Number of Democrats thinking of not voting in 2010 up to 45%
the highest percentage of Democrats to date (45%) indicated this week that they are either unlikely to vote, or certain not to vote.
Once more, doing things badly (health care “reform”, an inadequate stimulus, refusing to properly take on the banks) or doing things the base opposed (escalating in Afghanistan) has a price.
In 1994 Clinton lost Congress. He lost it in large part because of NAFTA, failing at health care reform and the the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell fiasco. Democratic base voters stayed home and Republicans were motivated. Doing “moderate” things didn’t make Republicans not vote against Democrats, but it did make Democrats not vote Democrats.
Clinton may have gone on to win re-election in 1996, but after losing Congress, he did very few truly progressive things and did or signed off on many non-progressive things, like Welfare “reform” and gutting Glass-Steagall (a major reason for the financial crisis.)
Obama stands to repeat. His major achievement, health care reform, is too compromised to really motivate the base. He has two things going for him:
- a large money advantage, since they are now the favored party of corporate America, and raking in money as a result;
- the Republicans being in severe disarray.
The next year will have some bones thrown to the base, in an attempt to convince them to get out and vote. But since Obama can’t, and won’t, do anything major for the base, I wonder what they’ll be. Healthcare is off the table, the immigration bill will not be good, carbon trading will be badly done and so on.
Convincing base voters they haven’t been betrayed, that there is hope and the change doesn’t mean “Bush’s 3rd term” is going to be an uphill struggle.