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The Democrats' Tylenol Moment

Can they recover before November?

12:00 AM, Apr 8, 2010 • By GARY ANDRES
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And while unemployment has occasionally topped 8.5 percent since 1950 (when the Bureau of Labor statistics started keeping statistics), it’s only surged above that level once during a midterm election year (1982).  Congressional Republicans (the president’s party that year) lost 26 seats in the House that year.  There’s no political Merck Manual for a jobless rate near 10 percent.

Finally, it’s difficult to control party outliers.  Tylenol could slap a new label on its familiar red box and mass produce millions of identical copies.

Political parties lack such uniformity. In the minds of undecided voters is the Democratic Party Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Harry Reid, Rep. Charlie Rangel or a backbench incumbent congressman?  Perceptions of these individuals, as well as their actions, all shape a party’s image.

Political brands are tough to manage.  A lot can happen between now and November, but if current patterns continue, Democrats may require something more akin to morphine.

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