Current pundit speculation is that the GOP will have moderate to big gains in the House and small but significant gains in the Senate this election cycle. While mid-term elections typically observe gains for the minority party and this year portends to be no different, 2010 will be a year of establishing themes that hope to make nervous voters more comfortable about the country's future. The public remains unsettled by high unemployment, deep and growing deficits, unabated government growth, conflicting global climate change science, distain for pork projects, the war in Afghanistan and growing Government influence over our daily lives and activities.
Expect the GOP themes to sound off toward fiscal conservatism, smaller deficits and less government control. Also, the Northwest Flight 253 terror attempt positioned the GOP well to discuss the Democrat Party stereotype of a party weak on National Defense and fears of Iran's nuclear ambitions will establish a flash point between the parties, as they clash on the best course of action to stem the threat. On the environment, the sound bites will feature a stronger trumpeting for nuclear power, off shore drilling and additional green initiatives. Should the economy not improve before the election season, expect both the GOP leadership and its candidates to advocate for a different approach to job creation. Border enforcement will also be a ring tone for almost all candidates running from the right.
Democrat themes, driven by their discomfort with recent polls, will hearken back to 2008, focusing on Republican advocacy of big business and Democrat support for the many unemployed on" Main Street". They will go on both offense and defense in an effort to help the public digest their version of Health Care Reform and position the GOP as unsympathetic to the social needs of those citizens in 'the gap'. Should the economy continue to limp, expect more energy invested in a continuation of the Keynesian approach with another attempt at "Stimulus". Also expect an attempt by the Democrats to position their Party as Hawks against Terrorism. Finally, the Republican Party will be branded as obstructionist during a time when our citizens, economy and country need decisive government action to bring about positive "change."
The winds of speculation will blow in every direction over the next few months but, we only have to wait until November to find out which themes win out; this should be a fun year !!
Posted By: Charles Fellingham and Andre O'Brien