“Hey, maybe you haven’t been keeping up on current events, but we just got our asses kicked, pal!”
It’s not everyday I can use a quote from the 1986 film Aliens, but after talking on background with several Democrats across the state Monday, I seriously think, for the first time this election season, we could see a serious bloodbath come November 2.
The political climate, which appeared to get somewhat better for Democrats in the Hoosier state, only seems to have gotten worse. And these aren’t people who are generally pessimistic. They are party loyalists, who are generally upbeat about most political situations. However, this time they seem ready to concede defeat and start rebuilding for 2012.
Some observations they pointed out to me…
1. The public perception is that the economy is not getting better. At best things are stagnant after spending billions of dollars. At worse, the economy is worse off than it was after spending billions of dollars.
2. When Democrats try to motivate the base by telling them things will be worse under Republicans, the counterargument is how much worse can it get?
3. In the Democratic stronghold of Lake County, voter apathy is at a level not seen in years.
4. Republicans are motivated by their “Tea party base.” They may not have much use for them when it comes to governing, but a win is a win.
5. Absurdly abysmal efforts in Marion County to get voters to participate in early voting the past two weekends.
6. The President’s 40-percent approval ratings in Indiana.
7. Republican fundraising efforts have been extremely successful as evidenced by the Dan Coats U.S. Senate campaign and Governor Mitch Daniels’ efforts with Aiming Higher.
8. Efforts to subtly invoke racial pride by appealing to Blacks to support the first Black President are not getting as much traction as originally planned because of the economy.
9. Historical trends that work against the party in power in mid-term elections.
10. The virtual writing off of several Indiana Congressional Districts by the national Democratic Party by pulling funding.
No matter how you slice it, this is not good news. Now this doesn’t mean all is lost. There are still two weeks to go and in politics a day is a lifetime. And there are a couple glimmers of hope peeking through the dark political stormy clouds. U.S. Senator Evan Bayh is reportedly helping Marion County Democratic Prosecutor Candidate Terry Curry raise money with a $1,000 per person fundraiser. And the last time I checked 50 people had RSVP’d. However, most of that money is going to phone banks and not television advertising.
In addition, the Charlie White voter-irregularity story is staying alive in the media, and the White campaign has taken a bunker mentality as of late. However, that doesn’t mean a necessarily easier road for Vop Osili. GOP internal polling still had White with a 13-point lead last week, but 30-percent of the voters were still undecided.
And here’s the kicker, when I tried to use a “Rocky” analogy with one of the Democrats, where although Rocky Balboa lost he was still the hero, the Democrat I spoke with told me “at least Rocky was able to get a few punches in before he lost.”
Even I felt that one.