Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Coming Democratic Landslide of 2012!

Contrary to all the gnashing of teeth in Democratic quarters about the bad outlook for 2012, I think it can be argued that the outlook looks great … at least if the campaigns are run well.

Republicans have been doing a good job of shooting themselves in the foot. They are so high on their ideological mission and bent on pleasing their Tea Party base that they seem to have forgotten that there are other voters out there who they need to be reelected. Perhaps that’s because at least some freshmen Republicans in the House have indicated that they have no interest in whether they get reelected; they’ve said they are there to do a job.

Recent polls have consistently shown that Republicans in Congress are held in even worse regard by voters than Democrats.  Even in strong Republican districts that elected Tea Party candidates in 2010, support for the Tea Party and for the Republican Party has fallen way off … to less than 50%. And then there’s the general anti-incumbent sentiment, which will fall more heavily on Republicans in 2012 since they have a clear majority in the House.

And what about Obama? Yes, the economy will be a challenge. If the Republicans nominated a strong moderate, I think an Obama win would be almost impossible under these conditions.  However, that is certainly not in the offing. Romney may in fact be a moderate Republican, but he has worked so hard to paint himself as a Tea Party conservative in the primary race that he will be an easy target for Obama in the election campaign. Gingrich is a moderate in many ways. But Gingrich comes with his own problems that make him an unlikely victor.

Given the disgust of the American public towards the failure of Congress to deal with recent major economic issues, and their placing primary blame for this failure on the Republicans, the Democrats have a real opportunity if they run a smart campaign. And what is a smart campaign?

A smart campaign is first running a very positive campaign that tells people clearly where Democrats see the country going and how they propose to get us there … a clear vision statement with legislative particulars, communicated in a way that the average voter will get. This must be the main thrust and the counter to Republican laissez faire policies.

But at the same time, Democrats cannot let the public forget who has kept our current economic problems from being solved; the public could care less at this point who caused the problems, but they do want them fixed. And Democrats must nail Republicans for being the hypocrites they are … they pose as the party of the people but really are the party of big business and the rich. Those are the interests they are protecting.

This election could be the biggest Democratic victory since Johnson v Goldwater in 1964. The question is whether Obama, the other Democratic candidates, and very importantly the consultants that fashion the campaign, have the right stuff.