‘When we don’t vote, that’s when we wind up with government of, by, and for other people…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Former First Lady Michelle Obama said she’s fed up with the level of vitriol in America at a campaign-style rally on Sunday.
Speaking to more than 2,000 people at a rally for When We All Vote, a nonprofit voting initiative she helped start, Obama encouraged the audience to vote for politicians who won’t contribute to the divisiveness.
“When you don’t vote, that’s exactly what you’re doing — you’re letting other people make decisions for you,” she said, according to ABC News. “We get the leaders we vote for. We get the policies we vote for. And when we don’t vote, that’s when we wind up with government of, by, and for other people.”
Obama said she understands why some citizens choose not to participate in democracy.
“Believe me, I am frustrated too. I am sick of all the chaos and the nastiness of our politics. It’s exhausting and, frankly, it’s depressing. I understand wanting to shut it all out,” she said.
When We All Vote, which Obama co-chairs, claims to be a nonpartisan organization–although the board is stacked with former Obama administration officials like senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and policy adviser Kyle Lierman.
Obama said she wanted everyone to vote, regardless of political affiliation.
“They’re finding all kinds of ways to keep you at home, hoping that when you hear about all those things, you’ll just give up,” she said. “Don’t let anybody intimidate you from being a part of this process.”
Obama is scheduled to hold another rally for the organization in Miami later this month. She is one of many key Democratic leaders encouraging the party’s base to vote as the midterm elections near.
Democrats need to win at least 24 seats on Nov. 6 to regain the majority in the House of Representatives. In their bid to take the Senate, they would need to flip three incumbent GOP seats but face a tough electoral map that includes several vulnerable Democrats in areas where President Donald Trump solidly won two years ago.
According to Gallup, the average midterm House seat loss for an incumbent president is between 14 and 36 seats, depending on popularity. Trump’s approval rating has hovered around 40 percent, similar to that of Republican Ronald Reagan in 1982 and Democrat Harry Truman in 1950, who lost 28 and 29 House seats, respectively, in their midterm elections.
Since the Truman era, only two presidents have picked up seats in the midterm: Bill Clinton in 1998 during his impeachment proceedings, and George W. Bush in 2002 after the Sept. 11 attacks. Both at the time had approval ratings in the 60s.
Recent polls have shown Democrats boasting a roughly 12 point lead on a general election ticket with six weeks to go. But polls as late as October in the 2016 election suggested that Hillary Clinton maintained a double-digit lead, due largely to the pollsters’ oversampling of certain populations that leaned left.