A Gallup poll posted on November 11 asked registered voters if they would vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate if the 2010 elections were being held today. In July of this year, 50 percent would have voted Democratic, and 44 percent would have voted Republican. In November, the pendulum had swung to 44 percent Democratic and 48 percent Republican.
While self-identified Republicans and Democrats are, as usual, backing their party of choice, independents have begun a mass exodus from the Democratic camp. According to Gallup, 52 percent of independents would currently favor the Republican candidate in 2010 versus 30 percent favoring the Democratic candidate.
As Gallup put it, “Over the course of the year, independents' preference for the Republican candidate in their districts has grown, from a 1-point advantage in July to the current 22-point gap.” At this rate, independents could soon be favoring Republican candidates by a two-to-one margin.
Gallup analyzed the figures as follows: “The overall results would predict a likely strong Republican showing if the House elections were held today. Though the registered-voter results reported here speak to the preferences of all eligible voters, voter turnout is crucial in determining the final outcome of midterm elections. Gallup will not begin to model likely turnout until much closer to the 2010 elections, but given that Republicans usually have a turnout advantage, if normal turnout patterns prevail in the coming election, prospects for a good Democratic showing appear slim.”
Prospects for the passage of current healthcare reform proposals would appear slim if representatives actually listened to their constituents. For poll results posted November 9, Gallup chose the title “No Clear Mandate From Americans on Healthcare Reform.” This is because, while 41 percent of voters think current healthcare legislation would make America’s healthcare system better, 40 percent think it would make things worse. One percent does not a mandate make.
Even more revealing, when voters were asked if they would advise their representative to vote for or against the current reform measures, 38 percent would say to vote against, with only 29 percent saying to vote for it. If undecided voters are asked to express which way they lean, the margin is closer, but the percent against goes even higher: 48 percent against versus 43 percent for.
The bottom line, as Gallup sees it, is this: “The debate over new healthcare legislation now shifts to the Senate, at a time when the majority of Americans are not convinced that a new law would benefit either the national healthcare system or their own personal healthcare situations in the long term. The overall advice from the average American to his or her member of Congress at this point tilts negative, although about a third of Americans initially say they have no opinion on the legislation.”
The negativity extends to President Obama’s performance in office. The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for November 12 shows that “29% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President,” but “38% Strongly Disapprove.” This gives Obama “a Presidential Approval Index rating of -9.”
Rasmussen also reports the following: “Thirty-nine percent (39%) say the President is doing a good or excellent job handling the economy while 45% give him poor marks. On national security issues, the numbers are 42% good or excellent and 39% poor.” The tracking poll shows that, “Overall, 47% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President's performance. Fifty-two percent (52%) disapprove.” One wonders why Rasmussen did not include those who “at least somewhat” disapprove of the President’s performance; that would have made the 52 percent even higher.
All in all, the trend of public opinion ought to serve as a wake-up call to both Democrats and Republicans. Democrats ought to see the error of their ways and realize that the people they represent don’t want Washington imposing massive changes on the U.S. healthcare system, taking over private sector businesses, or lavishly spending taxpayer money when the national debt is already out of control.
Republicans must realize they need to solidly favor smaller government, less federal intervention, less federal spending, getting the nation out of debt, ending our foreign wars, and closely adhering to the Constitution if they want to win election in 2010 and remain in office for the long term.
The sleeping giant of the American electorate is rousing from its slumber and getting ready to swat small-minded, big-government politicians out of office in 2010 — the day cannot come too soon.
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