Wednesday, September 1, 2010

How will the US midterm elections play out?

They're going to be interesting, that's for sure.

On the surface, things look very bad for the Democrats. The Guardian cites a poll showing the Republicans having the support of 51% of registered voters, compared to the Democrats at 41%. And the Democrats' base is rather demoralized, because a lot of the hopes that led to Obama's election are being dashed. Certainly this could be a good thing, but not if the troops are simply shipped over to Afghanistan... And the healthcare initiative, while perhaps a slight improvement on what there was before, has been pretty mediocre, to say the least. (We'll make you buy health insurance, but won't pay for it unless you're really poor. None of that Canuck crap for you!) And we'll have to see what gets done on the climate front; on a diplomatic level it looks rather mediocre as well (uh... we'll sign an agreement that says we think we should probably do something about this, but not actually commit to anything). But with the grip they've had on the levers of government you'd think the Democrats would have accomplished far more than they have...

The funny thing is, though, in situations like this your enemy can be your best friend. The Republicans are actually in a rather bad state right now. David Neiwert at Crooks and Liars (h/t jblaque via Twitter) has pointed out that when teabaggers contest Republican nominations, it's become common for the loser to refuse to endorse the winner. Not to mention, when teabaggers are running in swing districts, they're less likely to win over the moderates. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of polling numbers change in the US once the summer's over. Hopefully that will change in Canada, too, before the likes of Harper, Ford et. al. win any more elections.

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