Democrats' Future

October 29, 2010 • Volume 20, Issue 38
Will they lose their congressional majorities?
By Peter Katel


President Obama talks with voters (Getty Images/Mike Munden)
President Obama talks with voters at a backyard gathering in Columbus, Ohio, on Aug. 18. Some Democrats blame the party's lackluster enthusiasm on what they call Obama's failure to clearly communicate the party's message and accomplishments. (Getty Images/Mike Munden)

Triumphant only two years ago, the Democratic Party could lose its House majority, and possibly its Senate dominance as well. To stave off defeat, it is refashioning its campaign and policy strategies in a political season marked by the rise of hardcore conservatives in Republican ranks. Along with President Obama's election, Democrats won majorities in both houses of Congress. Back then, some commentators were predicting a Democratic “realignment” on the model that Franklin D. Roosevelt built in the 1930s, and which lasted (with some interruptions) for decades. But continuing high unemployment and economic uncertainty gave an opening to the conservative Tea Party upsurge among Republicans. In a year marked by hard-fought congressional elections and the beginning of preparations for the 2012 presidential race, Democrats are debating whether their party has been too liberal in its stimulus approach to the economic crisis, or not liberal enough. And some have faulted Obama himself for poor leadership.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Sep. 30, 2022  Latino Voters
Oct. 12, 2018  Election Security and Voting Rights
Nov. 04, 2016  The Obama Legacy
Oct. 29, 2010  Democrats' Future
Apr. 24, 2009  Judicial Elections
May 30, 2008  Changing U.S. Electorate Updated
Mar. 12, 2004  Redistricting Disputes
Nov. 02, 2001  Election Reform
Oct. 20, 2000  Low Voter Turnout
Campaigns and Elections