"It's a different kind of electorate," says San Francisco pollster Ben Tulchin. "There's an opening among moderates that mainstream Democrats are well positioned to fill," says former party operative Robby Mook.
But that's just talk. The data tell a very different story. The Campaign for America's Future has been compiling poll results which shows that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the conservative economic agenda is unpopular with voters. Despite what the talking heads say, government spending isn't the public's most immediate fear. Here are some of results from recent polls:
Two-thirds of those polled in April believe the US needs to increase investments in infrastructure and education rather than worrying about long-term debt.
Fifty-nine percent favor prioritizing new investments in education and infrastructure over further budget cuts -- a margin of nearly two to one over those who want further budget cuts.
Seventy-one percent support increasing government investment to build and repair roads, bridges, high-speed rail, smart electric grid technology and other infrastructure needs.
Fifty-nine percent believe that it is more important to keep spending for programs that help the poor and needy at current levels than to reduce the deficit.
(As we've now seen, these policies would also do more to reduce the long-term deficit.)
It's the economy, stupid.
A poll conducted earlier this year showed that Americans who think our most urgent national problem is either "jobs" or "the economy" outnumber those who prioritized "the deficit" by more than five to one. More than half favor reducing the "sequester" spending cuts by half and replacing them with new revenue from the wealthy and corporations.
Fifty-five percent of those polled in April said the United States was headed in the wrong direction when it comes to job creation and economic growth.
Seventy-eight percent of millennials believe that the government should be more involved in creating jobs, according to polls, whiled 72 percent believe that the government should be more involved in the economy. Eighty-four percent of support creating subsidized jobs for low-income and long-term unemployed workers.
In another key demographic, 53 percent of unmarried women believe we must raise taxes on those with the highest incomes while closing corporate tax loopholes and special interest subsidies.
Two-thirds of those polled in March believe it's important for the government to implement policies that reduce inequality. Sixty percent believe our economic system unfairly favors the wealthy. Seventy-one percent think the government believes it's more important to help major corporations than to help the poor.
The Politico article makes much of President Obama's low approval ratings. But those ratings stem in part from public fears about the economy -- fears which are also reflected in the data. Sixty-four percent of Americans say they are suffering or struggling with their financial well-being, according to a June Gallup poll, and their views on the economic future are grim. And 86 percent of voters say the economy will be an important factor when deciding who to vote for in November.
The polling numbers make it clear: These "Republican-sounding" Democrats aren't just rejecting liberal orthodoxy. They're defying the electorate.
Abandoning their posts.