Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Freshmen Dems

One of the things about our New Mexico poll that I found most interesting was Tom Udall's solid 48/36 approval spread. That puts him with Mark Warner (53/31 in our last poll) and Jeanne Shaheen (48/39 favorability in the last UNH poll) as the freshmen Democratic Senators with the best numbers. What do the three have in common? They all had statewide elected experience before winning their Senate seats.

For most of the Senators who didn't- Kay Hagan, Jeff Merkley, Mark Begich, and Mark Udall- the numbers are a lot less pretty. Last month we found Begich at a 35/51 approval spread and Hagan at 29/42. Our most recent poll on Udall's approval, late last summer, found him at 39/38. Survey USA had Merkley at 37/49 this month.

Not really falling into either category is Al Franken- he has unusually high positives and unusually high negatives for a freshman Senator at 50/47 in Rasmussen's last Minnesota poll. That probably reflects his celebrity status.

The new Senators who voters have known for a long time seem to be weathering this political climate but the relatively unknown ones who rode the wave in are being defined right now more by the unpopularity of their party than anything else. Of course the good news for them is that they have a long time to fix it.


Christian Liberty said...

Dems with state-wide experience are more popular because state-wide politicians (prior to the 2006, 2008 Democratic wave elections) were more motivated to moderate and develop a moderate record. The recent freshmen Dems were delusional enough to think that progressivism was popular (as a result of the dissatisfaction towards the Republicans and the slick marketing of Barack Obama). The Democrats have vastly overreached beyond their mandate. Their mandate was ethics reform and reducing government spending and reducing government deficits.

Obama's fiscal mandate was to cut taxes. Obama won NOT because he ran on expanding government healthcare. Obama won because he promised NO TAX INCREASE (below $250k) and attacked McCain for proposing a tax on employer-provided health benefits (to equalize the tax treatment that subsidizes labor unions and big employers). Obama's government spending (stimulus, health care "reform", and cap and trade) are CONTRARY to his election promises. And he WILL suffer electorally for not fulfilling his mandate to control deficits by lowering spending and NOT raising taxes. And Senate Democrats WILL suffer electorally for supporting Obama's tax-and-spend status-quo policies.

America rejects undiluted progressivism every time they see it. Just like America rejects Obamacare and the cap-and-trade. And just like America rejected Congressional Democrats in 1946, 1966, 1980, and 1994, so they will in 2010.

The American people's litmus test will roughly equate to this: if you supported Obama's stimulus and/or health care takeover and/or cap-and-trade, then you are too left-wing to be trusted with political power.

Jeff said...

SurveyUSA shows Merkley's numbers at 43%-39% this month: last month's numbers were the one's you cited.

Though looking at their tracking he's had mediocre to bad numbers pretty much since he was elected.

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