More ominous signs for the Republican party, following this month’s disastrous government shutdown and threat to sabotage the economy via a debt default.
The new polls are terrible for the Republicans, but more generally, there are signs that Republicans are losing the fight for the future. Urban America – which keeps growing – is getting bluer by the day.
The top 10 mayorships in the US are now all held by Democrats. And some worry that it’s a sign of the Republican party losing the demographic battle as America becomes more urban and more diverse.
And the trifecta of trouble for the GOP: The Democrats are rocking on the fundraising front, just as we have signs that conservative Republicans are holding back on donating to their party.
Polling disaster for the GOP, thanks to the Tea Party’s shutdown
But first, two new polls that are just awful for the GOP.
The first is the new PPP poll, commissioned by MoveOn. PPP has surveyed 61 House districts since the shutdown began, and finds that Democrats could win back the House, and then some. Of particular interest, PPP found a number of “safe” House districts now vulnerable, because of the shutdown.
A new round of post-shutdown polling shows that Democrats not only have an opportunity to take back the House of Representatives next year, but that they could win a sizable majority if voter anger over the shutdown carries into 2014….
Republicans will likely find this third round of surveys to be the most alarming yet, given that the new results show substantial Republican vulnerability in many districts that were not even supposed to be close. Incumbent Republicans trail generic Democrats in 15 of the 25 districts we most recently surveyed. This means generic Democrats lead in 37 of 61 districts polled since the beginning of the government shutdown . Democrats Only need to net 17 seats in order to retake the House.
And the bad news for Republicans doesn’t stop there, because in the minority of the 61 districts where Republicans lead in the initial head-to-head question, 11 more Republicans fall behind once voters are informed that the Republican supported the government shutdown and 1 race becomes tied. This means that our results indicate Democrats have pickup opportunities in an astounding 49 of the 61 districts surveyed.
CNN’s new poll also spells trouble for the GOP in the House. CNN/ORC survey:
According to the survey, 54% say it’s a bad thing that the GOP controls the House, up 11 points from last December, soon after the 2012 elections when the Republicans kept control of the chamber. Only 38% say it’s a good thing the GOP controls the House, a 13-point dive from the end of last year.
This is the first time since the Republicans won back control of the House in the 2010 elections that a majority say their control of the chamber is bad for the country.
Greg Sargent over at the Washington Post crunches the CNN numbers a bit more, and finds that even moderates and Independent voters have turned against the GOP, as have seniors:
The CNN poll is remarkable. It finds that 54 percent of Americans think continued GOP control of the House is bad for the country, including 59 percent of moderates and 53 percent of independents. (Only around a third of both groups say it’s good for the country.) Even a plurality of seniors — a crucial midterm constituency, along with indys, and a group Dems are working to win over — says GOP rule in the House is bad for the country, by 47-46.
GOP shut out of big city mayorships
Things aren’t looking any better for Republicans in terms of big city mayorships, and what it shows about the future of the GOP in urban America. As mentioned above, the top 12 cities in America are all run by Democratic mayors.
Largely unnoticed in Washington, urban Republican politicians have emerged over the last year as perhaps the nation’s most severely endangered political species, as the party has either failed to compete for high-profile mayor’s offices or has been soundly rebuffed by voters. It’s a significant setback that some Republicans view as an ominous sign for the GOP in a country growing steadily more urban and diverse.
The starkest examples of GOP rollback come from New York, where frankly liberal Democrat Bill de Blasio currently leads Republican Joe Lhota, a former top Rudy Giuliani adviser, by more than 40 points; and Los Angeles, where the lone Republican candidate took just 16 percent in an open primary and failed even to qualify for the general election.
But the Republicans’ big-city drought is a setback that goes far beyond the country’s top two cities. In the year 2000, Republican mayors governed half of the country’s dozen largest cities by population. Some of the party’s most provocative leaders had come out of city hall, including New York’s Giuliani, Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, the celebrated policy wonk and George W. Bush adviser.
Today, you have to go all the way down to Indianapolis – the country’s 13th-largest city – to find just one Republican mayor. Even cities that have historically preferred center-right mayors, such as Jacksonville and Phoenix, have turned away from the GOP.
Fundraising also a disaster for GOP (even pre-shutdown, but now worse)
Now for the fundraising. From National Journal:
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $8.4 million in September, according to an aide with the group, a significant sum more than a year before next year’s election. The haul dwarfs the $5.3 million collected last month by the National Republican Congressional Committee, which was again out-raised by House Democrats despite holding the majority….
The report is the latest sign that after the shutdown, money is becoming a concern for Republicans. Dissatisfied donors from the GOP’s business and conservative wings, angry at a party they don’t think is listening to them, have threatened to withhold contributions. Democrats have also outraised Republicans elsewhere: The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $4.6 million last month, $1 million more than the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s $3.6 million. For the first time in 17 months, the Democratic National Committee raised more cash than the Republican National Committee — $7.4 million to $7.1 million.
The irony is that it’s not only Big Business that’s getting fed up with the Republican party – the GOP can only threaten to destroy the global economy so many times before Wall Street and corporate America start getting nervous – but conservatives are also starting to withhold their money, but for the opposite reason; conservatives don’t think the Republicans are crazy enough. This sets up a great push-me-pull-you dynamic for the GOP, where they’re guaranteed to tick off someone in their party, only further fueling the internal war.
On his radio show recently, Glenn Beck urged his listeners to “defund the GOP.” Sarah Palin has threatened to leave the Republican Party; Rush Limbaugh calls it “irrelevant.” The Senate Conservatives Fund has targeted mainly incumbent Republican senators for defeat. Erick Erickson, one of the right’s most prominent commentators, wonders if what’s coming is “a real third party movement that will fully divide the Republican Party.”
Conservatives have declared war on the GOP.
Getting back to the PPP poll, the pollster notes the caveat that it’s a bit early to start talking about victory in November of 2014. A lot can happen in a year. And some pundits think that the voters will forget about the shutdown come next November. (There’s also the not-small point that the GOP has so gerrymandered the House that it’s difficult for Democrats to make any inroads, regardless of how crazy the Republicans act.)
Still, all the signs point towards the GOP being in serious trouble, while the Democrats are in a resurgence. That may not be a guarantee of victory in 2014 and 2016, but it’s exactly where you want to be if you’re a Democrat preparing for the next four years.