Thanks to the leadership of President Obama, House Speaker Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Reid, the Democratic Party is facing the biggest defeat in bi-elections in the past 110 years.
The modern record is a loss of 74 seats set in 1922, by the Democrats, at the height of the Harding/Teapot Dome scandals. This year, the Democrats will lose at least 80 House seats and perhaps as many as 100, and will also lose control of the Senate.
Currently, according to published polls, Republicans are leading in 54 Democratic House districts and, in 19 more, the incumbent congressman is under 50 percent of the vote and his GOP challenger is within five points. That makes 73 seats where victory is within easy grasp for the Republican Party. The only reason the list is not longer is that there are 160 Democratic House districts that were considered so strongly blue that there is no recent polling available.
There is no Democratic message out there. President Obama is heralding education -- an issue never mentioned on the campaign trail. Secretary of State Clinton is trying to restart the peace talks in the Middle East. Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano is trying to enhance international air safety. Attorney General Holder is re-evaluating Internet national security taps. And a hundred endangered Democrats are scrambling about on their own trying to get re-elected!
The Democratic campaigns they are waging are formulaic. They make no attempt to defend the administration, but run away from it where possible. They never mention its signature legislative achievements unless to say that they opposed them. The words stimulus, health care reform, card-check, GM takeover, and cap and trade never cross their lips.
Instead, they are running almost exclusively negative ads. In a few districts, they have dug up dirt that they are throwing at their opponents. They base their campaigns on tax liens, failed marriages, DWIs and the like. Where there is a paucity of dirt, they resort to three pre-fab negatives: that their opponent favors a 23 percent national sales tax, that he wants to privatize Social Security and that he is shipping jobs overseas.
The Republican answers are simple. Candidates urge the 23 percent value-added tax as part of a Fair Tax reform that eliminates the income tax -- a switch most voters favor. Some Republicans do back letting people under 55 divert one-third of their FICA taxes to approved investment alternatives, and most voters agree with them.
NYT Editoral Board: The Indictment Against Rick Perry "Appears" to be "Overzealous" | Daniel Doherty