Andy Puzder: Democrats embracing far-left will lose support of many voters

Democratic candidates embracing far-left positions in the closing days of their campaigns for the Nov. 6 midterm elections are risking defeat by failing to appeal to swing voters who cast ballots for Donald Trump in 2016.

Over 63 million American voters made Trump president two years ago. Many of these voters were independents, and some were Democrats who wisely concluded that Trump would make a better president than Hillary Clinton.

If Democrats are going to ride an anti-Trump blue wave to win majority control of the U.S. House and Senate – and capture more governorships and state offices – they will need to convince a significant number of 2016 Trump voters to switch allegiance and vote for Democrats next month.

This may be a tougher task than history suggests.

Republicans are well aware that history is not on their side going into these elections. Historically, the party that holds the White House usually suffers losses in Congress in the midterms.

According to Gallup's polling history, presidents with job approval ratings below 50 percent have lost an average of 37 House seats in the midterm elections.

President Obama lost 63 seats in his first midterm when his job approval rating in the Gallup Poll was 45 percent. Gallup’s most recent poll has President Trump’s approval rating at 44 percent.

Based on polls that ask people which party they would support in an election, Democrats hold a 7.7 percent edge over Republicans, according to the RealClear Politics average of the polls.

The question is how much of that lead is attributable to what experts call "social desirability bias" – in this case, the notion that voters are reluctant to tell a stranger they are voting for Republicans or supporting Trump because of overwhelmingly negative media coverage of the president.

It’s obviously hard to measure the impact of this bias. But many news organizations are now openly showing their opposition to the president by calling him a liar, attacking him incessantly and rarely saying anything about his many accomplishments. So it’s reasonable that a sizeable number of Americans are unwilling to tell pollsters they intend to vote for Republicans.

Keep in mind, if pollsters and pundits were right in predicting the outcome of the 2016 election President Hillary Clinton would be sitting in the Oval Office. So don’t assume the blue wave that Democrats dream of will materialize.

The American people are smarter than Democrats give them credit for. They know that no matter how much the Democrats and their media allies attack President Trump and Republicans in Congress, our country has made great progress since Trump took office.

Our economy is stronger – surging on all fronts thanks to tax cuts approved by the Republican-controlled Congress and supported and signed into law by President Trump.

And President Trump’s decisive action to remove costly and unnecessary federal government regulations – combined with his America First trade policies – have enabled businesses to create new jobs and reverse decades of decline in American manufacturing.

Our nation’s unemployment rate in September fell to just 3.7 percent – the lowest rate since 1969. That’s an extraordinary achievement and millions of Americans know that President Trump and the GOP Congress deserve the credit.

In addition to the overall low unemployment rate, the unemployment rates for African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans and women are at or near historic lows.

The U.S. Labor Department announced this month that in August, there were 7.1 million jobs openings yet to be filled, exceeding the number of people unemployed by 900,000. This is one for the record books.

Voters know they lived through eight years of anemic growth during the Obama administration and know they are a lot better off under Trump policies.

Groups that make up a significant portion of the Democratic Party’s base are clearly benefitting from the Republican economic boom. Attempting to credit President Obama for our strong economy – as Obama tried to do in a speech in Las Vegas on Monday – is so absurd as to be laughable.

Voters know they lived through eight years of anemic growth during the Obama administration and know they are a lot better off under Trump policies.

If the midterm elections are principally about the economy, the Democrats will fare far more poorly than they expect.

Understanding this, Democratic candidates are talking about everything except the economy. But they are making a miscalculation by adopting a strategy of appealing to their most extreme supporters and taking up the banner of “the resistance” to President Trump. Some have even embraced socialism. This is a radical position that is unlikely to draw support from independents and Trump voters.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., is urging supporters to harass members of President Trump’s Cabinet and other administration officials “in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station.”

Hillary Clinton says that Democrats “cannot be civil” with Republicans until they regain majorities in Congress.

Former Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder instructed tells Democrats that “when they (Republicans) go low, we kick ’em.”

It is hard to see how this strategy will get Democrats the support of swing voters they need to capture control of the House in November – and most analysts have concluded that a Democratic takeover of the Senate is extraordinarily unlikely.

Radicals on the far-left fringe are no doubt thrilled to see mobs that have heckled and disrupted the confirmation hearing for now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, harassed Trump administration officials and members of Congress, attempted to break down the doors of the Supreme Court, shouted down conservative speakers at colleges, blocked roads and engaged in other extreme actions.

But there are not enough of these folks to sweep Democrats back to power in Congress.

The truth is that America is not governed by mob rule and never has been. The extreme tactics and extreme positions now embraced by many Democratic candidates are likely to drive more independent and other centrist voters into the Republican camp than turn them into Democratic voters.

In fact, these mob tactics may be convincing many Americans who have been skeptical of the president that perhaps he was justified in throwing some hard punches of his own over the last two years.

I hesitate to make any firm predictions about the outcome of the midterm elections. The electoral situation is more fluid than ever. America is a divided nation and history favors the Democrats because we have a Republican president.

But at the same time, we are a nation of centrists and not extremists. The voters will tell us what they think Nov. 6.