The Democratic Party will be at a transition stage once President Barack Obama finishes up his second term. There are a lot of factors at play in determining the Democratic Party’s outlook for the future. Changes in the overall political climate of America might affect the Democrat’s chances for good or ill. Then there is the problem of choosing a successor.
President Obama’s job approval is about 40 percent for the week of February 10 through the 16. That is down very slightly from the previous week. Meanwhile, according to Real Clear Politics, the average approval rating of Congress from several polls comes out to about 12 percent.
Clearly, there is discontent in America, but will it help or hurt the Democrats? It will probably be a little of both. There has already been some speculation that Obama might actually hurt the Democrats’ chances in the next election. The idea is that Democrats will need to stay well away from controversial issues that have plagued Obama, if they want to have success in the next election.
As others have pointed out, there are quite a few divisive issues that the Democrats might have trouble defending. For one thing, the Affordable Healthcare Act has been polarizing to say the least. According to a a Gallup poll from January 31 through February 1, about 51 percent disapproved of the law. While that’s not a huge majority, it is clear that the law is very divisive.
In the same poll, 45 percent said that they think the law will have have a negative impact on overall healthcare in the United States. Meanwhile 35 percent think it will make things better. The healthcare law has been one of the signature issues for the Democratic Party over the last few years, but it is a volatile topic among the American people.
The issue of the NSA has also been brought up as a problem for Democrats. While the role of surveillance is a major topic, it really affects both parties. However, since a Democrat was in office when news started coming out about the NSA, it might be a problem issue for the Democratic Party. Any politician running for election would do well to tread carefully on this topic.
As for a potential successor to Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden are the biggest names that have been bandied about. However, each has potential problems of their own. Hillary Clinton’s name is associated with the Benghazi incident. Also, some have said that her age might make things problematic if she were to actually win the election.
Meanwhile, Biden has the problem of already being the Vice-President. Any issues with the Obama Administration will therefore have an affect on him.
The potential future outlook for the Democratic Party is also affected by a changing political climate in America. More people are shifting toward a small government point of view. Ironically, this might actually help the Democrats, since the Republican Party is somewhat divided between libertarian and mainstream Republicans.
The Democratic Party has a lot of issues to address in order to improve it’s future outlook. Regardless of which party wins the Presidency or controls Congress, politicians will have their work cut out for them in the next decade or so.
Editorial By Zach Kirkman