Poll after poll shows the GOP is out of step with public opinion

Dark clouds hang over Democratic political prospects in the fall as consumers feel the bite of historic inflation, but the GOP may be worse off — facing down the challenges that are about to hit the fan.

The carnage caused by the Capitol insurrection isn’t the only problem that will test the GOP prospects for taking control of Congress in November. The Jan. 6 hearings dominate headlines but the investigation is only one of three major threats the GOP must overcome now to take back control of Congress in November.

The GOP must also contend with blowback from the headwinds that will follow if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade and if the rash of mass murders continue.

The GOP resistance to the investigation of the brazen attempt to undermine the certification of the results of a fair and democratic election, the party’s opposition to women’s reproductive choice as well as universal background checks for gun purchase expose it as the anti-democracy party that doesn’t share the values of most Americans.

House inquiry examines Trump’s role in Capitol coup

The Republican Party appears content for embattled former President Donald Trump to be the face of the party. The blemishes on his presidency are front and center in the early stages of the televised Jan. 6 Committee hearings on the failed coup that attempted to upend democracy in America. The hearings have highlighted attempts from Trump to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence to not certify the election results, as well as more than $390 million Trump and his allies raised under the guise the funds would be used to overturn the election.

GOP resistance to the investigation and the party’s defense of Trump fly in the face of public opinion. A recent CBS News national poll found that seven in 10 American thought it was important to find out what happened on the day of the insurrection.

A CBS poll taken last December indicated that an overwhelming number of Americans disapproved of the actions of the Capitol insurrectionists. Two out of every three people said that democracy in the United States was in danger and the Capitol coup was a sign of increasing political violence.

But benefiting the 50th anniversary of the Nixon-inspired Watergate scandal, Republicans continue to stonewall the investigation of the Jan. 6 insurrection.

GOP inaction on gun control

Although there is a bipartisan gun deal pending in the Senate, the proposal is merely a Band-Aid. Because of GOP opposition and fealty to gun rights groups, the proposed deal does not include mandates for universal background checks or the ban on assault weapons that could save thousands of lives.

This is a clear case of the loyalty to the gun lobby and how out of step the party is with public opinion. Nine out of every 10 Americans support universal background checks without exceptions and two-thirds of the public favor a ban on military-style assault weapons.

The GOP appointees on the Supreme Court could make the danger of gun violence even more of a threat if it decides this month to nullify a New York State law that places conditions on handgun carry outside the home. If the Supreme Court overturns the law, it will be difficult for other states and cities across the nation to reduce the carnage caused by gun violence through state restrictions.

The fight for reproductive freedom

The Supreme Court is poised to nullify the right to reproductive freedom that women have enjoyed for 50 years since the Roe v. Wade decision. This is just another instance where the GOP is wildly out of synch with public opinion.

Since the appearance of the leaked draft opinion to overturn Roe became public, support for abortion rights has increased and it could increase more after the ultimate decision is rendered by the Supremes. 

A May national survey taken by the Gallup organization after the draft decision leaked, recorded a near record high in the number of Americans who identified themselves as “pro-choice,” meaning supportive of abortion rights. A large majority of Americans said it would be a “bad thing” for the high court to overturn Roe. Although some red states have banned abortions as early as six to 12 weeks of pregnancy, two-thirds of the public said women should be free to have abortions in the first trimester of their pregnancies.

The reversal of Roe could be the start to rollback other freedoms enjoyed by Americans. If the conservative majority on the Supreme Court decides that the equal protection clause in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution doesn’t protect reproductive rights of women, it raises concerns the court could go after other rights recognized in other cases under the equal protection clause such as  gay marriage, too.

Pocketbook issues like inflation and jobs tend to determine the outcome of elections, but the triple threat posed by the Capitol coup, the likely nullification of Roe V. Wade and the threat of gun violence could give the GOP a case of the summertime blues. Freedom isn’t free and Democrats must convince Americans that Republicans should pay a price for the party’s obstruction of democratic norms and being out of step with public opinion.

In a midterm election, the perceptions of the parties are what really matters. Democrats must build on the advantage they have on these issues and use this edge for a platform that makes a message statement about the party. The message is Democrats are defenders of democracy while the GOP ignores the hopes, dreams and aspirations of most Americans.

Republicans who undermine democracy and ignore the will of the people do so at their own peril.

Brad Bannon is a Democratic pollster and CEO of Bannon Communications Research. His podcast, “Deadline D.C. with Brad Bannon,” airs on Periscope TV and the Progressive Voices Network. Follow him on Twitter: @BradBannon

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