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Democrats’ “embrace of progressivism” costly with Independents

by | Oct 1, 2019

By Dave Andrusko

It was only by happenstance but, wow, when read back-to-back, these two headlines speaks volumes about 2020. BTW, both are from publications with decidedly pro-abortion proclivities.

The first was from the New York Times: “What Democrats Could Lose With Their Left Turn: A survey experiment shows that some independents are already being turned off.”

The second was from Vice: “The Ban on Abortion for Low-Income People Is Now a Litmus Test for Congress: People have started calling out Democratic members of Congress for supporting the Hyde Amendment.”

To take the second item first….For newcomers to NRL News Today and/or random passers-by, the Hyde Amendments prevents almost all federal dollars—your dollars—from paying for abortion. Solid majority support for the amendment has been, is, and will, in all likelihood, remain strong.

Support for the Hyde Amendment is precisely the kind of buffer that pro-abortion Democrats have used for years against the charge they are uniformly pro-abortion. In June, when former Vice President Biden flipped, it means that all the pro-abortion Democrats running to compete with pro-life Donald Trump have embraced the Abortion Lobby’s poison pill.

So what did this research reported on by Alexander Agadjanian in the Times tell us? He begins with the obvious:

One defining feature of the Democratic primary so far has been the party’s leftward turn. In recent debates, candidates have supported policies like offering health insurance to undocumented immigrants, and commenters have warned about the potential electoral penalty of repelling persuadable voters.

The details of how the experiment need not delay us. Suffice it to say, “The experiment’s procedure was simple. A random half of participants read a news snippet illustrating the leftward shift, while the other half read about unrelated topics, such as the schedule of election dates.” Then this random sample was asked how they would vote.

Here’s the bottom line:

The embrace of progressivism solidifies support among Democratic survey respondents when thinking about the 2020 general election. But it repels independents, with a negative effect that is stronger and clearer than the signs of enthusiasm generated among Democrats.

To give specific numbers, Agadjanian tells us

  • “[T]he independents who could ultimately tilt things in Mr. Trump’s favor became six percentage points less likely to vote Democratic after reading about the leftward turn compared with the independents who had read the innocuous content.”
  • This is (to a limited extent) counterbalanced by Democrats who “moved more emphatically in support (by three points on a ‘strength of consideration’ scale). ”

What does this tell us? On the one hand, Agadjanian says the latter “suggests the possibility of limiting future defections among Democrats.”

But, on the other hand, Agadjanian writes,

At the same time, playing to the Democratic base seems to have its limits, with no evidence suggestive of mobilization potential. Democrats who read about the leftward positions did not indicate they were more motivated to vote and campaign for the eventual nominee than those who hadn’t read about them.

The results suggest a double-edged sword, but with one clearly sharper side: the potential of producing Republican gains among a key swing group. [Underlining mine]

The experiment took place “over the course of a week in mid-August, after the first two Democratic debates” and “was administered to 3,973 Americans on the online panel of the Democratic data firm Civis Analytics.”

This is neither a non-partisan data firm nor a Republican data firm, so you can’t say there was an incentive to prove that “embrace of progressivism” hurts Democrats running for President. If anything, just the opposite is true.

We are over a year out from the 2020 presidential election so clearly much can and will change. What is different than any election I can recall is that there is zero indication whomever is the Democrats’ presidential nominee will tack to the middle. Why?

The party is now in thrall to its most radical fringe. Even if the eventual nominee would like to pretend he or she has “modified” their positions, “party activists” (as reporters like to call them) would never allow it. Besides many of them are genuine True Believers. Why would they back down?

Moreover here is absolutely no give in the party’s embrace of abortion on demand paid for by taxpayers. It is a linchpin for the Democrat coalition and it is non-negotiable.

The Abortion Lobby continues to pretend that if taxpayer funded abortion is packaged right, it’ll be a winner. That is enough to give delusions of grandeur a bad name.

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Categories: Politics
Tags: Democrats