What happened to the Democrats?

Posted on September 9, 2010 by

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What are the reasons behind the drastic changes?

However typical it may be for the party in power to lose seats in congress during an off year election, the speculation on the number of seats that may be turned over to the GOP this year looks to be devastating for the Democrats.  I for one would have never thought two years ago that this would happen so quickly and so drastically.

What happened in the last two years?

What can be attributed to such a change in voter perception?  What are the factors that are changing the minds of American people.   What if anything can be done now for the Democrats, or is it too late?

It seems that much of the momentum that was gained during the 2008 election has been lost due to many factors such as unemployment, the suffering economy, immigration reform, the stimulus, the war in Afghanistan, and healthcare reform.  I think we fail to realize the situation that our nation was in when Obama took office, and  that change does take time.  But has Obama done too little to make any changes that were worthwhile in the long run?

What are the reasons?

The exact reasons behind the changes in voter perception may be unclear, but in my opinion, the economy and unemployment are two issues that will continue to draw voters in either one direction or the other.

Economy

According to http://www.whitehouse.gov, here is a list of what has been done aid in boosting our suffering economy.

  • The President signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which has been responsible for about 3 million American jobs and brought the economy back from the brink of another depression.
  • The President signed Wall Street Reform, the most sweeping reforms since the Great Depression, to hold Wall Street accountable, put an end to bailouts and “too big to fail,” and enforce the strongest consumer protections in history.
  • The President signed the HIRE Act providing a payroll tax credit for companies that hire employees who have been looking for work for 60 days or more.  Millions of workers have been hired through this process already.
  • The President launched the National Export Initiative with a goal of doubling exports and supporting several million new jobs over five years.
  • The President announced the “Making Home Affordable” home refinancing plan.
  • The President launched a $15 billion plan to boost lending to small businesses.
  • President Obama played a lead role in G-20 Summit that produced a $1.1 trillion deal to combat the global financial crisis.
  • The President signed the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act which gives the federal government more tools to investigate and prosecute fraud, from lending to the financial system, and creates a bipartisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission to investigate the financial practices that brought us to this point.
  • The President signed the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, expanding on the Making Home Affordable Program to help millions of Americans avoid preventable foreclosures, providing $2.2 billion to help combat homelessness , and helping to stabilize the housing market for everybody.
  • The President signed the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure (CARD) Act to protect Americans from unfair and deceptive credit card practices.

The economy has been in a state of emergency for some time, and we are currently in the worst recession since the 1930’s.  There has been some temporary relief to individuals, and we are reaping the benefits nationwide through several different improvement programs, but because much of that is indirectly assisting people, I don’t think many people are eager to take notice.

“Though data shows the economy is on the mend, voters’ perception ahead of the 2010 elections is that it is still struggling”, says Rep. Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Unemployment

In January 2009, according to Department of Labor records, America lost 598,000 jobs. In January-June 2010, employers added 982,000 new jobs. That may be true, but unfortunately, it seems that it may not be enough to change the perception of Americans.  With the national unemployment rate topping ten percent just last October, and steadily at just under ten percent for the last six months, Americans continue to struggle.

So what does this mean for the Democrats?

According to a recent Gallup poll, Fifty-one percent of registered voters said they would vote for an unnamed Republican candidate for Congress this fall while 41 percent opted for a generic Democrat. The numbers mark the fifth straight week in which Republicans have held an edge on the question in Gallup polling.

Will the Democrats be able to do enough with only two months left before the elections to make a turn around? According to most polls, the GOP has the edge all around to overtake enough seats in the House of Representatives quite possibly enough to take over the Senate.

I guess we will see in November.

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