The 2010 midterm election cycle is looming and its results will have consequences. Political pundits are predicting majority shifting changes and Democrats on the national and state level are worried. Republicans must capitalize on the shift in national sentiment and execute a developed campaign strategy focusing on the issues that matter. The underlying implications of this cycle will shape federal and state congressional district due to the decadal redistricting process.
Historically, the midterm elections indicate that the party in power will suffer losses at the polls. This year is clearly mimicking this trend according to recent polls. This trend raises a strong consideration for campaigns. Should state-level campaigns focus on the same issues as national-level races? What about strategy?
Clearly, this answer depends largely on the state in question. Issues of interest to North Carolinians are different from issues in Florida. Certain issues are an automatic talking point, such as, jobs and the economy. Contrastly, illegal immigration is more of a state-by-state issue.
For Republicans, their task is to execute a grassroots organization to contact and spread their messages. Utilize advancements in new media, rely on traditional methods of phone calls, direct mail and transition the public sentiment to a grassroots campaign. The “average citizens” are paying attention; they must be reached.
For Democrats, their task is to downplay national trends and rely heavily on polling if in a swing district. I think Democrats must fundraise with greater intensity during this cycle, because they must communicate more with the voters to convey their message amid the national climate.
At the end of the day, history does repeat itself and I think 2010 will hold true. Do you think that the Republicans will make the gains needed to hold a majority in Congress? In North Carolina?
Presidents George W. Bush and Franklin D. Roosevelt are the only two American presidents in the past century whose party has not lost seats in the House in their first midterm election. So why does this happen? “This is mainly because in the midterm elections the weak candidates that rode in to victory on the coattails of their party’s presidential candidates two years earlier find it difficult to win when running for election on their own.” If history repeats itself, then the Republicans should expect to gain seats in both the House and the Senate.
The 2010 mid-term election cycle just happens to be ever more important this time around because of the redistricting implications. Every ten years, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Census Bureau embarks on the tedious task of counting all inhabitants of the United States. This process is important to equalizing the population of districts in order to equally distribute funds for essentially services and representation in government.
Current polls indicate that a change is coming. With Congress experiencing a 74% disapproval rating and Democrats falling behind Republicans by 2.8% in a generic ballot, Democratic incumbents, especially in “conservative” districts should be very fearful. On the heels of the controversial health care reform legislation votes and the looming legislative fights over the next Supreme Court nominee, the Cap & Trade legislation, financial reform and a potential bout on immigration reform, President Obama will not be able to provide the political cover that many Democrats need from him. With his approval rating hovering around 46% and a disapproval rating of 46%, connections with President Obama might haunt some Democrats.
2010 might become one of the most important midterm election cycles in our lifetime given the divisive and engaged nature of the electorate. How do you see the 2010 midterm election cycles shaping up? Will the Democrats lose their majority? Alternatively, will Republicans botch this opportunity to gain seats?