Democrats Take First House Race Since Passing Healthcare Reform
Republicans have spent the past few months predicting huge gains; 41, 50, 60, maybe even 70 seats won in the 2010 Congressional Elections. John Boehner has been seen out shopping for a new gavel. Mike Pence and Eric Cantor have criss-crossed the country giving speeches about what they will do differently when the GOP is in charge of the house.
That is all well and good, but it might behoove the GOP to wait until after the November elections before hiring the movers to take Nancy Pelosi’s down the hall.
Ed Lynch (R,FL), who ran hard right against ObamaCare, was crushed last night by liberal Democrat Ted Deutch in the Florida 19 special election. Granted, the seat was previously held by an extremely liberal Congressman (Robert Wexler) and it was a real long-shot that the GOP could take the seat, but it just goes to show that there are no guarantees in politics. Just because a candidate has an “R” next to their name does not mean that they are destined for victory at the polls in 2010. The American voter will not just roll over and hand Republicans the keys to the House simply because they despise ObamaCare.
Previous to this special election the GOP had been feeling the wind at its back. Republicans were 3 for 3 coming into the Deutch/Lynch race. Christie, McDonnell and Brown all were swept into office by a tide of anti-Obama support. Voters are still angry, the Tea Party continues to spread and the current polls do not bode well for Democrats. That being said, November is still a long way away and voters overwhelmingly vote their pocketbook more than any other issue. Any Republican candidate who thinks that he or she can just cruise to victory on an anti-ObamaCare platform is in for a huge disappointment this November.
Victory in 2010 will won or lost on jobs, the economy and controlling spending. While the “Repeal and Replace” strategy will make for an overarching national issue and is good for firing up the Republican base as well as bringing in Tea Party support, campaigning against ObamaCare is not enough secure one seat in the House this fall, let alone 41 (or more).
It is time for the GOP to get back to the basics. It is time for Republicans to return to their fiscally conservative foundation. Run on lowering taxes and creating new jobs. Run on kicking the economy back into gear. Run on slashing the budget and eliminating the National Debt. Then, and only then, will it be time for the Republican leadership to call the movers and order new drapes; Speaker Pelosi’s office is ripe for redecoration.