The Atlantic gives Democrats more cause for concern about the November election.
Fundamentally, the Democrats’ terrorism problem with women—especially married white women—isn’t about policy. It’s about trust. In 2002, at a time of heightened anxiety, women trusted a Republican president to keep them safe. In 2014, with that anxiety heightened again, they don’t trust a Democratic president to do the same.
This is likely the product of long-standing stereotypes about Democrats as weak on national defense and a generally sour mood about Obama and the direction of the country. In some voters’ minds, Ball notes, the chaos in the Middle East and the chaos in Ferguson have fused to create the picture of a frightening, unraveling world. That conflation was a staple of Republican politics in the 1970s and 1980s, when Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan accused liberals of failing to stand up to violent disorder both in the third world and on America’s streets. It proved toxic for Democrats back then, and it’s proving toxic again today.