Since “we live as we vote,” many may be praying the founder of Drudge Report will be proven wrong. Breaking his silence on Friday, Drudge spoke on his hometown, Washington, D.C. radio station, WTOP. Drudge guessed voters would “probably” vote exactly as they have in the past and nothing would “change.”
Drudge’s casual conversation was quickly broken up into soundbites by online media sites clamoring to be first to publish. Among those competing were the Blaze, Politico, Mediate, the Daily Caller, and News Max.
As a measure of the influence of the Drudge Report, this media reaction is not unexpected. Once, Matt’s Twitter page was a conduit to the personal thoughts of the media mogul; however, that avenue was sealed when Drudge deleted all of his tweets in mid May.
Within his radio interview, were echoes of Drudge’s last tweet in which he described the digital age as “manic.” The founder of Drudge didn’t need to make much of a leap to describe the news business as “psychotic.”
After complimenting the radio station for the great job they were doing, Drudge led with a question which for some may be perceived as a wake-up call to Democrats and Republicans alike. Drudge’s question was largely ignored by the media reports which focused primarily on the Drudge soundbites but should provide a red beef thud for Sunday political talk shows, if not today, certainly as we move nearer to election season.
Drudge posed the question what if America prefers gridlock:
Well, we’re about to get another election here. Will people vote exactly as they did last time? Probably. Maybe we’ll get the exact same results. Wouldn’t that be ironic if America doesn’t want things changed? You know the argument here is: ‘Keep changing! Keep changing it!’ Well, maybe the elections tell us they don’t want things changed; they like the gridlock.
According to President Obama, Washington gridlock is the catalyst which drives him to make unconstitutional appointments, to legislate by his phone and his pen. In his weekly address, the president is spreading the word that not even a recent Supreme court ruling nor the threat of a lawsuit by House Speaker John Boehner will stop his efforts to thwart gridlock. According to the Drudge Report headline, Obama firmly declared his intentions, stating, “I’ll keep taking actions on my own.”
Former president Bill Clinton is apparently peeking into the same future Drudge sees, calling it a “recipe for gridlock.” A worried Clinton is urgently stressing that Democrats must find a way to break through Democratic voter apathy and “physically” get the Democrats to the polls in the mid elections, or the consequences will be “gridlock.”
However Republicans see the midterm elections as an opportunity, in their favor, to break the gridlock. Republicans see a chance to have control of both the Senate and the House precisely because they believe their voters have their eyes on the ball and won’t need much push to show up at the polls.
Voter apathy versus voter enthusiasm can decide elections. According to a May Gallup poll, Republicans do have the edge with 42 percent of Republican and independent registered voters saying they are, indeed, more enthusiastic than usual about voting. Still 50 percent of the same groups claim to be less enthusiastic. The difference leaves an eight-point enthusiasm deficit.
Clinton may be looking at the poll which clearly indicates Democrats are even less enthusiastic. Democrats are showing a 23 point deficit in voter enthusiasm. 55 percent of the voters are apathetic, compared to only 32 percent who say they feel enthusiastic.
Having voter enthusiasm at its lowest level in twenty years doesn’t bode well for lingering faith in “Hope and Change,” for the Democratic voters; however, it doesn’t necessarily mean that voters have lost all faith that a change in the congressional balance can change the direction America is going. According to recent Rasmussen results, polls during 15 of 25 weeks, showed less than 30 percent of registered voters believed America was on the right track. That number was lowest during October of 2013 when only 15 percent felt things were moving along the way they wanted.
Perhaps Drudge is on to something, and government will continue exactly as it is now after midterm elections. Perhaps there will be change.
The Washington Post recently observed, “In polarized United States, we live as we vote.” Is Drudge right to wonder if Americans like living this way?