Posted on February 2, 2010
Mini Midterm Election
<Massachusetts senate elections>
The Republicans won the Massachusetts senate elections, where it is known to be the perfect haven for the Democrats among the 50 states. The state of Massachusetts is where the Democrats dominate without a rival, with the governor, 2 federal senates, 10 federal lower house members, and all of the state lower house members belonging to the Democratic Party. The state of Massachusetts has 1.5 million Democratic voters, whereas half a million are Republicans. The remaining 3 million are independent voters.
Change has come for Massachusetts politics, where the Democrats conquered the field for over 50 years, even capturing the independent voters with the name “Kennedy.” Even more, the senate seat the Republicans took over this time was a symbolic Democrat seat that has been kept for almost half a century. President Kennedy won over this senate seat in 1954, and was succeeded by his brother Edward M. Kennedy until his death. In the 2008 presidential elections, Obama won John McCain with 26% difference, and the two senates ‘John Kerry’ and ‘Edward Kennedy’ won every election with a rating over 70%.
A few weeks earlier, Martha M. Cogely of the Democratic Party had expected an easy victory over Scott Brown (Republican) by two digit advance in popularity ratings. However, the result was dumbfounding, since the Democratic Party has lost the election by losing the swinging voters to the Republicans. Not only the Democratic Party leaders were shocked, but the shock Obama has to endure is immense. Especially since Scott Brown of the Republican Party, the winner of the election, have repeatedly stated “I am the 41st senate member who opposes to the Health Insurance Reformation Plan,” the health insurance reformation that took place in 100 years is about to fall apart.
The Obama administration has believed that the 60 seats in the senate as an essential tool for the reformation, which includes the two independent congressmen inclining toward the Democrats to act against the filibuster. However, now the structure has changed to a 41 to 59 composition. Surely, the 41st senate seat is to display the power of more than 10 seats.
The Democrats have failed to pay close attention to the election strategies even after their bitter experience of Virginia and New Jersey. Democrats were hasty, overlooking that their strategies were suitable for the center-left while their target were independent swinging voters. The Democrats were showing off their maverick-way of reformation for the voters who were worn out of factional Washington parliamentary politics. Although the voters were concerned for ‘economic issues,’ they have presented health insurance reformation as the central issue of the election. They have failed to explain the measures on how to alleviate unemployment rates, that has been hovering around 10%, to the swinging 2million independent voters.
Scott Brown of the Republicans turned around the tables on the election by stating “Due to health care reform, problems of the economy are set aside.” The Democrats taken aback have sent powerful political figures to scene. Clinton was rushed into the scene as well, and President Obama participated in the election campaign. However, neither of them were ways to regain the lost hearts of the people. The Democrats have lost greatly in their safety zone. Their 70% approval ratings for the past 50 years have sharply decreased to 47%.
There are no two ways about the cause of the results of the Democrats, asserting that Obama’s performance of the past year was disappointing. It was obvious for the swinging voters to turn away from the Democrats due to the two-digit unemployment rate, bail out with tax money, skyscraping budget deficit and the diversionary psychology against the Democrat’s one-way governing. Since the change of the party of Republican Alan Specter in last April, Democratic Party solo system have resulted in a conflict between the factions with all-in favor or all-opposition without a compromise or agreement between the two parties. It has been proven through this election that the voters had enough of these factional clashes.
One should note that the result of this Massachusetts election is not a mere sentiment against a specific candidate nor just a diversionary psychology, but an atmosphere against the Obama administration’s policy in general. Still Obama has a favorable impression throughout the nation in public opinion polls. Advisors should regain their first intentions of the 2008 elections, and should expand their interactions with the citizens.
The technical start of the “Obama-Baden Plan” will be after the victory of the midterm elections of November 2010.