January 20, 2010

ON NOT UNDERSTANDING YOUR OWN ELECTION:

Dazed Dems rethink entire strategy (Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen, January 20, 2010, Politico)

Ideologues and hard-core partisans dominate the leadership of both parties and the cable TV debates. But it’s the independents who are the deciders in most elections.

This voting bloc has swung decisively against Democrats, starting this past summer. A review of polling in Massachusetts, in other states and nationally shows the same thing: By about a 2-to-1 margin, independents have turned on Democrats.

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that two-thirds of independents would prefer Republicans controlled Congress. The same polls show the voters don’t even like Republicans. A CBS News poll showed only one-third of independents approve of Obama’s handling of the economy — a nearly 20-point drop in less than one year.

In all three big Democratic losses this past year — in New Jersey, Virginia and now Massachusetts — better than 60 percent of independents said they backed Republicans.

It would be a mistake for Republicans and Democrats to chalk this up to the health care bill. Independents consistently tell pollsters they aren’t happy with anything Washington is doing when it comes to the economy and domestic issues.

For the foreseeable future, the wrath of independents will hit Democrats hardest. [...]

The Obama magic has vanished

Think back a year ago and imagine someone saying Obama would throw his support behind Democrats in New Jersey, Virginia and Ted Kennedy's Massachusetts — and lose all of them.

Think back a year ago and imagine someone saying he would celebrate his first anniversary without having gotten health care, financial regulation or energy legislation signed into law. And that less than 50 percent of the public would hold a favorable view of his presidency.


Think back fourteen months ago and imagine that Mr. Obama had convinced voters that if elected he would radically alter health care, financial regulation and energy policy. What percent of the vote would he have gotten? 43%?

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 20, 2010 2:11 PM
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