February 27th, 2008
03:21 PM ET
15 years ago

Blitzer: If the economy is weak, will Democrats benefit?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/04/art.blitzer.cnn.jpg caption=" The economy issue could help the Democrats."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - If the economy is weak in November, the Democrats will have a great chance of winning the White House and increasing their majorities in the House and Senate.

That’s the prevailing view among many political insiders of both parties. They say voters will tend to blame eight years of Republican leadership in the White House under President Bush for their fears of losing their jobs, homes and health insurance. If voters are worried about recession and inflation, they will want to see change in Washington. That, these insiders say, would be the major factor in the election.

They remember what happened in 1992. The economy was the dominant issue in that campaign when Bill Clinton challenged then-President George H.W. Bush. Bush was coming off the heels of a major win in the first Gulf War when he ordered half a million troops to liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein’s occupation. At the end of 1991, we saw the collapse of the Soviet Union, ending more than 70 years of Communist rule in Russia and the other Soviet Republics. The president had enormous national security and foreign policy experience. But it was all for naught.

By mid-1992, there were serious fears of recession. People were worried about the bread-and-butter issues and they wanted change. Bill Clinton may have been a governor from Arkansas with limited foreign policy experience, but voters flocked to him and he won. With serious concern over the economy right now, Democrats are hoping to see the same scenario played out this year irrespective of whether Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama is the party’s nominee.

There is, of course, a huge wild card out there – the war in Iraq and the overall war on terror. We don’t know what is going to happen over the coming months on either front. If Americans come to fear a major terror threat, or if there is another major terror strike against the United States, all bets might be off. Voters could rally behind John McCain, who has lots of national security experience.

Just some thoughts to consider as this hectic campaign season continues.

–CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. patti

    The democrats will benefit if Hillary is the nominee!!! The Republicans keep saying it is going to be harder to beat Obama. They are using psychology and the media and the people are playing right into it. If Obama faces Mc Cain in the general election , Mc Cain will wipe the floor with him. When Mc Cain attacks, Obama will not be able to use the "Whine" card on this "American Hero" ! Hillary has a much better chance of standing up to McCain on the economy ! HER ECONOMICS PLAN IS STUNNING!!!!! She also has the experience to make that claim. She is far more educated on foreign policy and she will definitely be able to have a conversation. If Barrock is the nominee, we may as well just turn over the keys to Pennsylvania Ave. to Mc Cain now because I think that Hillary supporters will vote for the good of our Country even that means Mc Cain wins the election. As far as Cnn polls go, I don't know who they talk to but I have never been asked my opinion! Hillary keep fighting !!! The USA needs YOU!!!!

    February 27, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  2. Ca Native

    John McCain actually will prove to be strong on the economy. His vote against the Bush tax cuts (because he wanted reduced spending), his staunch opposition to earmarks, etc demonstrates his fiscal conservative bent – which IS what we need to help improve the economy.

    Socialized National Healthcare and all the flowery programs detailed by the Democrats will only exacerbate the stalling economy and put us into a full-blown recession.

    Just say NO to socialism! Vote yes for John McCain.

    February 27, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  3. Evan Esteves, Boca Raton FL

    Hey Liza and Alice...in your McCain lovefest can you tell me if you are with Hillary on the issues??? Because as far as I can tell, the main issues Hillary Clinton talks about are "Universal Health Care", and ending the "War in Iraq"...Both of which will never happen under a President McCain...so from this "TRUE DEMOCRAT" (from Florida I might add) I look forward to canceling your vote this November!

    February 27, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  4. Jessica

    At this point, the fighting within the Democratic Party as shown through the posts here shows that the Democrats probably will not win the election this year regardless of who wins the nomination. A lot of people have been so turned off by Hillary with her recent immature behavior that they will turn to mccain as well as those who do not like obama. So I ask, what has been accomplished by all of the arguing, except to give the Republicans the edge? We started out with two viable candidates and we are helping to make them unelectable! Let's not blame the press as they do not own all of the responsibility for the current state of affairs. The people down in the Democratic party should shoulder some of the responsibility.

    February 27, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  5. kim portland, oregon

    ya think, fools?!!?!?!? OF COURSE bush et al are to blame for the economy. and of course the repubs will feel the pain when they become a very small minority in our government--FINALLY!

    February 27, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  6. Wilhemina

    CNN, why are you manipulating the posts? You have heard of free speech, yes or no?

    February 27, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  7. kim portland, oregon

    dont forget mccain's statement that if he keeps supporting the war "i will lose". talk about a candidate we should fear!!!

    obama 08!

    February 27, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  8. Rosemary Storaska

    Only if we have Hillary Clinton on the ticket! She is the "can do" person. With Obama all we will get are "canned" speechs that come from everyone but himself. What is he? Does anyone know about the things related by the Pennsylvania governor today on CNN? Do we get to know anything about thie glorious career in the Senate that gave him this rise to a "rock" star? Go figure? Slow it down, TEXAS. The Dems did little to help this economy with the inexperienced Bush and I seriously dobut Obama is going to work the "magic" of hope but calling it down from heaven!

    February 27, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  9. facts show

    America will face many obstacles in the near future, only a leader with experience and concrete plans will be able to turn things around. Speaches are only words Obama has memorized and rehearsed, he talks about all the glorious things that would make America good, but actions speak louder than words and Clinton has so much integrity in her actions that she would not promise something that she would not be able to put forth and complete. IT MAKES YOU WONDER OBAMA PROMISES SO MUCH WHEN WOULD HE HAVE TIME TO COMPLETE ALL THE TASKS. Maybe if he is at his desk or negotiating with other very powerful countries 24 Hours a day. He would still not be able to hold all his promises. During a debate or interview, I wonder if Obama was asked questions first by CNN Commentators how much awwws and umms he would come up with. Why are the Commentators so easy on Obama, it gives him a false sense of security, a president needs to be ready for answers and have substance behind the answers not wishy washy words that he speaks.

    February 27, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  10. Hillary and Hillary Only

    Hillary is the best candidate here. Even the recent poll released from CNN tells that Hillary advances in double digit points regarding economy. Hillary 2008!

    February 27, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  11. Karla

    If the economy is weak, the people lose.

    Obama and McCain can be straightshooters but they have a long way to go as far as economic growth policies.

    February 27, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  12. justme

    once again wolf, you can tell who side's you are on and you used to be so good!! anyway, i just watch LOU DOBBS and saw how NEWS is suppose to be . . . look at both sides equally. maybe one day you will get back on track.

    February 27, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  13. Donna

    Obama is the best thing that we have going for us. Someone with fresh ideas who is not afraid to be different. First time I have ever been this excited to see someone like him become our President.

    February 27, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  14. Cali guy

    It really seems to depend on who the media picks now days more than any issue facing us. If I had to choose between Obummer and McCain, I'd have to pick Nader. Wish they'd just tell us who they've picked so we can actually move on from there.

    February 27, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  15. here

    this is how low some of HRC supporters are: "if Barak Obama wins, they will vote Mcain"

    1. In the 000's of comments ive read, only HRC supporters have said so, and yet they speak about conviction to political ideology and its importance to voting.

    2. If you are fickle or hateful enough to be a turncoat (low life traitor) good luck to you, there aren't many of you.

    3. Have any of you turncoats evr stopped to think that if you truly are democratic in you beliefs, that part of that is accepting the choice of the majority, and in this case like minded peers?

    4. If you think like this, you are a disgrace and a detractor of DEMOCRACY.

    ....now you may cast your stones but i know when i go to sleep at night, i go with my honor intact and sleep comes easy as i need not lie to myself, nor do i live in fear or hate,

    February 27, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  16. fonsworth for OBAMA

    First of all there is no if about the economy being weak. And the Iraqi war is a major contributor to our economic down trend. We have lost trillions of dollars out of our economy. Bush ran the country the same way he ran his other businesses, and Hillary and McCain were right there to help him, in any way they can.

    February 27, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  17. kelly feagans

    Will Democrats benefit? ONE is already benefiting from CNN's biased coverage! The other one... she is fighting against male dominance, and that includes the male dominated establishment at CNN! Generally speaking, men still won't vote for a woman. Obama's name is all over your website. CNN is clearly part of the Bush era, "I'm the decider" mentality. And I thought you GUYS were fair! Time to change the channel.

    February 27, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  18. joe m.

    the democrats are not immune to the economic backlash. while the administration had a hand at the economic mess we are in, democrats are not without blame. the question that democrats may need to answer is what they've done during the time that they've controlled the senate and house.

    February 27, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  19. Whose had Enough

    Mr. Blitzer, do you remember 9/11?......Al-Queda and Osama bin-Laden attacked us that day, not Saddam Hussein and Iraq. Suggesting the poor economy will help Democrats win the White House in 2008 is in poor taste considering the media's lack of attention to the Bush administration's buildup to invade Iraq through stong-armed intellegence.

    The economy is great for oil company executives.

    February 27, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
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