09.30.2010 0

Battleground 2010: Stimulus and Unemployment

  • On: 10/14/2010 09:08:21
  • In: Elections
  • ALG Editor’s Note: This is the first part of a continuing series examining the battleground races in 2010 midterm elections.

    Battleground 2010: Stimulus and Unemployment

    By Adam Bitely

    It’s no coincidence that the battleground states in the 2010 midterm elections are also states that have been severely hit by the Great Recession. If you look at California, Nevada, and Wisconsin, it is obvious that high unemployment numbers are playing a big role in the hottest races this year. Voters across the nation are wondering where the relief is that was promised by the Democrats in 2008.

    Just look at Nevada where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is up for re-election. Facing a tea party-backed candidate named Sharron Angle, Reid has been neck and neck as the race heads in to the final stretch in spite of his $20 million barrage of negative ads targeting his opponent. But one thing Reid cannot overcome is that all voters are thinking about is how Nevada has fared under his leadership and senior position in the U.S. Senate. And the answer to that has to be scaring Reid.

    Since Reid and the Democrats took control of the U.S. Senate in 2006, the unemployment rate in Nevada has nearly tripled! And further troubling is the fact that since Obama took the oath of office in 2009, the unemployment rate has risen by nearly 5 percent. On the unemployment side alone there is nothing that Reid can say to change the stone cold facts — the economy in Nevada is in deep trouble.

    When you consider that Nevada has received over $1.7 billion in “stimulus” monies, it is even harder for Reid to argue that he has done anything to save the economy. Voters have time and again indicated that they are upset with the direction the economy is heading in, and Reid and his cohorts in the Senate have failed to listen each time.

    But the case that Democrats are making that they are saving the economy gets worse.

    In California, Barbara Boxer is facing off against Republican Carly Fiorina this November, and the race is close according to recent polls. Boxer has been in the U.S. Senate since 1992. And since Democrats took control of the U.S. Senate in 2006, the unemployment rate in California has risen by over 7 percent. Boxer surely can’t say that she has been making California a better place to work. Jobs have left in record numbers! And it’s probably not something that Boxer mentions regularly, but California has received the most “stimulus” money in the nation with a princely sum of over $23 billion.

    In Wisconsin where one of the most closely watched Senate races is currently underway, the situation is no better for the Democrats. While incumbent Senator Russ Feingold is attempting to make the case that he is an independent, he supported Obama’s “stimulus” in 2009.

    Wisconsin has received nearly $3.7 billion in “stimulus” but the unemployment rate is still going up. Since Obama took office, the unemployment has risen in Wisconsin to nearly 8 percent! Maybe that’s why Feingold is behind by 7 points according to the most recent polling that has been done.

    It’s hard for Democrats to campaign on their successes in handling the high unemployment that has plagued the nation given that there is no data that says they have done anything positive, and in fact their responses have been to spend the nation into a near disastrous $1.4 trillion budget deficit in this past year alone. Voters around the nation are making decisions based on the state of the economy — and they are giving Democrats a failing grade.

    If the Democrats want to be honest with the voters and win support at the polls, they should be frank about the failures of the Keynesian economic schemes they employed. Voter anger is at an all time high, and a politician being honest for once would do the nation some good.

    Adam Bitely is the Editor-in-Chief of NetRightDaily.com.

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