By GARY BAUMGARTEN
Paltalk News Network
Paltalk News Network
The pundits have pretty much already conceded that the Republicans will sweep Congress during November's midterm elections; a belief supported by the polls. But hold on here.
America's poverty level has reached a record high.
This is something that should be bad for the party in office because it's happened on its watch. Remember those immortal words that helped bring President George H.W. Bush down: "It's the economy stupid."
But poverty also breeds discontent between the haves and the have nots. And can create a whole new group of Democratic-leaning voters who, previously, may have been sitting on the political fence.
No matter that the Republicans have an economic vision that, in their minds, might improve things for the newly poor. To the impoverished, the GOP remains the party of the rich. They identify with the party of the downtrodden - the Democrats.
During his recent appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine positioned his as the underdog party. Even when they hold the White House and both houses of Congress, the Democrats, he said, are the underdogs.
When you're out of work and wondering how you're going to keep your house or apartment, your car and feed your children and yourself, sticking with the underdog may seem like the right thing to do.
This is not to say that the polls are wrong. There's great discontent in this country with the status quo. There's a significant "throw the bums out" movement underway.
But in November, many races may hinge on who gets the vote out. Which discontented group shows up at the polls in larger numbers.
In the meantime, the solution toward righting the economy and helping bring people out of poverty remains elusive. It would be nice if partisan bickering could be put aside - and the folks in Washington could work together to find solutions to the problem.
Unfortunately, history suggests they will not.
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