Minority and young voters made a significant mark on the 2008 presidential election with their high turnout; today, however, these groups appear to have reverted to previous levels of interest in voting in the context of midterm elections. Most notably, in contrast to 2008, when whites and blacks were about equally likely to say they were giving "quite a lot of" or "some" thought to the presidential election, whites are much more likely than blacks to be thinking about the 2010 elections: 42% vs. 25%, a gap exceeding those from recent midterm elections.
Many can speculate on why the non enthusiasm by these groups, but the bottom line is Democrats need these groups to show up in November. No one can dismiss that the economy is number one, especially for the African-American community which is at over 16% in unemployment, but there are other factors.
I read a diary from a 20-ish diarist who laid it out why the young voters are not in the Democrats corner. It comes down to what the Democrats and Obama promised during 2008 campaign and did not deliver, especially on health care (which is abysmal and will become Obama's Achilles heel) and restructuring student loans for the college age kids. About the student loan issue, it is unbelievable that you can purchase a home at 4.5% interest rate and for student loans borrowing money is over 6%. Something is drastically wrong with this picture.
The reason this is happening is the recession, and the perception that Democrats are not doing enough to fix it. There is a feeling that Democrats tricked people into thinking that they were going to make big changes to the country, and then failed to make those changes.
You might think this is an unreasonable criticism, that the Democrats are doing the best they can, and that they never said they were leftists. I can understand that point of view, and it makes a lot of sense. But let's look at what millennials are dealing with in this economy, and it might not seem so unreasonable.
You might be comfortable with the way things are. You might not be interested in radical changes. You might be okay with incrementalism. But others are different. There are very big problems in the USA, and they are making many people very miserable. It's not wrong for these people to ask that the problems affecting them be fixed.
Now, these are some of the problems that are affecting young people.
The unemployment rate among young people is very high:The unemployment rate for young Americans has exploded to 52.2 percent -- a post-World War II high, according to the Labor Dept.
Tons of people are graduating from high school and college, and they are finding that they can't find jobs.
And they have tons of debt that they need to pay:Student loans outstanding today — both federal and private — total some $829.785 billion, according to Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid.org and FastWeb.com.
This is a problem. All my life, I was told that if I did good in school, and went to college, that I would be able to find a good job. That was obviously not true. There don't seem to be any jobs in this economy, let alone good ones.
Instead of telling your kids that they will be able to succeed if they work hard, you might consider telling them that life's a bitch, and then you die. That seems a bit more realistic than the "American Dream".
For those that do not believe the Democrats are in trouble, think again. They are in huge trouble. Gallup released a poll that has the GOP with a 10 point edge over the Democrats. I thought this was an outlier, but NBC/WSJ just released a poll and have the GOP with a 9 point edge.
A combination of sky-high GOP enthusiasm, a deep sense of pessimism about the country’s direction and dissatisfaction with President Barack Obama's stewardship of the economy has given Republicans a clear advantage heading into the November midterm elections, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
With the Labor Day holiday marking the traditional starting point of the campaign season, Republicans have a nine-point edge among those considered likely voters, plus a near 20-point lead among those expressing the highest amount of interest in the midterms.
In addition, six in 10 believe the country is on the wrong track; nearly two-thirds think the nation is in a state of decline; and a similar number aren't confident that their children’s generation will enjoy a better life.
Perhaps more ominous for Democrats, the number of Americans who approve of Obama's handling of the economy — the top issue in the country — has declined below 40 percent for the first time.
“We all know that there is a hurricane coming for the Democrats,” says Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff. “We just don’t know if it will be a Category 4 or a Category 5.”
I have been writing consistently since last spring for this White House and Democrats to focus on the economy and job creation.
That did not happen, the unemployment numbers are still sky high and the Democrats will pay the price in November.
The health care fight was the one that took all the oxygen out of the room. In fact, you don't see anyone running on THAT craptastic piece of legislation. With little cost containment, you will soon see many Americans angry at not being able to afford coverage. The Democrats had a chance with the public option, something the public wanted but ditched it to the backroom deals, which ended up having the public forced to purchase health insurance. We are going to pay a price at the polls in November for this huge mistake and miscalculation towards the American Public.
Barack Obama does not have too much political capital left. If the Democrats lose massively in November, all roads lead back to him as head of the Democratic Party. And in all honesty, it should. All the decisions came from the West Wing, including the horrific communication. Please after November let us say adios to Robert Gibbs and friends, they failed to communicate much of this administrations agenda and it shows. Along with Gibbs, send David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel, Jim Messina packing. Their advice to the President have him boxed into some of the worst poll numbers out there, especially his handling of the economy.
How this administration missed all the clues from the public shows that they were not engaged with the public. There will be some long faces in November, but the final decision must come from Barack Obama, himself. Until he changes and shows that he "gets it", the bad news will continue to ROLL IN.