Henry Olsen at AEI reviews the grim (for Republicans) facts about the NY-26 race won by Kathy Hochul:
Blue-collar voters react differently to issues than the GOP base does. They are more supportive of safety-net programs at the same time as they are strongly opposed to large government programs in general. These voters crave stability and are uncertain of their ability to compete in a globalized economy that values higher education more each year. They are also susceptible to the age-old Democratic argument that the secret Republican agenda is to eviscerate middle-class entitlements to fund tax cuts for the wealthy. [emphasis added]
The argument may indeed be “age-old,” but it’s been made for a long time because it’s been true for a long time. When Olsen describes blue-collar voters as “susceptible” to the argument, he implies that they’re being deceived. But as David Frum points out, the Ryan budget explicitly combines tax cuts with the rich with misery for the poor and the middle class. (See Gene Sperling on the meaning of Ryan’s proposed Medicaid cuts, which would in some ways be even more horrific than the Medicare cuts because the target population is even worse-off.)
So the only word to disagree with is “secretive.” In fact, due to Paul Ryan, the secret is now out in the open. And it turns out that the voters don’t like it. Good. And I hope that the GOP believes Olsen when he says that explaining those hard-hearted policies differently will change the electoral outcome. Nothing kills a bad product faster than marketing.