Apr. 28, 2014

Elections: Actions Have Consequences

Democrats are putting on a brave face, but they're very worried about November.

Democrats are putting on a brave face to hardcore supporters, imploring them to help the party retake the House and restore Nancy Pelosi as speaker, but, privately, Democrat strategists are far more worried about losing control of the Senate.

Fundraising for Republicans is strong to the point that Democrats warned in a recent fundraising email that “all hope is lost.” Conservative groups, led by Americans for Prosperity, are pouring millions into these races. But even contributions from the Democrats’ favorite bogeymen, the Koch brothers, are less effective now, given that some big business competition is supplying millions to leftist advocacy groups. For example, Tom Steyer is a billionaire hedge fund manager who’s heavily invested in renewable energy projects, and he’s supplying millions to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline Barack Obama has dithered on for years.

Moreover, polls show support of ObamaCare is the new “third rail” of electoral politics, and Democrats’ huge success in 2008 leaves them with many more incumbents to defend than Republicans, with several of them in swing states that backed Obama before his signature health care plan clumsily rolled out. Incumbent Democrats in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana and North Carolina are all having difficulties in their races, and several open seats are already thought to be in the GOP column.

Unfortunately for Republicans, six months is a lifetime in politics and any number of gaffes, mistakes and misstatements seized upon by a partisan media are possible – just ask Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock. It’s also likely that the White House spin machine will do whatever it takes to either make ObamaCare look like a success or push the pain past the November elections, just as they originally decided to delay making most of it effective until the president’s second term.

Since the Democrats can’t win on the issues, their strategy going forward seems to be one of trying to turn out their base with incessant “war on women” and minimum wage pandering while goading the GOP to depress their own turnout with “bipartisan” deals on issues like immigration. Avoiding that siren song and giving the conservative base a reason to vote for Republicans by advocating for Liberty and limited government rather than just against Democrats is the key to victory, and the other side knows this, too.

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