The results in Arizona’s special congressional election were a wake-up call for Republicans who have been used to hitting the snooze button in recent years.
An Arizona GOP polling expert, Mike Noble, said: “Republicans shouldn’t be hitting the alarm, they should be slamming it. This district isn’t supposed to be competitive, and so to see this margin, especially with the Republicans pouring in resources here — again, it’s a tough year.”
Congressional guru David Wasserman tweeted, “There are 147 GOP-held House seats less Republican [the Arizona 8th]. It’s time to start rethinking how many of those are truly safe in November.”
But looking deeper at the election returns in Arizona, and in other special elections over the past year, there is evidence of a shifting in the electorate that could have profound implications not just in 2018 but for many years to come.
“Republicans grossly misjudged the political landscape if they think the GOP tax cut can buy the loyalty of Republican moderates, white women, married women and college graduates who held their noses to vote for Trump in 2016. These voters are the ones likely to tell pollsters they are embarrassed to have Trump as president, consider him dishonest and unfit, fret about getting into a fighting or a trade war, and worry not that their taxes are too high but that college tuition is too costly. They regard Trump as boorish, irresponsible, loopy and even dangerous.”
“Combine these voters with impassioned millennials and gun-safety advocates, and you have the makings of a formidable Democratic coalition. Democrats don’t need to play the protectionist card with white working-class voters or hand out job guarantees. They don’t need to feel guilty that are somehow not respecting Trumpkin snowflakes when they call out climate-change denial and recoil at casual expressions of white resentment.”
“Democratic candidates who present themselves as defenders of democratic values, decency and what Republicans used to call “well-ordered liberty” will rack up midterm wins, maybe even enough to win majorities in both houses of Congress. Voters are telling us that they are sick of the Trump show and even more sick of his enablers who insult their intelligence with crackpot defenses of Trump.”
If there is a new powerful coalition that will elect Democratic candidates then this means the old Republican coalition is dead. We are seeing a major realignment in American politics. People are repulsed by Donald Trump and by Republican policies.
With every special election we see more evidence of this new Democratic coalition. It is coming just in time not to just create a Blue Wave in November but to save American Democracy.