Of Tea and Elections
I have had my eyes on the tea party movement protesting government spending since the beginning of the movement. On Saturday a huge national tea party protest was held in Washington. Estimates of crowd size range from 500,000 to 2.3 million. Some organs of the mainstream media are attempting to downplay the significance of this event. Politicians on both sides of the aisle are not so gullible. They realize that a political storm is brewing. Perhaps even more significant than this show of strength by the forces opposed to the drunken sailor spending of the Obama administration are the state tea parties taking place each week. For example in the completely blue state of Illinois, my home state, there was a tea party at New Lennox near Joliet last week that drew 10,000 people. This weekend a tea party at Quincy, Illinois drew 12000 people. Receiving scant coverage from the national media, these parties are are becoming a real factor in the 2010 elections.
Charlie Cook is one of the best political prognosticators in the business. Here is what he is seeing:
“Even in the best of times, Congress is unpopular. And now voters see Obama as having sent suggestions rather than proposals to the Hill, staking his future and reputation on a body that they hold in low regard. (On foreign-policy matters, where Congress plays a small role, Obama’s job-approval ratings remain quite good. It’s on the domestic side that his numbers are dismal.)
With 14 months to go before the 2010 midterm election, something could happen to improve the outlook for Democrats. However, wave elections, more often than not, start just like this: The president’s ratings plummet; his party loses its advantage on the generic congressional ballot test; the intensity of opposition-party voters skyrockets; his own party’s voters become complacent or even depressed; and independent voters move lopsidedly away. These were the early-warning signs of past wave elections. Seeing them now should terrify Democrats.”