Democrats Need To Check Their Pulse

Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report seems to be making a lot of sense. The question is: will Democrats pay attention?
There is a perception, not entirely fair, that after Obama got elected he "checked the box" on the economy by signing a pork-stuffed and grossly insufficient stimulus package; then he quickly moved on to climate change and health care, allowing those two issues to sap the Democrats' time, energy, and political capital for much of the rest of the year. Only much later, and still insufficiently, did the White House come back to deal with jobs and the economy using an anemic renewal and expansion of the homebuyer tax credit. Inadequate first, then too little, too late. The result is that unemployment remains very high, and the housing market is still weak.

To the extent that they show up, Democratic voters can generally be counted upon to support their party's candidates this year, just as Republican voters can be expected to toe the line for GOP candidates, assuming that "tea party" supporters don't nominate some unelectable ones.

But independent voters are the largest voting bloc in Massachusetts, as they are nationally. And independents showed on Tuesday that they have little patience left for Democrats. Of course, Democrats' woes are not limited to the Bay State. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, conducted January 10-14, shows the two parties running even at 41 percent each in the generic congressional ballot test, a bad result for Democrats because the gauge tends to tilt about 3 points in their favor. Even more worrisome for them is that among voters with the highest interest, those most likely to turn out, Republicans hold a huge 15-point lead, 50 percent to 35 percent.

Any Democrat with a pulse ought to be extremely alarmed by now: The same wave of independent voters that swept away the GOP's majorities in the House and Senate in 2006 could do the same to Democrats, at least in the House, this November 2.hose [sic] most likely to turn out, Republicans hold a huge 15-point lead, 50 percent to 35 percent.
Do I think that the GOP is going to issue a massive takeover this coming November? No. Do I think that the Democrats -- who were given power of the Executive and Legislative branches of government one year ago -- are missing the proverbial forest for the trees? Absolutely.

If Dems don't start to focus more on the economy -- specifically job creation -- then they will be handed many defeats this fall and will likely lose at least one, if not both of their seats of power in 2012 (either the Presidency or Congress... or both).