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Americans are "angry" according to CNN
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Things are bad in case you haven't noticed:
Most Americans are angry about "something" when it comes to how the country is run, and they are more likely than in previous years to vote for a challenger this November, a new poll suggests.

A majority of Americans surveyed — and a higher percentage than recorded during the same time last year — said things in the United States are going "badly." Among this year's respondents, 29 percent said "pretty badly" and 25 percent — up from 15 percent a month ago — answered "very badly." By comparison, 37 percent described the way things are going as "fairly well," and 9 percent answered "very well."

Of these people, 76 percent said there was "something" to be angry about in the country today. By comparison, 59 percent felt that way when polled in February.
Interesting. The obvious political point to be made here is this anger should work to the advantage of the minority party in November, wouldn't you say?
A majority — 55 percent — said they are more likely to back a challenger in races on this year's ballot. Such anti-incumbent sentiment is higher than the 48 percent recorded as "pro-challenger" in a similar survey in 1994, when the GOP took control of both houses of Congress.

Nonetheless, 48 percent said that, if most of the present members of Congress were replaced with new members, there would be no difference. By contrast, 42 percent said such a scenario would change Congress for the better, and 7 percent said it would change Congress for the worse.
Two points. Per the poll, anti-incumbent sentiment is higher than in 1994. And, of course, we know what that is supposed to mean. But the second point is important as well. 48% of those polled think nothing would change if the challenger is elected. That's significant. It is also something with which I mostly agree.

OTOH, other polls indicate that while Americans may be "angry" it doesn't mean they're going to hand any of the reigns of government to Democrats - at least no yet. The polls I'm referring to see a tightening up of the races 9 weeks before election day. The almighty "generic Democrat" is losing ground:
For months, Gallup has been reporting a lead of nine to 15 percentage points for the Democrats in generic polls that ask voters which party they will support in the congressional elections. But late last month, Gallup said its survey found "Republicans edging closer to the Democrats in voter preferences for this year's midterm elections, mirroring the slight increase seen in President Bush's job-approval rating."

Gallup said its Aug. 18-20 poll found "the Democrats now lead the Republicans by two points, 47 percent vs. 45 percent. That is down from a 9-point lead earlier this month, and an average Democratic lead of 10 points in the previous three polls in July and August."

Pollsters have long maintained that generic ballot surveys tend to boost the Democratic vote by anywhere from five to 10 percentage points. If that is true in this election, then the Republicans headed into the final weeks of the campaign "in pretty good shape," said a Republican official.
We'll see. Frankly I'm of the opinion that voters are just now waking up to the election and beginning to pay some attention. And they've not sorted out their general feelings about the state of the nation or who to blame. Of course they'll get plenty of suggestions in the next 9 weeks as to where to place the blame and who to put in office to "fix" it.
Interviews with some Democratic strategists and advisers last week suggested that they had seen a similar trend in internal polls. "That means there aren't as many vulnerable Republicans now as there was a month or more ago," said a party adviser who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

"I suspect that what you are seeing there is, yes, some Republicans are coming home in certain congressional districts, and there is some firming up of the Republican vote," another Democratic campaign adviser said.

But other Democratic campaign consultants said they had not picked up what Gallup's polling had found.

"I'm not seeing it in my own polls at this time," said Democratic consultant Alan Secrest. "We expect to see some tightening — it's only natural. But if the election were held the Tuesday after Labor Day, the House would switch."
I essentially agree ... but the election isn't held today and races are tightening. Of course I love that, because such a thing always suits a political junkie.

If this is right, vulnerability among (some) Republican candidates is shrinking. That's because the incumbents are now home and focused on the short campaign season. All the polling data up to now can most likely be thrown out of the window. The traditional campaign season is underway and in full swing and now we'll begin to get a better picture of what the real opportunities are for each side. (I'm also interested to see this anger CNN reports better defined. Is it really anger or is it something else? War fatigue? Bush fatigue? Republican fatigue? Politics fatigue?)

In the meantime I still think the House goes Dem in November, but I'm beginning to put more stock in some of the predictions which say the Dems, at best, will pick up 3 Senate seats. That would work "peachy keen" for me.
 
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If this translates into a “a pox on both your houses” sentiment, that sounds like a prediction for low voter turnout. In a situation of low voter turnout the most commmitted voters show up at the polls and that usually means that incumbents are returned to office.
 
Written By: Dave Schuler
URL: http://www.theglitteringeye.com
majority of Americans surveyed — and a higher percentage than recorded during the same time last year — said things in the United States are going "badly." Among this year’s respondents, 29 percent said "pretty badly" and 25 percent — up from 15 percent a month ago — answered "very badly." By comparison, 37 percent described the way things are going as "fairly well," and 9 percent answered "very well."
Who DOESN’T have something to be angry about, what with the media whipping up all sorts of fake hysteria: over how terribly our (in reality fantastic) economy is going, to ginned up Katrina nightmares, to the incessant doom/gloom over Iraq, over sky high gas prices (falling pretty fast now though you’d never know it) etc etc etc.



 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
You could be right, Dave. And if you read the second cite, one of the things Dems are worried about is the demonstrated (and superior) ability of Reps to get people to the polls.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
McCain Feingold also favors incumbents, so even if there is dissatisfaction, it’s harder for people to find out about it. "Negative" ads from third party groups, even if they are completely truthful, are banned until the election. I expect that to both depress turnout, and make it harder for voters to recognize viable challengers. (As someone who has campaigned for Libertarian candidates, I’m very tuned in to the fact that people don’t like to vote for sure losers, so being seen as a viable candidate is important.)

So while I really don’t see how the Democrats could take the Senate, I think their chances of taking the House are decidedly mixed. This is a new election in many ways, and very hard to predict, but the power of the incumbent is higher than it’s ever been.

Anyway, if the House drops to GOP majority by only three or four, then I think it will be close to the gridlock situation of a Democrat majority of the same amount, without the ridiculous charades that Nancy Pelosi, John Conyers, etc. have planned.

I almost want to see those charades just because I think it would make it impossible for a liberal Democrat to win the presidency in 2008. But I still cringe at the thought of having to live through them.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
I almost want to see those charades just because I think it would make it impossible for a liberal Democrat to win the presidency in 2008. But I still cringe at the thought of having to live through them.
A lot of people, myself included, think winning the House could be the worst thing that could ever happen for the Dems (and ’08).
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog

A lot of people, myself included, think winning the House could be the worst thing that could ever happen for the Dems (and ’08).
I doubt it. Winning is winning; losing is losing. If losing were better than winning, no one would ever try to win.

If Democrats gain a House majority, they can always blame problems on a recalcitrant Senate and White House. If they take the Senate, too, they can blame the White House. And there’s always the courts to blame.

If they take and hold the House and Senate and elect a Democratic president in 2008, they’ll have a return to the halcyon days of the Carter and Johnson administrations when they had control of both houses of Congress and the White House. Ah, those were the days!
 
Written By: Dave Schuler
URL: http://www.theglitteringeye.com
I doubt it. Winning is winning; losing is losing. If losing were better than winning, no one would ever try to win.
Not my point Dave. The circus into which it will turn (and I believe, given the leadership, that’s precisely what would happen) is what will disaffect many voters in ’08.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
It’s the economy, stupid.

Most Americans are mad about gasoline prices.

The Republican solution is ANWR, hydrogen and nuclear .. nothing new here.
The Democratic solution is conservation .. while they drive off in SUVs (Obama) and fly about the country (Gore) .. nothing new here either.

New solutions will get votes.

Meanwhile, the prices have dropped some in the last few weeks, but no where near last years prices.
There would, of course, have been no fluctuation like this had Al Gore "carbon tax" been in place. The prices would have remained high the whole time.
One of the big winners with the gas prices soo high are state budgets, espeically those with percentage based gas taxes. I notices that the yelling and screaming and gnashing of teeth were almost absent with this year state budgets.

 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
People are "Angry" so what? In 1994 people were angry and the Republicans had The Contract with America. I would argue that the Democrats LACK an equivalent. If anyone here or the Democrats think "anger" alone will produce a victory, well you’re entitled to your opinion, but I don’t think so. I would argue a lot of people are angry over the FAILURE of or the Failure to ENACT the Contract, not "Angry" and willing to vote for the Democratic agenda...which isn’t so different than the agenda of 1994 and years previous.

Bottom-Line: "Anger" and "It’s 1994 all OVER again" are not really the Keys to the Kingdom. Anger is not change, UNLESS there is an alternative that is more palatable.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://

Your statement, "All the polling data up to now can most likely be thrown out of the window," is foolishness exponentiated.

If it were true, then how could the trend lines be continue to be read before, during and after election day?

If it were true, then pollsters would go broke because nobody would invest any pre-election-day money into their specialized work.

Puh-leeze, blogbrain, resist the temptation to go back to the days of reading tea leaves and playing pickup sticks with chicken bones.

 
Written By: Reich Winger
URL: http://
Puh-leeze, blogbrain, resist the temptation to go back to the days of reading tea leaves and playing pickup sticks with chicken bones.
Hey, man. Don’t knock it till you try it. I made a lot of money in the nineties market playing pickup sticks with chicken bones, thanks to this sultry tart named “Pixie Moondrip”.
Telecommunications
They said…

Alright, then.

Good times, good times.
Americans are "angry" according to CNN
Dude, I am soooo pissed off.
I’m mainly pissed off because CNN didn’t ask me what I was pissed off about.

I gotz lotz to say.
;)


Cheers
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://ceilidhcowboy.typepad.com/
I’ll tell you what makes me angry. Biased liberal media. This article on the NYT is useful if you have been wondering about my claims that the NYT is actively promoting a Liberal Narrative with little regard for facts or the truth. Here’s the Narrative:
"Real Wages Fail to Match a Rise in Productivity" by Steven Greenhouse and David Leonhardt is one of those big idea pieces that bounces around the blogosphere and local editorial pages. Already furrowed brows are furrowed even more deeply at the revelation that wages and salaries hadn’t kept pace with productivity gains.
Here’s the truth:
“The chart above does to the New York Times Company what it did to all the other companies…Is it fair to judge this particular company for the fact that its workers only receive a little more than one-third of the total output of the company? It is — when they condemn the rest of them for paying out only about half.”
Surely the NYT is familiar with its own information on sharing productivity gains with its workers. Yes, I know that liberals will leap to point out that the NYT reporters here are willing to write “the truth” even if it makes the NYT look bad. Point granted.
My point is that there is much more to the story of companies sharing (or not) productivity gains with workers than is presented in the NYT story and that the reporters had every reason to be aware that they were pursuing an agenda in the manner in which they presented the story as opposed to attempting to tell the truth and/or educate the reader.
 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
It’s the economy, stupid.

Most Americans are mad about gasoline prices.


This is a good start, Neo, but you’re only just scratching the surface. Gasoline Prices are the horn on the rhino, the one obvious red flag high about the rest, that Americans are upset about. Americans who don’t work on Wall Street are pissed off about the economy, from end to end, and it’s only going to get worse. The Republican surge on immigration is fueled by people angry about their economy, although the proposed solutions are only going to make things worse, that’s not the point.

If Democrats weren’t so deeply suckered by the Conservative Narrative, they could run this argument a lot faster and harder. Rob, your protests are in vain. Real incomes are stagnant and inflation in everything but commodities that make up inflation statistics is rampant. The average Joe cares not a whit if you think attacks on skyrocketing corporate profits are unfair. The average Joe sees that it’s getting harder, not easier, to make ends meet, and he wants someone to take it out on.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
I thought that this was an interesting and intelligent post. Absolutely, opposing the war as a label on an opinion poll can mean one of many things. However, anyway you slice it, the Republicans still stand for stay the course, and stay the course does not seem to have a majority anymore.

Nevertheless, it’s interesting to look at. I hope this level of discernment will be applied to similar hot-button issues where polls favor conservatives...


if there are any... sorry, couldn’t resist.

Nice to see you look for causes beyond "the media". (cough*shark*cough)
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
"Rob, your protests are in vain.
Translation: I can BS so well that your truth doesn’t stand a chance.
"Real incomes are stagnant and inflation in everything but commodities that make up inflation statistics is rampant. The average Joe cares not a whit if you think attacks on skyrocketing corporate profits are unfair."
Nevermind the truth about our economy. It is election time and the outs must claim that the ins have made a terrible mess of things. "We can do better." But, how to do this song and dance when the economy is really doing quite well? No problem. Average Joes are incredibly stupid about the economy. Nevermind that "skyrocketing profits" means new hires, the payment of "skyrocketing" taxes by these corporations to the governments which redistribute those dollars to the Averge Joe, and the fact that these profits are a sign of a sound economy.
The good economic news? Nevermind that, it is just "those people who work on Wall Street" who are happy. "It’s only going to get worse"...unless you vote Democratic.
"...and inflation in everything but commodities that make up inflation statistics..."
This claim for inflation is 100% pure b*llsh*t. That anyone would make it...
"The average Joe sees that it’s getting harder, not easier, to make ends meet, and he wants someone to take it out on."
This line dates from the Roaring Twenties and has been trotted out at election time, by the Democrats in one form or another every election when Republicans have been in power. That is why the LN requires "think pieces" like the one ginned up by the NYT that I link above.

Yes, it is election h*rs*sh*t time from both parties. My point is that one of the best sources of information for the Average Joe to use in exercising his right to vote is an honest newspaper. Newspapers supporting the Liberal Narrative are not honest and thus are to be deplored. And the pundits who purport to lead the Average Joe’s who offer pure BS? They also are to be deplored.






 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
Sorry, but the only evidence for a "tightening" in the races is one Gallup poll that showed the Dem advantage down to two. But since that poll, every other one has shown the Dem lead back to around 10-12 points. I think that one was an outlier. And Gallup ran a bunch of Senate race polls since then that, frankly, would not have correlated with a national poll putting the Dem advantage at only 2.

Meanwhile, the non-partisan analysts like Cook and Sabato see lots of evidence for a major wave and a House turnover. The big indicator is voter intensity. Republicans are less excited to vote this time and Democrats are extremely excited to vote. So, it’s not that the people who are angry that the Contract with America was "abandoned" are going to vote Democrat in protest. It’s that they’ll stay home in protest against the direction of the party. Somehow I bet the failure of the GOP on immigration reform will only add to the frustration. Sure, individual conservative Republican Congressman X might have backed hardcore immigration reform. But conservative Republican voter Y expects Congressman X to get a bill through when he’s got a majority of his party in power. Failure to do so leads to disillusionment. The same thing happened to Democrats in 1994 over healthcare reform. As much as Hilarycare was denigrated in the press and by the GOP, failure to even bring it up for a vote severely demoralized many Democrats who voted for Clinton precisely because they wanted national healthcare. What did they have to vote for in 1994? Nothing. But the angry GOP sure had a lot to vote for.

 
Written By: Elrod
URL: http://
Reich: Puh-leeze, blogbrain, resist the temptation to go back to the days of reading tea leaves and playing pickup sticks with chicken bones.

PogueMahone: Hey, man. Don’t knock it till you try it.

Reich: You resisting the temptation to cut off your privates with a hatchet? Hey, man. Don’t knock it till you try it.

 
Written By: Reich Winger
URL: http://
I didn’t need a newspaper to tell me people are mad as hell. Just take a walk down the street - any street - and keep your ears open. Until a car playing rap music comes within a half mile, then you should definitely put in earplugs. Until that happens though, listen to the voices. You’ll hear irritation, irrationality, aggression, judgemental pronouncements hitting the floor with a solid thud, and disbelief compounding discontent.

There’s no question - people are mad as hell. Not just about gas prices, either. They’re mad about self service check-out lines, they’re mad about voice mail trees, they’re mad about clerks who know nothing about their inventory, and they’re mad about ’experts’ who tell them the option they want isn’t one. They are mad about being treated like their opinions are unimportant, and they are mad about being denied the right to choose.

The question is - how much longer are they going to take it? The smart question is - which corporation is going to cash in on the anger by giving people what they want?

-Gil
 
Written By: Gil
URL: http://
Or which party.
 
Written By: Gil
URL: http://

 
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