With the majority of the votes in and counted, as predicted, Republicans have captured the House and made significant gains in the Senate. This is a crippling loss for Barack Obama and the Democrats as they no longer have the votes to continue pushing their agenda. Unlike Republicans who were forced to examine their mistakes last election, the majority of Democrats and their supporters refuse to accept that voters don’t embrace “Hope and Change” anymore. Instead of gloating, let’s breakdown the election results to see why even worst case scenarios for Democrats weren’t able predict such a massive Republican victory.
What does this election say to Obama and the Democrats? As Charles Krauthammer said the morning after the election on Fox News, “I think that the message is unmistakable that the Obama agenda is dead.” After being elected in 2008, Obama and the Democrats had a supermajority in both houses. They had assumed their election victory was a mandate by the people to radically change how Washington is run, but the truth was that voters were frustrated with President George W. Bush and Republicans and naively believed that the promise of “Hope and Change” would end the financial crisis and lead to massive job creation. After trying a “two-year experiment in hyper-liberalism”, the financial crisis has gotten much worse, there has been a sharp increase in the unemployment rate, government spending has become unmanageable, etc and the American people had had enough. The problem is that Democrats and their supports seem unable to realize this.
To his credit, CNN Senior Political Analyst David Gergen stated on Anderson Cooper 360 Wednesday night that not only is the American public outright rejecting ObamaCare, but by voting overwhelmingly for the Republicans, they showing that they believe America is heading in the wrong direction. The problem is that the majority of Democrats and their supporters are unwilling to accept that “Hope and Change” is no longer popular. Since Tuesday night we have heard one left-wing pundit after another saying that this wasn’t an election to end Obama and the Democrat’s agenda, citing exit polls as the basis for this belief. The problem is that exit polls aren’t good indicators as to how or why people voted. Aside from ignoring the election results, these explanations also fail to consider recent polling data which clearly indicates that this is definitely not the result of poor messaging by the Democrats. Former Clinton pollster Doug Schoen recently released a poll indicating that fifty-six percent of Americans don’t believe Obama deserves another term in office. Another poll, this one released by Rasmussen the day before the election, stated that fifty-eight percent of likely voters favoured a repeal of ObamaCare. Besides these polls, Hot Air’s Allahpundit points out the fact even the moderate “Blue Dog” Democrats were voted out, many of which not only voted against health care reform, but openly attacked soon-to-be-former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, showing that the majority of Americans wanted to eliminate even the unlikeliest of votes for other pieces of legislation put forth by the Democrats.
What does this say about the direction of the Democrat party itself? While many left-wing pundits will claim that Obama was a “moderate” or “centrist”, or that it was the Republicans which drove him to the left, the truth is that he and his administration were always staunchly liberal. One only has to look at his Senate voting record when for proof of this. Why is this a problem? As a recent Gallup poll showed, 42% of Americans view themselves as conservatives, with only 20% stating that they are liberal or very liberal. This means that not only the Obama administration, but the Democratic Party itself will need to shift towards the center to be electable outside liberal dominated districts. Compromising with Republicans on issues like natural-gas might help win a few votes, but there definitely needs to be a realignment by the Democrats so that they are more in sync with the political makeup of America, especially if they don’t want to suffer similar losses in the 2012 presidential election.
Even with all this, Democrats and their supporters refuse to accept that the vast majority of Americans don’t like the direction the country is heading, instead blaming the economy, poor messaging and “a period of know-nothingism” for the poor election results.