Success Not Guaranteed for Republicans in 2010

A shameless personal plug: I will now be contributing weekly opinion pieces to

In my most recent article, I argue that despite the fact that the tides are turning in the Republicans’ favor, a victory in the 2010 midterm elections is far from guaranteed. (Contrary to my argument in an earlier post, but in agreement with Paul Craft’s recent piece over at the Stanford Review Blog). New polling data of likely voters suggest that Americans are willing to give the stimulus more time to take effect, and that most Americans do not expect the beginnings of economic recovery for another two years. The implications of these polling data are huge: Republicans cannot sit around and wait for the Democrats to commit electoral suicide with economic issues. If Republicans are to make real gains in the House and Senate in November 2010, they must go on the attack and give the voters real alternatives to ineffective Democratic governance.

One thing that I did not mention in my opinion piece is the importance of Obama’s foreign policy moves in shaping political attitudes towards the Democratic Congress and his own administration. So far, his handling of the situations with North Korea, Iran, and Honduras seem to have had little effect on his approval ratings. Same goes for his trip to Russia (although Biden’s recent comments may prove otherwise). ¬†America’s participation in the Copenhagen climate conference in December 2009 as well as the NPT Review Conference in 2010 may end up being big, public opinion-shifting events. Also keep an eye out for escalating tensions between Israel and Iran.

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