Last week, Mike Garcia, the Republican candidate in California’s 25th congressional district special election, pulled off an underreported feat by winning his race by 10 points over his Democrat opponent, State Assemblywoman Christy Smith.
Under normal circumstances, the local politics of a congressional special election on the opposite side of the country would not matter. There were some bizarre circumstances that forced voters in CA-25 to go to the polls, which can be blamed on the behavior of the seat’s previous occupant, U.S. Rep. Katie Hill, D-Calif.
However, a 10-point win for a Republican in a Democrat-leaning district in California is counterintuitive to the narrative thrust upon the public by the media, and it also defies other historical norms.
We are told President Donald Trump is an inept, bumbling corrupt rube. It is perfectly fine to have discussions about the shortcomings of the president of the United States. However, does there ever come the point when Democrats realize that a coordinated public relations campaign strung out over several years against Trump is not working?
The California special election should have been the alarm. But it was not.
What is underway is not working. The 2018 midterm elections should have been the first sign. Democrats picked up control of the House, but they lost two seats in the U.S. Senate. If Donald Trump were as evil and terrible as we are told, Bill Nelson in Florida and Claire McCaskill in Missouri should still be U.S. Senators.
The “big bad orange man in the White House must go” narrative is not as compelling as it seems it should be. If he is so harmful to the point it means impeachment, why are Democrats not having stronger outcomes at this point?
Yet, they persist.
What perhaps has made it worse for Democrats in this election cycle are the measures taken by Democrat officeholders around the country in response to COVID-19.
Let’s give our politicians the benefit of assuming they are trying to do the right thing. There is no reason to doubt that. The perception is that Americans, many of whom have had no interaction with the virus — and it seems like the threat is thousands of miles away — are being punished for something they had no control over.
Voters are being told, “You don’t know what is good for you. We don’t trust you to do the right things to protect yourself from the coronavirus. Therefore, we require you to stay at home.”
How do you suppose that is going to work out?
We saw it in Alabama. It inspires protests. You have the odd phenomenon of a Tea Party-esque revolt against a Republican governor.
With double-digit unemployment, a battered stock market and out-of-control government expenditures, the outlook for Republicans and Donald Trump should be toast. But it is not.
Trump or any Republican will always be on the losing side of a national poll of “registered voters,” which seems to be the preferred metric of our media to emphasize what they probably see as Trump’s woeful leadership.
Don’t be fooled by that. We do not elect presidents by popular vote. Also, registered voter polls are never an accurate sample of the electorate. Until there is compulsory voting in America, they are meaningless; maybe they offer some insight into trends.
A lot of politics is understanding human behavior. First off, people do not want to be told what to do. Is there any reason to think voters would gravitate to the Democratic Party, where significant acts by a centralized federal government are offered as solutions?
Voters — and dare I say in some cases high-minded, left-leaning voters — think there was an overreach by the government. Why would we think the mood of the country outside of population centers that were going for Democrats anyway, vote for more government?
Secondly, the mood of the country is for optimism. That has been the case not only in the coronavirus-era of American politics, but in many election cycles before this.
“Make America Great Again” might imply America was not great at the time, but it is forward-looking and optimistic. Trump is elected president.
“Hope and Change” is platitudinous, but hope is an American ideal. We always hope for better days and do not always assume the worst. Obama is elected president.
Disagree vociferously with Trump if you must, but one thing he does in his task force press briefings is present with an optimistic disposition. To counter that, Trump’s opponents dismiss optimism as a way to call into question his leadership.
What Trump has done, either by luck or on purpose, is to force his rivals to be pessimistic and negative.
“Have you seen this new drug hydroxychloroquine? I think it has real promise.”
“It will never work. We are all going to die. Stay at home. We’re all in this together … apart!”
Which message do you think most people will vote for in November?
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