I'm watching a program on C-SPAN with a panel of journalists, political experts - and Dennis Kucinich (I don't know how he got in there! ) - discussing the midterm election.
In response to a question of how the panel thinks to get more young voters (and minorities) interested in voting at the levels they did in 2008, during "off year" elections such as this one, one of the panelists gave the statistic that voter turn out was higher in this midterm election than usual. They said that it's been determined that approximately only 42% of eligible voters voted .. which is about 5% higher than the average number that usually vote.
As I've stated before ... Black people generally vote at about the mid-30 percentile in midterms. It would seem like this election was not much different.
There were a lot of white folks that voted for President Obama that did so for reasons of which they would never do so again. A lot of "disgruntled" Republicans .. unhappy with (or scared of) a McCain-Palin ticket chose "hope" and (the possibility of) "change" instead. There were White women energized by Hillary Clinton who (maybe reluctantly) voted for the President because she asked them too .. and many were hoping that he'd make her VP to appease/show appreciation to them for there support. There were Independents who KNEW that the McCain-Palin thing was a disaster waiting to happen. And still others that just got swept up into the "movement" that the President had created with his unique candidacy.
Many (probably most) of these were one-time votes .. and they were not for the Democratic Party ... but for the iconic candidate, Barack Obama.
I also think that some of you guys are giving the Democratic Party waaaaayyyyy too much credit for knowing that they should have been actively working to keep their "base" energized. Let alone, having knowledge about how, exactly, to do that. I mean ... it's not like they've had a lot of practice at that. It's not something they do (or have had to do) on the regular before now.
They can barely manage governing and supporting themselves ... and they simply rode the wave that was the excitement created by the President in 2008 ... none of them did anything special to stir up the voter base then ... probably didn't understand why or how it was happening ... and while I'm sure they were grateful for the support (and the majority) ... it really wasn't directed at then - the Democratic Party or the Senators or Representatives of Congress.
I definitely agree that the strategy should have been for the Democrats to take advantage of a higher and renewed political enthusiasm and nurtured it and maintained it and made not grow even stronger. But, let's face it ... the Democratic Party has been dominated by weak-kneed, no-backbone, scared-of-their-own-shadow, sniveling political cowards for probably forever.
Expecting that they (or the President) would have known the right thing to do with the unprescidented support (something that none of them had ever seen in their lifetimes!) is giving them more intellectual credit than they really deserve..