McDonnell, Bolling, and Cuccinelli in VA, Christie in NJ, and now Brown in MA. All huge GOP wins for important seats. All victories in states that went for Obama and had a Democratic trend and/or domination. In all three states, our GOP candidate outperformed McCain’s numbers against Obama by 25-33 points. That’s great news.
In the Rasmussen Reports Generic Congressional Ballot, the Democrats had as high as an 18 point lead a few years ago. The past three weeks, the GOP has posted a consistent 8-9 point edge, which is about 15 points better than what our candidates were up against in 2008. The largest swing group in that time has been Independent voters, which means the same seats where Dems edged our folks out in 2006 and 2008 are in trouble. As are longstanding Democrats from moderate districts.
The Dems rhetoric over the past few days has made it clear they intend to double down on healthcare and continue this Pickett’s charge. They proposed today to raise the debt limit almost another two trillion dollars. The unemployment rate is 10%, and when underemployment and discouraged job seekers are counted in its 17%. Even if the economy turns around now, the unemployment rate is still likely to climb as folks try to come back into the job market. Despite this enormous failing by the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress, they still are not focused on the economy. They are spendaholics looking back at Bush. Taxes are going up. Inflation is getting worse. The energy crisis is deepening. The deficit is increasing, and the debt is scary. Corruption is rampant and the stimulus dollars are not being well spent. The Democrats have more job killing pieces of legislation on their priority list.
The common elements of our successful victories were that we nationalized the races by tapping into these issues. None of them ran against Obama, but they all ran against the Obama agenda. They all ran positive campaigns in the face of negative campaigns. They all focused on bread and butter issues. They defined themselves by their focus on job creation. None of them apologized for being as socially conservative as they were or tried to run away from it. Even Brown, who is pro-Choice, comes down as Pro-Life on almost every issue that is likely to come before the Senate.
This model has a lot of mileage of its own. But a GOP nationalized platform with a clear job creation plan, one endorsed and crafted by our best minds, and I’m thinking of Jindal, Daniels, Ryan, McDonnell, Gingrich, and a few others could accentuate this conservative wave. We are not the party of no, we are the party of responsibility. Being responsible means being able to say no, unlike our liberal counterparts who want to spend every dime we have and a fair few that we do not have.
The next 9-10 months must be about claiming the mantle of fiscal responsibility and defining the Democrats as fiscally irresponsible. We should be crushing them on the question of which party do voters trust more to handle the economy. And then we should campaign on those bread and butter issues that voters will readily connect to the GOP being the party of fiscal responsibility. The Democrats are a reckless party lacking focus on these issues with an incompetent administration to boot.
Their worn out refrain of 8 years of failed Bush policies must be countered. It was primarily the very same poor regulations that encourage and enabled predatory lending that ACORN and the Democrats fought for which created the bubble. It was after the Democrats seized Congress that unemployment shot up, the stock market tanked, the housing bubble popped, the culture of corruption worsened, lobbyists grew more powerful, echoes of promises for transparency faded into backroom deals, partisan polarization became more marked, and socialist policies prevailed.