Swing states may be on the move

by Peter Nicholas
Los Angeles Times
January 5, 2010

…In his hometown at least, there seems to be little affection for Reid, whom some residents describe as a distant figure out of touch with local concerns.

That personal assessment may be part of the reason Reid faces a tough reelection fight in November despite 27 years in Congress. But other aspects of Reid’s challenge raise far broader political questions — questions that reach all the way to President Obama and Democrats in general:

As they seek to retain control of Congress, Democrats are finding that voter sentiments that gave the party its victory margins here and in other swing states in 2008 could turn against them for 2010.

Voters as a whole, rattled by continuing economic problems, tell pollsters they are disillusioned with incumbents — including Obama and congressional Democrats.

Meanwhile, tensions within the Democratic coalition, muted during the presidential campaign, are sharpening as Obama’s broad campaign promises morph into specific proposals.

And most ominous of all for Democratic prospects, the highly motivated swarms of young voters, Latinos and independents who made the difference between victory and defeat in 2008 now seem dispirited, while conservatives seem reinvigorated.

In this challenging climate, the Obama administration is setting a policy agenda that could make the Democrats’ problems even tougher — another bundle of divisive proposals that threaten to heighten tensions among the interest groups that supported the party last time…

The article continues at LA Times

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