Wednesday, February 08, 2017

These Numbers Should Worry Congressional Democrats

This chart does not reflect what the general public thinks of congressional Democrats (which is only 33% approval). It reflects only what the Democratic base thinks, and personally, I think that should worry the hell out of the congressional Democrats.

It turns out that only 59% of Democrats approve of what their congressional leaders are doing so far, while 40% disapprove. Forty percent is a lot of Democrats disapproving. These people don't have confidence that the Democrats will stand firm against Trump (and his bad nominees). They fear that the Democrats, as they have in the past, will prove to be spineless and unwilling to stand up to Trump and the Republicans. They fear the congressional Democrats (or at least too many of them) will once again give in to the Republicans.

I have to admit that I share that pessimistic view. Congressional Democrats have not yet shown they can stand together and play the same kind of political hardball that the Republicans engage in. It's time that they do, and Democrats in the Senate can start by filibustering the nomination of Trump's SCOTUS nominee -- even if it results in the Republicans exercising the "nuclear option" (eliminating the filibuster for SCOTUS nominees). Failure to do that will show the Democrats are still unwilling to do what they were elected to do.

And if they give in again, they might find that a lot of that 40% won't bother to show up at the polls in 2018, which would be disastrous for the party. Why should they show up to vote for Democrats who are spineless?

The next few weeks are a test for congressional Democrats. I hope they pass that test. I hope they show the party base that they are worthy of support in 2018. The test has begun. Will they pass or fail?

The chart above is from information in a recent CNN / ORC Poll -- done between January 31st and February 2nd of a random sample of  1,002 adults. The chart shows only responses by Democrats, and the margin of error for just Democrats is between 3 and 8.5 points.

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