Posts tagged with "2018 midterm elections"

Democrats are feeling it for the ‘Big O,’ as he endorses 81 midterm candidates

August 3, 2018

He’s back—and Democrats couldn’t be any more blissful: Former President Barack Obama has returned to the political stage, endorsing 81 of his party’s candidates for the crucial midterm elections.

According to an August 1 report by CBS News, the list includes 20 individuals who served in the Obama administration and are heeding words of advice the former president shared in his 2016 farewell address to the nation, when he encouraged Americans to “grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself.”

The list of alums includes Richard Cordray, the former head of the now all-but-defunct Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, who is running for governor of Ohio; Colin Allred, a former Justice Department official now running for Congress in a Dallas-area swing seat; Ammar Campa-Najjar, a former Labor Department official now running an upstart campaign to defeat Representative Duncan Hunter in California’s 50th District; and Buffy Wicks, a former 2008 and 2012 Obama campaign aide seeking a California Assembly seat.

Overall, Obama has endorsed candidates running for offices ranging from governor to secretary of state and state auditor, CBS says.. The list also includes Gavin Newsom, the Democratic candidate for California governor; Georgia’s Stacey Abrams, who is seeking to make history as the first black woman elected governor in any state; Colorado gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis; and J.B. Pritzker, a longtime donor and Obama family friend who is running for Illinois governor.

Obama called his choices “a wide and impressive array of Democratic candidates – leaders as diverse, patriotic, and big-hearted as the America they’re running to represent.”

“I’m confident that, together, they’ll strengthen this country we love by restoring opportunity that’s broadly shared, repairing our alliances and standing in the world, and upholding our fundamental commitment to justice, fairness, responsibility, and the rule of law,” Obama added. “But first, they need our votes – and I’m eager to make the case for why Democratic candidates deserve our votes this fall.”

The former president’s office did not immediately announce plans to campaign with the candidates he endorsed, but he vowed to do so in his statement. He has previously endorsed Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California); and Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), one of the earliest supporters of his 2008 presidential bid who faces a difficult reelection fight.

Of the 81 candidates, 48 are women, 22 are minorities, and three are openly gay or transgender. For a full list, see the CBS News site.

Research contact: @edokeefe

Dislike of Trump won’t drive voters to the polls in 2018

April 25, 2018

Like many other things, voting is a habit—and it is one that millions of Americans will never pick up. In fact, many U.S. adults who could cast their ballots stay home during every election. And the 2018 midterms are not likely to be much different, despite broad disapproval of President Donald Trump and discontent with the direction of the country, based on findings of a poll conducted by USA Today/Suffolk University and released on April 23.

Those who regularly skip a trip to the polls cite a broad array of factors driving their lack of participation. Some say they don’t trust politicians, or they don’t think their vote will change anything, the pollsters note. Others say the electoral choices are uninspiring—or they simply don’t have the time and transport to get to their local polling place.

In a nationwide survey of 800 infrequent or unregistered voters, 56% of poll respondents said they felt the country was on the wrong track and nearly 55% rated Trump unfavorably. Yet 83% of those polled said they are “not very likely” or “not at all likely” to vote in 2018.

Fifteen percent of unregistered voters said their vote “doesn’t count” or “won’t make a difference.” Nine percent of registered voters said the same.

Nearly 63% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: “I don’t pay much attention to politics because nothing ever gets done – it’s a bunch of empty promises.” And 68% agreed or strongly agreed with this sentiment: “I don’t pay much attention to politics because it is so corrupt.”

“Even if there is a surge in turnout, a majority of America will not vote in November,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. “It’s a chilling story to tell. These people don’t vote. They could hate Trump, but they could still not vote because they hate political parties, they hate Democrats, they hate the bureaucracy, they hate the infighting, the negativity—all of that.”

The voter turnout rate for midterm elections is reliably lower than for presidential elections. In 2014, only 36% of eligible voters actually voted, while 144 million stayed home,  according to data from the U.S. Election Project.

The survey results suggest that former President Obama is the type of inspirational candidate that persuades infrequent voters to vote, Paleologos said.

“Barack Obama’s strong support in the 2008 and 2012 elections brought voters of all races to the polls, including white voters,” Paleologos said. “When Obama was no longer on the ballot, some of these voters just walked away. Democrats can’t underestimate the value of a young, inspirational nominee.”

Obama was one of several names that came up when respondents were asked who would “definitely” motivate them to register and vote in a presidential election. The top responses were Bernie Sanders (7%), Joe Biden (4%), Donald Trump (4%) and Michelle Obama (4%).

Research contact: @usatoday

Voter concerns could sweep GOP out at midterms in ‘blue tsunami’

April 9, 2018

At a press conference on April 4, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he feared the Republicans would be swept by the Democrats in the midterms—noting, “We know the wind is going to be in our face. We don’t know whether it’s going to be a Category 3, 4, or 5,” according to a report by The Washington Times.

He just might be right: Heading into the midterm elections, American voters say they are more focused on healthcare than on any other political point of contention, based on findings of a HuffPost/YouGov poll released on April 6. And a vote for better healthcare, even the GOP concedes, would be a vote for the Democrats.

Asked to select their top two issues from a list in the recently conducted poll, 30% of 872 registered voters picked healthcare as most important.

The researchers reported that “an unusual trio of issues tied for second place,”with each named by about 25% of voters as a top priority—the economy, which perpetually ranks as a top campaign topic; but also gun policies, which rarely garner that level of attention; and immigration, a mainstay of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

With the caveat that, this far ahead of the election, there’s still plenty of time for campaign narratives to develop and change, if healthcare does play a prominent role , it would give an advantage to Democrats.

Healthcare, which, the researchers note, “likely contributed to Democrats’ midterm shellacking in 2010,” is now an issue they feel free to embrace. For the first election cycle since its passage, a majority of the public now approves of President Obama’s signature healthcare law, and Democrats enjoy a sizable advantage over the GOP on handling related issues

The poll also suggests that gun issues, which have long ranked low on Americans’ priority lists, are continuing to draw heightened attention in the wake of the Parkland, Florida mass shooting, especially among proponents of gun control.

By contrast, the economy — one of the relatively few bright spots for the GOP—remains a top issue, but isn’t overwhelmingly at the front of public opinion the way it was in past elections. And tax reform, which Republicans had hoped would serve as a midterm asset, has stalled out in popularity and doesn’t appear to be at the top of voters’ minds.

The survey also looked at which issues each party is perceived as focusing mostly on. In the case of the Democratic Party, that’s guns, followed by Trump’s record. In the case of the GOP, it’s taxes, immigration, and the economy.

Nearly 70% of voters say they are somewhat closely following news about the midterms and 30% say that they’re paying very close attention. Forty percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, but just 23%t of Republican and Republican-leaning voters, say they’re already paying very close attention.

Research contact: @aedwardslevy