Over the past month, there has been a series of polls which the media has been painting as portending “trouble for the President’s chances in 2012.” Which, when you look at them closely, don’t really portend what the pundits say they do. One of the points that political analysts keep harping about is that the polls show a “lack of enthusiasm” at this time among Democratic voters. This is, according to the pundits, surprising and means “trouble” for the President. What it really means is something else entirely. That is, it means things are normal for a year like this, not that the President is in trouble.
Let’s take a look at the situation, shall we? It’s 13 months from the election, and we have a sitting President, who is going to be up for re-election. What does that mean to the average Democratic voter? It means that the election is a long ways off, and that the primaries are just going to be rubber stamping. This is the first time since 1996 that Democrats have been in this position. In other words, absolutely nothing to get excited about or pay much attention to, right now. Oh, I know that various idiots on the left are muttering about having a primary challenger for the President, but their lack of a credible candidate or organization to do so just makes it meaningless bitching.
It’s also necessary to remember that to the average person – even many politically aware people – the election is over a year out, and it’s not something they’re thinking a lot of right now. Let me jump back to this point in 2007. That year we had a lot of candidates announcing for the Presidency. It was open season on both sides. I was politically aware back then, and had a lot of discussions about the Democratic Party with people in the Party. Do you know how many people I knew were running in the Party? I knew the names of about half of them. I wasn’t even paying attention to it, instead the local elections were my main concern. Asking me how enthusiastic I was about the election next year would have met with a “Huh?” reply. I wasn’t.
Now that was in a year with an open field. This year? I’m about as enthusiastic, if not less, as I was back then. I’m not getting all that worked up right now, because there’s no reason for me to be worked up. Yes, I’ve donated, and will, to the President and a few other candidates. But I’m not getting “excited,” for the simple reason that there’s no reason to be at the moment. I already know who is going to be the Democratic nominee, so why get hyped up about a primary? I already know who the Democratic Senate candidate will be (Gillibrand) and who will be the nominee for the House. No one knows which of the lunatic asylum candidates the Republicans have contending will end up being the nominee. So from my perspective, all the drama is going to be on the Republican side. Asking me to to get worked up about the election until the dust settles is a losing proposition.
Which I think is where most Democratic voters are at this point. Asking them to be “enthusiastic” is ridiculous, because they’re not politically aware at this point. Their normal lives are getting their attention, and they’re not giving much thought to next year’s election. I’m not quite in that category, but I’m not all that enthusiastic about the national election right now. Yes, I will start getting enthusiastic. In late May or in June. That’s when the campaigns get underway in earnest. Until then? I’m just keeping an eye on it, but I’m not “enthusiastic.” Yet. Which is the point the pundits are missing. There’s a lack of enthusiasm among Democratic voters now? No kidding. Check back next June, why don’t you?