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Relevant factors

Not strictly Northwest – the article is about last week’s election from a national perspective – but the points made in a Washington Post piece a week ago (which I just got around to reading) seem so spot on in this region as well as elsewhere that they called out for some more attention. So, herewith.

Especially this, at article’s end:

The percentage-point margin by which Americans who blamed Wall Street for the nation’s economic problems favored Republicans over Democrats in the national exit poll of Tuesday’s voters. The poll asked voters whether they blamed Wall Street, George W. Bush or Barack Obama. Those who blamed one president or the other, not surprisingly, voted overwhelmingly for the opposite party, but those who blamed Wall Street (a plurality of respondents) gave 56 percent of their vote to Republican candidates and 42 percent to the Democrats.

If Democrats want to know why they lost, they should ponder this number and the 9.5 percent unemployment rate. The president’s decision to defer financial reform until 18 months after the bank bailouts, and his decisions not to press for a bigger and more visible stimulus or to keep his focus on job creation were fateful mistakes that cost his party dearly.

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