The Left-Right Divide Might Help Democrats Avoid a Total Wipeout

Oct 26, 2022 · 431 comments
Dc1 (Sf bay area)
This could have been a wipeout for the dems, but as usual the repubs have decided to try their best to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Between the SC and the red states heinous anti abortion laws, the repubs tossed the dems a huge bone on abortion. That has become a much bigger issue than it ever has before. It's a good thing, because on the issues that matter even more the dems have nothing to say and the repubs are dominating the dialogue. Whether it is the economy, crime or immigration, the repub message is resonating more than the dems attempts to make lemonade out of lemons. It is a good thing the elections are in two weeks because the longer it takes, likely the more the repubs gain the advantage.
Kris (California)
The people who decide this election will be the people who don’t vote.
USC (California)
Republican candidate Joe Kent said that their agenda will be obstruction, impeachment, and investigation. That's all the ideas they have.
mmmaier (NYC)
I find it bizarre that running on promising to shut down the government and tank the economy worldwide would be a winning strategy. And how does the Dobb decision factor into voting? As well as people being tired of the hate and extremism from the right. Why elect people who support insurrection? If these candidates are saying that elections don't work, are fraudulent, or your vote won't count - why vote? You are wasting your time. I don't think the Republicans have the slam dunk you think they have.
SteveRR (CA)
Is there anything more ironic than progressives accusing the Republicans of playing the "race card". "When men sow the wind it is rational to expect that they will reap the whirlwind." ~ Frederick Douglass
When will Lefties learn that most hard-working people want to know what you will do for them, not for others? When will Lefties learn that guilt-tripping a guy or gal who drives an F-150 to their construction job will not encourage them to listen to your climate story? When will Lefties learn to speak American, not using a 50-page treatise when a paragraph (not a bumpersticker!) will do? When will Lefties learn that most voters want leaders who reflect the voter's values, not leaders who tell them what their values should be? When will Lefties learn there is a difference between democracy and liberal values? When will Lefties learn the difference between aspirations and reality? When will Lefties decide it is more important to stay and fight than to have a tombstone that says, But I Was Right?
Tim (Silver Spring)
NYT: Gerrymandering has created what Trende calls “levees” — bulwarks — that limit gains and losses for both parties. The danger for Democrats is the possibility that these levees may be breached, which then turns 2022 into a Republican wave election, as was the case in 1994 and 2010: “In a universe where Republicans win the popular vote by four points, sweeping all of the districts that Biden won with 54 percent of the vote or less, the levee would break, and the Republican majority would jump from 232 seats to 245 seats.” Defaulting to "gerrymandering" as being responsible for Republican gains is poor excuse. The big problem is a disorganized Democratic party, which I typically vote for every time. Drop the excuses, people. Progressives are out of touch.
bjkf (Cooperstown)
Maybe if the press stopped with domesday forcasts for the last 6 months and spoke abut the positive the democrats are trying to do, and discussed what each candidate actually stands for, voter turn out and the polls would be more in favor of the democratic candidates. Most american voters are so ignorant about reality with their noses stuck in their cell phones, reading negative headlines , yet not taking the time to look at the facts. so sad. I feel like we are doomed.
Mary Fields (Silver Spring, MD)
Congress is so strange. A man gets up to speak and says nothing. Nobody listens, then everybody disagrees. Boris Marshalov That's how I felt reading Edsall's column and then jumping to the comments. I can't remember who said this but it's apropos "Politics, The diplomatic name for the law of the jungle."
deepharbor (nh)
The GOP is running on a proven political strategy. “All people [are] shaken to their inner-most core by an irresistible desire to submit to a strong man and, at the same time, to hold sway over the defenseless. They are ready to kiss the shoes of any new master as long as they too are given someone to trample on.” Mussolini.
John D (San Diego)
All right, Dems! A left of center NYT columnist says you might possibly avoid "a total wipeout." After a week of disasters culminating in Fetterman's showing last night, this is indeed positive news.
Ted (New York)
So here we are. Each side calling the other racist.
Rubber Soul (Delaware)
It is obvious to many that the NYT and some of its columnists are dissing the Democratic Party right before the midterms because money from advertising from rightwing super wealth is more important than democracy. Using the term "wipeout" is no different than the extremist rhetoric being used against Democrats from the GOP. The NYT is no different than CBS...."it may not be good for America, but Trump is great for CBS". It will not be a "wipeout" Mr. Edsall. Stop with the sensationalistic language.
Kim (Philly)
Mr. Edsall is really grinding my gears, because I know for a fact when he say "American voters" he's not talking about POC. He totally dismisses us. We make up the difference....facts. Most folks that are upset about inflation, knows that it's GLOBAL, and we are not as DENSE as he thinks we are, the polls are flawed, we know there are many actual troll farms, where folks literally get paid to troll threads, just like this one. At the end of the day, most folks that are voting Republican in this day and age, are racist, xenophobic, sexist, etc., he NEVER TALKS ABOUT IT....ugh.
Patriot (USA)
Dems stink at marketing/messaging. Whenever they lose, that's why.
Shear Shred (Professor Peabody& The Way Back machine)
The durable Republican agenda is to destroy the Democratic Party. Their main method is largely name calling. Socialist, devil worship, secret cabals, birthirism, pedophiles, it’s ridiculous but to high school dropouts, it’s the truth they want to believe in. With no evidence, they claim the election was stolen. In Massachusetts, the Republican candidate for Governor is an election denier.
Wave election? A red tsunami is coming.
Candlewick (Ubiquitous Drive)
Oh my: Every election cycle- the same doomsday narrative. Perhaps "today's" NYT writers could do us all a favor and dig out past copies of op-eds (and articles) from yonder-years and refrain from writing the same ol stuff. But- I digress; it simply wouldn't bode well for the horse-race analogies; would it?
Amskeptic (All Around The Country)
The New York Times and its columnists and journalists are committing journalistic malpractice. This drumbeat of conventional tropes does not touch upon the fact that the re[publicans are in thrall to lawless grifters with looming indictments! How can Edsall natter about democrats without mentioning that never before have we had a political party bent on destroying democracy. Fetterman did a *fine job* communicating who he is and what he stands for, and Edsall can't be bothered to address that slimy carpet-bagging quack TV slithering opponent who couldn't answer a question honestly?
Diogenespdx (Portland OR)
Wanna Fix It ? Talk Plans; Repub’s Plans Republican plan to fix inflation . . . crickets Republican plan to fix gas prices . . . crickets Republican plan to fix immigration. . . crickets Republican plan to fix mass murders . . . crickets To fix Roe . . . crickets To fix Health Care . . . crickets To fix Social Security . . . crickets. To fix Democracy . . . crickets Anything ? ... Nothing ? ... Cat got your tongue ? Well, I’ll tell you what the Republican plans are even if they are afraid to, Republicans will fix inflation by giving billionaires’ tax breaks (just like the UK) Republicans will fix gas prices by letting Russia win in Ukraine and giving billionaires’ tax breaks Republicans will fix immigration by bussing them to Boston and giving billionaires’ tax breaks Republicans will fix mass murders by more guns and giving billionaires’ tax breaks Republicans will fix Roe by forcing women to have babies and ditto Republicans will fix Health Care by ending Medicare and ditto Republicans will fix Social Security by ending it and “ Republicans will fix Democracy by ending it and “ And Ditto for good measure. If that sounds good to you, by all means vote republican. If not, Vote Em Out. Now's your chance if you don’t waste no time.
allen (san diego)
the socialist wing of the democrat party recently issued (intentionally or not) a letter calling for the US to negotiate Ukraine's surrender with putin. this is exactly the kind of exercise in stupidity that the Fascist Party loves to use to hammer the democrats. this despite the fact that when their own leadership suggests the same thing their base laps it up. the democrats need to expunge the socialist left wing of the party. the number of independents that would vote for democrats if they did that would far out number their losses of left wind voters.
Medicare For All Would (Save 68,000 American Lives Annually)
“clearly not every voter is a die-hard partisan.” That explains how Obama voters switched to Trump over Hillary. And how Bernie voters swung to Trump. (What kind of mind zigs from Obama to Bernie to Trump? That's like the Black Crowes showing up on stage in white tuxedos, playing banjos and tub basses, and singing "I'm Walking on Sunshine.") It's risky allowing everyone to vote. Vox populi non est vox Dei.
Kim (Philly)
There are a lot of "paid trolls" on this thread......NOBODY with any common sense are voting for misogynists, racists, liars, grifters, that's what the Republican Party represents....facts. Mr. Edsall, get your spine up and write about the real threat to this country.
Chicago Guy (Chicago, Il)
Minorities are to the Republican Party what Jews were to the Nazi's. They're painted as the cause of all problems. And their marginalization is the savior of right-wing extremists at the polls. Trump, "And who are the REAL Americans?" Crowd, "We are!" Trump, "And who are the Fake Americans?" Crowd, "They are!" The only thing currently left unsaid by Trump is, "And what should be done with them?". Then again, he doesn't really need to say that does he? Because his supporters already know the answer to that question. And if Trump actually said it, he'd be breaking his rule of never saying anything without a qualifier, so that he can maintain legal deniability. Trump, "I didn't tell them to attack the Capitol! I simply said they should go to the Capitol and 'fight like heck' in order to save their country from oblivion..." Carlson, "Is it possible that these immigrants are going to come into your house, rape your children and kill you and your wife, after taking your jobs? Who knows?" 99% of modern Republicans are full of it from head to toe.
Chris Pining (a forest)
The gay rights movement wasn’t a revolution but a 150-year-long process, and Congress is poised to statutorily legalize gay marriage after the election, adding to the Constitutional right guaranteed by Obergefell. (No, Obergefell isn’t under threat; in fact, Gorsuch and Roberts joined the liberal Justices to expand gay—and transgender!—rights. Thomas will continue to wage his antigay jihad alone.) However, the right—and, I suspect, a silent majority or sizable minority of Democrats—perceives transgenderism as harming women and children. Unlike the gay rights movement, it is indeed a revolutionary ideology, the gains of which are a product of its cooption of the gay rights movement and institutional capture.
kay (ny)
I think you will be surprised like in other recent elections. Women don't like being relegated to second class citizens and the Trump attempted coup is not going down well with anyone with anyone who cares about this country. I think the polls are being skewed and the dems will take the house and senate in such large margins it will shock those fixated on the polls.
J Hagen (Sacramento)
I have one political sign in front of my house. Here's what it says: "Had enough yet?" For the past two years the country's leadership has politicized vaccines and masking, engaged in school renaming, given away billions of dollars to college graduates while the working class gets crushed by inflation. Then, after everything else, they've told people they are just imagining more crime, inflation and fear of cancel culture. For all of you out there who are saving less for retirement and more worried than ever about our future, you know what to do on election day.
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
If Republicans do privatize Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as well as repeal the Affordable Care Act, they will please some but actually alienate far more of those eligible to vote. Those programs have reduced impoverishment in our country so that it seems inconceivable that anyone would become destitute simply because they have not had great amounts of surplus income throughout their lives. Once when most laborers were unable to work, they would starve. Once when people lived longer than they could work, they became impoverished. Medical care was only available to those injured or dying or wealthy. Most of the people who vote Republican will be the losers, and that will hurt the Republicans in the future.
mmmaier (NYC)
@Casual Observer good points but the people who vote Republican don't think that's their plan. They will not believe it could happen. They've told me I was crazy. We thought Roe would never be overturned as well. It's a cautionary tale.
Rubber Soul (Delaware)
@Casual Observer Should SS be privatized, the party on Wall Street will never end. The "guaranteed" benefits for workers, after paying into the program their entire working career, will come to a screeching end. Oh, and everybody will begin to be charged "administrative" fees by Wall Street that will rise over and over and over again. Soon enough. there won't be any benefit left to speak of. But this is the vision of the Republican Party for America....gated communities for the rich and powerful and "Potterville's" for the rest of us living in abject poverty.
Alan Singer (HI USA)
@Casual Observer . Their parents and grandparents were also mostly losers when they voted in 1980 against the economic well-being of their children and grandchildren. Recent events in uk are source of some hope.
Casual Observer (Los Angeles)
Yes, the Republicans likely will gain control of the Congress and obstruct the President as unthinkingly and reflexively as they did with President Obama. They will not work with Democrats just because it will look like a failure to stand up to their principles. They will cut taxes even though the government will have to borrow money while interest rates continue to climb, making paying those interests on the existing debts will balloon in the budget. That will require even more deficit spending to cover the day to day operations of government. They will try to privatize Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid programs to reduce the budget in those areas. They will hold back funds for infrastructure projects that are already funded. They will try to hold back funds for addressing climate change, too. The voters will find that the Republicans cannot fix this economy as they hope that they would. Inflation is not government printing too much money, it's people paying more that they can afford to get by as well as some who are well off buying before prices become higher. The pandemic stifled true wealth creation and the borrowed money distributed to keep up demand did not represent increased wealth but wealth collected before it could be created. Too much of that money went to those who did not need it. But there are still many who have not recovered what they lost, and they are a huge proportion of the people who are the ones who make the demands that generates growth.
Seth (Summit)
@Casual Observer I agree
Jeff (Boston)
It won't matter. The Republicans are now looking at gaining as many as 20 to 30 seats in the House and will most likely take back the Senate. IF that happens, which it seems like it will, this nation is on for some serious hurt. The Republicans will work to make abortion illegal on the federal level. Deregulate the banks, corporations, and work to defund Medicaid, Medicare, and SS. Then there will be all the hearings that will pretty much take up Bidens next two years in office. The big question is will the Republicans hold the debt ceiling hostage to get substantial cuts to all social programs. The ACA could also be on the chopping block. The economy will not get better it will get worse and Biden and the Democrats will get the blame and do nothing to fight back on all the lies Republicans wallow in. The U.S. is moving towards becoming an authoritarian state. It's not going to happen in the next year, or even after 2024 if Trump or some other MAGA demagogue wins the general election, but it could or will happen in the next 6 to 8 years.
Rubber Soul (Delaware)
@Jeff Its not happening. Did Tucker tell you about 20-30 seats? Laughable
Practical Thoughts (East Coast)
There are two Americas. One America that is more or less in line with a multi-cultural and multi racial society of mostly equals. This is not a perfect group but it does seek to improve itself. The other America clings for nostalgia. It desires uniformity and conformity around "traditional" values and norms. It seeks to keep the historical hierarchies. At their best, they will tolerate some tokenism, at their worst, you have Q-Anon. These political back and forths have little to do with real policy. If they did, you wouldn't have ridiculously unqualified candidates running for office. A Donald Trump would never be elected. There will be "peace" if non-whites and career women accept 2nd and 3rd class citizenship with tokenism. If most women return to a traditional role. Furthermore, there would be some expansion of social services if there was a legal way to exclude certain racial groups from benefitting. This was how Social Security was originally passed in the 1940s.
Mike (Republic Of Texas)
@Practical Thoughts "IF that happens, which it seems like it will, this nation is on for some serious hurt." So, if Democrats could get a mulligan, what would they have done differently? Would they have been less forceful on carbon fuel cut backs? Would they completely denounce and prohibit gender ID events? Would they find something positive about America that they could support? Would any of them acknowledge there is a problem on the border? Maybe visit the border? It seems to me, at some point, this fall from grace was entirely preventable. Therefore, what follows is the fault of the Democrats.
Seth (Summit)
@Practical Thoughts interesting thoughts and theories, however, you would be remiss if you did not acknowledge there are truths within those desires. Back in those times traditional roles worked to the benefit of the family and society. There was built in childcare, things for affordable, families thrived as nuclear units. With the onslaught of women can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, run the family, and run the corporation, that went on unchallenged for decades and now has come back to roost with women finding out that that's not true. The family units have suffered. Women have suffered. So The answer I think is in a more traditional support structure. I think it's a grave mistake to assume that all women want to be capitalistic hedge fund managers running their own empires. Most women I know don't actually want that they want a peaceful life with their families in a good quality life they want less stress not more stress
Truth Hurts Red (MA)
If Edsall's subsidiary thesis is correct and voters may vote their party over the fundamentals, that should lead to a lot more straight ticket voting. And that is probably not good for Democrat Senate Candidates in Arizona and Georgia.
Ken L (Atlanta)
@Truth Hurts Red I disagree about Georgia. All of our statewide races: governor, president, and US Senators, are toss-ups until further notice. This has been true since 2018 and carried through the 2021 Senate runoffs. Georgia, with only 50% White population, is no longer the good-old-boys conservative state. It's split until demographic change tips the balance.
albert (monterey, CA)
The progressives overreached and the electorate will punish them for it. Whether this is permanent or not depends on the moderate wings of both parties.
mmmaier (NYC)
@albert how did they overreach? I haven't seen any purely progressive legislation that is hurting anyone.
Seth (Summit)
@albert what is so upsetting to me as I am more progressive than the current progressives in Washington today. I am a Bernie Sanders through and through. With a little Andrew Yang thrown in. And yet, I am going to be voting Republican for the first time in my life. It's a huge bummer
RandomJoe20 (CA)
What moderate wing of the Republican Party? MAGA has thrown most of them out or pushed them into quitting politics. Those that might in private have more moderate instincts cowardly have betrayed any principles out of fear for their political careers and in some cases their lives.
BAW (Seattle)
My concern is that if inflation eases the GQP will claim credit and Dems will be in trouble in 2024. If it doesn’t then we have the same problem.
Tench Tilghman (Valley Forge, Pa)
The author got the Trump in the third paragraph. The Democrats are obsessively looking backward, to Trump and January 6th. Independent voters, the kind the Democrats desperately need, are concerned about today and the future. That my friends, is why the Democrats are going to lose so big on election day. We deserve to lose.
Robert (Wisconsin)
Polls always tighten. Elections in swing states and districts are always close. The Democratic handwringing over how the Republicans have the wind at their backs or how the Democrats have "blown" their leads is getting rather frustrating to watch and read about. Republicans have no solutions to inflation except to hand more money to rich corporate types and cutting Social Security and Medicare. They're also the experts at fear mongering when it comes to campaign ads. A whole lot of noise, but not a clue on how to fix things. A vote for Republican candidates also validates the Jan. 6 insurrection as no big deal, instead of the direct attack on the bedrock of our country. The Democrats have a good record to run on with passage of the infrastructure bill and inflation reduction act. They have the better candidates. Use the last few days to capitalize on what they've accomplished, call out the lies from the other side, and drop the doom and gloom. There's too much at stake to think otherwise.
Lois (Spokane WA)
I agree with the conclusion of this article: a swing to the Republicans in the mid-term is unlikely to result in a permanent Republican alignment. I believe that if the Republicans behave the way the way they have, with vindictiveness and lies and irrationality, there will be a big swing towards Blue in 2024. So let them pick up some seats, if that is what happens, so that we can see how they really are when given power.
Mark (Riverside)
so I should expect the government to run better with a blue wave on 2024?
Ben Andrews (Phoenix, Arizona)
The Trump/GOP admin is responsible for the increased size of our current inflation. (Even though it's part of world-wide inflation.) Here's how. 1) Every break-away inflation has a trigger. That trigger is an outsized threshold imbalance in supply and demand. 2) The 'Trump/GOP admin' politicized all the major Covid public health measures. This made them much less effective against the pandemic. That enlarged the size of the pandemic and increased the human damage caused. (We hold a world record for Covid deaths! That and US cases and disabilities are twice what they should have been.) 3) The enlarged pandemic created EXTRA human damage. Some of this EXTRA human damage happened in the US supply-chain workforce. 4) The enlarged size of the pandemic also created EXTRA volatility in the demand-side of the US economy. 5) Part of the trigger was the EXTRA human damage to our supply-chain workforce in manufacturing, food processing, ground cargo transportation, and seaport cargo transfer to and from trucks. 6) The other part of the inflation trigger was the increased size of our pandemic. This added EXTRA volatility to the demand-side of the US economy. 7) Thus, the Trump/GOP admin loaded extra heft into the two-part US inflation trigger—extra human damage and extra fear. 8) The Trump/Biden stimulus payments ultimately revived the US economy. 9) Then the GOP-enlarged US inflation-trigger "BOTTLE-NECKED" our supply-chain and triggered our current inflation.
Mark Thomason (Clawson, MI)
Republicans are right wing, starting wars and defending them with unreasoning lies, denying the Covid problem, and making vague promises to be compassionate while doing nothing of the sort. Democrats are also right wing, starting war and defending them with unreasoning lies, denying the Covid problem (it is now "over"), and making vague promises on things like student loans and abortion on which they do nothing until after the last moment and then can't carry through. So, nobody can win with a right left divide when they are all on the right.
Want2know (MI)
Politic today is cultural and tribal. Most voters are either red or blue. There may be about 5-10% who are either truly undecided or pursuadable. A wave is possible if they break strongly one way or another.
northlander (Michigan)
Unlikely. Turnout will be spotty.
Mike Porter (New York City)
Based on what, exactly? Early turnout is record-breaking.
badubois (New Hampshire)
Are these the same "experts" and "pollsters" who assured us that Sen. Susan Collins of Maine was consistently behind and would lose her seat, only to have her clobber her opponent by nearly 9 percent? Spare us the ivory tower navel gazing.
Deus (Toronto)
So, Mr. Edsall, you honestly expect everyone to believe that in one evening that most Americans are willing to both destroy democracy in America and kill the American Experiment? I suppose that could be possible, but, then again, that would be like trying to convince Americans, republicans have better ideas on the economy, really care about working people, want to raise the minimum wage, want to improve healthcare and social security, have corporations pay their fair share of taxes, implement better gun laws, implement progressive climate change policies, voters rights legislation and the list goes on. The only problem is when bills are introduced that deal with any of these issues and more, republicans en masse have voted against ALL of these policies that would actually benefit the majority of Americans and republicans have done it every single time. So are we to assume then that "America hast lost its mind".
John D (San Diego)
@Deus Gee, I'm not that bad. I vote Republican and only kill the American Experiment every other Thursday.
Pam J (New Hampshire)
It appears that party affiliation, and in terms of independents, party lean, will be the strongest behavioral factor in the midterms this year too. Gallup's historical party affiliation polls, which are updated monthly, indicate as of late September that 30% of voters identify as Republicans, 43% as Independents, and 24% as Democrats. Approximately 48% of Independents favor the Repubicans, while 44% favor the Democrats. There are fluctuations of +-4% or so, though, accounting for polling error. The Democrats need to target Independent voters on the state and local levels and appeal to them, while appealing to young voters on college campuses.
S May (NYC)
I’m a Democrat but these leftists are as bad as the extreme right. Both want their way or they will destroy America.
LaPine (Pacific Northwest)
@S May What are you talking about?
mmmaier (NYC)
@S May who exactly are the leftists that are destroying America? The ones that passed a child tax credit that lifted children out of poverty? The ones that got stimulus payments to people who were struggling? Or the ones that passed the BBB to get infrastructure monies to where it needed to be? I'm guessing you aren't really a Democrat.
Tim (Silver Spring)
@S May "Defund the Police" was immature and ridiculous but not as bad as the excuses for it.
Sandy Beaches (Maine)
What is not accounted for in polls of the upcoming election is newly registered voters and infrequent voters motivated by the Dobbs decision. I am of the belief that this may be the X factor. I am trying very hard to not allow the headlines here and in the press more generally by political reporters who believe doom and gloom for the prospects of Democrats is what they get paid to write about to influence my outlook.
Lois (Spokane WA)
@Sandy Beaches VOTE FORWARD volunteers have just sent out more than ten million letters to low propensity voters, encouraging them to vote (without suggesting who to vote for). I am also hoping that new voters and infrequent voters turn out this year and we can better see where public sentiment lies.
MDT (Alexandria)
Letters in the mail. Well that should do it!
Christian Haesemeyer (Melbourne)
The “polls have turned bleak”? This is simply not true. Polls are all over the place, more like. Nobody is sure of their turnout models or demographic adjustments. So I guess we will just have to see, won’t we, instead off buying into the media story line that they so desperately want to make true.
Giogio (Houston)
IMHO, this assay, and most others, are completely wrong. They start from the assumption that it is business as usual. It is NOT. The MAGA crowd does not want a change in conditions within our democracy. They want ABSOLUTE power to impose their agenda. This people do not believe that ALL PEOPLE are created equal, and…… They believe that some are better than others and entitled to the full rewards of citizenship and freedom, others NO. If they get their way things will change dramatically and not for the good. It is very easy to see that those who speak about the ‘tyranny’ of the federal government do not have any problem with the tyranny of States governments. Those are fine. 1A rights in the ‘liberal’ Colleges and Universities, but book banning and State approved doctrine in all other classrooms. Voting rights for certain people and not for others. I could continue. We really live in dangerous times. Better we figure out what is happening before it is too late.
Natalie (PA)
Absolute power to impose an agenda… like packing the Supreme Court, ending the filibuster, adding new states to tip the balance in the Senate, and abolishing the electoral college?
mmmaier (NYC)
@Natalie McConnell already packed the Supreme Court. It needs to be fixed. We have 13 district courts and they used to sync up with the number of justices. That's an easy and logical fix. Should have been done years ago. McConnell dumps the filibuster when it pleases him. Why not more states? We are not an empire. Either be a state or stand on your own. In or out. Electoral college was set up to help slave holders. We no longer have slaves, so it's time to modernize the presidential election..
Natalie (PA)
@mmmaier McConnell getting in justices you don't like isn't packing. There have been 9 justices for as long as we've been alive. It's just something not going your way so you'd like to cast it as illegitimate. I have no problem with more states, but adding them just so you can tip the balances in your scale is unethical. Your interpretation of the electoral college is twisted liberal nonsense. Yes there was the impact of slavery on the writing of the Constitution, such as the 3/5ths compromise, but the electoral college was designed that way because we are a collection of states, not one monolithic country. This comes from the states originally operating as colonies with separate cultures and laws.
Marek Minta (Melbourne Beach, Florida)
Good numberwork presentation. But is it all about numbers? Do we really believe that there are more conservatives (republicans) than liberals (democrats) in this country? If there are more conservatives - indeed the leadership should be with them. If there are more liberals, and they lose these midterms - well they have themselves to blame... and should not expect any consideration from the conservatives. But: I have a question (if republicans win): OK, I give you guns, no abortion, low/no taxes, the border wall, no social net, total oil... now what? And who's going to suffer? Will it fix inflation, lower crime (oh, I forgot to give: prison for all), climate crisis, and keep America as a leader of the West? You guessed - I don't think so... but if you will see that it will be worse with them, and the school prayer won't save you, then I know you will blame democrats anyway.
Mark (Co)
The thesis is interesting but not flattering. Brain dead partisanship of Democrats, pulling the D no matter what the facts on the ground, might save the Democrats from the wipeout that would historically happen. On the flip side, in some future election the obverse may be true. Welcome to the jungle We got fun 'n' games...
Unconventional Liberal (San Diego)
This is another in the many articles that paint Republicans as white supremacist racists. This is very wrong and only reinforces the partisan divide. It is just as easy (and more truthful) for Republicans to say that Dems are the racist party. Senator Tulsi Gabbard recently switched parties from Dem to Republican, because of what she called "anti-white racism" in the party. Dem leaders often shame whites for their "privilege" (even if they're poor, jobless, alcoholic, addicted to meth and fentanyl, and suicidal). The Dem strategy of appealing to POC as a way of gaining power from the "browning of America" is not exactly a secret. One op-ed writer at the Times has often referred to America as a "white supremacist patriarchy." And when it comes to immigration, the Dem policy of open borders is a disaster that no one likes. (If you want to see Trump re-elected, keep supporting open borders.) Now add the explicitly anti-white messages of wokeism and CRT (now taught in some elementary schools, and too widely in high schools), and it's clear Dems are very anti-white. Dems used to be the party of the working class, but they've totally driven the white working class away with identity politics. This being the NY Times, we read about how racist Republicans are. Tune into any "conservative" outlet such as Fox News, and you'll hear about how racist Dems are. But you wouldn't like to hear that, would you? Plug your ears and close your eyes.
Alvin (Austin, TX)
@Unconventional Liberal Yes, the article referred to "race" and "racial" at least seven times by my count. While some voters may be racially motivated on issues like immigration, there clearly are other reasons, and to keep hammering this angle in the absence of evidence seems wrong to me, and probably politically inexpedient as well.
toom (somewhere)
The headline shows that the author's vague belief in a GOP victory. This is guesswork. The following is a warning, and not a guess: The crucial input is the GOP platform as told to us by Rick Scott (R-Florida). Rick, a health exec who paid a 1 billion fine to escape jail, wants to eliminate Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Not to mention Obamacare. If Rick and the GOP get in, don't get old, sick or poor. Then you can die in the gutter.
Hans Scholl (Boulder, Colorado)
The Left is fanning the flames of ethnic division constantly also. CRT, ethnic obsession, anti-Caucasian propaganda. In forty years of studying American politics, I've never seen such a mess. I can't stand either party and one has to hold one's nose while voting. You are either voting for plutocracy or for anti-Caucasian hatred.
@Hans Scholl CRT is a distraction and "anti caucasian propaganda" is a joke. The choice is pretty cut and dry. Fascism and white supremacists or a democracy.
Nilso (Ashland,OR)
@Hans Scholl : It's not "anti-Caucasian hatred" to simply insist on the teaching of historical truths, without white-washing the fact that indigenous peoples' lands were stolen by deliberate genocide, that slavery was an abomination, that after the Civil War the continued oppression (including terrorization by lynching) of Black Americans was codified into law, etc. It's just the truth. It's also the truth that many peoples have been oppressed in this nation's history, including Irish, Italians, Jews, and Hispanics- especially if they were working class. The history of racial oppression, oppression of workers, etc. needs to be taught.
Lois (Spokane WA)
@Hans Scholl If you look at where all the money is going, we are already a plutocracy. Princeton University conducted an analysis of 20 years of voter polls and public policy decisions and concluded: 1) Major influence on public policy is from the ultra-wealthy and their lobbyists 2) Voter preferences have virtually NO IMPACT on public policy. Just because Dems would like to see historical accuracy doesn't mean they are "anti-Caucasian"!
Rubber Soul (Delaware)
The polling has not turned "bleak" for the Democratic Party nor will there be a "wipeout". Stop Mr. Edsall with the sensationalistic rhetoric. Rather, the races are "tightening" simply because right wing billionaires and corporations are "breaking" the bank for the GOP. Why? Because God forbid if the Democrats get a good majority in the Senate because they might pass legislation that will benefit ordinary Americans, our environment and codify Roe. As the Hartmann report indicates..."who can blame the billionaires and corporations behind this corruption? First off, it’s been fully legalized by the Supreme Court with Citizens United. Second, it’s a fantastic investment, as they saw in 2016: pour $7 billion into an election and within the first year get almost $2 trillion in tax breaks and another trillion in forgivable loans with few strings attached."
El Cid (las pulgas, nm)
Starting with the Casa Blanca, confusion reigns supreme.
lieberma (Philadelphia PA)
YEY. GOP 2022 Trump 2024. Make America Great Again!
Mark (Co)
@lieberma Agree that the first part is probably true. The last part is imperative no matter who wins. The middle part, we will see. DeSantis may be a better choice (or not). How about Trump... Speaker of the House 2023?
lieberma (Philadelphia PA)
@Mark Interesting Idea. But he will not go for it.
Jack Dancer (USA)
Edsall is whistling past the graveyard.
Robert (Seattle)
@Jack Dancer And MAGA America is Edsel-ing right into the junkyard of abject moral and ethical failure.
Richard Millhouse (Bklyn NY)
It’s too late for america one way or the other .
Kinsale (Domme, France)
"To be fair, people cannot fight for lofty ideals like democracy when their basic needs are not being met. People need to be secure in their food and housing situation before they can advocate for bigger ideas." Fine but a well fed slave is still a slave. Washington's troops at Valley Forge chose liberty over an adequate diet. It seems out ancestors were made of sterner stuff.
Deus (Toronto)
@Kinsale One thing we know for sure, when it comes to the ideas of having enough food and housing, these items are NOT on the republicans "to do" list, in fact, quite the opposite.
Joinery Piling Up (Charlottesville)
@Kinsale Poor little aggrieved cruz
Mark (Germany)
My advice is from across the vast ocean via the magic of the internet (well underway sea cable) is that performative anti-whiteness is not a platform that garners a majority of votes.....yes there are some people who are white who are a poor excuse for a human being that is true of people of color as well.
Alex (Durham, NC)
@Mark "Performative" is a great way to describe a lot of what passes for progressive dialogue these days.
Al (Suburban Phila.)
Let's hope the polls are as wrong as they were in 2016.
David (California)
If they are wrong, like they were in 2016, it’s even worse news for democrats.
David Henry (Concord)
@Al The polls were right about Hillary until Comey interfered with the election. Even then she prevailed in the popular vote.
Christopher (Buffalo NY)
@David Henry Thank heavens for the Electoral College.
Grant (Boston)
For narrow minded ideologues like Thomas Edsall, elections are quantitative not qualitative. In gerrymandered schematics creating neighborhood confusion Edsall finds his satisfaction; not in the qualities or lack of regarding candidates running for office. For academic sheep, Professor Edsall among them, Left is right, and Right is wrong. Names, resumes, and pronouncements are irrelevant. One Party is significant: the other not. Power is solely derived by tabulation of digits determining which prewritten script is read and meant to serve as governance for the next two-year term or orchestrated chaos depending on millions of minions believing in credible election results regardless of lever pulled, button pushed, or ballots harvested. Meanwhile, Mark Zuckerberg’s nose grows longer while he stands in the shadows.
Bob from VA (Clifton VA)
I admire Edsall's work a lot. But he made a mistake at the end crediting Gingrich's Contract with their win. Polling and surveys showed most voters had no clue about it. Pundits don't by themselves make a sizeable voting bloc. More credit probably goes to right-wing talk radio and wild conspiracy theories about the Clintons.
PJM (La Grande, OR)
This article seems to ignore the growing segment of the electorate that identifies as independent. For me the correct question is not so much the hardening of democrats and republican views. Rather, we need to account for the former democrats and republicans who are now independents.
If the Republicans win either the House or the Senate America's democracy is over, and the rule of law will have been degraded beyond repair. The Supreme Court is a joke at this point, wait until America sees what the Republicans do to the economy.
Mark (Germany)
@J so if a party you personally disapprove of gets elected democratically then that is the end of democracy ? Might be the end of "woke" a platform that people think might win elections ? Democracy probably not....
Eyeroll74 (Massachusetts)
@Mark When the majority of that party denies the outcome of a fair election because their candidate lost, then, yeah, I'd say that might indicate the end of democracy. And the "woke" platform is not an actual thing.
@Mark If they get elected by intimidating voters, filing fraudulent law suits and lies to "win" so they can end fair elections in the future, then yes, by definition that is the end of a democracy and the beginning of fascism. As for the term "woke" it is not a blanket statement to be used for everything and everyone you don't agree with. It does seem to be the only consistent Republican plan. It wont help with inflation, but by God we need to get rid of "woke".
Q Frost (Boulder CO)
You have the wrong of it. There's a blue tsunami coming. Republicans ripped a Constitutional Right away from all women. The Democratic Party is going to pick up seats in the Senate and hold the House. Then we are going to have Roe codified, pass voter protections and end gerrymandering, mandate mail-in voting as Oregon and others do. Then we fix the Supreme Court.
Mark (Germany)
@Q Frost anything is possible but what is likely to happen.
Christopher (Buffalo NY)
@Q Frost One can't help but admire your optimism.
Kim (Philly)
@Q Frost Exactly....
Doctor B (White Plains, NY)
If Republicans gain control of the House, they may overplay their hand the same way they did in 2010. Here are some likely examples. Their fondest goal is to drastically cut back Social Security & Medicare. I don't expect this to go over well with most people. There is a good reason why thees program are so popular. They have promised to pass a national abortion ban. A heavy majority of the country opposes this. They have threatened to try to impeach Pres. Biden. There is no valid basis for doing so, & almost everyone will readily see this for what it is- pure political theater. Their attempt to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998 backfired big time. Trying it again with Biden will be even worse, since there is no rationale for it beyond the political one. At least Clinton did lie in his testimony about Monica Lewinsky. If they attempt to stifle all of the Democrats' agenda, the Republicans will be vulnerable to being attacked as a "do-nothing" Congress. This will engender a tremendous backlash as Democrats surge back into power, similar to the 1948 election where Truman upset Dewey & Democrats made major gains in Congress. In short, any GOP gains in 2022 will probably be short-lived. Surviving 2 years of GOP control of Congress will be hard, but with a Democrat in the White House to veto their worst excesses, we should survive.
Global Charm (British Columbia)
I no longer know what to think about the Democrats. Just recently, 30 “progressive” Democrats signed a letter to Joe Biden urging him in effect to surrender Ukraine to Vladimir Putin. Rescinded a day later, with Rep. Pramila Jayapal blaming “the staff” for releasing it without approval. So first you stab your ally in the back, then you stab your own employees. What voter can honestly look at this and choose such people as their representatives? We might not trust politicians (much), but there’s an imbecility and fecklessness here that rivals that of the Big Liars. There will have to be a renewal in the Democratic Party. Loyalty to the team only goes so far.
WP (Colorado)
@Global Charm Unfortunately, our voting has become a consistent choice of the lesser of two evils. I'm not very happy with democrats for a lot of reasons but at least they stay most grounded in reality, offer solutions to the problems we face, and most of all are not outright lying about the results of the 2002 election and trying to destroy what is left of our democracy.
Joan Johnson (Midwest, midwest)
@Global Charm The letter was a mistake. It was recognized as a mistake and retracted one day later. The notion that this error, fixed so quickly, belongs even in the same category as the Big Lie is absurd. The two parties are light years apart.
@Global Charm Now address the reality that the majority of politicians in the Republican Party lied about a "stolen election" and none of those anti American frauds have retracted their completely false lies. The Republican Party needs to be rebuilt from the ground up to purge the corruption and filth that has aggregated in the Party. Unlike the Republicans the Democrats made a mistake, took responsibility for it, provided an explanation and did so in the public view. Republican politicians lie as often as they speak, and when the lies or crimes are uncovered they take no responsibility and spend their energy obstructing the rule of law.
Catatonic (Tex-a-rado)
Gather people to vote based solely on their personal circumstances. Add to that the media ratings chase focusing on divisiveness for attention. Toss in some really fearful economic news. Layer over geopolitical turmoil, war, and potential end of humanity concerns. Bake under a climate changing dome of oppressive heat. Set aside until the first Tuesday in November. Gather. Pray. Eat. Then enjoy the family discussion. America.
Eknath (NYC)
All of the analysis done by Edsall and plenty of other analysts on here about the two parties have assumed that Trump will continue to be a factor indefinitely in the R party and that therefore the D party can just sell itself as the lesser of two evils. Minus Trump that party will return to 2/3 moderates and 1/3 extremists just like the Democrats are. Then there will be real choices again, not just hold your noise to avoid the worst stink and vote for the one who stinks a little less. We should all be rooting for Trump to pass on, whether via indictment or via coronary; once the Republicans improve the Democrats will be forced to as well. This worsening loop must end.
Thomas Renner (New York City)
I agree with Mr. Cain's view on the agenda of the GOP. This agenda will not solve any of the problems voters have and will only serve to make the far right happy. If they spend two years getting even while really doing nothing to advance America they will loose in 2024 big time
Fred (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
If sports were like politics (rather than the other way round), we would no longer need to let the teams play: we could simply count how many fans each team has in the stands, and whichever team has the most fans wins.
David MD (NYC)
I am the classic Democrat, FDR, Truman, JFK, LBJ. AOC and the progressives are not that. For example, both NYC Mayor DeBlasio and NYS Gov Cuomo worked very hard to have Amazon HQ2 located in NYC, promising 25,000 high paying jobs plus 11,000 union construction jobs, plus billions and billions of needed tax revenues. AOC and her fellow progressives stopped the entire project. Unforgivable. She simply doesn't care for New Yorkers that want good paying jobs. We have a very big housing shortage, particularly in NYC where the NYT is located. "Still, LA is not the more severely underbuilt. That distinction belongs to the New York City-Newark and Jersey City, New Jersey metro area. There were nearly 497,000 new jobs compared to 13,229 single-family permits issued... In his recent bill, Biden allocated tens of billions for electric charging stations and subsides for electric vehicles. He allocated tens of billions more for internet services. But nothing is being done to address this housing crisis. Biden sends the money to Ukraine, not for housing. Instead Biden weakens border controls, TX Gov Abbott sends border crashers to NYC, where there is already a housing crisis and then Biden refuses NYC Mayor Adam's requests for federal funding for the Biden/Abbott created crisis. Democrats need to make affordable housing their #1 priority.
deepharbor (nh)
@David MD You do realize the reason AOC was against Amazon was because it would have made the housing crisis worse, right? I'm not saying I agree with that, I would have supported it if I still lived in NYC but it's curious you seem to have contradictory objectives.
Rob Kneller (New Jersey)
@David MD Not to mention that Amazon is not a good employer as you seem to claim. Claiming to be Truman, FDR and LBJ? Is that the new "I'm a lifelong Democrat" preamble to attacks on progressives?
David MD (NYC)
@Rob Kneller; @deepharbor Neither of you live in NYC. New Yorkers wanted Amazon HQ2 including hi-tech, support staff and union construction workers. After all, the Mayor, Governor, and additional city and states all wanted it. Most of these workers already live here in NYC -- the city itself has 8.5 million, then there is Westchester and Long Island -- people who already commute to the city to work. The Amazon jobs are good quality jobs. I know this because I've spoken with people who worked for Microsoft's cloud services (Azure) who then went to work for Amazon Web Services. Amazon is able to hire a lot of these Microsoft employees because Amazon has better jobs with higher payer than Microsoft. Amazon is extremely hi-tech and uses well over 100 PhDs in math, just for the logistics. They have many, many data analysts, computer programers, software people who run the web services. When you watch Netflix, that service is provided by Amazon. As the biggest cloud provider, Amazon services more people on the web/cloud than Microsoft and Google. AOC is anti-New York. She didn't want to have a company to hire New Yorkers with good jobs. She never represented the will of New Yorkers who want good jobs. There is a housing shortage, but that is only because of govt policies that limit zoning, that don't make housing their #1 priority when we have a shortage.
Dancing Horses (Bunny Warren)
If the current geriatrics leading the Democratic Party are not able to play the game of politics than for gods sake they need to retire. Unfortunately the party has become a rest home for aging baby boomers who think they are still in touch with voters. No wonder they have struggled to find a narrative or vision of where the Left is headed. They haven’t had a new idea since the 1980’s.
A liberal (North East)
@Dancing Horses Last time I checked, on the left are the socialists and on the right are the conservatives. Liberals are traditionally seen in the middle. Let's call it as it is. About 25% of the Democratic Party is supported by socialists, whose youth either don't vote or vote for Sanders. The liberal youth votes for Biden, and the conservative youth vow their allegiance to Trump or McConnell. Avoiding middle aged boys and girls (say aged 35 to 60) is a recent national pastime transcending the Democratic Party.
Kevin Cahill (87106)
Because Biden has driven us to war with Russia, fought by Ukrainians, I am thinking seriously of voting Republican for the first time in 60 years. But I’ll still vote for our outstanding governor.
Robert (Seattle)
@Kevin Cahill Actually, of course, it was Helsinki, the perfect phone call, Russia are you listening?--gems like those directly encouraged the Mar-a-Moscow fellow to invade Ukraine. Joe Biden and Congress have sent military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Joe Biden has unified Europe and NATO in that project, and masterfully walked the fine line between helping Ukraine and starting a war with Russia. Your claim that Biden "has driven us to war with Russia" is baseless, and doesn't read like the assertion of somebody who is "seriously thinking of voting Republican for the first time in 60 years." It's the internet, I am a dog, you know the drill.
Joan Johnson (Midwest, midwest)
@Kevin Cahill With all due respect, Biden did not drive us to war with Russia. Russia invaded Ukraine, which, as an independent nation, serves an important national security role for us. We can't stand by and let Russia take Ukraine by force. No one thinks that Russia will stop with Ukraine. This is in OUR best interests, to stop Russia. Stepping aside and letting Russia take Ukraine benefits only Russia. It's true, there are no good options but this is the reality.
Seth (Summit)
@Kevin Cahill that's me as well. and I'm not on the wall about it either.
Tom (Canada)
After yesterday debates in Pennsylvania, NY, Michigan - the Democrats are in deep trouble. I've never seen a party become so out of touch. The finale has to be how 30 Progressive Congress-people were shut down by State Dept NeoCons.
Robert (Seattle)
@Tom "The finale has to be how 30 Progressive Congress-people were shut down by State Dept NeoCons." That simply isn't factual. If what the 30 signers from the progressive caucus said was accurate, they never intended to send it now. It had been put together and signed during the summer. It had been sent by a staffer without their approval. Other Democrats and the White House all publicly disagreed. The letter, which does not recommend that military or humanitarian aid to Ukraine be cut, has been misrepresented by Republicans including Kevin McCarthy who, imagine my surprise, really are planning to abandon Ukraine in favor of the fellow they are so fond of Mr. Putin.
Don (Keninitz)
@Robert That can hardly be accurate, given the letter refers to claimed Russian annexations that happened only last month.
Kim (Philly)
@Tom Nope, those of us who could give a flying fig about the debates, know without a doubt, that Faux Dr. Oz, is a joke.....
CKathes (Seattle)
Edsall concludes: "While this [negative] agenda may win Republicans the House and perhaps the Senate this year, it contains too many contradictions to achieve a durable Republican realignment." Oh, Republicans know that very well. That's why they're dead-set on making it impossible for voters ever to remove them from power again.
Rosie (Durham)
@CKathes Yes, here it comes. Nowhere in the constitution does it explicitly set forth the right to vote or who has the right to vote. Under Rep rule, that definition will be codified as follows: In order to vote, you must be white, republican, christian, and believe whatever yarns Trump tells you.
Mary2493 (Europe)
Please, for the sake of democracy, please voters : vote first for Democracy (meaning : vote Democrats), second : never forget that Donald Trump and the Republicans do NOT care, not even for a second, for your well-being. The only thing they crave for is power and the power that want is not the one for your well-being. Sorry to be so obvious... but it is really now or never!
Richard Scharf (Michigan)
"With the midterm election less than two weeks away, polling has turned bleak for the Democrats..." And what does that mean for the general election? Polls continue to demonstrate they are worthless, but the news media can't get enough of them in spite of that. The polls, before the Kansas abortion amendment, showed that 47% of Kansans were in favor of further restricting abortion and 43% were against the amendment. The actual vote showed 59% of Kansans were against the amendment, 41% were in favor. When polling fails so miserably -- in fact continuing to worsen over the years -- why do columnists spend their time yapping about them?
Rosie (Durham)
@Richard Scharf The purpose of news is to sell advertising so if a "reporter" can find a poll that says Dems will suffer a wipeout, that's what he'll publish. Facts no longer matter nor does decency or loyalty.
Kalidan (NY)
I am glad you are optimistic. Democrats have tirelessly worked to identify and champion issues that ensure defeat. They have focused their entire effort on ensuring there is a failure to communicate with their constituencies. They are expecting people to know what they think and will do (and have done successfully) through osmosis, smoke signals on windy days, and telepathy. I do expect to see republicans winning everything for one simple reason. They want Trump. Then they want Trump to destroy the democracy wo that it supposedly works only for them, and punishes everyone else. We democrats want anything but this, anywhere but here, anytime not now, and anyone but Biden. I guess we will get exactly what we (democrats) want. We want absolutely every sad sack loser issue solved first (i.e., everyone homeless must be homed, every rich guy must be taxed to penury, and every English Lit teacher should be paid like a surgeon) - before we will condescend to vote. We, more than republicans, will end up destroying the most beautiful thing created by man. The American democracy.
Seth (Summit)
@Kalidan someone doesn't feel the way you want it's not a democracy? that sounds a lot like authoritarianism. If the GOP is voted in, it is democracy in action.
A Concerned Citizen (USA)
What were Rep. Jayapal and progressives thinking with that ill-timed Pro-Putin appeasement letter? To then blame the "staff" for their poor decision making is just too much. The Trump-like craziness and the incompetent execution are jaw-dropping. Obama was right to distrust the progressive wing. They not prime time ready, they are unprincipled, and they lack a basic understanding of (or respect for) national security.
Lois (Spokane WA)
@A Concerned Citizen As opposed to, say, the right wing extremists in the Republican party, who seem to greatly outnumber the small progressive caucus in the Democratic party. It is the right-wing extremists who are unprincipled. They want us to look like Hungary, a Christian autocratic nation, for gosh sake!
Jack (Washington DC)
“ this agenda may win Republicans the House and perhaps the Senate this year, it contains too many contradictions to achieve a durable Republican realignment.” I don’t get it. I thought democracy was at stake in this election. If the Republicans win, democracy is dead & they are in forever. I must be missing something.
When will Lefties learn that most hard-working people want to know what you will do for them, not for others? When will Lefties learn that guilt-tripping a guy or gal who drives an F-150 to their construction job will not encourage them to listen to your climate story? When will Lefties learn to speak American, not using a 50-page treatise when a paragraph (not a bumpersticker!) will do? When will Lefties learn that most voters want leaders who reflect the voter's values, not leaders who tell them what their values should be? When will Lefties learn there is a difference between democracy and liberal values? When will Lefties learn the difference between aspirations and reality? When will Lefties decide it is more important to stay and fight than to have a tombstone that says, But I Was Right?
Stephen Holland (Nevada City)
@HOOZON FIRST you might have awhile to wait for "lefties" to learn all that. In the meantime, R's want power and not much more because their agenda is so unpopular, they dare not speak its name. As for "reflecting voter's values," leaders sometimes have to lead in spite of said values, clearly a delicate dance. But I wish the left would fight a lot more as you say, we might fire up a few uncommitted.
Meredith (New York)
@HOOZON FIRST ....any specific examples of policies you're against and why? Briefly.
Mike (Republic Of Texas)
@HOOZON FIRST You have won the "Best Comment" of this political season.
peppermint30 (Portland, OR)
Some people don't vote for republicans because they like their ideas... some people vote for them because they loath the democrat's ideas and what they bring to the table...
A liberal (North East)
Left and right? Before 2016, there was a belief that most Americans were liberals, perhaps with bias toward socialism (so-called "progressives") or conservatism (so-called "libertarians"). I am convinced our progressives and libertarians have moved toward communism and fascism, respectively. Support for capitalism (eminently a liberal idea) is eroding in the US. In communism, private companies are replaced by government-owned ones. In fascism, private companies are only tolerated and expected to serve/advance the interests of the ruling party (remember Trump's anger with Harley-Davidson, of them all). While I recognize my support for liberalism is out of fashion, please stop calling me "moderate." I'm just a liberal, sometimes progressive, other times libertarian. Of course, socialist and conservative policies are the best. Massachusetts though is not worthy of them, so don't waste your time bringing them here.
Lisa (NY)
"In a 2021 article, “The presidential and congressional elections of 2020: A national referendum on the Trump presidency,” Gary Jacobson, " That is past stuff. Americans by and large will vote on inflation - that is decimating their wages and pensions And they believe the Democrats caused it. And yes, they did The New Yorker Is Larry Summers Really Right About Inflation and Biden? Apr 8, 2022 Mr. Summers was President Obama's Secretary of the Treasury. He knew what he was talking about
Kevin (Phoenix)
@Lisa Summers was for the consolidation of the meat/poultry sectors to enrich his friends. Don't pretend you don't know what is going on with inflation in this country. On January 3, 2021, the Biden administration announced an action plan to begin deconsolidating monopolies in the meat and poultry sectors with a more than $1 billion investment from the American Rescue Plan funds to expand independent meat processing capacity.
Bernie (Vermont)
What this tells me is that the Republicans are better at politics than the Democrats, which is hardly news.
Stefan Ackerman (Brooklyn)
@Bernie Yes, because politics is a euphemism for lying.
SJ (Oklahoma)
I don't have an alternative which I'd share here, but it's always been clear that the majority of Americans can't be trusted to vote. It's even clearer when so many are planing to vote for candidates who want to take away their vote, and replace it with the decision of the legislature. Voting for someone who tells you he intends to disregard your vote if he doesn't like it. Think about that. They may be pandering to you now, but what do you expect from them once they no longer need your support in order to to keep office?
Bucketomeat (The Zone)
@SJ If they were capable of connecting the dots and noticing, for example, that Trump hasn’t paid the legal bills of his supporters, would they be his supporters in the first place?
reality check (nyc)
Why there is no doubt that people are more and more motivated by partisan loyalty and less by a policy or its results this dynamic recedes when family wellbeing and children are at stake. Virginia elections will give you all the data points you need. And these are even more pertinent because so many voters in Virginia make a living of the large government ecosystem which by definition is a Democrat leaning enterprise. Blood run thicker than wine.
FxQ (Cincinnati)
I’m a lifelong Democrat that just voted straight Republican ticket. It’s not what I expected ever doing but the Democrats have abandoned everything they use to stand for, particularly being anti-war, or at least part of the party. Watching the Progressives and the Squad rescind their tepid letter about negotiating a ceasefire just confirmed and reinforced my decision to leave the Democratic Party.
LEM (Boston)
@FxQ So you support Putin and his illegal war?
Sitges (san diego)
@FxQ And, pray tell, what do you expect the Republicans to do in terms of opposing war (them who have always been in favor of inflating the military budget), job creation, curving inflation, reigning in greedy corporations engaging in price gauging, gun control, workers protections, negotiating for lower drug costs and in general supporting issues important to the middle and working classes? When have Republicans ever been involved in promoting the above? Your voting for the opposition party as a knee jerk reaction opposing one single item sounds very infantile and indeed counter-productive.
Denis Montenier (Hudson, Iowa)
@FxQ..SO...according to your logic, it's preferable to have representatives in Congress who support election denial if they, or worst of all, if the former guy runs in 2024 and loses again.
Marian (Montville)
Under republican leadership, following republican philosophy our country did better than we do now. Before the Democratic Party turned into a Socialist Party, the democrats did well also. President Clinton was a good leader and his economic policies worked. Unfortunately we lost the good democrats, and our present leftist leaders are showing the way to accomplish a new Venezuelan, Cuban, North Korean political system for the USA. They should keep it in mind how well that turned out.
Rick Morris (Montreal)
When, not if, Donald Trump is indicted for his antics in Georgia in asking for votes on a settled election, it won't matter if the Republicans are in control of the House, the Senate, or both.
Scott E (NorCal)
Five days ago, President Biden said this in a televised speech: "Today, my administration announced that this year the deficit fell by $1.4 trillion — the largest one-year drop in American history — $1.4 trillion decline in the deficit. Let me repeat that: the largest-ever decline in the federal deficit." I haven't heard one Republican deny it. Neither have I heard them say they no longer care about the national debt, though they'll threaten to not vote to make good on our debt pay down. One other thing I haven't read much of - Democrats asking why they didn't give Biden a pat on the back for having set a record for which we should all thank him.
mike (CA)
@Scott E One can always count on Democratic congress critters to run away from good legislation they helped enact. Think the ACA.
Bob Chegamos (New York)
Do Democrats really believe that Democracy is at risk? Based on the actions of the DNC in funding support adds for extremist Republicans in primaries against more moderate Republicans, I really don't think so.
Scott E (NorCal)
@Bob Chegamos When the very conservative SC Justices told us that freedom equals money and that more "money speech" is better than less, they opened a Pandora's box that vastly exceeds the paltry $19M across 8 states that the DNC spent. During times of political instability, it's usually the case that the end justifies the means. Yes, Democratic institutions shouldn't have lowered themselves so. But, a competent reply needed to be made when the extremist Republican political action included trying to impede a Constitutional Congressional function and they attacked Congress in order to attempt to overturn a fairly won presidential election by President Biden. In comparing the two odious acts, your complaints about the DNC tend to fall on deaf ears.
Denis Montenier (Hudson, Iowa)
@Bob Chegamos ..While the Dems move to fund extremist Republicans was incredibly stupid, their motivation had nothing to do with the threat to democracy, but based solely on the belief the strategy would make it easier for their candidates to win.
Robert (Seattle)
@Bob Chegamos Point was, easier to beat the righty extremists who are the biggest threat to democracy. Obviously, you are misreading the situation.
Tony (Marion VA)
The media use of relentless polling to drive drama is distracting and increasingly anti democratic. I believe it should be more strictly regulated, if not banned, altogether. These organizations operate under no scrutiny but often are now at the core of voter decisions. The daily ups and downs influence rather than inform anything or anybody. I would do away with them in the social and public media realm.
Scott E (NorCal)
@Tony In a free society, we have the ability to look at polls and choose to ignore them. The most grave injustice is their use concerning how we choose presidential candidates. One test a would-be candidate must pass to get on the Republican or Democratic televised debates is to amass a large amount of money sent in small donations. The other test is to poll in several polls decently. But, the rub is that there is no mandate to poll those who have met the money garnering test. A certain Democratic presidential hopeful, with only one policy - to get big money out of American national politics -passed the first test, but was not among those polled, thus disqualifying Lawrence Lessig. Where is it written that pollsters should have that crucial power to exclude potential candidates?
M Ford (USA)
"vowing to protect suburbanites from low-income housing that could attract minorities to their neighborhoods." This isn't what Trump said. This is the intentional misunderstanding promoted by far left extremists. Also, the reason that Black people are in some ads run by Republicans is because their opponents in election races are Black. This nonsense needs to stop before it destroys our democracy. In the meantime, select demographic groups are increasingly running as Republicans to avoid being stigmatized as the constant victims of discrimination and racism. Black Republicans like the "superman effect" where they are depicted as successful despite all odds against them.
Aidan (Seattle)
@M Ford It is what Trump said, though. He's channeling the NIMBYism that so many suburban and even urban voters privately support but won't always admit to.
reality check (nyc)
@M Ford low income housing brings low income people. That is an anathema to people who spend their money on high cost housing to be around people of their own class and culture. I still have to hear about a rich minority buyer being denied the opportunity to shell out 5 million for a house and 70K per year in property taxes and school bonds. If anything they courted.
Samuel (Berkeley)
@Aidan Trump said he would protect suburbanites from low income housing, he did NOT say anything about protecting them from minorities, nor did his statement necessarily imply otherwise in most suburban contexts. I strongly disagree with that goal of his, to be clear. However the fact is that the majority of suburbs are already increasingly diverse these days. A large percentage of the suburban poor are white, and are often quite visible and frequently almost as undesirable as neighbors to most of their affluent counterparts as low income people of color tend to be. Racist "White flight" from middle class suburban diversity though greatly diminished from it's hayday in the 1990's, is still a thing to an extent, and Trump Certainly has a history of racism, but it does no good to miss represent what he actually said.
Scott E (NorCal)
"Running ads portraying Black candidates as soft on crime — or as “different” or “dangerous” — Republicans have shed quiet defenses of such tactics for unabashed defiance." That obviously won't work in terms of the Warnock/Walker senate race. For Walker to win, the majority of Georgians must believe that the most important personal characteristic a senator must exude is hypocrisy. If that were an NFL category, Mr. Walker would win in a walk-off.
manfred marcus (Bolivia)
As republicans sow resentments and division, and fear of 'the other' (read, Black and Latino, etc), could there be any question that they are harboring an ugly 'racism', still waging its stinky tail into our very face? How shameful, and irresponsible can it get, all to be able, being minority, to try to obstruct voting, so they may assault power....for power sake? Although we are still living in a democracy, it is getting thin if not sparse...for lack of our participation, and speaking up to this obstructionist injustice... so shamelessly spewed by the current Trumpian G.O.P.?
Bill H (Florida)
It's a tight race after one side willfully tried to undermine every level of our Federal government. Including the FBI, the Department of Justice, Federal Courts, and most despicably, faith in fair elections. JFK's eternal question will be answered at the ballot. "Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country,” The likely answer is swing voters will choose personal finances over any semblance of a functioning government resulting in financial loss if history is any guide. When Marjory Taylor Green is the Chair of the Oversight Committee and Republicans in Congress damage the economy by using the full faith and credit of the US Government as leverage, you'll see my point better. Every time the Republicans. catch the car and have legislative power things get worse and the deficit and wealth gap gets bigger. Wreck, rant, and repeat.
Karn Griffen (Riverside, CA)
Republicans continue to stress fear, of immigrants and crime, yet statistics prove the murder rate is highest in Republican controlled states and crime is not higher in immigrant populations than the national average. They attack inflation but offer no policies to improve, and they continue to say they will reduce Social security and Medicare coverage. They continue to believe the proven big loser and liar Donald Trump is their leader and next presidential favorite. This is rationally unbelievable for a supposed national party of intelligence.
Paul (Oregon)
The vast majority of Americans don't give a rip about democracy, idealism, principles, etc., that drove both our founders and numerous other societies to throw down the gauntlet...don't forget, in 2000, while Americans went shopping as their democracy was being hijacked by Antonin Scalia,, 200,000 Ukranains were camped out for weeks in the streets of Kiev, in freezing weather, protesting a rigged election. I wrote a column then that suggest the end of what we call democracy in America couldn't be far off...
pdxtran (Minneapolis)
I'm puzzled about the Republicans' running on gas prices. Here in Minneapolis, gas prices are back down about where they were before the pandemic. Frankly, most of the Republican candidates sound as if they should all just retire and start writing for supermarket tabloids, especially the Republican candidate for governor of Minnesota, who actually used the myth about litter boxes in school bath rooms in one of his campaign speeches.
Vinny (Seattle)
Wronsky: "To be fair, people cannot fight for lofty ideals like democracy when their basic needs are not being met. People need to be secure in their food and housing situation before they can advocate for bigger ideas." This is a condescending statement, suggesting that people with financial difficulties cannot be expected to have higher values. I'll bet most of them still pray. At the same time, it's an indictment of the American people, suggesting that they are incapable of idealism unless they are comfortable. "I'll trade you social justice and democracy for $3 a gallon gas and 3% inflation." Need a counter example? Look at the Ukrainians.
François (France)
@Vinny The Ukrainians are facing shells and drones, so of course that takes priority over gas. It is no secret people prioritize necessities over anything else. But while it's not a condescending statement, it is by now an archaic reading of the situation. Until 2020 even I bought into the idea that economic hardship was the reason for the rise of the extremes. To me that's disproven. Anyone using gas as an excuse to indulge themselves, as the tip of their iceberg, is deplorable. At the end of the day, whoever is actually worried about the economy would not only vote democrat, but progressive. To double-down on four decades of trickle-down failure and four years of incompetent sabotage is not something the poor can afford. People are voting GOP, or staying home, not for their stomach, but for their guts. To stay above the belt.
Vinny (Seattle)
@François I see that you live in France. Perhaps you do not converse daily with Americans. Believe me. The first thing they complain about is the price of gas and groceries. Then come the cultural issues which we do not address here, but which are at least as powerful as the economic ones. And to get back to the Ukrainians, the point is they are willing to face shells and drones to save their democracy. It is exactly my point.
Scott E (NorCal)
@François I agree with everything except the conclusion you draw: The only thing most GOP candidates feature is their willingness to punch down on their opponents, below the belt, lying as they go. The MMA/NHB crowd will endure politics as lowbrow entertainment. We're stuck in the Bread And Wine political era.
Cindi (Plymouth)
Why is no one on this column talking abut the republicans' plan to do away with social security, 401k savings among other things...along with the women's right to choose? In other words, the republicans want to take every last dime & every bit of freedom from us that they possible can.
Bob Chegamos (New York)
@Cindi Because that's a leftist canard. Progressives have been saying that decades and recently proclaimed that Trump was going to do away with Social Security and Medicare. Guess what? It didn't happen. It would be political suicide of Republicans to touch Social Security or Medicare because their voting base trends older.
LEM (Boston)
@Cindi Bob - they didn't do it with Trump but they tried. And they will use the threat of default to try and get Biden to do it, so they can blame him. You know that's exactly what they want.
Robert (Seattle)
@Bob Chegamos Senator Scott of Florida, among others, has proposed doing just that (getting rid of Social Security, Medicare). Other Republicans, e.g., Senator Romney, have proposed significant cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits.
Robert M (Durham, NC)
Republicans retake control of congress, but fortunately not a veto proof majority, and spend the next two years doing nothing because that is their MO, and Democrats will block any legislation they push through. They end up with an unelectable nut bag as their presidential candidate because, even though DeSantis probably could win the election, Trump still runs the party, full stop. The only wild card is if Trump is arrested, and defending himself in court, he might not be able to mount even a minimal campaign. It might be in the Democrat's best interest if he is not charged, but in any case, we are in for another two years of insanity that is American democracy.
Robert (Seattle)
@Robert M No telling how DeSantis would do in a presidential election. Sure, he's dishonest and immoral, and playing the race and gender resentment game. But, for instance, he isn't half the grifter and old-school demagogue that what's-his-name is.
Lois (Spokane WA)
@Robert Listen to what DeSantis says when he is speaking to small white-wing audiences. He is a white Christian nationalist and he will support theocratic governance.
mike (San Francisco)
-- Well isn't that encouraging..!! After just 2 years of Democratic control they may (if very lucky) be able to avoid a "total wipe-out".! -- Just going to have a partial wipe-out.. Thanks Mr. Edsall, I'm sure Democrats are feeling much better now...
Robert (Seattle)
@mike Democrats never had 60 votes in the Senate, often did not even have Sinema or Manchin. Kept the filibuster. Had a tiny majority in the House. A Supreme Court extremist majority doing whatever they want to simply because they can. I don't call that control.
Ted (New York)
I don't think this column is right about why a wave election is coming. Take this sentence: "Republicans are fixated on an ethnically and racially freighted agenda of gridlock and revenge." This is stated as fact, not opinion. Accusations of Republican racism drip from every paragraph. I have no love for the Republican party but this is just... wrong. Yes, some Republicans are racist. But we are blowing the problem WAY out of proportion. There is no Republican openly calling for outright racism. Republican racism is a corner case and emphasizing it like this is elitist and out of touch. And the reason Democrats are about to lose the majority of Hispanics for the first time ever. And get crushed in this election.
John Lee Pettimore (Cleveland)
@Ted If Hispanics don't understand that the Republican Party is hostile to them, then they better be careful for what they wish. The Republican Party IS racist, and is guided by the biggest racist of all -- Donald Trump (or maybe just the one who panders to racism so well). Anyone who can't see this isn't paying attention. Of course, the Democrats won't exploit this, being the cowards they are.
François (France)
@John Lee Pettimore Exploit this, you lose Ted. Don't exploit this, you lose John. Welcome to the Democratic conundrum.
Vinny (Seattle)
@Ted "There is no Republican openly calling for outright racism." Operative word: "openly."
Missing in this assessment .......are the Independents. They are about a third of the voters. And with more than half of the country living paycheck to paycheck.....the current conditions favor a "change election". We'll see.
John Lee Pettimore (Cleveland)
@BB And the Republican plan to stop this problem is what...? Oh, yeah. I forgot. Another tax cut for billionaires.
Lefthalfbach (Philadelphia)
@BB Not for the women among them, not after Dobbs. And the vast majority of Indioes are "...Leaners..." who tend to fairly consistently votr Red or Blue.
François (France)
@BB More than half of the country has been living paycheck to paycheck for over a decade. What, voters will keep on switching just to ensure things stay as dysfunctional as possible? Is that the plan?
Ms. Pea (Seattle)
A little research will indicate how often polls are wrong. Polls are formulated by questioning a small percentage of voters and then extrapolating what that means about millions of others. But polls only measure public opinion at one moment in time. Recent events, the way polling questions are asked, and the political leaning of the polling company can all alter polling results. There are many instances in history when polls got it wrong. No candidate can be counted out before an election based on polls. Millions of voters can and do prove polls wrong. The real sentiment of voters won't be known until election day.
John Lee Pettimore (Cleveland)
@Ms. Pea But polls always skew towards Democrats. That tells me many Republicans are too embarrassed and don't tell pollsters how they really feel.
AJ (Saint Paul)
It seems to be that a couple/few months ago, all indicators were pointing toward the midterm elections being favorable for Democrats. What happened? Well, my guess is the polling is just plain wrong. It's likely pure garbage like it has been for a while now, and what will actually happens remains to be seen. I'm really tired of the doom and gloom about Democrats' fate in the media, but if the goal is to motivate people and galvanize, them, fine. And if it does, even better. But, it could be doing more harm than good, too. If the Republicans do take back the house and Senate, I'm not sure I'll keep my subscription to the Times. As much as I'd like to remain informed, I'm not sure I'll be a happy person watching the Republicans tear it all down to own the Libs. I suppose that's what they want, for people like me to just turn a blind eye, but the past 6 years have just taken a toll on so many of us.
spud (NC)
@AJ I have no faith in polls either but it's always the case that what will actually happen remains to be seen.
Dennis (Oregon)
@AJ Yes, polling has been seriously off for years now. The factors for it have been thoroughly discussed here and elsewhere. So why do we see so much news based on the validity of a process that has been widely discredited? The reason is likely that people still want to know what the polls say because they are afraid now of what the future will bring.
Mike (Republic Of Texas)
@AJ I have 5 minutes to think about what is important, while I watch $60 go into my gas tank every week. I'm not thinking about pronouns, which states have guaranteed a woman's right to an abortion, how many children at what age can get gender reassignment surgery or which movie star is tooling about in their new electric Porche. Nope. Just watching the dollar sign spin like it was "The Wheel of Fortune".
SixplusFour (Dallas)
I have really given up on the US. You really cannot expect much from a population where almost half think the human species is less than 10,000 years old (and voted for Trump). The GOP always has advantages in elections because, unlike Democrats, they never overestimate the intelligence and intellect of the average American. Never.
Bob (Evanston, IL)
Unlike most years, The Republicans gave the Democrats many issues to run on: abortion, gun safety, Republican calls to defund the FBI, prohibit abortions, threaten Social Security and Medicare, repeal Obamacare, repeal the grant of authority to Medicare to bargain with the big drug companies for lower prices, the price of insulin, threats to democracy, the lie that the Rs are concerned about crime when their party leader is before FOUR grand juries and they refuse to honor the Capital Police, tax cuts for the rich, end or limit aid to Ukraine and the treatment of Ketanji Brown Jackson by Republican senators during her confirmation hearing. Abortion appears to be the only issue the Ds are running on. Just another example of the Democrats' political malpractice.
CSL (Hendersonville NC)
My wife and I are watching season 5 of Handmaid's Tale. Each day I peruse the news and Op Eds. The TV show is less terrifying than what is going on in this country. We are losing our democracy in plain view because so many people lack the imagination that it can happen. Not only can it, my view is that it has happened. Having so many election deniers in office (and many more likely to be), having the Supreme Court bought by Citizens United and the Federalist Society, and lies being treated as truth by so much of the media convinces me that we are now in dark times which few are willing to admit to seeing. It is as if the media is treating all of this as entertainment. Of course, it is to them - they don't care which side they play as long as the money rolls in. I am disgusted with our country , right wing politicians, and half of its inhabitants - the bizarre trump cult members.
Dr B (San Diego)
@CSL You know you have lost democracy when Russian tanks roll down mainstream, not when the fellow citizens that you disagree with get elected.
A.R.S. (NJ)
@Dr B It's not a matter of disagreement. It's the lies, and the ginning up of people in power to dismantle governmental norms based on those lies. The 2020 election was not stolen. Now the GOP stands to use that lie to try to undo national vote outcomes, esp with this independent legislature theory case in NC. There's a lot of lying. The SC justices lied in their confirmation hearings and now women are subjugated. See how this happens? No tanks needed.
Dr B (San Diego)
@A.R.S. Correctly stating that the Constitution does not mention abortion but the states are allowed to decide is hardly the end of democracy.
Midfleclassmanifesto (Italy Trieste)
Stone sure that the right is not stealing the polls? Deep fake camarilla very much capable of the steal.
In deed (Lower 48)
Better headline. American Decency May Counter Intellectual Bankruptcy of the Edsalls
S Lawrence (Nirvana)
Right wing partisans ignore the real party responsible for that portion of inflation that is not attributed to COVID. Their claims are so completely ridiculous when one considers the facts: 1) inflation is high (and actually often higher) all over the world. 2) Trump ran his administration to pump up his ego. His rapidly increasing deficits and poorly planned spending were the norm. 3) Trump has larger COVID related spending than Biden. 4) Trump massive tax breaks for the extremely wealthy pumped several trillion into their hands. Now they are buying up "investment properties" - houses that average Americans need to live in and hope to buy - by the hundreds of thousands. They foresee the end of easy money in the stock market and are looking for the next market to game. 5) Corporate concentration, encouraged by decades of Republican incompetence, is the source of much inflation. These parasites see this as an opportunity for large price increases (far higher than average inflation) which they can blame on others while helping their right wing "friends" get back in power to get them yet another totally unwarranted tax break.
Lumberjack Bear (The Great Northwest)
I have to confess.......i'm not sure what to make out of a political party that has been so reluctant to prosecute a man that has been deemed the biggest threat to our democracy, had unauthorized possession of sensitive classified materials, and attempted to undermine election results to remain in power. The campaign mantra for this election cycle might as well be: 'You may not like us very much ...but at least we're not like the other guys.'
Dr B (San Diego)
@Lumberjack Bear Sounds like the campaign mantra that got Biden elected :-))
John Lee Pettimore (Cleveland)
@Dr B Try to understand that we don't have the same adoration of Biden that you have of Trump. The best thing about Biden is he isn't Trump. He isn't trying to destroy our republic to inflate his ego.
Eliza (San Diego)
I chuckle when I read all these comments saying that Republicans “want authoritarian government” as if it is fact. Which party most polices speech and even thought? Which lawmakers made vaccine mandates the litmus test for whether a person could keep their job? Which kept schools closed longest, or kids eating outside in 40 degree weather, even when it became clear that risk to kids was minimal? Which is adding 87,000 new IRS agents, some of them armed? Which is trying to eradicate independent contractors (with union-written laws like PRO Act) and right-to-work because they want everyone forced into union membership “for their own good”? Which is forcing parents to expose their young children to drag shows and gender theory, calling anyone who resists a transphobe or worse? “What about abortion?” they cry. All the overturning of Roe did was to uphold states’ rights to decide the issue themselves. The authoritarianism it seems to me is mostly on the other side. And I was born and raised Democrat, and used to vote that way. No more. You guys make me feel way more oppressed than the people you say are Nazis.
Peycos (Rochester, NY)
@Eliza “which party most polices speech and thought” The one that’s currently been working overtime to take away women’s rights to make decisions in consultation with their doctors. The one that’s been working overtime to pass laws meant to curtail the free speech rights of minorities with draconian “don’t say gay” laws and laws meant to prevent the accurate teaching of the United States history on race. The one that feeds its followers a constant stream of hate-filled propaganda and expects them to endlessly repeat it like mindless drones. The one that will drum you out of their party if you don’t bend the knee to their reality show conman leader. And that party sure ain’t the Democrats.
Renee M (CA)
@Eliza I chuckle when I read comments from Republicans who repeat Party propaganda without thought, following the right-wing tradition of accusing others of that of which they, themselves, are guilty.
John Lee Pettimore (Cleveland)
@Eliza You have been in the privileged class for so long you see equality, tolerance and an eye to the future of society as oppression.
just Robert (North Carolina)
Democrats can and will criticize their president on particulars and this gives a slanted view of that president's approval ratings. It is the great strength of the Democrats that they can do this and still Vote democratic. It is the GOP that demands complete obedience to part and Trumpian rule. Pundits like Mr. Edsall will never understand the Democratic voting patterns until they can discern the differences in between debating democrats and the slavish and autocratic Republicans.
Vicki Ward MSN (Barnard, VT USA)
NO need to fret. Blue state secession is a timely answer to these vast value differences. No matter what occurs in the election, let's leave behind the lies, guns, citizens united, corporations as individuals, supreme jesters, legislators whose priority is their own money, power, prestige, and trading on insider secrets. WE will evolve to 'common good'. Public funding of all elections, term limits that are meaningful. Well educated youth writing legislation, not lobbyists as the Republicans implemented nationally 20 years ago. Restore the tax structure of FDR. Blue states and their neighbors, not NH, will fund public infrastructure, effective schooling with critical thinking restored, effective public health not infiltrated by corporations and billionaires. Universal healthcare for all. NO hedge fund nonsense. Enhance teachers, nurses, skilled labor retirement options with fair taxation of all, not just us working stiffs. Revive solar, battery power storage for home use, grid strengthening, victory gardens, and a well funded Department of Peace, both inside the US and in negotiations with other countries. Remain well defended but not by increasing more weapons, but by alternate means leading to peaceful outcomes. Become like Europe in the US. Multiple models and in the immediate aftermath, if you hold US citizenship, you can choose your location. Let' see who chooses poisoning their environment, shooting their neighbors at the grocery store and at schools, when no $$$$.
Stephan (N.M.)
@Vicki Ward MSN Six words for you: "Rendered Moot by Force of Arms!" Any right to Secede ended April 1865. Let's not try it again. The deaths would be exponentially higher this time.
Sinagua (San Diego)
@Stephan I would send my federal taxes to my local state treasurer if it were the wave. I might have federal marshalls at the door to arrest me, but state police (CHP) would defend me. All it takes is a wave.
Mary (NC)
@Stephan correct. Apparently it is not only some of the far right that is still living in the 1800's. Seems that some on the far left are too.
Buster Dee (Jamal, California)
Describing crime and immigration as “ politically divisive wedge issues” is part of the democrats problem this year. Blacks and Latinos, in may cases, are concerned about these issues. Viewing issues through a racial rather than through an economic lens is hurting the democrats now.
John Lee Pettimore (Cleveland)
@Buster Dee And what is the Republicans' plan to tackle these issues? Crime (street crime, because the leader of the Republican Party can shoot someone on Fifth Avenue) is the confluence of poverty and the ease of the public to acquire firearms. Do Republicans care one bit about these issues?
Bob Carroll (new york city)
Republicans have been told not to vote early in person or by mail yet over 10 million people have voted with two weeks to go. Americans aren't as ignorant as GOP politicians think. Covid, War, OPEC, a trillion dollars in checks to Americans to save the economy cause inflation not Joe Biden and most people appreciate that fact. Toss in the Jan. 6th insurrection, the demise of ROE and voter suppression efforts by Republicans nationwide, election deniers and this is not a business as usual midterm. Any ordinary midterm the out party would be cracking open the champagne at this point: not in 2022. Dems will keep the Senate and may even hold the house; sadly many Republicans in close districts died as covid vaccine refuseniks. Election lawyers will make a fortune but it should all shake out by Christmas: I hope.
Glassyeyed (Indiana)
The die-hard MAGA people I know (and am related to) see things in black and white. They believe God wants them to vote Republican because Democrats are evil. They don't believe they're racists; but they associate brown faces with crime and they see crime everywhere. Crime is bad, so it must be caused by evil Democrats and can only be reduced by the grace of God, and God loves only Republicans. My evangelical sister-in-law tells me she can't understand all the political issues because she's "just a woman"; but she knows that abortion and homosexuality are morally wrong, so she can never vote for anyone who doesn't want to criminalize them. She votes Republican no matter what because she believes it's what God wants.
Joinery Piling Up (Charlottesville)
@Glassyeyed There is no god, only superstitions.
Chris (Kentucky)
@Glassyeyed I have the same situation with relatives down here in Kentucky. They have been conditioned by right wing media and the churches they attend that Democrats are evil. This is no exaggeration. The churches reinforce (weekly) the right-wing propaganda they consume daily. I visited a local church a couple of Sundays ago and the Pastor spent some time telling the congregation to vote a certain way on a political issue on the ballot this year. During his sermon, He mentioned Trump by name three times. Jesus was mentioned just four times! They absolutely see the election as good versus evil. Dems are not their neighbors or relatives who happen to hold different opinions on economic or foreign policy issues; they are the enemy! Barry Goldwater once said that politics was about debating and compromising so the government could function. But these people, because they think they are speaking for God, don't believe in compromising about anything. There is no political strategy or legislation that the democrats can employ that will persuade these people.
Kroobey (West Coast.)
@Stephan This was possibly tongue in cheek, or so I hope.
JFR (Yardley)
So basically the elections are #Dems vs #GOPs actually voting in any local area whereas in years past it was (# voting Dem given local issues and mores) vs (# voting GOP given local issues and mores). The point seems to be that the extreme polarization should make the predictions easier. There are no subtleties, no moral positions, just whether you're fer'r'agin'em.
Cameron (Canada)
After feel sorry for the average man on the street. Clearly the majority of them are not so sharp but instead are like Dunning & Kruger described. Unskilled and unaware. How else could you rationalize a poor or lower middle class white guy voting for a Conservative. It is really mind boggling.
AJ (Saint Paul)
@Cameron Exactly, and somehow we're still supposed to. I just can't do it. They're a lost cause.
Jonathan (Connecticut)
@Cameron - The working class knows that the Democrats cater to the interests of affluent professionals, while talking a completely different line. Rich lawyers will feast on the infrastructure act - our environmental impact statement is 4000 pages, and cost $532 million to produce!
mythocracy (indoctrinated)
> at the same time Democrats are seen as disconnected from the key issues of concern for the median voter Well, GOP voters have been disconnected from the reality from at least since 9/11. I gave up on them thus on this country a longtime ago.
John Lee Pettimore (Cleveland)
@mythocracy Since Ronald Reagan.
Robert (Seattle)
Other things are at play than partisanship, at least for Democrats. Democracy itself is on the table. The fundamental rights of women. The Constitution, the rule of law, the separation of church and state, the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, you name it. Rarely has an administration and its party been so directly culpable for inflation. The former fellow administration's ill-intentioned bumbling of the pandemic made the economic impact, including economics, much worse. The former fellow and his party and the perfect phone call and Helsinki encouraged Putin's invasion, which has made inflation much worse. The Saudi agreement with Russia aims to keep oil prices high and thus inflation high. How can that be anything but an attempt to interfere in our elections, on behalf of the Republicans?
Robert (Seattle)
@Robert Correction: "The former fellow administration's ill-intentioned bumbling of the pandemic made the economic impact, including INFLATION, much worse."
Buster Dee (Jamal, California)
@Robert In a recent poll 8% of respondents believe democracy is in danger. This argument has not been accepted by the general public.
S Lawrence (Nirvana)
@Robert "Rarely has an administration and its party been so directly culpable for inflation." Oh please! This is so completely ridiculous when one considers: 1) inflation is high (and actually higher) all over the world. 2) Trump ran his administration to pump up his ego. rapidly increasing deficits and poorly planned spending were the norm. 3) Trump has larger COVID related spending than Biden. 4) Trump massive tax breaks for the extremely wealthy pumped several trillion into their hands. Now they are buying up "investment properties" - houses that average Americans need to live in and hope to buy - by the hundreds of thousands. They foresee the end of easy money in the stock market and are looking for the next market to game.
Gp Capt Mandrake (Philadelphia)
My takeway from the column is that the GOP seems highly likely to win a House majority, just one that is smaller than previously predicted. The Senate races are not really addressed, but the same trends must apply. It should not be a surprise if none of the open GOP seats get flipped, and that one or two seats presently held by Democrats do. Looking downballot, the situation is much the same. The GOP gubernatorial majority is likely to remain, as will GOP control of the majority of statehouses. It's also possible, perhaps even likely, that many of the Sec State races will be won by Republicans. It's hard to see how the GOP doesn't wind up in control of two-thirds of the Federal government and most of the states after 8 November. Not a pretty vision of the future, but one that is likely realistic. We'll find out soon enough.
Buster Dee (Jamal, California)
@Gp Capt Mandrake Fetterman’s performance last night likely increased the odds the republicans take the senate.
A.R.S. (NJ)
@Buster Dee Hope not. Hope the PA voter sees the cruelty in Oz, a doctor no less, forcing the debate. I'd rather have a humane answer to the question of female autonomy and personhood, o matter how the words came out, then one that treats us as if our uteruses are political points to score. Local leaders having a say in our health and lives? No thanks. I'll take the brave guy who showed up, in all his vulnerability.
Renee M (CA)
@Buster Dee But, of course, as a Republican, Oz’s lying about living in Pennsylvania, having zero actual proposed policies to help America, and his history of selling snake oil to the gullible didn’t bother you.
Rich (California)
I despise the right; I despise the (far) left. Lifelong Dem and still a liberal but I left the Dem party recently for independence due to its kowtowing to the progressives, who are as "religious" as the Trumpists. It would be so easy for the Dems if they only learned that moderate politics is what so much of the country, especially moderate liberals are desperate for. (It would help if moderates would speak up more and show some courage.) But Dem leaders can't be bothered. They'd rather lose elections (and the country) rather than push back against the "woke" folks on the left.
mike (Massachusetts)
@Rich If you think the "woke" people are as bad as the people who want to end democracy, you're a part of the problem.
Rich (California)
@mike Oh, so typical. Take the message, ignore it and turn it into a "what about." Did I say they "are as bad as??" No, I said they are as "religious," as in dogmatic.
John Lee Pettimore (Cleveland)
@Rich Which party is trying to end our nation's democratic republic?
Alan Backman (New York)
In general, I agree with the article. We are a 50/50 nation. Maybe Dems have a slight majority - but certainly not large enough to support the kind of FDR sequel that Biden was calling for when he took office. Having said that, I would note two caveats: 1. Partisanship - The article notes that 96% of voters from either party vote for that party suggesting very little ticket splitting. Yet, this begs the question this year in several states where the Governor is polling much different than the Senate. Kemp (GA) and Shapiro (PA) each have a 7 pt lead for their respective parties. Yet, the Senate races in each state are nearly tied. Are 7% of Republican Kemp voters and Democratic Shapiro voters really going to split their tickets ? 2. Balance - “It’s not like either party needs to worry about being locked out of power for very long. The electoral winds will shift, and the window to power and policy will open again soon enough.” In general, this may be true. But little noticed, this may not be true in the Senate in the near term. People forget that the Senate map this year was at least neutral if not favorable for Dems. But 2024 is a different story. 23 of 33 seats are held by Dems. This include Dems in red states like Manchin (WV), Brown (OH), and Tester (MT). In other words, even if Biden wins in 2024, he may be a lame duck before he even starts his 2nd term.
Tracy (Arizona)
Just as OPEC limited oil production in order to drive up the cost of gas, in order to have the downstream effect of hurting Biden's party in the midterms, price gouging by our corporate masters is attempting to do the same. We need anti-trust legislation to be enforced to reign in these people who are hurting the public financially. The oligarchs favor Republicans, who will do everything to protect the wealth of the wealthy, and increase it. The poor are expendable. Democrats--listen up--go after the price gouging and make sure the public sees you doing it to protect them from the oligarchs.
Bob (Boston)
Don’t kid yourself, November is going to be a disaster for Democrats, one that will hopefully reset their priorities so they can start governing from the middle again, instead of the outermost progressives fringes.
John Lee Pettimore (Cleveland)
@Bob Democrats ARE governing from the middle. That's their problem. If they would move to the left and champion issues that affect common people, rather than listen to their D.C. focus groups, they would wipe out the Republican Party within the decade.
Networthy (Everywhere)
Many Democrats exhibit open contempt toward anything "normie": America, the flag, patriotism, whites, men, blue-collar workers, rural residents, farmers, ranchers, law enforcement, the military, football, capitalism, flyover states, pick-up trucks, Christianity, conventional gender roles. It kinda makes it hard to win elections when people know that you belittle and disparage them. C'mon, NYT commenters, don't disappoint me: make my point better than I can.
Some Nobody (Some Town)
@Networthy It's so disappointing. I remember Howard Dean's 50 state strategy that had the (now passe) idea that you need the middle to win elections. So maybe don't disparage them and listen to them when they say that, say, inflation is making life hard and maybe de-prioritize the pronouns. But now that the Dems imagine their constituents to composed entirely of sexy revolutionaries, coastal academics and Twitter employees, they will never ever align with the dreaded basic normie who brings a bag lunch to their in-person job and actually cares about gas and food prices. We'll see how this plays out in a few short weeks.
Mike (Republic Of Texas)
@Networthy At Trump's last rally, the crowd began singing the National Anthem. I never saw that at a Biden rally. Come to think of it, I've never seen a Biden rally.
dano (mental)
All I can do is vote. But that won't stop me from mocking the illogical and inconsistent cultists who support criminality and fascism.
Cindi (Plymouth)
@dano: Best comment I've seen. I agree with you and thank you.
Bill (Detroit)
@dano Clinton tried that approach, too. How did that work out for her?
Ulysses (Lost in Seattle)
Nice try, Mr. Edsall. But a fair reading of your column -- including the mostly irrelevant quotations from political scientist professors from several years ago -- is that, at the end of the day on Nov 8th, there will be a significant red wave. it's been obvious for some time (to all except the most partisan Dems) that the R's will take the House. Now it's beginning to look like the R's will gain 3 or 4 Senate seats. I must say I'm dismayed by Edsall's concluding paragraph -- it's sour grapes, not political analysis. The R's do have a clear agenda about how to turn the country around: reduce inflationary and unnecessary spending, get control over the border, get tough on crime, and ditch the far-Left school programs. The Dem politicians may not be listening but the voters are.
just Robert (North Carolina)
@Ulysses What you call GOP anti inflationary policies will hurt the economy and people. Controlling spending are codde words for gutting help for children the elderly and poor in general while giving tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations. Proper immigration controls wages and supports the economy while saving people like Venezuelans from persecution and poverty. The GOP has Shown itself no better at at controlling immigration than democrats as they refuse to support immigration reforms.
Ulysses (Lost in Seattle)
@just Robert Poor people are the ones most hurt by inflation, since food and gas constitute a large part of their expendable income. All Joe and the Dems are doing, with their spending mania, is fueling inflation and hurting the very people they claim to be concerned about. Time to remember what Reagan had to do (with the strong help of Volcker) to defeat inflation. And do the same.
John Lee Pettimore (Cleveland)
@Ulysses Your party tried all that before. It didn't work. How did the tax breaks for billionaires work in the U.K.?
leo (connecticut)
That "educational divide": What was it that Trump often repeated on his campaign trail in both elections? "We love the undereducated." A deft left-handed compliment slap to which many of those so addressed and described turned the other cheek - and pulled the lever for Trump, twice. Not easy to insult and compliment a group of voters at the same time, but the consummate con-man Trump pulled it off.
Kristen (Montana)
Personally I voted the most diverse (non-party) ballot I ever have.
John Lee Pettimore (Cleveland)
@Kristen Personally, I have been voting since 1971 and have never voted for any Republican for any office ever. It sure doesn't look like a good time to change now.
Mask Of Comedy/Tragedy (Northeast)
GOP seem committed to prevent people from voting, overturning results they don’t like, lying to the American public - the list goes on and on. What makes some of us extremely nervous is that one dose is no longer playing by any set of rules. Once decency and fair play are out the window, things start to look dangerous for the democracy. This election feels like an election about whether we care about democracy. Almost half the country doesn’t. Where does this leave us? Not in a good place
Trump sees the GOP sweep of the House and Senate to be about him and his self proclaimed wonderfulness. When he gets elected in 2024 Trump will feel like he has a mandate to rule America as he sees fit unquestioned by anyone. The revenge tour of Trump will include attacks on dems ,the free press and a cordial reach out to fellow dictators and authoritarians. The Trump organ grifting machine will collect tributes from countries around the world seeking favor with the most powerful man in the world even the new Supreme Court will run their decisions by Trump for his approval. Trump 24/7 on all media nonstop.
John Lee Pettimore (Cleveland)
@REBCO I feel sorry for Ukrainians if Republicans win next month. There goes their country.
Martian_Perspective (Somewhere, USA)
I abhor Trumpism. I viscerally dislike Wokism. It is time for a new party straddling the pragmatic middle - a party with fiscal prudence, social openness, balanced against crime, and realism about global power. But in this polarized world, that middle may not come to be as partisanship rules supreme.
Buster Dee (Jamal, California)
@Martian_Perspective What happened to John Yang and his new party?
John Lee Pettimore (Cleveland)
@Martian_Perspective The current Democratic Party is as middle as you can get. The Democrats have been moving right for decades. We need an unapologetic liberal party.
John (Cactose)
Is there any doubt that polls are easily manipulated by pollsters seeking specific results AND have become poor predictors of specific outcomes. The best example of this was the Clinton v Trump polling. But another can be found in the "supposed" electoral support, as observed in various polls, for some form of Universal Healthcare in America. For decades we've been told by pollsters that most Americans favor, by significant margins, the establishment of Universal Healthcare. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren both ran on that platform, and both failed miserably in the midterms, with Warren notably tanking immediately after she came out in support of government controlled healthcare. We've never, ever, elected a Congress that reflects our supposed support for Universal Healthcare. In fact, quite the opposite. It's never even been close. So what are we to believe here? That most voters support Universal Healthcare in America despite never voting for candidates who support it? Or that the VOTES actually represent the will of the people, and that the polls are wrong? Polls are not to be trusted. Republicans may yet win the House or the Senate, but count me among those who believe it will be closer than predicted.
Nadine Barner (Los Angeles)
@John "We've never, ever, elected a Congress that reflects our supposed support for Universal Healthcare." And why is that?? All I remember on Universal Healthcare or single payer debates all over the media are the virulent attacks on it. From "you will lose access to your doctor" to "it will be like in Canada where you'll have to wait months to see a specialist" to "we are not Norway, hence it wouldn't work here" or "we cannot aford it" was pretty much the whole focus on health care. How are people to think otherwise when the clarion of negativity ALL over the media drowned the possibility of a change in healthcare? The doubts and fear elements (same as now) prevented ANY rational discussion on the benefits of Universal Healthcare. Yes, polls are not to be trusted but so are people's memory on why a Universal Healtcare platform failed.
John (Cactose)
@Nadine Barner It's easy to blame misinformation, but frankly, that's a weak premise at a time when just about everyone has access to facts that can rebut misinformation. Was misinformation to blame for Liz Warren's campaign tanking? Or for Bernie Sanders repeated failures? No. Warren lost because despite "having a plan" for everything, she couldn't easily explain how 3 trillion in new taxes would pay for 10+ trillion in new spending. Sanders never even bothered to explain how he'd pay for anything, because Socialists just assume that raising taxes is the answer to everything. Democratic voters saw through those platforms quickly, and both fell to the wayside. The simple fact is that American voters prefer choice, which is incongruous with a centralized government run plan. 140+ million voters have private health insurance. Many millions more are now covered under the ACA. If Americans wanted Universal healthcare we'd have it already. That's it.
Kroobey (West Coast.)
We approach that In California. It’s terrible. The population has exploded in twenty years but my HMO has not built a single new building and was just awarded a no-bid exclusive contract to care for Medi-Cal patients. There’s no more office space for doctors, no plan to build new facilities. We have two emergency rooms for an entire East Bay county. Patient care suffers and delays abound. The truly indigent patient gets excellent care.
Deirdre (New Jersey)
Your vote this year for democrats will protect a woman’s right to choose and social security and Medicare, voting rights, democracy and functioning government, Republicans don’t have any plan to get anything done. Just chaos and drama and Benghazi tribunals with a side of malice for social security and Medicare. I’m voting straight blue and proud of it.
Some Nobody (Some Town)
@Deirdre "Your vote this year for democrats will protect a woman’s right to choose " How? You'd think that if this was so precious to Democratic elected representatives over the past 50yrs they would have moved to solidify its legal status at some point. Democrats cannot do this on a national level now; it's up to the individual states. Are you talking about the unlikely event that Biden will increase the number of SC justices in the second half of his term? Or introduce and pass a constitutional amendment that guarantees a right to abortion (any cutoff there, or is it at any time for any reason because it will be a right?) The Dems -- who will not go on record to say what a woman is, even in a SC hearing -- will do no such thing. It is just a slogan.
Lynn (New York)
“ partisan antipathies keep Democrats from voting for Republican candidates. No matter how bad economic conditions may be under Biden, the alternative is seen as much worse” It’s not “partisan antipathies” it’s paying attention to what the Democrats are doing and what the Republicans are opposing and proposing, Republicans have opposed Social Security and Medicare from day 1 and now plan to hold them hostage or they will destroy the full faith and credit of the US, thus exploding interest rates, by refusing to raise the debt ceiling to pay for the deficits built up due to the Republican 2017 tax giveaway to the wealthy Republicans of course blame Democrats for the national debt, but the fact is that Biden and the Democrats have cut the deficit by over a trillion dollars—-but Republicans count on their voters not knowing the difference between the deficit and the debt and as for inflation, Democrats are working hard to reduce family expenses, from prescription drugs, to child care, to elder care, to health care, but Republicans are blocking further action and promising to undo what already had been accomplished (eg capping the cost of insulin going forward) Republicans run on divisiveness, scare-mongering and slogans—- Democrats have actual effective policies enacted (lowest unemployment in many decades) and proposed. Biden and the Democrats also support good-paying union jobs with benefits, to build the middle class. Republicans even oppose the minimum wage.
Kroobey (West Coast.)
@Lynn I’m very senior and if age brackets, contribution levels, and payouts are changed for workers in their thirties to keep the system afloat I have no problem. Republicans destroying Medicare is nothing but a scare tactic and an urban myth. By the way, so is the myth that union labor prevails. Nowhere close.
Mike (Republic Of Texas)
"...polling has turned bleak for the Democrats,..." It's worse than can be told. Until now, the phrase has been, "The Republican is closing the gap." Now, "It's within the margin of error." 2 weeks from today, some of these Democrats will lose by 8-10 points. So, giving truthful polling data, may hold down turnout. Is that worse than telling your voters the truth? Are there that many parents that want their children exposed to Drag Queen shows? Green Energy is off to a pretty expensive start. Do we know how much lithium is on the planet, since we'll need to buy new batteries every 10 years? What new programs does the government want to start and make mandatory? The Democrats have a messaging problem and we'll hear that in 14 days.
Mitchell S (Indianapolis)
Green energy is a fraction of fossil fuel energy already, right now
Paul Smith (Austin, Texas)
@Mitchell S It's already 20% of the energy production in Texas.
JJ (SFBay Area)
Something I have seen brought up occasionally, is that the Republicans have lost more voters due to Covid. Meaning that deaths were higher among the Republicans, that refused to follow any mandates or get vaccines, and came from states with poorer healthcare. I am curious if there is any truth to this?
Networthy (Everywhere)
Yes, it's true—but the total numbers are tiny. In the context of a national election, it's even less than a rounding error.
Kroobey (West Coast.)
@JJ Check assumptions at the door, starting with health care practitioners check political affiliation first and Covid trackers have a clue. Then your assumptions that red states have poor health care: the Carolinas and Georgia would beg to differ. Then your assumption that Covid patients in New York and California didn’t die because they were Republican and South Carolinians did. I fear a macabre voyeurism at work along the lines of maybe they died and what remains will be blue, or the trend continues, everyone has an UPC and use by date, and the red voter’s use by comes earlier.
Rob (Davis, CA)
I would like to know just whom is being polled, and how, to arrive at these "Democratic sky is falling" predictions. Furthermore, does the mainstream media (assuming that it still exists in the first place) sell more ads by exacerbating tensions with these alarmist news features? Polls have proven wrong many times previously; they could be wrong now if "Roevember" materializes. I certainly hope it does.
r mackinnon (concord)
Really sick of all the press that fails to identify the R party as regressive, misogynistic, homophobic, fear mongering, greedy and dismissive of the reality of climate change. I’m putting my money on young people to vote in droves (if they are not prevented from doing so ) and changing the trajectory of the nation. Vote blue like small d democracy depends on it It does.
Kroobey (West Coast.)
@r mackinnon You simply cannot not read The Times, WaPo and buy into MSM whitewashing Republicans. OTOH, this is a news report on election trends and estimates and guesswork. People might not recognize this new Fearmongering Dismissive Party. Or they might, decide it’s not yours but is afraid of losing and needs a better label.
Lost in (MN)
Is there any way we can wipe out all of them and start over again with representative who represent all of us instead themselves.
Stephanie (NYC)
We as a country are doomed if republicans get a majority in the House and/or the Senate. That people are blind to this fact is stunning. They have offered no policy ideas for how they're going to fix ANYTHING, but instead, spew violence and hatred whenever possible, loudly and on every media platform. We have descended into an abyss that I fear we will not be able to climb out of if the Democrats are swept away in this election. People have such short memories - does no one remember the chaos created by a single republican between 2016 and 2020? The ills that our country is currently facing are the result of those horrific years, combined with a pandemic completely mishandled by that administration, whose repercussions we will be living with for decades. Democrats - get out and vote Democrat down the line!!
Bob (East Lansing)
Presidential approval ratings underestimate Biden's support. Of the 60% who answer disapprove 20% are far left progressives who want Biden to be farther left and more active. They are not the disaffected middle who are turning against Biden. And they Will Not vote Republican.
Kroobey (West Coast.)
@Bob the disaffected middle in both parties voted not Trump against a madman for a centrist Democrat at a time when the economy was recovering from Covid but was robust and energy afffordable. They look at now at rising interest rates, their budget, and the cost of energy. Policy wonks on global to soothe them and beating PutIn may not drive either. They are realists on SCOTUS, the cost of IRA, BBB, ARPA and alphabet soup put out at vote time then quintuple, divided on loan forgiveness, down the line. It’s conceivable in midterms that a voter can donate a lot to planned parenthood and vote on loan forgiveness fairness. Maybe, maybe not, but wishing or saying it isn’t so. Identity politics won’t matter enough to make a difference. I can’t buy hype. In my ninth decade, I learned the hard way long ago in 1963, on the the way to my dorm, when learned about JFK and innocence vanished.
David Warren (Pacific Northwest)
In regards to this: >John Sides, a political scientist at Vanderbilt, wrote by email that “it is absolutely true that party loyalty in congressional elections has increased. But this does not stop large seat swings from occurring.”< Here in Washington State, Smiley has a TV ad highlighting folks who have switched sides, sometimes vehemently denouncing Murray and blaming her for all the problems we currently face. It’s a tricky, and misleading, ad. It gives the uncertain, perhaps uninformed, voters a place to land, with the false impression that many people are changing sides. I don’t see it happening. Most voters know the Republicans and Trumpists and election deniers are no better suited, and have no better plans, to control inflation or crime. It’s all blather. And let’s not forget the biggest lesson we got about the polls: Hillary was supposed to beat Trump.
Socrates (Downtown Verona, NJ)
“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.” - H.L. Mencken If American voters think that the Republican party is going to actually govern - or offer any meaningful public policy or do anything to help improve the lives of average Americans - then they deserve GOP governance that looks like this: 1. A two-year House Select Committee on Hunter Biden's lifestyle 2. A two-year House Select Committee rehashing the Big Election Lie that has already been disproved, discredited and disproved a million times 3. A refusal to raise the US debt limit and catastrophic collapse of the world's reserve currency, thereby making the GOP Bush-Cheney Depression look like a walk in the park 4. A House and Senate bill to provide inflationary, deficit-exploding tax cuts to millionaires, billionaires and large multinational corporations...while providing several nickels and dimes to the unrich as proof that the tax cuts are 'for everyone' 5. A House and Senate bill transferring control over the nation's female bodies to the Republican Party 6. Continued efforts to defund the IRS and collapse government revenues, thereby undermining the solvency and functionality of United States government 7. Continued denial of climate change and complete refusal to do anything about it as the cooked climate continues to ravage the countryside 8. More guns and gun deaths A Republican circus is no way to run a country except into the ground.
Tom Tuna (Michigan)
@Socrates Sadly, and in reality, people seem to be choosing the Circus. The GOP, almost to a person, has been clear as to what they will do (except Mitch McConnell), and yet the races are too close for me to have any faith in our electorate. If the GOP takes over, we will have deserved it.
H Silk (Tennessee)
@Tom Tuna No, "we" don't deserve the horror that is the Republican party. A whole lot of us turn out to vote otherwise, but unfortunately this country is populated with misinformed people who believe al the nonsense from outfits like Fox.
ACBrown (Ontario)
@Socrates To add to your list (which I'm sure you omitted due to space limitations): if they gain control of the Senate, none of Biden's court nominees, including for the SCOTUS, will even get a hearing for the following two years. (Hopefully the Dems would rush as many through in the lame duck session.) The games they'll play with the debt ceiling and budget "continuing resolutions" to get fiscal concessions is outrageous too.
Kevin (Colorado)
It's the Right who needs to worry about the total wipeout.
Joe (Detroit)
Even though her model was way off for 2020, Rachel Bitecofer’s theory of negative partisanship was and will continue to be true for the foreseeable future: there is no swing voter. Almost all Hillary 2016 voters supported Biden in 2020. Ditto for Trump. For both sides, winning elections means firing up and turning out your “base” more than the other side does. For Democrats, the base is primarily women, people of color, people younger than 45, people with a Bachelor’s degree, people in urban/suburban areas, and here in the Midwest, unionized workers. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but these are the groups Dems advertise to. It’s not worth trying to peel off Republican support at the margins when it’s easier—are more electorally sound—to fire up your base.
Federalist (California)
I hate the idea but it looks likely to me that McCarthy will be speaker and McConnell will be Majority leader. The US will be paralyzed, anarchic and violent with total political dysfunction. The economy will crash into recession, unemployment will soar, poverty and homelessness will soar. The international situation will deteriorate and we will face war in Europe with Russia. In Asia China will carry out Xi's threat to invade Taiwan, causing a global high tech collapse due to destruction of 90 % of global chip supplies. The global economic system is on the verge of collapse. Loss of chip production will be the trigger for another Great Depression. We face looming catastrophes all at the same time. It looks worse than 1938. Color me depressed due to external events.
Kathy (Montana)
Interesting article presented with facts and statistics. However, it doesn't bode well for the Democrats unless we, also, discuss issues that matter to all Americans. For example, Democrats and Independents, and I might add, The Greenpeace Party, etc. need to focus on the economy. It's important all of us are on equal footing because that boost the economy and prevents a recession. The Democratic Strategy I would highly recommend is to focus on the economy, first; second, focus on healthcare improvements; third, focus on infrastructure enhancements; and fourth, focus on the rest of the issues like reasonable abortion access, women's rights, rights for persons with disabilities rights, black lives matter rights and yes even all lives matter rights (including white people, yes). We need to focus on INCLUSIVENESS and the beauty of DIVERSITY. The World is diverse, is it not? The Universe, it too has much diversity in terms of elements that potentially could help us here on Earth. Overall, the Democrats need to open up more rather than less and listen to the Republicans talking points but comeback with ever more wisdom to problem-solve our most pressing challenges on Earth. That's my two cents for this morning session of writing on October 26, 2022.
JD (Portland, Me)
Is there a city or town in the USA that does not have signs in the store windows, help wanted, with higher and higher wages offered to entice? We need more workers to drive the economy, immigration is the only cure, yet one party prefers to build a wall and greatly limit standard legal immigration. The Republican party tries to make it political, blaming Biden, when as much blame can be placed on the Republican doorsteps, embargoes, shipping and transport backlogs resultant, exasperating world instability by encouraging dictatorships, covering up how bad the pandemic was in the early stage when we could have done more. Biden's Fed may have made mistakes, but a real patriotic party would not drive racism and dislike of democracy to keep away the immigrant workers who could help our economy.
David Warren (Pacific Northwest)
@JD: The Republicans have been “driving racism” since the days of Richard Nixon’s and Ronald Reagan’s various dog whistles. Remember the Welfare Queen driving a Cadillac?
Karen (Bay Area)
JD, there is no such thing as “Biden’s Fed.” Biden has a treasury secretary. The USA has a Fed. That Jerome Powell, who has served under both the former and current president as Fed Chairman, allowed trump to scream at him and to be affected by the screaming, says more about Powell than either president.
Hank (nyc)
all these comments suggest that some americans welcome a slide into autocratic government and this country needs more gerrymandering, not less. Still, it's curious how crime increases when republicans are in power...
Joe You (NYC)
Immigration policy? Or, lack thereof. The Dems have shown us they can not lead the nation. Crime? Enough said. Soft on crime, defund police, has disastrous consequences for our well being, our quality of life, and our mortality rates. Especially for people of color, statistically. Energy? Biden has blocked US pipelines, exploration and production of natural gas and oil. Meanwhile, he is encouraging Venezuela and OPEC to produce more. What is he thinking? Pandering? Or, just hates US jobs and income. Spending? Fiscal policy whilst the suppy chain was mucked up drove massive artificial consumption and price increases. Economics 101. Inflation is being driven by fiscal as well as monetary policy. The massive spending bills that gave out all those stimmy checks, stimulated demand by design. Most of that money went to random folks that had not actually even lost work or income. Retirees, young people living on their mom's couches bought jet skis and bitcoin and new couches. Higher demand shifts supply:demand equilibriums, resulting in higher prices (exacerbated by supply chain constraints). Policies that inhibit new supply of oil and natural gas exacerbated shortages and directly drove up prices. Fertilizer costs and prices are directly tied to natural gas, fyi. The coming food scarcity is being driven by extremely high input costs including fertilizer, tractor parts, diesel fuel, transportation costs.
Max Deitenbeck (Shreveport)
@Joe You Republican talking points all and not a truth to be found.
Chris Morris (Idaho)
It's hard to watch a car wreck, particularly when one is in the car.
Hoobert Herver (Tralfamador)
"Stay the course!", say Democrats. LOL
Alan (Columbus OH)
One can theorize that impressions of Biden won't sway the electorate like it is some generic trend or phenomenon. Or one can look at Trump's treating the pandemic as a marketing exercise annd killing many thousands in tthee process, validating neo-Nazis at Charlottesville, cozying up to dictators and stirring up an angry mob to attack Congress for his personal benefit. Yet Trump is still defended by and often able to steer primary votes for the majority of Republicans. Yes, voters dislike inflation and government waste, but they also like having democracy and laws and at least the possibility of privacy for their medical records, all of which has been put on the ballot in most places. They don't like hearing elected officials demonize everyone who isn't a White Christian or sit there like cowards while those in their "camp" do so. Why are there almost no swing voters now? Because one party has made it almost impossible to be one by devolving into a criminal cult.
Mike Livingston (Philadelphia PA)
I wouldn’t count on this …
Monty (Nashville)
My retirement facility announced yesterday that our fees were being increased by 11.5%. Now, this article says the polarization of party loyalists might lead to my ignoring my eyes and favoring a party. Parties are stuck. The media has lost all credibility. Biden's stumbles suggest that age is taking its toll a bit earlier than his biking. Pelosi says we are winning. The opinions here are right. We are ossifying in a dangerous manner. Neither party seems healthy. In my area, there are no big choices. And on inflation, I am old-fashioned. Inflation is basically too many $$$$$ chasing too few goods. So my vote will be to hold the Biden actions and party to blame. Add to the $$$, we had shutdowns too broad and long which kept parents at home and reduced the supply of workers thus adding an inflation factor. And to cap it all, we beg dictators to supply oil when we refuse policies to get our own supplies to help. Stupid or just forgetful? It doesn't matter, it is a stupid move no matter the reasons.
Bengal Richter (Washington DC)
The mainstream media is going all-out to ensure the red wave happens, reminding us at every opportunity that “inflation is soaring outta control!” and juxtaposing it to a story about President Biden rather than explaining (or at least implying) that it’s Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine and the West that unleashed the price spiral. That, and breathlessly making front-page news of every one of the former guy’s inane posts on “Truth Social,” keeping him and his ilk on everyone’s mind.
hawk (New England)
Just ask yourself one question Edsall, how could this guy get 15 million more votes than Obama? That’s easy, it was a not Trump vote. Now after less than two years the Dems are faced with the same dilemma, with an abysmal performance, House, Senate, WH. Not a trifecta you want to wager on. And rather than man up and reform, they dig in, making it worst. Pelosi claims it’s not inflation, but “cost of living”. Biden claims he signed student debt relief, another $500 billion of inflation fuel into law. A law he passed with 1-2 votes, he’s not sure. NYT goes silent. It’s actually shocking. Hochul states she can’t understand why Lee Zeldin is so focused on crime. Fetterman who is somewhere left of Sanders is not fit for a 100 vote governing body. They all ignore the border, “it’s not open”. They all play the race card, notice how Edsall had to slip that in. And whatever happened to “voter suppression”. Oh those nasty Republicans. And here’s my favorite, a $2 trillion tax cut for the wealthy that was unpaid for. Guess what, treasury revenue has soared, even with 20 million losing their jobs. First thing Dems wanted to do was rescind the $10k SALT cap, a real problem for the wealthy. $2 trillion over 10 years is chump change compared to the Biden spend.
Phyliss Dalmatian (Wichita Ks, Homosassa Fl)
Polls are no better than tea leaves. They can be manipulated, spindled and mutilated to say anything you wish. And who’s the “you”? The person paying for it. VOTE. The only poll that counts.
Sal S (Philly)
To paraphrase an LA Times columnist - anyone who pretends to know what will happen in November is a fool. And that includes pollsters.
anonymous (Wisconsin)
your relentless reporting based on polls is foolish. Polls are obsolete. It's great to see the liberal press pile onto the self-fulfilling prophecy democrats are losing. It's in your DNA
GraceNeeded (Albany, NY)
It seems that both parties are attempting to attract the most votes by appealing to issues that we all face, in these times. The major difference for me is theDemocratshave plans for how to make government work for the majority, Republicans do NOT. They use fear of the other, anger over grievances to stoke more votes, but do NOT have any solutions to affect the majority. For example, they had a bipartisan bill for immigration concerns years ago, that the majority of Americans would have supported, but didn’t vote to enact it, as like the abortion issue, it would leave them with little to run for re-election on and the ability to get elected, as if the actually achieved immigration reform, what else would attract voters to their cause? Shame on Republicans in leadership for their obstruction of anything to help the majority, while continuing to gain power and wealth for themselves and donors (tax cuts for themselves) . You can fool some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time (Iraq War) , but but never all the people all of the time! ‘God is not mocked; you will reap what you sow’. Try using your talents for good. ‘To much is given, much is required’. You’ve been given the opportunity to affect much good, do it.
Memfem (Tennessee)
Well, all this to say nobody knows what is going to happen. Except I am a Dem furious with the party for really bungling this election strategy. People don’t care about pronouns they care about gas prices. Maybe they shouldn’t but they do, and we just didn’t fight very effectively against the MAGA lies. The right has always been lost to reason, but moderates and independents might have been swayed to our side. I live in a red state and saw nothing the Dems did that helped. So if we lose it, in part we can blame ourselves for not campaigning very well as well as many things out of our control. Pity.
SteerableDad (Colts Neck, NJ)
@Memfem Not campaigning well? It is hard to campaign well when you are trying to sell the voters things they don't want to buy and when you have a president and administration that are habitual liars and incompetents.
Mike (Republic Of Texas)
@Memfem I'm not a fan of James Carville. Politically, he was able to get Democrats wins, because 75% of a loaf was better than none. I believe, if moderate voices had prevailed and Biden and the Democrats let Trump's border and energy protocols remained in place, 60 Congressional Democrats and 4 or 5 governors would not now be threatened.
J. Strain (Montana)
Too early to tell. Everyone is living off old assumptions about voting and suspect polling data
GK (California)
The midterms are a change election. Everything is going in the wrong direction for Democrats. Everything. Lots of low-hanging fruit for the GOP. The border crisis, messy Afghanistan exit, rising crime, inflation, high gas prices. Some of it's Biden's fault. Some of it isn't. It won't matter to most voters. Democrats are facing a perfect electoral storm in 2022. Every poll, every metric, everything is pointing to an epic political disaster. In 2022 all 435 House members & 14 Democratic senators are up for reelection. Since World War 2, the party in power loses an average of 27 House seats. In 2010, Obama lost 6 Senate & 63 House seats. Biden is on track to possibly do worse. Voters focus on two things. Are food prices up? Yes. Are gas prices up? Yes. OK, I'm voting Republican. The GOP gets this. Democrats don't. This is why their messaging is effective & Democrats messaging is a joke. The GOP attack ads are writing themselves. "Is this the direction you want to see the nation being led? Going forward the GOP will keep the working-class while winning back support in the suburbs now that they don't have Trump dragging them down. If that happens, they will be in a position to win it all in 2024. In 1976 the GOP appeared finished as a force in politics. But 4 years later than won the Presidency & Senate with Reagan heading the ticket. This was the start of 12 years of GOP rule that would have been seen as improbable if not impossible at the time. History may repeat itself again
Slim (NY)
No, it does not matter what Biden does. Mid-term elections are a "referendum" on the ruling party the same way the arrival of Fall is an inditement of Summer. Tired of this farce and the caprices of "suburban moms".
Josh (NY)
This article is nothing more than a long explanation of why polls are terrible predictors of elections, and nobody knows what will happen. Ignore the polls, vote.
Girish Kotwal (Louisville, KY)
No the left-right divide will give an opportunity for independents to determine whether Democrats deserve another chance at a one party rule in USA similar to the communist party rule in China. Unlike Democrats and Republicans who take a narrow view of what issues are really important to the voters, independents are likely to take a broad view of the overall performance of the party in power. Question is will the Republicans do any worse based on the record since J20, 2021 than the Democrats or has the country hit the rock bottom that there is going to be no further decline. No one believes things can go so bad and that a change in leadership of the government is essential just as it was in UK where the new prime minister, Rishi Sunak admitted unintentional mistakes of his predecessor. Democrats have played extreme politics of denial of problems and crises of their own creation and have ignored them. Biden's baseless comments do not inspire confidence that things would improve as long as Biden-Harris admin does not have any appropriate checks and balances for the rest of their term in office. Only way Biden will admit mistakes and blunders were made if the Democrats get wiped out in mid term election. Historically US presidents get a wake up call after they get a shellacking in the mid terms. Bill Clinton did that and was reelected, Obama did that and was reelected. Biden-Harris admin needs to get a message loud and clear that their job performance has been unsatisfactory.
Gary Cohe (Great Neck NY)
As the author ponders a wave election for Republicans, I wonder when the Democrats will turn to new younger leadership. If you look at 2006 you find that almost the same leadership is in place for the Democrats and the only remaining news on the Republican side is McConnell who plunked Obama’s nomination of Garland.
Nan Socolow (West Palm Beach, FL)
Who can predict a total wipe-out for the Democrats in the midterms? We have no idea yet how the American electorate will vote in 2 weeks. Polls are just misinformed guesses trying to goose voting for worthy or unworthy candidates for office. Wait till the returns from this election come in. We may all be in for a big surprise!
louis v. lombardo (Bethesda, MD)
Thanks for this excellent article on a matter of life or death importance to all of us. Regarding inflation voters need to know how the Fed has a long history of helping Republicans gain and retain power. See
Steve W (Portland, Oregon)
This election has always been about the Democrats delivering a clear, consistent message that lays out the high stakes: Vote the democratic ticket to uphold the rule of law that underpins our democracy and therefore preserve it, or vote for those who seek to destroy our form of government. So get out and vote, vote, vote! There may still be time to forcefully deliver this message daily and maybe motivate those who might otherwise not bother voting. The NYT is not helping by not putting this dire situation we face above the fold of every edition. Why this failure? Who benefits? Not the American people. If the traitors who tried to overthrow our government on January 6th are not held accountable, the USA is done.
RTJP (Jamaica Plain, MA)
With over half the population female, I'm tired of hearing about "women's" rights; these are human rights.
Blackmamba (IL)
Nonsense. There is no science in either economics or politics. Because there are too many variables and unknowns to craft the double-blind and/or randomized controlled experimental tests that provide predictable and repeatable results that are the essence of science. Meanwhile the Republicans represent the dreams, fears, hates, hopes and nightmares of the white European American voting majority that voted 57% McCain in 2008, 59% Romney in 2012, 58% Trump in 2016 and 57% Trump in 2020. Jesus Christ of Nazareth was an activist left-wing community organizing civil human rights pacifist socialist. And so were Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King , Jr. See Matthew 25: 31-46
usa999 (Portland, OR)
Lost in the discussion is what I call the "embarrassment factor". Polls under-report probable Republican votes by 3-5 percent because some voters shy away from appearing to be self-serving racists. They will either claim to lean Democratic or independent out of embarrassment, and this year given Republican attacks on democracy I might expect the embarrassment factor to be even more pronounced. These voters will certainly vote Republican but deny any intention to do so.
Linda C (Expat in Spain)
Three things will determine this election: 1) Who turns out to vote 2) Who is allowed to vote (freely without intimidation) 3) Who counts the votes and determines the winners
Crow Dancer (South Of Six Mile)
If there is a Republican wave, the party will have two years to accomplish what Liz Truss did in forty-five days with similar, disastrous results but no Jeremy Hunt to intervene.
Blue Moon (Old Pueblo)
"With the midterm election less than two weeks away, polling has turned bleak for the Democrats, increasing the likelihood that the party will not only lose control of the House, but dimming the prospects that it will hold the Senate ... The key question is whether Republicans will wipe out Democratic incumbents in a wave election." But wait - there is an article from yesterday by Quoctrung Bui "Frustrated With Polling? Pollsters Are, Too" - explaining the many shortcomings associated with election polling. This from someone working in Opinion for the NYTimes. *So why not just get out there and vote?* And if you really want to worry about all these polls - particularly if you're a Democrat - then all the more reason to cast your ballot. To help skew the election results to your side - despite the polls. Let's just get it done. That's all that matters in the end.
The Left: socialism, higher taxes, more spending, deficits, inflation, anti-oil and natural gas production, illegal immigration, letter asking to negotiate with Putin about Ukraine, CRT, identity politics, racial preferences that now hurt Asian Americans, soft on crime and homeless burden, ETC Yes, the Right has its problems, notably Trump election deniers, but this will pass, as he will pass.
caljn (los angeles)
That the Dems are behind affirms my belief that they are utterly incompetent. Or perhaps they don't really want to win.
Al M (Norfolk Va)
If the January 6th coup is completed this November, we can thank weak-kneed centrists and the corporate media.
Ed (Arizona)
The headline is kind of misleading I think. The left-right divide is just a fact. It is not a force that is swooping in to save either side.
Art (Canada)
The gloves are off, civility is our first victim. A pervasive sense of indignation is let loose on the body politic all across the globe. Yeats: …. Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere…. Nihilism’s chicks have come home to roost, only the abstract can save us.
Andrew (Brooklyn NY)
This lifelong Democrat in New York begs to differ. I’ll be voting Republican right down the line (as Gerry Rafferty said).
Jared (Vt)
The Democrats are again resorting to cries of “racism” in fending off attacks about surging crime. And contrary to the Times reporting, Republicans are attacking all Democrats on the surge in violent crime. If the Democrats insist on resisting public safety measures based on woke social justice priorities, or by falsely accusing those worried about violent crime as racist, they will lose. And they will deserve to lose.
Valerie Elverton Dixon (East St Louis, Illinois)
Democrats will codify abortion rights. If women and other people who can get pregnant do not have power over their own bodies, everyone's liberty is in danger. Republicans have no plan to bring down crime or inflation or gas prices. They will continue to allow states to take away liberty that, in the long run, will affect us all. I do not believe that Republicans will take control of either chamber of Congress. As Cornell Belcher said on Meet the Press: we have no idea about the universe of voters this election cycle. There are so many new voters, so many younger voters, so many people who will vote for Democrats because of the Dobbs decision who may vote for Republicans again after abortion rights are codified. Vote Democratic. See: "No Compromise" at Click on essays.
Kirk C (Delmar, NY)
Nothing impossible suggested here, but the division of Democrats into very separate factions has not slowed down. Those of us who thought Obama was the peace candidate (O’Bomber?) now have to own worldwide drones fired from home and Biden’s insistence on Asian influence on top of Ukraine.
LMartin (UT/FL)
Republicans haven’t “weaponized” inflation. They are pointing out a real concern that has negatively impacted Americans and gotten worse under Biden. But speaking of weaponizing, how about the Times lead yesterday claiming that focus on increasing crime was “racist,” clearly trying to have crime as another issue not to be addressed by attacking the messengers. All we see here is academic left-leaning bias, attaching pejoratives to any Republican comments or positions - “vengeful, hate filled” - absent any actual data and coming to their already pre-formed “conclusions.”
G (Edison, NJ)
If you watched the Fetterman-Oz or Hochul-Zeldin debates last night and you are a Democrat, you should be scared. While I sympathize with Fetterman’s situation, it’s hard to see how any non-die-hard liberal can possibly see him as fit for office. Ms. Hochul seemed out of her depth, and certainly did not project the strength and confidence of an incumbent governor of one of the bluest states in the Union. The media will do its usual: avoid talking about what it doesn’t want to talk about but anyone actually watching the debates themselves will see the unvarnished truth. The senate will go red, 52-48.
Michael Radowitz (Newburgh ny)
My response to today's NYT editorial about the choice for Governor of New York: >[Mr. Zeldon] told the Times editorial board this week that he would remove from office the elected district attorney of Manhattan, Alvin Bragg, who has continued the work of criminal justice reform that the state and city have pursued in recent years. Earlier this year, Mr. Bragg revised some of his policies; Ms. Hochul was among those who urged him to do so. ***What direction would this ‘revision’ go? Word is that Governor Hochul is keeping Mayor Adams from walking back parole provisions that made parole easier to obtain and have therefore resulted in repeat offenders being released on the streets to commit more crimes. In essence, Mayor Adams is trying to reduce crime, and Governor Hochul in at least one area of crime control is fighting Mayor Adams in that regard. All I know is that I commuted to Manhattan in the years that included the mayorship of Giuliani and Bloomberg. Compared to those of Koch and Dinkins, Manhattan seemed more receptive to commuters and tourists. Now, with daily headlines in the Post about crime in the subways, which may not numerically be as pervasive as during the Kick and Dinkins years but is proportionately more so considering that less people have been using the subways since Covid, I would have to give serious consideration as to whether I would want Hochul to conconute serving as Governor.
Rocky (Sydney, Australia)
An exercise in wishful thinking. The pendulum is swinging. Far left progressives have cooked the left’s goose. Hopefully those on the extreme right have learned the lesson of incrementalism better this time around. It’s going to be some fun summertime viewing down here in Oz. You all need to get better smarter politicians not the showoffs who can win but not govern. But it’s fun to watch.
doug mac donald (ottawa canada)
I find it quite baffling that Republican voters who are usually the first to trumpet personal freedom and the dangers of big government overreach..are so drawn to a party that apparently has no problem with authoritarianism..the definition which is and I quote “favoring or enforcing strict obedience to authority, especially that of government, at the expense of personal freedom”…quite the dichotomy.
rich (hutchinson isl. fl)
The future of the Republican Party is plain; It will become a smaller minority party wholly obedient to its dictator, and they will keep striving to destroy the 240 year old experiment in democracy that was once the light of the world. There is no other way for a minority party, whose policies are unpopular even with their own supporters, to maintain political power. So far, just like their leader Trump, they have displayed a willingness to violently deny the actual result of the vote and the American people will either hold them and Trump accountable, or the idea that was America will end.
Jonathan (USA)
Edsall wants our country to be run by Republicans, and couldn't care less about democracy. He wants our news media to be controlled by right-wingers, our social behavior to be controlled by right-wingers, our public education to be controlled by right-wingers and our economic decisions to be controlled by right-wingers. I'd prefer that we remain a democracy.
SK (Chicago)
“[P]artisanship serves as the lens through which economic conditions are evaluated.” This has been the case for a long time because many do not understand monetary policy. Republicans have claimed Reagan’s tax cuts spurred economic growth in the 1980s without any understanding of how the Fed decreasing the federal funds rate from 19% to 8% from 1981 to 1983 resulted in substantial economic growth in the mid 1980s. Similarly, I’ve seen Democrats claim that the stock market performs better under Democratic administrations as if the President is a king who controls the market, and they clearly have little understanding of the policies and factors that led to market gains. I’ve seen Democrats write here that people need better education on how our government is designed to function without any understanding of macroeconomics. As someone who supports Democrats, I think these comments make our side appear to be ignorant.
David Potenziani (Durham, NC)
Let me get this right. - Partisanship is trumping reality. - Gerrymandering is frustrating the clear expression of public sentiment. - More education robs individuals of the ability to think. - Less education robs individuals of the ability to think. - All are driven by their resentments. - Everybody has their favorite myth(s) to explain things. So, actually, no one really knows what's going on. Thank you for all that.
Crow Dancer (South Of Six Mile)
What oft was thought but ne’er so well express’d.
unclejake (fort lauderdale)
This article has the basic assumption that polling is an accurate element to base the trends upon. The recent criticism of polls: people neither answering the pollsters' random calls ,or answer the pollster truthfully is giving this analysis hiccups. The outcomes in two weeks will most likely push to a serious question on how we can improve the methods to poll.
Caryynot (Coral Gables)
"Negative partisanship, Wronski wrote, “has emerged in recent elections as a driver of voting turnout and vote choice,”--so as to inflation here Republicans blame the Democrats; in Great Britain the Left blames the Conservatives ; in Spain the Right blames the Left. all this screaming at each other reminds me of the Roman Circus perpetuated by governments to divert attention away from issues like how Western countries, left or right, in our search for cheaper products and more investment gains have become dependent on imports for everything at the same time that we have a population explosion,the erosion a work ethic, a penchant for satisfying our personal craving for material things (an no one is exempt from this rich or poor) I bet that in China and Russia, to whom we have to now bow down are laser-focused on self sufficiency for survival's sake in a changing world-
M. (Indianapolis)
I have been canvassing in the Indianapolis area over the past few weeks. I find myself continually checking off "not at home" as I knock doors and leave literature. Seems kind of symbolic. The neighborhoods are quiet, people aren't outside, no one knows anyone, voters aren't engaging one another and instead keeping their politics to themselves or on-line, but certainly not face to face, and the neighborhoods are manicured and sterile. It feels like I am walking through an Edward Hopper painting. I want to see some life. I want to see some engagement. I want my neighbors to realize the peril of the moment and to wake up! We need to save our democracy. It will not be taken from us. We will surrender it through our indifference.
Alan (Beaver Falls)
Democrat's willingness to continue supporting cognitively impaired candidates & office holders shows how little they care about capably representing constituents. This is not a partisan ideological issue, it's a fitness to serve issue. Democrats at the moment just cannot be taken seriously.
doug mac donald (ottawa canada)
@Alan ..Republicans voted in a cognitively impaired President..Trump did you forget him.
Isle (Washington, DC)
@Alan Have you read Bob Woodward’s assessment of Trump after 20 interviews?
John Wawrek (Portland, OR)
@Alan I agree with you, with the qualification that I would substitute "Republican" for "Democrat."
John Virgone (Pennsylvania)
Strong voter turnout, absent Republican voter suppression shenanigans, and democrats have a powerful showing. Republicans have alienated too many groups to include women, minorities and, should they have their way, social security recipients, etc. Cyclical inflation that we are experiencing now is of concern, but it will end while restrictive Authoritarianism tends to last a lot longer.
RG (Knoxville, TN)
In Edsall’s analysis inflation is talked about as an issue favoring Republicans in a way that implies that Democrats are responsible for causing it and Republicans have policies that will solve it, but neither is true. The bulk of recent debt increase occurred during the Trump Administration, Biden's deficit is lower than Trump's even before Covid hit. If his policies that saved thousands of small businesses from ruin, kept people out of literal breadlines, and is now providing good paying jobs for hard working Americans on infrastructure caused inflation, then it would be much higher here than in Europe but the opposite is true. Also, in this very paper today there is an analysis showing Republican policies are unlikely to help reduce inflation. And in this column, Edsall writes: “ Republicans are fixated on an ethnically and racially freighted agenda of gridlock and revenge…They threaten to hound Biden appointees, not to mention the president’s son Hunter, with endless hearings and inquiries. The party has also signaled its refusal to raise the debt ceiling and promised to shut down the government in order to force major concessions on spending.” Does this sound like a recipe to improve the economy, or one that will lead to economic disaster, like that forcing the resignation of the UK’s Liz Truss after less than two months in office? And those spending cuts will be SS/Medicare. Americans used to have the group wisdom to clearly take such things onboard. Do we still?
birdman (texas)
@RG Republicans need to control congress and the presidency for a decade or two to really give to the voters what they have been promising them. Will they like what they get ?
SK (Chicago)
@RG There’s not an implication here that Democrats have caused inflation. It’s the appearance of it because Democrats are in power and people are ignorant of the causes of current inflation. As long as people believe that the President can fix everything, then problems will not get resolved.
des johnson (Forest Hills)
Humanity encapsulated: "Feeling is everything," (Goethe). "The medium is the message." (McLuhan). "Perception is nine-tenths of the natural law.” (Stewart Stafford). We all have our own logic built on our preferred facts culled from limited perceptions.
It sounds like the Republicans are doing a small target campaign - attack the other side, don't talk about or even reveal their own plans where they can avoid that. It's a strategy which does lead to small victories rather than large ones in other countries too, when it works. Which it often does to be fair.
des johnson (Forest Hills)
@AVR: Their MO is to sell envy, hate, and fear. No policy for America or humanity needed.
KB (Brewster,NY)
".....that partisan antipathies keep Democrats from voting for Republican candidates. No matter how bad economic conditions may be under Biden, the alternative is seen as much worse...." From an 'I'd never vote for a Republican' that quote seems to contain much validity. Even as I've come to accept some republican positions as at least reasonable, there is simply no way I could support anyone aligned with Trump. Besides people like Mastriano, Walker and OZ to name but three are downright scary in their own right. When all is said and done, it appears that the Dems can only limit their expected losses by 'getting out their vote'......and perhaps praying. The last time I had this queasy feeling about an election was 2016. Apparently, the Cult stayed together and metastasized. Even though the Dem positions such as 'choice' et al are popular, their embrace or attachment to so called 'woke' ideology is the political albatross they haven't been able to shake..and which, I believe, has significantly hurt them.
victor (intervale, nh)
It's not just partisanship that will limit Democrat losses. It's also perceived competence. The Republicans are not running a bunch of Mitt Romneys for Congress. They are running a bunch of mini-Marjorie Taylor Greens. They can point fingers all they want but they have no credible plan for fixing the economy that they helped break. Plus they want to take away the rights of women and all voters. It's not just partisanship.
r mackinnon (concord)
@victor Mitt is not a good long term bet for anyone except his fellow plutocrats When he was gov of MA, he backed the state template for Obamacare and was, in his own words, “100% pro choice” . After getting Potomac Fever, he did a complete flip. He has no core.
Disillusioned (NJ)
There will be a red wave on November 8th. My question is whether it will impact local elections. In the past, voters in towns and counties were able to separate their national political philosophies from their local concerns, recognizing that leaders at the local level have little ability to impact national or global concerns such as gun control, abortion, voting rights, climate change, etc. I fear that is no longer the case. I fully expect the wave will be of tidal proportions sweeping out capable and talented politicians who have done great things for their communities, counties and states.
GFE (New York)
From the Cognitive Dissonance Department: Conservative voters say: A. They're voting for Republicans because of crime. B. At the same time, they're, as Trump called them, "Second Amendment people," staunchly opposed to serious, effective laws to address the reality of a nation saturated with guns, notwithstanding the fact that the FBI says over 200,000 guns are stolen every year in the U.S. It seems a fool's errand to try to apply logic to the voting habits of today's American electorate.
Gary Cohe (Great Neck NY)
Maybe the President should hold his first news conference since January to support your view. How telling is it that few Democrats in close races want Biden to come to their state?
Mark (Lincoln)
It’s totally logical. They need the guns to protect themselves from the increasing crime. See?
Adam (Chevy Chase MD)
@GFE it’s laughable that the GOP is hammering the Dems on crime while refusing to call January 6th a riot and peddling the Big Lie. Ironic much?
Koala (Australia)
Two slight little glimmers of hope for Democrats born of crossing fingers more than anything else. The first are those "submarine voters" who say they'll vote Republican, or don't disagree, out of fear of Trumpilian retribution (at times physical) and intend to make their honest position known by way of a private vote against them. Second comes from this article. If independents are less independent and actually more partisan, as posited here, and because one Donald J. Trump has so needingly shoved himself into this election, it becomes just as much a referendum on him. Crossing toes as well, those independents lean away from Republicans because of it: that is, they've decided against him.
Kenan Porobic (Charlotte)
No smart citizen would vote for either the Democrat or the Republican Party. If they could have solved the problems, they would have done it by now. They just create the trouble, by intentionally inflaming the animosity, polarization, and division among the neighbors to stay in power. Open your eyes and pay attention to all the nasty attack ads we witnessed over several decades. If the politicians knew how to solve the problems, they would use the campaign ads to promote those solution. Hatred is never the solution, and it will never be. What should be a straw that breaks the back of people’s patience and unconditional trust for the corrupt politics?
AKJersey (New Jersey)
The GOP has long established itself as the anti-abortion party, and they cannot escape it. This election will be determined by young women who register and vote for Democrats in large numbers, on the issue of abortion rights.
Arobert (Louisiana)
@AKJersey Sorry, but this election will be a referendum on the always
Zoe (New York)
@AKJersey I’m a young woman and my difficulty affording food and a place to live are the pressing issues for me, way before abortion. I’ll be voting republican in this election even though that’s not how I’m registered since that’s the party I believe is more likely to fix our runaway inflation and stop the proposed student loan bailout. Most young women who will vote because of abortion rights issues already live in blue states where it’s still legal and are thus insulated from it being a top priority for them.
Fully Recovered Liberal (New York)
@ALJersey Young women have access to the Plan B pill so abortion is far less of an issue to them. Just look online or ask them.
Adam (Chevy Chase MD)
Turnout is what matters and if turnout is high, Democrats may surprise. Early voting records are already being broken and the same may hold true for mail in ballots. People are fired up on both sides; this may not look like your typical midterm where the incumbent party gets routed...
Mbakerz (Dallas, TX)
@Adam - I can only hope. I went to early voting on the first day, in my small suburb, during my lunch hour. One of the poll workers said "I've been doing this for 20 years and this is the biggest turnout ever this early, 500 voters in five hours." Let's hope truth and sanity prevail!
Bryan (West Chester, Pa.)
This seems like so much handwaving. The GOP is set to crush Democrats in the mid-term elections. Independents are leading the way (the largest political group in the country today).
RJ (Mount Vernon Ohio)
@Bryan Hoping you're correct sir!
ChristineMcM (Massachusetts)
"Party line voting has been increasing for several decades, reaching the 96 percent mark in 2020. This upward trend reflects a rise in negative partisanship — growing dislike for the other party — rather than increasing regard for the voter’s own side." Both sides see the other as the one to doom the America they "knew" versus the America that's racing towards them. Parties no longer have mere policy differences, but totally different visions of what power is and how to wield it in an era of changing demographics. One party lurches towards top-down control without the quaint niceties of such things as the rule of law, fairness, and adherence to basic civil liberties. The other trembles before the growing prospect of mob rule, political vioence, and destruction of constitutional guardrails. Both sides see the other as an existential threat, but only one seeks to crush the other through force.
Linda C (Expat in Spain)
@ChristineMcM You are so right! For further proof, read this 10/20/22 piece from the Politics Editor at the Federalist Society, the organization most responsible for our current SCOTUS (warning: it's chilling!):
No Party for the working class (Fly over country)
My mail in ballot sits on the kitchen counter, bubbles empty, commitment unfulfilled. No party loyalty here. Registered to that party that doesn't like people that look like me. That party that thinks it's culturally ok to make bigoted remarks about one last demographic. If the Democrats would at least make an effort to pander the decision would be easy. On the flip side is the Republican denialism of the big lie and embrace of dictators like Putin. And Dems have their own big lie, that the riots throughout the summer of 2020 didn't really happen. The Republicans love the Trump phenomena but somehow leave off the American first, protect Social Security and American jobs part. The only part of populism they want to tap is that we are all fed up with being run by our betters of both parties whose only interest in in enriching the hoi polloi. Is it possible to write in that Finnish prime minister? She after all can dance.
birdman (texas)
@No Party for the working class The "hoi polloi" are the masses , not the "elites".
Democrats will vote democratic and republicans will vote republican. Lies and messaging even until republicans are blue in the face (no wishful thinking intended) will not change that. And now even swing voters are just too few. Democrats far outnumber republicans demographically. Even structural barriers like gerrymandering, two senators and the electoral college will not stem the tide too much longer. The republicans are keenly aware of this and are petrified. The Democratic Party has just one simple task. Turn out their voters. Can they do it please?
@Solomon "Democrats far outnumber republicans demographically." Could you please elaborate on this statement?
Medicare For All Would (Save 68,000 American Lives Annually)
@SPQ On December 17, 2020, Gallup polling found that 31% of Americans identified as Democrats, 25% identified as Republican, and 41% as Independent. (I'm surprised and, in fact, disagree: There aren't that many Independents; but I've never conducted a poll to find out.)
617to416 (Ontario via Massachusetts)
The American system makes elections near meaningless. Most races are noncompetitive and regardless who wins the smaller number of contests actually in play, the end result is almost certainly divided government—which means nothing will get done for two more years. Voting is an exercise in futility in the United States. The Founders distrusted real democracy, so they killed it by writing a Constitution that has so many checks and balances little can ever be accomplished. For much of the nation's history a disabled federal government was not really a problem for the country. But since the time of the Great Depression, big and effective national government has been ever more critical, and the US is simply not designed to provide it. The nation is falling apart. Really, it's so poorly designed, it should fall apart. This 240-year old house divided is not a reno, it's a demo.
Bryan (West Chester, Pa.)
@617to416 It happens to be the longest running democracy in the world. The Forefathers looked back at history and noted that pure democracies were characteristically unstable and short-lived. The nation isn't falling apart by any means and in recent times more people have been voting in US elections.
LMartin (UT/FL)
@Bryan Exqctly. And it is alway a bit of a chuckle to hear Canadians, a British commonwealth still embracing Royalty, comment on the US democracy. Canadians can play around with social experiments since the US basically subsidizes their defense and protect their borders. They seldom take a hard look at their own, quite obvious attempts, to exclude Asians from buying property or getting visas, or their own serious issues with endemic racism that is quite current.
Bryan (West Goshen)
@Bryan a slow death by a thousand cuts
Talbot (New York)
Republicans are seen as more closely aligned with issues that matter most to voters. Partisanship generally keeps people in both parties from switching sides, even if they disagree with their own party's policies on key issues. This means Democrats are in danger of becoming frozen in irrelevancy. If they focus on things that don't matter to most voters, and Democratic voters support them no matter what they do, there is zero incentive to adapt. This means no changes on anything. Very bad news.
Tony Mendoza (Tucson Arizona)
@Talbot Most Americans want large tax cuts for billionaires? They want Social Security cut? They want health care slashed? The reason that the GOP is afraid right now is that they are not aligned with the average American. They are aligned with the very rich.
RFC (Texico)
@Tony Mendoza That is the problem, the very rich are enabling the Republicans to buy elections, they re out spending in almost all races mostly on attack ads that appeal to the people that would not like what the GOP is actually offering. In my area a middle class person that won an election spent about 1.6 million her opponent spent about 150,000. It has been called a surprise result!
des johnson (Forest Hills)
@Talbot: You mean they like Kanye's Or they think that clowns dancing for attention really care about "the issues?" Seriously?
Tom J (Berwyn, IL)
Yesterday at work I spoke with a local community advocate, a very good guy who is trying to influence the local government by being a voice for seniors. He likes me, thinks I am like him, and I am -- as an advocate for seniors. We're on my computer and he shows me a website he maintains that is rife with rightwing conspiracy theories, hard line Christian religious beliefs, all of it. He has a kind heart for the seniors, is a business owner and a passionate community advocate. But he is whacky. Please don't think that anything democrats say is going to penetrate this wall.
Tony Mendoza (Tucson Arizona)
@Tom J "is a business owner." Well, if he is a business, then economically speaking, the Right is beneficial to him. Therefore, believing the whacky rightwing conspiracy theories are economically beneficial. It always comes down to money.
Kevin (Colorado)
@Tom J Don't need to penetrate the walls of anyone. Just need to vote. Your "guy" can think whatever he wants to think. His thinking doesn't create reality. We only need to care about his whackiness when he acts on it and starts hurting people. That's when you put the rabid ones down. Short of that, he can say and think what ever he wants.
Sara (NYC)
@Tony Mendoza Democratic governments have empirically been better for business than Republican governments for the last 80 years.
des johnson (Forest Hills)
"People need to be secure in their food and housing situation before they can advocate for bigger ideas." Perhaps so. But one curse of American politics is that the economic system that produces food and housing insecurity cannot be finely controlled by those who are supposedly in power. Those who do threaten our bigger ideas are also those who actually influence the economy the most -- and not to the general benefit. Follow the Big Dark Money. Another curse of American politics is that a lot of people refuse to see this connection.
arvay (new york)
All of this political/consultant-soaked maneuvering is meaningless. We are in a civil conflict that one side or the other will win.
des johnson (Forest Hills)
@arvay: Right. And water, like anything that is fluid, flows downhill.
Kob (Washington)
The Republicans already have the Supreme Court, which is gearing up for round two of nightmarish rulings to upend affirmative action, Native Americans, gay and lesbians, the environment and who knows what else. And the voters will give them Congress, too, with the hope that they will accomplish what? Reject raising the debt limit to destabilize the economy in pursuit of forcing the federal government to cut Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, public education and so on. That’s the plan and I’m not kidding.
Amy (NC)
You forgot tax cuts. Republicans will also give tax cuts to the extremely rich and corporations while decrying “entitlements.”
No Party for the working class (Fly over country)
@Amy Trump sent us thousands in stimulus and doubled the unemployment for people we know. I think those are entitlements. Big tax break for all us small tradesmen who file as sole proprietors. I wish he'd increased taxes on the 10% a lot more but you can't have everything. Democrats in their big BBB bill pushed that huge tax break for the rich on the SALT deduction, a tax loophole that exclusively goes to the well to do. It's no longer just the Rs that are the party of the rich.
Chris Pining (a forest)
@Kob Far from being in jeopardy, gay rights were expanded in a monumental Gorsuch-authored decision a few years ago that protects gays—and transpersons—from employment discrimination. And Trump tweeted his support of it! Also, affirmative action should have been banned a long time ago. (FWIW I’m a gay man of Middle Eastern descent.)
Blue Moon (Old Pueblo)
“It’s not like either party needs to worry about being locked out of power for very long. The electoral winds will shift, and the window to power and policy will open again soon enough.” What if Republicans are successful with their agenda to overturn federal election results at the state level? I live in Arizona, and Kari Lake (GOP candidate for governor) and Mark Finchem (GOP candidate for secretary of state - the chief state election officer and first in the line of succession to be governor) are now both ahead in the polls. Arizona is ground zero for the election-fraud issue. The midterm election results here will serve as a litmus test for its robustness - both in Arizona and for the country as a whole.
Chris Pining (a forest)
@Blue Moon Team Trump lost something like 58 of 60 court challenges to the 2020 election results, and the other two were won by technicalities. Keep in mind that some of these cases were decided by Trump-appointed judges.
@Blue Moon... Exactly, the GOP has used power given to them by a minority of voters to expand and ensure permanent minority rule. The far right Supreme Legislature is about to hand far right state legislators the power to end voting all together.
H Pearle (Rochester, NY)
@Blue Moon Arizona and the nation need clarity, now WORDS, WORDS, WORDS Too many words from Democrats confuse voters! Dems need better sound bites to swing voters, against Trumpism now.
Number 2 (MI)
More time wasted trying to predict the outcome of elections. Maybe if we get good at it, we can skip the actual voting. Included in these discussions is the always insightful conclusion that "voter turnout" is the key that will ultimately decide the race. Duh! That's usually how it works, the candidate who gets the most votes wins.
des johnson (Forest Hills)
@Number 2: No. Ever hear of gerrymandering?
Fully Recovered Liberal (New York)
@des Johnson See NY and Maryland as examples. The Dems took not to a whole other level.
Ken L (Atlanta)
@Fully Recovered Liberal and @des johnson, Dems and Reps gerrymandered their way to a stalemate in Congress in 2021. A large majority of the seats are now safe. Neither party gained ground, but the losers are voter in those states who have lot their voice in Congress.
Carmel fruit farmer (ny)
The folks who decide the result of this election will mostly be people who are motivated by things beyond Biden's or Dem control and their votes will be largely based on ignorance- which is true in most elections when leaders are judged by economies they can't control. Trump should have lost by a landslide, but an economy whose trajectory didn't change between his and the Obama presidency bolstered his chances and if he hadn't utterly butchered government response to the pandemic he wouldn't have lost the senior vote, which doomed his prospects. The idea that Democratic policies are responsible for inflation is absurd, especially given that much of the budget devoted to pandemic relief received bi-partisan support and inflation is a global problem regardless whether governments are conservative or liberal. The world is recovering from the greatest economic disruption since the great depression and government action in this country that helped keep people who lost their jobs in their homes and fed were essential. In such emergencies the distribution of money can never be surgical and is always either inefficient or much too slow and eventually it has to be paid for by all of us. It is easy to be generous when it seems like other people's money. Now our swing vote is reacting to the consequences of essential policies and it is the Dems who will suffer.
John Brown (Washington D.C.)
@Carmel fruit farmer Democrats and their supporters should be ashamed of themselves for creating an environment that provided pressure on Fetterman to stay in the race. That man is not ok and should be at home with an occupational therapist for the next 6 years, not in Washington. The Senate belongs to the GOP now. Next stop, Hunter Biden investigation.
Carmel fruit farmer (ny)
@John Brown As if Republicans don't have ample supply of issues to be ashamed of. I think it is smarter to support one party or the other- at least as it applies to the federal government, and if you support Trump support the GOP, because he controls it at the moment.
S Lawrence (Nirvana)
@Carmel fruit farmer ""Trump should have lost by a landslide, but an economy whose trajectory didn't change between his and the Obama presidency" Superficially. Obama had steadily improving employment with a reduction in the deficit. Trump went on a spending spree, jacking up the debt and therefore temporarily reducing unemployment further. As with everything the Republicans do, it is unsustainable.
Carmel fruit farmer (ny)
The bottom line is that there is a swing vote out there that will determine the results of the coming election and my question is, who are these people? How could anyone with any idea of what is going on in this country not be committed to one party or the other, especially when the Republicans vote as a monolith? It is no longer a question of voting for the best individual when party loyalty is so strong that individuals very rarely cross the aisle. And what about the almost half of Americans who will sit out the mid-term elections? This is a statistic that reflects the true weakness of U.S. democracy, particularly in mid-term elections when it isn't a fight between two well recognized presidential candidates and almost like a sporting event. Do most of these people ignore their civic responsibilities because they feel disenfranchised and that neither party represents their interests? The less that Americans are interested in politics the better for the special interests that manipulate them.
Independent Observer (Texas)
@Carmel fruit farmer "How could anyone with any idea of what is going on in this country not be committed to one party or the other" There are plenty of people, myself included, who have so-called "split tickets" in elections. However, I would not be surprised if the percentage of those particular voters has decreased over time with our increasing polarization. From the article: "With the midterm election less than two weeks away, polling has turned bleak for the Democrats, increasing the likelihood that the party will not only lose control of the House, but dimming the prospects that it will hold the Senate" I just went to Real Clear Politics and looked at their Senatorial map. Currently, they have 5 in the "Leans Democrat/Likely Democrat" and 6 in the "Leans Republican/Likely Republican" categories. In the "Toss Up" category, there are 6 candidates total with Democrats leading in 5 of them (albeit, marginally). If those numbers are accurate and hold their positions up to election day, I'm not sure how the Republicans can take back the Senate (unless the trend lines are all in the Republicans' favor, of course). As with all elections, I guess we'll just have to wait and see. So many variables with this one.
John Brown (Washington D.C.)
@Carmel fruit farmer After that Fetterman debate, any questions about whether Dems have a chance at holding the Senate is over.
No Party for the working class (Fly over country)
@Carmel fruit farmer "who are these people" That's me. Rs don't vote as a monolith, they jump ship too. You deride party loyalists, have you switched back and forth? Everyone should vote split ticket, it feels good and it's a payback when those you voted for don't do as you like. The parties themselves have switched places, it's time for the electorate to do a little of the same.
See also