Green Room

2010: More bad numbers for Dems

posted at 12:52 am on November 12, 2009 by

Allahpundit neatly wrapped the latest 2010-centric polling from Gallup and Pew yesterday, but it’s worth adding a few notes.

Gallup has the GOP with a four-point lead with Registered Voters on the generic congressional ballot for the 2010 House elections — 48% to 44% — after trailing by six points in July and two points last month. The lead among Independents has gone from a virtual tie to a 52% to 30% GOP advantage over the period. Last week, Gallup noted:

Given the usual Democratic advantages in party identification among the general public, it is rare for Republicans to lead on the generic ballot among registered voters. This was the case even when Republicans were the majority congressional party from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s.

Gallup has developed a statistical model to attempt to estimate the House seat distribution based on the national vote, and a 44% share of the two-party vote would spell disaster for the Dems in 2010, likely leaving them with fewer than 186 seats.

Gallup includes the caveat that turnout is “crucial” in the outcome of midterm elections, though the data from 2009 suggests disenchantment with the Democrats was a bigger factor recently.

Nevertheless, specific polling on whether people will vote to re-elect their Representative is generally more predictive than the generic congressional ballot. Yesterday’s Pew poll was loaded with bad news for Dems on that front also, including this:

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.


[V]oters who plan to support Republicans next year are more enthusiastic than those who plan to vote for a Democrat. 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.

Allahpundit noted that Greg Sargent (among other lefties) thinks that enthusiasm gap could be closed by passing ObamaCare, causing me to remind folks that Sean Trende’s regression analysis of the 1994 midterm election suggests the opposite is true. As for those hoping that these bad numbers are all about the economy, and that unemployment will turn around in time to save the Dems in time for the 2010 election, I note that Gluskin Sheff economist David Rosenberg, formerly of Merrill Lynch, now thinks the unemployment rate is going to at least 12%, maybe even 13%. Even if the recession has ended, unemployment may not peak until a year from now, as happened in the 1991 and 2001 recessions. If that scenario plays out, David Axelrod’s suggestion that next year’s congressional elections will be “nationalized” sounds like a recipe for disaster.

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Unemployment as high as Rosenberg forecasts may be a political disaster for the Democrats, but it will certainly be civic disaster for America. Those are huge numbers, 12% unemployment or more, and unrest beyond simple politics could be in store.

How will the Congress and administration react to that, remembering that “no crisis should go unused”, or whatever Rhambo said after the financial crash. Will we see restrictions on free speech and the right to assemble?

Without massive federal spending reductions taxes must and will rise. When they rise, more unemployment will result. How can the Dems not understand that simple fact? Do we need food riots before they get it? The small businessperson has gone Galt, as the idiot wind will sweep all the Democrats before it, and the future will be very difficult.

MTF on November 12, 2009 at 7:57 AM

The irony is, the lamestream media, who loves to reflect on past perfomances, has totally ignored the fack that shortly before the Democrats took power in ’06 unemployment was at 4.5%—(ninety-five percent of this nation WAS working)

If the Democrats had produced this staggering figure, and if a Republican Party had, (in three short years), produced even an 8% unemployment rate, THE MEDIA WOULD BE SCREAMING TO HIGH HEAVEN. And there would be no reports of “recovery” or an end to a recession. The “media” and the wall street “reporters” love to use the the phrase, “unemployment is a “lagging indicator” and jobs will come as the economy improves”. But will it “improve” under this administration’s run-away spending policies?

Without massive federal spending reductions taxes must and will rise. When they rise, more unemployment will result. How can the Dems not understand that simple fact? Do we need food riots before they get it? The small businessperson has gone Galt, as the idiot wind will sweep all the Democrats before it, and the future will be very difficult.

MTF on November 12, 2009 at 7:57 AM

As MTF mentions above, we are on a downward spiral for further unemployment and the Democrats just don’t get it. Enormous deficit spending and increasing the national debt will send this false market—phony federal supplied cash infusion—crashing. Lagging indicators indeed.

Rovin on November 12, 2009 at 9:14 AM

Here’s a thought…..Obama’s heading to Asia for an economic summit. I wonder if Obama will ask China for more money using his CRA as a model, since it worked so well here in the U.S. ???

If the Chinese were smart, they’d tell Obama to fill out a loan application, and be sure to list assets not propped up by federal money from their worn-out printing presses.

(perhaps two well-used Greek pillars will have some value)

Rovin on November 12, 2009 at 9:30 AM

I think that we should be careful not to get too gleeful. The recession officially started in December 2007 according to NBER. Most people would agree that the credit crunch recession started last September. Can we safely say that the recession ended with the growth in GDP (quarter to quarter) that happen this year between the 1st and 2nd quarters? If so then we should be looking at a turnaround in unemployment coming early next year. The real question is how strong will be the employment numbers be (not the rate of unemployment) come next October. If the amount of jobs created per month is robust, let’s say about 200,000 to 300,000 jobs created per month, the Dems may dodge a bullet. They will suffer losses but not nearly as much as would happen under the scenario of 12% unemployment.

I will go out on a limb and say if the employment rate hits 12% or more, that Obama is indeed a one-term president. I frankly can’t imagine the rate of unemployment going that high. In a strange way, if the rate goes that high I wonder if it doesn’t vindicate the people who suggested the economy was at the precipice last October and would then bolster Obama’s claim that the stimulus kept us from a far greater calamity than what we are experiencing now. Unfortunately for Obama, he so overhyped himself and over promised what he could do to turn things around that he won’t get a pass for inheriting a depression era type recession.

milemarker2020 on November 12, 2009 at 1:03 PM

To see how the job market is, one only has to look in the Sunday want ads section. Over two years, our local paper has declined from six pages of ads to one. The stock market has rallied quite nicely since February, but a good chunk of that could be attributed to the decline of the dollar of nearly 17% YTD. Add to that historically low interest rates, which improves stock dividend payments over T-Bills for rate of return.

The commercial real estate market is due to crash soon. The FDIC is about to enter negative cash on hand; Fannie & Freddie need more money from the govt now. This is not a bright upbeat picture likely to improve the employment numbers.

I suggest limiting Xmas purchases to make the retail sales picture look lousy (hey, as a side effect you will have more cash!). This will add to the negative outlook and confidence, driving unemployment higher. It is for a good cause as it makes every Dem more vulnerable.

Throw the bums out and confidence will come roaring back; Americans are basically optimistic people.

GnuBreed on November 13, 2009 at 1:27 AM