The 2012 Presidential Race and the races for the House and Senate are likely to shape the United States long into the future. With important decisions about the budget and about a host of other serious issues, the time for action has come. We The People are very aware of the gridlock caused by Republicans. This gridlock threatens the unemployed, the elderly, the needy and the poor. These groups cannot seriously view the Republicans as their saviours. Democrats believe in pro-active reform but also believ in responsible and balanced change.
In response to the financial crisis that was caused by the unregulated and permissive policies of the Republicans and GW Bush, We The People demand change. If we permit the irresponsible Republicans to have their way yet again, we will have no one to blame except ourselves. If Republicans win the House and the Senate, our children and grandchildren will be paying for our irresponsible voting for most of their lives.
If you were once in the middle class or if you are in need of a job, do you seriously believe that the Republicans have your best interests at heart. Remember this is the party of We The Few. Do you believe that the Tea Party and other Republicans have rendered the federal government defenseless? If so, help us get out the vote.
While the Democratic platform is clearly the last stop-gap from further destruction of the middle class, the elderly and ravaging the poor, the Republicans are armed to the teeth. Due to the severity of multiple issues inherited by President Obama from his predecessor, jobs are hard to find. Personal income is down. Foreclosures are an everyday occurrence.
However, the reality is that Republicans are quick to attack the President but they are very slow to offer solutions. In all the Republican Debates, the only person that took a definite stand was Herman Cain with his 9-9-9 flat tax plan. Not one other candidate has taken a position about a new jobs program.
There are many reasons to be concerned about the 2012 elections. Consider that since the 2008 elections more than 2.5 million voters have left the Democratic and Republican Parties in favor of declaring as an Independent. This pattern is most evident in states that compose the 8 swing states. In these states, USA Today reports that 800,000 voters have left the Democratic Party and 350,000 have left the Republican Party. Voters that now identify themselves as Independents have increased by 325,000. Since the last Presidential Election, there are 1.7 million less Democrats. The total number of Independents has increased by 1.7 percent (400,000) since 2008.
Swing states that register by party are:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
The states with the biggest increases in Independents are Colorado, Florida, North Carolina and Arizona. The fate of the next President, the 2013 House and the 2013 Senate may well rest on how Independents vote.
With 42 million national registrants, Democrats still dominate Republicans with 24 million registrants.
Another much sought after faction of voters is the Latino Vote. It is expected that if Mitt Romney is the Republican candidate, he will select Marco Rubio of Florida to increase his share of Latino voters. Latinos are not happy with President Obama’s increased rate of deportation. However, based on Romney’s much declared conservative policy, Latinos had best beware of the consequences of a Republican President.
According to the Pew Hispanic Center, a poll between November 9th and December 7th, Latinos still overwhelmingly support President Obama.
Another area of concern is the high quantity of first-time voters expected to voters in 2012. While it is true that senior voters vote for policies that have a direct impact on them, first-time voters are likely to vote for the platform that offers jobs, educational assistance and educational excellence. First-time voters vote according to differences in policies in these areas. With new voter restrictions being imposed on first-time voters, the poor and Latinos, it is imperative that Democrats develop on-the-ground recruitment strategies.
The dangerous and disruptive Tea Party has the resources and a well-organized grass-roots campaign that is experienced in door-to-door recruitment. This group poses a serious threat to the President and Congress.
Because Independents have strong ideological postures, they gravitate to platforms that meet their expectations of the role of government, the environment, social issues and immigration. Independents are more flexible and do not want to be liberal or conservative. According to the Pew Study, there is growing rejection of political ideology but that should not be interpreted as a shift toward moderation. Independents will vote in 2012 and they may well determine the Presidential election and where the power in Congress will lie.
For example, in 2008 Independents gave President an eight point edge. In 2010, Republicans won the House with a 19 point Independent majority. Independents are difficult to read. It is possible that they will listen closely to House, Senate and Presidential debates before finalizing their votes. It is probable that Independents will not vote along a party line. Rather, they will vote for the candidate that rings their chime.
The challenge for Democrats will be to assist voters register and to get out the vote. Several polls show that voters hold Republicans accountable for the gridlock in Washington. It is no coincidence that as the approval rating of Congress deteriorates, the support for President Obama increases.
Regardless of how public opinion views the Tea Party, these activists will be charged up in 2012. The Tea Party may be the only group of activists who is pleased with the way government is running. That is a message the Democrats need to carry to Independents and first-time voters.