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

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

 The economy issue could help the Democrats.

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. Willy

    Does it matter who did better? Barack Hussen Obama has the gift of gab but is short on substances. Girls like him because he’s cute and that’s it. Hillary Rodham Clinton is an extension of William Jefferson Clinton who also has the gift of gab. The end results is if a democrat gets in the W.H. stand by for a full blown recession, job losses and tax hike to fix it all!

    February 27, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  2. Sandra from Ohio

    WINE WINE WINE When Clinton was ahead CNN was good information station now that Obama is closing in on her CNN is bias I don't think so But all you people that will vote for McCain if Clinton doesn't get the democratic nomination really don't care about this country To leave a republican in office will destroy what is left of our economy Is this what you want We need change and Obama is the only hope to change the good old boy network Maybe he not your ideal candidate but the other choices a worse

    February 27, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  3. coffeedrinker

    I'm from Michigan, and every one I know, says the same thing. If it's Obama or McCain, I'll vote McCain. We never want to see anything like the Carter years again.

    Our state is in a big enough mess with jobs going to Mexico and overseas. We don't need a president in training. I would be too worried that while Obama is having a "vision" (remember he's the visionary), that all of his advisors would be running the country. Don't we have that now.

    I'll take the road I know. Clinton. If she's not on the ballot, I'll hold my nose and vote for McCain.

    February 27, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  4. Proud Californian

    CNN, FoxNEWS and MSNBC will be scratching their heads on the night of March 4th like they did on the night of the New Hampshire primary.


    February 27, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  5. David, Santa Maria, CA

    I think there is a difference here than in 1992. No incumbent is up for reelection and the people are just as fed up with both parties and Congress. Its not a Democrat/Republican thing, its the whole government and how it is run, both sides are equally to blame. Bush really screwed up but the democrats have shown, after recapturing the congress, they dont know what to do either. Cmon, baseball steroid hearings? How stupid!

    February 27, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  6. Vince

    Clinton supporters sound A LOT like bush supporters. mean, nasty, closed minded, "my-way-or-the-highway", screw-the-the-country, kind of supporters.

    February 27, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  7. Ed

    I would not characterize voters as flocking to Bill Clinton in 1992. He did not even receive fifty percent of the votes.

    February 27, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  8. Lynn in IA

    I have soooo many of these stories and posts and am soooo sick of the pettiness going on all boards. Look, our best hope is to support the Democratic ticket in November NO MATTER who is on it. Stop with the Hillary and Obama hate remarks...PLEASE! Sometimes I wonder who some of the people posting here are for...McCain??? What ever happened to "United we stand, divided we fall"? This race is not over, the people have not chosen yet, but when it is over, support needs to go to the winner. What do we have here sore losers or people who want to put an end to the Bush-like tyranny?? When he got that second term I just had the biggest feeling of dread come over me. Look at the last 7 years, do we need that to continue as Bush says it will or do we stay together to make sure the GOP stays out?! This bickering is toxic. I will support the winner between Hillary and Barack, no matter what! I want my son home, not in Iraq putting his life on the line for sake of George W. Bush. PLEASE help keep him and all our soldiers safe and bring them home! I'm begging all of you to vote for them!

    February 27, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  9. Pieter

    Give Hillary objective attention!! Don't be an Obamican CNN!!

    February 27, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  10. Carlene

    I've listen to them all and the more I find out about Obama, the more
    scared I get about what he actually stands for . We know nothing of him . As for my husband and I , we will vote for Hillery if she makes it and if not we will be voting as an Independent. We have nothing else left.

    February 27, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |

    Hay Wolf' why dont you find out who or I should say how many of the big wigs that are benefiting from this so called fair trade? I bet my life on the fact that BILL CLINTON and GEORGE BUSH will be on that list ! This is why we the people need a new and non-corrupt President. All that you watch my back and i'll watch yours type of politics has got to stop! The only ones that benefit from that is the politians and thier family's! The people of this country need to start asking themselves a serious question? And the question is why do you think that a politian or Presidents get so rich? They call it "FAVORS" I call it being corrupt! Do to the fact that these so called favors only benefit the one doing the favor and the one thats recieving the favor! And America thats not you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 27, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  12. Gabby

    If you have no more faith in the party you support then to switch sides if the person that they nominate. You should be ashamed of yourself. Loyalty indeed. and you think McCain will make this country look better in the eyes of the world. Do yourself a favour and google a few different world wide newspapers, see what the world thinks. Obama has already proven himself as far as I am concerned. None of you remember the untruths that Clinton has spewed in the last few weeks or even years? I see millions going ahead and supporting Obama.

    OBAMA 08 Yes We Can 🙂

    February 27, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  13. Neal

    Dems are good for economy, conservatives are too darn greedy.

    February 27, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  14. Aisley

    There's something in this campaign that amazes me beyond believe. It is the HISTORICAL IGNORANCE of some, their supporters and their "grouppies". If we would had applied the "EXPERIENCE" demands they make to each and every former president, this country would have been broken in two. Abraham Lincoln would not have been a president. And by the way, when he became a US senator for the ONE AND ONLY time in his life, it was exactly for the same district that Obama, Illinois 7th district.

    February 27, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  15. Enrique

    If our country is attacked again between now and November, it will be under the watch of George W. Bush...again. It will further prove that invading and occupying Iraq has not made us any safer. Osama bin Laden is still at large.

    February 27, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  16. Democracy needs Third parties

    In my humble opinion, Democrats can hardly win in november, no matter of nominee.

    They did in 1992 in favor of a big performance by Perot, who reduced GOP audience. Clinton won again in 1996 on the wawe of world economy health.

    They lost in 2000. Yes, I know, dems says they were spoiled. But vice-president A.Gore running against GWB, should have wiped him out.
    He did not. He did not as believes and convictions in USA are not likely to favor Democrats.

    This was proven in 2004, when J.Kerry spent somemoney to avoid Nader to be on ballots. Really, Kerry wasn't spoiled. He just heavily lost aganist one of the worst presidents of USA history.

    So I don't think Dems will easily win the contest.

    I haven't decided yet if i'll support Nader (or other Green Party candidate) or none.

    February 27, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  17. Harvey

    A lot of people are trying to make an issue over Obama"s lack of experience. In 2000, the person who had the most experience of the 4 people on the ticket was Dick Cheney and we all know what that experience led to.

    February 27, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  18. ben from ohio


    February 27, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  19. Lee AZ

    I see many comments that are buying into the notion that W Bush and Obama had similar deficiencies in experience and that is why the past 7 years have been a failure. That is not reality. Bush's policies are really Cheney's policies and the reason Cheney was chosen as VP and kept as VP was because of his vast experience. The failures of the current administration have everything to do with judgement and corporate Americana's influence and not experience.

    Not one candidate has presidential experience. It is the most difficult and unique position in the world. First Lady experience doesn't count and by Hillary's own criteria of being responsible and accountable for decisions it doesn't count.

    If you look at how these campaigns have been run you must admit that Obama is the most capable candidate. Obama's campaign is in alignment with more Americans as seen by turnout. His fundraising has been nothing but remarkable. His leadership, management and judgement throughout this campaign has been superior to all candidates both Republican and Democrat. Anyone who has been in true leadership positions will tell you that having the judgement to make the right decision, ability to inspire those you lead, and build support are the most critical things to the success of any leader. Policies don't matter, experience doesn't matter, gender, race, or your name doesn't matter if you don't have those skills. Obama has shown to be out in front in all of those critical skills. Obama is a true leader.

    From the behavior I have seen from Hillary she doesn't qualify as a role model for my daughter. I expect better.

    February 27, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  20. Independent-Latina-voter, Salt Lake City, UT

    Sen. Obama will bring welcomed change into the White House. That's what the American people have been voting for.

    I believe that the economy will bounce back, and though the Clintons would like to take credit for the 90's Economy, those are not the facts. The country was already on recovery when Bill took over.

    About age & wisdom: McCain & Hillary are SO brilliant, experienced & wise that they BOTH supported the war we are in! The debt of over 9 TRILLION, the lives lost are their responsibility just as it is Bush's.

    Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton IS not change its more of the same.

    Americans can think for themselves and they will choose wisely.

    OBAMA 08

    February 27, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  21. Jed in Texas

    It will help Democrats if we are in a depression by then,which I think we are headed for.Giving three hundred dollars a month to every Sunni not to fight in Iraq isnt helping my bottom line any either but it does help to make the Surge look like its really working.

    February 27, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  22. SH

    The economy is weak, the candidate with the most experience and the best thought out plans should prevail....oh no, wait, all of these young educated folks seem to be voting for charisma instead. We are rowing towards the rapids very fast. Everybody hang on, we are in for a rough ride. Who needs a sound economy anyway.............. after all, we have been inspired and we have hope. We can smile as we file bankruptcy.

    February 27, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  23. aware

    Dems will benefit if Hillary is the nominee – otherwise no!

    Hillary the HOPE of 08 🙂

    February 27, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  24. doug

    If Obama win, then I will vote for MCain for the safety of our country. I don't trust him whether he can handle to the poor economy or IRAQ war.

    February 27, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  25. D White

    Hillary Clinton in 2008:

    "It took a Clinton to clean up after the 1st Bush, maybe what we need is another Clinton to clean up after the 2nd Bush."

    Bill Clinton in 2000:

    "Nothing is more dangerous that an old idea that has had its time."

    Followed by: The Iraqi oil war 2003-??

    Bill Clinton in 1992:

    "Its the economy, stupid."

    Followed by: Unprecedented economic growth.

    Still believe Barack Obama is your best democratic choice?

    February 27, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
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