Democracy Corps released the results of its latest survey last night and found much the same as almost all other pollsters — with the exception of Gallup in odd-numbered weeks, of course. On a generic Congressional ballot among registered voters, the GOP leads by six points, 48/42, and among likely voters, seven point at 49/42. But Democrats do lead in one select group — those least likely to vote, which gives them a 47/40 edge in Congressional balloting.
This poll uses an odd device of “warmth” on issues of policy and personalities, with the warmer numbers being positive, on a scale of 100. The results are not quite as clear-cut as a binary approve/disapprove choice would be, but still interesting. Among likely voters, the GOP gets a 44.6 warmth rating, edging the Democrats with their 43.8 rating. Obama narrowly outperforms both at 48.2, but take a look at how others managed:
- The NRA: 57.1
- Pro-life groups: 50.1
- Tea Party movement: 46.3
- State of the economy: 30.2
- ObamaCare: 37.1
Given that these are the two biggest issues coming into the midterms, it is not difficult to discern why Democrats are facing such a tough cycle. Calling Republicans names and screeching about George W. Bush isn’t going to help much, if at all.
The die is all but cast in this election, according to the data. Of the 42% that say they will vote Democrat, only 16 points of that total comprise voters willing to change their mind. On the other side, only 14 points of the 49% supporting the GOP are willing to reconsider their vote. The next eight weeks will fight only in the margins, with over two-thirds of all voters already firm in their choice.
For those looking to change their minds, Democrats look to be more at risk on the issues:
- Economy – Republicans lead 48/36
- “On your side” – Rep, 41/37
- Government spending – Rep, 49/31
- Federal deficit – Rep, 50/32
On the economy, Democrats face a huge perception problem. Sixty-two percent believe that the economy has hit bottom and is not improving or hasn’t yet hit bottom. Only 34% think that the economy has begun improving at all. Even among drop-off voters, that number is still only 37%. Back to likely voters, 53% of them believe that Obama has run up record deficits without showing any improvement in the economy, while only 40% buy the argument that Obama prevented an even worse financial catastrophe.
The catastrophe for Democrats appears to be coming ever closer. They can’t say that James Carville’s Democracy Corps didn’t warn them.