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article imageOp-Ed: U.S. Democrats stand to lose Senate in 2012

By Larry Clifton     Apr 14, 2012 in Politics
If leading U.S. Democratic Party strategists continue to campaign on demagoguery, class warfare and tax hikes, they will likely lose the Senate in November.
Electoral math indicates Democrats face an uphill battle holding onto the Senate in any case. However, if Democratic candidates and strategists can't articulate a positive message to polish their tarnished brand, voters will tap Republicans. What’s worse, for Democrats, is that their mathematical odds don’t improve much in the 2014 election cycle. In 2014 Senate races, Democrats must defend 20 seats while only 13 Republicans face an election.
Democrats must defend 21 seats in November compared to 10 seats by Republicans and 2 by Independents, who caucus with Democrats. A current Cook Political Report suggests at least 10 of those Senate races are a tossup and many more are very close races.
If Democrats net 4 loses in 2012 races, including Independents, they will lose control of the Senate in the 113th Congress. Further complicating the situation, former Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey, who moved back to Nebraska from New York to run for his old seat, consistently trails his Republican opponents by double digits. Kerrey lost much of his following when, as a leader of a Senate investigative committee, he claimed 911 was a 30-year-old conspiracy (click on video at top).
The winner of the Nebraska race replaces retiring Democratic Senator Ben Nelson. Additionally, the Cook Report just moved the races in Florida and Wisconsin from “leans Democrat” to “tossups” and Pennsylvania’s two races have moved from likely Republican to solid Republican.
Currently there are 51 Democrats, 47 Republicans and 2 Independents in the Senate.
Democrats lost the House of Representatives by a landslide in 2010 after spending two years working on the costly and controversial Affordable Healthcare Act.
Polls consistently suggested that the economy was voters’ top priority ahead of concerns about the mounting national deficit prior to the 2010 elections, however President Obama, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate leader Harry Reid ignored polls and focused on making deals with Democrats to pass the healthcare bill, by then branded Obamacare, that included waivers for big unions and others in exchange for their endorsements. Shortly before passing Obamacare, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "We have to pass it so that you can see what is in it."
Flash forward to present and the fundamental constitutionality of the healthcare act is under scrutiny by the Supreme Court with a decision expected in June. Meanwhile, Democrats, including President Obama, remain focused on class warfare and raising taxes – two campaign issues that led to the stunning Democratic Party defeat in 2010.
For over two years, polls have consistently suggested that a significant majority of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction and that the economy and an increasingly ominous federal debt are top priorities.
Independents are leaving the Democratic Party again and Democrats have no economic message beyond raising taxes.
Under Harry Reid, the Democratic-controlled Senate has not bothered to pass a budget in years. That's the message Republicans are going to take to the bank.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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