RS: Democrats Start To Show Early Signs of Panic About 2016
Fear and Loathing in Hillaryland
To all outward appearances, Democrats and liberal-progressive pundits are confident to the point of arrogant, gloating certainty about the 2016 presidential election. In part this is “victory disease” – they were sure they would win in 2008 and 2012, they were right, so they are convinced it shall always be so. In part it’s a defense mechanism – they got shellacked in 2010 and 2014, and the best way to convince yourself that these losses were illegitimate as a repudiation of their party and its message is to argue that lower-turnout off-year elections don’t represent the real American people who turn out for general elections, who are presumed to give Democrats an unstoppable demographic advantage in all future elections. In part it’s a matter of having settled on a famous and “historic” (first woman) nominee while Republicans are still going about the messy business of sifting through the 14 remaining GOP candidates. And in part it’s calculated strategy, given how much of modern campaigning in general and the strategy of the stilted, sclerotic Hillary campaign in particular will depend on simply bluffing the voters into believing that she’s already an inevitable lock to win. But behind the facade of braggadocio, there are signs that Democrats are starting to worry that their 2016 strategy and prospects may not be as foolproof as advertised.
The theory that Democrats and left-leaning pundits have promulgated since 2012 is that all the old categories of “swing voters” in the center of the electorate are now irrelevant, because they can depend on a permanent general-election majority consisting of 1) mostly urban non-white voters, 2) mostly urban, childless, non-religious white progressives, and 3) the youngest voters. The only thing Democratic politicians need do, the theory goes, is to offer the needed combination of left-wing progressive politics and culture-war hot button wedge issues; after that, the data-miners and hashtag and meme factories will summon these voters to the polls out of the apathetic torpor with which they view elections and government the other 47 months of the political life cycle.
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