Over the last few months, many were sure that the Blue Wave was inevitable. As the election got closer, my concern was that poor messaging would make the Blue Wave nothing more than a Blue Ripple. The Democratic Party is notorious for pulling defeat out of sure victories.
CNN recently posted the article "5 metrics that suggest Democrats are poised for big wins 100 days to the midterms" which pointed out the following.
The national indicators suggest Democrats are in a good position, while a race-by-race examination finds them in an even better one. In all cases though, the margin of error is wide enough so that Republicans have a real chance of maintaining control.
- The President's approval rating: The latest Gallup weekly tracking poll gives Trump just a 42% approval rating. ... Indeed, a 42% approval rating at this point suggests that the president's party is likely to lose the House.
- The generic congressional ballot: Democrats have constantly led on this question which asks some variant of "in your congressional district, will you vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate." Over the last few months, that advantage has held steady at around 8 percentage points. That's again good news for the Democratic Party.
- Race ratings: All race raters (CNN, Cook Political Report and Inside Elections) are in agreement that Republicans have a lot more vulnerable House seats than Democrats do. The latest CNN ratings, for example, have 36 Republican seats rated as toss-up or leaning towards the Democrats, while only 3 Democratic seats are rated as toss-up or leaning towards the Republicans. That's a difference of 33.
- Partisan district level polling: This year about 90% of the about 50 partisan House polls in the FiveThirtyEight database have been from left-wing groups. That's even more lopsided than at this point in the 2006 cycle when left-wing groups were putting out around 85% of all polls. As with the race ratings, the disparity in partisan district level polls points to a House gain of greater than 40 seats for the Democrats.
- The betting markets: The website PredictIt suggests that there is a greater than 60% chance of a Democratic takeover with a net seat gain in the high 20s most likely. That's similar to what the national factors are suggesting, and it gives Republicans a real chance of holding onto power.
While all of that is may be true in this instant in time, please, Democrats, please, Progressives, do not believe any of it. The only thing that matters is people being able to vote and people going out to vote. PERIOD. And it does not matter how they feel or poll now. It only matters if they will be going out to cast their vote and that their vote gets counted.
I wrote the article "Democrats’ timidity & lack of a bold agenda dims 2018 blue wave hopes" fearing that we were pulling defeat from victory.
Democrats' released their new slogan, "A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Wages, Better Future" which is completely uninspiring and cookie cutter. It says nothing either Republicans or Democrats alike have implied is their goal.
Democrats' continue to fail to see that the country is looking for bold Progressive leadership and policies. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders proved that. It's not hard to postulate that the intersection of Trump and Sanders' voters who did not vote for Hillary, rank and file Democrats, Independents, and Progressive Republicans represent a winning coalition that supports a bold Progressive agenda. ...
Progressive Democrats need to take the reigns of their party and bring it into the 21st Century. It is time for them to take control to start winning again so they can effect policies to move poor, working-class, and middle-class America forward.
In January I pointed out the following in the article "Democrats, prepare for outside forces that could stymie impending blue wave."
The drum beats of the impending blue wave are getting louder. So much so that even the traditional mainstream media are starting to quantify the lead-up. Recently, CNN even led a segment with the graphic that included the words “SINCE TRUMP INAUGURATION: DEM FLIP 34 STATE SEATS, GOP FILP 4.”
But Democrats must not get ahead of themselves. They must do the hard work to keep the momentum. With a dysfunctional GOP that should not be too difficult unless Republicans get a whiff of what sanity could do for many of them in certain districts.
Democrats must be ready for externalities, things that could derail what should surely be a blue wave. In fact, they must pre-empt it.
Buried within the Washington Post article titled "New alarm among Republicans that Democrats could win big this year" there is a paragraph that should concern every American.
"In private conversations, Trump has told advisers that he doesn’t think the 2018 election has to be as bad as others are predicting. He has referenced the 2002 midterms, when George W. Bush and Republicans fared better after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, these people said."
America is poised to give Democrats and Progressives a big win if they believe the policies that they will implement will make their lives better. But to ensure that they believe what we are offering, we must know what we represent. It is defined clearly in the Democratic Platform, and articulate it effectively. We laid out what every Progressive and Democrat must have on the tip of their tongues recently on Politics Done Right in the article "The five issues Democrats and Progressives must push to win 2018 midterms."
Progressives must define their opponents first so that it is them who are on the defensive. Then, tell poor and middle-class America in a district-specific manner, what is in it for them. It must be clear to them what they expect out of voting for Democrats.
- Democrats will fix the health care issue once and for all with a single-payer Medicare for All system.
- Democrats will provide student loan relief.
- Democrats will provide need-based subsidized child care for anyone who wants to work.
- Democrats will decriminalize marijuana and treat drug use as the disease that it is.
- Democrats will make the criminal justice system live up to the "Justice is Blind" motto.
Those five bullet points expressed in different terms will work in every district in America. It appeals to millennials, people of color, all working class people, parents, and every demographic in between. Most importantly these bullet points afford Americans a path to self-sufficiency It frees them from aberrations in the economy that stunts innovation, the inability to start one's business, and the dependency and the enslavement to the corporation. One would hope that every Democrat who gets on Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, HLN, or any other network would steer every topic to these bullet points.
So let's not be buoyed by these CNN utterances or those of any others in the mainstream media. We have a lot of work to do. Trump and his cabal are great at making lemons into lemonade. This thing isn't won until it is. We must talk to people. We must frame the narrative to reach every corner of this country. We do not want just a 50+1 win. We want an explosive victory where we have the numbers to create real change.