Skip to comments.Democrats Aren't Staging A Comeback
Posted on 09/30/2010 9:14:12 AM PDT by Qbert
Democratic strategists have recently started experiencing a new feeling of optimism. There are indications, they say, that the party is showing the smallest signs of a turnaround, and that rumors of their electoral demise have been premature.
But instead of a comeback, Democrats are only experiencing the benefits of a base that is finally engaging. That base will help some Democratic candidates, but in total, the party still faces serious rehabilitation work with independent voters. The party's major problems are most evident in three prominent races that are slowly, but inexorably, sliding toward Republicans.
This week, Democrats confirmed what many were beginning to suspect -- that West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin (D) faces a more difficult race for the state's open Senate seat than he once contemplated. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee purchased television time on Manchin's behalf, even though most surveys peg his approval rating north of 60 percent. But Manchin finds himself running neck and neck with businessman John Raese, who took just 34 percent of the vote when he ran for the seat in 2006. Manchin's problems are manifest in one individual: President Obama.
Obama took just 43 percent of the vote in West Virginia in 2008, and his popularity has only slid further. Republicans are using the same playbook against Manchin as they are against other Democrats, labeling him an Obama rubber stamp.
In a coal state that fears cap-and-trade legislation as a threat to an already teetering economy, that label is deadly. Manchin, who won re-election in 2008 with more than 70 percent of the vote, suddenly finds himself in serious jeopardy as Republicans build rhetorical bridges between him and the national Democratic Party. If those associations can hurt the popular Manchin, they can hurt lesser-known House members running their first re-election campaigns.
Democrats are increasingly concerned about Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., whose poll numbers are rapidly turning south. Feingold has always run close races, but his reputation as an independent is a solid brand in a state that has a long history of electing progressives who don't always vote with their party.
This year, though, that reputation has been undermined. Voters no longer see the maverick they have elected for three terms; instead, Feingold is just another Democrat, one who voted for the mammoth stimulus package and for health care reform. Businessman Ron Johnson (R) has run ads focusing almost exclusively on labeling Feingold a career politician who voted in favor of runaway government spending. In this political climate, that has proven to be an effective message.
For the first time in recent memory, voters are telling pollsters they consider government spending a major concern. The Democrats' stimulus package has had an impact on the economy, but not one that the average American can see; unless the party is able to convince voters that the stimulus has worked, voters will punish the party in power, and incumbents like Feingold, for its excess spending.
In Connecticut, Republicans have long been bullish on former WWE executive Linda McMahon, who is spending millions of her own money running for an open seat being vacated by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D). McMahon once ran far behind state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, but a Quinnipiac University survey out this week shows Blumenthal ahead by just 3 points.
That good news for the GOP comes despite voters' net negative impression of McMahon. Just 42 percent have a favorable impression of her, according to the Quinnipiac poll, while 43 percent see her unfavorably. More than half of Connecticut voters -- 51 percent -- still view Blumenthal favorably. In any other scenario, Blumenthal would be running away with this race.
But he's not, largely because voters are looking for change. Fully 1 in 3 voters said they are angry with the way the federal government works, while 43 percent called themselves dissatisfied. Voters who are angry with the government are breaking to McMahon by a nearly 4-to-1 margin. Democrats, Blumenthal included, have yet to find a way to deal with voter anger and adopt it for their own purposes.
The news isn't all bad for Democrats. Recent surveys suggest Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., have benefited from a newly enthusiastic base. Four straight surveys recently showed Murray has support from more than 50 percent of voters, while Republicans find themselves newly pessimistic about their chances in the Golden State.
But more Democrats' circumstances resemble those of Manchin, Feingold and Blumenthal. Most of those other Democrats are lesser-known and not as well-funded. Until they are able to find a way to distance themselves from an unpopular president, abhor and eschew the rampant spending that has voters concerned, and turn voter anger to their own benefit, the slow slide away from the Democratic Party will continue, negating any advantage the party might gain as its base engages.
The Democratic Party is now the Communists Party.
Registered and ready. I vote every election and I try to make sure my family does as well. Its our duty as citizens.
Ditto here. We go to the polls in the evening then head out to dinner. It's a tradition.
The deal about WVa is they like Manchin... but as Governor. I sent an email to Raese's campaign recommending his campaign angle should go with the idea that Manchin is a fine Governor and should stay on as WVa's chief executive, while Raese goes to the Senate to do battle with 0bama.
In addition, I am expecting Sharon Angle to clobber Dingy Harry in Nevada, giving us 9 new US Senate seats in total. Then we have Linda McMahon rapidly closing in on Blumenthal in CT to give us the needed 10 seats to take over the US Senate. We haven't even mentioned the still possible picekups in Washington State, California and even Delaware. Add in the possibility of Joe Lieberman doing a switheroo and the GOP has at least even chances of taking control of the US Senate as well as the House.
No way he'll do that... and I thought we didn't want RINOs.
Back in the nineties when the Communist Party stopped running candidates and urged its members to vote for Democrats, it didn’t even rate a raised eyebrow in the media.
You only needed to watch 0bama’s rabble-rousing impersonation of Fidel Castro in Madison to know that they are the communist party.
The Tea Party is only doing to the GOP what has already been done to the democrats; a “purge” of the “moderates.” 0bama is clearly trying to win the mid-terms for his party as an unapologetic communist. But it’s a long shot; only 20% of our country clearly identifies with the hard left, and if all 20% vote, so what? He has a very PO’d and energized 40-50% that identify with conservative principles, and he will turn off all of the squishy middle.
Like his projected fiscal impact of all his policies, the numbers don’t add up.
I’ve talked to several friends who are normally apathetic about voting and usually don’t bother to do it.
All of them will definitely be voting this November, and it won’t be for democrats.
Yes way, he sure could do that.
Lieberman has always really disliked 0bozo, even before he became president. Remember when 0bozo got in Lieberman's face and tried to intimidate him in the US Senate back in 2008?
and I thought we didn't want RINOs.
Liebermen is no RINO. He is more of a DINO (Democrat In Name Only) on some issues. And he won't be becoming a Republican. He'll just vote with the Republicans for who becomes the majority party and on on some issues that's all.
“Add in the possibility of Joe Lieberman doing a switheroo”
Who wants him?
Except on defence issues, especially those that concern Israel, Liberman is a die hard Liberal......
I don’t support or vote for liberals. Neither should you!
All of them will definitely be voting this November, and it wont be for democrats.
About 20% of the Dems’ energized support sloughed off with the “election” of the Kenyan. They’re toast.
Yet they will continue to vote for morons that they know will stab them in the back as soon as they get the chance. Everything Obama has done to destroy the country was plainly visible before the election, they refused to believe. Don't hold much hope for them getting more intelligent now. People that vote for DemonRATs are welfare recipients in one form or the other and don't want to lose their freebies.
Yes, leave the “switheroos” to Barney Frank...
...must go cleanse myself....