Ask a Democratic operative about generic ballot polls like this one, and he'd tell you that the party would obviously prefer to be in a better position, but they're not overly concerned at this early stage. Show him this data, however, and watch the color will drain from his face:
A new poll from Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg has got to be cause for concern for Democrats. The poll shows that the key members of the Democratic coalition that has delivered Barack Obama two terms a president are not anxious to vote in the 2014 midterm election. The poll shows that a group known as the "Rising American Electorate" -- which includes the strongly Democratic blocs of young people, unmarried women and minorities -- is significantly less likely to vote than other voters, who tend to favor Republicans...Just 64 percent of members of the Rising American Electorate say they are "almost certain" to vote in 2014, compared to 79 percent of everyone else...This is hardly the first sign of potential turnout problems for Democrats. An AP poll released over the weekend showed those who are very interested in politics favor a GOP-controlled Congress to a Democratic one by 51-37 percent.
"RAE" voters are core members of the demographic coalition Democrats need to turn out in order to be successful. It's this group that made Barack Obama a two-term president in 2012. Non-RAE voters heavily skew Republican. As you can see, nearly 80 percent of strong GOP leaners are highly likely to vote in November, whereas these key Democratic groups are in the mid-60's on that question. If that's how things ultimately play out this fall, Team Blue is in for a world of hurt -- which is why Democrats are pulling out all the pandering stops. The administration is brushing aside scheduled Obamacare-caused Medicare cuts to try to mitigate the damage among seniors. Joe Biden is admonishing his party to fight back against Republican "voter suppression" schemes. And the entire Democratic machine is coordinating to draw attention to the phony "pay gap for women" issue, which they're hoping will galvanize unmarried women. That latter push has been met with unusual skepticism -- if not hostility -- from the mainstream media. CNN aired a decidedly negative segment on the White House's rhetoric, while CBS News exposed the White House's hypocrisy on the issue:
White House spokesman Jay Carney got testy with a reporter who asked a question about the administration's misleading statistics, drawing surprised jeers from others in the press corps:
And that wasn't the only time a White House official was knocked back on his or her heels trying to square their demagoguery with empirical facts:
As soon as Stevenson was actually questioned about the statistic by McClatchy reporter Lindsay Wise, the White House adviser crumbled, admitting her earlier comments were inaccurate. “If I said 77 cents was equal pay for equal work, then I completely misspoke,” Stevenson said. “So let me just apologize and say that I certainly wouldn’t have meant to say that.” Oh, I’m sorry, I guess when Stevenson said “we see it when men and women are working side by side doing identical work” — that was an accident?
If this was the next big ploy to turn Democrats' polls around, it's off to a very rough start.