According to a new Pew Research poll Americans are not happy, Jimmy Carter Might call it malaise. We don’t like the way things are going maybe because the economy as the same poll says that 90% of Americans are not happy with the economy and two thirds feel that their personal finances are in the dumps. We don’t like the way the Afghan war is going, we blame the President, and we still don’t want our health care controlled by the government.
Put it all together it and American sentiment is anti-Incumbent, we want to throw the bums out. All the bums. There is a bigger anti-Incumbent sentiment than there was in the fall of 2006 when the Democrats first captured both houses, and its almost as big as 1994 when the GOP captured both houses.
About half (52%) of registered voters would like to see their own representative re-elected next year, while 34% say that most members of Congress should be re-elected. Both measures are among the most negative in two decades of Pew Research surveys. Other low points were during the 1994 and 2006 election cycles, when the party in power suffered large losses in midterm elections.
Support for congressional incumbents is particularly low among political independents. Only 42% of independent voters want to see their own representative re-elected and just 25% would like to see most members of Congress re-elected. Both measures are near all-time lows in Pew Research surveys.
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While the survey shows that Democrats still have an advantage (47% of voters say they would vote for the Democratic candidate in their district or lean Democratic, 42% would vote for the Republican or lean to the GOP candidate), the survey also says that the GOP voters are much more enthusiastic in their support. This tends to support the Rasmussen results which says that those who disapprove of the president are much more strident in their disapproval than his supporters.
Fully 58% of those who plan to vote for a Republican next year say they are very enthusiastic about voting, compared with 42% of those who plan to vote for a Democrat. More than half (56%) of independent voters who support a Republican in their district are very enthusiastic about voting; by contrast, just 32% of independents who plan to vote for a Democrat express high levels of enthusiasm.
In what should be a warning shot for those who are supporting Obamacare, opponents of the Democratic party’s take over of medicine are just “licking their chops” waiting to vote them out.
The intensity of opposition to health care reform may have electoral implications. Overall, 56% of voters who oppose the health legislation in Congress say they are very enthusiastic about voting in the 2010 midterm elections, compared with 43% of voters who support the bills. Among voters who strongly oppose the legislation, 64% say they are very enthusiastic about casting their ballot in 2010; only about half (49%) of those who strongly favor the health care legislation are very enthusiastic about voting.
As with other polls Pews look at Obama’s approval ratings are disingenuous. While 51% of Americans think that the President is doing a good job, when you break it down and get the approval of specific elements of the President’s performance his ratings are less than stellar:
44% approve of Obama’s handling of the nation’s foreign policy; 38% disapprove of his handling of foreign policy. Roughly four-in-ten (43%) approve of Obama’s job performance on health care policy; 47% disapprove. And just 42% approve of the way Obama is handling the economy, while a majority (52%) disapproves. His job rating for handling the federal budget deficit is even lower: 31% approve and 58% disapprove of his job performance on this issue.
Perhaps the cognitive dissonance between the overall and individual approvals is caused by months of hearing that if you don’t agree with the POTUS you are either a racist of a right wing crazy. So people answer in the affirmative on the overall, but feel more free to be honest in the individual approvals.
Obama’s ratings on Afghanistan have fallen sharply among men, Republicans and independents. Currently, a majority of men (53%) disapprove of Obama’s handling of the situation in Afghanistan while 35% approve. In July, most men (52%) gave Obama positive ratings on the issue. Opinion among women has shown far less change (37% approval currently, 43% in July).
The Economy is the big sore point 91% of the country feel the nation’s economy is either fair or poor. And they are getting more pessimistic, the percentage saying they expect things to get better a year from now has dropped from 45% last month to 39% today. And the number of Americans who say their personal finances are good has fallen to a 17-year low.
Just 35% of Americans say they are in excellent or good shape financially, down slightly from 38% in October. The last time personal financial ratings fell to this level was in August of 1992.
The Democratic Party continues to laugh and put down the tea party protesters and those who disagree with the progressive policies, they better sit down an listen, because the way the electorate is heading they may be out of a job in twelve months.