January 18, 2022

Poll: US Political Party Preference Shifted Greatly in 2021

A new Gallup poll found that Americans’ political preferences shifted significantly from Democratic to Republican last year.

In the first quarter of last year, 49% of Americans said they identified as a Democrat or a lean-Democratic independent, while 40% said they were a Republican or a lean-Republican independent. This marked the largest lead Democrats had over the GOP since 2012.

But the percentage of respondents who identified with the left started to fall, with more people beginning to align themselves with the right.

In the second quarter, while the percentage of Americans who identified as Democrats or lean-Democratic independents held steady at 49%, more Americans said they were Republicans or lean-Republican independents, increasing to 43%.

The third quarter marked a 4-point drop for Democrats, falling to 45%, while Republicans climbed to 44%.

By the fourth quarter of 2021, more Americans said they identified with the right than the left, 47% to 42%.

However, Gallup noted that the GOP’s advantage seems to be tapering off. Currently, Republicans have a 2 percentage point lead over the Democrats, 46% to 44%.

Gallup polled 12,000 randomly sampled U.S. adults throughout 2021. The margin of sampling error is 1 percentage point.


U.S. Political Party Preferences Shifted Greatly During 2021

January 10, 2022

Dems Quietly Explore Banning Trump From Office

According to a report from The Hill, some Democrats have been quietly exploring if they could permanently prevent former President Donald Trump from holding office again, using a post-Civil War amendment.

After the January 6 Capitol riot, calls for Congress to bar Trump from office peaked and have since dwindled. But some are still discussing potentially applying Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

“If anything, the idea has waxed and waned,” Laurence Tribe, a constitutional expert at Harvard Law School, told the outlet. “I hear it being raised with considerable frequency these days both by media commentators and by members of Congress and their staffs, some of whom have sought my advice on how to implement Section 3.” 

The Hill reported, “around a dozen Democratic lawmakers have spoken either publicly or privately over the last year about how Section 3 of the 14th Amendment might apply.”

Recent inquiries include the offices of Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL).

“I continue to explore all legal paths to ensure that the people who tried to subvert our democracy are not in charge of it,” Wasserman Schultz told the outlet.

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment says those who “have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same” are disqualified from holding office in the future.

“The point is that the constitutional purpose is clear, to keep people exactly like Donald Trump and other traitors to the union from holding public office,” Raskin told ABC News on February 17, 2021. Raskin, a former constitutional law professor, sits on the January 6 House Select Committee.

From The Hill‘s report:

Most constitutional scholars who spoke to The Hill think the provision is not “self-executing.” In practical terms, that means applying Section 3 to Trump would require an additional step by lawmakers to make the 14th Amendment operative. 

Some scholars believe that Congress, by a simple majority in both chambers, could act on its own to find Trump engaged in insurrection, which would implicate the constitutional provision. Under the 14th Amendment, restoring Trump’s eligibility would then require a supermajority vote. 

Other experts, like Tribe of Harvard, say Congress would need to go further, either by establishing a neutral fact-finding body to determine whether Trump engaged in insurrection under Section 3, or assigning that fact-finding role to a federal court.

Whether a push to use the 14th Amendment to disqualify Trump gains traction may depend on what the House panel ultimately determines about his involvement in the incident, Tribe said.

“Once that committee makes clear, as I trust it will, that what took place was indeed an insurrection that triggers Section 3 of the 14th Amendment and that supports criminal prosecution by DOJ of those responsible, it is difficult to imagine this not becoming a logical next step,” Tribe said. 


Democrats quietly explore barring Trump from office over Jan. 6 

December 29, 2021

Democrats Worry Over Their Grip on Hispanic Voters

Democrats are concerned that their grip on the support of Hispanic voters is loosening.

A recent Wall Street Journal poll showed that Hispanic voters are evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, potentially spelling disaster for the Democratic Party in the upcoming midterm elections.

“Do I think that Democrats’ heads should be on fire over this issue? Yeah, I do. I think that their head should be on fire over this issue every day regardless of what polls say,” said Ivan Zapien, Democratic lobbyist and former executive director at the Hispanic Leadership Council of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

The Journal’s poll found that only 44% of Hispanic voters would cast their ballot for Biden if the 2024 election were held today. Comparatively, 43% said they would vote for former President Donald Trump.

“I don’t think that there’s a magic wand or a particular issue that is going to assure you some sort of long-term fidelity by ‘the Hispanic vote.’ Or even segments of the Hispanic vote,” Zapien said. “The party that spends the most time, energy and resources communicating with them, where they are, is going to have the momentum.” 

Lucas Acosta, coalitions director and senior spokesman at the DNC, argued that the Biden administration has delivered for Latino families.

“In the coming year, Democrats will continue to make the case to Latinos that while President Biden has focused on improving their lives, Republicans have consistently tried to stand in the way,” Acosta said.


Democrats worry their grip on Hispanic vote is loosening

December 23, 2021

Democrats Set To Play Hardball with Manchin

Senate Democrats appear to be bracing for a hardball approach to pressuring Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to support President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Manchin will have to repeatedly defend his opposition to popular programs, including an enhanced child tax credit, lower Medicare prescription drug prices, and subsidies for child care costs.

Democratic aides say the West Virginia senator can expect tougher treatment from Schumer and other lawmakers under new pressure from the base for failing to follow through on the “big bold” agenda they promised earlier this year.

“He has had absolutely no pressure,” said one Democratic aide, citing Manchin’s friendly meetings at the White House and Biden’s home in Delaware this fall.

“Biden’s got to grab him by the lapels and say, ‘Listen, this ends now,'” the aide added, warning there’s little chance of passing another piece of major legislation before the 2022 midterms if Build Back Better fails.

“He’s going to blow up the president’s agenda, so I think you have to play hardball, but there are different ways to play hardball,” said Steve Jarding, a Democratic strategist.

“He’s making them look ineffective,” Jarding added.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), a regular critic of Manchin’s, called his refusal to support Build Back Better “an egregious breach of the trust of the president.”

“Of course, we have every right to be furious with Joe Manchin but it’s really up to leadership in the Democratic Party who made the decision to get us to this juncture and how we’re going to move forward and I think right now that the Democratic leadership as a very large number of tools at their disposal,” she said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

“And it’s really about time that we take the kid gloves off,” Ocasio-Cortez added.


Democrats set to play hardball with Manchin

December 21, 2021

This Is a Real F—king Problem’: Vulnerable Democrats Worried About Midterms

House Democrats vulnerable in the upcoming 2022 midterm elections are worried about their chances, alleging that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s strategy is hurting their reelection chances more than it’s helping.

Six members of the DCCC recently vented their frustrations to POLITICO under the condition of anonymity.

“This is a real f—king problem,” one member said.

According to the outlet, their complaints fell into three categories.

1. Focusing on the wrong issues

The overall consensus was there’s been too much focus on former President Donald Trump and not enough on “pocketbook issues.” Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe relied heavily on anti-Trump rhetoric and lost the gubernatorial race. But DCCC Chair Sean Patrick Maloney (N.Y.) is still leaning into the ineffective strategy.

“This is crazy to me that the DCCC is rolling out a playbook that they know doesn’t work and that they encouraged people in 2018 not to use,” said the member who used the f-word to describe the situation.

Additionally, vulnerable Democrats think their party should steer clear of abortion as a campaign issue.

“We should leave it up to Planned Parenthood and all the reproductive organizations to get in there and support candidates that are pro-choice and leave it at that,” the pro-choice member said. “I’m not going to go out there and start bashing people for being pro-life. It would be a big mistake in my district.”

2. Cornering them on policy

According to POLITICO’s Rachael Bade:

Former DCCC Chair Cheri Bustos (Ill.), who represented a Trump district, was known for pushing back on leadership in private in order to protect vulnerable members from tough votes. But Maloney has taken the opposite tack: In August, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi was trying to corral moderates to vote for a $3.5 trillion budget, the DCCC infuriated members by threatening to withhold campaign money from them if they opposed the resolution. (The DCCC denied this.)

Maloney continued to side with leadership this fall when vulnerable members wanted Pelosi to allow a standalone vote on the infrastructure bill. He went after Rep. Josh Gottheimer (N.J.) on Twitter for criticizing Pelosi for “breach[ing] her firm, public commitment” to do so.

Another member said outside liberal groups spent millions of dollars on ads pressuring at-risk House Democrats to support Build Back Better in the fall. The members “pleaded” with the DCCC to get the groups to ease up, but they refused. POLITICO noted that the committee says it’s illegal for them to tell an outside group how to spend money.

3. General problems with the DCCC chair

“What’s problematic is not only is he pushing the wrong strategy. … The biggest problem is that he’s attacking front-line members for taking a different perspective,” the first lawmaker said. “If you want to win purple and red seats, you have to distance yourself from other Democrats. He is a part of this ‘party purity’ march that is just going to ensure that we are deep in the minority.”

Several Democrats suspect that Maloney is trying to leverage his position to climb the political ladder at their expense.

“I think Sean Patrick’s ‘leadership’ — and please use air quotes on that — at the DCCC is the reason why we should not have elected colleagues running that organization,” the first member said. “Because it’s not about protecting the majority; it’s about Sean Patrick Maloney. … We’ve got a vanity project.”

The DCCC has denied the allegations against Maloney.

“We agree completely, this election will be won on our record of results, not by talking about Trump,” said DCCC spokesperson Chris Hayden. “That’s why Chairman Maloney has been fighting like hell to pass the president’s transformative agenda, which enjoys supermajority support in swing districts.”


Vulnerable House Dems to DCCC: You’re jeopardizing our reelection

November 27, 2021

The Democratic Party Is Having an Identity Crisis

After the Democratic Party was stunned by their loss in the Virginia governor’s race, strategists examined what went wrong to understand the scope of the party’s poor prospects nationwide next year.

David Siders of Politico writes: “What they discovered, largely through focus groups and polling, was even worse than expected. The problems cut far deeper than the failings of their gubernatorial nominee, Terry McAuliffe, or President Joe Biden’s flagging approval ratings. Rather, the Democratic Party’s entire brand was a wreck.”

“Voters couldn’t name anything that Democrats had done, except a few who said we passed the infrastructure bill,” the left-wing group Third Way said in a report on focus groups they ran in Virginia.

According to the report, most of the voters “could not articulate what Democrats stand for. They could also not say what they are doing in Washington, besides fighting.”

Even after the House passed the massive social spending package recently, one Democratic strategist said, “Too late. We’re f—ed.”

“It’s not great news. Any [focus group] report that starts out, ‘Our weak national brand left us vulnerable’ is not great news,” Third Way’s Matt Bennett said.

Nevada-based Democratic consultant Megan Jones said her party is “doing a ton of stuff” but “not communicating it well.”

Jones said a family member recently told her that “Build Back Better,” Biden’s legislative agenda, “sounds like a f—ing fitness plan.”

“Nobody knows what it is,” she added.


The Democratic brand is broken. The infrastructure bill isn’t fixing it.

November 6, 2021

Political strategist blames ‘stupid wokeness’ for Dem losses [video]

Democratic political strategist James Carville said “stupid wokeness” is to blame for his party’s recent losses and weak performance in state elections.

Carville’s comments came during an appearance on PBS NewsHour when host Judy Woodruff asked Carville what went wrong for the Democratic Party in the Virginia gubernatorial race between Glenn Youngkin and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

“What went wrong is just stupid wokeness. Don’t just look at Virginia and New Jersey. Look at Long Island, look at Buffalo, look at Minneapolis, even look at Seattle, Wash. I mean, this ‘defund the police’ lunacy, this take Abraham Lincoln’s name off of schools. I mean that — people see that,” Carville said.

“It’s just really — has a suppressive effect all across the country on Democrats. Some of these people need to go to a ‘woke’ detox center or something,” he added. “They’re expressing a language that people just don’t use, and there’s backlash and a frustration at that.”

Carville said that Youngkin, who never ran any ads against President Joe Biden, let Democrats “pull the pin and watch the grenade go off.”


Carville blames ‘stupid wokeness’ for Democratic losses

October 28, 2021

Democrats infighting amid stalled bills: ‘It’s the effing progressives’

President Joe Biden told Congressional Democrats that he wanted an agreement on the provisions of the reconciliation bill and to sign the infrastructure bill before he leaves for an international trip on Thursday. However, it looks as though that may be a problem as moderate and progressive Democrats continue to butt heads.

“Here’s the thing,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) said. “The president looked at us in the eye and he said, ‘I need this before I go represent the United States in Glasgow.”

On Tuesday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said they could be “hours” away from a deal, although one did not come. “We’re not doing everything today,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.VA.) said Wednesday.

“It’s the effing progressives,” one moderate Democrat reportedly told Fox News.

However, progressive Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) blamed the moderates.

“It seems to me almost every sensible progressive revenue option that the President wants, that the American people want, that I want, seems to be sabotaged,” Sanders said.


Democrats explode in frustration over stalled reconciliation spending spree: ‘It’s the effing progressives’

October 1, 2021

Democratic civil war heats up

The rift between progressive and moderate Congressional Democrats continues to heat up amid ongoing tensions stemming from the budget reconciliation package.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.VA) announced that he wouldn’t support any bill that exceeds a budget of $1.5 trillion, effectively serving the rest of the Democrats with a rude awakening given the $3.5 trillion goal set by the Senate- and House-passed budgets.

The timing of his announcement, along with his comment dismissing the lofty spending plans as “the definition of fiscal insanity.”

“Inaction is insanity. Not willing to negotiate in good faith is insanity. Not fighting to have the critical investments that are needed is insanity. Trying to kill your party’s agenda is insanity,” Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) said.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), the chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, accused Manchin, along with centrist Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), of “blocking the president’s agenda, the Democratic agenda that we ran on.”

Manchin doubled down on the division, saying that he has never been a “liberal.”

“For them to get theirs, elect more liberals,” he said, noting, “I’ve never been a liberal in any way, shape or form.”


Manchin throws down gauntlet with progressives

September 26, 2021

House Democrats vote to establish federal right to abortion

The House passed a measure that would establish the right to have an abortion under federal law.

The legislation, known as the Women’s Health Protection Act, passed with a vote of 218-211. It would guarantee the right to abortion access and ensure providers would be permitted to perform the procedure.

The vote comes as a controversial Texas law sparked renewed debate over the issue across the nation.

However, the measure is unlikely to pass in the Senate, as it would require the support of at least 10 Republicans.

“I support codifying Roe. Unfortunately, the bill … goes way beyond that. It would severely weaken the conscious exceptions that are in the current law,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who is pro-choice.


House passes legislation protecting the right to an abortion, but bill faces unlikely prospects in the Senate

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