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Independents not buying Dems' core messages

If Dems are going to avert a major bloodbath in November, they need independents to embrace two core Dem messages that seem particularly geared towards those voters: The claim that a vote for the GOP is a vote to return to Bush policies; and the assertion that the GOP has been hijacked by whackjob Tea Party extremists.

But it appears that indy voters are not yet buying either of these messages in the numbers Dems need, according to internals of the new Post poll that were sent my way.

The Post poll asked likely voters: If the Republicans win control of Congress, will they lead the country in a new direction or will they return to Bush policies?

A majority of indys, 52 percent, said the GOP would lead the country in a new direction, versus only 37 percent who said the party would revive Bush policies.

On the second question, the picture is less clear. The poll asked: If you think about most GOP candidates you've been hearing about, would you say their views on most issues are too conservative, too liberal, or just about right?

Thirty nine percent said the candidates' views are too conservative -- tied with the 39 percent who said their views are just about right. But another 14 percent said their views are too liberal -- meaning a majority, 53 percent, does not agree with the core Dem claim about GOP extremism.

One bright spot for Dems: A plurality of independents, 44 percent, agree with the core Dem claim that Dems are better for the middle class. Only 31 percent of indys pick the GOP.

The problem for Dems is that their messaging about Bush and Tea Party extremism seems specifically geared to win over independents -- and it isn't really working. A solid majority of them voted against John McCain in 2008, in what seemed like a referendum on Bush policies. But a mere two years later, a majority of them now doesn't even believe the current GOP represents the party of Bush.

What's more, the constant Dem drumbeat about Tea Party nuttiness and extremism seemed designed partly to sour independent voters on the GOP. But they don't seem to be willing to accept that message in the numbers Dems need.

There are some bright spots in the Post poll for Dems -- the generic ballot matchup is tightening, even more voters overall disapprove of the GOP than Dems, and the new GOP Pledge to America is an unknown or even a negative. But among indys, it seems clear that the core Dem messages aren't gaining the traction Dems need -- which may help explain why indys are going for the GOP candidate by a lopsided 53-33 margin.

By Greg Sargent  | October 5, 2010; 1:14 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Independents, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Next: Explaining Christine O'Donnell's "I'm not a witch" ad

Comments

OT:

More on the economy and JOBS, JOBS, JOBS

* Surprisingly Strong News From the Services Sector *

Better Job Growth Ahead?

The closely watched new-orders component -- a gauge of future demand -- jumped 2.5 points to 54.9. In addition, the employment component popped back above the 50 mark to 50.2 in September from 48.2 in August. That surprising rise could result in higher-than-forecast job growth in the immediate quarters ahead.

[...]

September's unexpectedly pleasant report makes the probability of a double-dip recession even more remote.

http://srph.it/9ZvT8x

But but but...

No more buts.

"higher-than-forecast job growth in the immediate quarters ahead"

The Obama Administration has SAVED our economy from the Republican-induced global meltdown.

One more time for Republicans who selectively ignore any positive news on the economy and job-creation fronts:

"higher-than-forecast JOB GROWTH in the immediate quarters ahead"

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 5, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

WOO HOO!!! November 2nd, here we come!

(You guys do realize that GWB was President way back on January 20, 2009, right? That was almost TWO YEARS ago. When does the buck finally stop with Obama? BTW: more and more voters would rather have GWB as President than Obama ; )

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 5, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Speaking just for this Independent, what I want is leadership. The Democrats were elected to govern; the Democratic Party was given powerful control in Congress coupled with a very popular president. Independents like me expected results, not complaints about intra-party dysfunction. What I don't want is to listen to Democrats whining about what Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln refuse to permit. These people are Democrats! The Democratic Party, due to its reliance on Republicrats and Blue Dogs, is proving itself unable to govern effectively. That's why The Democrats are now unpopular with Independents like me.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 5, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Indies go back and forth in elections and that is why they are Indies.

If Republicans win in 2010 than the Indies will swing back to the Democrats in 2012.

That is just the way it is.

Posted by: maritza1 | October 5, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

OUCH!

* 60 Percent Disapproval Of GOP Leaders *

Republican congressional leaders have sought to frame the upcoming midterms as a referendum on Democrats and their ability to govern, but six in 10 Americans have a negative view of the very GOP chiefs making the argument. That level of GOP unpopularity leaves the Democrats some campaign leverage against their GOP critics with less than a month to go before Election Day.

The latest Society for Human Resource Management/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, conducted with the Pew Research Center, shows that Republican leaders on Capitol Hill drew a spare 24 percent approval rating, down from 33 percent in July, while their disapproval figure had climbed up 7 points from 53 percent, tied for their worst performance in the nine-plus years since Pew has asked about House and Senate barons in both parties.

[...]

Meanwhile, 19 percent of independents approved of the jobs GOP leaders were doing, while 64 percent disapproved. [...] Among independents, 21 percent approved and 60 percent disapproved of Democrats.

Chart:

http://www.nationaljournal.com/congressdaily/po_20101004_7802_image_0.jpg

http://congressionalconnection.nationaljournal.com/2010/10/60-percent-disapproval-of-gop.php

Worst ever performance in 9+ years! Hahaha! So pathetic!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 5, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"Yesterday, Gallup delivered its first 2010 "likely voter" poll and the results floored the political community. In the generic ballot question, which asks which party a voter would favor in a generic House contest, Gallup gave the GOP a 46% to 42% edge. But then Gallup applied two versions of its "likely voter" turnout model. In its "high turnout model," Republicans led Democrats by 53% to 40%. In its "low turnout model," the GOP edge was a stunning 56% to 38%. That kind of margin in favor of Republicans has never been seen in Gallup surveys."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703843804575534062655370740.html

Democrats should give some serious thought to why they are having such problems and not dismiss unhappy voters as whiners.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 5, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Democratic message

The American People are not stupid - they know perfectly well that freshmen Congressmen have little influence -

The democrats are talking out of both sides of their mouth - at one point they are calling the Tea Party extremist - and at the other side they are saying the Tea Party is in control of the Republicans - the American People know the leadership of the Republicans has not shifted that much.

The Tea Party is all over the place - and the attempts to demonize them - just doesn't work.

Bush is long gone - Obama has to take responsibility.

These two ideas really are not true. The Tea Party is not in control of the Republicans AND they aren't that extremist.


________________________________

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Furthermore:

"Disillusioned Hispanics May Skip Midterms, Poll Suggests"

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/06/us/politics/06immig.html

Posted by: wbgonne | October 5, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse


The real issue is that Obama doesn't have a message. Many ideas have been floated, but nothing has worked - it just confirms Obama's incompetence.


Another point: Obama is having a credibility problem - he comes out in 2008 with little national record stating that he will be POST-PARTISAN AND POST-RACIAL.

Obama can't turn around and go negative after creating that message for himself.

So much of what Obama has done has been counter to his own message - he is like a walkind 30-second-ad against himself.

Obama's Soft-on-Terrorism policies have not worked either. Perhaps it was the moment when Obama was telling jokes at the Washington Hilton and terrorist was putting an SUVBOMB in Times Square.

Woodward's book spells out plainly that Obama LIED during the campaign and set out almost immediately to have a different Afghan policy compared to what Obama said during the campaign.


WHAT? The polls barely moved. WHY? Because everyone already KNEW that Obama was a liar - and Obama went back on his campaign pledges. Woodward's book only CONFIRMED what the American People already knew.


This is an indication of how far Obama has fallen - not any indication of strength of Obama in the public eye.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry but, I wasn't politically active until 2000 and I find that most people who claim that they are, are simply ignornat of basic facts. For instance, do independents think that Bush didn't have a Congress when he was President? Do they think he passed all of his awful policies by himself? The problem seems to be that the Dems haven't labeled the current GOP as the same dolts who passed Bush's policies. Now, that sounds a bit obvious to me as I'm sure it does to manhy of you but, for many who are just plain ignorant, the obvious has to be stated. Boehner, Cantor, McConnell, Coburn and all of the other current kooks in that party were equally responsible for Bush's policies and that needs to be driven home to the uninformed!

Posted by: roxsteady | October 5, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "Democrats should give some serious thought to why they are having such problems and not dismiss unhappy voters as whiners."

Fair enough, but I think some of the problem is over-promising. It would have been very difficult, even with stout majorities, to get much more done than they already have. Perhaps more finesse could have gotten a public option or a repeal of DADT, but to get healthcare, and cap and trade, and immigration reform, all within the first two years?

That's almost impossible. I think a huge chunk of the problem is an unemployment rate above 10%. If you're sitting in the drivers seat with the economy is floundering, you're likely to get ejected. If the economy isn't any better by the next time elections are held, those folks will get ejected, too.

Ironically, I think it could be worse for Democrats. I think Reid's seat, and Biden's seat, would have been sure things for the Republicans, if not for the Tea Party folks (who I am not criticizing in this regards; it is what it is).

They should be thanking the Tea Parties. If more of the Republicans had been better vetted (the benefit of rising up through the political machine), the Democrats would be (for sure) losing Nevada (still likely, to show how badly they messed it up there) and Delaware and Alaska (still very likely to lose) and several congressional seats they may now be able to hold on to.

BTW, what looks like it will happen over the next quarter is probably not compelling to independent and disillusioned voters. As others have observed, often upticks in economic indicators are not followed with a similar uptick in jobs. Thus, the "jobless recovery", as this current economic period has sometimes been dubbed.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Ever see a dog actually catch the car it's chasing? You most likely will on November 2. Maybe the Republicans can just say no to their own policies this time. Hell, if it works in 2010, maybe it'll work in 2012.

Posted by: klautsack | October 5, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Jake

Everyone was treating Bush like a lame duck back in 2006 when the democrats took control of Congress.

In fact, he fired Rumsfeld - and then decided on the Surge - and that was abou the last major thing Bush did - FOUR YEARS AGO.

Everyone's attention was definitely off of Bush when the primaries started in early 2008 - which is almost 3 years ago.

____________________


Anyway - Obama is trying TWO DIFFERENT MISCHARACTERIZATIONS - one is the Republicans have been taken over by extremists - and the other is the Republicans are going back to Bush.


WHICH is it?


The American People are not stupid. Obama and the democrats can't go around for years saying Bush Lied - and then come off and start lying themselves.

REALLY? Is that what they are doing?


REALLY

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh good grief, the Independent thing again! Can't people accept the fact that most of those "Indy's" that are polled are Tea Party people? You ask any self respecting Tea Party participant which party they belong to and they will quickly tell you Independent. However, they vote Rep. People take these silly poll results way to seriously.

Posted by: clintt5 | October 5, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I give up! I've skimmed a few if the stupid comments here blaming Obama for a Congress elected by many of the same idiots on this thread. Remember, Obama is no longer a Senator so he doesn't get a vote anymore. He's now the Executive Branch, not the Legislative Branch. If you want to know how the economy is doing since he came into office take a look at this graph. While the jobs aren't coming back fast enough, they are coming back. And this is something you can't deny no matter how ignorant you clearly are!
Oh, and one more thing. Since many of you are poll driven you should probably take a look at the one that says that the teabaggers agree with GOP policies by a whopping 89 percent. As Markos Moulitsas of the daily kos has stated repeatedly, teabaggers are just embarrassed Republicans who are trying to wash the stink of Bush off of themselves. Talk about stating the obvious!
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/07/01/boehner-stimulus-one-job/

Posted by: roxsteady | October 5, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Rand Paul says Medicaid has created 'intergenerational welfare

http://www.kentucky.com/2010/10/05/1464618/rand-paul-says-medicaid-has-created.html

"FRANKFORT — Republican U.S. Senate nominee Rand Paul said Medicaid's lenient eligibility standards have led to "intergenerational welfare" in a discussion Monday with three members of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

Paul later campaigned in Lexington with his GOP opponent in the spring, Secretary of State Trey Grayson, and asked why his Democratic rival, Jack Conway, does not enjoy strong backing from his primary election conquest, Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo.

Conway's campaign responded by saying Mongiardo will appear with Conway Saturday night at a Democratic dinner in Louisville.

With less than a month to go in the U.S. Senate race before the Nov. 2 general election, Paul was interviewed on five issues by three chamber leaders.

On major changes in government, Paul said the country needs a balanced budget amendment and must better control spending on federal entitlement programs.

He focused on the high costs of Medicaid, a federal-state health-insurance program that covers about 800,000 poor and disabled Kentuckians and costs nearly $6 billion.

"When we have a government program to help those who are in need or who have unfortunate problems, let's help those truly in need," Paul said.

He contended that lenient eligibility standards have led to "intergenerational welfare."

Conway's campaign press secretary, John Collins, said Paul's comments were "troubling and show how far out of touch he is with life in Kentucky."

Sheila Schuster, who works with organizations that advocate for disabled Kentuckians, said the state does not have the most liberal eligibility standards for Medicaid and disputed that it has become a welfare system.

"It's a system of taking care of people with serious needs," she said, noting that she is not endorsing any candidate in the Senate race. "

Posted by: Liam-still | October 5, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Wbgonne,

Re: Latino Vote

If you read the Pew report, the segment that indicates the Latino population's intent to vote, there is the following footnote to keep in mind:

"""In recent midterm elections, Latinos have voted at lower rates than white non-Hispanics and black non-Hispanics. In 2006, one-third (32%) of Latino eligible voters (ages 18 or older and a U.S. citizen) said they voted. In comparison, more than half of white non-Hispanic eligible voters and more than four-in-ten (41%) black non-Hispanic voters said they voted"""

Also, in order of priority, Latinos ranked immigration as priority #5, below education, jobs, health care and the federal budget deficit. So I'm not sure if your theory that they are staying home because of Democratic inaction on comprehensive immigration reform is accurate. Here is the chart of their priorities:

http://pewresearch.org/assets/publications/1752-4.png

All that info was here:

http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1752/poll-latinos-and-the-2010-midterm-elections-support-democrats-weak-voter-motivation

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 5, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I suppose that Obama is so used to practicing deceptions and lies - that is what he has been looking to do this time too.

It's not going to work - the American People are watching.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Kevin:

Of course, the bad economy hurts the party in power. But FDR's Democrats made great gains in his first mid-terms and the economy then was far worse than now. I attribute that to the vigorous measures the FDR Dems enacted immediately upon taking power. The American people showed some patience because they saw things happening. The contrast with today is revealing: the Obama Democrats have done little but squabble among themselves. Almost by definition, Independents are not interested in intra-party splits; when Independents vote for the Democratic Party they expect the Democratic Party will do what they say they would do. Obama and the Dems lost Independents when Health Care dragged on and on and showed the seamy side of the Democratic Party with Republicrat dirty deals, etc. Worse, the final HCR result was weak and everyone knew it; this was also due to the Republicrats. Democrats are in denial and think that complaining about Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu provides a valid excuse but non-Dempocrats -- Independents -- find that ridiculous.

Could Dems have regained the trust of Independents after the health care fiasco? Maybe, but they haven't that's for sure. And now Democrats blame their unhappy customer base; a curious marketing approach to say the least.

I don't mean to beat a dead horse but I see no sign that Democrats recognize their problems. And that means they are almost certain to repeat them.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 5, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Obama's Message


Obama has a credibility problem -

On the terrorism policies there is the starkest difference between Obama's words and actions.

Perhaps that is only because we know what Obama has been doing - there have been leaks on that issue.


Obama is stuck - he is stuck with his own actions - which he KNOWS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DO NOT WANT.


That is not leadership - it is jammming one's own agenda down the throats of America.


Then - Obama says - If you dont like it, you're a racist.


That just about sums it up - and the democrats ARE WONDERING WHAT OBAMA'S MESSAGE IS.

_______________________

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"So I'm not sure if your theory that they are staying home because of Democratic inaction on comprehensive immigration reform is accurate."

Ethan:

I was speaking mainly about Independents being un-motivated. The NYTimes piece about Hispanics just added a twist. But the basic point applies there too. Democrats seem unable to grasp that voters are customers. Dems treat disaffected voters as enemies.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 5, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

The MOST LIBERAL STATE in the nation rejected Obama's health care plan - when they elected Scott Brown.

Obama's terrorism policies were also an issue in that election - with the Detroit plane incident and the confusion over Obama's soft-on-terrorism policies that week.

It was clear that vacations were more important to Obama's crew than terrorism.

That started the slide.

__________________________________

That incident on Capitol Hill the health care weekend - Americans were there to debate the health care issue.

The democrats in Congress came out looking to turn it into a Civil Rights march - with Civil Rights symbolism.

That was a joke - that was a DISRESPECT TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

The democrats claimed there were racial slurs - but with HUNDREDS OF CAMERAS AND MICROPHONES, NONE WERE CAUGHT ON TAPE

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"A majority of indys, 52 percent, said the GOP would lead the country in a new direction, versus only 37 percent who said the party would revive Bush policies." If people think that the republican party, if it wins big in November, is going to change direction and do something new (or different from the years 2001-2009), then this fits the classic definition of insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Posted by: biohodge | October 5, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

"A majority of indys, 52 percent, said the GOP would lead the country in a new direction, versus only 37 percent who said the party would revive Bush policies." If people think that the republican party, if it wins big in November, is going to change direction and do something new (or different from the years 2001-2009), then this fits the classic definition of insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Posted by: biohodge | October 5, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Obama's Message


The situation is extremely clear


Obama came in with his Far Left agenda and decided to push it through - and Obama's message is IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, YOU ARE A RACIST.

That is Obama's problem - THAT is Obama's message -

I think so many people have heard democrats around the nation call people racist when the situation did not call for that kind of attack - Obama and the democrats have sunk themselves -

And there really is nothing that Obama can say to help himself now.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Greg, there's another name for 2010-style independents: REPUBLICANS. Why would you think these are the same people who voted for Obama in 2008? They are people who vote 'person, not party' (idiots) and those who are ashamed to identify by name with the party of Bush, Iraq and financial disaster.

Posted by: Tangerine3 | October 5, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Wb, fair enough. But Indies are a strange brew. From what I've read, they are more inclined to vote for candidates who support election reform and a partisan mix of control than they are any particular policy issue. As such, there is likely very little the Democrats could have done that would have brought them out to vote for Dems in the numbers they did in 2008.

I think it's a fallacy to suggest that the way the Dems have treated their supporters is the cause of their problems at the moment. Underlying the substantive issues and performance of Democrats is this fickle bunch of Indies who defy the usual issue-based analysis. And that is why I think that Dems should have taken stock of their accomplishments and things on the agenda still left to be done, but then made electoral reform proposals and changing the way Washington works a real focus of the campaign season.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 5, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Here is the part that Ethan leaves out: "That surprising rise could result in . . . "

Oh, there is some hard news! Happy Days are Here Again!

Makes this ironic to say the least:

"One more time for Republicans who selectively ignore any positive news on the economy and job-creation fronts:

"higher-than-forecast JOB GROWTH in the immediate quarters ahead""

You were saying, "selective"?


Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Kevin, 

I get your thoughts on DE, and to a certain extent NV, but I don't get it about AK.  Miller's credentials seem impeccable, and considering how "red" AK is, why not push farther right, with a highly qualified candidate?

I thought bouncing Bennett in UT was a good idea, considering the state and sent a nice "no one is safe" message to the GOP Senate leadership. It Murkowski causing a headache, but coming from Delay's old district, and seeing how difficult write in campaigns are, she's doomed. (Sekula-Gibbs won special election [her name was on the ballot] and lost general election because you had to write her in. She lost general by over 20k IIRC).

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | October 5, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Ethan:

Fair points. I agree that Independents are variable. Independents went strong for Obama and the Dems because they actually wanted serious change after the Bush Dark Age. I don't think that happened and Independents are disappointed.

In this, I think you are underestimating the corrosive effect of the Blue Dogs on the Democratic Party. Remember that almost by definition Independents are not interested in partisan in-fights. Independents vote for the Party they choose and expect the Party to do what it says it will with some measure of competence. I honestly think that many people who voted Dem in 2008 are extremely disappointed at how feckless the Dems have been since taking power. Saying over and again that Dems can't do this or that because the Blue Dogs won't let them just falls on deaf ears. As far as Independents are concerned the Democratic Party was put in power. If the Democratic Party can't govern effectively because it is riven with internal dissent that is the Democrats' fault and won't be accepted as an valid explanation by non-Democrat voters. If Dems don't recognize this error they are doomed to repeat it.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 5, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

The Nation came to its conclusion months ago


Obama came in with his Far Left agenda and decided to push it through - and Obama's message is IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, YOU ARE A RACIST.


That is Obama's problem - THAT is Obama's message -

So many people have heard the democrats talk that way - the discussion just ENDED right there - and the discussion was ENDED BY OBAMA AND THE DEMOCRATS.


.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Well, how they can think the Repubs have broken with Bush is a mystery. They're promoting all of Bush's policies.

Where is the controversy? They want the Bush policies back in place - period.

Posted by: ANDYO1 | October 5, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Andy

Bush was never really known for his economic policies - besides the tax cuts.


The whole idea of bringing Bush back in as a rallying cry for the democrats is ridiculous.


The issue is Obama - Obama is in office right now - and the American People want him out of office.


After that happens, then you can talk about Bush.

The truth is when the nation was in crisis, and the country needed Obama to concentrate on the economy, Obama said he had other things to do......

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

All, comedy gold: Read O'Donnell's statement explaining the "I'm not a witch" ad:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/explaining_christine_odonnells.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 5, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Here is what QB scoffed at:

"That surprising rise could result in higher-than-forecast job growth in the immediate quarters ahead."

First, the full sentence doesn't change a single element about the positive news. It just means that those surveyed did not expect that the conditions had improved so dramatically.

Second, I don't know how you can be a proponent of the free market and yet belittle the better-than-expected news from the ISM about the service sector.

It is a strong signal that the economy is turning around thanks entirely to the Democratic Party's stewardship of the economy and despite the Republican Party's negligence and reckless fiscal irresponsibility.

In sum, the only way you can act like QB is if you are as completely delusional as he.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 5, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

How can anyone disagree that the GOP will pursue identical policies as those pursued under President Bush when their "Pledge" specifically itemizes exactly this fact and John Boehner even said it when they unveiled the pledge?

Posted by: pragmaticstill | October 5, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

WB: "Saying over and again that Dems can't do this or that because the Blue Dogs won't let them just falls on deaf ears."

Agreed 100%

"As far as Independents are concerned the Democratic Party was put in power. If the Democratic Party can't govern effectively because it is riven with internal dissent that is the Democrats' fault and won't be accepted as an valid explanation by non-Democrat voters."

I agree with that as well. I just don't think that internal dissent is what caused the lack of governance over the last two years. It is an abuse of the Senate rules by Republicans which forced Dems to pander to their conservative branch, thus giving the appearance that infighting caused instability.

If one or two moderate GOPers in the Senate signed on to vote with Dems on cloture to get past the filibuster abuse (forget about even voting for the bills) then this story would be moot and the Dems would have more, and better, accomplishments.

I'm not just saying this stuff to explain away the internal disputes within the Dem party, I just think that "appeasing" the "far"-Left would not have changed any of these equations whatsoever. It might have moved the needle a tiny tiny bit on the overall generic match-up and maybe perceptibly helped wrt the enthusiasm gap. But again, you lose those Indies and take into consideration the fact that midterms draw a low turnout and "appeasing" the "far"-Left really doesn't matter in the end. Imho.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 5, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

@Troll: "I get your thoughts on DE, and to a certain extent NV, but I don't get it about AK. Miller's credentials seem impeccable, and considering how 'red' AK is, why not push farther right, with a highly qualified candidate?"

Fair enough. I'll defer to your reasoning on AK; I think you're probably right. While I don't know that bouncing Bennet was a good idea, in the end, I'm all for mixing it up. I'm a subscriber to Buckley's maxim that he'd prefer to be governed by the first 500 names in the Boston phone directory than by the faculty of Harvard. With the caveat that I'd prefer that a new phone directory be chosen at random, for the selection, every 2 or 4 years. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Obama already chose his message:


Obama has his far left wing agenda - he is going to jam it through and if you don't like you are a racist.


THAT is Obama's message.

.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 5, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "Of course, the bad economy hurts the party in power. But FDR's Democrats made great gains in his first mid-terms and the economy then was far worse than now. I attribute that to the vigorous measures the FDR Dems enacted immediately upon taking power."

No doubt. Certainly, it may have seemed at the time they were getting more done. However, it's also true that the electorate has changed somewhat--I'm not sure they weren't a little bit more patient at the time. Still, FDR and his admin clearly attempted to deliver on what they promised, early and often, which I think it a big part of it. I believe the Obama administration may have somewhat over promised what they could realistically deliver, which could have been avoided by not over-inflating expectations.

Still, I think 2 years in not a lot of time to expect an administration to advance a significantly progressive agenda, especially in this country. While I don't object, per se, for the folks who are disappointed because Obama hasn't gotten more progressive stuff one, sitting it out seems like shooting themselves in the foot. For independents who are really disappointed that Obama didn't go far enough left for them, there is no advantage that I can see (except in hoping that the tea party folks really embarrass themselves in office) in not trying to keep the Democrats in power.

If the problem was not enough progressive was getting done, there should have been more Democratic primary challenges. As it is, returning Republicans to power is not going to do anything to advance a progressive agenda.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"I just don't think that internal dissent is what caused the lack of governance over the last two years. It is an abuse of the Senate rules by Republicans which forced Dems to pander to their conservative branch, thus giving the appearance that infighting caused instability. If one or two moderate GOPers in the Senate signed on to vote with Dems on cloture to get past the filibuster abuse (forget about even voting for the bills) then this story would be moot and the Dems would have more, and better, accomplishments."

No question about that. The problem is that the Dems have been unable to make the GOP suffer for its obstructionism largely, I'd say, a result of the Dems internal divisions. Republicrats piss on the inside of the tent and make the Dems unable to mount a cohesive, coherent attack on the GOP.

"I just think that "appeasing" the "far"-Left would not have changed any of these equations whatsoever."

I fundamentally disagree with your premise here. It wasn't a matter of failing to "appease the Left" it was a matter of not enacting smart effective legislation. It just so happened that what the Far Left wanted was, in many cases, exactly what the majority of Americans wanted. But the Dems could not deliver b/c the Republicrats made it their mission to destroy anything the Far Left might want, even though most Americans wanted just what the Far Left wanted. Dems got duped into allowing the GOP to define mainstream positions like the public option as being Far Left. Then the Republicrats stuck it to the Far Left and, in doing so, sabotaged the entire party.

That's how I see things.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 5, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

" While I don't object, per se, for the folks who are disappointed because Obama hasn't gotten more progressive stuff one, sitting it out seems like shooting themselves in the foot. For independents who are really disappointed that Obama didn't go far enough left for them, there is no advantage that I can see (except in hoping that the tea party folks really embarrass themselves in office) in not trying to keep the Democrats in power."

Kevin:

The question isn't how people should act, it is why they are acting as they are. I'm positing an explanation for Independents' dissatisfaction. If I am correct merely saying they are wrong or stupid -- like the Dems have been doing -- is counterproductive to the goal of securing votes.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 5, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

clintt5: "Oh good grief, the Independent thing again! Can't people accept the fact that most of those "Indy's" that are polled are Tea Party people?"

This can't be emphasized enough. "Independent" does not mean "moderate." As some "Tea Party" people have left the Republican Party, they describe themselves as "independent." So some of Obama's drop in support among "independents" is not due entirely to losing the center--though that may be a factor--but to the addition of conservative factions to those who do not identify with either major party.

If we're going to examine to what extent Obama is losing among moderates, then that's how the question has to be asked, not just by looking at so-called "independents" whose constituency may have changed substantially over the past few years.

Posted by: dasimon | October 5, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm a registered Independent voter. Obama lost me when he began governing from the far left instead of governing from the center. Obamacare will cost billions--expect a payroll tax by 2020 if this is not repealed. The real damage is done to state budgets--especially states that have generous Medicid programs (Obamacare stipulates that states cannot change eligibility requirements). In the state of New York, one in four people are on Medicaid. Here in Arizona, it's one in five.

I will be voting Republican and I live in a swing district. Obamacare cost my vote--as it did with many independents. And yes, we realize that the Republicans are the party of NO. That's why Ia m voting Republican--to prevent any more legislative abomninations like Obamacare.

Posted by: pepperjade | October 5, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

We need a split government in DC. Desperately.

Bill Clinton became a good president only after he was partnered with a Republican House of Representatives.

George Bush's presidency was cursed by a Congress controlled by his own party for the first six years of his presidency.

President Obama has endured the same curse for the last two years. We don't yet know whether he will be a great president. I hope he will become one. But if he continues to be partnered with a spendthrift Congress controlled by his own party, odds are his too will be a disappointing presidency.

Posted by: katdancer | October 5, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

@wbgonne: "The question isn't how people should act, it is why they are acting as they are. I'm positing an explanation for Independents' dissatisfaction. If I am correct merely saying they are wrong or stupid -- like the Dems have been doing -- is counterproductive to the goal of securing votes."

Ah! Understood, and agreed.

But I do understand the temptation, because I expect the folks in the Whitehouse are working pretty hard to get stuff done, and it's never good enough . . . it gets frustrating for everybody.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 5, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats don't get it. The Mainstream Media doesn't get it. The Indies ARE the Tea party.

Posted by: JAH3 | October 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

What I find galling is the blatant cowardice of the Dem pols running all over the nation. Why? Because they will not put D beside their Party affiliation. Oh my, NO,they are all ....Indept. or conservative...but surely not a follower of San Fran Nan,Prince Harry, or Bama. Nope. Just good pols who never voted for ...Care,Stimulus, cap and trade, no border protection, kow towing to Iran and Mexico plus N.Korea: a real trifecta of horror. Nope. These pols are invisible and..phonies like the Blue Dogs who always voted for Nan, Harry and Bama's socialist agenda. No wonder Indies, Pubs, Teas, Libertarians and common sense Reagan Dems will not vote for these cowards. And of course, the media covers for the Dems too!

Posted by: phillyfanatic | October 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

The Dems have given up on independents who now prefer Republicans by about a 15% margin. Instead they're going after their shrunken base that still laps up the anti-Bush, anti-tea party rhetoric. That tactic may save a few seats in blue states.

The Gallup numbers from yesterday indicate that an entire generation of Dem pols is about to be wiped out. Deservedly so.

Posted by: eoniii | October 5, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

"expect the folks in the Whitehouse are working pretty hard to get stuff done, and it's never good enough . . . it gets frustrating for everybody"

If that's the case then the people in the White House should take their own advice: stop whining and grow up.

Posted by: wbgonne | October 5, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Democrats are going to lose this November, because the averge American voter is really angry.

Angry they can't get cheap credit anymore.

Angry they have to pay off those debts they ran up improvidently during the last decade.

Angry they have to pay more taxes (even though Democrats warned them they should not have been cut to begin with.)

Angry that health care is costing more (but not angry enought stop eating like a bunch of pigs and gaining all kinds of weight!!!)

So, Republicans will get the House. Maybe even the Senate, too.

And of course, things will just get worse.
A LOT worse.

And the average American will then be even ANGRIER!

What a bunch of losers!

Posted by: trenda | October 5, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Ethan2010 points out the Democrats big problem. He was crowing about an increase in job formation ahead. That's a prediction and most people are no in a mood to believe good news predictions with the economy like it is.

Here's what the Democrats can't run on.

Obama saved us from another great depression. I'm sure many of his supporters believe that, but it falls into the category "it could be worse." No way to prove that one way or another.

The stimulus saved or created 3.5 million jobs. Again, the cold hard facts are we've lost 2.5 million jobs since Obama's been in office.

It's Bush's fault that we are deficit spending. Congress controls that and in the 12 years the Republicans were in charge the Republicans overspent by 3.8 Trillion dollars. However, in the 44 months the Democrats have been in control they deficit spent by 4.6 trillion dollars.

The Democrats didn't pass a budget this year, didn't vote on extending the Bush tax decreases, and seem only to have helped Wall Street, big unions, and State (mainly democrat controlled) governments.

Rather than this amazing post racial administration you seem to have a collection of far left amateurs that don't know how to do much of anything.

Posted by: goodspkr | October 5, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Actually trenda, it is the Democrats who will shortly be a bunch of losers.

I believe Obama will be remembered as the Septimus Severus for the Democrat Party. He was the Roman emperor who marched against the Parthian empire and won big. The problem was that the Parthian were weak and when he showed this, the Persians rose up and took over (TEA Party). They were strong and over the next 50 years they devasted the Roman Empire even capturing one of the Emperors who ended his day as a slave.

Obama simply went too far. Perhaps he should blame Rohm for "Never letting a crisis go to waste."

Posted by: goodspkr | October 5, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

"First, the full sentence doesn't change a single element about the positive news. It just means that those surveyed did not expect that the conditions had improved so dramatically."

Only the "positive news" is what you left out. You twice misportrayed the speculative, possible future improvement as the good news.

"Second, I don't know how you can be a proponent of the free market and yet belittle the better-than-expected news from the ISM about the service sector."

I didn't. I belittled your distortion of what the news was.

"It is a strong signal that the economy is turning around"

Every bit of positive news is a signal of boom times to you. Unfortunately, you have no credibility as an economist.

"thanks entirely to the Democratic Party's stewardship of the economy and despite the Republican Party's negligence and reckless fiscal irresponsibility."

You're absurd.

"In sum, the only way you can act like QB is if you are as completely delusional as he"

One of us can tell the difference between a piece of good news and speculation about the future, the other can't. I'd say that's a decent test of who is delusional.

Posted by: quarterback1 | October 5, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

It's sickening to think that the fate of the US is in the hands of morons who have no idea what the hell is going on but what's spoon fed them on the nightly news - propaganda.

You run into these folks at stop signs where they were there first and you drive up and wait for them to move and they wave you through - morons.

God help us...

Posted by: PerryM1 | October 5, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

NO MORE PRESS--ONE--FOR--ENGLISH

As a moderate Conservative, a Tea Party member, Senior Citizen and not the religious right--just a Christian and a Independent voter, I want to see a government that is not swollen, a government that is not violating my privacy or eating up my limited resources to pay for illegal aliens. As with Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, State of California Barbara Boxer has a fervent interest in forcing through yet another Amnesty.


America cannot afford any Democrats or Republicans who think we can keep on giving amnesty, to just about anybody? This will eventually lead to overpopulation, water shortages, energy disruption and loss of environment. Even now water is in short supply in California and other border states. We are bringing in endlessly a cornucopia of profit for businesses that employ illegal nationals, without any obligation to paying for their health care, children's schooling and welfare. While Americans are still writhing from the bank bailouts, with the financially institutions placing rigid restrictions on offering loans or mortgages, the Democrats are underhandedly enacting amnesty laws, instead of enforcing the 1986. You still have time to bombard your Senators or Congressman 202-224-3121 before November and warn both parties that you intend to vote-out any pro-amnesty lawmakers.

Posted by: infinity555 | October 5, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

"One of us can tell the difference between a piece of good news and speculation about the future, the other can't. I'd say that's a decent test of who is delusional."

Um, okayyyy!

QB, from the article:

"ISM services index readings above 50 signal an expansion; below 50, a contraction."

If the employment component goes from below 50 (signaling a contraction) to ABOVE 50 (signaling an expansion) then that IS good news.

Well, it's good news for everyone in America except fools like you who root for America to fail under Democrats because you are such a mindless ideologue.

Here is the full relevant paragraph:

"The closely watched new-orders component -- a gauge of future demand -- jumped 2.5 points to 54.9. In addition, the employment component popped back above the 50 mark to 50.2 in September from 48.2 in August. That surprising rise could result in higher-than-forecast job growth in the immediate quarters ahead."

http://srph.it/9ZvT8x

Again, that would only not be good news to a fool like you who roots against the American economy for your own asinine partisan political reasons.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 5, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

I might give the Dems another chance if I had any confidence in their ability to govern. They've had the WH and both houses. For a while they had a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Have they done anything to turn the economy around? No, they spent their time messing it up even further, and then they complain about Republican obstructionism.

The Democrats should campaign on the slogan: "We can't do anything unless we own all the seats; until then, it's the Republicans' fault."

Posted by: sungkim | October 5, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

STILL WAITING for Obama and the Dims, "Pivo to jobs", they opnly care about their voter base, UNIONS and minorities.
No amount of negative advertising by the Dims will change what BO and the Dims have destroyed in the last 2 years. The Troika of BO, Pelosi and Reid are the worst in history! Change is needed badly.

Posted by: morphy | October 5, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

STILL WAITING for Obama and the Dims, "Pivot to jobs", they only care about their voter base, UNIONS and minorities.
No amount of negative advertising by the Dims will change what BO and the Dims have destroyed in the last 2 years. The Troika of BO, Pelosi and Reid are the worst in history! Change is needed badly.

Posted by: morphy | October 5, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

The problems with the Dems' message?

1) George Bush is nowhere to be found, and in fact, many Republicans and conservatives dislike Bush's progressive domestic policies.

2) It's the anti-American, anti-capitalist leftists in the Obama administration and in the Congress who are the "whackjobs." Tea party supporters are not extremists for OPPOSING the Democrats' extremist policies. Furthermore, the Tea Party is more than a reaction to elitist dimwits vainly trashing the country for personal political gain, it's a reassertion of the founding principles of individual freedom, economic opportunity and prosperity, and non-totalitarian (i.e. limited) government.

If you don't understand what I am writing about, count yourself among the clueless who are going to get a wake up call beginning Novemeber 2nd.

Posted by: kylenbecker | October 5, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Tea Party members generally dislike Bush for the same reason that they dislike Obama (only Obama has been far worse in terms of government spending, overreach, etc.). We voted the Republicans out because they were not living up to their conservative platform. The Tea Party movement wants politicians to do what they thought George W Bush should have done. Anyone who thinks the Tea Party is going to take us back to the policies of George Bush does not understand the Tea Party movement.

Posted by: JohnDavis1 | October 5, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I think the Tea Party movement comprises committed independents and in recent years disenchanted Democrats and Republicans.

If it's the movement's goal to re-balance the electorate by voting as a center block, without the overhead of party process loyalties, it would behove the Tea Party to court Democratic candidates. One wouldn't want it tipping too far right; been there, done that!

The Democratic Party has tipped too far left to sustain itself (or the country) and is in for a severe internal correction. The wise ambitious Democrat political hopeful is likely to see the writing on the wall and look to secure that voting block by moving center.

I've not seen such an election cycle before, and it's encouraging.

Posted by: CanterburyTom | October 5, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

The only people buying the Democrat's message are the ones who are hearing "I get free stuff".

Posted by: JohnDavis1 | October 5, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

"Obama and the democrats can't go around for years saying Bush Lied"

Only if you cannot speak the truth in the USA anymore.

Bush and the Republican Tea Party wrecked this country, and when we send them back into power, they'll wreck it even more

Posted by: HumanSimpleton | October 5, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

You can't call 25% of voting Americans racists or Nazis and then expect them to enthusiastically vote for your party. You had the fun of looking down your noses at a large group of people, and now you are seen as out-of-touch elites. I hope you enjoyed those fun days, cause now it's our turn.

Posted by: ImHappynBP | October 5, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

You can't call 25% of voting Americans racists or Nazis and then expect them to enthusiastically vote for your party. You had the fun of looking down your noses at a large group of people, and now you are seen as out-of-touch elites. I hope you enjoyed those fun days, cause now it's our turn.

Posted by: ImHappynBP | October 5, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Could it be independents know what side their bread is buttered on -- and that side is a powerful America? And the Tea Party is a part of the nation's strength? Regardless of whether I agree with the Tea Party, I don't like the govt slandering American citizens. I've never seen any administration attack American citizens like Team Obama. And this from the liar who gave us his 'There are no red states' speech full of crap. Play hardball with the GOP, fine! But when Dems ask me to hate my fellow Americans, I say "You Stink!"

Posted by: lamachina | October 5, 2010 11:29 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats have failed so immensely and so miserably that all they have to fall back on is the blame game. 9.6% UNEMPLOYMENT! Jobs were clearly never their priority. They placed growing the Government and extreme left wing programs above the needs of the American people. Trillions upon trillion in corrupt wasted spending on the special interests that accomplished nothing! We have to restore balance to our Government in Nov by firing every Democrat on the ballot, or we may never recover!!!

Posted by: valwayne | October 5, 2010 11:58 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats have failed so immensely and so miserably that all they have to fall back on is the blame game. 9.6% UNEMPLOYMENT! Jobs were clearly never their priority. They placed growing the Government and extreme left wing programs above the needs of the American people. Trillions upon trillion in corrupt wasted spending on the special interests that accomplished nothing! We have to restore balance to our Government in Nov by firing every Democrat on the ballot, or we may never recover!!!

Posted by: valwayne | October 5, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

This idea that Obama and the Democrats have been enacting some left-wing agenda and need to move to the center is absurd. If they were so left-wing, liberals would not be so frustrated.

The health care bill does the bare minimum necessary to ensure that people don't die because they can't get insurance and families don't go bankrupt because someone got sick. No one else has figured out a way to achieve these goals without a mandate and a system where the well subsidize the ill and the wealthy subsidize the less wealthy. Now if you don't like those provisions, fine; but then realize that we, the wealthiest nation in the world will live in a society where people die because they can't get insurance and families go bankrupt because someone got sick. As for being left-wing, note that single-payer wasn't even on the table, and the public option got dropped.

Did the government intervene in the financial industry? Yes, and it saved capitalism. Most of the banks are now free of their TARP restrictions, and the financial regulations are less than many liberals advocated, and may be the bare minimum necessary to prevent a repeat of the current fiscal collapse.

The government intervened in the auto industry--and will be selling its stake soon to get out of it.

As for the stimulus, over a third was tax cuts (conservatives should have liked that), a third was direct aid to the states, and only the rest was direct spending. And even some conservative economists supported this approach.

The administration wants taxes on income over $250,000 to go up--to where they were under Clinton. Were we left-wing then?

Time and time again, Obama and Democrats have tried to compromise without getting any Republican votes. Indeed, the health care plan is close to what Republicans proposed as an alternative to Clinton's plan in the 90s. Cap and trade was supported by McCain-Palin during their presidential campaign.

And Democrats tried to do more on jobs, but Mitch McConnell insists on letting bills gather dust on his desk out of false concern about the deficit (not that he has any trouble adding $4 trillion to it by extending all the Bush tax cuts).

So where is this radical agenda? As others have pointed out, if the agenda were the problem, congressional Republicans would have higher approval ratings than Democrats. But they don't. Obama may be losing moderates, but it's because of the economy, not because of some mythical radical agenda.

Posted by: dasimon | October 6, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

There are few simple facts that independents are looking at: in Jan.,2007, Democrats took over majorities in the U.S. House and Senate, constitutionally assuming control of the "nation's purse strings"
Let us recap the accomplishments of their four years of "crony socialism:"
2007 - Energy crisis & $5/gal gas (Congress sits on their collective hands - Harry Reid defines Democrat's energy policy: "Oil is dirty.")
2007-8 - Financial & Mortgage crisis (Congress passes 1 trillion dollar TARP fund & Obama elected President.)
2009 - Unemployment hits double digits (Congress passes 1 trillion dollar "Stimulus" bill which primarily goes back into more government spending - deficit increases 1.5 trillion dollars)
2010 - Unemployment unaffected by "Stimulus" spending stays at or near 10% (Congress passes 2.6 trillion dollar ObamaCare over objections of 2/3's of Americans - deficit increases another 1.5 trillion dollars or double the amount the Democrats assumed in '07)
Poverty rate hits 20% (44 million Americans), bankruptcies at record level & mortgage defaults at historic highs (2.3 million have lost their homes since Dems took power).
Dems fail to pass budget and as a last grand finale, Zoe Loftgren has Steve Colbert – the comedian – “testify” before her committee on “immigration reform” only to be invited to leave when he does what he does – comedy.
If this Congress had not done so much damage to the economy, it would have been considered exactly what it has been - a joke and a bad one at that.

Posted by: backsds | October 6, 2010 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Canterberry, it's had for the Tea Party to solicit Democrat House candidates when their first vote will be for Nancy Pelosi.

Posted by: backsds | October 6, 2010 1:39 AM | Report abuse

The Dems began their 2010 Death March when they passed the "stimulus" bill.

The Dems made sure the Death March was irrevocable when they passed their "healthcare reform" bill.

When they did the first, the independents went from excitement over Obama's presidency to disquiet.

When they did the second, the independents moved from disquiet to outright alarm and lasting anger.

The problem for the Democrats is not their message or their communication. The problem is their policies. The two votes above will define the modern Democratic party for a long time.

Independents are on the warpath. They were disgusted with Bush and punished the Republicans in 2006 and 2008. They bought into Obama's claim to moderation, competence, honesty, and post-partisan governance--and now find themselves defrauded because none of those traits have appeared in the White House since Mr. Obama took the oath.

They are not merely disgusted with the Democrats. They are hopping mad at them. They are chewing nails and marking the days until they can run to the polls and stop the madness.

And they know the madness this time around is purely on the Democratic side.

At this point, the Democrats will be very fortunate not to lose the Senate.

The House was lost months ago.

Posted by: SARileyMan | October 6, 2010 5:20 AM | Report abuse

"Independents not buying Dems' core messages"

Oh we are buying the messages alright. Only, we don't like what we are getting, and had bought in 2008. Actions speak louder than words, sir. It is heartening to see the 'objective media' scrambling to find ways for their doomed troupes to score, though. Hope is a many splendoured bird---only if it is rooted in reality. Awww.

Posted by: SECREV | October 6, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

SARileyMan: "The problem for the Democrats is not their message or their communication. The problem is their policies."

Again, the evidence simply does not bear this out. If the problem was Democratic policies, congressional Republicans would have higher approval ratings than Democrats. They do not.

And poll after poll show Democrats trusted on most major issues more than Republicans--yet some of these people vow to vote Republican anyway.

The problem is the economy. People take out their frustrations on the party they perceive to be in power (most don't know about the Republican "40-seat majority" in the Senate). It's that simple, and the data back it up.

"They bought into Obama's claim to moderation, competence, honesty, and post-partisan governance--and now find themselves defrauded because none of those traits have appeared in the White House since Mr. Obama took the oath."

Obama has been moderate--see my post above, where most of his initiatives have at their core principles formerly embraced by Republicans. I have seen few indications of incompetence or dishonestly. As as for partisanship, it takes the other side to cooperate to make it happen. When the other side refuses to do so, it's not proper to blame the side that tried to reach out to them.

But again, few people are voting on those attributes. Most people are not policy wonks. It's the economy. It's not the Democrats' fault, but they're stuck with it (just as H.W. Bush was in 1992).

"Hope is a many splendoured bird---only if it is rooted in reality."

I agree policies should be grounded in reality. So if Republicans do gain control of Congress, I'd love to see them put their tax cut proposals against their commitment to slash the deficit. Will they conduct a "war on math"?

If people are upset, it's because too many expect something for nothing. When we start taking responsibility for the things we say we want out of government, then we'll have responsible governance. Until then, people will just stay angry at both parties even though the real problem isn't them; its us.

Posted by: dasimon | October 6, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

DNC has continued to ruin the Great Lakes Region.Clinton passed NAFTA and others,Open up the China screw job,passed loop hole for speculation that drives up the cost of oil,natural gas,etc..Never passes Card Check,Bank bailouts,poor stimulus spending,lower wages using legal and illegal immigrants,etc...Helped passed bankruptcy changes could go on all day.And now the funniest of funny,not deporting illegals will give South Western states more representation at a cost to the Mid-West and Great Lakes which they are also losing.And when ever people here get mad they say GOP is worse, well tell me how?They are just as Bad but how are they worst.And what exactly does DNC do for middle class America?

Posted by: faeyth | October 6, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

BTW I am an independent not part of Teabaggers and have only voted GOP once and that is because DNC decided that even though my state Michigan pays for our own elections we shouldn't have a say when they are held.B.S. so I boycotted their ballot and voted for the GOP one.And Hillary Clinton should be President because she actually won overall but Obama backers changed the election by denying some states their seats.And no I haven't forgotten or forgiven.

Posted by: faeyth | October 6, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

faeyth: "And Hillary Clinton should be President because she actually won overall but Obama backers changed the election by denying some states their seats."

Not this again. Clinton was fully supportive of sanctions on states that broke party primary rules until it looked like she'd need their votes to win. http://www.slate.com/id/2188985/ If there aren't penalties for breaking the rules, then there will be chaos. And since voters like faeyth didn't participate because they knew their primaries would be invalid, the results in those states can't be used to measure the will of the voters.

On other matters, card check can't get through the Senate with Republican filibuster, the bank bailouts were under Bush and had bipartisan support (and I think it's a hard argument that we'd be better off without them and let the entire economy collapse), the stimulus was probably the best that could have been done with the current Congress, and manufacturing jobs are going overseas no matter what we do here because, well, other people are willing to work for a lot less. If you think Republicans can't be worse for the working class in the midwest, just try them. At least Democrats are trying to provide health care in a fiscally responsible manner.

Posted by: dasimon | October 6, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

The 'problem' (if there is one) is that independents could care less about any party's messaging or principles or anything else. They pretty much don't believe it makes any difference who is in charge.

Indies disliked Bush, they dislike Obama, they will dislike whomever is elected in 2012. They will always vote for the party out of power.

Posted by: MarcMyWords | October 6, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Four 4() Years! Repeat Four (4) Years!
DEmocrats had the House & Senate.
They spent ALL the money and supported the AIG, Fanny & Freddie!!!!
Bush signed the bills, his bad also.
The dems didn't take over when Obama was elected!
WE Tea Party dumb bunnies know this.

Posted by: jpalm32 | October 6, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

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