Democrats Lay Out Battle Plan for 2010 Elections

DNC Chair Tim Kaine hopes to overcome an anti-incumbent wave

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Democratic National Committee Chair Tim Kaine today announced the Democrats' strategy for the November elections. Democrats are thought to face a very difficult series of elections this year with most analysts predicting deep losses in both houses of Congress. Is the DNC's plan any good?

  • Accomplishments vs. Obstruction  The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder writes that "the Democrats want to offer voters a choice, not a referendum, based on a foundation of real accomplishments, including the transition from a recession to a recovery." Also, "The other part of the message: Republicans have been obstructionists, they've been the party of Wall Street, and they're becoming more and more extreme with each passing day."
  • Tying Republicans to Wall Street  Time's Adam Sorensen connects the midterm strategy to the ongoing fight for financial regulatory reform. "Democrats are trying to establish a narrative for the campaign season: Republicans stood by while the financial crisis caused the Great Recession, then stood in the way as Dem reformers swooped in to clean up the mess."
  • Calling Out GOP Obstruction  Politico's Mike Allen says the goal is "to frame the election as a choice between Republicans who have practiced politically motivated obstruction, and Democrats who have delivered big time for the American people." The Plum Line's Greg Sargent adds, "Kaine will frame the choice by listing Dem accomplishments and contrasting them with historic GOP levels of cynicism, negativism and extremism, which Kaine will say are fundamentally at odds with American optimism and purpose."
  • Anti-Incumbent Sentiment Poses Big Problem  NBC News' Mark Murray reads the polls. "Members of Congress face the most anti-incumbent electorate since 1994, with less than a third of all voters saying they are inclined to support their representatives in November," he writes. "Dissatisfaction is widespread, crossing party lines, ideologies and virtually all groups of voters. Less than a quarter of independents and just three in 10 Republicans say they're leaning toward backing an incumbent this fall."
  • Only Works If Dems Improve Peoples' Lives  Open Left's Chris Bowers nods, "It was heartening to hear the head of one of the three Democratic political committees admit that the important important factor in electoral outcomes for a governing party is to actually improve people's lives.  There is, in the end, a limit to what campaign strategy can achieve.  Even if it is of course necessary to sell your governing accomplishments to voters, that is a lot easier when you actually have  real governing accomplishments.  Whether Democrats have done enough by Novemmber 2, 2010, will be the main determining factor in the 2010 elections."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.