Difficult Week for Democrats as Disaffected Women and Blacks Drive Favorability Down to 1984 Lows October 17, 2014 Vol. VII, No. 26 10:13 am Women and Blacks Down on Democratic Party: According to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted October 9-12, 2014, the Democratic Party has the worst Favorable (39%) to Unfavorable (51%)
Difficult Week for Democrats as Disaffected Women and Blacks Drive Favorability Down to 1984 Lows
October 17, 2014 Vol. VII, No. 26 10:13 am
Women and Blacks Down on Democratic Party: According to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted October 9-12, 2014, the Democratic Party has the worst Favorable (39%) to Unfavorable (51%) impression among Americans since 1984. What is most surprising, is that the downward spiral is driven by the disaffection of women and Black voters.
- Among African-Americans, the positive image of the Democratic Party has declined by 17 points (82% to 65%) since August
- Among women, the positive image of the Democratic Party has declined by 13 points (from 54% to 41%) since August
Democrats were already struggling against midterm election year odds of low turnout among their most loyal constituencies. Now, a dramatic disaffection of their most loyal constituencies.
As to what is behind the loss of favor for Democratic leadership? According to Gallup, voters simply trust Republicans more than Democrats to handle the most important problems of the day like jobs and the economy, ISIS, foreign affairs, the federal budget deficit, and the way government works. The only top issue voters prefer Democrats to manage is equal pay for women.
Granted, Republicans are also under water with Americans, with only 33% having a favorable impression and 56% having an unfavorable impression. However, polls have consistently shown that they are far more enthusiastic about voting this November. Conversely, an October 9, 2014 analysis by Aaron Blake with the Washington Post shows interest in this election among Democrats lowest since 1998.
Obama’s Job Approval “Lowest Ever” Per Washington Post/ABC News
The Washington Post/ABC News poll, conducted October 9-12, shows that Pres. Obama continues to be a drag on vulnerable Democrats:
- Overall approval rating of 40% is the lowest ever
- Among independent voters, Obama’s job approval is only 33%
- Only 29% approve of Obama’s handling of immigration
- 44% approve of his handling of the economy; 51% disapprove
- Only 35% approve of Obama’s handling of the Islamic State insurgents
High Point Poll: On Monday, October 13, 2014, the High Point University Poll showed the North Carolina U.S. Senate race tied among likely voters at 40% each. As with national polls, Obama’s job approval in North Carolina is under water. Senator Hagan’s is even worse:
- Kay Hagan’s job approval was 35%; 54% disapprove (19 points underwater)
- Obama’s job approval was 40%; 55% disapprove (15 points underwater)
- Thom Tillis’ job approval was 32%; 46% disapprove (14 points underwater)
Turnout Implications of Recent North Carolina Federal Court Decisions
Same-Sex Marriage: The political value for Thom Tillis of last week’s federal judicial ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in North Carolina, and this week’s federal judicial ruling giving him and NC Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger the right to intervene in an appeal, is best understood in the context of how important religion is in the Old North State.
According to Gallup’s analysis of how voters in each state compare to other states on issues like politics, the economy and religion, North Carolina has the 9th highest “Very Religious” population in the nation at 49.5%, well above the national average of 41.4%. That means:
- Same-sex court rulings have galvanized social conservatives behind Thom Tillis
- Rulings are likely to drive up turnout among conservatives offended by same-sex weddings, and by those threatened by the power of one federal judge, appointed by President Obama, to overturn a state constitutional amendment
GOP Elections Law: The political value for Thom Tillis of last week’s 7-2 U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing the new Republican-crafted elections law is as follows:
- 7-2 ruling defuses the explosive argument that GOP is dragging the state back to the Jim Crow era, as two liberal Justices joined in ruling against the Moral Monday argument
- 7-2 ruling deflates the momentum created by Moral Monday over GOP elections law
- 7-2 ruling means no straight-party voting, likely to hurt Democrats more than the GOP
Conclusion: The daily news during the week of October 13-17, 2014, has been so consistently negative for Democrats that it just may cause the political momentum to shift to the Republicans for the remainder of the campaign. The apparent momentum shift is why the National Senatorial Campaign Committee has invested an additional $6 million in North Carolina on Tillis’ behalf.
Due to midterm election year turnout history, there is high likelihood for low turnout among critical Democratic constituencies like African-Americans, young voters and single women. If the disaffection among African-Americans and women for the Democratic Party, as seen in the Washington Post/ABC News Poll, continues through Election Day, that trend plus the recent federal court decisions on same-sex marriage and GOP elections law reforms will all come together to make a good year for North Carolina Republicans at all levels … and Tillis will win.
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John N. Davis