Sep 02 2010
Update: Pat Caddell adds his voice too:
â€œPresident Obamaâ€™s undoing may be his disingenuousness,â€ Caddell says. After campaigning for post-partisanship, Obama, he observes, has lurched without pause to the left. â€œYou canâ€™t get this far from what you promised,â€ Caddell says, â€œespecially when people invest in hope â€” you must understand that obligation. The killer in American politics is disappointment. When you are elected on expectations, and you fail to meet them, your decline steepens.â€
Update: Sean Trende at RCP puts the wave’s potential damage at 60-90 Democrat seats lost.
In reality, barring some major and dramatic turnaround in the political landscape, the 50 seat GOP wave has now in many ways moved closer to the floor for Democratic losses. With the economy continuing to flounder and with fewer than 60 days until Election Day, the potential for a once-in-a-century type of wave that would lead to GOP gains in the 60-90 seat range is increasing.
The latest Gallup generic ballot tracking finds that, among registered voters, Republicans are leading by ten points, 51 percent to 41 percent. Three of the four highest leads for the GOP since Gallup began tracking the generic ballot in 1942 have been measured in the past month alone (and Republicans won the House seven times during those intervening years, with as many as 246 seats which would be a 68 seat pickup today).
Why am I not surprised? – end update
The Public Policy Polling (PPP) group is coming out with their sample of Ohio elections today, but as a precursor they published another one of those ‘canary in a coal mine’ numbers which are signaling a route of the Democrats come November:
… by a 50-42 margin voters there [Ohio] say they’d rather have George W. Bush in the White House right now than Barack Obama.
A couple months ago I thought the Pennsylvanias and Missouris and Ohios of the world were the biggest battlegrounds for 2010 but when you see numbers like this it makes you think it’s probably actually the Californias and the Wisconsins and the Washingtons.
(H/T Daily Mail). That is a stunning reversal of fortune for the Democrat party. If they have lost the bell weathers of PA, OH and MO this November’s elections will be amazing.
As I noted with Nate Silver’s chart identifying the top senate seats to likely switch hands, the data coming in right now is indicating a historic ‘wave’ election. 11 of his top 12 seats are Democrat, 6 are already gone (> 75% chance of going GOP).Â Even the venerable Charlie Cook has concluded the House is lost for the Dems, and the Senate is on the precipice:
Simply put, Democrats find themselves heading into a midterm election that looks as grisly as any the party has faced in decades. It isn’t hard to find Democratic pollsters who privately concede that the numbers they are looking at now are worse than what they saw in 1994.
In the Senate, while the odds still favor Democrats holding on to a narrow majority, it is not only mathematically possible for the GOP to capture a majority this year, but it has become plausible. The odds of Democrats capturing even one currently Republican-held seat appear to be getting longer. Meanwhile, Republicans are running ahead or roughly even in 11 Democratic-held seats, one more than necessary for control of the Senate to flip. It’s still a tall order but not crazy to say that Republicans will win the Senate.
11 more canaries sitting right out in the open, to go with the 35-65 canaries in the HouseÂ who are about to shuffle off their political careers’ mortal coil. No surprise. I have said it a gazillion times, the big difference between 2010 and 1994 is the economic back drop. Clinton had a rising economy to mute the wave that hit him when he veered too far left. Obama has no such help to cushion the blow back from the voters.
As I noted in an early August post, I am not surprised to see President Obama’s numbers rebound a bit as his party takes a historic drubbing. Much of the energy in this wave is voter anger at the President for not fulfilling his campaign rhetoric about being bipartisan, transparent and open, Â and able to turn things around. He and his party have been hyper-partisan in their policy wins (almost no GOP support), he used all sorts of rank deals to get his legislation passed, and the dismal results are more than worthy of the big boot.
But people want the person they voted into the presidency to succeed, and they know they cannot do anything short of hyper-partisan political hard ball to get President Obama out of office before 2012 (something the voters have not shown any stomach for – yet). So they will give the President one more shot to get his act together and pay attention to the will of the people. His numbers may float up a bit, but no one should confuse that with strong support.
The voter wave will send a message to the ‘public servants’ of this nation come November. If the ones left standing don’t pay attention, it will strike again in 2012, as it did in 2008. The nation is united – against our political industrial complex. That is what the Tea Party is all about (which is coincident with the libertarian, small government conservative streak in the GOP). Americans are turning to themselves now (which is what the Beck rally was all about), they have outgrown the Nanny state.
I think this fact sums up how much trouble Democrats are in for in the Midwest this year: Ted Strickland’s 34/52 approval rating on the Ohio poll we put out today makes him…the most popular Democratic Governor in a Big Ten State!
The other 5 Democrats running their states in the region all have approval numbers in the 20s. Ed Rendell’s numbers are the worst at 27/63 (-36), followed by Jennifer Granholm at 29/61 (-32), Jim Doyle at 28/59 (-31), Pat Quinn at 23/53 (-30), and Chet Culver at 28/56 (-28).
The Midwest, rather than the South, is going to be the Democrats’ worst region because they have so much more to lose. When you see approval numbers like these for the Governors in these states- not to mention the President- it makes you wonder how bad the damage is for Democrats in the Congressional and Legislative races in the region.
Expect the polls to get worse and worse for the Dems after Labor Day, when many pollsters go to ‘likely voter’ models and the nation settles in for the fall campaigns.