Sunday, October 4, 2009

It's the economy, stupid

Here's a seemingly obvious and simple concept that is glossed over or ignored by candidates, campaigns and pundits alike; Often times things far beyond the candidate or office holders control dictate election results. The economy, terrorist attacks, a blizzard even - all of these events are far outside the control of an incumbent or his campaign and yet all have deciseively swung elections.

I bring this up in context of Lynn Bartels piece in the Post today,
Stung by electoral defeats and eager to take advantage of voter unease, Colorado Republicans are largely avoiding discussion of divisive social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage to instead focus on the economy and jobs.

This is why I am concerned about Governor Ritter's lack of fight or fire over core base issues, most recently exemplified in his dealings with the state budget. If we as a country are still in high-unemployment next year (and I think many believe this will be true) then incumbents around the country are going to lose their seats. It doesn't matter if the incumbent is an incumbent in a national office or not. Colorado is one of two states with falling unemployment from July 2009 to this August but we're still up almost 2.5% from August of 2008. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

With unemployment numbers lagging other indicators next year combined
with the sure to be gloom and doom media coverage and with an ever increasing Colorado budget deficit I fear that the environment next year will be increasingly hostile to Bill Ritter. Not because of anything Bill Ritter has necessarily done or even failed to do but merely because of the state and national economy. That's why I'd like to have seen more base building in the last few years (and I have been talking about the role of the economy in the 2010 election for a few years now, check the archives). That's why I'd like to see the governor lead on all out assault on TABOR, on budget cuts made while preserving tax exemptions for gold bullion and bull semen.

I think the situation is far more desperate than David Kenney or Bill Ritter realize. I truly hope that I'm wrong but I don't think that I am.

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