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Hullabaloo


Thursday, August 08, 2013

 
Could Republicans really lose in 2014?

by David Atkins

I'm a known pessimist regarding Democratic electoral chances in 2014. Between the six-year curse, the horrible gerrymandering, the unfavorable Senate map, the poor economy, and the President's lackluster or downright counterproductive leadership, there's not a lot of reason to hope for good results.

That said, this polling memo from Carville-Greenberg is certainly eye opening:

There’s something going on with seniors: It is now strikingly clear that they have turned sharply against the GOP. This is apparent in seniors’ party affiliation and vote intention, in their views on the Republican Party and its leaders, and in their surprising positions on jobs, health care, retirement security, investment economics, and the other big issues that will likely define the 2014 midterm elections...

—In 2010, seniors voted for Republicans by a 21 point margin (38 percent to 59 percent). Among seniors likely to vote in 2014, the Republican candidate leads by just 5 points (41 percent to 46 percent.)

—When Republicans took control of the House of Representatives at the beginning of 2011, 43 percent of seniors gave the Republican Party a favorable rating. Last month, just 28 percent of seniors rated the GOP favorably. This is not an equal-opportunity rejection of parties or government — over the same period, the Democratic Party’s favorable rating among seniors has increased 3 points, from 37 percent favorable to 40 percent favorable.

—When the Republican congress took office in early 2011, 45 percent of seniors approved of their job performance. That number has dropped to just 22 percent — with 71 percent disapproving.

—Seniors are now much less likely to identify with the Republican Party. On Election Day in 2010, the Republican Party enjoyed a net 10 point party identification advantage among seniors (29 percent identified as Democrats, 39 percent as Republicans). As of last month, Democrats now had a net 6 point advantage in party identification among seniors (39 percent to 33 percent).

—More than half (55 percent) of seniors say the Republican Party is too extreme, half (52 percent) say it is out of touch, and half (52 percent) say the GOP is dividing the country. Just 10 percent of seniors believe that the Republican Party does not put special interests ahead of ordinary voters.

—On almost every issue we tested — including gay rights, aid to the poor, immigration, and gun control — more than half of seniors believe that the Republican Party is too extreme.

The issues seniors do care about? Not surprisingly, jobs, wages, Social Security and Medicare are at the top of the list.

Much has been said of the Republican Party's problems with youth, women and minority groups. White seniors are the GOP's bread and butter. I'm still not optimistic about 2014, but if seniors do leave the GOP tent, then look out below.


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