I suspect that the Harperites are suffering from major denial when it comes to new NDP strength, sort of like Jim Prentice did. Thus far, the best Harper and his team can muster in attacks against the NDP is the same old anti-socialist stuff they've been spouting arrogantly for years. They assume public confidence in conservative orthodoxy remains high. They're dead wrong.
|Tory attacks against JT have empowered the NDP|
I do think the Tory attack against Trudeau's readiness has actually empowered the NDP. Voters who might've been sticking with Harper because they didn't like Trudeau now see Mulcair as a viable alternative and they're prepared to vote for him. But will they stay with the NDP in October? That's the big question.
Meanwhile, the Tories seem to be assuming they're fighting the 2011 election again. They're not. Trudeau's Liberals will never collapse as much as Ignatieff's team did. Blue Liberals who are justifiably sick of Harper will return to the Liberal fold, not vote for Harper to block the NDP. Blue Liberals like red Tories are no longer afraid of the NDP, especially under Mulcair.