The 2014 midterm elections have resulted in a clear victory for the Republican Party. The GOP came out ahead with more Congressional seats, Governorships, and State Legislatures controls compared to Democrats. What does this mean?
GOP officials tells us the results are a repudiation of President Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi. TV pundits do not disagree but emphasize voters are upset, maybe disgusted is a better word, with Washington gridlock. So, what is it?
If this is the choice, I think we must remember that the sun also rises and it gets dark at night.
It might help to recognize that only about 1/3rd of Americans voted. Of that 1/3rd, over 70% were white Americans. Considering that nationally white Americans make up only 64% of voters, this suggests a lot of Hispanics (16% of potential voters) and African Americans (12% of potential voters) did not make it to the polls. This also suggests that the majority of white voters stayed home too. Hmmm.
Reading into the results is potentially mistake prone. Never the less, one can infer that those not voting, especially in the heavily contested races, were “underwhelmed” with the entire government process and disheartened by how much was being spent on election races when the last bunch of candidates did not produce what they promised.
But why did Democrats seem to lose across the board?
One reason clearly is that the GOP did not run looney candidates and stayed away from Bible driven issues. Raising no red flags, the GOP seemed competent.
Another reason, perhaps, is the coalition of Progressives, Blacks, and Hispanics showed their disgust at how little Democrats had tried to follow through on past campaign promises by staying home.
Ironically, this key Democrat faction has handed the legislative keys to the GOP. The GOP now has a chance to demonstrate that they can govern responsibly. If they do, the GOP will enter the 2016 elections with a strong tail wind.
Another conclusion might be that Democrats got what they deserved and the GOP benefited from Democrat rejection. The DNC had better consider that possibility when looking ahead to 2016. Unless Democrats begin to enunciate what they stand for and layout how they proposed to deliver in their promise, more voters are going to tune out. (For example, Democrats should not continue to say they are for the Affordable Care Act. Rather they should say they stand for affordable basic health care coverage for all Americans where no one can be denied coverage. Who cares what the legislations is called that delivers that. Or, Democrats should not call out for new welfare programs, or any spending program, without also setting a sunset time and a way to pay for the spending.)
There should not be despair in Democrat quarters. Unless the GOP alters their goals dramatically, their party will again be torn between Bible thumpers and greedy capitalists hiding behind conservative rhetoric. It is simply not a sure bet that the GOP can govern given its current makeup. Hmmm.
The heat is now on Democrats to provide a more attractive governance offering. Regrettably, it is not a sure bet Dems will recognize this necessity.