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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Look closely – the tide is receding quickly on the left’s 2018 blue wave

Peruse the results of public opinion polls lately and you’ll certainly grasp that the outlook is brighter for Republicans today than it was just a short time ago. True, the economy is doing quite well, conditions are relatively calm in the international realm and President Donald Trump appears to be “getting it” in terms of selling his administration and the GOP to voters as the best and most effective means of achieving good government.

Trump campaign signsPerhaps most importantly, the Robert Mueller investigation seems to be winding down and the liberal media is finding it much more difficult to promote little tidbits of negativity as the big administration-busting bombshells that would ultimately bring down President Trump.

Further, if the Democrats continue their stonewalling ways the relatively do-nothing Republican Senate is “threatening” to work through the August recess with the purpose of confirming more of Trump’s administration and judicial appointees. Last week’s GOP primaries didn’t produce any big surprises that would give Democrats hope Republicans will fall on their faces in November.

In other words, the electoral tide looks to be shifting back in a red direction, albeit slowly.

Prospects are even looking promising for Trump’s reelection campaign in 2020 – and it has nothing to do with approval ratings, the potential duplicity of NORK dictator Kim Jong-un or even the fickleness of the stock market. No, Republicans possess a built-in advantage in the Electoral College that won’t be overcome by the minority party anytime soon.

Jay Cost wrote at National Review, “[T]he new Democratic coalition — dominated by upscale whites and racial and ethnic minorities — is badly organized for capturing political power in the federal government. It is heavily concentrated in a handful of states that go comfortably for Democrats, leaving many states to go more narrowly for Republicans.

“To wit: Donald Trump lost the popular vote by more than two percentage points in 2016, yet he carried 30 of 50 states and won 304 Electoral College votes.

“The geographic concentration inherent to the new Democratic coalition can also be appreciated by looking at the growing role California has played in the party’s coalition in the past century. Wilson in 1916, Truman in 1948, Jimmy Carter in 1980, John Kerry in 2004, and Hillary Clinton in 2016 all won roughly the same share of the vote (48–50 percent). California accounted for 5 percent of Wilson’s nationwide vote; 8 percent of Truman’s vote; 9 percent of Carter’s vote; 11 percent of Kerry’s vote; and 13 percent of Clinton’s vote. That is a big increase in the relative importance of a single state. Yet California has added no additional Senate seats, and the concentration of the Democratic vote in the Golden State leaves the party vulnerable to narrow defeats in the Midwest.”

There are actually a number of proposals kooky Californians put forward to split their state into several smaller ones – which automatically would increase the number of senators if their crackpot schemes ever came to fruition. But for now, the fruits and nuts in the Golden State must content themselves with Senators Kamala Harris and (most likely) Dianne Feinstein representing them alongside red state senators who represent much smaller populations.

Nowhere else does the concept of one person/one vote carry more import than the U.S. Senate where all states have equal representation regardless of population size. The eccentric high-plains state of Wyoming, for example is 51st in terms of population (yes, even coming in behind the District of Columbia, which isn’t even a state) yet its two senators maintain equivalent voting power to California, New York, Texas and Florida, all states with exponentially larger numbers of citizens.

In addition, as Cost pointed out, Democrats tend to congregate in tightly packed areas – cities and urban areas. It wasn’t always that way. “All in all, the collapse of the Democratic farmer–labor coalition, and the rise of the new upscale–minority coalition, has resulted in Republicans now enjoying a noticeable edge in securing an Electoral College majority, and a huge advantage in winning a Senate majority.”

Instead of accepting reality and working to earn more votes from rural residents and the party’s traditional working class base (which is rapidly becoming Trump’s core strength), Democrats and liberals complain about how “unfair” it is that their candidates prevailed in the popular vote in six of the last seven elections yet still lost two of them (George W. Bush won a majority in 2004).

Boo hoo. As is typical for Democrats, if they don’t like the rules they scheme to change them anyway feasible, usually through filing federal lawsuits and then forum-shopping for friendly liberal judges to hand them the outcomes they desire. The Constitution is specific on how federal elections are to be handled yet Democrats still believe they can accomplish whatever they desire through bellyaching and crying and stirring up public opinion against the system.

It won’t work, especially since Donald Trump is in the White House and he’s turning out to be a conservative president in many ways. This means Democrats will have to earn things the old-fashioned way – earning them (at the ballot box) – but unless they come up with a new message to sell to voters, there’s no way to win more elections.

Oddly enough, Republican office-seekers are increasingly turning to Trump as a means to sell their candidacies to voters. Becket Adams of the Washington Examiner wrote the other day, “President Trump struck gold in 2016 when he hit on the idea of running as a populist, tapping into a long-ignored sentiment shared by millions of voters.

“Now, several outside political groups and Republican office-seekers want a piece of the action, and they see clinging to the president as their one-way ticket to victory.

“Call it the ‘Trumpification’ of the GOP, where Republican campaign ads and stump speeches market fealty to the president as an actual qualification for higher office. It might seem crazy, based on Trump's unimpressive approval rating, but it's more understandable when you realize how popular he is in some specific states and regions where key races are being run this year.”

While I agree that “Trumpification” is indeed taking place in certain locales, this phenomenon – hitching your horse to a popular president’s cart – isn’t exactly a new strategy. After the Berlin Wall fell and George H.W. Bush’s approval ratings were consistently high (in the 60’s and 70’s) I’m guessing GOP candidates in 1990 couldn’t wait to mention Bush’s name and snap a photo with him to include in their fundraising materials.

Then H.W. broke his “Read my lips, no new taxes!” pledge and his ratings plummeted in 1992. When a president is running for a second term it’s never a good sign that he’s heavily underwater in the approve/disapprove category. Trump may be a little different in this respect, as he’s been able to maintain political potency despite stubbornly negative polls on job performance.

Republican hopefuls aren’t taking any chances this year though. Although Trump remains passionately detested by the “resistance” leftists, he’s quite popular in states he won two years ago. And even if some people in these states continue to dislike Trump personally they still support elements of his MAGA agenda.

All of the data indicates the so-called “blue wave” many forecasters claimed was already visible on the horizon may be flattening into calm and normal political seas. Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner reported, “Enthusiasm for Democrats in the upcoming fall elections appears to be waning, especially among younger and black voters, as confidence in President Trump’s handling of the economy and national security firms up, according to a new national survey.

“The latest Zogby Analytics polls, provided to Secrets, revealed that the public trusts Trump more on the economy and national security, a finding that is likely to increase his value on the campaign trail for Republicans.

“When asked ‘Who do you trust more?’ on the economy, it was Trump over Democrats 41 percent to 35 percent, and on national security the president again led, 40 percent to 38 percent.”

Consistently good economic numbers and foreign policy success will tend to boost a president. In his article Bedard points out Democrats are seeing significant and measurable drops in support among young voters and black voters, two groups the party desperately needs to hold if they’re to ride a wave of anti-Trump angst to majorities in Congress.

It just seems there isn’t enough Trump anxiety out there to fuel the Democrats’ “We don’t have a plan but Trump is really awful” campaign platform. Again, the stagnant Russian collusion/obstruction of justice investigation isn’t generating any enthusiasm and most of the important recent news has focused on positive Trump accomplishments such as moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem (in Israel) and hopeful signs emanating from the Korean peninsula.

These aren’t theoretical improvements either. When delivering a campaign speech Republicans can say more than “we boosted the economy” and “we made the world safer.” They can cite statistics and do a little bragging. Love him or hate him, Trump’s is turning into a very consequential presidency.

Republicans are hardly out of the electoral wilderness, however – there still isn’t a whole lot for them to run on other than how much they want to support Trump – but it now looks like there’s a fighting chance for the party to minimize the damage in the upcoming midterms. Meanwhile, conservatives can continue to pound the need for new congressional party leaders and the base will respond accordingly.

GOP candidates can also use the Constitution’s brilliant system of federalism as a selling point if they’re clever. Most people (even liberals) agree the federal government is too large and out of control… more input is needed at the local level.

#NeverTrumper David French wrote at National Review, “Each side has its theory of ascendancy. For Democrats, demography is destiny. As the nation looks more like California, it will be more like California. For Republicans, geography is destiny. As Democrats cluster in the coasts and pile on top of each other in progressive enclaves, the inexorable power of the Electoral College and the United States Senate will make it increasingly difficult for the Left to dominate American political life. Let them win California by millions of votes. Let them get 99 percent of the Brooklyn vote. Until it can once again win in flyover country, the #Resistance can knit all the caps it wants — but it won’t defeat Donald Trump.

“Both of these theories are barely plausible enough to give the permanent partisans hope for permanent triumph. But their will to power conflicts with everyone else’s pursuit of happiness. How much more polarization must we endure before competing factions understand that ultimate victory is elusive, and that far more modest ambitions can secure the prosperity and unity of their own communities?

“America is indeed too big (and far too divided) to govern — at least according to the 20th-century model. To go forward, we must go back. Federalism’s time has come again.”

This is a clearly a winning message for Republican candidates in this year’s – and every year’s – elections. As French contends in his article, Americans are increasingly walling themselves off into their own little political and cultural enclaves, spurred on by evolutions in communications technology which allow us to do pretty much whatever we want whenever we want to do it and with whomever we choose.

A good thing? Probably not. But you can’t put the technology genie back in the bottle. Most people wouldn’t even do it if they could…

The only thing that makes sense in 21st century America is to argue for limited government principles, adherence to Constitutional confines and returning power to the states and local entities that can make real improvements in citizens’ lives. Republicans would be wise to follow the blueprint.

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