An interesting data point from Saturday’s New York Times/Siena Poll but most people haven’t touched on it is one that Aaron Blake (Washington Post’s analyst) makes in today’s analysis titled “Democrats’ failure to make 2022 about Democracy.
Despite the Jan. 6 hearings, the many GOP election deniers running, etc., just 52% of Biden voters and 23% of independents view the GOP as a major threat to democracy.
In fact, more independents actually view the *Democrats* as a threat to democracy.https://t.co/PcbIk6FH4i
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) October 18, 2022
A New York Times/Siena College poll found that 45 percent of Americans view Trump as a “major danger” to democracy. Only 28% view Trump in the same way.
This 28-percent figure is actually lower than the 33 percent who consider the Democratic Party a threat (33%) despite the fact there have never been any similar instances of Democrats trying to overturn an election.
Aaron’s condemnation of Republicans is a little heavy-handed (your mileage may differ), but he does make an interesting point elsewhere.
Despite Jan. 6 hearings being well-publicized and the likely last one last week, an insurrection was not the main focus of Democrats’ 2022 campaign messaging. Politico reported last Tuesday that Jan. 6 was not included in more than 2 percent of House Democrats’ ads.
This is despite Trump’s baseless last-ditch electoral challenges, which led to an attack on Capitol Hill.
The “threat to democracy” message is a central part of the party’s messaging. However, it is not in the campaigns.
Blake basically claims that Democrats failed voters to warn them about the dangers of January 6th, 2021. This is false. There is plenty of evidence to the contrary. Voters weren’t as concerned about January 6, 2021’s “threat against democracy”, so Democratic campaigns focused on issues that they care about.
The campaign that started most campaigns to roll at the time was abortion.
This Harvard Harris poll was taken on February 20, 2021, one month following the Washington riots. More people thought that Antifa was a terrorist organization in the home than the Proud Boys.
According to the poll, it wasn’t as important. This poll was taken one month after January 6th riot, and more months after the summer Antifa protests. Blake points out that people were more likely than ever to see Trump as a threat.
The Democrats noticed the polling and responded accordingly.
The surge ended at the end of the summer. Democrats were left with a long list of ads about abortion and angry voters for focusing too much on the wrong thing.
It’s not that Democrats failed to make the case.