How badly did Democrats size up the electorate and what issues most influenced their vote?
Catastrophically. After the Supreme Court’s Dobbs abortion decision, Democrats decided they should emphasize the overturning of Roe v. Wade and concerns about gun violence and threats to democracy from the GOP as their key issues. It turns out that was why Democrats saw this summer was a Blue Mirage.
Renewed inflation concerns, falling 401k retirement plans along with crime and immigration have taken center stage. But Democrats continued to hammer their AGD agenda – abortion, guns, and democracy to the exclusion of almost all other issues. (See graphic). In short, the public has increasingly demanded real action on issues that Democrats have little to say about other than to change the subject.
The New Yorker magazine says Democratic consultants report that “as much sixty percent of Democratic poll respondents this summer were so-called super voters, those who vote in every single election. “But this blinkered view “created an informational doom loop, where Democratic candidates get told, You should talk about January 6th, democracy being on the ballot, trans rights,’ ”one consultant said, “because their super primary voters are picking up the phone and telling them this is what they care about.”
If Democrats indeed take a “whacking” on Tuesday night, it will be attributable in large part to their complete inability to read American public opinion, and what voters really cared about.