Why Democrats lost the election battle but not the 2016 war
Republicans are happy because they have the power that they have craved for so long. The 2014 Democratic electorate voted for more gridlock and disfunction in government; by electing to stay home and not vote. This 2014 election was a midterm election which is historically bad for Democrats since many vote only during the presidential elections. Another very important factor in the Republicans victory was that most of the senate seats that were up for re-election were mainly in red states; all of these states that elected Republicans went for Romney in 2012, so most of these voters never supported Obama or the Democrats policies. There were three blue states that the Senate and governorships went Republican due to lack of Democratic voter turnout, and the Democratic party taking for granted electorate of these states of being historically Democratic. Republicans had a lot of dark money in these elections to get the message out to the older white electorate that normally votes on midterm elections in all states.
Republicans are telling the American public that this election was a message to President Obama and the Democrats that they reject their policies when that can be further from the truth. Republicans won because they had unfair advantage of Senate seats being up for election in red Republican states, first. One point important to highlight is that on the ballot in four red states; Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota they had the option to vote for higher minimum wage and it passed by 80% and higher in these Ruby red states. Arkansas minimum wage increase will be 8.50 an hour by 2017 and Alaska will increase to 9.75 by 2016. San Francisco will increase to 15.00 an hour by 2018. 609,000 low wage Americans in these states will see wage increase. Wisconsin and Illinois passed ballot nonbinding initiative to increase wage minimum to 10.00 an hour, based on passage in state legislature, if passed 1.1 million low income workers will see a raise. 29 states will exceed and increase the 7.25 minimum wage. Washington DC , Alaska, and Oregon voted for legalization of recreational marijuana, florida fell 3% short of the needed 60% threshold to pass medical marijuana use. 30 states have liberalized their marijuana laws. Criminal Justice reform passed in California to shorthen prison senences for inmates on drug offenses, and petty nonviolent crimes. Personhood amendment failed in North dakota and Colorado by 58% overwhelmingly rejecting Republican policies. Gun control advocates won on initiative 594 by 60% that requires background criminal and mental health checks on gun buyers in Washington state. The NRA tried on the same ballot tried to block background checks with initiative 591 and the NRA was defeated by 55%. In Florida and in New Jersey ballot initiatives passed to allocate funds for the protection of lands and parks. 13 billion in funds for land conservation in states and cities. These policies are the Democratic Party and President Obama's policies so for Boehner and McConnell to cynically come out and state that the voters reject President Obama's policies are FALSE. What the voters in these ex-confederate Red states rejected was President Obama not his policies as demonstrated by their own votes on the ballot box.
The media has chosen to focus the election results as a rejection of the President and his policies as for the reason of the Republican sweep. The media did not focus on the results of the passage of many of the ballot initiatives that were the Democratic parties policies and the issues that President Obama had promoted. Why did the ballot initiatives pass in RED REPUBLICAN STATES that are President Obama's and the Democratic parties liberal issues; and at the same time the voters rejected Obama and the Democrats. There is only conclusion, the voters did not reject the president's policies and issues, what they rejected was President Obama, personally. This president has been demonized by the republican party and the media especiallyby the recent coverage on ebola and ISIS. The media was blaming the administration for the poor performance on handling these issues; at one point I thought Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC was blaming Obama for ebola coming to the US. The media has soured on President Obama because of the lack of access given to the White house press to the President and not being able to get access to certain documents which the press believes should be public. On every issue there have been media pundits that have constantly questioned the leadership and character of this President. The constant criticism and manipulation of media reporting and under reporting many of Obama's successes; the american public believes that Obama must be a horrible president.
The american public cares about how their lives will improve, in 2012, after Romney made that 47% comment. Americans re-elected Obama because they saw the alternative as being the worst choice of the two. The american public has not given credit to Obama for the growing economy, nor obama care. 57% of Americans believe obama care should be kept; but the 2014 election will allow for the possibility of the repeal or the destruction of obama care. Elections have consequences and the electorate will learn this quickly as Republicans will continue their strategy of obstruction to affect the next 2016 election, Senator Rand Paul already attacked Hillary Clinton who hasn't announced if she will run for the presidency.
The Democratic party and many of their politicians demoralized their own base by many of their candidates running away from President Obama and his policies. Candidates like Alison Lungden Grimes would not invite President Obama to campaign for her; only allowing the Clintons to campaign. In her attempt to show that she wasn't tied to President Obama, she alienated black and minority voters in her state. The approach of these candidates trying to capture the white vote in states that are historically Republican and where racial attitudes make it impossible for voters to support a black President; their strategy was wrong. The reason why red states are Republican are that the local state government does nothing for its minority constituents; so historically blacks and hispanics do not vote in State or local elections since there are no good policies that do not contribute to higher quality of life for these constituents. The people in these red Republican states have been demoralized because of the extreme poverty they live in and has no good expectations of their local government; in fact many of these red states have attempted to pass laws to make voting harder for minorities, students, and woman; such as North Carolina. Republican states in the South are the poorest in the US per income; many of these people have no health care, and Tennessee has the highest Obesity rate in the US.
In the state of North Carolina, there are 850,000 unregistered black voters and about 300,000 unregistered latino voters. If the democrats concentrate efforts on getting out the message of how important it is for these voters to register to vote in all elections not only the presidential. If the democrats begin a campaign beginning NOW to change the mindsets of the electorate that voting only in the presidentials are not enough,that midterms are important too. The democratic party has to demonstrate to their voters that their lack of voter participation during these mid-term elections determines many local state, Senate and congressional seats that determine if democratic policies will pass to fix the important issues that need attention domestically.
Another important issue that Democrats need to address is to counter effective monopolized Republican messaging; Democratic policies are better for the lower, middle, working class families in the US. The Republican party has been effective in using tactics that misrepresent democratic party policies and ideals; such as misinformation, distortions, and personal attacks on the character of this president and the democratic party. The republican party has a strong conservative talk radio monopoly that has brainwashed many Americans to mistrust and hate government. In addition, to the Republican Party having control over Congress these past four years that President Obama has been in office has stopped all of his cabinet appointments, ambassador appointments, all bills and policies that President Obama tried to pass were stopped cold. Republicans were rewarded this 2014 election for using a strategy of making government fail so that Obama would be blamed for slow economy. Although, the US economy is growing, there have been 23 million new jobs created, GDP is 3.6%, health care costs are lowering for the first time in 50 years because of Obama care. The voters do not support or give credit to this President for the successes; he has accomplished.
The 2014 electorate says they want government to work and the two parties to work together. The election was November 4th and on November 6th; the Republican house leader Boehner comes out in a news conference and dares the President to pass immigration reform by executive order oh, and by the way we will repeal obama care. Boehner says he is doing what the American public wants by repealing obama care when the latest poll states that 57% of americans do Not want Obama care repealed. Boehner is doing the bidding of insurance companies, not the people. The American electorate voted for more gridlock because the Republicans will continue their successful strategy of obstruction and sabotage so that the Democrats will be blamed in 2016. Since their obstruction has worked to place them in the position of power I doubt that there will be any serious effort to work with Obama on any issues to help the middle class.
Republican voters vote against their own interest because of party loyalty, social issues, one issue that identifies with certain voters, an example, gun rights. Some Republican voters cast their votes as a form of support of anti-government sentiment that the South has against the federal government. After all, the south lost the civil war because they wanted to keep the immoral business of slavery and wanted to expand it to the other regions of country since escaped slaves went to northern states. The South hates the federal government because of their losses in the civil war and of their profitable slave industry. During the 1960's the civil rights law passed by the Democrats in Congress and the Senate. Before the 1960's the South was a solid Democratic strong hold; whites were Democrats. Blacks voted historically Republican before 1964 because of Lincoln's emancipation proclamation that freed slaves in all of the US. There was a time that the Republicans,actually passed good common sense equatiable laws; the party of Lincoln made policy that freed blacks from the horrible immoral industry of slavery in the South.
The message that the democratic party should take from this election is that passing common sense laws that protect and help the lower, working, and middle class is not enough. The first message that the democrats have to contradict and explain against the current media narrative is that this 2014 election was not a rebuke of democratic policies because even in red states democratic policies passed overwhelmingly. These red states voted in republican politicians that were against the very same ballot initiatives passed. The democrats have to start effective messaging beginning NOW, start online media campaign and print media to minority communities explaining the importance of voting in all elections and how midterms determine the legislative body of the government. Finally, Democrats have to fight fire with fire, fight constant Republican misinformation by explaining what the democratic party stands for; what the party has done so far and how it has improved many issues that were declining in 2008. The democratic candidates have to become passionate advocates for their party and for their President. The idea of distancing of the Democratic candidate from the current Democratic President in red states in hopes that an older confederate state white voter will vote on policies and issues on rather than the race of the current President is a delusion. The idea of flipping red states to blue is possible by concentrating on registering minority communities in these states to register and to vote in these red states in hopes of changing the bad policies that do not represent their communities. The american electorate has 2 second attention spans that unfortunately does not allow for voters to really know what their representative stands for and make good choices. Democrats have to play hardball during elections, the same as Republicans do; by correcting misinformation and not running away from their democratic ideals. Conservative talk radio monoply should be challenged by democratic ideals being placed on social media and other free media to counter that of talk radio conservative monopoly that has brainwashed Americans.