Jackie Gingrich Cushman

When reviewing the performance of a country as a whole, 30 percent of respondents believe we are on the right track as a country, and 66 percent believe that the country is on the wrong track. This feeling is even stronger among registered voters (28 percent right track, 69 percent wrong track).

And as if the news for the Democratic Party is not bad enough this year, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released its first-quarter estimate this Wednesday. "Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States -- increased at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the first quarter" (that is, from the fourth quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014), according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. "In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 2.6 percent."

While this lower number includes the effect of bad weather throughout the country, by the time November rolls around, the weather will have been forgotten and the anemic economic growth number will remain.

No matter how you slice it, the political climate is going to get hotter, especially for President Obama and Democrats running for office. While voters in mid-term elections tend to get motivated by being disenchanted with those in power, the Republicans should not count on that. To win long term, the Republicans need offer not only an alternative to the Democrats but better solutions and a path to a brighter future for all.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.