By Dave Andrusko
Picking up where we left off Tuesday, let’s see what more discerning questions tell us about who has not only been truly galvanized by events of the last couple of months to vote in the all-important November 6 mid-term elections but also may carry that intensity forward.
Congrats to Scott Clement of the Trump-hating Washington Post for a honest and discerning examination of a fascinating new survey. Here’s a couple of key paragraphs:
The SurveyMonkey poll finds 41 percent of Republicans mentioned “Democrats” or the Democratic Party when explaining the reason for their congressional vote, more than any other single word and up 15 percentage points from August, when 28 percent said the same. …
Republicans’ increasing focus on Democrats in their congressional vote was not paralleled by an increase in Democrats’ focus on Republicans — 36 percent mentioned the GOP in explaining their vote in the most recent data, compared with 34 percent in August.
As Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey observed, “Some assumed that the fight [over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court]would inflame both sides, but in this poll anyway, it has only boosted Republican enthusiasm.”
There are numerous important reasons this is not just another survey. Let me list just two.
First, as Clement explained
The poll was unique in asking registered voters which party they support for Congress, followed by an open-ended question: “Why?”
It’s a fair criticism of the “generic ballot” that because it lacks specific names– people are just asked which party they would vote for—the results are problematic. This is partially made up for here by giving people carte blanche to say why they support Democrats or Republicans
Second, the name of now Justice Kavanaugh did not come up all that often. One could speculate that the all-out assault on his nomination crystallized (or “focused”) simmering distrust among Republicans of the way Democrats are acting today.
But the more important point, as Clement suggests, is because these feelings are not tied exclusively to the recent High Court battle, they are not going away quickly.
Clement quoted a number of Republican responses. Here are a few:
A Republican voter from Minnesota wrote: “Democrats or progressives have made a mockery of the Supreme Court nomination process.” A Texas Republican wrote, “Democrats are obstructionists,” while another from Tennessee said, “I oppose the democrats way of dirty politics.” Along similar lines, a Republican in Florida said, “Dems have become bullies and liars.” …
Some Republicans described general criticisms of Democrats as being extreme or dangerous, saying the party is “ruining this wonderful country,” that “Democrats are anti-American” or that “Democrats are destroying liberty.” A Virginia Republican said: “Democrats are deranged. Offer no ideas. Only hate.”
This is very much keeping in mind as we anticipate what will happened in the electorate over the next 20 days.