- Apr 12, 2008
- Reaction score
- real world
Strategy Corner: Obama -- Don't Bring Back Class Warfare
Obama's team actually believes that in the last six months they have courted independent voters and that didn't work, so now they are turning to activating the base with higher taxes on the wealthy. However, he never made any meaningful appeal to those voters in terms they would understand. He supported extending the Bush tax cuts, temporarily zoomed up in the polls, and then promptly repudiated what he had done, only to then fall back down.
The 2010 mid-term elections were fought over Obama's healthcare plan and on his plan to raise taxes on the wealthy by ending the Bush tax cuts. The results were, in his own words, a "shellacking." After his most recent speech to Congress, voters in New York City's Ninth Congressional District just elected a Republican for the first time since 1920.
And now, Obama is pressing the case for higher taxes, following in the footsteps of Walter Mondale. Higher taxes always seem to poll well, but in reality the country sees that as a last resort.
In Obama's case, it is particularly damaging to his chances for re-election because of the unique coalition he put together in 2008 to win. The President won the lion's share of everyone making under $35,000. He then did very poorly with middle class voters, but he got a remarkable half of the 26% of the voters whose households make over $100,000. Never before have so many voters fallen into that category and never before had so many of them voted Democratic. Even the so-called top 1% making over $200,000 is actually according to the exit polls 6%, and they mostly (52%) voted for Obama. Without similar support from those upper-income voters, Obama has no way to recreate the numbers that sailed him to victory. And while these voters have become far more socially tolerant, they have also become far more impatient when it comes to economic issues.