by Arlen Grossman
As the economy slowly improves, polls show President Obama’s approval rating rising and populist Democratic issues resonating well with America’s voters. Compared to last year when conservatives were riding high and the issues seemed to favor the GOP, the trends couldn’t be better for the Democratic Party.
Obama on the stump in 2008 (zimbio.com)
Last September in OpEdNews, I posted “A Republican Sweep in 2012?” lamenting the apparent fate of the demoralized Democratic Party. “Significant trends point to a Republican Party sweep of the 2012 elections, bringing with it the most right-wing government in American history,” I wrote, focusing on three factors favoring the GOP: money, media and enthusiasm. All three seem to be trending in the opposite direction, increasingly favorable to President Obama and the Democrats.
(1) MONEY. With the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010, billionaires and Super PACs were given free rein to pour unlimited amounts of money into the campaigns of candidates they liked, mainly Republicans. But with Obama’s poll numbers on the rise and the GOP looking desperate as they flail around in an unsuccessful attempt to find an electable candidate to oppose the president, more of that money may now be up for grabs. President Obama will benefit, and if he is doing well, the trickle-down effect on Democratic congressional candidates will be in play.
The One Percent are not stupid. If they see the 2012 election looking good for the incumbent president they will want to be on board that winning train, too. Rather than pouring all their money into a doomed effort to elect a Romney or Santorum, the Big Money boys will want to send the message to President Obama that they are also on his side, and (wink, wink) remind him not to forget how important big business is to America’s prosperity.
(2) MEDIA. Last year, the news media was all too happy to focus on the Tea Party and the scary national debt numbers. This year, thanks to pushback on GOP anti-labor policies in Wisconsin and other midwest industrial states, as well as attention focused on Occupy Wall Street, other issues have moved to the forefront. Long ignored by the corporate media, wealth inequality and Wall Street corruption have become too obvious to ignore. These issues favor Democrats.
(3) ENTHUSIASM. It should be obvious that most of the energy has been sucked from the Tea Party movement, while President Obama’s base is starting to get fired up at the thought of sticking it to the negative, obstructionist Republicans. Demoralized after three years of frustration and lackadaisical leadership from the president, labor, minorities, students, progressives and other groups that worked so hard to get him elected in 2008, are starting to like the populist message they are hearing from Obama. Finally, they see reasons to walk the precincts and convince other voters to re-elect the president.
There you have it: money, media and enthusiasm, previously trending well for the GOP in 2010 and most of 2011, now neutralized and looking promising for the Democratic Party in 2012. It’s a long way until November, and circumstances and events can change, but at this moment in time, Democrats have got to be wondering: “Does it get any better than this?”