Maybe it’s just a feeling.

But it seems that something has changed in the presidential race. Operation Demoralize has failed.

Back in late June, I warned Don’t fall for Operation Demoralize:

We are in the middle of another Operation Demoralize. It happens every national election. This time it’s early, only June.

The media swarms and lies. Tells you it’s over, wants you to give up. Happens every single time….

Some words of wisdom from Melissa Chen on Twitter:

Feeling exhausted & demoralized?

They want you to think you’re all alone, swimming against the tide. You’re not.

That’s the goal – to break your will, to train your attention on the inane and frivolous, to siphon it away from issues of existential gravity, of global import.

Don’t be demoralized. Gain strength from their fear of you.

Through the summer, with the media rollout of frenzied crisis news cycles, it did seem that Operation Demoralize might work.

I don’t get the sense that Trump supporters are demoralized now. Just the opposite. The polls have tightened in key states, with a recent ABC News/WaPo poll showing Trump leading in Florida and Arizona.

And the upcoming Supreme Court fight has energized Trump supporters and potential Trump supporters. There is no feeling as good as winning, and it looks like Republicans are heading to a win on filling the Supreme Court vacancy before Election Day. Are you tired of winning yet?

In Florida, a must-win state for Trump, and an important state for Biden, the enthusiasm and ground game is reflected in a Republican registration surge. Politico reports:

Republicans have closed the traditional voter registration gap with Democrats to an historically small margin in Florida, triggering a wave of Democratic apprehension in the nation’s biggest swing state….

In 2016, Democrats had a 327,000 voter-registration edge over Republicans, when Trump won the state by a little more than a point. Now the GOP has reduced that Democratic advantage by 44 percent. Recent polls show Florida is essentially tied between Biden and Trump….

Ryan Tyson, a Republican pollster and strategist, said that an electorate with more Republicans could have an effect on polls, some of which model a far-higher Democratic voter base than exists and therefore run the risk of making Trump appear to be farther behind Biden. In an analysis, Tyson’s data analytics team found that 119,000 more Democratic voters have switched their registration to Republican or independent than Republicans Party switchers since 2016.

“When we manage to get 57,000 new registrants in a month, It’s historic. And a lot of that is just organic,” he said. “Something’s in the water and with 41 days out of the election, we find ourselves beating the Democrats at their own game.”

Democrats also are worried beyond Florida, as Thomas Edsall writes in the NY Times:

A Democratic strategist — who requested anonymity because his employer does not want him publicly identified talking about the election — analyzed the implications of the most recent voter registration trends for me.

In Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, he said, overall

registration is up by 6 points through August compared to the 2016 cycle, but net Democratic registrations are down by 38 percent. That’s about 150,000 fewer additional Democrats than were added in 2016.

In addition, he continued, registration among whites without college degrees

is up by 46 percent while registration by people of color is up by only 4 percent. That gap is made more stark when you realize that over the last four years, the WNC (white non-college) population has increased by only 1 percent in those states, while the number of people of color increased by 13 percent.

The pattern was more pronounced in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin than it was in Michigan.

On its own, increased registration among non-college whites would have only a negligible effect on total state voting, my source pointed out, but

it becomes troubling if it reflects greater interest more generally for these voters in those states. And there are good reasons to believe that if that is the case, those additionally energized voters are very underrepresented in surveys now.

Even if white non-college turnout reached the highest expectations, he cautioned, it would not “erase Biden’s current polling leads. But it does make the races much closer.”

While Democrats have struggled for years with non-college whites, another set of problems for Biden and the party has begun to emerge this year in what many liberals had been counting on as a key constituency: the steadily growing Hispanic electorate.

Something is going on. The enthusiasm among Trump voters is increasing. They are not demoralized. They are energized.

That doesn’t mean Trump will win, but it does mean that Operation Demoralize has failed.

 

 
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