Comeback for Dems? Not So Fast

To listen to the Democrats’ media cheerleaders, Biden and his party have their mojo back, and can now look forward to turning around their dismal mid-term election prospects. Paul Krugman thinks Democrats may have actually saved western civilization!

It seems, though, that the voters haven’t yet got the memo, which is no surprise since public trust in the media is now below used-car salesman levels. As Charles Lipson pointed out, “no newspaper has a print circulation of more than 1 million. Only nine have more than 100,000 subscribers. Among the 25 largest papers, only one showed an increase in circulation.”

The latest polls continue to show Democrats facing disaster in House races this fall: Politico today:

GOP polls show House battlefield stretching into double-digit Biden districts

A round of new internal polling is giving the GOP fresh optimism that the House battleground map is stretching even more favorably in their direction.

Four surveys conducted in late July reveal close races in open seats in Oregon, Colorado and California that President Joe Biden carried by between 11 and 15 points in 2020. Taken all together, GOP operatives view the data as a sign that Biden’s sinking approval numbers could drag Democratic candidates down enough to bring deep blue turf into reach. . .

But the numbers comport with general assessments about the state of the House map from strategists of both parties, as well as the close results of the 2021 statewide elections in New Jersey and Virginia. Altogether, the tightening polls suggest that some super-blue seats could be in play in November, which would mean Democrats may have to expend precious resources there on defense — especially because they lack well-funded incumbents.

Moreover, the latest Ipsos Poll shows the Latinx Latino vote continues to slip away from Democrats. Axios reports:

Big divides over issues like inflation and crime — along with religious and cultural dissonance with progressives — are eroding Latinos’ decades-long loyalty to the Democratic Party, injecting a major wildcard into the 2022 midterms and beyond.

Why it matters: Democrats once viewed projected U.S. Latino population growth as their party’s ticket to long-term political dominance. But recent elections and midterm polls show the perils in that thinking.

By the numbers: Democrats’ generic advantage over Republicans among U.S. Latino adults fell from 16 percentage points to 12 between March and June, according to Ipsos polling for Axios. Other polls have shown more dire scenarios for Democrats, with preferences essentially tied.

A New York Times-Siena College poll last month showed a statistically insignificant lead for Democrats in a generic congressional ballot, 41% to 38%. One Wall Street Journal poll earlier this year actually gave generic Republican candidates a 9-point edge.

In the 2018 midterms, Democrats held a 47-point edge with Hispanics. Biden’s 2020 margin was 21 points.

In 2020, President Biden won around two-thirds of Latino voters overall, but densely Latino precincts in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Nevada, Texas and Florida all shifted toward former President Trump by between 6 and 20 percentage points since 2016.

Ruy Teixeira explains:

President Biden’s approval rating among Hispanics in a recent Quinnipiac poll is a stunningly low 19%. Other polls have Democrats doing somewhat better among Hispanics but still running far behind traditional margins.

It seems clear that Democrats seriously erred in 2020 by lumping Hispanics in with other “people of color,” assuming that they sympathized with the racial activism that dominated so much of the political scene that year. In reality, Hispanic voters are not a liberal voting bloc, especially on social issues. In a Pew postelection survey, just 20% described themselves as liberal, while 45% were moderate and 35% conservative. Surveys show that Hispanics are overwhelmingly an upwardly mobile and patriotic population whose main concerns are jobs, the economy, healthcare, effective schools and public safety.

Take the issue of “structural racism.” In June 2022, the polling firm Echelon Insights released a survey in which respondents were asked to endorse one of two statements: “Racism is built into our society, including into its policies and institutions” or “Racism comes from individuals who hold racist views, not from our society and institutions.” Among participants identified as “strong progressives,” 94% chose the first statement; Hispanics preferred the second statement by a margin of 58% to 36%. . .

A likely factor in their declining support for Democrats is the party’s strenuous efforts to focus voter attention on abortion rights, gun control and the Jan. 6 hearings.

If the Hispanic vote abandons Democrats in November, the Biden Administration may well finish Trump’s wall.

P.S. The Axios story linked above has some representative anecdotes that capture what is going on at a more granular level. Samples:

Cleo Petricek, the daughter of Mexican immigrants and a lifelong Democrat who lives in Austin, Texas, said she’s considering voting for Republican candidates over Democrats’ failure to address crime and homelessness. “I created a website for Obama when he ran for president. I volunteered for Beto (O’Rourke) when he ran for Senate. But I can’t take this anymore,” Petricek said. . .

“College-educated elite whites have taken over and are setting the agenda and narrative of the Democratic Party,” Jacob Candelaria, a Princeton-educated, openly gay Latino New Mexico state senator, told Axios.

Candelaria quit the Democratic Party and became an independent last year after Democrats remapped districts in their favor and over what he said was the party moving too far left. “My people don’t care about electric vehicles when they can barely afford food.”

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