How the Democrats Defeated Themselves

2014_Senate_election_results_mapNew Gallup polling on party favorability should be useful reading for leaders of the Democratic Party who are still in denial about the meaning of the Republican sweep in the midterm elections.

The percentage of Americans giving the Democratic Party a favorable rating is at an all-time low — 36 percent. It now stands below the current 42 percent favorable rating of the Republican Party.

Notable is that Democrats themselves are increasingly unhappy with their own party.

The 81 percent of Democrats who now give a favorable rating to their own party is 14 points below the 95 percent in December 2012.

Also of note are Independents. Favorability rating of the Democratic Party by Independents now stands at 25 percent, compared to 42 percent in December 2012. A Gallup poll published at the beginning of this year showed the percentage of Americans identifying as Independent at a record high 42 percent.

But of particular interest is how much Democrats’ favorability tanked in the short period from right before the election until now. Democrat favorability in October stood at 42 percent compared to the current 36 percent.

What happened?

According to polls, in October Americans said that the economy was the most important issue and today they still say the economy is the most important issue.

The current rate of unemployment remains above where it was before the recession began in 2008, as is the case with the overall percentage of Americans currently working.

But the economic news is improving, although much more slowly than anyone would prefer.

So why the big drop in Democrat approval in just one month?

I think a lot has to do with the message the Democratic Party delivered nationwide in this election.

For lack of something of substance to tell the American people, Democrats ran a campaign of hate, blame and division.

Not only did this not help win votes for Democrats, it lowered Americans’ esteem for the Democratic Party.

Unfortunately, the message that your life is not in your own hands, that you have less because someone else has more, and that only the government can make your life better has always been center stage of the Democratic Party.

But this time it was particularly vicious and vacuous with no pretense of substance. “You don’t have because they have and they don’t want you to have.” This, combined with suggestions that Republicans are racists, was the best Democrats had to offer.

Data from the Census bureau as of 2013, compiled by economist and blogger Mark Perry, boldly speaks to what really lies behind income inequality in America.

Comparing households with median income in the highest fifth of the country to the lowest fifth, what do we find?

Seventy-seven percent of households in the highest fifth are headed by married couples compared to 16 percent of those in the lowest fifth. Twenty-three percent of those in the highest fifth are single-parent homes or singles, compared to 84 percent in the lowest fifth.

And 65 percent of those in the highest fifth had a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 13.5 percent in the lowest fifth.

Unfortunately, those in the lowest fifth are also disproportionately minorities. Exactly those who Democrats targeted in their campaign to inspire hate and division.

Polls also show that after the economy, dissatisfaction with government is the next thing bothering Americans.

Government must get out of the way so the economy can grow and create conditions where individuals can best take advantage of opportunities.

For Americans of every background, this begins with getting married, having children in the framework of marriage and getting an education.

Freedom and personal responsibility define America’s future, not blame and division. Democrats are selling the latter and that’s why they defeated themselves so badly.

Photo credit: “2014 Senate election results map” by File:2014 Senate election map.svg: See below.This work: Magog the Ogre (talk) (contribs) – This file was derived from:2014 Senate election map.svg. Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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