On Tuesday, Democratic pollster Cornell Belcher told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd that the GOP’s conventional efforts to split fiscally liberal and socially conservative voters are no longer as effective as they were back when the first George Bush’s campaign launched their infamous “Willie Horton” ad — and that Republican attempts to recreate those tactics could backfire.
“The country is dramatically changing since then,” said Belcher. “You now have majorities who are for gay marriage. And the polling is fairly clear on, the vast majority of Americans don’t want Roe v. Wade overturned.”
“The numbers are not that close,” agreed Todd. “And sometimes we cover the issue as if it is a close call.”
“Particularly if you look at independent voters, you know, 60 percent of independent voters want it legal in most cases,” said Belcher. “So the numbers are clearly not on their side. Even when you look a pathway to citizenship, another culture war there, poll numbers are clearly on the Democratic side. So I think the culture wars now would be different, because America is changing and it’s changing dramatically. Some of those culture wedges don’t wedge the way they used to.”
Democrats, said Todd, should understand the limitation of their ability to win over voters by simply ignoring Republican extremism on social issues and pursuing an economic message. Trump’s win in 2016, he noted, “was a cultural message. No economic plan [Hillary Clinton] could have come up with that would have won her Pennsylvania.”
“I agree! But that’s part of the problem, Chuck, to this whole conversation,” said Belcher. “Democrats are still talking about an economic message and not talking about our values … If Republicans want to make this about a woman’s choice and a woman’s right to choose an abortion, I think Democrats would be silly not to take them on, looking at the numbers.”
“And also, and this is really important, for the first time in 2018, Democrats won college-educated voters on the backs of college-educated women, which means the suburbs became more competitive,” added Belcher. “If those suburban white women think for one moment that Republicans are going to be the party that overturns Roe v. Wade, it will be a monumental shift.”
That backlash, said Belcher, might even be enough to help Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL), widely considered the most vulnerable incumbent senator going into 2020, to hold his seat.
“I think it gives Democrats an opening throughout the Bible Belt,” said Belcher. “If you can put Pat Robertson in your ad, that’s a new kind of day for Democrats. If you can have a conversation, particularly with suburban-leaning Republican women about this issue in a way that you haven’t been able to before, all of a sudden you can, in fact, put — there are segments of a Republican-leaning group of voters and white educated voters than I think you put in play.”
WATCH: Ana Navarro keeps shouting down Trump booster — even as CNN host cuts to commercial
President Donald Trump cheered on his top Hispanic advisor Steve Cortez, who appeared before a New Mexico audience. Trump asked Cortez which he loved more, Hispanics or America, which prompted CNN's Ana Navarro to blast the president for racism. Meanwhile, Trump's latest CNN shill cried "political correctness."
"Look, I suspect he didn't want to offend Steve Cortez and I suspect Steve Cortez was not offended," Navarro said. "But really what a stupid thing to say. Right? To somehow ask the question about whether you love the country more than you love Hispanics -- they are one and the same."
Pennsylvania Republican senator arrested and charged with possession of child pornography
According to a release from Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Republican state Sen. Michael Folmer has been arrested and charged with possession of child pornography.
The release said that the investigation began as the result of a CyberTip about Tumblr discovering that a user had uploaded child pornography onto their site. It ultimately led to the home of Folmer in Lebanon, PA. A search warrant yielded images on Folmer's phone.
‘I thought he was joking’: CNN’s Cuomo didn’t buy Spicer’s humble brag about being a ‘staunch Christian’
During the Tuesday night "hand-off" between CNN's Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon, the two chuckled about former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who made his "Dancing with the Stars" debut Monday night. Spicer bragged about being a "staunch Christian," as the reason for why he won't win "Dancing with the Stars." But Cuomo chastised Spicer for trying to score votes.