Its the Economy, Stupid
The current Republican campaign mantra, “Repeal and Replace”, is a waste of breath. Six months from now, when the November elections are beginning to really heat up, there will be only one issue that determines the number of seats each party has in Congress; the economy.
Typically, mid-term elections see the President’s party losing anywhere from 15-25 seats in the House; 41 are needed for a Republican takeover. Several rust-belt Democrats will lose their seat solely because they voted for Healthcare, others who were swept into office when Obama’s electoral tide washed in, will be swept back out again in 2010. Based on these factors, expect the Republicans to gain 30-32 seats this fall.
That being said, the real battle this November, the single determining factor for control of the House, will be the economy. If you review the last six months (prolonged recession, unemployment hovering around 10%, underemployment at record numbers, low consumer confidence) it would appear that a Republican landslide is inevitable, but if you factor in the next six months, not so much.
Recent economic figures have shown a growing GDP and a stabilization in the job loss numbers. This week, we will see what is most likely the beginning of jobs being added to the economy. Soon, the Census will begin hiring workers and another 100,000 people are going to enter into a already growing workforce. If the GDP continues to increase and jobs begin to trickle in (in addition to the recent “changes” in how unemployment numbers are calculated), the most important (to elections) measure of the economy, the Consumer Confidence Index will see growth as well (it is already showing a minuscule improvement). The average American voter, those who are not already riled up over Healthcare and the Stimulus, will soon become complacent. In addition, there is a very good chance that even those who are very angry right now, may run out of steam, converting from activist, back to apathetic.
President Obama and the State run media are sure to define victory or failure for the Republicans this fall by whether or not they can regain control of the House. If the Democrats maintain leadership in both the House and Senate, liberals will continue to do to the American people what they are doing now; scraping together Democrat majorities without Republican input or votes.
For Republicans, running on a Repeal and Replace platform will definitely bring home many of the Tea Party voters, but if the GOP does not begin to focus on taxes, jobs and the economy, many of the undecided voters, those not aligned with the Tea Party, the undecided in the middle of the voting pool, will be swayed by the President’s argument that his programs have fixed George Bush’s fiscal abuses and that America has begun a new era of responsible economic growth.
Healthcare, Global Warming, Cap and Trade, Amnesty and Card Check are all ancillary issues, 2010 will be won or lost on the economy.