Democrat Doug Schoen, a political consultant, has warned his party that they could face “historic” losses in the mid-terms come November if the winds don’t miraculously change.
In a lengthy op-ed for The Hill, Schoen argued that Democrats just will not be able to shake or avoid President Joe Biden’s increasing unpopularity with the American public, with the latest Quinnipiac poll putting his approval rating at a dismal 35 percent. Biden has also lost ground with two key voting blocs needed to pull out a victory: independents and Hispanics.
Schoen blamed this on “economic pessimism,” which he defined as Americans being “not convinced” of the economy’s well-being in the face of skyrocketing inflation and high gas prices. Though the Democrats have tried to shift the conversation away from those issues onto issues like abortion and gun control, Schoen seemed unenthusiastic that voters will be persuaded.
Nearly one-half (48 percent) of Americans cite economic issues — including inflation (21 percent), the economy generally (19 percent) and gas prices (8 percent) — as the single most important issue to their midterm vote, according to recent ABC News polling.
Comparatively, the same poll — which was conducted following the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, and thus after the news broke about Roe v. Wade — showed that gun violence (17 percent) and abortion (12 percent) are prioritized by a much smaller share of voters.
Though Democrats are hoping that the national focus on women’s choice and gun control will help the party galvanize their base and make up ground in the midterms, polling unfortunately doesn’t bear that out. Republicans currently maintain a 12-point voter enthusiasm advantage over Democrats, 43 percent to 31 percent, per a recent Economist/YouGov poll.
On the issue of gun control, though Schoen seems convinced that the American people largely support Biden’s policies, he believes the president’s and the Democrats’ poor performance in combatting crime will render that support moot. He cited the recall of San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin and the sudden popularity of Los Angeles mayoral candidate Rick Caruso, a former Republican with a tough-on-crime platform, over Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) as evidence for this unfortunate shift.
Schoen concluded that all of those factors will likely contribute to the Democrats enduring “one of the most considerable midterm seat losses of any party in recent history.”