Analyzing the 2010 mid-term elections: Not as gloom and doom as we think
Ph.D. | , Anthony Asadullah Samad | 11/10/2010, 5 p.m.
The election night results brought forth a much expected outcome, a Republican takeover of the House of Representatives and some "slippage" in Democrat seats held in the Senate. The reasons were several for the outcome, but it is not the end of the world. The Democrats (and everybody else) need to stop their snivelin'.
Wipe your nose and move on with the outcome. What happened is a combination of historical politics, race realities, fear-mongering and voter suppression.
Change is still in the air. They (Republicans) know it, and we (everybody else) know it. It is not as "Doom and Gloom" as you think, and it really doesn't bode well for the Republicans or Democrats rolling into the 2012 presidential election season. We just have to analyze this in proper context.
First and foremost, the president is not to blame-even though President Obama, as head of his party, has accepted the blame. The media is blaming the "Obama-backlash" as the primary reason for why the Democrats lost 60 seats in the House and six in the Senate. However, think of how many seats the Democrats would've lost, if he hadn't campaigned the last month before election?
The Democrats would've have lost both chambers of Congress, and probably another 20 House seats. I'm convinced the president saved Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's seat (who everybody thought was gone). I know he saved California Senator Barbara Boxer's seat. You can point to those type of examples all over the country. The president played it right. He acknowledged that the American people are frustrated with the wait it is taking for the economy to turn around. What nobody is asking is, "Who could've turn the nation's worst economy in 70 years around in two years?"
The Republicans caused it, and they know the American people didn't trust them to do it cause they knew they couldn't, and the Republicans didn't do much to help President Obama.
Still, the president congratulated the Republicans victory on this night and stated that "the people had spoken." What he should have said was some of the people had spoken. For he knew, like we knew (and Republicans knew) that he wasn't on the ballot this year and the "change" voters, young people, didn't turn out. Only 11 percent of 18 to 29 year olds turned out this election. The "pop culture" vote stayed home.
The Black vote stayed home too, but for a different reason. Again, the president wasn't on the ballot, and they too were frustrated with the economy because Blacks are two and a half times more unemployed than their White counterparts and for twice as long. The change they expected has not come, and when White folks catch an economic cold, it's full blown pneumonia for Black America. Instead of voting against the president, or voting Republican or Tea Party (really one and the same), they stayed home. In some instances, there was just no incentive to vote. For instance, according to a pre-election study done by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, in 20 cities where the African American vote would likely influence the election outcome, 16 of those cities were represented by "Blue Dog" (conservative) Democrats. Eight of them lost on election night.