Friday, December 11, 2009

Polling report and analysis

There has been a veritable deluge of polling data this week, all of it bad for Democrats. Let's take each item one by one:
  • In the RealClearPolitics poll average, President Obama's approval rating is below 50 percent and less than 4 points above his disapproval.
  • In January Democrats had a 25 point lead on the question of which party voters would rather see control Congress. Now it is down to 1 point according to a new CNN poll.
  • A new McClatchy poll finds that on a range of economic issues Democrats have seen vast leads over Republicans evaporate.
  • A CNN poll places support for current health care reform legislation at a mere 36 percent, with 61 percent against.
This dissatisfaction with Democrats seems to be having an impact in next year's mid-terms U.S. Senate elections. Consider:
  • In Colorado the incumbent Democrat is trailing all three Republican challengers.
  • In Ohio Republican Rob Portman leads both Democratic candidates.
  • In Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey leads both Democrat Arlen Specter and his primary challenger Joe Sestak.
  • In Connecticut incumbent Democrat Chris Dodd is losing to his Republican challenger by a 13 point margin.
  • In Nevada incumbent Democrat -- and Senate Majority Leader -- Harry Reid is trailing both of his GOP challengers.
  • In Delaware the Republican candidate has the lead in the race for Joe Biden's old seat.
Also consider that each one of those states was carried by Barack Obama in 2008. Some other factors worth mulling over:
  • The 1994 Republican election day triumph was preceded a year earlier by wins in the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial contests. Republicans won both again this year, by 3 points higher than in New Jersey and fractionally higher in Virginia than in 1993.
  • Mid-term elections almost always favor the opposition party.
  • Unemployment in November 1994 was 5.6 percent. It's now 10 percent and prospects for that to go below 8 percent seem remote.
  • Republicans have at least three candidates they can run against in the form of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama. Who can Democrats offer up in a similar role? John Boehner? Mitch McConnell?
  • This week Republicans won a state senate race in Kentucky rather handily, capturing 56 percent of the vote. This is worth pointing out because the Republicans triumphed in a district which leans Democrat (the incumbent was a Republican, but was offered a judgeship by the Democrat governor, who viewed the race as an opportunity to narrow the GOP lead in the Senate), the Republican candidate was outspent and -- most importantly -- he won by nationalizing the election and running against health care.
With all that said, 11 months is still a long time away and there is no point counting chickens before they hatch. I would also like to stress that while I have little faith in Republicans, if elected, to push for a free market/limited government agenda, they might at least put an end to the daily assaults on economic freedom currently emanating out of Washington.

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