Democrats Losing Voters

Looks like Obama is going to have a tougher time getting back in the White House next year, according to WMAL:

A report released Wednesday by the centrist think-tank Third Way showed that more than 825,000 voters in eight key battleground states have fled the Democratic Party since Obama won election in 2008.

“The numbers show that Democrats’ path to victory just got harder,” said Lanae Erickson, the report’s co-author.  “We are seeing both an increase in independents and a decrease in Democrats and that means the coalition they have to assemble is going to rely even more on independents in 2012 than it did in 2008.”

Amid frustrating partisan gridlock and unprecedentedly low party-approval ratings, the number of voters registering under a major party is falling fast, but it is also falling disproportionately.

In eight states that will be must-wins in 2012 — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina and Pennsylvania — Democrats lost 5.4 percent of their registered voters while Republicans lost 3.1 percent.  The number of independent voters in those states jumped 3.4 percent.

This is not really news; voters have been fleeing both major parties over the past decade due to overactive hyperpartisanship, a greatly expanded bounty of information from blogs and social media that have destroyed “big media“‘s credibility, and that neither party is actually focusing on delivering a consistent message and consistent policy, but has been playing too much politics. What is interesting is that more are fleeing Democrats than Republicans—at least in these states, and I think that has to do with a couple of things:

  1. The stimulus has been an abject failure, and rightly or wrongly, it is perceived as more of a Democratic Party idea than a Republican one. Related to that, there aren’t any jobs available, and people blame that on the guy in power—Obama.
  2. The Democrats have had a real leadership deficit lately. It’s been over 900 days—more than two years—since they’ve passed a budget (and that counts when they controlled both houses of Congress), and Obama has appeared to be nothing more than an empty suit, occasionally inhabited by a snake oil salesman of the highest order.
  3. Democrats have not done anything democratic—remember “We have to pass this bill to find out what’s in it”? And then they accuse Republicans—who are no saints, either—of being “obstructionist,” when that’s exactly how this game works. They’ve been up to their waist in filth recently, and they are not prettier or better liked for it.
  4. ObamaCare. Just Obamacare.
  5. People just admit that left-wing economic policy doesn’t work. When they look around and see millions without jobs and prices going up, they know something is bonkers. No amount of punditry will change that.
  6. Also, President Obama has turned into a giant hypocrite: he came into office with “Hope and Change,” but instead he gave us “Despair and the Same.” He has continued several Bush Administration policies, entered us (unconstitutionally, I might add) into two new wars, murdered American citizens with drone strikes without trial, ordered the TSA to molest innocent Americans traveling through airports, intensified the War on Terror, refused to shut down Guantanamo, was quite lukewarm on LGBT rights, and now might just sign a bill that will require the US military to detain any American citizen suspected of being terrorist—without any right to trial whatsoever. Not many are going along with that.
  7. And lastly, for rightly or wrongly, the Democrats have been associated with the Occupy Wall Street movement. The hippies in the streets demanding jobs and outrageous mininum wages and being perceived as slackers have been linked to the Democrats, which is not entirely fair—the Dems are pretty much big corporatist elite types—but we went there. Part of this has to do with Democratic support and dependency on labor unions, a subset of society that isn’t enjoying a lot of support right now.

Republicans, by no means, should rest on their laurels; saying “They’re losing more people than us!” is not exactly a victory cry. They have their own problems, namely that their rigid focus on social and religious conservatism is turning off boatloads of voters who just want to go to work and pay their rent, their disdain of intellect and the stupidity on display is turning off many middle-class voters, and then there’s their foreign policy, which, put simply, is a disaster.

Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch were right, in their book Declaration of Independents. This system cannot hold much longer. Unless both parties radically adapt their platforms to face an altered reality, I think we’re on the cusp of seeing something new.

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