This time the pollsters and pundits essentially had it right, namely, that the Democrats would get trounced at the polls; which they did. It is of course that the #1 issue among voters is the economy, and the other concerns are reducing the size of government, along with shrinking government debt, extending the Bush tax cuts, government bail out of the banks and automakers, the mortgage crisis, and Obama-Care. To a great extent, it is about President Obama not living up to his campaign promises and getting so caught up in trying to solve these unexpected financial crises all at once that he lost his focus. It is also about punishing incumbent Democratic members of Congress, some of whom are very good legislators, because of the obstructionist, abuse-of-power and partisan leanings of a few; namely, soon-to-be, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
What is uncertain at this early stage is how much of an influence that the Tea Party had in the outcome and whether Sarah Palin is a political 'kingmaker' or not. After all, Christine O'Donnell lost in Delaware, Sharon Angle lost Nevada, Carly Fiorina lost in California, Carl Paladino lost in New York, and Joe Miller is behind in Alaska. To be sure, several candidates backed by the 'tea baggers' won, but in roughly half of those contests, these were formerly or presently Red States or districts anyway. Not only that, but some of the Tea Party candidates are a little bit more to the right of the mainstream GOP ideology. What is not known is how Latinos voted, especially in regions of the country where they are the most populous, and did president Obama fail to reenergize the young, college-educated, predominately White FACEBOOK users who supported him earlier, and did African-Americans not go to the polls in heavy numbers as previously?
And what does the election say about Arizona, who reelected a Governor who introduced the controversial, albeit, discriminatory "Immigration Law," and what about New Mexico's ouster of a Democratic Governor to elect a Republican Spanish-speaking Governor and Senator; both of whom are female? Meanwhile, in California, of which one-third of the people are Latinos, voted for former Democratic Governor Jerry Brown to the office again after forty years. Does this mean that the Latino votes are not committed to any particular political party and are up for grabs by whoever is sympathetic to their particular cultural needs and concerns?
It is going to be interesting to see how John Boehner, as the upcoming House Majority leader is going to work with his own Republican Party, Tea Party-backed candidates, President Obama and angry Democrats to pass any significant legislation, since he doesn't believe in compromise. As the old saying goes, "What Goes Around Comes Around," and it just might be that in another couple of years, it will be the Republicans and their Tea Party surrogates who will be job hunting.
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November 3, 2010
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