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Hullabaloo


Monday, May 05, 2014

 
This is what happens when you don't draw sharp contrasts on economics

by David Atkins

The generic polling numbers look terrible for Democrats right now:

A new poll suggests Republicans have the biggest advantage in a midterm year in two decades.

The Pew/USA Today poll released Monday found 47 percent of registered voters support the Republican candidate in their district or lean Republican. By contrast, 43 percent favor the Democratic candidate or lean Democratic.

Democrats have lost ground on the generic ballot in recent months. Last October, Democrats held a 6-percentage-point lead of 49 to 43 percent. Regardless, they usually need a double-digit lead in order to pick up seats.

President Obama’s approval rating is now lower than at the same point during the 2010 campaign, Pew noted. The GOP later won the majority in the House that November.

While 44 percent approve of Obama’s job as president, half of the public disapproves, the poll found.
Just over half say Obama won’t affect their vote this November. Just over a quarter, meanwhile, see their vote as being against the president rather than the 16 percent who say it will be for Obama.

Less than a third of Democrats see their vote as being for Obama, but 46 percent of Republicans see their vote as being against him.

Nearly two-thirds say they want to see the next president offer different policies and programs than the Obama administration. Less than a third want Obama’s successor to offer a similar agenda.

Despite the GOP’s edge on the generic ballot, only 23 percent approve Republicans’ jobs in Congress and 32 percent approve of Democrats’ jobs.

More people, 43 percent, say GOP policies would do more for the economy, compared to 39 percent who say Obama’s policies are more effective.
Part of this is simply the fatigue that bedevils most two-term presidents in their sixth year. But part of it, too, is that the national party hasn't given base Democrats any particularly strong reasons to feel inspired. We also spent several years agreeing with Republicans that cutting the budget deficit was the most important thing for the economy.

So now, nearly six years after Obama's election, the economic malaise continues for the non-rentier class. Democrats are tired and despondent, not seeing a light at the end of the tunnel for policies that create good jobs or fix inequality. And many voters are having a hard time seeing why, if deficit reduction is so important, they shouldn't just elect a Republican instead.

There are some lessons to be learned there.




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