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Thursday, November 06, 2014

Broken government comes from a broken electorate

Volunteers at a Democratic field office in DeKalb County, Georgia, use Obama campaign methods to reach out to targeted voters. (PBG/Prose and Thorn)
The finger pointing over who was to blame for Tuesday's devastating losses started as soon as the polls closed - maybe even before in places like Colorado and Kentucky, where flawed campaigns and unforced errors by candidates killed off an incumbent and skewered a rising star.

But Democrats and political analysts all realize that, for the most part, it wasn't the candidates. It wasn't the message. It wasn't the low approval numbers for President Obama in states that could have been in play, or the billions spent by outside groups to link Democratic candidates to him and the majority leader. It was the voters - those who chose to show up and those who stayed home. 

"So, to everyone who voted, I want you to know that I hear you," President Obama acknowledged at a post-election briefing, Wednesday afternoon, adding, "To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too." 

As Politico rightly points out, the president's choice of words indicate he doesn't see the Republicans' big night as any kind of mandate from the people, since it's only a third that chose to have their voices heard. A lopsided third, but a third nonetheless.

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