A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

US Mid-terms

Excellent results from the US Mid-terms - for the Democrats and independents Bernie Sanders and Joe Lieberman (not quite sure how I manage to square liking both but I do).

Before everyone starts babbling on about the anti-war tide, the other major factor was that the Democrats ran agressively centrist candidates in most of their key seats e.g. Reagan's former Navy Secretary in defence-employment heavy Virginia.

This analysis on the BBC is interesting - particularly the graph of what issues motivated voters:

Another bonus to the campaign was the accidental self-destruction of John Kerry, the fool whose misguided strategy of concerntrating on mobilising the Democrats' core vote rather than reaching out to moderate Republicans gifted Bush a second term in the White House.

And in the same week as Ortega got back in in Nicaragua (a shame Castro never had the guts to put himself in front of a democratic election like the Sandanistas did) - I shall have to dig out my Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign t-shirt.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This win comes courtesy of the 50-state strategy pursued by nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean. This was a reversal of the strategy pursued by the GOP and by the New Democrats who've controlled the DNC since the early 1990s, of targetting a few swing voters in a few key states (something New Labour does in the UK as well). The 50-state strategy was ridiculed by both Republicans and right-wing Democrats, but last night it paid off. Pelosi and Dean, despite being seen as ultra-liberals (and painted that way in the extreme by every GOP ad), ran on a campaign to represent the whole of America. They didn't ignore the Democrat's base, as the right of the party has done, and they didn't dismiss sections of America as completely unwinnable. They said America was one nation and they wanted to unite it and heal the divisions of the Dlinton and Dubya presidencies, and that is what will win the White House for the Dems in 2008.

12:31 pm, November 08, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thionk the most important aspect has been the relative impoverishment middle class people has suffered in America compared with the richest 2%, who are getting rich anough to generate thier own inflationary effect, and leave the majority behind.

Bush's take on the economy is for the few at the expense of the many.

Although I would argue that Kerry's biggest failure was to mobilise his core vote, but there we are.

On a seperate note, I hope John Edwards runs for president.

7:28 pm, November 08, 2006

Anonymous internationaleditor said...

It's certainly fair to point out that the Dems successfully neutralised some of the cultural and social issues that have been used to beat them with in the past by selecting socially conservative candidates in many states. But it would be wrong to suggest that they won by tacking right or that they did not run any successful leftish candidates at all.

It was more a case of horses for courses, and even their more conservative candidates tended towards populist left-wing economic positions on labour market regulation and wealth distribution.

It was not so much a strategy of veering rightwards as finding ways to put the issues on which public opinion was most progressive at centre stage. Some lessons we could usefully learn there.

1:19 pm, November 13, 2006

Blogger voltaires_priest said...

Jim Webb (D-Virginia) is anti-war as it happens, as well as socially conservative. The two aren't mutually exclusive.

10:51 pm, November 20, 2006


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