Friday, March 25, 2022

Never Underestimate the Value of Common Sense!

In my opinion, the Democrats do. My latest at The Liberal Patriot:
"The Democrats are bleeding voters, particularly working class voters of all races. There are lots of reasons for this and I’ve written about some of them. One important throughline here is what we might call the common sense problem. As in, Democrats seem to have abandoned it in many areas. This helps explain why there hasn’t been a ”Trump disenchantment dividend” for the Democrats as the former President’s popularity has fallen and for that matter a “nutty GOP politicians” dividend as various Republican pols do and say fairly crazy things. Voters just aren’t sure the Democrats are that well-grounded either.
Awhile ago, I tried to codify some of voters’ common sense views and values into ten short statements to illustrate how Democrats are losing the plot relative to the median voter. I’ll go through some of them here with the aid of some new data demonstrating how widely this common sense is embraced by ordinary Americans in contrast to their rejection by woke liberal activists and some politicians associated with the Democratic party."
Read the whole thing at The Liberal Patriot....and subscribe!
The Democrats’ Common Sense Problem
The Democrats’ Common Sense Problem
Voters Think They’ve Abandoned It

Stan Greenberg Critiques Galston and Kamarck

Interesting article. I particularly liked this bit:
"Democratic base voters hate “defunding the police.” Choose your group, but they each respond negatively to the words, in a ratio of 2-to-3 to 4-to-1. About half of Hispanics, AAPI, millennials/Gen Z voters, and unmarried women give the highest possible negative (over 75 on a 100-degree scale). If you are defunding the police, you are not concerned with crime and not using the only instrument people know to achieve public safety.
That is why a public safety message that prioritizes addressing crime, while funding the police with accountability and reform—precisely the message Joe Biden used in the State of the Union—has a big impact, doubling the Democratic margin among those who hear it. Working-class voters, whether they supported Biden or Trump, are surprised by it because they think defunding the police is a “woke” Democratic position.
My surveys had also shown that “Black Lives Matter” and “defund the police” were particularly unpopular among Hispanic voters. We didn’t ask what explained it, and we should. Hispanics may have thought Black Americans and their issues were higher on the priority list for Biden and the Democrats. They didn’t see Joe Biden campaign for their vote, the way Hillary Clinton did.
Let me posit an additional explanation that will need a lot of further discussion. Democrats putting addressing America’s very real “systematic racism” at the top of their campaign agenda doesn’t align with the priorities of those communities, as we saw above.
But it also doesn’t align with the vision of America as an immigrant country where all ultimately make progress. You may have faced extreme poverty, all forms of unfree labor and political repression, but you are blessed to live in a country where hard work allows each generation to do better than the last. That Democrats are losing to Republicans now on who can help you realize the “American dream” is prima facie support for my concerns.
In the Hispanic community, pollster Carlos Odio found that the new Hispanic migrants feel blessed to be in America and away from their home countries where life was unbearable and unfree. Republicans more than Democrats have been speaking to that strong immigrant consciousness.
Black voters in my focus groups have an astute sense of history and worry that past work to secure their family and their parents’ battle for civil rights will be reversed. They think the Black community will be the first to pay the price if progressive forces lose out to conservatives. Despite the fraught history, they want to be part of an American story where their community continues to make progress.
In my survey conducted for Biden’s State of the Union, I found a pretty stunning 69 percent of the respondents reacted warmly to the assertion “America is still the country with the best history of advancing civil rights.” Do you realize 63 percent of Blacks said that? So did 62 percent of Hispanics and 67 percent of Asian Americans. Less than a third of voters across our diverse base rejected that."
Hmm. Now where have I heard stuff like this before?

Thursday, March 17, 2022

On the Reliability of Black Support for Democrats

I am not so sure that support is as reliable as most Democrats assume. I see signs of erosion, particularly among black working class voters. I discuss and analyze the relevant data in my new post at The Liberal Patriot.
"It has been widely noted that the Hispanic vote was relatively poor for the Democrats in 2020. But that wasn’t the Democrats’ only disappointment among nonwhite voters. Democratic margins among black voters also declined by 7 points, though not by nearly as much as among Hispanics (16 points, Catalist two party vote). Moreover, while absolute turnout for black voters was up, as it was for almost all groups in a very high turnout election, turnout did not go up as much for black voters as for other groups, so relative turnout fell.....
This is a bit of a puzzle. Trump was widely and correctly viewed as a racist, a perception that was turbocharged by the Black Lives Matter protests over the summer. And the Democratic party and Biden were certainly all in on BLM, so you could hardly ask for an election where the profile of the racial justice issue was any higher. And yet….the expected surge in black support and turnout for Democrats failed to appear.
One possibility is that Democrats overestimated the salience of the racial justice issue, perhaps especially as it unfolded around the BLM movement. Black voters, particularly working class voters, do after all have other concerns rooted in material, kitchen-table concerns....
[B]lack voters are not a monolith and cannot be assumed to belong to the Democrats simply on the basis of racial justice advocacy and rhetoric. In the end, the loyalty of black voters depends crucially on the ability of the Democrats to provide material improvements in their lives, particularly for those in working class and poor communities.
This helps explain why the black shift toward Trump in 2020 wound up being heavily concentrated among black working class (noncollege) voters. A forthcoming States of Change detailed re-analysis of 2020 election data not only shows this pattern nationally but also indicates that black margin shifts toward Trump in key states from Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to Florida, Georgia and Nevada were driven entirely or overwhelmingly by black working class voters.
Read the whole thing at The Liberal Patriot!

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

The Democratic Brand Is in Very Serious Trouble

John Halpin runs down some recent data and discusses their implications for the Democrats at The Liberal Patriot:
"Politics is not a complicated game to win. Either your party fields compelling candidates that voters mostly like or your party offers a compelling and relevant enough agenda that voters mostly support. The one thing a party can’t do and expect to win is suffer double-digit deficits to the other party on the issues that matter most to voters.
Yet this is exactly where Democrats find themselves today according to fresh new polling from Impact Research and Fabrizio Lee for The Wall St. Journal....
A grimmer picture emerges when examining the big economic and social issues facing the country. Although many voters give Biden credit for “trying to do the right thing”, nearly 6 in 10 voters say President Biden is not focused on the issues that are most important to them. What are those issues? Topping the presented list of four major priorities for Congress and the President is “inflation and the economy”—scoring well above others at 50 percent—followed by “the conflict between Russia and Ukraine” at 25 percent, “immigration and border security” at 15 percent, and “the coronavirus pandemic” at a distant 5 percent."

Friday, March 11, 2022

When Will the Climate Left Ever Learn, When Will They.....Ever Learn?

Catchy eh? Try singing it. Anyway take a gander at today's chart from Pew. And think about it, really think about it. This is what the actually-existing American public actually thinks. Then read this good article from David Weigel on the current travails of the climate left.
Note especially this accurate observation from a Data for Progress analyst:
“There's no political appetite for that [ending exploration for domestic energy], much to the chagrin of people in the climate movement,” said Danielle Deiseroth, the lead climate strategist at the left-wing polling and advocacy group Data for Progress. “We couldn't just shut it all off tomorrow, and we're realizing that more than ever.” Polling for climate groups, said Deiseroth, was revealing that “the language of ‘moratoriums' and ‘stop drilling'” alienated voters, while “transition away from fossil fuels over a longer period of time” did not. The policy was the same, but the apocalyptic language wasn't helpful."
For more on the essential uselessness of apocalyptic language, see my recent piece criticizing climate catastrophism.
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Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Against Hatred

Let's face it, this is a serious problem. And it's not just coming from one part of the political spectrum. We really need to do better. John Halpin makes the case at The Liberal Patriot.
'Every week, more stories emerge spotlighting the seemingly unbridgeable partisan gaps between Americans. The stories are much the same in rural, suburban, and urban environments: people who support one party, leader, or cause—or strongly oppose some action of government—getting increasingly aggressive and hostile towards opponents and even resorting to violent confrontations in extreme cases. Stories abound of families and friendships breaking apart over politics as civil discourse evaporates across political institutions and in the media.
Some of these stories are overblown, of course. Many Americans understandably have checked out from politics altogether and don’t have the time or interest to discuss national matters, let alone fight with others about arcane ideological disputes and conspiracies surfacing online.
But there is concerning evidence over time that democratic legitimacy is under threat internally from different groups of Americans—Trump voters on one side, Biden voters on the other, and various factions within each—who genuinely hate one another and refuse to accept the normal ebb and flow of governmental control changing partisan hands.'

Thursday, March 3, 2022

A Political Arithmetic Lesson

My latest on The Liberal Patriot. It's time for a clear-eyed look at the nonwhite vote, how it's trending and what that implies about Democratic strategy.
"In 2020, Democrats lost 10 points off of their margin among nonwhite voters (Catalist two party vote). While Biden won anyway, that result raised troubling question about the Democrats’ electoral theory of the case.
Here’s why. The overwhelming proportion of voters in the country are white—72 percent in the last election. A reasonable expectation is that that number will go up a bit to 73 percent in 2022, given standard midterm turnout patterns. Since Democrats tend to lose the overall white vote by solid margins, the Democratic electoral theory of the case is based around carrying the much smaller, 27-28 percent of voters who are nonwhite by far larger margins.
Rapidly declining margins among nonwhites obviously call this strategy into question. It may be objected that Democrats still dominate the nonwhite vote and that nonwhites are growing as a share of voters. Well, there’s dominance and then there’s dominance—a change from overwhelming to merely very strong can make a significant difference. Take 2020. In that election, Democrats’ declining dominance of the nonwhite vote meant that, despite constituting a larger share of the vote, nonwhites actually contributed less to the Democrats’ overall margin than they did in 2016.
Since 2020, the Democratic dominance of nonwhite voters has continued to decline. The latest manifestation of this was the turnout patterns in last Tuesday’s Texas primaries which suggested continuing movement to the GOP among Texas Hispanics."
Read the rest at The Liberal Patriot--and subscribe, it's free!

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Tough on Crime, Tough on the Causes of Crime

Michael Javen Fortner gets this exactly right. Read this essay and then his book, Black Silent Majority: The Rockefeller Drug Laws and the Politics of Punishment.
"We have a violence problem. This fact can no longer be ignored. Homicides increased more than 5 percent in 27 major American cities in 2021 over 2020, according to one study. Last year, at least 12 of those cities broke annual homicide records. Murders in New York City rose by 4 percent and in Chicago by 3 percent, following huge increases (45 percent and 55 percent, respectively) in 2020. In Los Angeles, homicides rose by 12 percent in 2021.
This crisis has landed squarely on the doorstep of Democrats, who control Washington and the statehouses of several large states, dominate many city governments and control urban policing agencies, and yet still seem unable to mount a cohesive response, divided between doctrinaire progressives and ambitious career politicians. None of this bodes well for public safety or criminal justice reform.
Progressive prosecutors, like Alvin Bragg in Manhattan, Chesa Boudin in San Francisco and George Gasc√≥n in Los Angeles, are still dogmatically devoted to reducing law enforcement’s footprint. At the same time, some Democratic mayors who once embraced the righteous indignation of grass-roots efforts to defund the police, like London Breed in San Francisco, have had a change of heart.
In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, Ms. Breed redirected millions of dollars from law enforcement to social programs. Then a spike in violence hit her city. From 2020 to 2021, fatal and nonfatal shooting incidents rose by 33 percent in San Francisco. And in December, she declared a state of emergency to combat illicit drug use and dealing in the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood. “I’m proud this city believes in giving people second chances,” she said, before insisting that there needs “to be accountability when someone does break the law.” As she put it in her speech, “Our compassion cannot be mistaken for weakness or indifference.”