Democrats Pissed At Leadership; Ready to Vote For Dems Anyway
by Chris Bowers, Sun Sep 18, 2005 at 08:48:27 AM EDT
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.