Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Looking at the swing voters

Our national poll last week found that 37% of voters were definitely planning to go Republican this year and 34% were definitely planning to support Democrats- that leaves 29% of the electorate up for grabs- who are those swing voters?

The voters who will determine the balance of control for the next Congress are a pretty Democratic leaning group- 62% voted for Barack Obama last year while 36% voted for John McCain. They only approve of Obama by a 52/37 margin though. The fact that his disapproval and the support McCain received from them is basically the same indicates that Obama hasn't really lost any of these voters yet. But the drop from 62% who voted for him to 52% who now approve of him does suggest a lot of them haven't really decided whether they think he's a good President or not.

They're pretty divided on their feelings about health care with 45% opposed to Obama's plan and 41% in support. That suggests the issue is pretty much a wash with these voters- some are more likely to vote Democratic if the party makes progress on it but others will be turned off. There's little such division when it comes to repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell though- 64% of the swing voters supporting letting gays serve openly in the military with only 31% opposed.

Although this has little immediate relevance the divide between how these voters see Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee vs. Sarah Palin is pretty remarkable. Romney has a positive 39/24 favorability spread and Huckabee's is 32/22. But Palin's is 27/57! Republican candidates are going to be a lot better off coming across as Romney like than Palinesque this fall.

The overall takeaway from this look at swing voters? They are a Democratic leaning lot but the party needs to accomplish something in Congress between now and November if they're going to seal the deal. Otherwise they're open to voting Republican, but not if the GOP's candidates are too extreme.


Anonymous said...

Please poll Tennessee next.

Christian Liberty said...

"The voters who will determine the balance of control for the next Congress.. (a)re pretty divided on their feelings about health care with 45% opposed to Obama's plan and 41% in support."

More evidence that if Democrats were smart, they would DROP Obama's healthcare plan ASAP. Every minute the Democrats continue to push a government healthcare takeover just proves that they are led by the far left and they hold the majority of Americans and the majority of swing voters in contempt. The very fact that the Democrats are pushing a government healthcare takeover proves that it is the Democrats are too extreme.

If Democrats cared about the wishes of independent voters and swing voters, they would be pushing tax cuts, not an enormous tax increase bill disguised as a healthcare "reform" bill.

Rasmus said...

WTF? You see a poll result that shows that swing voters are evenly divided on Obama's health care reform plan and you see that as evidence that the Democrats should drop it ASAP?

Even ignoring the talking points, this strikes me as absolutely insane.

Dave Schuler said...

Two possibilities are given (something is accomplished and the swing voters go to the Democratic column, nothing is accomplished and they vote Republican) but a third alternative is probably more likely: the left-leaning "swing" voters, discouraged by the continuing stalemate, stay home in droves.

Christian Liberty said...

CNN/Opinion Research Feb 12-15 n=1023

"Fifty-two percent of Independents want Congress to start work on a new bill, with 27 percent saying lawmakers should stop all work, and 18 percent saying that the current legislation should be passed into law."

Out of three possible answers, passing the current bill came in DEAD LAST with independent voters. STOPPING ALL WORK on a healthcare bill outpolled passing the Democrats' bill(s) by a margin of 3 to 2 with independents. Starting over with a blank sheet of paper was 3 times as popular as passing the Democrat bill.

If Democrats were smart, they would either start over or drop it entirely. By continuing to insist that the unpopular failed bill be a backbone for future negotiations, Democrats only look incompetent, petty, arrogant, and out of touch.

Christian Liberty said...

Americans Tilt Against Democrats' Plans if Summit Fails

"If an agreement is not reached, Americans by a 49% to 42% margin oppose rather than favor Congress passing a healthcare bill similar to the one proposed by President Obama and Democrats in the House and Senate. By a larger 52% to 39% margin, Americans also oppose the Democrats in the Senate using a reconciliation procedure to avoid a possible Republican filibuster and pass a bill by a simple majority vote."

Christian Liberty said...

Once again, if Democrats had any intention of listening to the American people, they would scrap their pursuit of a "comprehensive" healthcare bill.

"63% say it's better to pass a series of smaller health care bills rather than one comprehensive plan... "

I forget the source, but a previous poll showed that many voters strongly suspect that the reason for gigantic bills that no one has time to read is so that members of Congress and lobbyists can slip in special interest provisions that the voters would not want to support. Remember when Democrats ran on ethics reform and earmark reform? This would be a great time to actually live up to that promise. Scrap the 2000 page bills and negotiate from scratch a serious of smaller bills with greater transparency.

It's for reasons like this that Americans prefer government to be divided and gridlocked. If the majority will insist on pushing 2000 page bills, then why would it surprise anyone that Americans would prefer the bills NOT to pass?

Anonymous said...

By now, it should be clear to many, if not most, that the current healthcare (Obamacare) bill, being pushed forward by Obama and his party is in deep trouble. It is, at this point, not even feasible that the bill will successfully get through the Senate, using the more traditional 60+ vote process. As such, they will be characterized by the American people as being losers, inefficient, ineffective and impotent. If, in fact, they attempt to ramrod the bill through the Senate, then House, utilizing the reconciliation process, they would, without a doubt, alienate an awful lot of people who would or might have otherwise voted Democrat - not to mention, further angering, empowering and unifying those already opposed to the bill; thereby creating a larger pool of people who will absolutely vote - as opposed to maybe. When you consider the current political trends, whereas Republicans are already winning in poll after poll, state after state - many in states, thought, by most, to be Democrat safe and secure (remember Scott Brown and Masachusettes?). I am convinced that it would, for all practical puroses, mean the end of the Democratic party, as we know it. Either way, Obama (in 2012) and the Democrats will(now and beyond) lose - one way or the other - and for a long time to come. Watch and see!

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