Democrats Pissed At Leadership; Ready to Vote For Dems Anyway

Pew has a new report out on Congress approval which, among many findings, confirms the 12% generic ballot lead found by Newsweek earlier in the month. Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. Sept. 8-11, 2005. N=1,279 registered voters nationwide.

	     Reps    Dems
All	      40      52
Men	      42      48
Women	      38      55
18-29	      39      57
30-49	      41      51
50-64	      42      50
65+	      36      52
Reps	      89       8
Dems	       3      96
Inds	      27      55
Married        49      43
Unmarried      28      64

Yes, these polls matter.

That two-to-one advantage among Independents is eye-popping, but not terribly surprising given our earlier finding that Independents are closer to Democrats in all fifty states. Republicans must also be more than a little bit worried that their Social Security ploy completely failed to win them their hoped-for loyalties among younger voters. In fact, at this rate, Generation Y, or whatever it is called, seems poised to become a lifelong Democratic voting block in much the same way the 1980's caused Baby Boomers--especially younger Boomers--to become a lifelong Republican voting block. (More info on those trends can be found here)

One of the most interesting findings of the study is that while Democrats are unbelievably united when it comes to voting for a Democratic candidate for Congress in 2006, they actually don't like their leaders very much. According to the graphics on the right, only 3% of Democrats, whether they are liberal, moderate or conservative Democrats, plan to vote for a Republican in congressional elections 2006. However, while Democrats are far more united than they even were in 2004, and while they are more united than Republican in the generic ballot, Democrats give their leadership very, very low ratings. While Republicans give their leaders in Congress a fifty-six point approval spread, Democrats only give their leaders a seventeen point approval spread. While only 16% of Republicans disapprove of their leaders in Congress compared to 32% for Democrats, Democrats are holding fast in terms of voting intentions while moderate and liberal Republicans are actually poised to break from their party in large numbers. I guess that is what you get when you put movement conservatives in control of every leadership position in Congress.

There is one more thing I want to comment on here. Considering the similarity of these polling numbers to the general outlook of the progressive netroots, I have to wonder about the role of blogs in all of this. Just like the Democrats in this poll, the progressive blogosphere is often pissed off at leaders of the Democratic Party. However, like the Democrats in this poll, it is rabidly partisan, and it isn't taking its votes anywhere in a general election for public office. Also, by overhwelming, two-to-one margins, Democrats do not feel the Party is standing up for its traditional values, a regular online complaint. Further, the younger the voters in this poll are the ones most pissed off at Republicans and most likely to vote against them. As I have previously reported, the progressive blogosphere is a lager source of news for younger Americans than all of the cable news networks combined (and the progressive blogosphere has more than doubled its audience since I made that report). This could all be coincidental, but it could mean that the progressive blogosphere is becoming the heart and soul of the rank and file opposition to Republicans nationwide. People often accuse me of overstating the power of the netroots and the blogosphere, but perhaps even I have been dramatically understating it. I mean, if the blogosphere plays a central role in the political life of over two million of the most politically active progressives, and those people tend to be the influentials in their family and social circles, how could we not be basically driving the progressive zeitgeist nationwide? Progressives are flowing into the blogs, as noted by our astronomical increase in audience size over the past two years. Something persuasive, influential and meaningful must be happening here, and it is starting to really look like it is transforming the Democratic Party from the bottom (or at least the middle) up.

Tags: Democrats (all tags)



It's great that
progressive blogosphere is making so much progress, but I really think the best thing we can do, other than electing Democrats this year in Virginia, is persuade more people to read progressive blogs.

It is amazing how much even the most partisan Democrat internalizes Republican talking points unless they are inoculated by exposure to progressive blogosphere.

by Alice Marshall 2005-09-18 08:59AM | 0 recs
Yo, Chris! High Contrast on the GIFs!
Great work as usual, but the GIFs from Pew are almost indecipherable.  They need to be high contrast, so we can actually read them!

Look at one of the originals:

In the words of one of America's greatest war criminals, let's make things "perfectly clear"!

by Paul Rosenberg 2005-09-18 09:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Yo, Chris! High Contrast on the GIFs!
by Chris Bowers 2005-09-18 01:27PM | 0 recs
Speaking of polls...
...Bush's ratings went DOWN after his latest speech -- and this is according to Rasmussen, which is a pro-GOP outfit:

by Phoenix Woman 2005-09-18 09:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Speaking of polls...
How is Rasmussen pro-GOP? In 2004 it was damned accurate.
by raginillinoian 2005-09-18 09:58AM | 0 recs
Has Bush at 47% approval today.  Virtually every other single polling outfit has him in the high 30s or low 40s.

In 2004, Rasmussen was sometimes on the mark, but a few times I remember thinking that they were way too optimistic for Bush.

by Skaje 2005-09-18 03:28PM | 0 recs
As I look at this, I am reminded of the chapter in "Generations" about the Civil War era.  After the Civil War the "Gilded" generation, in a series of elections, repudiated the uncompromising Transcendental generation whose absolutist passions had led to such destruction.  Here I hope to see those who are now 41 and under asserting themselves against their leaders in the name of pragmatism and competence, not ideology in the sense of grand plans.  Pragmatism and competence in the service of liberal values such as fairness and opportunity for all, rather than "democracy is on the march" or Dobsonite moral purity.  

The essay by Fareed Zakaria might serve as a battle cry.

by Mimikatz 2005-09-18 09:51AM | 0 recs
I have to admit
I really can't believe how influential the progressive blogosphere is becoming.  Its by far the most inportant political developement for the left in many years.  Without the money and organizational backing to the business community, the left has long lacked a central organizing focal point.  The internet is finally providing it.  It might be our best hope of finally creating a liberal movement to match that of the conservative movement.
by Jonathan Schwartz 2005-09-18 10:39AM | 0 recs
I am truly heartened
by the 96-3 spread among Democrats.  I have never seen that kind of solidarity among Dems my entire life, and I've been around a long time.  Usually it is Republican support that is unwavering and usually around 85-9 or something like that, and Dems were usually around 75-15 or close to that.  But I have never seen this kind of overwhelming support for Dems by Dems.  Especially when you consider there are so many of us that can't stand the DLC and Democratic sheepishness these last four years.  I'm impressed.  
by fred 2005-09-18 11:13AM | 0 recs
The GOP has capitalized on a small group of people and given them what they want.  The satisfaction with that platform is a reflection.

The dems have a larger group of people when you define them as not-GOP but any one sub group doesn't agree with at least one other sub-group.

As such the dems currently lack a platform that creates more voters than the GOP platform in each case where they lose.


How many dems are violently opposed to gay marriage?
How many dems are violently opposed to dropping gay marriage?

How many dems are violently opposed to all war
How many dems are violently opposed to dropping all war

How many dems want racial quotas for schools
How many dems want no racial quotas for schools

How many dems want to teach evolution as fact.
How many dems want to highlight the ways in which evolution is less scientific than other science.
How many dems believe in creation and don't want their kids taught it is falst.

How many dems want more unions?
How many dems think unions are a curse?
How many dems want farmer co-op type opt in not forced in Labor movements?

etc etc etc.

Until you have a platform that you can write down show people and have them say yes thats for me, all this polling is BS.

The fact is that partly because dems and especially independants don't vote as often as GOP and partly because geography favors sparsly populated states over densly populated states as far as total political power per person, the GOP is in power.

by donkeykong 2005-09-18 11:35AM | 0 recs
It's Nice To Know Who The 3% Is!
How many dems want racial quotas for schools
How many dems want no racial quotas for schools
Racial quotas were ruled unconstitutional in 1978 in the Baake decision.  Anyone who's throwing around this sort of language 28 years later is an obvious agent provocatuer.
by Paul Rosenberg 2005-09-18 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: It's Nice To Know Who The 3% Is!
Exactly, racial quotas DO NOT exist.  Quotas are always ruled unconstitutional.  Even anything that has hard numbers involved is ruled uncon.

Affirmative actions is not numbers based and thus is not the same as quotas.  But the GOP still exploits this issue relentlessly with the stupid conservative white voters of this country.

by jgarcia 2005-09-18 12:50PM | 0 recs
Social Security Privatization
yup, that backfired big time, because of us, Harry Reid, Howard Dean, Krugman, Franken, etc. Apparently, The NRCC chairman Tom Reynolds told Hastert to drop the idea of private accounts cuz it's hurting GOPers in their home districts. Hastert seemed to brush off the idea, saying Reynolds was only voicing his opinion. Yeah, right.
by jj32 2005-09-18 12:48PM | 0 recs
What's up with married voters?
I knew married voters have trended Republican in recent years, but why are they still this way when every other group is trending Dem? Mind boggling.
by jason1965 2005-09-18 01:10PM | 0 recs
Who are...
...the self-described "liberal Democrats" who say they will be voting for Republicans? Has anyone ever actually met one?
by craverguy 2005-09-18 02:18PM | 0 recs
I can't think of any House Members that qualify
At least not off the top of my head, but if we are talking Senate, there are many Liberal Democrats that have no problem voting for (say) Chafee or the Maine Twins.
by Geotpf 2005-09-18 05:27PM | 0 recs
Liberal Dems voting Chaffee and the Maine Twins
Yup, and they don't realize that when they vote this way, they are really voting to make Bill Frist Majority Leader.
by jgarcia 2005-09-18 07:37PM | 0 recs
But they don't care about that (although they should).

That being said, these are excellent numbers for our side.  We are holding together our colation better than they are (heck, Mod/Cons Dems are more likely to vote Dem than Cons Reps, that's a shock).  Independents are leaning our way two to one.  I hope these numbers keep up until election day.

by Geotpf 2005-09-19 01:24AM | 0 recs
Than Cons Reps are going to vote Rep, I mean
Scoop really really really needs an edit function.
by Geotpf 2005-09-19 01:25AM | 0 recs
Is the poll predictive?
I think the question was poorly framed. They should have qualified those polled. Do they know who their representative is? If they do, or if given the name, do they think that person is doing a good job?

Name recognition goes a long way, as does incumbency. That's why about 96% of incumbents get re-elected. So the poll may indicate dissatisfaction with the Republicans, but may not be a good election predictor.

by rdf 2005-09-18 03:41PM | 0 recs
Chris, Is the Democractic leadership deaf?
This is fascinating. Why do the Weimar Demos not get this or are they so tied to the corporate teat themselves that they can't let go? As an ex-Repub who hates the right wing coup I have remained an independent because of the cowadice of most of the mainstream Demos to "get it" and take on the Rethugs and thats seems to be EXACTLY what the grass roots wants. What in the hell is wrong with them?? We are doomed forever with tweedle dum and tweedle dee until we have someone with courage and character and conviction to champion the causes which used to define America. Now it is ME ME ME and ME TOO ME TOO ME TOO.  
by Doc Allen 2005-09-18 04:08PM | 0 recs
How do we get them to listen????

Poker with Chuck(Schumer) and Dick(Durbin): Dems plan to win back Senate Roberts and SCOTUS...

Actually an expensive DSCC dinner

He indicated that conservative Senators including Coburn believe Roberts will uphold Roe v. Wade.

He (Schumer) seemed inclined to vote for Roberts and to present an image of "reasonableness" though he said he is still undecided.  The momentum seemed to be in favor keeping the powder dry for the "O'Connor" replacement.

Schumer polled the room and the overwhelming majority supported voting for Roberts as a way of keeping our powder dry.

The Plame investigation...

He said he trusts Fitzgerald to do the job on the Plame investigation... said that the Press is dropping the story because of Miller and Schumer believes that she will be released soon.  He said Tenet is VERY angry about this and indicated that he has been very cooperative with the prosecutor.


Schumer said that early next year the Dems will put out an agenda returning the focus to Bread and Butter issues... Education and Healthcare seem to be paramount.

These kinds of statements are why so so many Democrats are angry with their elected officials.  

They give up without a fight and rarely display anything that could be considered a demonstration of principle.  They don't seem to understand that if they voted no on Roberts, instead of decreasing their ammunition, they would actually build it up.  They would then demonstrate that by standing up for principle that they will also stand up FOR the American people.  And when they rollover by not being "obstructionist", they not only infuriate their base; they alienate the middle because the middle has no have no respect for their lack of guts.

How do we let them know, our elected offiicals,  how disappointed we are.

This looks like a recipe for losing in 2006.  Even if we win we would have replayed the 90's in such a way ,that we can't begin to govern on our own principles nor build the party for the future.  These are just short term goals and completely unworthy.

by debcoop 2005-09-18 07:58PM | 0 recs
all the more important for blog world to organize
you cover the news

you need to cover Congress

plug into its activities in a systematic way, and organiz=e "beats" to cover activities over time

I think this would be difficult to organize (without some sort of university backing) but very valuable

the current approach (based upon talented amateurs) should be supplemented

by jwp26 2005-09-18 10:23PM | 0 recs


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