By Dave Andrusko
It’s like an avalanche–all the stories about how much winning Virginia’s gubernatorial race means to Democrats, knee-deep in a fratricidal intra-party fight.
They had convinced themselves all the stars were in alignment such that Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam would defeat, perhaps handily, pro-life Ed Gillespie, and succeed his fellow Democratic pro-abortionist, Terry McAuliffe, as governor.
Now they are hanging on for dear life. It’s mid-afternoon and in about 5-7 hours we’ll find out if NRLC-endorsed Gillespie, who has a reputation as a strong finisher, actually had wiped out what remained of Northam’s narrow margin in the polls.
The prospects of losing yet again (they’ve already lost five races to pro-life Republicans since Donald Trump became President) has Democrats mortified. They are trying to tamp down the fire ignited by former interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, Donna Brazile’s new book. As you recall, first in an excerpt in POLITICO, then in stories in the Washington Post which got an advance copy of her book, the message was unmistakable: at the DNC the fix was in for Hillary Clinton.
Add to the worry over Virginia’s governor’s race, the fallout from Brazile’s “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House,” there is the new poll from CNN.
CNN’s Ryan Struyk begins his summary of the poll by noting
Favorable views of the Democratic Party have dropped to their lowest mark in more than a quarter century of polling, according to new numbers from a CNN poll conducted by SSRS.
Only 37% of Americans have a favorable opinion of Democrats, down from 44% in March of this year. A majority, 54%, have an unfavorable view, matching their highest mark in polls from CNN and SSRS, CNN/ORC and CNN/USA Today/Gallup stretching back to 1992.
Numbers for Republicans are awful as well, stable at a low number. But the importance of the CNN polling results is not just the dip for Democrats (down seven points in just eight month) but also the pivotal categories they are falling off in:
The rating includes low favorable ratings from some core Democratic groups, including nonwhites (48%) and people under 35 years old (33%). The numbers come amid recent feuds and divisions in the Democratic Party, as former interim chair Donna Brazile’s new book has unveiled new questions about infighting during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Struyk struggles unconvincingly to make the case that all this bad news to the contrary notwithstanding, Republican prospects are bleaker in 2018.
There are more warning signs for Democrats in this poll. Overall, 36% of registered voters who identify as Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents say they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting next year, down from 44% who said so in September.
Stay tuned. We will have complete coverage of the Virginia’s governor’s race on Wednesday.
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