Why the ground is shifting toward Republicans

Why the ground is shifting toward Republicans

The Briefing Vol. III, Issue 39-

This week:

  • Vitter goes down to a crushing defeat in LAGOV
  • Issues shaping up in Republicans’ favor
  • Obama created his own Syrian refugee problem

Election 2015

Louisiana: The election of a Democrat, John Bel Edwards, as governor of Louisiana, went off just as we expected. He defeated Sen. David Vitter by an approximate 12-point margin. It wasn’t very close, and it wasn’t much of a surprise — although it would have seemed like one about three months ago. It almost seems like a first in Louisiana politics, but Vitter’s scandals finally caught up with him and that was the end. He remains in the U.S. Senate, but he announced he will not be running for re-election, setting off a scramble among Republicans to replace him.

It’s important to recognize that this isn’t really much of a sign of life for the Pelican State’s newly moribund Democratic Party. It does give them one more electable public official, but Edwards won only by running away from his party on a number of major issues.

More importantly, Vitter’s defeat did not prevent Republicans from coming away with large majorities in both houses of the state legislature and control of all other statewide offices. Even as Vitter was going down to defeat, Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, R, was easily winning for lieutenant governor. Other offices were either won outright in the first round of voting in October or else featured runoffs between two Republicans. The state education board, vital to the future of education reform in Louisiana, remains solidly in the control of the reformers.

The deeper lesson for Republicans comes from what happened in October. How did events conspire that allowed Vitter to make the runoff? It was the result of two other semi-credible GOP candidates staying in. Had there been only one, he would surely be the governor-elect today.

That closes the book on elections for 2015.

Election 2016

Issue set: Imagine for a moment that you have a magical superpower — a political superpower. You have the ability to put the whole nation into a trance and shape its thinking in one specific way.

There are limits to how it works. For example, you can’t tell anyone how to vote. But what you can do is to focus voters on whatever issues you choose. That could at least affect how they vote.

Want to get them all hot and bothered about income inequality or the minimum wage? Voila, it becomes the top issue on everyone’s mind. Want to make them care about global warming or campaign finance reform? Done.

That’s probably what Democrats would do with that power, if they had it. If Republicans had this power, they’d probably want to make the voters think about their own set of traditionally strong issues.

They would want people to think about Obamacare, which in recent months has quieted down, but which helped Republicans significantly at the ballot box a lot in the last two midterms. They might look back to the successes of the early 2000s, when national security and terrorism were the big issues. And if they really wanted to jump in the time machine, maybe they’d reach back to the issues of an earlier era — urban riots and campus unrest.

Well, welcome to November 2015. Without the help from any magic or superpowers, voters are now thinking and talking about precisely the issues Republicans would like them to be thinking and talking about.

  1. First, terrorism. Two months ago, the last time Gallup sounded out the voters on the question of which party they trusted more on “international terrorism and military threats,” Republicans had the advantage, 52 to 36 percent. This despite the fact that Americans had a modestly more positive impression of the Democratic Party than the GOP (43 percent to 38 percent).
    The Paris attacks have put ISIS at the center of everyone’s attention. In the new FOX News poll released over the weekend, terrorism had jumped from being the most important issue for just 11 percent of voters in August to 24 percent today — the number one issue, trumping even jobs and the economy for the first time in recent memory.FOXISSUES
    The same FOX poll mentioned above shows that 65 percent believe Obama is not being aggressive enough with ISIS, and, that 67 percent oppose his plan for Syrian refugees (more on this below).
    Meanwhile, Democratic candidates for president are talking about socialism as foreign policy and how ISIS is caused by climate change. That’s a bit of a wake-up call.
  1. Although it is an issue seldom considered by pollsters as a political issue in this day and age, the college and city unrest of 2014 and 2015 hearken back to another era. In the late 1960s, this factor left an impression and motivated voters to put Richard Nixon into the White House. White voters especially (and more than a quarter of black voters) viewed the Baltimore rioting as opportunistic thieving and violence rather than an expression of legitimate grievances.
    There is no good polling available at the moment to clarify the political effect of this or the safe-space protests on college campuses. These latter especially seem to be drawing little sympathy even as they highlight left-wing political correctness as a major modern problem. The radicals’ destruction of institutions once had a profound effect in preparing Americans for what eventually became the conservative movement. Could it help do so again, even just a little bit?
  1. Finally, but perhaps most importantly, there’s Obamacare. Perhaps you thought it was over — and surely the politicians who supported it and thought it would work thought so as well. But it’s coming back from the dead as a political issue. Events are in motion that will make Obamacare the same kind of large, looming issue it was in 2010 (immediately after its passage) and in 2014 (after its disastrous opening).

Over the summer, insurers participating in the Obamacare exchanges announced surprisingly high premium increases for 2016. That’s bad, and it reinforces the public’s somewhat negative impression of the law. But it isn’t anything like the fireworks of 2010 or late 2013.

That part is only starting now.

Last week, the nation’s largest insurer, UnitedHealth, announced that it expects to lose $425 million in revenue from its participation in the Obamacare exchanges for the 2015 and 2016 plan years. The company will likely pull out of Obamacare because, as its CEO noted in a conference call with investors, the exchange market is not capable of sustaining itself for the very reasons Obamacare’s critics predicted. It is full of disproportionately sick people pulling out of the pool, with not enough young and healthy types paying in. Unless healthy people start getting interested, and fast, it is possible that the system will enter what is known as a “death spiral.”

But even more politically damaging, the Obama administration may have to begin reminding the uninsured that they will be punished with a fine if they fail to sign up. Just imagine the reaction that will elicit.

The exit of UnitedHealth would throw more than half a million customers out of their health plans in early 2016. This comes after several smaller companies have withdrawn from other states, and 12 of Obamacare’s 23 non-profit insurance co-ops have gone broke and closed. But those are minor problems compared to what’s coming. The inability of insurers — even experienced ones — to make money under the Obamacare system is a sign of the program’s deeper problems, and it will have consequences.

The first one is already taking shape. The insurance industry is ramping up a lobbying effort to seek a bailout for the massive losses being incurred. They would like to see this bailout attached to an appropriations bill next month, because the Obamacare law itself won’t allow it. It is essential that Republicans refuse to grant this bailout — if they let it happen, they will not only be throwing Obamacare and their Democratic rivals a lifeline.

The next stage will come in the spring, when insurers, still losing money, ask for massive premium increases once again for the 2017 plan year. In late summer, those increases will be approved by the various state regulators.

At the very least, there will be lots of bad Obamacare news in the presidential election year, throwing Obama’s most important domestic policy achievement into question. In the worst case, a widespread perception will emerge that the program is failing.

In short, although the candidate field and the national mood cannot be predicted at this early stage, the issue set for 2016 is starting to look very favorable for the GOP. It’s not enough to guarantee any victory, let alone at the presidential level, but it’s a good start.

Outlook

Syria refugee crisis: President Obama’s plan to take in 10,000 refugees from war-torn Syria does not pose nearly as much danger as the public seems to fear. But in the wake of the Paris attacks the public is quite afraid, and it isn’t hard to see why. So afraid, in fact, that 67 percent now oppose it, and those in opposition represent a broad cross-section of nearly every demographic in American life — young, old, rich, poor, black, white, Republican, independent, Democrat.

From that same FOX News poll, released over the weekend:

DEMOS

What’s more, about 50 House Democrats voted with nearly all Republicans to pause the refugee program until the safety of Americans can be better guaranteed. There is a simple reason why this happened — Obama has hung them out to dry.

On an occasion when strong presidential leadership could have put the risks into context and explained the vetting process (which is actually more robust than people think), Obama chose instead to make two public appearances at foreign venues taking cheap shots at his political opposition.

Without any cover in the media, and without the dissemination of facts that a president can bring about with a timely and non-combative speech, House Democrats had no choice but to abandon Obama. He is now on the verge of seeing his policy cut off by bipartisan supermajorities in both houses of Congress. This didn’t have to happen, but it illustrates how leadership really does matter.

The House vote doesn’t necessarily bar refugees, but it might force the introduction of a more rigorous screening process. Obama might have to propose it himself in order to save his own policy from a bipartisan mutiny. If he’d thought of this sooner — or if he’d even explained the facts in a manner that didn’t condescend to his fellow citizens — he wouldn’t face this kind of danger now.

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34 COMMENTS

  1. Well worth the read. Good job. Hopefully, this will get concerned (and legal) voters off their hindquarters once the polls open.

    • You people are so wrong. The people may feel this way, but the Republicrat party does not. They have no intention of supporting conservative values.

        • You need to do a search on Trump online. He made his money by filing bankruptcy, and paying .10 cents on the dollar and pocketing the .90 for himself. he has made a good portion of his money the same way he professes is wrong. He is not honest. I liked him untill I looked him up.

          • I respect your opinion of Trump. I am aware of his short comings and his bankruptcies. Nevertheless, he’s the man that represents my concerns….Illegal immigration, Muslim refugees, Christian values, the economy, MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! God Bless this Country.

          • You are correct. Everything your for is totally correct. But like all people running for office they lie all the time. They are like guys going out with girls. They will say anything to get the goodies, then it’s so long babe. Just like ms. Klinting (communist pronunciation) down south. She spoke with a slight southern accent.

          • None of the above. I really do not like any of them. Too many life long politicians with no real accomplishments. Your values are of the highest and deserve to be followed up on. After so many years of following politics I have lost faith in their ability to tell the truth. I have the same values you have and want to see the republican party fight for them. They do not fight for anything. A great example is Bush 1 said that if the senate sent him a gun control bill he would sign it. Oh ya there is a great conservative. The last politician I liked was Teddy Roosevelt, and I didn’t like everything he did either. But we did get some NATIONAL PARKS.

          • I can relate to just about everything you expressed, but with one exception. I will support Trump because he’s not a politician and isn’t obligated to any special interest group.

          • You are correct sort of. He is a politician now. But I hope you are right. He is really scaring the crap out of long term Republicans. I just am afraid of the evil people that have a way of telling people in government to do this or we will kill your family. The money and power have a way of corrupting people. We are talking about trillions of dollars. The regular person just has no concept of what greed can do to people. No I am not saying Trump is corrupt, but people he will come in contact with are. I used to be in Finance and Asset management. I got out because I saw the lies and corruption in the Securities and Exchange. Under the table payments and stock advice ahead of a big deal. Those things cost us billions. So I have become jaded to what goes on behind the scenes. But I hope you and his supporters are right and something changes.

          • I’ve been jaded for a long time as well. I once was married to a financial planner, and Bless his soul, he was/is an honest man. I’ve witnessed a lot. Been in the company of powerful men and know how they operate. Inspite of this, I’m behind a man like Trump. He answers to no one.

          • Ted Cruz is the man that actually represents [sic] your concerns. If you think Trump has lived by Christian values, we’re living in two different universes.

          • Ted is the ultimate Conservative. He personifies everything that I believe in, I was ecstatic when he announced his run for the Presidency, however, the MEDIA shows disdain…he’s the boogie man as far as they’re concerned. Therefore, I chose to support Trump because he will win! It must be TRUMP/CRUZ!!
            Cruz, a Cuban Latino, Trump a Reality Billionaire….WOW..that’s a winning ticket.

          • The media showing disdain for Cruz. Doesn’t this sound alarm bells in your head? It means they’re afraid of Cruz. The media = the left. And the left is threatened by Cruz because he’s the real deal. Strict constitution-alist, intelligent, loves his country, calls people out for lying and dishonesty on both sides of the aisle, is respectful of others’ views, is a great debater, and the list goes on and on. So the fact that the media have disdain for him, and/or sometimes don’t even give him the time of day means they are scared of him. He can/will make minced meat of Hillary and/or Bernie, and the left knows it. My faith is growing for him more everyday to be our next nominee and president. Even lefty Chris Matthews called Cruz brilliant. Don’t vote for Trump in the primaries because you think the media will crucify Cruz. Vote for Cruz to right our country’s ship.

            Trump is all show, and he will depend too much on his cabinet to know what is happening and what to do (just like Obama depends on Valerie Jarret for just about everything). We want someone who knows what to do and how to do it the right way on day one of office but will still take input from his advisers. Cruz 2017.

          • Vote in the primary!! Do not wait until November. If the Media destroys Trump shortly before Super Tuesday, Cruz will have a chance to take and keep the lead.

          • So would I. And after I donate to Cruz’s campaign and he wins the nomination we just might get that wish.

          • Christian values? Asking Trump to speak about faith or the Holy Bible is like asking a toddler about algebra.

          • And I know you’ll ask, my top two candidates are Cruz and Rubio. Before them it was Walker and Perry.

          • I care about keeping this country safe. Putting America First! Restricting a flood of illegals crossing the border and Thousands of Muslims, many who are Syrian and may be difficult to vet. I want real quality Jobs to return. I want “Marriage between a Man & a Woman”!! And I want PC to be put in toilet and flushed away!!

          • No he didn’t and you need to get your facts straight. Forbes commended him for the come back he made. And if he can negotiate 10 cents on the dollar, he’ll be a big asset getting our US debt paid down. Go take a hike. Get on board or get out of the way. Trump 2016

          • Trump had 4 bankruptcies out of dozens of business transactions over a life-time career of building a $10 billion personal worth. Decades ago, NYC was wallowing in debt and had contracted to have the skating rink in Central Park overhauled, but the city contractor was dragging the proj. on for years. Trump volunteered to take over and have the rink finished in 6 mons. That’s the kind of person we need as a pres. and leader.

          • 4 in 10 years? That is not good. Look at all the little people that get screwed. They live from check to check. My wife got screwed by a BR. She lost a months worth of pay as the workers are last on the list to get paid. And NY is still in the hole as is the US to the real tune of 800 Trillion not the 20 they are lying about. I used to be in Securities, and know the truth. I used to add it up but quit about 8 or 10 years ago. We will never be able to pay the interest much less the principal. And guess who will get screwed in the end. We the little guys. Now Trump has that much cash in spending money. That does not mean he can do it with Americans money.

          • Look at all the people he is employing today. All businesses do not remain viable, let alone profitable, over time. I am actually not a Trump supporter as of this moment, because I was supporting Perry and Walker and would prefer an experienced exec. in politics, but if Trump gets the nomination, I’ll support and work and vote for him.

        • US American’s are going to CLEAN THE LATRINE…IN 2016! and
          VOTE BLUE
          yer nazi pos…da trumpster fo’ da dumbsters & the cruznic ticket…! cain’ wait…

  2. Pure, unadulterated bull excrement!!!

    US American’s are going to CLEAN THE LATRINE…IN 2016! and
    VOTE BLUE
    yer trumpster fo’ da dumbsters & the cruznic ticket…! cain’ wait…

  3. Awesome article!! Finally Americans are awaking from their sleeping death to see our Country is being lead down a very dangerous and negative path. obama’s continual ineptness is causing him to run amok and loose even more people to support him. Those polls are showing that “everyone” is concerned and no longer listening to the meaningless chatter of this sitting president. Too bad they didn’t wake up sooner. We may not have been in this very precarious position. But, Hey, it’s not to late to stop this insanity.

    Still, out of all the GOP candidates, Trump has the drive and determination to make things happen! No, he doesn’t act like a Christian but neither does obama. I think that the World Leaders would be more careful if they had to deal with Trump and that our Nation would come roaring back to its strong military power quickly. Cruz is a good choice because he is one smart cookie, intelligent, a great speaker, and an even greater thinker. He loves our Country and its people and would “fix” all the damage bho has created by his lack of knowledge or nastiness. Cruz has youth whereas Trump has business wisdom and isn’t afraid of anyone.

    And what about Dr. Carson? There is so much to like about that intelligent gentle man who has saved countless lives and wants to save our Country. The Media wants to destroy him, but there are many people who respect his knowledge, belief in God, and strength as a doer of good things. This is going to be difficult to call…but anyone of them is much better than any democrat liberal and Carson is a healer, perhaps that’s exactly what our Nation needs!

  4. Oh, how I hope and Pray Obama and the Dems continue to show their utter Stupidity and keep shooting themselves in the foot!!! And I hope and pray to God Obamacare continues to implode!!! How SWEET both those things would be!!! How SWEET it is to read about it happening!!

  5. Republicans need to tone down their rhetoric against each other when there is so much material to throw at Hillary and the Democrats. All of us should unite solidly behind our nominee to inflict defeat on Hillary and her supporters. The sooner we elect a nominee the better it will be for us.

  6. When BarryCare really kicks in and all the other predicted issues manifest themselves negatively, all the Republicans need to do is remind those getting screwed that this is a 100% O/O Democrat scam.

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