Election Result: Still Not Happy!

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Unhappy Face.jpgThe overarching result of the 2010 elections was that American voters are not happy with the speed of the economic recovery, nor with either of the two political parties. Their votes registered these complaints. Republicans won a majority in the House absent the predicted Tsunami in their favor, and were denied the Senate majority. Democrats were in control while the nation attempted to recover from the worst Recession, begun under Pres. G.W. Bush, since the Great Depression. That recovery was not broad enough, or fast enough for voters, and their votes registered that complaint.

Both parties got some of what they wished for, and were denied some of what they wished for. The public holds no high regard for either Party. Gallup has October approval ratings of Republican job in Congress, 30% approval, 67% disapproval, and 3% unsure. Similar poll in September, same question about Democrats, 33% approval. Close to 2/3 of the American people disapprove of the job both Democrats and Republicans are doing in Congress. Clearly, by the numbers, this election was not an endorsement of the Republican Party or Republicans in Congress. Clearly, by the election results, the voters did not endorse the job Democrats have done.

Harry Reid, for example won, but not really, - the Tea Party clearly lost in Nevada, with only 34% of Nevadans approving of the Tea Party and their candidate. This is the same percentage as in New York (33% approval of the Tea Party). There is no mandate in this election, save to register dissatisfaction.

The election was a clear and definitive renunciation of a great many incumbents, all Democrats in this November election, as of the time of this writing. Republican incumbents suffered some losses in the primaries to Tea Party votes. Democrats held the most incumbent seats going into the election, which made the prediction of Democratic losses a foregone conclusion. There was no Republican Tsunami sweeping majorities in both houses of Congress. Some claims of the GOP winning as many as 90 House seats were wishful conjecture, now put to rest.

What do the results mean going forward, that we can be sure of? First, incumbents are an endangered species as evidenced by the 2006, 2008, and 2010 elections in which ever larger numbers of incumbents chose not to run again, or were defeated in primaries and the general election. The statistics now establish a clear bi-partisan anti-incumbent movement at work in American elections. Its driving force is the growing anxiety over the economic future of America, to include debt and deficits, and the appearance of neither Party being capable or willing to address it.

Most voters have only 3 realistic choices on their ballots, Democrat, Republican, and voting against the incumbent regardless of Party. That latter choice is being chosen increasingly. Unless, and until, our economy can support hope for voter's futures again, that third choice will be chosen more and more with each passing election.

Second, these election results demand bi-partisanship efforts to produce better results. The fact that public approval of the GOP is slightly lower than for the Democratic Party, while at the same time, Democrats lose enormous incumbent seats to Republicans, indicates voters are demanding results, and will exact a price on whichever party holds the majority if those results are not forthcoming.

Third, these election results imply that political reform is mandatory. If the money influence is not diminished from legislation and elections, bi-partisanship will not be possible. The outside wealthy interest groups will pour billions into insuring bi-partisanship does take place. Bi-partisanship means legislative and regulatory change for these wealthy interest groups like Wall St. banks, multi-national corporations, and whole industries like oil and coal, pharmaceutical and health insurance. For them, less regulation is better, and no regulation is heaven. They have a vested interest in insuring bi-partisan solutions remain impossible.

With every election these days, the politicians face a threat from voters toward their incumbency, and an opportunity to reform the system so that the voter's expectations of them can be met. These election results could not make that point clearer. The ball is now, again, back in the politician's court. Voters will watch, wait, and see, and remain ready to respond again in two years.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on November 2, 2010 11:30 PM.

Iran: Dysfunctional Game Of Chess, Or Something More? was the previous entry in this blog.

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