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Inside the Beltway: Democrats may have to trap that ‘blue wave’

April 30, 2018 GMT

The Democratic Party has unveiled a new car magnet that says “Blue Wave 2018” perhaps anticipating that millions of Americans will be united in their distaste for President Trump and Republicans in general and vote for Democrats in the midterm elections, now a mere six months off.

Perhaps the mantra should be “Catch a blue wave” instead. Or trap it. That blue wave of victories is not guaranteed to Democrats if a massive new poll with a few inconvenient truths about young voters is right.

“Enthusiasm for the Democratic Party is waning among millennials as its candidates head into the crucial midterm congressional elections,” concludes a Reuters/Ipsos survey of some 11,000 voters ages 18-34 conducted during the first three months of the year.

“Their support for Democrats over Republicans for Congress slipped by about 9 percentage points over the past two years, to 46 percent overall. And they increasingly say the Republican Party is a better steward of the economy,” the poll analysis said.

This is serious stuff. The millennials constitute a huge, much coveted voting bloc, numbering over 69 million, according to the Pew Research Center. Millennials are also hard to woo, unpredictable and tend to follow their own tenets. The new poll found, for example, that while two-thirds of the young respondents are not especially fond of Mr. Trump, they also said this distaste does not extend to all Republicans, or translate into automatic votes for Democratic candidates.

“That presents a potential problem for Democrats who have come to count on millennials as a core constituency and will need all the loyalty they can get to achieve a net gain of 23 seats to capture control of the U.S. House of Representatives in November,” the analysis said.

The findings also suggested millennials were open to third-party candidates or to sitting out the election altogether. The poll also found a notable shift in a certain demographic.

“Two years ago, young white people favored Democrats over Republicans for Congress by a margin of 47 to 33 percent; that gap vanished by this year, with 39 percent supporting each party. The shift was especially dramatic among young white men, who two years ago favored Democrats but now say they favor Republicans over Democrats by a margin of 46 to 37 percent,” the analysis said.

The Democratic National Committee declined to comment on the findings. Republican National Committee spokeswoman Cassie Smedile, however, told Reuters that the results indicate young voters “like what they’ve seen from the party in power.”

CONSIDERING THE CARAVAN

The “Big Three” broadcast networks ABC, NBC and CBS are offering substantial coverage of the caravan of would-be immigrants now waiting to enter the U.S. along the Mexican border. The coverage is also emotionally charged.

“On Monday, all three network shows recited the same liberal script as they bemoaned a caravan of over 100 migrants from Central America being blocked from entering the United States illegally,” writes Kyle Drennen, a senior analyst for the Media Research Center.

“The Border Patrol simply doing its job was portrayed as a cruel act that created a ‘desperate situation’ and ‘crisis at the border,’” Mr. Drennan said, citing several examples.

While the networks have plenty of sympathy for the caravan members, Americans themselves may not.

“Most voters think the government should stop the caravan of Central Americans now at the Mexican border from entering the United States. Even more say failing to stop them will lead to more illegal immigration,” says a new Rasmussen Reports survey.

The survey found that 54 percent of likely voters believe the U.S. government should stop them all from entering; another 37 percent say the government should allow them to enter this country temporarily until each of their cases can be individually reviewed. The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on April 26-29.

THE EVER-POPULAR NATIONAL PARKS

There is some very promising news from the well-known national parks near the nation’s capital. A new National Park Service report reveals that exactly 57,875,546 historically minded visitors showed up at national parks in the Washington area in 2017 and spent $1.14 billion doing so. The visitors helped create 16,330 jobs and had a cumulative benefit to the regional economy of $1.66 billion.

These parks not just include the well-known monuments along the National Mall, but such sites as Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in the District of Columbia, Antietam National Battlefield in Maryland and Manassas National Battlefield Park in Virginia.

Nationwide, the news is also positive. The report found that the 330 million visitors to parks around the nation shelled out $18.2 billion in adjacent towns and cities supporting 306,000 jobs nationally with 255,900 of those jobs are found in “gateway communities.” The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy, the report said, was $35.8 billion.

FOXIFIED: THE MIDTERMS

Yes, the midterms are now underway.

And so it begins: Fox News kicks off the launch of “America’s Election Headquarters 2018” on Tuesday, providing live coverage of the West Virginia GOP Senate primary debate Tuesday. Moderators Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum will broadcast live from the historic Metropolitan Theatre in Morgantown, West Virginia from 6:30-7:30 p.m. EDT. The picturesque “playhouse” venue first opened in 1924.

But there’s more ahead of the debate, Fox News also will feature a 30-minute edition of “Special Report” with Mr. Baier plus after-debate fare with Ms. MacCallum at 7:30 p.m. to offer a closer look at the big doings.

POLL DU JOUR

72 percent of small business executives plan to expand their product and service offerings in the current geographic areas they serve.

58 percent plan to expand into adjacent geographical areas, 52 percent will expand into other U.S. regions.

52 percent plan to expand their work forces.

53 percent of that group will expand due to increased business opportunity; 34 percent cite current economic conditions; 31 percent cite the quality of the applicant pool.

50 percent plan to improve their technology, 47 percent will upgrade equipment.

Source: A CIT/Harris poll of 310 U.S. small business executives conducted Jan. 3 to Feb. 2 and released Monday.

Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin