Could a good strong dose of economic populism be the prescription for the lagging turnout ailment that plagues the Democratic party?
Some of the
"Populism decides who wins elections in America," Michael Podhorzer, the political director of the
With many Americans still feeling the pinch of stagnant wages and a lackluster job market, "the election tends to be about whom to blame," he said.
Stanley Greenberg, who has advocated populist economic arguments since before his stint as
But the survey, which tested the impact of different political arguments on voter intentions, indicated that a "populist economic narrative" could motivate those voters, even in states that traditionally lean Republican.
But supporters of the populist argument say it's the best chance Democrats have of narrowing the turnout gap that threatens many of their candidates in this year's election.
Turnout in midterm elections is lower for both parties than it is in presidential election years, but Republican voters, who tend to be older and more affluent, typically have a smaller decline. In 2010, Democrats suffered a very large drop in turnout, and anything similar would doom their chances of holding onto key Senate seats in November.
So far, Democrats aren't doomed. Polls continue to show their candidates are competitive -- and in some cases leading -- in some of the most hotly contested races.
Republicans are almost certain to make significant gains in November, but the polls suggest they could fall short of their goal of winning a Senate majority and that they could also lose some key governorships.
In North Carolina, for example, several recent polls, including some by Republican organizations, have shown Sen.
In Alaska, Democratic Sen.
And a new Marquette University poll released Wednesday showed the governor's race in Wisconsin locked in a dead heat between Democrat Mary Burke and incumbent Gov.