Friday, September 24, 2010

For Democrats, No Relief in Sight

Though the Realclearpolitics average of Generic Ballot questions has shown a decided narrowing between Republicans and Democrats a slew of recent stories suggests that the playing field has far from improved for Democrats. Consider these three tidbits from the last 12 hours:

  • The Voter Confidence Index, created by NBC News, is a combination of three questions commonly asked in national polls: the president's job approval rating, the direction of the country, and the generic congressional ballot. A positive VCI is good for the president's party; a negative one is bad. Currently, the VCI shows Obama and the Democratic Party in negative territory, with a -38 VCI average for the month of September. That’s eight points worse than where President Clinton and the Democrats stood in 1994, when Democrats lost 54 seats in the House and eight in the Senate.

  • A new Pew poll finds "For the third national election in a row, independent voters may be poised to vote out the party in power. The Republican Party holds a significant edge in preferences for the upcoming congressional election among likely voters, in large part because political independents now favor Republican candidates by about as large a margin as they backed Barack Obama in 2008 and congressional Democratic candidates four years ago.The survey finds that 50% of likely voters say they will vote for the Republican in their district, while 43% favor the Democratic candidate. The GOP’s advantage comes as a result of their 49% to 36% lead among independent and other non-partisan voters.

  • In a new poll, GOP pollster Glen Bolger finds Republicans leading the generic congressional ballot, 44% to 39%.  "We looked at the sample in the 66 Democratic INCUMBENT districts that Charlie Cook lists as either toss-up or leaning Democratic at the time of the survey. In that key crosstab of Swing Democratic Incumbent Seats, the Republican lead grows to 49%-31% on the generic ballot. That is a very powerful crosstab that says the wave is coming... Regionally, the Republican wins 47%-39% in the South, 47%-35% in the Midwest, and 46%-36% in the West, while trailing 36%-47% in the Northeast. The Midwest is going to be a killing field for Democrats this year — from western PA through to the Plains, Republicans are going to sweep a LOT of Democrats right out of office."
So collectively,  Democrats are in worse shape on the VCI than in 1994, Independents have shifted to the GOP with the same intensity that they shifted to Democrats in 2006 and 2008, and the GOP enjoys a tremendous lead in the 66 most vulnerable Democratic districts - AND, contrary to claims that the GOP is becoming a regional party the Glen Bolger poll finds the GOP leading everywhere except the Northeast.