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Eye On The Polls – Not Good News For Democrats Or Incumbents (Update)

A bunch of interesting polls have emerged today.  One finds Obama at his lowest job performance rating yet.  Of course, as you might expect, Republicans mostly  disapprove of his job performance.  Democrats, on the other hand, generally approve.  But what gets his job approval rating to 44% approval, 47% disapproval in this Marist poll are the independents.  They’re very dissatisfied with his performance – only 29% approve while almost twice that number, 57% disapprove.

Remember it was the independents who put Obama over the top in 2008. Also remember it was they who put Scott Brown over the top in MA and were key in the elections in VA and NJ.

As for Obama’s personal popularity, that too has suffered.

And while GOPers strive to avoid attacking Obama personally, for fear of offending voters who see him in a favorable light personally, even that aura of invincibility is wearing off. Independent voters view Obama negatively, too, by a 39% favorable to 52% unfavorable margin. All registered voters still see Obama favorably by a 50%-44% margin, but that’s down 5 points in just 2 months.

However, there’s more to this than just Obama’s job approval and personal ratings. Also found in this poll is a strong trend toward anti-incumbency:

Meanwhile, members of Congress should brace for a difficult election year. 42% of registered voters said they would back their current member of Congress, while 44% said they would support someone else — a drop of 9 points in support of the incumbent in just 2 months.

Rassmussen has a poll out that begins to flesh out why that trend is building. Three-quarters of the public, according to his latest polling data, express some level of anger at the policies of the federal government. That’s up 4 points from November. It is also why I call the Tea Parties the “tip of the populist iceberg”. There are a whole lot of unhappy voters out there.

So how does it break down? Well, not as Jacob Weisberg and the “ignorant, childish voters who want to live in Candyland” crew would have you believe.

Part of the frustration is likely due to the belief of 60% of voters that neither Republican political leaders nor Democratic political leaders have a good understanding of what is needed today. That finding is identical to the view last September, just after the tumultuous congressional town hall meetings the month before. But only 52% felt this way in November.

And, as time goes by, this trend continues to grow. Note that the leaders of both parties are identified as being clueless by this 60%.

So this week let’s revisit the comparison between the Political Class and the Mainstream (you proles in flyover land) voters. And as we saw last time we checked it out, the PC bunch is totally clueless:

The divide between the Political Class and Mainstream voters, however, is remarkable. Eighty-eight percent (88%) of Mainstream voters are angry, but 84% of the Political Class are not. Those numbers include 57% of Mainstream voters who are Very Angry and 51% of the Political Class who are not angry at all.

But then 68% of Mainstream voters don’t think the leaders of either major political party have a good understanding of what the country needs today. Sixty-one percent (61%) of the Political Class disagree.

By comparison, the majority of Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliateds don’t believe the current political leaders have a good handle on what is needed today.

Older voters and higher-income voters share that belief most strongly.

Thus the Tea Parties and the very negative reaction by the PC to them. They simply don’t get it. Which is why we’re suffering through this spate of leftist pundit tantrums in which they damn the people, democracy, and the opposition for being unwilling to roll over and submit to their sublime enlightenment, ability to know what is good for us and benevolent despotism. We’re seeing laments about how the good old day before the damned internet, talk radio and 24 hour cable let the enlightened elite do as they wish.

Look around you my friends – to this point that’s worked out just wonderfully hasn’t it?

Rasmussen lists a bunch of reaction which pretty much outline what you’re hearing from the most vocal of the Tea Partiers:

Most voters oppose the now-seemingly-derailed health care plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats for months. They continue to have very mixed feelings about the $787-billion economic stimulus plan approved by Congress last February.

Looking back, most voters still don’t approve of the multi-billion-dollar government bailouts of the financial industry and troubled automakers General Motors and Chrysler.

Forty-nine percent (49%) worry the government will try to do too much to help the economy, while 39% fear it won’t do enough.

As the economy continues to stumble along, 59% of voters believe cutting taxes is better than increasing government spending as a job-creation tool, but 72% expect the nation’s elected politicians to increase spending instead.

Eighty-three percent (83%) of Americans say the size of the federal budget deficit is due more to the unwillingness of politicians to cut government spending than to the reluctance of taxpayers to pay more in taxes.

Voters have consistently said for months that they have more confidence in their own economic judgment than that of either the president or Congress.

Charles Krauthammer calls this “The Great Peasant Revolt of 2010″. And in a very real sense it is. What Republicans haven’t yet grasped is this revolt is pretty non-partisan. The reason Republicans seem less threatened by it is because of their fiscally conservative, limited government philosophy. Democrats, on the other hand, suffer more because of their tendency toward fiscal profligacy and government expansion. The problem for Republicans, however, is the country is no longer in a mood to see them give fiscal conservatism and limited government lip service.  If you don’t believe me, take a look at this Iowa poll:

A third of Iowans from across the political spectrum say they support the “tea party” movement, sounding a loud chorus of dissatisfaction with government, according to The Des Moines Register’s new Iowa Poll.

Neither party has a lock on these restless advocates of limited government and fiscal control, according to the poll. However, their conservative leanings appear to give Republicans a greater opportunity than Democrats to make gains at the dawn of a volatile election year.

Is the GOP listening?

It should be clear to both sides that we’re moving into an era of “do what you say or be gone”. The days when incumbents only left office when they assumed room temperature, as did Jack Murtha today, are coming to an end.  What the Tea Parties signal is a much more connected, networked and activist population which has been empowered by the communications technology of today – much to the chagrin of the elitists.

The fun is just beginning. Barack Obama and the Democrats may not realize it, but the era of big government is over.

UPDATE: Gallup also has polling numbers out today. They run different approval ratings for Obama on 9 different issues.

At 36%, Americans give President Barack Obama his lowest job approval rating yet on his handling of the economy. By contrast, the president’s 51% approval rating on handling foreign affairs is up slightly from last month.

As I’ve noted any number of times, the foreign policy’s crisis is yet to come.  2009 was a year of checking out the new president and assessing his strengths and weaknesses.  2010 will be the year that actually tests his foreign policy skills and abilities.

On domestic issues, Obama’s approval rating is in the tank  at 36%.

Most interesting though was the fact that in the list of 9 issues, both foreign and domestic, independents did not once give Obama a majority approval rating, again making the point that indies are not at all happy with his administration.

~McQ

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14 Responses to Eye On The Polls – Not Good News For Democrats Or Incumbents (Update)

  • Fighting Jack Murtha gone, I’ll be polite and leave it at that.
     
    The hypocrisy of the elite looking down their noses on both the former ‘elite’ who founded the country, and the common man is striking.  If we trace their lament to it’s roots, it has to be that they are writing their pieces for other members of their select ‘elite’ and suggesting of course their readers aren’t the common man at all (after all, they’d be too dense to get the point wouldn’t they, vile ungovernable rabble!).   Clearly they have no particular problem with elite rule, they merely have a problem with which ‘elite’ it should be.

  • The reason Republicans seem less threatened by it is because of their fiscally conservative, limited government philosophy

    >>> The GOP is less threatened by it because they’re so far in the minority now they’re only relevant by 1 slim vote. You better believe the GOP is just as threatened the minute they make any gains if they go back to being pigs at the trough.

    PS- This anger will go away when the jobs come back. This is not a lasting political movement but I’ll take spasms of anger over complacency.

    • Oh wow. Murtha died huh?

      Huh.

      So……should I order Pizza or Chinese for dinner tonight?

      • Yeah, not exactly a moment that brings a tear to the eye is it?
         
        Take the pizza, pizza was made for beer, and beer, well, it’ s made for toasting.

      • “So……should I order Pizza or Chinese for dinner tonight?”

        LOL!

        Order pizza. I am. It tastes better at home. Chinese ALWAYS tastes better in the restaurant.

    • You better believe the GOP is just as threatened the minute they make any gains if they go back to being pigs at the trough.

      Historically, they also caught a lot of hell for trying to cut everyone’s favorite handout.

  • And now John Murthafugger is dead! <Sniff>

    The Demmies are finished. Done. Kaput.

    The new Marist poll (liberal response: “That’s just another right wing poll”) shows that Independents are moving away, away, away from the Demmies and from The Clown™.

    Move towards us, folks. Move towards sanity. And then Demmies will hopefully be struck from the majority, and Nancy Pelosi can be sent back to the back benches, and Harry Reid can retire to Searchlight.

  • McQWe’re seeing laments about how the good old day before the damned internet, talk radio and 24 hour cable let the enlightened elite do as they wish.

    I’m sure that, if bacteria could talk and write newspaper columns, we’d see the same sort of laments about the good ol’ days before sunlight!  Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and information is the political equivalent of sunlight.

    Part of the frustration is likely due to the belief of 60% of voters that neither Republican political leaders nor Democratic political leaders have a good understanding of what is needed today.

    Does anybody have a good understanding of “what is needed today”?  Ask ten people, you’ll get ten different answers.  The fault lies not in our politicians, but in ourselves.  We’ve asked the government over the years to do lots of things that it never really had any business doing.

    I’m reminded of an audio short story that occasionally plays on my satellite radio called “Atlantis”.  The narrator tells a story of an ancient civilization.  Its leaders, wise men, decided to form a government.  They intended for it to do only two things: defend its people against attack, and ensure that all sides in a contract lived up to its terms.  They became so proficient at these things that their country grew rich and powerful.  Other countries asked them to mediate in contract disputes, too, or help them fight their wars.  But, over time, the government began to do more.  First, it started defending the people against each other.  It began to mediate in contracts even when it wasn’t asked, or enforce contracts that hadn’t previously existed.  Then, it started to defend the people against themselves.  Eventually, it grew so weak and exhausted that it couldn’t do its original mission of defending against attack or enforcing contracts, and the civilization ended.

    Our government – ANY government, really – only works when we all sort of agree on the basic framework of what it should and shouldn’t do.  About a third of the country WANTS (they think!) a nanny.  Another third would be happy (they think!) if the government went back to what it was in 1789.  The rest just want things to go along smoothly and otherwise not be bothered.  How do we make a functional government out of that brew?

  • I am hoping the tea party does not attempt to become an actual third party, but rather chooses to operate within the current two party system.  However, the Democrats in particular, operate on a seniority system.  That is what puts the far left liberals into positions of power in the Democratic caucus.
    I would be quite happy to vote for a fiscally conservative Democrat (if I could find one), but inevitably  that would  be a vote for Pelosi and Waxman, et al.  I do not believe the Blue Dog Democrats can stand up, politically, to Pelosi when she needs those votes.  So, unless I can be sure Pelosi will be the minority leader, I cannot vote for fiscally conservative Democrat.  That is the dilemma.    I am well aware, however, that the Republicans thought the way to govern and get reelected was to be Democrats Lite.  There is no guarantee that way of thinking has been banished.
    So, the tea parties have to show enough strength to put the fear of God into anyone they support.  If the candidate becomes something other than a fiscal conservative, he needs to enjoy his one term.

  • Who is John Galt?

  • “Barack Obama and the Democrats may not realize it, but the era of big government is over.”
    Would be nice if it were true but I don’t believe it.  The electorate will be lightly mollified and go back to their business.

    • The electorate will be lightly mollified and go back to their business.

      SIGH! Yes.