WASHINGTON, August 8, 2014 – An NBC / WSJ / Marist poll conducted a few days ago asked registered voters which party they would prefer to see holding a majority in the House and the Senate. A slight majority responded that they would favor Republicans over Democrats – 43 percent to 41 percent, with 16 percent not sure either way.
The 16 percent will be the bitterly fought over ‘swing’ vote – but in reality, most of the 16 percent will not show up to vote, since 100 percent voting turnout is unheard of in any event.
To add to the intrigue, a plurality of the respondents were Democrats, which means at face value at least, that a percentage of Democrats will cross over and vote for GOP candidates.
The Democrats are losing their own voters over illegal immigration. Although a trend seems to be developing, there is always the possibility that the GOP can find a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
The poll itself is less thought provoking than the assumptions and perspectives that form its basis. The important question is, what does a shifting preference towards the Republican party away from the Democrats mean?
It could be written off as a wholesale rejection of the standard bearer of the Democrat party, Barack Obama, but that would be an oversimplification. What do these registered voters reject about Democrats – and in a reversal of fortune, embrace about Republicans?
A clue exists in how each party promotes and maintains its ‘brand’.
What do voters think the brand of Democrats is? They likely form their impression of Democrats based on what the Democrats say about themselves. Standard themes of the party’s national platform include such perennials as abortion rights, ‘access’ to health care (translated as a government guaranteed benefit), multi-culturalism and diversity, open borders, promotion of labor unionism, climate change, a larger role of the federal government in education and the inherent role of government at all levels as the manager of problem solving in society.
None of these are exclusive interpretations of the Democratic party. You won’t find a single Democrat that disavows any of it. The cherry on top of everything is the claim that Democrats are the “party of the little guy”, aka, the working man and the Middle Class.
If voters are moving away from ostensible Democratic ‘values’, there must be a number of particulars in the above litany that the electorate is souring on. Obvious among them are open borders.