Vanishing Middle: Political Polarization in the US and Europe

Immigration is a hotbed radicalizing issue in Europe and the US. Texas is ground zero here. Italy is ground zero there.

Spotlight Texas

A Record 4.8 Million Texans Voted Early in this years midterm elections.

It's hard to say who that favors, but turnout was heaviest in Collin County where nearly 50% of registered voters have already cast their ballots.

Collin county is heavily Republican.

Politico asks Did Beto Blow It?

Over the past six months, I spoke with a host of Texas Republicans about the U.S. Senate race. Many of them dislike Cruz. Some of them privately hope he loses. And all of them are baffled by the disconnect between the superior branding of O’Rourke’s candidacy and what they see as the tactical malpractice of his campaign.

In their view, Cruz is uniquely vulnerable, having alienated Texans of all ideological stripes with his first-term antics—and especially those affluent, college-educated suburbanites repelled by Trump.

“Despite all of Cruz’s problems—and there are plenty—here’s a guy who’s running around talking about Medicare for all, and impeaching Trump, and abolishing ICE. And it’s killing him,” Karl Rove, the former senior adviser to George W. Bush, told me in Austin this summer. “Even for people who dislike Cruz, impeaching Trump strikes many of them as terrible for the country. I’ve got friends and family members who may not vote for Cruz. They don’t like Cruz. But Beto isn’t contesting them. I mean, it’s just weird.”

Instead of pivoting to the center, as spring gave way to summer, the Democratic nominee hardened his positions. Where he had once hedged on his endorsement of "Medicare for all," O’Rourke began forcefully championing a single-payer system. Where he once avoided impeachment talk, O’Rourke reiterated, on the day he and Hurd received an award for civility in politics, that Trump should be removed from office. Where he once carefully straddled the border-security debate, O’Rourke said he was open to abolishing ICE if its duties could be assumed elsewhere.

James Aldrete, a Texas Democratic strategist who ran the Spanish-language media strategy for both Obama campaigns and for Hillary Clinton in 2016, conceded “He never made a political adjustment to reach out to the middle.”

Beto Platform

  • Medicare for all.
  • Medicaid expansion.
  • Invest in job training and apprenticeship programs.
  • Impeach Trump —a position rejected by Nancy Pelosi, and nearly every other prominent Democrat in America, as futile and counterproductive.
  • Open to abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

It's easy to not like Cruz, but it's a lot easier to like Cruz when the opponent is extreme-left.

Cruz vs O’Rourke

I suspect this one will be close but Cruz will win.

O'Rourke may be the only person Cruz can beat just as Hillary was the only person Trump could beat.

Like Hillary, O'Rourke ran a poor campaign. Despite raising huge amounts of money, Cruz outspent O'Rourke on ads in the past few weeks.

Yet, I would not be hugely surprised if O'Rourke won. It's not impossible.

Abandoning the Middle

Neither Cruz nor O'Rourke reached out to the middle.

Apparently no one wants it.

Fiscal responsibility? No one wants that either. Deficits are out of sight and expanding rapidly.

For eight years Republicans were against Obama's budgets. Trump's projected budgets are worse.

A genuine middle-class tax cut would have gone over big. Instead, the middle class got peanuts.

Military waste is enormous. Entitlements are out of control. Interest on the national debt is soaring.

So how does Medicare for all, more Medicaid, more military spending and absurd makeshift job training programs, fit in?

Easy to Be Angry

It's easy to be angry.

Expect things to get worse when the next recession hits and public union pension plans go bust.

You ain't seen nothing yet.

Midterm Senate Races

Fearless Political Predictions

  1. Democrats easily win the House.
  2. Close but no cigar for Democrats winning the Senate. I give the Democrats 6 or 7 of those tossups.

I suspect the Democrats lose Missouri and win all the rest. Even if they win all 7 they have to flip another seat. The best chance is Texas.

So look for a 50-50 Senate tie or the status quo at 51-49.

2019 US Legislation

If the Democrats win the House, very little legislation will pass in the next two years, except of course more wasteful spending by both sides when the next recession hits.

Spotlight Europe

Meanwhile, the splintering is even more pronounced in Europe.

This is not a good economic or political setup to say the least, both globally and in the US.

Trumps tariffs make matters much worse.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments
No. 1-19
Dsgn
Dsgn

I do have to say that it's interesting how effectively that established, rich and partisan organizations we refer to "The Media" can use a logical fallacy like "poisoning the well" on their "customers" so effectively and get away with it. Must be all that Forced Public Schooling.

Immigrants. All of the people who moved here from Mexico and settled are immigrants, right? They've ALL gone through the complete language, civics, health checks, loyalty oaths ... right?? NO?!? Then perhaps Mish should buck the “language consensus” media impose on us, and call things by their true names, and always refer to them as INVADERS. As the Soviets would say, "immigration" is an Agitprop word, an euphemism designed to camouflage evil.

Speaking of the Soviets, and given the money flows of this sElection, perhaps the political polarization we see is the fact that the US Democratic Party is a subdivision of the International Communist movement, building their "World Communist Corporate Empire", where the former united states becomes merely an administrative and tax district for faraway, untouchable Rulers. A fascist merger of big.gang.biz and big.gang.guv, forever.

The Globull "One World" movement will end all that pesky "polarization". The Dems and the RINO's are merely temporary useful idiots. They will rest in eternal peace - in mass unmarked graves - when they become useless. We all know how those schemes end.

JL1
JL1

The bluewave happened in the House.

It was not as big as Democrats had hoped but it still happened.

Incumbent House Republicans that lost were either actively opposing Trump and trying to reverse Trump policies (example: Kevin Yoder in Kansas who wanted to reverse Sessions asylum definition tightening and return it to the Obama started ridiculousness of considering spousal abuse in Guatemala or gang threats in Honduras reasons for asylum)

OR

running away from Trump and not talking about immigration at all (many Republicans)

OR

Republicans who hid themselves from voters and did not hold any townhalls and made strange statements (example: Dave Brat who was a former tea party darling and whose win in Republican primary against Eric Cantor in 2014 led to amnesty-loving Republicans like Rubio and others giving up on the Republican-Democrat mass-amnesty push of 2014)

Also re-districting was part of many Republicans losses.

Democrats have also been successful in getting some redistricting through the courts where Republican strongholds have been moved to different voting-districts and replaced with Democrat leaning areas and this was part of the losses.

Republicans got more seats in the Senate but not as much as I predicted and some losses were tight 50ish-49ish battles where Republican turn out strategy failed compared to energized Democrats.

It seems Republicans won many Governorships that they were predicted to lose by the media and this is important for the 2020 redistricting but Republicans lost some Governorships and this will hurt them 2020-2030 in those states they lost after Democrats do the 2020 redistricting in those states.

Democrat Maxine Waters will be responsible for Wall Street regulation in the House....

Realist
Realist

It just occurred to me that I keep coming back to this site (when I have time), because watching America fall apart slowly is like watching a slow-motion train wreck. It's not pretty, but you can't look away.

MntGoat
MntGoat

Texas is becoming what happens when liberals flee their failed states (California) and move to red states for cheaper housing, and then start to pollute local politics with their failed ideology. Add to this liberal exodus from the coasts large numbers of immigrants who vote 75% Dem. 30 yrs ago no way a guy like O'Rourke would have gained any traction in TX.

Texas has been an amazingly strong job producer and population magnet for the last 30+ yrs. Despite being flat, hot, and not having all the physical gifts places like Calif do (great weather, mountains, beaches, etc...). That is largely because it has been a pro business and low regulation red state. Now Beto O'Rouke wants to make it a lot more like California politically. RIP Texas in a few decades.

Liberals have polluted the politics of other states like Colorado, Nevada, Washington. And are even starting to infect Idaho and Utah. And on the east coast liberals fleeing NY, NJ, CT, MA -----> NC, SC, FL, GA.....and turning those states more purple. They flee their old states because of high taxes and looking for greener pastures....and then in turn ruin where they go.

silvermitt
silvermitt

If I may, I'd like to point out much of Indiana considers it to be Republican. The places where Democrat politicians do well is centered at large cities, where there is dense voter population. But ask anyone in rural Indiana, and you'll get a different view for politics and far more Republican support. Just my two cents from Southern Indiana. Thanks.

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