Why Republicans will Lose in 2010
John Boehner, the GOP minority leader in the House of Representatives and his Republican counterpart in the Senate Mitch Mitch McConnell are expecting big gains in the 2010 mid-term elections (dare they hope for a majority?), but here are 5 reasons why the Democrats will maintain their hold on power.
1) Economy – Although jobs creation has lagged behind, GDP was up in the final 2 quarters of 2009 and is projected to grow at a 2.6% rate for 2010. The US economy will not be surging into the stratosphere, but will certainly better than the previous 4 quarters of downturn. Unless there is a major scandal, the incumbent party usually benefits from economic growth.
2) Jobs – Every economist and every government report tells us that although the economy is expanding, very few new jobs are being created. The problem here is two-fold. First, because this economic downturn has lasted so long, many of those on unemployment have reached the end of their benefits and are beginning to fall of the rolls. In January, jobless numbers increased, but the overall rate of unemployment dropped from 10% to 9.7 %. Although the number of people unemployed/underemployed remained at 17.6%, the Department of Labor reports unemployment numbers, which will continue to decline as workers run out of benefits.
Second, the Census is coming! The US Government is going to hire upwards of 2.5 Million people to count their neighbors. The White House will blatantly flout these numbers to “prove” that the Stimulus plan worked. The result, big numbers for jobs created and a dramatic lowering of the unemployment numbers and a smiling President to take all the credit.
3) Focus – When President Obama took office in January of 2009, the Democrats held a majority in the House, and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Democrats had the ability to pass any bill that they wanted without even one vote from a Republican. With no need for their support, the Democrats basically locked the GOP out of all legislative discussion and debate. The Republicans were able to sit on the sidelines, pointing out every flaw in the Democrat’s plans. After their love-fest in the beginning of 2009, the press ran out of accolades for the Obama White House and began to join in with the Republicans, sniping at the details of the Majority’s plans.
Fast forward to January 2010 and suddenly the balance of power has changed. Scott Brown (R) upset Martha Coakley (D) to take Ted Kennedy’s seat in the Senate and the filibuster-proof majority was no more. Suddenly the White House needs at least one Republican vote in the Senate to get their agenda passed. Enter David Pouffe, the Democrat strategist who was the architect of Obama’s campaign strategy. His plan is to stop the Republicans from sniping at the Democrat’s plans by inviting the GOP to the table. He wants Messers Boehner and McConnell to offer Republican alternatives, if only to tear apart their ideas and then to use that criticism to define the GOP in the 2010 mid-term elections.
The press, after a year of nobody to tear down but Democrats for more than a year, smells fresh blood. They are ready, willing and able to tear apart anything that the party of no has to offer.
4) Momentum – Recent elections in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts show that, at the moment, ALL of the momentum belongs to the Republican Party. The problem though is that the elections are in November, not today. Momentum ebbs over time and the press loves to knock the front-runner down a peg or two. As the press and the American people begin to focus more and more on the Republicans, the luster will wear off. Will there be any shine left for the November Elections?
5) Candidates – Time will tell which party has the best candidates. All elections are local. If the GOP wants rely on the current downturn in the President’s popularity to elect their candidates, they may be in for a serious upset in 2010. The only way that they can take advantage of their current political momentum is to vet and run strong candidates on issues that resonate with the voting public.
It is far too early for Republican’s to begin counting gained seats in 2010. Life in the GOP is about to get much tougher.