The Corner

‘Disappointed, down, despondent’

Charlie Cook doesn’t have high prospects for Democrats this November. From the new Economist:

The elections in 2008 were unique in recent history for the number of young who voted; [Cook] cannot see that happening again. The enthusiasm gap has persisted for several months now, and is unlikely to close in the three that remain before election day, according to [Jeff] Jones [of Gallup]. Gallup, meanwhile, has found no discernible increase in support for the Democrats among Latinos since Arizona adopted its controversial immigration law. And the huge Democratic votes in 2006 and 2008 were always going to be hard to maintain, even in the best of circumstances.

The Democrats’ best hope, in Mr Cook’s view, lies not in courting the party base but in denigrating the Republicans. That may help to remind disillusioned supporters why they voted Democratic in the first place. It could also give wavering independent voters pause. But the tactic’s chief benefit may lie in dampening the support of Republican cadres for their party.

Indeed, the Democrats’ leaders seem to have adopted this strategy already. They are trying to frame the election as a choice between their reforms, however imperfect, and a return to the failed policies of Mr Bush. Mr Obama is likening the Republican Party to a driver who, having crashed into a ditch, waits for someone else to pull the car out and then asks for the keys back. It’s a far cry from “Yes we can”.

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