“In 2008,” Michelle Rena Jones says with a laugh, “we cheered, hollered, partied, celebrated.” The party’s over in 2010, though, and she knows it. Jones says promises haven’t been fulfilled, and now she feels as though she made a mistake — and she’s not the only one. The Wall Street Journal tells a story that George Stephanpoulos notes Democrats “don’t want to hear” in this midterm cycle, a story of hype and disillusion that has voters looking for change in 2010 — real change:
Now, the 40-year-old is rethinking her lifelong support for the party. She has been without steady work for two years, lost her home and car and began receiving cash assistance from the state for the first time. This year, she says, “I’m willing to take a chance on something different.” Another possibility, she says, is that she won’t vote at all.
Ms. Jones is part of an unmeasured, agitated mass: unemployed Americans who don’t believe the Obama Administration and Congress have done enough to produce jobs. With elections coming up, their unease is especially troublesome for the Democrats, who control both chambers.
A poor economy never bodes well for incumbents. Cook Report, the nonpartisan political newsletter that tracks congressional races, estimates that 73 House seats are vulnerable—including Mr. Schauer’s. This group has two things in common. Almost all (66 of 73) are held by Democrats, and most include counties that have unemployment rates exceeding the national average, according to data assembled by The Wall Street Journal.
Incumbent House Democrats in dozens of districts face a daunting task: to explain why they wasted almost a year on ObamaCare while unemployment skyrocketed for their constituents, in most cases above the national average. Jones and many others like her who feel betrayed by Barack Obama and Democrats on economic issues may find it difficult to bother voting for a Democrat again, even if they don’t vote for a Republican — at least now. The GOP has a generational opportunity to show its relevance on economics and limited government to a broad, formerly hostile audience that finally discovered that Obamanomics is nothing more than smoke and mirrors … very expensive smoke and mirrors.