We’re about lose last week’s culture-war apocalypse, Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ ejection from Red Hen, to this week’s culture-war apocalypse in Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, which will eclipse practically everything else this summer. Before it disappears off the freak-out radar entirely, let’s take a look at how America views the issue. In a YouGov poll published on Day Two A.K. (After Kennedy), a near-majority 49% of Democrats called her ejection fair — the only political demographic that considered it so:
Note that the results among Democrats and the survey as a whole are mirror opposites of each other. It’s a rather striking contrast, especially when one considers the disconnect between Democrats and independents on the issue, and among those who don’t align with any specific viewpoint. It’s almost as if Democrats are in their own political world, although the Republican response also hints that partisanship is playing a rather large role.
What about outside of the partisan paradigms? On gender, there isn’t a gap at all; men find the ejection unfair on a 50/35 basis, and women agree 49/31. All regional demographics have strong pluralities or a majority considering it unfair. Respondents in the West are the most sympathetic to Red Hen’s action, but it still gets a 45/38 rating for unfair. In the South, it’s 53/30. There isn’t an age demographic that finds it fair, with wide majorities in voters 45 years of age and older calling it unfair. Not even in the income categories do Democrats find any companionship on this point, and the strongest opposition to Red Hen’s action comes among those earning under $40,000 a year (50/31 unfair).
Speaking of freak-outs, Power Line’s Paul Mirengoff suggests that Democrats should be having one over this:
These numbers are, within a one percentage point, the reverse of what Americans as a whole believe about the incident. No wonder the Democratic establishment frets about the unhinged left. Arguably, it should be freaking out. …
Indeed, the YouGov poll, among other developments, suggests that “Sister Souljah” Democrats may outnumber the Bill Clinton kind. However, the rest of America doesn’t seem to have shifted dramatically leftward. Hence, the fretting of the Democratic establishment.
Perhaps. I doubt that it’s a direct indication of a political problem, at least in the sense that Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ inability to eat a meal in peace will drive voter decisions in November. It does indicate an indirect problem, and a significant one, about the difference in perceptions of American culture between Democrats and practically everyone else. Increasingly, Democrats want to politicize every aspect of life and treat political opponents as enemies in every phase of it. In that, they are increasingly isolating themselves culturally from every other demographic, and that will have an impact on whether voters trust them with leadership. Few people really want to live their lives as though they’re in a phony war with their neighbors — it’s exhausting to even contemplate, let alone sustain.
Maxine Waters and other Democrats have spent the last couple of weeks telling voters that they have to do just that — they must harass people in the streets as an expression of political action. This poll shows that those calls are not going to find much purchase, and it may in fact talk Democrats into a sustained minority for a lot longer than necessary. If they’re smart, they’ll shut down that talk and get back to issues … but if they were smart, they wouldn’t have walked into this cul-de-sac in the first place.