Sunday, October 01, 2006

The election is the Democrats to lose

The Republicans are running scared this election season with a deep enough approval deficit that even a moderately good showing by the Democrats could win control of either or both the House and Senate. Unfortunately, the Democrats in recent elections have shown an extreme propensity for shooting themselves in both feet. As long as the "looney lefties" show enough good sense to shut up and take the win, the Democrats can pull this off, but if Howard and Ned and others who are offensive to centrist voters start mouthing off, the Democrats could really blow yet another golden opportunity.

As an example, calls to leave Iraq immediately (or within six months) will cost the Democrats votes, but calls for a "coherent exit strategy" will win them votes.

Calls to "repeal the Bush tax cuts" will cost the Democrats votes, but calls for "fiscal responsibility" will win them votes.

Getting too cocky and talking as if the election were already won will cost them votes since voters hate being taken for granted. Playing the underdog and "trying harder" will win them votes.

It will be quite an interesting election. After losing two presidential elections in a row, you would think that the Democrats would be willing to cast off approaches that don't work and focus on winning again.

Maybe the telling clue will be the extent to which Democratic candidates call on former President Clinton to campaign on their behalf. The guy knows how to win, even when he has serious flaws to compensate for. Put Clinton up on the podium and people will vote as if they were voting for him instead of the local candidate. But this is a double-edged sword. Clinton achieved success by being a centrist. Candidates risk losing to the extent that they try to distance themselves from the centrist agenda. And voters won't be stupid enough to vote for a non-centrist left-winger who tries to pretend they're a centrist.

-- Jack Krupansky


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home