New Polls Mixed Bag for Democrats

September 16th, 2010

Two new polls indicate that the narrative of the unavoidable tsunami for Democrats may be exaggerated.

Both the New York Times and Politico have polls released today that show some nuance that isn’t picked up in the “Democrats are doomed” coverage.

In the New York Times poll, 55% of people  say that they think their own Representative should be replaced, an extraordinarily high number since, in most years, people often say that Congress should change, but still want to re-elect their own representatives.  That’s a very ominous number for the Democratic party, which holds a 70 plus majority in the House. Still, in a pattern that is becoming common,  the poll found that voters disapprove of Congressional Republican’s performance (73%) more than Congressional Democrats’ (63%). Their generic ballot shows Republicans with a 2% lead, but a significant number of voters still undecided. 

Meanwhile, Politico’s poll provides a regional take on the races. While they find likely voters evenly split between the parties, they break this split up by region, showing that Democrats hold a 5 point advantage in the Midwest and Northeast, a 20 point advantage in the West, but (most ominously) a 24% disadvantage in the Mountain West, which has been seen as a significant area of future for growth for the party.

Politico also details the enthusiasm gap, with 95% of usual Republican voters saying that the intended to vote as opposed to 87% of usual Democratic voters saying they intend to vote.

That last stat is perhaps the most revealing. Republicans hate the Democrats with a passion and are can’t wait to toss them out. Democrats, meanwhile, don’t like the Republicans, but they’re not thrilled with the Democrats either. In an indication of the difference in profile between Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner, Pelosi’s approval disaproval numbers are 31/52. Boehner’s meanwhile are 16/21, with a majority either not knowing who he is or not having an opinion one  way or the other about him.

The bottom line from these two polls? This thing isn’t over yet, but if the Democrats can’t figure out a way to motivate their base, it will be soon.

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