Connect with us

Politics

Exclusive: How independent voters saved Democrats – TalkOfNews.com

Published

on

How independent voters saved Democrats

#independent #voters #saved #Democrats

Democrats would not have had such a good election night without the support of independent voters.

These mystical swing voters don’t affiliate themselves with a specific party, tend to be more ideologically moderate, and represent a plurality of voters in the United States. But they are also hard to reach, often less politically engaged, and frequently confused with “weak partisans” (less energetic Democrats or Republicans) because they can have ideological leans.

They also tend to swing elections — and this year’s dissipation of the much-hyped “red wave” is partially a result of independent voters picking the Democratic candidate in competitive contests in swing states and districts.

Despite plenty of polling this year showing that independents were, like Republicans, primarily concerned with the state of the economy and inflation, they ended up making nuanced decisions in key statewide races — and that worked to benefit Democrats.

“This was a really complicated election with complicated issues, and for anyone to say this election was about the economy or this election was about abortion doesn’t really know what they’re talking about because [the issues] played different cross-pressures with different types of voters,” Bryan Bennett, the chief pollster at the progressive Navigator Research firm, told me. “With independents in particular, the economic record of the Biden administration was necessary, but not sufficient, and for a lot of voters, the Dobbs decision ultimately played a fairly decisive role in at least getting independents to a place where overall they were split, as opposed to overwhelmingly favoring Republicans for Congress.”

State by state, those numbers come through in news networks’ exit polling (which provides an incomplete but early look at how an electorate behaved during an election) and other post-election surveys. In Arizona, for example, Sen. Mark Kelly’s win over Blake Masters in the state’s US Senate contest was boosted by the support of 55 percent of independents — who made up the largest share of the electorate (about 40 percent). The Associated Press’s midterm survey also found that independents broke in favor of Democrats by nearly 20 points.

In Nevada’s Senate race, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto was able to win the support of 48 percent of independents, compared to the 45 percent of independents who supported Republican Adam Laxalt, exit polls show. That included strong independent support in the swing Washoe County, which Cortez Masto won in this contest (she lost it during her first election in 2016). The AP VoteCast survey shows a nearly 10 percent gap in favor of Democrats.

In Georgia, Sen. Raphael Warnock won 53 percent of independents according to exit polls, though they made up a smaller share (24 percent) of that electorate. That contest is headed to a December runoff. Sen. Maggie Hassan, the Democrat who won reelection in New Hampshire, meanwhile, won a similar share of independents: 54 percent of the group that made up a plurality of voters. And John Fetterman in Pennsylvania, who won his race by a 5 percent vote margin, garnered the support of 58 percent of independents.

In most polling leading up to Election Day, the numbers of independent support did not look as good as the exit polls, and vote totals, would end up being. A few factors led to that shift in support.

Advertisement

Republican extremism on abortion rights turned off many independents

Perhaps the most confounding result for pundits across the spectrum was how the negative perception voters, and especially independents, had of President Joe Biden’s job performance and the state of the economy did not translate into a massive swing for Republicans. But voters weren’t viewing their Election Day options through a single lens. Independents, especially, were weighing specific candidates’ stances on abortion rights against Democrats’ record on the economy as well.

Bennett told me that Navigator’s midterm polling (conducted before and after Election Day, of voters who voted early or in-person) shows a strong split in how independent men and women were thinking of candidates, with more independent women choosing to support Democrats than independent men.

In data provided to Vox from Navigator’s midterm voters survey, those numbers show that for independent men, inflation was a top concern for half of them, while abortion was the top concern for 23 percent. Among women, inflation was the top concern for 46 percent of respondents, while abortion was close behind at 34 percent. Though the numbers differ slightly between Navigator’s finding and exit polls, the same 17-percent gender gap shows up: Independent men supported Republicans slightly more than Democrats, but independent women backed Democrats by a much bigger margin.

“That’s a very important piece of the story — the way that abortion played particularly with independent women,” Bennett said.

Daniel Cox, a pollster and director of the Survey Center on American Life at the American Enterprise Institute, made a similar argument last week, about the influence of young women, who skew liberal, on Democrats’ success.

“When it comes to abortion and Trump-style politics, many swing voters were turned off by extreme Republican candidates, but this combination proved uniquely repellant to young women,” he wrote while synthesizing pre-election polling, early estimates on youth turnout from Tufts University, and exit polls.

Add to that the popularity of different elements of the Biden economic agenda, like the high popularity of the Inflation Reduction Act, and you get more of a picture of a choice election, where voters were not driven primarily by anger at the party in power, but by candidates and policy. Voters who were driven primarily by economic concerns appear to have voted for Republicans in congressional races, while those who were driven by mostly abortion rights, or a mix of issues, seem like they tended to vote for Democrats in those contests.

And another motivator: threats to democracy, and the vibes

The “vibes” were also off. Plenty of independent voters felt off put by Trump-aligned Republican candidates. Some disliked GOP candidates’ positions on abortion; others were repelled by other social and economic stances.

“We did see some movement, particularly among independents, over the course of the summer and fall, in terms of the perception that Republicans were too ‘radical’. That may very well be tied predominantly to Republicans’ association with being against abortion rights,” Bennett said. “Some combination of the Dobbs decision and the push for abortion bans — that being perceived as pretty extreme, and the January 6 hearings and conversation around political violence.”

That was a bet plenty of Democrats were willing to make. “It was all tied together,” Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, who leads the Pro-Choice Caucus in Congress, told the New York Times. “People were thinking, ‘I’m worried about the economy. I’m worried about freedoms being taken away,’ and they were worried about democracy, too.”

Talking with successful candidates for secretary of state, who won independents by significant margins and beat back a wave of election deniers and Republican candidates trying to oversee election administration, another theme emerged: Many independents and Republicans were frustrated with candidates who seemed to care little about the integrity of elections, and who questioned the results of the 2020 election.

Advertisement

Kim Rogers, the executive director of the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State, told me that the advantage Democrats had this cycle was the wide swath of people in the middle of the political spectrum who just didn’t buy the outlandish claims many Republican candidates were making.

“There are a lot of independents and there are still Republicans that believe in the promise of democracy, in our electoral structures, and that they should be preserved,” she said. “When you’re talking to those folks, across the board, voters want somebody who will respect the will of voters. When you have people who are running to oversee elections that say they’re doing it so they can pick and choose the winners and determine outcomes, that is a natural ‘in your face’ to voters.”

Election denying candidates, and candidates aligned with Donald Trump, might have actually turned independents off from other Republican candidates on the ticket.

In Pennsylvania, for example, Attorney General Josh Shapiro won the gubernatorial race by winning independents (by 29 points) and political moderates (by 40 points) by historic margins against the far-right, election-denying, Christian fundamentalist Republican Doug Mastriano. Mehmet Oz, the more moderate Republican candidate for US Senate, was dragged down both by Mastriano and his own poorly run campaign, losing independents by 20 points and moderates by 30 points. Those varying levels of support also suggest a degree of split-ticket voting, which meant that independent and Republican voters were even more selective in the Republican candidates they did end up supporting.

In that way, poor Republican candidate quality hurt other Republicans, especially with independents and moderates, as my colleague Andrew Prokop has reported. Trump’s affiliation also weighed these candidates down, analysts at The Economist and the New York Times argue, and combined, you get a picture of a winning coalition: independent voters, and even some Republicans, feeling uncomfortable supporting Republican candidates and going with a safer, Democratic option.


Advertisement

Politics

Exclusive: Today in Supreme Court History: January 26, 1832 – TalkOfNews.com

Published

on

By

Today in Supreme Court History: January 26, 1832

#Today #Supreme #Court #History #January

1/26/1832: Justice George Shiras Jr.’s birthday.

Justice George Shiras Jr.

The post Today in Supreme Court History: January 26, 1832 appeared first on Reason.com.

Continue Reading

Politics

Exclusive: Liberals Are Mad That McCarthy Named MAGA Republicans to Subcommittees on COVID and Government Weaponization – Good – TalkOfNews.com

Published

on

By

Liberals Are Mad That McCarthy Named MAGA Republicans to Subcommittees on COVID and Government Weaponization – Good

#Liberals #Mad #McCarthy #Named #MAGA #Republicans #Subcommittees #COVID #Government #Weaponization #Good

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced members named to two select subcommittees – one investigating the origins of COVID and another looking into the weaponization of the federal government – and Democrats are livid over the addition of certain MAGA lawmakers.

“The government has a responsibility to serve the American people, not go after them,” McCarthy said in a statement.

“The Members selected to serve on these subcommittees will work to stop the weaponization of the federal government and will also finally get answers to the Covid origins and the federal government’s gain of function research that contributed to the pandemic,” he added.

McCarthy notes that the weaponization subcommittee is necessary because congressional Democrats and the Biden administration engaged in a “dangerous pattern of the government being used to target political opponents while they neglected their most basic responsibilities.”

RELATED: Conservative Victory: Dan Crenshaw Loses Race To Chair Homeland Security Committee to Freedom Caucus Member Green

MAGA Members Named to House Select Subcommittees

A couple of names that showed up on the House select subcommittees raised the ire of Democrats, particularly those associated with the MAGA movement.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) continued reaping the fruits of a kinship with McCarthy that would make Frank Luntz blush, being named to the COVID-19 subcommittee.

Greene celebrated the appointment, stating her intention to investigate the role of gain-of-function research, the Democrat “authoritarian” lockdowns, the ineffective vaccines forced on the American people, and Dr. Anthony Fauci’s role.

Greene will also be sitting on the House Homeland Security and Oversight Committees.

Also named to the COVID subcommittee is former White House physician Ronny Jackson (R-TX), who has consistently challenged President Biden to undergo a mental fitness evaluation.

Jim Jordan (R-OH) will chair the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government after being rejected by former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to serve on the January 6th panel.

RELATED: White House Terrified of MAGA Republicans Being Named to Committees Investigating Biden Administration

Liberals Aren’t Happy

Liberals on social media responded with outrage over MAGA Republicans representing their constituents on the select subcommittees.

Because see, it would be better to have completely partisan sham committees like the January 6th debacle.

Advertisement

Democratic Congressman Don Beyer dismissed both panels as “devoted to conspiracy theories.”

This is fine by us, since these days “conspiracy theories” mostly just means “the media hasn’t admitted it yet.”

House Judiciary Democrats lambasted McCarthy for having “sold out our democracy to empower MAGA extremists.”

Richard Stengel, a former Obama administration official, also took the dismissive ‘conspiracy theory’ path.

The ‘Weaponization’ subcommittee, Stengel claims, is “a body that creates rather than investigates conspiracy theories and which will eventually undermine itself.”

We literally just watched the January 6th sham create highly directed and produced filmography rather than evidence, doctored actual evidence, created conspiracy theories, and admitted they wanted to tell people what they should believe.

If Democrats are mad about MAGA Republicans serving on committees to provide a counterpoint to Democrat and media lies, then McCarthy is most definitely doing the right thing.

Advertisement

Now is the time to support and share the sources you trust.
The Political Insider ranks #3 on Feedspot’s “100 Best Political Blogs and Websites.”


Continue Reading

Politics

Exclusive: Why older mass shooters like the California gunmen are so rare – TalkOfNews.com

Published

on

By

Why older mass shooters like the California gunmen are so rare

#older #mass #shooters #California #gunmen #rare

The gunmen in both of the recent shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, California, had an unusual profile compared to most perpetrators of violent crime: They were both senior citizens.

The Monterey Park gunman, who killed 11 and injured nine before fatally shooting himself, was 72. The Half Moon Bay gunman, who killed seven people before he was arrested in what police have characterized as an act of workplace violence, is 66.

Mass shooters of that age are rare, especially those with no prior criminal record, as was the case with the Half Moon Bay gunman. (The Monterey Park gunman had one arrest in 1990 for illegal possession of a firearm.) According to data from the National Institute of Justice, mass shooters between 1966 and 2021 were on average 34 years old, and those over the age of 60 accounted for a little over 3 percent of all mass shootings, which are defined as shootings in which four or more people are killed.

The notion that people “age out of crime” is one of the most well-documented phenomena in the field of criminology. The California shootings should be seen as exceptions to that principle, not as nullifying examples, according to Ashley Nellis, co-director of research for the Sentencing Project, which advocates for criminal justice reform.

“The predictability of age is probably the most reliable point of data that we have about people who commit violent crime. Young people are just substantially more likely, and by extension, older people are substantially unlikely, to commit crime,” Nellis said. “It’s certainly a cautionary note to anybody who would be jumping to make policy based on these two events.”

Research has repeatedly shown that criminal activity increases throughout teen years, reaches its highest point at age 17, the oldest that someone can be charged with a juvenile crime, and subsides thereafter throughout life. Property crime peaks at a slightly younger age than violent crime. But even chronic offenders would be statistically likely to stop committing crime by around the age of 40, Nellis said.

There are a lot of theories as to why that might be. Typical milestones associated with getting older, like graduating or getting married, may put people on a trajectory that veers away from criminality. Brain development isn’t complete until the mid-20s, hindering decision-making that might lead to crime and risky behavior. Young people have less financial security, and people in poverty are more likely to commit crimes. Some crimes might be physically demanding, and older people just might not have the strength to carry them out.

But both gunmen in the California shootings buck the archetype of a violent criminal, and their motives still aren’t entirely clear. Investigators have said that the Monterey Park shooter frequented the dance studio where he killed his victims and that the Half Moon Bay gunman, who lived and worked as a forklift driver at a mushroom farm, was angry at the coworkers he shot. Previously, there have been mass shooters as old as 70, including a gunman who opened fire at a church in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, and killed three people last June.

Though age can sometimes factor into the decision to impose a less harsh sentence on young offenders, the Half Moon Bay shooter’s advanced age won’t have any bearing on the length of his sentence, as is standard practice in the US.

Advertisement

He will be charged with seven counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, with a special circumstance allegation of multiple murder and sentencing enhancements for each count because of his use of a firearm, the San Mateo County district attorney announced Wednesday. If convicted on those charges, he could be facing up to life in prison without the possibility of parole. (He won’t face the death penalty, given that California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, placed a moratorium on executions in the state in 2019.)

Life sentences without parole have become increasingly common in the US over the last few decades. But Nellis argues the age of older offenders like the Half Moon Bay shooter should be considered a mitigating factor when making sentencing decisions — especially given that the use of executive clemency to release them early has become nonexistent, as she writes in a 2022 report.

“Regardless of age, somebody who does commit an act of violence like this is likely to be rehabilitated, be reformed, be ready to return to society within 10 years,” she said.

Recidivism is unlikely among older people, according to data from the US Sentencing Commission, and keeping them in prison comes at a high taxpayer cost, which includes health care bills that balloon at the end of life. It’s difficult to say how much those who’ll decide the fate of the Half Moon Bay suspect will take that data into account; his initial arraignment is Wednesday.

Continue Reading

Exclusive

Copyright © 2022 Talk Of News.