Yes! I think we can….maybe.

Posted on November 11, 2010 by


After seeing the 2010 elections, it is clear that the Democrats have some catching up to do.  They need to dramatically improve their public image and try to reclaim the hearts of the voters like they did in 2008.

However, without Bush to blame for the state of the nation, Obama is going to have to answer to some serious criticism.  Even if most of what we are facing today is directly related to previous administrations, it will appear that not much is changing.  In fact some aspects have gotten worse since Obama took office like the level of unemployment.

Last Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the October unemployment level was 9.6 percent

Even if jobs were to mushroom over the next 24 months and the unemployment rate did drop to 8 percent, it would still be higher than it was when George W. Bush left office. People may not remember, but on the day Barack Obama was elected president, unemployment was 6.5 percent. In 2012 Republicans will remind everyone in America of this fact.

Unemployment Rate:
9.6% in Oct 2010

Change in Unemployment Level:
+76,000 in Oct 2010

Change in Employment Level:
-330,000 in Oct 2010

Change in Civilian Labor Force Level:
-254,000 in Oct 2010

Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate:
64.5% in Oct 2010

Employment-Population Ratio:
58.3% in Oct 2010


Unemployment Rates -01, 2000 to 01, 2010

With this information in hand, the Republicans will use it to their advantage just as Obama used the state of the nation under Bush as his driving force in the 2008 elections, “more of the same!”

With victories gained in the 2010 election they now know what the country wants and that is jobs and economic stability.  If they continue to focus on the economy and keep Obama tied with the current state of the economy they have a very good chance in 2012.

But is there hope for the Democrats?! Maybe.  Historical elections are providing Democrats with hope for a re-election in 2012.

Roosevelt endured two large midterm losses, one in 1938 (Republicans gained 75 seats in the House) and another four years later (the GOP gained 47 seats).

Roosevelt also won reelection in 1940 with unemployment at 14.6 percent.

Unfortunately there is bad news; Obama is in a much worse position than FDR not to mention the dramatic differences in approval ratings between the presidents.

…no president since FDR has run for reelection with the unemployment rate above 8 percent. And the outlook for 2012 is grim. The White House Office of Management and Budget projects 8.1 percent unemployment in 2012. So does the Congressional Budget Office. And those are the rosy scenarios. Other forecasters, from Goldman Sachs to the IMF, predict that the unemployment rate will be 10 percent in 2011 and only somewhat lower in 2012.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Nov. 12, 1938

46% FDR’s worst rating occurred as the country was still climbing out of economic depression.

President Obama Job Approval :45.4%

Polling Data

Poll Date Sample Approve Disapprove Spread
RCP Average 10/25 – 11/9 45.4 50.0 -4.6
Gallup 11/7 – 11/9 1547 A 44 48 -4
Rasmussen Reports 11/7 – 11/9 1500 LV 45 54 -9
Associated Press/GfK 11/3 – 11/8 1000 A 47 51 -4
Reuters/Ipsos 10/28 – 10/31 1075 A 45 51 -6
NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl 10/28 – 10/30 1000 RV 45 50 -5
CNN/Opinion Research 10/27 – 10/30 1006 A 46 51 -5
FOX News 10/26 – 10/28 1200 RV 41 50 -9
ABC News/Wash Post 10/25 – 10/28 1202 A 50 45 +5

Another thing to be worried about is fighting among Democrats which isn’t helping the party out much at all. This developing conflict is showing that the Democratic party is starting to become divided within itself, especially if it is second guessing one of its major leaders.

“I personally like the speaker and think she is an extremely smart and proven leader. She gets an unfair and bad rap. That said, her remaining in a leadership position will not help us accomplish any of our policy goals and will certainly not help us win elections in 2012.”

After Nancy Pelosi announced she would be running for minority leader in the new Congress, there was much worry coming from the Democrats that this move would further hurt their image and chances in the 2012 election.  This is shown from a negative reaction by Democrats.

At least 15 Democrats have said publicly that they have lost faith in her ability to lead — a number backed up by as many as two dozen more who are indicating the same thing privately

The Democrats must realize they are in for a tough couple of years leading up to the big election and must focus on improving their broken image.  But if the Republicans do not stick to the economy as a driving factor in the race and go back to more extreme conservative views that divide the nation they may blow a huge advantage.