The L.A. Times has an article out that raises the issue that the rapid increase in foreclosures could hurt the GOP in what are often referred to as "exurban" counties. The article focuses in on one county in northern Virginia, Loudoun, that voted heavily for Bush in 2004. This is a quote from the article:
STERLING, VA. -- Every afternoon, when Karla Schroeder walks her two boys home from school, she takes note of the new real estate signs springing up on neighborhood lawns. These days, they're not what she's used to seeing, and she's not happy about the change.
Along with a great many "For Sale" signs are new ones that say "Foreclosure." A few weeks ago, she was startled by a bright orange sign that said "Auction."
The national downturn in the housing market has arrived in Loudoun County, a once-largely rural area on the western fringes of Washington that has become one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States. In addition to the economic effect, it's stirring anxiety and discontent that have begun to change the climate in which people consider politics -- especially some Republicans.
"I used to consider myself a Republican, but now I consider myself an independent," Schroeder said.
The foreclosure crisis is not limited to Virginia or states like California. Ohio has seen a rapid increase in the number of foreclosures. Foreclosures now make up almost half of the new cases filed each month in Medina County. The increase in foreclosures may be one reason why Ted Strickland and Sherrod Brown both carried the county just two years after George Bush got around 55% of Medina County's vote in 2004.
Since 2004 there have been reminders that the market-oriented philosophy of the GOP cannot solve certain social problems or even produce a competent government. The continuation of the war in Iraq, the response to Hurricane Katrina, the break-down of America's system of health care, and now the rapid increase in foreclosures all serve to reinforce that point.
People turn to the Democratic Party when they are feeling economically insecure and are looking for help. The increase in foreclosures contributes to such a feeling of insecurity.
The Democratic Party, however, has to come up with solutions that actually help people instead of rich donors. It will be interesting to see if the Party will respond to the concerns of people living with the threat of foreclosure.
Thanks to Medina County Democrat David Brown for sending us the link to the L.A. Times article.