Republicans Re-Energized as Democrats Fret
(UnitedVoice.com) – A new poll released by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research says that Democrats are “nervous wrecks” while Republican excitement is growing… even during the impeachment trial of President Trump. In Texas, a special House election is showing just how strong the GOP is there in spite of suggestions that Democrats have a chance at flipping the deep-red state to blue.
With 10 months to go until the election, will anxiety or enthusiasm be a bigger motivation for voters to show up at the polls on election day?
Democrats Express Concerns
With just a few days to go until the Iowa caucuses and a few weeks until the New Hampshire primaries, Democrats don’t have a clear front-runner. However, in early states, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) is thought to be the front-runner and could build enough momentum to make the Democratic convention interesting this summer.
Already, there is a division in the party over concerns by the Sanders’ campaign that the DNC is again rigging the convention against him. Hard feelings among the far-left of the party could once again be significant enough that they don’t bother to vote. Worse yet, some of Sanders’ supporters could swing again to help President Trump and hand him the White House in November.
According to the poll, 66% of Democrats say they are anxious about the election, compared to 46% of Republicans.
Only 33% of Democrats express excitement while Republican excitement has increased by 10 points since October to 43%.
According to Political Scientist George Marcus who studies the role of emotions in politics, voters who express fear and anxiety are more likely to feel confused and split their votes as opposed to those who feel excited.
Marcus said to the Associated Press, “It creates the possibility for persuasion. If I’m an anxious Democrat, I may stay home, I may vote Republican… You want your base to be either really angry at the other side or really enthusiastic.”
If that’s true, the edge goes to the Republicans and Trump — which could make Democrats feel even more anxious.
Massive GOP Victory in Houston Suburbs
A special election to fill a state House seat in a suburb of Houston, TX, went very wrong for Democrats on Tuesday. Democrats said the race was “the most important election of the year” and then got trounced by 16 points… pouring cold water on Democrat hopes that they can turn the deep red state of Texas blue in November.
The defeat was wider than in the 2018 election.
Mark Jones, a political scientist at Rice University, said, “This is a serious setback for Texas Democrats. Their goal in this election was most optimistically to win, but their minimum goal was showing progress compared to 2018 and this is a severe reversal…They spent close to $2 million and brought in big national names either to block walk or to endorse, and Democrats turned this into a test match. Democrats drew first blood in attacking, and Republicans countered.”
Across the country, Democrats are counting on major city suburbs to vote Democratic as they did in the 2018 midterms. However, voter turnout in midterm elections only sees on average a 40% turnout compared to 60% during a presidential year.
It appears Republicans are safer in Texas than some thought and may move resources elsewhere to win back the House, expand their majority in the Senate, and keep the White House.
By Don Purdum, Freelance Contributor
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