Will The Polls Overestimate Democrats Again?
Our historical database of polls shows that there’s not much in the way of consistent polling bias. Two cycles of a pro-Republican bias in 1998 and 2000 were followed by a Democratic bias in 2002. A fairly sharp Republican bias in 2012 reversed itself, and the polls were biased toward Democrats in both 2014 and 2016.
Tl;dr? The answer is maybe not, and/but state lean and other fundamentals matter. Maybe.
Lindsey Graham’s Abortion ‘Compromise’ Can’t Win the Middle
On a related note, Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced a bill yesterday that would impose a national ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Graham’s bill does include an exception for rape and incest, subject to certain reporting requirements, but unlike the theoretical proposal WSJ asked about in March, it includes a medical exception only for later abortions necessary to save the life of the mother. Republicans tend to talk about bills that set a deadline for abortion around the end of the first trimester as being similar to laws that prevail in Western Europe, but by not offering a broader health exception, Graham’s bill would impose a significantly tighter restriction. His bill also wouldn’t stop states from setting their own more restrictive laws — it would be a ceiling, not a floor, on abortion rights.
I think there’s an emerging dynamic here that isn’t too different from the politics of gun control. Republicans trying to pivot to more moderate positions on abortion are even echoing Democrats’ language about gun control — Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters says he is for “common sense” restrictions on abortion. But gun control rarely works out as well for Democrats as a policy issue as the polls say it ought to, right? You can take your pile of polls about specific gun control policies that achieve 80% support, but the politics of guns is more about gut-level trust: Who will protect my right to own a gun? Do I trust that the ultimate goal of this politician isn’t really to impose much more restrictive rules than the ones he or she is running on?
Trump found the holes in our election laws. Congress is trying to patch them.
How a few election law fixes could protect democracy in 2024.
The Electoral Count Reform Act currently before the Senate is an effort to do that, fitting into a long history of legislative action following a breakdown in the existing laws. It’s not a bold reinvention of the American electoral system, but a series of bureaucratic reforms, requiring careful legal craftwork, intended to patch frays and holes in the United States Code. To do that, it updates antiquated language, clarifies contested issues, and streamlines the process to follow if a once-in-a-century political crisis occurs.
The new legislation is not intended as a foolproof fix to avoid future issues — after all, who could have predicted that a mob featuring a man in a Viking costume would storm the Capitol chanting “hang Mike Pence”? But it does eliminate many of the ambiguities exploited by Trump and his allies in the 2020 election and ensures that anyone intent on trying to reverse a presidential election in the future will have to rely on their own ingenuity, and not the road map of 2020.
Abortion gives Democrats a shot at flipping a Senate seat in Wisconsin
Evidence is building that a wave of women voters might be the difference-maker if Democrats are to keep their Senate majority and stem their expected losses in the House of Representatives in the Nov. 8 midterm elections.
Wisconsin is one of several states where voter registrations among women have surged since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. That decision gutted national protections for abortion and left an 1849 law outlawing most abortions in Wisconsin on the books, prompting the state’s four abortion clinics to end the procedure.
As to that cartoon at the top?