Nate Cohn Thinks the Democrats can Win by Losing


Nate Cohn, writing in the New York Times, did his best to put some lipstick on a pig yesterday by suggesting that the impending Republican victory (which he has been busily trying to suggest will not happen) isn’t really bad news for Democrats at all. Cohn’s article is fairly typical of the completely evidence-free wishful thinking I recall our side engaging in during the latter stages of 2006 and indicates some hope that the Democrats intend to learn nothing from their coming chastisement at the hands of the voters. Cohn’s thesis is as follows:

But perhaps more important to the party’s long-term prospects than Tuesday’s results is what unfolds in the presidential battleground states. If the night ends with tight races in Iowa, North Carolina, Colorado and Georgia, as the polls suggest, then the results will not be as great for Republicans as many analysts will surely proclaim.

Even if the Republicans win these states, which would all but ensure Senate control, it will probably be mostly because of low midterm turnout among Democratic-leaning young and nonwhite voters. The implication would be that Republican Senate candidates did not win many voters who supported President Obama in 2012. And it would suggest that Republicans have made little progress in attracting voters they would need to take back the White House.

It’s an interesting point by Cohn, but if you read the article, you’ll notice something important – Cohn cites literally no polling evidence to back his hypothesis that the GOP has failed to make inroads in typically Democratic constituencies. The only evidence he even references is that the share of the white vote in a number of key states will continue to dwindle as years go on. This much has been known for years. But with respect to the actual point of his article – that the GOP is just turning out the white male vote while not persuading any other demographic, Cohn cites no polls to verify his point.

There’s a very simple reason for that fact: the polling evidence that exists completely disproves Cohn’s thesis.

For instance, no group was more vital to the Democrats’ victories in 2012 than women. Democrats recognized this fact heading in to 2014; however, they approached the female vote with all the finesse of Mike Tyson on a coke binge, suggesting that women are interested in nothing but …read more    

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