Unless most pollsters are REALLY missing something, all signs right now point to an anti-Democratic Party tidal wave this November election day. Partisans and ideologues will argue (with highly predictable arguments) of why. But the signs are most assuredly there as Gallup notes:
Gallup’s analysis of key indicators relating to the 2010 congressional midterm elections continues to suggest that the Republican Party will make significant seat gains. President Barack Obama’s job approval rating is below 50%, and both congressional job approval and satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S. are well below 40% — all levels that generally predict large seat losses for the party of the sitting president.
Gallup’s generic ballot for Congress for the week of Sept. 20-26 shows the race tied among all registered voters. However, Republicans’ continuing higher enthusiasm coupled with the usual GOP turnout advantage suggest a significant Republican edge in the nationwide vote for the U.S. House, and, in turn, significant Republican House seat gains.
With five weeks to go before the Nov. 2 elections, and campaigning intensifying, these indicators could shift, but it would require a major reorientation of voter sentiment to shift the probabilities significantly in the Democrats’ direction.
On Twitter and elsewhere some Democrats point to how close the Democrats are in generic ballot votes on various polls. But the bottom line is this:
1. More Republicans will vote.
2. There is a segment of the Democratic Party that’s mad at their party’s leadership and Barack Obama for not being liberal enough and feel not voting will be a good way to punish their own party so Obama and party bigwigs see the light. They want to punish their own party — just as they punished it in 1968 by not voting for Hubert Humphrey, and didn’t in other years such as 2000 when some stayed home or bought Ralph Nader’s argument that there was no difference between parties.
3. When the Democrats suffer losses — which they will unless there is some major flaw in the methodology on so many of them — some of them will blame it on the Tea Party, Fox News, talk radio, Obama, Congressional leadership when in reality if it’s in terms of numbers Democrats could stem some projected losses if they voted.
Two things to read in this context.
–Read Peter Daou on where some of Obama’s damage is coming from.
–Read Talking Points Memo on this emergency message sent out by former Majority Leader Tom Daschle — a message in extremely strong language.
A loss won’t be because people adore the Republicans or Tea Party. Polls show that.
A loss, particularly if it is a tidal wave and the Demos lose both the Senate and House, will be because many voters are disappointed that the Democrats have not brought about improvements they can see and actually feel in their lives and also because many Democrats themselves decided not to vote — completely trying to forget about how past Democratic losses enabled the GOP to make substantial changes in the judiciary, bureaucracy, and the national political narrative since the party that’s dominant has a much bigger megaphone.
Democrats more than Republicans seem to lose sight of their long term goals and they have been losing the long term “war” in consolidating their world view and control of institutions since Richard Nixon essentially ended the Democratic New Deal-instituted era only interrupted by the Presidency of Dwight Eisenhower, who in retrospect was largely a moderate Republican.
Still, some Dems will likely stay home and then be outraged absolutely outraged when after election day they then see changes happen not to their liking, or an actual rollback of fund-starving of New Deal, Clinton and Obama social programs.
But the Democrats won’t be victims in this: in politics if you don’t vote…you’ve voted for the other guy or party. As Jerry Seinfeld would say: “Not that there’s anything wrong with that..” But that is the r-e-a-l-i-t-y.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.