The Political Damage Caused by Foreclosures

by 29 Aug 2012

(TheNicheReport) -- The negative impact of the foreclosure epidemic in the United States has struck communities in many aspects. Local economies have been devastated and families have been forced to make deep adjustments in the wake of losing their homes, and it was only a matter of time before foreclosures affected the American political machine. According to a recent report by NPR, the voter databases used in the run-up to the 2008 election have been radically changed by the massive loss of homes.

The 2008 election year also marked the beginning of the foreclosure avalanche and the global financial crisis. The states where homeowners have been the most affected by foreclosures also happen to be key battleground states for presidential candidates. In fact, Florida, Nevada and Ohio currently boast the highest rates of foreclosure. 

Canvassing Made Difficult in Florida

The Sunshine State is home to 29 electoral votes. It is no surprise that the Republican Convention recently took place in Tampa, as Florida is home to a considerable GOP voter base, but President Obama has a strong African-American and Latino constituency in the state. 

The rate of judicial eviction orders caused by foreclosures in Central Florida counties is so high that voter outreach groups are waiting until later to go door-to-door. Voter registration campaigns are actually may actually take place in the parking lots of supermarkets and discount stores in this region.

Finding Voters in Ohio

Canvassers are also having a hard time in large cities like Cleveland and Columbus, where almost 11,000 homes have been lost to foreclosure in 2012. Voter outreach groups estimate that 26 percent of voters who registered in Cleveland for the 2008 election will not be found very easily. That’s nearly 99,000 voters in a region that was instrumental in giving Obama a victory in the polls.

Virtual Ghost Towns in Nevada

Foreclosures have deeply changed the suburban landscape of the Silver State since 2007. The problem in Nevada is that many former homeowners decided to leave the state altogether in search of greener pastures. Door-to-door canvassers are finding entire blocks desolated.

Nevada presents a greater challenge than Florida and Ohio. Political campaign experts believe that the key to winning Nevada is to register newcomers who have arrived looking for rock-bottom real estate deals. These home shoppers are likely to vote with housing in mind, and in this regard President Obama may have an edge thanks to the various federal foreclosure prevention programs available to troubled borrowers, although Mitt Romney doubts their effectiveness. 


Should CFPB have more supervision over credit agencies?