July 19th, 2019


How to Defeat the Blue Wave

Dick Morris

By Dick Morris

Published Sept. 6,2018

How to Defeat the Blue Wave

Alarmingly, all recent polls that have measured "generic preference" by party in the coming congressional elections have recorded a Democratic margin — some by a lot.

In this survey question, voters are asked to choose between a hypothetical Democrat and a hypothetical Republican in their district for Congress. Ten polls in a row have shown a Democratic lead — eight by more than eight points and six by more than 10.

Republicans usually lose these polls — even if they go on to win the election itself — because of gerrymandering of House districts and the concentration of Democrats in certain lopsided districts. Also, these polls tend to test the opinions of registered voters as opposed to likely ones. (But these same polls indicate a greater enthusiasm about voting in the midterms this year among Democrats than among GOP voters).

The Democratic edge has clearly grown in the past two weeks, and now is at about the level it was in 2006 when the Democrats took control of both houses of Congress.

The question is: What should we do about it?

We need to lift a page from the Democratic strategy book after they lost the election of 2010; they vilified the tea party, demonizing it — unfairly — as racist and redneck.

Republicans should attack Democrats by wrapping them in the "progressive" agenda first articulated by Sen. Bernie Sanders and later elaborated by other demagogues. While Democratic primary voters may be enthusiastic about Medicare for all, a $15 minimum wage, the abolition of ICE, a guaranteed annual income, and protests against the national anthem, most voters are not.

The mainstream of voters believe that we cannot afford Medicare for all, that trying it would destroy the financial soundness of Medicare, and that government funding would increase bureaucratic control over our health care. They would like to see low-wage workers make more but correctly realize that requiring a $15 per hour wage will spur automation and put millions of those we want to help out of work. They see a guaranteed annual income as welfare for all and believe it will bankrupt our country. They oppose abolishing ICE and want stricter controls over the inflow of illegal immigrants. And they do, most definitely, stand for the national anthem.

When a Republican raises these issues, he presents his Democratic opponent with an unsolvable conundrum: If he tries to distance himself from the "progressive agenda" he saps the enthusiasm of his base and decreases their likely turnout. But if he embraces it, he appears like an extremist to the electorate.

But more than attacking their issue positions, the Republican candidates need to attack the "progressives" themselves. Richard Nixon portrayed his opponents as leftist hippies by using the televised pictures of them burning draft cards and flags at rallies. He declared them outsiders in a nation filled with the "silent majority." So now, modern-day Republicans can use the televised footage of demonstrators trying to drown out the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings by catcalls and shouts to illustrate how outside the mainstream they and their candidates are.

President Donald Trump needs to lead this crusade, denouncing his "progressive" critics as hopelessly leftist, socialist and determined to kill the success he has brought to this country. He should say that they want to kill the goose that is laying the golden eggs.

You can't win a national campaign by playing defense, particularly not if your president is Trump. Anyone can see the economic progress we have made due to his leadership. And if they can't, no political campaign will enlighten them.

What will sway their votes is the prospect that a Democratic Congress would repeal all that has caused this economic miracle: the tax cuts, the deregulation and the reduced business levies, as well as the likelihood that the new Democratic Congress would destroy our health care system, ruin the financial viability of Medicare, and open our borders to drug dealers and criminals.

It's time to play offense.

Dick Morris, who served as adviser to former Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and former President Clinton, is the author of 16 books, including his latest, Screwed and Here Come the Black Helicopters.