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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pew Poll Points to Major Shake-Up in 2010 Midterms

Anyone who doubts the potential for a political earthquake come November needs to read the latest release from Pew.
"Rather than an activist government to deal with the nation's top problems, the public now wants government reformed and growing numbers want its power curtailed. With the exception of greater regulation of major financial institutions, there is less of an appetite for government solutions to the nation's problems -- including more government control over the economy"
The survey finds that trust and confidence in government has fallen to historic lows. A growing number of Republicans and Independents are expressing outright anger toward the federal government and those expressing anger are highly motivated to vote and intend to vote GOP.
"Overall, independent voters slightly favor the GOP candidate in their district by a 41%-to-34% margin, but those who are highly dissatisfied with government favor the Republican candidate by an overwhelming 66%-to-13% margin. "
One especially troubling sign for President Obama is the rising number of Americans who say they want the government to provide fewer, not more services. And although voters welcome the regulation of financial institutions, they reject greater regulation of the economy. That cannot be a welcome finding as Democrats continue to try and generate support for the recently passed health reform package and are preparing to unveil climate legislation.

As a final note, Republican and Republican-leaning Independents express far greater intent to vote come November than do Democrats and Democrat-leaning Independents. Republicans enjoy a 12 point advantage over Democrats in intention to vote and Republican leaning Independents have a 18 point advantage.  If these numbers hold come November, Barack Obama will be facing a Republican House and quite possibly a Republican Senate next year.

As it stands now, 2010 has the potential to be a wave election that will surpass 2006 and 2008 and rival 1958, 1974, and 1994. Even the latest forecast from the Rothenberg Political Report indicates that of the 79 House seats currently in play, 68 are held by Democrats - that number exceeds the total seats gained by Democrats in the 2006 and 2008 elections.