Friday, October 8, 2010

Every sign is looking bad for the Democrats

Even New Yorkers are turning against Obama

WASHINGTON -- Most of the New Yorkers considered likely to head to the polls
in November have an unfavorable opinion of President Obama, according to a new poll -- an extraordinary development in a state he carried with 62 percent of the vote two years ago. Just 45 percent of likely New York voters approve of the job Obama is doing as president, compared to 48 percent who disapprove, according to the CNN poll.

Obama’s fall from grace

Here’s an interesting look at how Obama fell from being “The One,” to being one you don’t want endorsing you if you are a democrat.

The result was that our Oedipus/Pentheus rushed headlong into
socialized medicine, mega-deficits, needlessly polarizing appointments of the
Van Jones type, and various federal takeovers, coupled with quite unnecessary
editorializing about largely local matters — from the Skip Gates mess to the
Arizona immigration law and Ground Zero mosque.

In each case, the supposed uniter deliberately weighed in on these
controversies to quite unfairly demonize his opponents — “stupidly” acting
police, Arizona xenophobes picking up children on the way to buy ice cream,
Islamophobes wanting to deny religious liberty, etc. A thousand other nicks,
from Eric Holder’s “nation of cowards” to Obama’s musings that at some point one
needs no more income, ensured continual bleeding as his poll numbers fell by nearly 30 points in just 20 months.

The result was that the president soon lost the moral capital to
push through an unpopular agenda — to such a degree that his
out-of-the-mainstream views and his polarizing style of governance might well
destroy Democratic congressional majorities for a decade.

A Republican Sweep

Another pundit predicts disaster for the Democrats

As we are now a month from the midterm elections, I will boldly predict
their outcome. ……. The Republicans will win control
of both houses of Congress.
(I’m less concerned with state
races, though I still think Meg Whitman will be the winning candidate for
governor in California, and that Nikki Haley will win in South Carolina.)

The Republicans should win a majority of about 15 in the House,
consigning the Pelosi era to the proverbial dustbin. She will be remembered as a
stylish and elegant woman who always got the votes for her president, but was
identified almost unerringly with dumb causes. I think the Republicans will not
lose any Senate seats they now hold and will pick up those at stake in Arkansas,
California, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Washington,
West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The latest polls I have seen have them leading all
of those races except California, where I think Fiorina will win because she is
a more competent and presentable candidate than the incumbent, Barbara

'Terrifying Numbers for Democrats'

Here's Silver's take on Gallup's latest:

Those are absolutely terrifying numbers for Democrats. Although it's not completely straightforward to translate the generic ballot into actual votes, were Democrats to lose the House popular vote by anything resembling that margin, their losses could be catastrophic. According to one formula that models turnover in the House based on the Gallup likely voter model specifically, a 13-point lead for the G.O.P. would translate into a gain of 71 (!) seats--and an 18-point, lead, a gain of 86 (!!) seats. The Republicans need 39 seats to take a House majority.

Obama’s big drop in blue states

Here’s some information from PPP.

One of the most amazing things in our polling over the last month has been
how dreadfully bad Barack Obama's approval numbers are with likely voters in a
lot of states that he won by large margins in 2008.
We've polled 12 states since the beginning of September that Obama won by at least 9 points and in all but 3 of those states- Hawaii, California, and New York- his numbers are under water.

The states where we do now find Obama with negative numbers that he won easily in 2008- Michigan, Wisconsin, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Delaware, Maine, Connecticut, Colorado, and Illinois.

In the places where the bulk of likely voters disapprove of Obama it's not very hard to see the contribution that's making to tough Democratic prospects this fall.

POLL: Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not drain swamp, key voters believe

It appears that even in the area of ethics, the Democrats are in trouble with the voters.
Most voters think Congress’s ethics have gotten worse in the past two years, according to a new poll in key battleground districts.

The finding suggests that people likely to have a big say in who
controls the House in the next Congress believe that Speaker Nancy Pelosi
(D-Calif.) has failed to keep her 2006 promise to “drain the swamp” of
congressional corruption.

The Hill/ANGA 2010 Midterm Election Poll finds that 57 percent of
likely voters in 12 competitive districts believe that the ethical situation on Capitol Hill has deteriorated since President Obama took office
. Thirty-two percent of respondents say there has been no change, and only 7 percent claim it has improved.

Obama on voters’ minds

Just how bad is it? The votes of the dead used to be cast only for democrats. Votes still are, but the dead apparently are becoming more bi-partisan.

A reader passed along an obituary this week for a man who died last month in Rome, Ga. Donald Unsworth was 78 — husband, father, grandfather, veteran, former police officer, safety director of the Floyd County Police Department and owner of both Rome Driver’s Training School and Carter’s Hardware and Auto Parts. The obituary said Unsworth would “always be remembered for his generosity and his willingness to help needy families and friends,” and suggested donations to the American Cancer Society. Additionally, Unsworth asked to be remembered in two years, requesting that contributions be made in his name to “whoever is running against President Barack Obama in 2012.”

Democrats' False Optimism

House Democrats have begun sounding an optimistic note that they will avoid a midterm wipeout as the base starts tuning in, campaigns engage, and President Obama travels the country reminding voters of the stakes.

A New York Times piece last weekend asserted that the "resilience of vulnerable Democrats" is complicating Republican efforts to win back control of the House, a narrative that quickly took hold in other news outlets. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has flatly refused to entertain the possibility that her majority is at risk, at least publicly.

But when you look at the national polling metrics and the race-by-race picture in the House, there's little evidence of any Democratic comeback. If anything, Republicans are in as strong a position to win back control of the House as they have been this entire election cycle.

The Surprising Democratic Firewall

This is another significant sign the Democrats are in big trouble.

Actions speak louder than words. That's why Democratic control of the
House is looking more tenuous by the day. As the party begins to build its
firewall to prevent a GOP takeover, top strategists are working to salvage seats that few considered Republican pickup opportunities
just a few months ago.

The majority party is slowly starting to open its checkbook,
spending millions of dollars on hard-hitting advertisements and mail campaigns
aimed at undermining Republicans around the country. But the districts in which
it is advertising were once considered safe, indicating that it is Republicans
who have had the most success in putting seats in play.

This week, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee began
running ads in seats held by Reps. Bill Delahunt (Mass.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.),
Phil Hare (Ill.), Bill Foster (Ill.), Leonard Boswell (Iowa), Sanford Bishop
(Ga.), and John Salazar (Colo.). In each district, Democrats won re-election by
significant, if not overwhelming, margins in 2008. Now, Democrats view every one of those seats as endangered.

The silver lining for Obama in the coming election

In a weird way, by losing the Congress, Obama may well see the economy
rebound — a turnabout for which he’ll take credit, despite the failure of his
earlier massive borrowing schemes, which will seem like ancient history by 2012.

Without Democratic congressional majorities, the president will also
have to agree to vast budget cuts, as Republicans try to stave off fiscal

Again, the president can let the Republican Congress take the hit
for the unpopular pruning of entitlements, even as he points to a more
encouraging balance sheet. In a Zen sort of way, Obama will allow Republicans to
restore financial sanity to his administration, even as he blasts them for
cutting programs and hurting the needy.

He goes on to say Obama might be reelected because the Republicans in saving the country will save him as well.

Big government and its consequences

In the past two days we have seen the dangers of big government in small but significant ways.

First in NYC, Mayor Bloomberg has asked for an exemption in the food stamp program to eliminate soft drinks as something individuals can buy using the food stamps. An example here of the Nanny state at it intrusive best. There are reasons to justify his request, but it is just another chipping away of freedom and treating people like adults.

In the meantime the Department of Health and Human Services announced yesterday that 30 corporations (including McDonald’s, Jack in the Box, and a New York teachers’ union) would receive exemptions from a rule that would have required them to raise the minimum annual benefit in their employee insurance plans. Why again this may not seem bad, the fact remains they had to get permission to provide the benefits they already were providing. Now all of these exceptions came to large groups with power. But what happens to the little guy who runs a fast food restaurant that isn’t McDonalds?

The road to hell is paved with government control.

Race Fundamentals Are Telling for Vulnerables

Democrats are pushing back these days with polls and political
scenarios, trying to change the national narrative and force handicappers onto
the defensive.

There is a Democratic mini-surge going on, we are told, as some
campaigns produce poll numbers showing they have been prematurely written off
as, well, dead.

This often happens, though I must acknowledge that it didn’t happen
in 2008, when Republican campaign strategists and consultants were brutally
honest with themselves in acknowledging that their candidates were going to get
slaughtered in the fall elections. How refreshing that was.
This cycle, many Democrats I talk with acknowledge that big defeats are inevitable, but they then go on to argue their candidate is the one who is going to survive, pointing either to a new poll, the presence of a third-party candidate on the ballot or the alleged unelectability of the GOP challenger.

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