Trump is Beginning to Lose His Grip

America’s polarized citizenry took a break from intense partisan bickering to produce the highest off-year turnout in a midterm election in 50 years on Nov. 6. Is it possible that all that effort actually nudged us forward a bit?

Because the votes were counted so slowly across the country, we were also slow to realize that Democrats had won the national congressional vote by a margin greater than that of the Tea Party Republicans in 2010. In fact, Democrats overcame huge structural hurdles to win nearly 40 seats.

At first, the results looked like something of a stalemate. The Republican Party retained and even strengthened its hold on the Senate. President Trump’s approval rating was at 45 percent, one percentage point below his percentage of the popular vote in the 2016 election. Analysts said that Mr. Trump still knew how to get Republicans “excited, interested and turn them out” and that he had “deepened his hold on rural areas.”

In the days that followed, though, it became clear that Democrats had made substantial gains. Analysts I trusted concluded that this was because suburban and college-educated women issued “a sharp rebuke to President Trump” that set off a “blue wave through the urban and suburban House districts.” At first, I also believed that was the main story line.

But the 2018 election was much bigger than that. It was transformative, knocking down what we assumed were Electoral College certainties. We didn’t immediately see this transformation because we assumed that Mr. Trump and the polarization in his wake still governed as before.

The Full Version of this Article can be Found at the New York Times

The Broad Support for Taxing the Wealthy

The 2018 off-year elections in November could be as important to Democrats as the Tea Party, anti-Obamacare off-year 2010 wave that shaped America nationally and locally for almost a decade —if Democrats don’t let ‘em hide from their tax scam for the rich.

And we do not yet know whether Democrats will get it right.

The national generic vote has narrowed and Trump’s approval as creeped up as Democrats stopped contesting health care, Medicare and Medicaid, and the tax cuts and seemed mostly focused on Russians, impeachment and Dreamers. They have deferred to the Republicans on the economy, even though it remains the simple most important determinant of the off-year congressional vote, and the Democratic base and swing voters are deeply suspicious of what Trump and the congressional Republicans are doing passing a tax cut for the rich.

You are not proposing to run in 2018 proposing to raise taxes? Yes. Yes. We will raise taxes on the rich. Count on it. Voters view that as the most important thing we can do to reverse their corrupt course. Does anybody remember that Bill Clinton and Barak Obama ran election and re-election promising to raise taxes on the rich?

 

THE FULL VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND AT THE American Prospect.

Riling Up the Base May Backfire on Trump

Political commentators and strategists write with some awe of President Trump’s outrageous, gutsy strategy of ginning up his base with one more attack on black athletes, one more crackdown on Central American mothers and children on the Mexican border, one more assault on Obamacare, one more tariff on imports. They think Mr. Trump’s drumbeat is intensifying loyalty and fervor among Republican partisans and that the Republican Party we used to know is “taking a nap somewhere,” as John Boehner, the former speaker of the House, put it.

Much more worrisome for those of us who think the country needs a blue wave is the way Mr. Trump’s strategy appears to be raising his job approval ratings and closing the enthusiasm gap with Democrats that has been a critical element in the handful of off-year elections since 2016. Any wave election worth its salt — like the 1974 Watergate cleansing, the 1994 Gingrich revolution or the 2010 Tea Party election — is produced by the elevated energy and enthusiasm of one party and the demoralization and fracturing of the other.

Well, Mr. Trump’s base strategy is producing precisely that kind of enthusiasm gap in the polls I am conducting for Democracy Corps and its partners, Women’s Voices, Women Vote and the American Federation of Teachers. This gap shows up precisely because while Mr. Trump’s strategy is to build up support with Tea Party supporters and evangelicals who make up a plurality of those who identify as Republicans, they are by no means the whole of the party. Mr. Trump shows as much interest in winning over those less enthusiastic Republicans as he does in winning independents and Democrats — which is to say, not much.

 

The full version of this article can be found at the New York Times.

How the US mid-terms could kickstart a new era of progressive reform

This article appeared in The Prospect Magazine in their May Print Issue and online.

Get yourself into a totally different mindset when you try to understand this year’s US mid-term elections. Congressional elections are, of course, no rare thing. They happen every two years, and when the White House is not up for grabs, the President can normally expect a bit of a bruising. But this time around, we can look out for something more significant.

November’s vote will almost certainly kick off a new progressive era of reform, much like the cluster of elections, starting with the 1910 mid-terms, which launched America’s first progressive era.

 

Read the rest of the article HERE.

The Democratic Opportunity On the Economy and Tax Cuts

The midterm election is starting to break against Donald Trump and the Republican Party in profound ways and running on the economy and the new tax cut helps further solidify advantages for Democrats.This is according to a new AFT-Democracy Corpsnational phone poll and deep focus group research on the economy, President Trump, the new tax cuts, and strategies for 2018. Conservatives and pundits are hoping two factors mitigate against the realization of a Democratic wave: one is the strength of the macro-economy and the other is the new tax cut, both of which they believe are producing real benefits for ordinary Americans. Based on our qualitative and quantitative research, AFT and Democracy Corps think that assumption is wrong. But only if Democrats embrace the fact that the economy is not producing for working and middle class people whose wage increases are not keeping up with rising costs, particularly the cost of health care; if they make clear this tax cut is ‘rigged for the rich’ at the expense of everyone else and that the huge cost of the tax cuts means less investment in education, healthcare and infrastructure and imminent cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

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