Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ebola! ISIS! And the United States Senate..

What Really Cost the Democrats the Senate?

People are finger-pointing and complaining, complaining, and complaining MORE
; threatening to leave the Democrats (as if to teach those Democrats a lesson... while THEY wind up suffering under Republican control, which is what happened in 2000.)  The abysmal voter turnout was a huge factor, of course.  But why was the voter turnout so abysmal?  

But I've been looking at poll numbers over the past few weeks until my eyes are ready to fall out of my head... After reading dozens of articles on the election results, I STILL believe the BIGGEST (but not only) factor in the Democratic loss of the Senate was the sensationalism of the ISIS and the Ebola crises.  These twin crises pushed the Republicans over the top to control of the Senate. 

From a cartoon copyright Lalo Alcaraz.  Found on Facebook

Just a couple of months ago...

If the Senate elections had happened in June or July, the Democrats may well have kept the Senate. There were ten tough races, eleven counting Kansas, and the Democrats needed to win SIX of them. The Democratic candidates were ahead or just about tied in almost every one of these competitive states in June and July.. but by September and October, things changed significantly.

Here's a list of those ten tough Senate races and when the polls started to shift away from the Democratic candidate: 

  • Alaska: Early September. 
  • Arkansas: Early July, but this was a competitive race until September.
  • Colorado: Mid September.
  • Georgia: Late August. 
  • Iowa:  The Democrat Braley was ahead until early June, but Braley didn't really start to lose it until early/mid September. 
  • Kentucky:  The Democrat Grimes really never had much of a chance, but she really fell behind at the end of August.
  • Louisiana:  End of August.
  • Michigan: The Democrat Peters' numbers fell off in late July and again in late September but he was able to hang on and prevail.
  • New Hampshire:  The Republican Brown made big jumps in poll numbers throughout July, August, and September, but the Democrat Shaheen hung on. 
  • North Carolina: The Republican Tillis started to make big jumps in the polling numbers starting in August.

What happened in August and early September?

No two ways about it; SOMETHING happened in mid to late August and into September. Perhaps a lot more dark money was flowing into those campaigns starting in late August?  Yes, but even in races in which the Democrats poured more money than the Republicans, they wound up tight or losing.

I can't help but think that the big problem was ISIS and Ebola. The Repubs whipped their followers up into a frenzy, and the Democrats could simply not hold them off.

As soon as those first stories hit the news about ISIS rising, the Democrats were in serious defense mode. Then, a month later.. Ebola.

That was it.

And did these crises have anything to do with the lousy voter turnout?  

Hard to say, but it seems likely.  

Listening to the continual bad news about ISIS and Ebola... news which was EVERYWHERE, not just on Fox or in the rightie blogs, certainly didn't inspire Americans to vote for the Democrats.  People who tend to vote Democratic may not, like the rightie base, have had the urge to run out and vote Republican to fend off the hordes of beheading ISIS warriors that were supposedly ready to swarm over the southern border (It's sarcasm, folks!).  They may not have had the urge to vote Republican to keep Ebola-infected sleeper cell terrorists from flying on commercial planes and sneezing on anyone who looked like an American citizen.... but they clearly couldn't find a great reason to come out and support the Democrats with so much bad, potentially deadly news, polluting the airwaves and the Internet.

So perhaps many of them, not feeling any camaraderie with the Republicans but not feeling any.. well, anything, actually, for the Democrats.. just STAYED HOME!

No, Both Parties are Definitely NOT the Same.. But the Democrats and their supporters didn't do a good job of defining those differences this year.  As a result, many, many people just didn't bother.  And, now that the elections are over... What happened to Ebola and ISIS?  They aren't in the news very much at all these days, are they? 

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