Published August 15, 2010
The $26 billion employment bill that President Obama signed into law last week will save the jobs of at least 160,000 teacher and is expected to create or preserve police, firefighter and nursing positions. Autoworkers at General Motors and Chrysler are enjoying the fruits of the auto industry bailout initiated by the president and the Democratic controlled Congress. And, construction workers on the highways and in communities around the country are working full time as a result of the so-called economic stimulus package.
And yet, polls continue to show that the Democrats will lose control of the U.S. House of Representatives and could even lose the Senate.
A plausible explanation is that Americans who are benefitting the most from the numerous initiatives launched by the Democrats on the national and state levels don’t feel that they owe the Democratic Party anything. The anti-Obama sentiment is so strong among traditional Democratic voters —senior citizens and blue collar workers — that this November’s general election will see a sharp decline in the Democratic vote.
Unless party chairmen like David Betras in Mahoning County and Dan Polivka in Trumbull County are able to rally the troops in this predominantly Democratic region, things will be even worse than anticipated.
If last week’s party fundraiser in Mahoning County is any indication, Democrats have a lot of work to do between now and the general election. Only 175 tickets were sold — they were $500 a piece — even though the keynote speaker was Congressman Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.
There could be all kinds of reasons why Frank did not draw a bigger crowd, but the lack of enthusiasm among Democrats cannot be denied. By contrast, Republicans will be turning out in droves in November.