Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Democrats' real problem

One story that doesn't get told often enough when it comes to the potential doom for Democrats this fall is that there really just aren't that many Obama voters shifting toward the GOP. Our last national poll found only 8% of people who voted Democratic for President in 2008 planning to go Republican for Congress in 2010. If this ends up being a huge Republican year- and it may well be- it's going to have a lot more to do with Democrats staying home than Obama voters abandoning the party.

There's not much doubt what's driving those few people who are shifting from Obama to the GOP: the economy. 72% of them think the economy's gotten worse since Obama took office, and 64% of them say their own personal economic situation has worsened. They don't have much optimism looking forward either- only 11% think the overall economy will be better by November and just 7% think their own situations will improve.

Democrats will start doing better when voters start to really feel the recession's on the way out- but mostly they'll start doing better when they can find a way to get their own voters motivated.


herbs814 said...

The economy is going back into recession, not coming out.

GDP growth has declined
US Stocks have peaked
China has peaked

Retail sales have fallen.
Housing peaked in April with the expiring tax credit.
The economy peaks this year with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.

Obama has burdened the economy with regulations and deficit spending.

The economy will continue to haunt the Democrats.

PackMan97 said...

It's only anecdotal, but I know a number of folks that don't usually vote that voted in the primary and plan to vote against D's in the fall. It's not that they like R's, but that they hate what the D's are doing.

I'm also hearing more and more grumbling from non-liberal Democrats about the continued bailouts and spending.

NRH said...

Amazing logic there - Obama in one year burdened the economy with deficit spending (while reducing the tax rate to its lowest level since Herbert Hoover), but Bush's eight years of deficit spending (reversing the budget surplus Clinton left him) was a net positive, because it had tax cuts (though didn't bring the tax rate down as much as Obama did).

Also, voter sentiment on the economy tends to map to the job situation with a six month lag; the economy resumed creating rather than losing jobs early this year, so historically that should begin showing voter sentiment improvement right around election time.

Anonymous said...

When you poll Texas, can you poll all 32 House districts?.... [Satire]

Anonymous said...

I see that the Texans are dwarfing the others, the second they arrived on site, Texas surged into lead.

Tom Jensen said...

hahaha thanks for making me laugh. That's a good one. It wouldn't have surprised me to see someone say that and mean it.

Anonymous said...

But Tom, One thing that you could do and I'm surprised that you're not doing it, is to ask the generic congressional ballot preferances for each state. Would be very useful gauge.

Anonymous said...

It looks like that your current poll might draw the most voters on any such poll to date, maybe because of including many options and several big states. I only hope that it's not being manipulated.

Anonymous said...

Tom, can you discover from which blog or blogs in Texas you're being linked to? Looks like Texans want a poll.

Anonymous said...

I know of a number of Dems in my area who are going to vote Republican this time including the majority of my husband's family. They are much more Conservative than the party has become.

In addition, a liberal friend of mine who is a religious Jew is no longer voting Democrat. She feels betrayed by Obama and this administration over their treatment of Israel

McDaddyo said...

The right-wing noise machine's focus on Obama doesn't bode well for Republicans.
Firstly, he won't be running in 2010. Democratic incombents and challengers who are running in 2010 will focus on local issues and their opponents weaknesses. To the extent that their opponents dwell on Obama, they will be vulnerable to claims that they're avoiding the issues.
By 2012, the idea that Obama was responsible for the BP spill will be about as credible as the idea that Hillary Clinton murdered Vince Foster or that Bill Clinton destroyed the country by having sex with an intern. Moreover, the U.S. and global economies will be well into recovery, even if the slight dip we're seeing in the past few months manifests into a recession.
That's the trouble with the noise-machine strategy: it's highly perishable. In a few weeks, talkradio will be back to dwelling on Obama's birth certificate or accusing him of a communist takeover of health care.
If polling shows anything, it's that popularity fluctuations form waves. Obama's at a trough now and we have every reason to expect he'll be back up near the peak in a few years' time.
Don't forget the lesson of Reagan. He too took office amid times of great doubt and the economy rapidly worsened as he implemented credit tightening, etc. His popularity plummeted, only to surge back when the economy recovered a little and he was able to use his critics' exaggerations against them. I predict a similar pattern for Obama...

Derick Moore said...

Someone named Anonymous (odd name) suggested that Texan's were pumping up the vote for Texas.

Could be I suppose, but I'm from Colorado Springs, and without looking at the current vote results, I picked Texas.

It is a very important electoral state and has many delegates.

I picked Texas on the basis of my own curiosity!

Derick Moore

Anonymous said...

I don't think any rational person could argue that Obama will not be a factor in the 2010 elections. He will be 1 of 2 factors, the other being the economy.

If unemployment is still hovering around 10% by October and oil is still blowing out of the ground on our tv sets every night, the GOP may very well take back the House and cut the Senate difference to around 53-47.

It may be time to begin polling "likely voters" instead of "all" or "registered" voters. We are within 5 months of election day and "all" voters nor "registered" voters do not all vote on election day. Those that are planning to vote and are motivated trend significantly toward the GOP.

herbs814 said...

A long term candidate for "The Democrats' Real Problem" is the declining taxpayer support for government employee unions. More and more, governments will wake up and do the right thing: cut government wages and benefits, cut government payrolls, privatize government services, and declare municipal bankruptcy.

One example of government doing the right thing: Maywood, California Fires all Employees, Becomes a 100% Contracted City


When taxpayers are no longer made to support government employee unions without their consent, the moocher class will decline in clout... and Americans will rally around limited government all the more.

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