Nate Cohn, chief political reporter for the New York Times, delivers some straight talk that should worry Democrats a lot:

The post-Dobbs bump for Democrats is over and the political terrain has returned to where it was in April. And that is really really bad news for Democrats.

You may have noticed that Democrats don’t want to talk about anything besides abortion. Here in Minnesota it is what every liberal political ad is about. The governor threw in an ad about how much he loves education (he is a former teacher), but pretty much every utterance he makes is about Republican extremism on abortion.

It is all they have. Voters are unhappy and it’s the Democrats’ fault.

Well Cohn’s job is to follow trends in politics and he is pretty good at it. Here is his take:

For most of the summer, President Biden and the Democrats had the political winds at their backs.

They saw their poll numbers rise as gas prices fell, as the Supreme Court refocused voters on abortion, and as the Jan. 6 hearings and the investigation into Donald J. Trump’s handling of classified documents turned the media’s attention toward an unpopular former president — rather than the current one.

But with six weeks until this November’s midterm elections, there are a few signs that the political winds may have begun to blow in a different direction — one that might help Republicans over the final stretch. The political spotlight may be drifting back toward issues where Republicans have an advantage, like the economy and immigration.

It can be difficult to discern these kinds of subtle shifts in the national mood, but Google Search trends offer a decent rough measure. For the first time since the Dobbs ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, Google searches for the economy and immigration have overtaken searches about abortion. Searches for democracy or the Jan. 6 hearings have also fallen.

That chart should put the fear of God into every Democrats’ hearts. Especially in light of the fact that every Democrat candidate bloviates about abortion whenever they open their mouth. Except perhaps Fetterman or Biden, but they never know what they are talking about anyway.

The changing issue landscape is being reflected in the polling data. As you know polling has been awful in recent years, almost always undercounting Republican support. It’s hard to know if that has been corrected, but if not the polling is really really awful for Democrats, instead of merely really awful.

[T]his weekend, two polls showed Republicans with a lead among likely voters — including an ABC/Washington Post poll showing Republicans up by five percentage points among likely voters. It may prove to be an outlier, or perhaps it’s the first sign of a material shift in the race.

The ABC/Washington Post poll wasn’t the only measure of the race on Sunday. CBS News found Republicans ahead by one point among likely voters, 46 percent to 45 percent.

The difference between an overall Republican victory of one or five points on Election Day would be hugely significant, but from a statistical standpoint the difference between leads of one and five points in two polls isn’t nearly so stark. So I wouldn’t dwell too much on the difference between the two top-line numbers.

But the surveys do appear to have one thing in common: They show Republicans enjoying a turnout advantage. In the CBS News poll, Republicans were five points likelier than Democrats to say they would “definitely” vote, 79 percent to 74 percent. Similarly, ABC/Post found 81 percent of Republicans “absolutely certain” to vote compared with 75 percent of Democrats.

Both Ed and I wrote about the ABC/Wapo poll, and the news was just terrible for Democrats. Not every poll is quite so bad, but pretty much all of them show Democrats with pretty weak enthusiasm. And who could blame them? Their current Party leadership and candidates are awful. Charlie Crist anyone?

Yogi Berra once dropped one of his many pearls of wisdom applicable here: “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future,” and I am pretty awful at making predictions. It really is hard to make predictions about the future.

But I feel pretty confident that come the evening of November 8 Democrats will be crying in their beer.

By the way, Ed just wrote about another shift in the polling data that you should read.

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