Aug. 27, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Democrats Face Big Losses for What They Did

So if it’s not money and it’s not “messaging” that has Democrats in a deep hole, what is it?

At a forum on health care reform’s role in the campaign, Republican pollster Whit Ayres said, “this election is a rejection of Democratic governance, just like 2006 and 2008 were a rejection of Republican governance.

“Independents are particularly upset. It’s not just health care. It’s the auto bailout. It’s the stimulus bill. It’s the $1.3 trillion deficit ... The problem is not marketing. It is what [the Democrats] did. It’s taking the country in a direction people didn’t want it to go.”

At the same event, sponsored by the journal Health Affairs, even Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg said the Obama administration and Congress seemed to get “diverted from the public’s No. 1 concern, the economy,” to health care.

“They made the big mistake in 2009 of thinking that the stimulus was going to bring back the economy. They didn’t appreciate how difficult it would be. People thought the stimulus was just a one-shot and not a strategy.”

The new Associated Press/Roper poll shows that, among likely voters, only 41 percent approve of Obama’s handling of unemployment and only 33 percent think that his stimulus program improved the economy.

So how bad will it be? Personally, I’d like to see a result that was seen as a rebuke to the tea party right — and, indeed, “regular” Republicans such as Rep. Roy Blunt in Missouri, Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire and Rob Portman in Ohio doing far better than tea party favorites Ken Buck in Colorado, Sharron Angle in Nevada and Joe Miller in Alaska.

But if the average, generic Republican lead in House races is 7 points and if Real Clear Politics is correct in forecasting a GOP pickup of perhaps 62 seats, the national wave likely will bring in all Republicans in close races, conceivably producing even a Republican Senate.

Then the question becomes: can anything get done in the next two years? The AP poll asked voters how they feel about politics. Fifty-eight percent are “disgusted.” Seventy-seven percent are “disappointed.” Seventy-nine percent “frustrated.” But a surprising 65 percent are “hopeful.”

Whoever gets elected had better resolve not to dash those hopes.

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