unemployment to the bused-in rallyers.

    If wishful thinking has a place in political strategy then you guys certainly have the bases covered respecting ACA. In response to heroic measures and the cost curve, I was assured people getting premium subsidies are happy. OK, let’s stipulate for all of 2014 that Dems have the government subsidized population already locked up. But our political science instructor is telling us the election is about the middle class…….the folks who are NOT qualified for handouts, the folks who are going to be smart enough to look at premiums PLUS deductibles, the folks who will wonder why they HAVE to buy maternity benefits whether they are a 29 year old male or a retired couple, the folks that find THEIR favorite physicians are no longer in-network.

    Republicans certainly have work to do as well, but arguably easier. Mostly…..just shut-up and play off the opposition. Simply find candidates who can stay on a prescribed message. That message will have some focused group tested wording on the hot button social issues. While we have been told Virginia has turned to indelible royal blue as evidenced by the last election, a more critical eye sees 2% points more as evidence of stupid stumping than grand ideological shifts in the population. Even going back to 2012, Republicans show a low immunity to foot-in-mouth disease. They need an inoculation at the same time they file their candidacy paperwork.

    • secularhumanizinevoluter December 27, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

      “If wishful thinking has a place in political strategy then you guys certainly have the bases covered respecting ACA.”

      Wishful thinking? 5 MILLION Americans have healthcare now who didn’t before….and MILLIONS more are finding out how much better their coverage will be under ACA…and you think any of them will vote repug,bagger?!!! NOW who is wishful thinking…actually more like delusional break with reality!

      ” But our political science instructor is telling us the election is about the middle class…….the folks who are NOT qualified for handouts, the folks who are going to be smart enough to look at premiums PLUS deductibles, the folks who will wonder why they HAVE to buy maternity benefits whether they are a 29 year old male or a retired couple, the folks that find THEIR favorite physicians are no longer in-network.”

      You really need to stop listening to limpy and watching faux not news…really. Much like the Mitt da Twit was gonna win caterwahling the Obamacare end of world gibbering is just that. The plain old reality is nearly EVERYONE will have better, cheaper coverage.

      “Even going back to 2012, Republicans show a low immunity to foot-in-mouth disease. They need an inoculation at the same time they file their candidacy paperwork.”

      Yeah…it’s not the poison, hatefilled message…they just haven’t focus grouped it enough to deliver it so people don’t recognize the homophobia, misogyny, xenophobia and racism that is the base appeal. That and find some candidates that can avoid letting their KKK sheets show and nor express what they really feel to the public. Good luck on that.

    • Taylor Marsh December 27, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

      Casualobserver – I’ve been talking about voting on emotion for 2 decades. What you miss is the emotion attached to raising the minimum wage & the GOTV machine if *could* be. It’s not about some amorphous “master strategy,” which would never work.

      The problem facing Dems re: Obamacare is 2014 fees, which I bet will be pushed, as will the March deadline.

      6 is a lot easier than 17, Senate versus House seats, Republican versus Democratic. There’s no way Dems will take back the House, but Ambassador to China Baucus could make Sen. Mary Landrieu appealing again, because she’s poised to be a committee chairman.

      Republicans have to hope that Karl Rove and the Chamber succeed in getting the cranks on your side from making another spectacle. The collision could be epic, unless winning becomes more important. That would be so unlikes your Tea Party cranks.

      • secularhumanizinevoluter December 27, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

        “Republicans have to hope that Karl Rove and the Chamber succeed in getting the cranks on your side from making another spectacle.”

        Kinda like hoping Sarah Palin or Rick santorum will say something smart…..not a snowballs chance in traversing the length of hell.

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