Off-year elections are always terribly problematic for Democrats. The Republican base of crazies and old, rich white people always shows up at the polls. The Democratic constituency doesn’t.
That’s how we got stuck with the Republican House and how the GOP took over so many state legislature and thus gerrymandered the Congressional districts to protect the GOP House. And how so many crazy Republican Governors got elected in 2010….
The Democrats have to find issues that will drive their voters to the polls in these off-year elections. Gun control may be one of them. We just have to break through the DC Bubble about Guns and their fear of the NRA.
All the polls say the public widely supports additional gun controls like background checks, banning assault weapons and high volume magazines. We just have to get the Dems to believe this and come up with a credible and effective messaging process.
That’s always the biggest challenge: The Democrats just don’t know how to message and make the most of issues that drive their supporters to the polls.
But they may be starting to learn…
Women who don’t usually vote in midterm elections — the same women who generally drive Democratic victories — will turn out in 2014 over the issue of guns, according to a recent poll.
The survey released by Women Donors Network, a self-described progressive “community of women philanthropists,” found that a subset of women voters who usually don’t vote in midterm elections are more likely to vote in 2014 on the issue of gun violence.
That echoes what former Rep. Steve LaTourette (OH), now a militant moderate leader in the Republican Party, said on Tuesday when he cautioned his party against sticking too close to the National Rifle Association in the post-Newtown legislative push to reduce gun violence. If the GOP is seen as being in the pocket of the NRA, he said, it could cost the party big with women in future elections.
The survey, which was conducted by Democratic pollster Diane Feldman and Republican pollster Bob Carpenter using live phone calls to 1,500 women, found that “women who may not ordinarily vote in a non-presidential year are among those most engaged with issues of gun violence.” The group also posted a PDF slide deck presenting the poll’s findings.
Feldman explained in an interview with TPM on Wednesday the results mean guns could be good politics for Democrats.
“As we approach the 2014 congressional elections, the question will be to what degree do single women, lower income women, persons of color participate since that’s the Democratic edge,” she said. “And this is an issue that can encourage them to participate.”