Free Markets, Free People
If you’ve noted a general tendency to ignore the run for the presidency and all the nonsense that includes here at QandO, you’re an astute observer. It’s just silly right now, especially on the Republican side. Cain is up, Cain is down. Romney is the front runner, Romney is an also ran. Paul is a side show, Paul surges. Gingrich is out of it, Gingrich is the man.
When all the dust settles I’ll renew my interest. However, all of what has been happening has had an effect. Gallup reports:
Republicans’ enthusiasm about voting in the election for president next year has decreased, with 49% of Republicans and independents who lean Republican now saying they are more enthusiastic than usual about voting, down from 58% in September. This narrows the gap between them and Democrats, 44% of whom are more enthusiastic than usual, essentially the same as in September.
Of course the mitigating circumstances are outlined in my lede. Without a single nominee and with the daily barrage of negativity, voters are turning off. That doesn’t mean they won’t turn back on when that nominee is named (regardless of which of the bunch he is) as Gallup further notes:
The decrease in Republicans’ enthusiasm could reflect the intensive and bruising battle for the GOP nomination going on within the party, and the rapid rise and fall of various candidates in the esteem of rank-and-file Republicans nationwide. Once the Republican nominee is determined next year, Republicans’ voting enthusiasm may steady, but whether this is at a high, medium, or low level remains to be seen.
But this is a key component of predicting who will eventually win the White House so stay tuned to this particular poll on enthusiasm throughout the campaign.
Meanwhile, before Democrats start celebrating the narrowing of the gap (even temporarily), they may want to consider this next poll:
President Obama’s uphill battle to re-election is getting steeper.
A report released today by the centrist think-tank Third Way showed that more than 825,000 voters in eight key battleground states have fled the Democratic Party since Obama won election in 2008.
“The numbers show that Democrats’ path to victory just got harder,” said Lanae Erickson, the report’s co-author. “We are seeing both an increase in independents and a decrease in Democrats and that means the coalition they have to assemble is going to rely even more on independents in 2012 than it did in 2008.”
Amid frustrating partisan gridlock and unprecedentedly low party-approval ratings, the number of voters registering under a major party is falling fast, but it is also falling disproportionately.
Of course the flight of independents from Democrats has been noted for quite some time. Fewer and fewer are identifying with or leaning toward the Democratic side.
“People are frustrated and the way you tune out in American politics is that is you drop the label of the two parties,” said Steven Jarding, a Harvard public policy professor and Democratic campaign strategist. “The danger for Obama in this is he is not only going to have to capture them but capture more of them because there are less Democratic voters.”
So Jarding has a grasp of the obvious. Good. He then says:
“On paper, it looks like, ‘Well, it’s just going to be bad for Obama,’ but a part of me says, ‘Bad in what sense?’ He’s proven that he can get independent voters,” Jarding said.
He’s proven he can get independent votes with no resume and nothing but an emotionally appealing campaign based on absurd promises and bashing an unpopular president.
Now he’s the guy with the negative approval rating and a record he has to defend. Whole different ballgame. Whole different stadium. It is more than a problem “on paper”.
“People are very, very disillusioned and the danger for Obama is when people are disillusioned and when they are hurting they tend to throw the guy in power out,” Jarding said. “If Obama can’t turn out the vote that he did in 2008, he’s in trouble.”
He’s in trouble, which, for the most part, is a good thing.
That’s pretty much the opposite of the promise made by candidate Obama and the administration’s spin since he’s become president, isn’t it?
A majority of Americans say the United States is less respected in the world than it was two years ago and think President Obama and other Democrats fall short of Republicans on the issue of national security, a new poll finds.
The Democracy Corps-Third Way survey released Monday finds that by a 10-point margin — 51 percent to 41 percent — Americans think the standing of the U.S. dropped during the first 13 months of Mr. Obama’s presidency.
“This is surprising, given the global acclaim and Nobel peace prize that flowed to the new president after he took office,” said pollsters for the liberal-leaning organizations.
It’s really only surprising if you haven’t been paying attention. Most people outside the beltway and not blinded by their ideology recognized the award of the Nobel peace prize was a travesty and more of a political statement than something earned by Mr. Obama. And most Americans were put off by Mr. Obama’s “world apology” tour, as it was called by some, where he spent most of his time in other countries apologizing for America’s past. Lastly, it has been fairly obvious to most observers that our foreign policy is in shambles and even our allies find little reason to agree with or go along with whatever foreign policy goals we set – such as increased sanctions for Iran.
So while it is surprising to a “liberal leaning” polling organization, it isn’t at all surprising to other observers. Which brings us to the next “surprise” for the pollster I assume:
On the national security front, a massive gap has emerged, with 50 percent of likely voters saying Republicans would likely do a better job than Democrats, a 14-point swing since May. Thirty-three percent favored Democrats.
“The erosion since May is especially strong among women, and among independents, who now favor Republicans on this question by a 56 to 20 percent margin,” the pollsters said in their findings.
50 to 33 is well outside any sampling error and can’t be written off as such (it was 43 R’s and 41 D’s in May). And the amazing difference among women and independents is a true indicator the national security worm has turned. And that bodes ill politically for the Democrats. If you need even more evidence:
• “Keeping America safe”: Democrats now trail by 13 points (34 percent to 47 percent.) The gap was just 5 points in July 2008.
• “Ensuring a strong military”: Democrats trail by 31 points (27 percent to 58 percent.)
• “Making America safer from nuclear threats”: Democrats trail by 11 points (34 percent to 45 percent,) “despite the president’s strong actions and speeches on steps to reduce nuclear dangers,” the pollsters said.
Democracy Corps is the creation of James Carville and Stanley Greenberg and Third Way describes itself as a “moderate think tank of the progressive movement” (moderate progressive – sounds like an oxymoron to me). Given that information this spin about the brouhaha that has erupted concerning civilian trials for terrorists is terrific:
“Whereas a majority of the public approves of the job President Obama is doing in most aspects of national security, a 51 to 44 percent majority of likely voters disapproves of his efforts on the prosecution and interrogation of terrorism suspects,” the pollsters found.
That and the response to the Christmas day bomber have been two key reasons the polls have shifted. And both have to do with decisions made by Obama’s administration or Obama himself. And, unless I’m mistaken, a 50 to 33 difference does not say “a majority of the public approves of the job President Obama is doing in most aspects of national security”, does it?