A new poll from Fox News affirms what virtually every other poll has found when people are asked to name the most important problem facing the country. And as James Carville noted long ago, “It’s the economy, stupid.”
The Fox poll had an overwhelming 43% of registered voters citing the economy as the most important issue. That was two and a half times more than the next three issues, immigration, healthcare, and foreign policy.
Nearly every economic indicator shows that the economy has been booming in recent years. The Obama administration has presided over the biggest and most enduring advance in fifty years. The Dow reached another all-time high today. Unemployment is 5.7%, nearly half of what Obama inherited from George W. Bush. GDP growth increased at an annual rate of 3.5% in the third quarter of 2014. Housing is up, interest rates are down, inflation is imperceptible, and consumer confidence rose in October to its highest level since 2007.
The only significant low points are average wages and public sector employment. In both of those matters it has been the Republican Party that has thrown obstacles into the path of progress. Democrats are universally in support of a minimum wage increase that economists agree would produce higher demand for goods and services, thus stimulating job growth. And Obama has been trying to drag the GOP along to allocate funds for infrastructure development which would not only create jobs, but improve the environment for businesses to succeed. Yet conservative naysayers continue to stifle these measures for no reason other than to hurt the President and his party.
Given the success on so many levels of the President’s economic record, and the fact that the economy is the number one issue on the minds of voters, the obvious question is: Why on Earth are Democrats struggling to hold their position in Congress? The American people ought to be rewarding success and punishing the obstacles to it. With a more cooperative legislative branch, Obama could achieve a great deal more in the last two years of his presidency.
And therein lies the answer to the question. The last thing the GOP wants is for Obama to be successful. It’s what they pledged on the eve of his first inauguration when Mitch McConnell declared that his top priority was to make Obama a one-term president. It’s what their de facto leader, Rush Limbaugh, pronounced when he said that he wants Obama to fail. It’s why they orchestrated a shutdown last year that achieved nothing but cost $24 billion. And it’s why they have a kneejerk opposition to anything that Obama proposes, even if it was originally proposed by a Republican.
Also notable is that the other issues cited as important to voters also have seen measurable improvement during the Obama years. Illegal immigration is way down, while simultaneously domestic responses to the plight of undocumented residents have become much more compassionate and rational. As for health care, more Americans are covered by insurance than ever, and at less cost. And their coverage is more comprehensive and cannot be denied due to preexisting conditions.
Nevertheless, midterm polling is inexplicably showing tight senate races in several battleground states. With all of the good news, Democrats should be running away with this. But Republicans have expertly managed a campaign of dishonest negativity that has distorted the debate and damaged the perception of Democratic candidates. They have also had the benefit of bottomless barrels of cash from billionaires like the Koch brothers with vested interests that do not align with those of ordinary Americans.
Still, in most of these states the Democrats would be leading comfortably if the poll queried the entire electorate. But when constraining the poll to “likely” voters, the numbers fall decidedly against the Democrats. That’s because many of the traditionally Democratic constituents tend to sit out midterm elections.
If Democrats can reverse that trend through voter education, and a strong ground game getting out the vote on election day, the pollsters and the Republicans and the media will be shocked by the results. But it will take money and hard work to do it. Any encouragement you can give to people you know to insure that they vote will pay off in dividends. Especially in races that are so close. And here are a couple of other ways you can help:
Contribute to or volunteer with…
MoveOn.org or Democracy for America
You’ll be glad you did. The work, calling other Democrats like yourself, is fun and rewarding. And any funds can help to expand the outreach. The alternative is to wake up Wednesday morning with the prospect of a senate run by Mitch McConnell where every committee chair is a Republican who wishes harm on this President and his agenda. Victory is not out of reach, but it will require some determination and commitment. So please consider everything that you can do to be a part of a major electoral upset that will put the Tea Party on its knees.
8 thoughts on “What’s Wrong With America? Why Is Anyone Voting Republican?”
I’m sure it was a typo but the last govt. shutdown cost $24 billion. It seems as though all of the media is piling on Obama as some sort of failure despite the data showing just the opposite! I see it in the media daily.
Yep, the media has been hyping an “Obama’s sinking approval” meme despite the fact that his numbers today are exactly where they were at the beginning of the year. (and thanks).
“…bottomless barrels of cash from billionaires like the Koch brothers…”
As expected, Mark refuses to talk about the megabucks from Tom Steyer, Jeffrey Katzenberg, the labor unions, and all the other left-wing cash cows.
This economic recovery took way too long to get any momentum. The unemplyment rate drop also includes the factor of many Americans simply giving up looking for work. And wages are stagnant.
I look forward to Mitch McConnell restoring some integrity to the office of Senate Majority leader. It has been missing for the past several years.
And obviously no mention on your part about how so much of the money that the koches donate is “dark money” that can’t be monitored.
Economy recovered too slowly?Ok then $1 million dollar question, how fast should the economy have recovered and what should have been done to achieve that rate of recovery? This is a common complaint by the right, but the answer to those 2 questions has always been crickets.
What has the current Republican politicians done to foster the economy? That’s an even more pertinent quetion awaiting your answers.
Finally we come the stupidest part of your post by any and all standards. People have given up working so unemployed figures fall because of that? People who are not currently in a job, whether they are looking for one at this time or not, are ALL considered “unemployed”. People giving up looking for jobs would not affect the unemployment numbers at all. Heck if people WERE all giving up on job hunting, the unemployment trend would not be dropping at all since those out of work now will, by that assumption, ALWAYS be out of work.
Astonishing bit of stupidity there, I expected nothing less from the likes of you.
What I posted was true.
Unemployment polls are counted by how many people file claims if you have given up on finding work and not filing for unemployment then it would seem unemployment is down.
Republicans destroy the economy. Democrats try to fix it. Republicans obstruct the fix. Republicans complain the economy is not recovering fast enough. Americans fall for this over and over. Getting ready to happen again. See Kansas.
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