Democrats still haven’t learned their lesson.
In the lead up to the 2016 election, the question most Democrats were asking wasn’t whether Hillary Clinton would win, it was by how much would she would win, and whether angry, white, out-of-control Trump supporters would storm the White House in protest like eighteenth-century French peasants looking for King Louis’ head.
That, of course, didn’t happen. In truly remarkable fashion, Donald Trump — despite all his campaign missteps, flip flopping, and politically incorrect and even insulting statements — won the White House, sending liberals everywhere into what can only be properly described as a state of pure insanity. Some liberals smashed windows. Others set fires and shut down city streets.
Then, almost as though it had been conjured up by Hillary Clinton and her attack dogs themselves, emerged a most fortuitous anti-Trump narrative: Russian collusion. For more than a year, the media has obsessed over the possibility someone, anyone at all, close to Trump may have met with Russian-connected “operatives” to coordinate an anti-Clinton campaign the likes of which no presidential candidate could ever overcome.
The theory goes something like this: Without any hope of winning — either because Trump was being blackmailed by the Russians or because he didn’t think his campaign had a prayer with or without the blackmail — the Trump campaign promised to perform favors for the Putin regime in exchange for them hacking powerful Democrats’ email accounts and handing those emails over to WikiLeaks, who then released the damaging emails, which indisputably hurt Clinton’s chances.
Since Trump’s victory, we’ve been told by the media to ignore the numerous factors that led to Clinton’s loss, the evidence suggesting perhaps the Trump campaign didn’t “collude” with Putin, and to ignore the numerous advantages Clinton had that should have led to her victory regardless of the leaked emails.
Ignore that WikiLeaks still vehemently denies they received the emails they leaked from the Russians, we’re told. Ignore that Hillary Clinton was the media darling, and Trump was perhaps the most hated presidential candidate in modern history (from the perspective of the media). Ignore that Trump didn’t even have the full support of his own party. Ignore that the Clinton campaign effectively said “screw you” to many working-class Midwestern communities, and that she didn’t even bother to visit Wisconsin. Ignore that the contents of the scandalous leaked emails appear to be true. Ignore that Hillary Clinton should have been prosecuted for deliberately violating federal laws mandating government officials not be careless with classified information. Ignore that Mrs. Clinton had been caught lying repeatedly about the emails and a slew of other scandals. Ignore that Clinton was a complete catastrophe as secretary of state. Ignore what happened at Benghazi. Ignore that the media largely gave the Clintons a pass, even when multiple women claimed Bill Clinton sexually assaulted them and that Hillary Clinton tried to silence those alleged victims.
Even with all these factors at play on Election Day, the media remains convinced a few Russian hackers and social media bots on Facebook took down the Clinton campaign machine all on its own. It’s utter madness. And the worst part is, Democrats still haven’t learned from their past mistakes.
While the Trump administration and congressional Republicans have cut taxes, reduced regulations, and ushered in a period of strong economic growth, Democrats have done little more than cry “racist!” and “Russia, Russia, Russia!” — once again totally ignoring America’s Heartland and the issues voters in those states care about. If Republicans, as they have often promised, cut government spending programs, replace Obamacare with a market-centered health care system, and stomp out programs that limit individuals’ rights, the economy and optimism for the future would be even better.
Until now, Democrats and much of the establishment media have remained convinced their strategy is working. However, new data show Democrats could be in for another very rude Election Day awakening. As Greg Price, writing for the left-wing Newsweek, recently noted, “five of the 10 Democrats [trying to hold their seats in the U.S. Senate] this fall would lose to a Republican candidate if their races were held today, according to Axios/Survey Monkey polls from the 10 states released Thursday morning.”
“Many of the seats were previously considered the toughest for Democrats to keep hold of, something viewed as a prerequisite if the party is to have a shot at winning back the Senate,” Price added.
Even worse for Democrats, the polls surveyed 17,289 registered voters, not likely voters. Such polls usually favor Democrats, since in many cases more registered Democrats choose not to vote than registered Republicans, especially in midterm elections.
Fundraising figures also indicate Democrats are in much worse shape than some reports have suggested. Although Democrats did perform well in January, their national and congressional fundraising efforts pale in comparison to what Republicans have achieved. According to Federal Election Commission filings, the Republican National Committee’s receipts for February totaled $12.4 million, and the RNC had $40.75 million on hand at the end of that month. The Democratic National Committee received $6.1 million in total receipts in February and only had $7.36 million in cash on hand.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is also trailing well behind its Republican counterpart, although the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee holds an edge over the National Republican Senatorial Committee in cash on hand.
Some have pointed to surveys of the “generic congressional ballot” as proof of Democrats’ strong chances in 2018. The Real Clear Politics average for polls asking respondents which party they’d prefer to see represent their congressional district shows Democrats with an 8.9 percentage point edge, although the two most recent polls only display an advantage of 6 percentage points.
I’m highly skeptical these surveys can accurately predict election results, because in past elections, Democrats almost always perform better in these polls than they do on Election Day with a significant amount of time remaining in the race. For instance, on October 14, less than a month before the 2016 election, which Republicans won handedly, generic congressional polling showed Democrats with a 6.2 percentage point lead. One Reuters survey in October 2016 showed Democrats with a 10 percentage point advantage.
As we’ve seen over and over, many people say they’ll vote for a Democrat and then end up voting for the Republican or not voting at all.
If Democrats really want to challenge Republicans’ control of Congress in 2018, they should spend more time discussing their plans for the future and less time talking about Donald Trump’s sex life and fanaticizing about Russian collusion without presenting any hard evidence to voters.
Justin Haskins is a pro-liberty writer, editor, research fellow, and the editor-in-chief of the New Revere Daily Press. Haskins has been published hundreds of times in major digital and print publications, including The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, Forbes, FoxNews.com, Newsweek, and National Review, among many others. His writing has also been featured or discussed by the White House, The Rush Limbaugh Show, Glenn Beck Radio Program, the Fox News Channel, The New York Times, The Heritage Foundation, Drudge Report, and Newsmax, which named Haskins one of “Top 30 Republicans Under 30” in 2017. He lives in North Carolina and New England with his wife, Dr. Jacquelyn, and his dog Roxy. Follow him on Twitter @JustinTHaskins.