Four Lessons from the 2014 Election
Third, the “war on women” theme didn’t work. Just look at the results in the governor’s race in Texas, Sen. Mitch McConnell’s easy reelection in Kentucky, and Sen. Mark Udall’s stunning loss in Colorado. Udall was ridiculed as “Mark Uterus” because of his almost exclusive focus on contraception and abortion during his campaign, to the point where he was even heckled by a large Democratic donor during the final hours of the campaign for seeming to make that “the only thing” Udall stood for.
Fourth and finally, a dismissive attitude towards voters and particularly black voters didn’t work. Last week on TV One, “Where Black Life Unfolds” according to its motto, Michelle Obama told interviewer Roland Martin that black voters should not pay any attention to who the candidates are, what their records are, their positions on issues, or whether they have the character and principles needed. No, she told the audience that “It’s not about the person on the ballot…a Democratic ticket is the clear ticket that we should be voting on, regardless of who said what or did this. That shouldn’t even come into the equation.”
That parallels the insulting position the Holder Justice Department and the NAACP have taken in their lawsuit against North Carolina’s voter ID law and early voting changes. Their experts claim that black voters are “less sophisticated” than white voters and that they are not as capable of “understanding who the candidates are [or] becoming informed” about the issues.
Voters in Maryland obviously didn’t listen to Michelle Obama’s advice or think they are less capable of becoming informed about the candidates. In a state where Democrats have a two-to-one advantage, voters elected Larry Hogan (R) governor. He defeated Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who was responsible for Maryland’s disastrous launch of its Obamacare website and who, unlike other Democrats, actually asked Pres. Obama to come to Maryland and campaign for him. Hogan’s victory margin was an astonishing 54% to 45%, quite a condemnation of what Brown and Obama “said” and “did” in their high tax, pro-regulation, expansive government policies.
While it was Democrats who failed in this election with such tactics, these lessons apply equally to both political parties. Those who want to use political trickery and race or gender baiting to win elections, or who have a contemptuous attitude towards the American people, are going to lose elections. And that is a good thing.
(Artwork created using multiple Shutterstock.com images.)