Connecticut faces the fall federal election season with great interest and new candidates. Gone is Senator Dodd from the U. S. Senate and first term Congressman Joe Cortney will have to defend his voting record before the voters for the first time. So what will impact the election as the number one issue? The common answer is the economy but the underlying issue is confidence.
Across America and indeed here in Connecticut consumer confidence has been repeatedly reported as low. Consumers that are not confident will hold back on spending particularly for larger items. A lack of confidence is bad for the economy and generally not good news for an incumbent Congressman. The chants and echoes of “its George Bushes fault” is getting old when you consider the Democrats have the unique position of not needing Republican votes to pass legislation.
One recent Reuters-Ipsos poll suggests that Congressman Cortney and other Democrats may find this to be a tough election. “People still feel insecure about their future,” said Ipsos pollster Cliff Young. “They are spending less and saving more. They’re not buying a larger house or car or other luxuries because they’re worried — and that worry also manifests itself on the political side.”
Voters are justifiably concerned and lack confidence we are headed in the right direction. The poll respondents were overwhelmingly negative concerning the priorities and the direction President Obama has led the congress. Sixty seven percent of respondents are saying he has not focused on job creation compared to the attention given to healthcare and banking regulations.
The Connecticut Congressional delegation has virtually marched in step with the White House leadership, like sheep they have performed with a herd mentality. It is little wonder that our economy is rattled by a lack of confidence with the perception that we flounder adrift with inexperienced leadership lacking a focus on the problem.
The voters were sold hope and change with slick marketing and social networking, now they have seen the change and lack confidence in the direction we are being taken by leadership. The election will be impacted by Obama’s leadership, some will call the economy the number one issue but the real issue is confidence.
America has become a consuming nation. Our economy is fueled by consumers flush with confidence and cash. Economic downturns happen and eventually we have always worked our way out but with a lack of confidence the road will be rocky, slow and full of unforeseen hazards. The best thing that can happen to the economy is to elect Senators and Representatives that provide consumers with confidence.