- Who do you blame for the healthcare bill failure? 48% Senate Republicans
- Do you think Trump is doing a good job? 68% No
- Who are you going to vote for in 2018? 40% Republicans, 39% Democrats
OK, so you don't think the Republican president is doing a good job, you don't think Congress is doing a good job...and yet 40% are still going to vote Republican.
This is kind of a depressing thought I had: A lot of liberals like to talk about flipping the House or Senate in 2018, but for me the problem is that unless things really tank, I worry people are just going to be too comfortable to make a change or even bother to vote. Let's face it: most people don't really follow what's going on outside their neighborhood or sports team or favorite TV shows, so as long as things aren't too bad for them, they don't really see the danger.
The biggest gains Democrats had in this century were in 2006 with the Iraq war bogged down and 2008 after the economic collapse. Since then they've just been losing, losing, losing seats. In that time there's been no great crisis to motivate people. The Iraq war has pretty much wound down, Afghanistan is no longer on the front pages, and the economy isn't great but not as bad as it was.
The movie Our Brand Is Crisis gets its title from something Sandra Bullock's character tells the Bolivian candidate she's working for: that he needs to instill in voters the idea there's a crisis that only he can solve. It's something to large extent Trump did for his voters by whining time and again how we're not great and losing and blah, blah, blah. Enough people bought it for him to win the electoral college.
If nothing really changes economically or militarily in the next year, the challenge for Democrats is instilling in people that there's a real crisis that needs a change of management. A lot of us in "the resistance" already think that but we saw in the 2016 election how that doesn't necessarily play out to blue wins.