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March 29, 2006


I hope this is true. During the 2004 election folks kept saying that the polls were undercounting Dems, especially young people. That seems not to have been true. But if Gallup (leans R) is accurate, the independents are finally coming our way. They are largely Dems who don't want to so idntify, some because they are to the left of the Dem party.

The fact that the Dems now seem willing to come out with some positive plans will help. Sensible redeployment out of Iraq by the end of 2006. I love it.

I don't know if I'd be bold enough to say that openminded people are more likely to be liberal than conservative, but I certainly think people who pride themselves on being openminded (whether or not they actually are!) are more likely to be liberal. Recall Frost's famous quote about a liberal being too broadminded to take his own side in an argument.

I think of my parents, for example. I'm not sure they've ever voted for anything but a Democrat in their lives. But if you asked them, they'd never self-identify as Democrats, because they genuinely believe they're picking the best candidate regardless of party label.

Also, in the modern era, we have more of the Rush Limbaugh breed of Republicans who believe Democrats are some sort of demonic creature they could never vote for in a million years. Whereas there seem to be plenty of center-left folks who would be perfectly willing to vote Republican if they got back to being a fiscally responsible party, or whatever their reputation used to be. (Mind you, there are also Zell Miller types in the South who would consider voting Democrat, if only their local Democrats would go back to being Republicans!)

failure is an orphan

victory has a thousand fathers

the more things change ...

Personally I don't think it matters a lot how voters identify when asked during an opinion poll. What matters is if they turn out to vote and how they vote. The Dems and Dem leaning Independents have not turned out with enthusiasm and numbers to swing closely fought recent elections compared to the Repubs.

The issue for the Dems is that unlike the Repubs who play to their base and are better organized at political campaigns with a well oiled political machinery, they come across in camapaigns as weather vanes unwilling to take principled stands and lack the fortitude to fight hard.

The Dems base can only be energized if the Dems DC leadership begin to stand for principle and are willing to fight the Repubs deceit and incompetence head on without fear for consequence.

The generic ballot advantage that the Dems have now is because the majority of voters want a change. But by the time it comes to Nov they will be voting for a real candidate not a mythical candidate. This is where unless the Dems candidate and party offer a real alternative and willingness to fight the voters who would lean towards the Dems will not show up as they will continue to be disillusioned that change is possible.

At this point the Dems DC leadership and consultants want to play it "safe" and expect that the anti-Repub vote will show up and accrue to their benefit but this complacency could be their undoing. Nov will be a lot closer and like 2002 and 2004 will depend on which side was able to energize their base to turnout. Will the Dems leadership energize their base or lose this enormous opportunity through lack of character.

So many opinions, but they can't all be right. We'll know in November whether Dems got their act together or not.

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