A Gallup landslide

Its a landslide election coming, that's for sure. It's still too early to say how the individual races stack up. The Democrats have a headstart of not being surprised in having tough elections, and the Republicans have a long ways to go of riding what seems like a peak.

Plus, the indication is that its a "throw the bums out" which includes both Republicans and Democrats, although the Democrats being the party in power means a strict referendum falls exclusively in the Democratic incumbents lap.

The anti-incumbent numbers are mind-boggling. The previous peak was in '92 at 58% saying the members of congress didn't deserve re-election. On election day that year, the numbers were about 49/37 of not deserving/deserving re-election.

Today, those numbers are 65/28, and on the flip-side, Republicans have widened the enthusiasm gap again. True, the Democrats got a 11 point bounce, but Republicans got a 15 point bounce (both from their lows over the past month). A 43/27 ratio from a month ago has moved to a 54/35 ratio today.

Republicans are gleeful, Michael Barone see's 1946-like numbers:

In the off-year election of 1946, Republicans gained 13 seats in the Senate and emerged with a 51–45 majority there, the largest majority that they enjoyed between 1930 and 1980. They gained 55 seats in the House, giving them a 246–188 majority in that body, the largest majority they have held since 1930.

Neverminding the numbers for the moment, it's amazing that Barone writes an entire article aligning similarities, and comes up with the notion that Unions & Gov't Jobs (being continued in part by the stimulus) being the common parallel between '46 and '10. I like reading Barone's history lessons, but he fails to understand the underlying antagonism of '10 is the bailouts and giveaways to corporations (at the expense of individuals).

In '46, there was quite a bit of turmoil over the fact that Unions were doing a lot of striking for better wages and conditions. So, to draw a parallel with that happening, and the November '46 results is valid. To draw a parallel with the current anti-incumbent sentiment in '10 with a notion that people are angry that Gov't workers remain employed at middle-class wages is to really miss the landscape in favor of the viewpoint. But it gets to the point of why Republicans can't fully capitalize off of the political momentum against DC.

They are part of the problem. Even moreso than corruption or the deficit-producing budgets that came to represent the Repubicans of the '00's, Republicans are the party that has done more to tilt the favor to corporations over individuals than the Democrats. True, the Democrats over this cyle, with giveaways like the bank bailouts and mandates to buy corporate insurance, are not really providing an alternative. But that's just another aspect of the problem. People realize that if you throw these bums out, in favor of the last bums, that its not solving anything. And that, to me, is really the crux of the matter that results in the mind-boggling numbers of 65/28 in favor of throwing them all out.

It's not '94 and its not '46. The '10 cycle seems a new independent-minded voter altogether.

Tags: (all tags)



enthusiam chasm, not a gao

Would energy/climate change plus financial reform help the Democrats' chances?  The sentiment may be so strong anyway, that nothing can save them.  It's interesting that polls of RVs show the generic ballot dead-even, but LV polling (nearly all Rasmussen) have shown a consistent GOP lead of 7-9%.  That would mean at least a sixty-seat loss in the House, and the GOP could win the Senate as well.

The problem was too much time was spent on a dubious health care reform, when the focus should have been jobs, financial reform and energy security in that order.  As for health care, I still believe incremental was a much better way to go and may have avoided the fix the Dems are in now.  No doubt the mandate (w/o a public option or medicare expansion) is hurting Democratic enthusiasm.


by esconded 2010-04-07 10:38PM | 0 recs
RE: enthusiam chasm, not a gao

I do think that an energy bill that comes out with a strong energy independence theme would change a lot of the sentiment. All of the above, serious about getting to renewables.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-04-07 11:27PM | 0 recs
RE: enthusiam chasm, not a gao

After 2006-2008 an enthusiasm gap is inevitable. Much of the stuff the right-wing is enthused about - "socialism", "death panels", "government takeover" - simply dosn't exist. So there is nothing legislative that is going to counter that.

At the end of the day it's all going to be about the economy. If the economy is still on the ropes then the incumbent party will get punished, simple as that. The only counter is a "rally around the flag" distraction like threatening imminent war or something. But those kind of games are not played by the dems.

by vecky 2010-04-08 01:21AM | 0 recs
Nate Silver notes

Democrats are more enthusiastic about a midterm election than ever before, but even then they're losing because Republicans are EVEN MORE enthuisasitc.

Here's how it's going to play out, if Democrats get killed with their base turning out, as what happened in Massachusetts (you can lose a special election in Mass as a Dem after getting the highest number votes for a losing Dem in twenty years, and ever for a special election, and say 'the base didn't turn out'), progressive lose even more clout and even more power.

by ND22 2010-04-08 08:57AM | 0 recs
RE: Nate Silver notes

It was notable, in the MA special election, that a week out, one could see that the higher turnout benefited Brown. This was all about the independents, which were breaking heavily toward Brown. Its basically the same sort of scenario right now, with this gallup poll.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-04-08 11:04AM | 0 recs
Which would mean

that elections ARE in fact won and lost on independents and not the base.

The Democratic base is just going to have to accept that in order to keep power, we're going to have to govern on the whim of unstable and consistently shifting Independents. 


by ND22 2010-04-08 02:47PM | 1 recs
RE: Which would mean

Its not static. The whole premise (correct at the time) of Rove during 2004 was that the true independents were only about 5-10% at most, so they didn't bother with being outspent by Kerry to target those, and instead used money to turn up their base another 10 percent, while splitting the indys.They won with the base.

That doesn't work when, like today, that Indy's are not breaking even, and the 5-10% whom are not partisan inclined are much greater in percentage.

So yea, its an Independent problem first and foremost today; but this doesn't mean having a centrist message, it means winning over Independents to the Democratic side (which hasn't been done).

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-04-08 03:31PM | 1 recs
But if you look at polls

Independents are supporting right wing policies like keeping Gitmo open, military tribunals, no HCR, deficit reduction, etc, so winning over Independents is going to require a lot of hippie punching, which then puts your own base into question. 

We can probably pass stuff like jobs legislation and financial reform with Independent support, but Independents shift like sands in a hurricane, who knows where they'll stand next week. If our job is to win them over, it's going to require a lot of political shifting by the Democratic Party. We cannot be principled because Independents as a group are not principled. They're bipolar when it comes to politics and tend to be bandwagony and respond to media memes. 

That 5-10% can swing elections. Think about the GOP's 2004 Congressional win, 51%-45%. That shifted only 7% toward the Dems, accounting for that 5%-10% for 2006. If even 8% that 10% of those people move to the GOP, a 52%-44% victory (like in 2008) becomes a 52%-44% loss, which would be near unprecedented since the 1920s.


by ND22 2010-04-08 04:23PM | 1 recs
RE: But if you look at polls

There is a class of Indies who tend to lean GOP but aren't terribly fond of the party - the Perot voters. The fact that they disappear during Republican administrations only to reapper whenever a Democrat takes office is one of those electoral wild-cards that we have to acknowledge.

I'll say as a whole the country is 30% conservative, 10% lean conservative, 25% liberal, 20% lean liberal, and 10-15% are the Perot block. When faced with a 2-way choice their is close to 2-1 chance that the Perot voter will choose the conservative. IMO.

by vecky 2010-04-09 12:20AM | 1 recs
RE: But if you look at polls

To add to that, I don't think in 2008 the Democrats and Obama did any better with the Perot block than Dems normally do in 2-way elections (i.e: they got 1/3rd, about the same as Kerry, Gore). Rather I think the dems peeled a couple of % away from the "lean conservative" types.

by vecky 2010-04-09 12:26AM | 0 recs
RE: But if you look at polls

In 1992, Perot voters would have split 50/50 if Perot hadn't been on the ballot...

by Steve M 2010-04-09 10:14AM | 0 recs
RE: But if you look at polls

Ya, but I remember seeing a poll/study later which said Bush won the Perot block by 60-40 over Gore or some such thing.

by vecky 2010-04-09 02:15PM | 0 recs
RE: But if you look at polls

Here it is:

Instead, 59 percent of former Perot voters went for Bush, and 9 percent for Nader. Many of these voters seem to have been Republicans and independents who were driven to Perot by the deficit; once it was gone, they drifted back home, where they joined gun-owners (who broke 61 percent for Bush), rural voters (59 percent), and cultural conservatives of every stripe.


by vecky 2010-04-09 02:46PM | 1 recs
vecky is correct, and further...

...it's important to note that Clinton's 1992 victory still would happened in a 2-way, but would have been much more of a nailbiter, and of course Clinton would have lost some states like Montana and Georgia where his win was truly a 3-way fluke.  And frankly the same goes for 1996, although Clinton's margin over Dole still would have been larger than in a 2-way over Bush 41 in 1992.

We ultimately live in an America where conservatives substantially outnumber liberals, and that always puts us at a disadvantage.  It's not going to change until nonwhite voters increase to at least one-third of the national electorate, which I don't see happening for another 20 years or so (Alan Abramowitz sees it happening just 10 years from now, but I think he's overly optimistic).

by DCCyclone 2010-04-12 09:09AM | 0 recs

So yea, its an Independent problem first and foremost today; but this doesn't mean having a centrist message, it means winning over Independents to the Democratic side (which hasn't been done).

Okay, so we have an Independent Problem.

You could make the argument that having a centrist message doesn't move Independents over simply because it hasn't done so to date. This would support the theory that standing for something, anything, rather than being centrist triangulating wishy-washy, wins independents, regardless of whether they agree with you.

Conversely, you could also argue that Independents may just disagree with you more if you move left.

Does somebody have approval numbers amongst independents following the left and right tack of Washington?

by NoFortunateSon 2010-04-08 04:35PM | 0 recs

A vindication for the centrist governing from Washington that progressives have reviled the past year?

by NoFortunateSon 2010-04-08 04:06PM | 0 recs
Nate Silver pretty much already vindicated this

He pointed out that post-HCR, Democratic enthusiasm is at record levels, slightly higher than 2006 levels...just like many predicted, passing healthcare reform would turn out the base, and it is.

Except it's only emboldened Republicans and they're enthusastic at record levels too.

What this says is that the base strategy isn't working, and in order to win, Democrats have to win both the base and Independents, who are at odds with each other on many issues. 

And the end result is the base has nowhere to go and Indys will vote Republican, so your Hail Mary pass is to play to Indys, even at the expense of the base and hope they still turn out.

It's demoralizing to liberals, yes, but at some point the base needs to accept they need to win back the public from the right wing messaging apparatus. 


by ND22 2010-04-08 04:31PM | 0 recs
In Nate Silver I trust

Nate silver is a smart guy.

But isn't this the eternal struggle for any party in power? The more one governs, the harder it is to retain supporters.

The only recent exception I can see to this is amidst the politicization of 9/11, for surely, the GOP would have otherwise suffered big losses in 2002.

There was backlash against the New Deal. There was backlash against Reganomics. And there's going to be backlash against Obama.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-04-08 06:04PM | 0 recs
It took

a decade before there was any real noticeable backlash against the New Deal at the polls, Reaganomics survived for over 25 years (and one may argue is still struggling to breathe today)

A backlash against Obama in a year is pretty striking.

by ND22 2010-04-08 06:54PM | 0 recs
Okay, I interchanged the policies witht he Presidents, but...

Regan suffered huge mid-term losses in 1982 (27 seats) and FDR suffered eve bigger losses in 1938 (72 seats), although in the latter case, FDR was in his second term.

So no, there is nothing striking about this anti-incumbancy sentiment. Of course it is going to be ratcheted up because the PResident is black. But there is nothing atypical.

The atypical result is the party not losing seats (FDR in 1934 and George W. Bush in 2002), and in both of those cases, there was a National Crisis.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-04-08 07:23PM | 1 recs
Good points, NFS, and let me add...

...that it's a big mistake to overlook racism as a factor in right-wing hostility toward Obama.  There are plenty of conservatives who despise Obama today no more than they despised Clinton in April 1994, but there are also plenty, certainly many millions and perhaps even in the tens of millions, who are deeply bothered that the President of the United States is a black man named Barack Hussein Obama.

The one thing I'll say that strikes me as strangely missing from the discussion here is the fact of the long recession.  It's almost as if everyone is so used to it that everyone just forgets about it as a factor in politics.  Really if job creation truly takes off, then that will mitigate our losses greatly.  If it doesn't take off, then we're in trouble no matter what Democrats do going forward, although just doing their jobs and getting stuff done DOES mitigate somewhat.

by DCCyclone 2010-04-12 09:28AM | 0 recs
Your conclusion is mistaken......

To say "the base strategy isn't working" is wrong.  It IS working, to the extent it CAN work.  It doesn't prevent losses, it doesn't necessarily prevent deep losses, but it makes it less bad than it would be otherwise.

The polling is clear that Democratic base enthusiasm has increased MORE than Republican base enthusiasm post-HCR.

And what the polling misses is what REALLY happens to base turnout on election day if base voters are truly depressed:  it CRATERS worse than polling months or even weeks out would predict.

This is what happened in Virginia last year, and I would know since I'm active here.  The turnout model on election day proved more hostile to Democrats than very reasonable polling in September or October would have predicted.  My own Delegate, Margi Vanderhye, lost solely because of that, as I determined in my own precinct analysis afterward.

What we've gained by enacting HCR and getting some other stuff done, and continuing to get a few things done this spring and summer, is we keep the turnout model less hostile than it would be otherwise.  Our side's door-knockers can sell something this fall, where they wouldn't be able to otherwise.  I know all about that, I avoided mentioning Creigh Deeds' name last year at the doors because there was almost nothing credible I could argue in his favor given the campaign he ran.

by DCCyclone 2010-04-12 09:38AM | 0 recs
RE: enthusiam chasm, not a gao

Nonsense, nothing is inevitable in politics. With the right sort of leadership and a real populist stance that includes castigating those who caused the recession with a haircut and regulation (rather than a bailout and bonuses); that includes getting out of Iraq according to the timetable promised and avoiding another surge in Afghanistan that reeks of a bait and switch; the Democrats could easily be pointing the anger right back at the Republicans who caused this mess. Instead they dived right in for continuing the failed economic and military mistakes, and now bear the brunt of responsibility.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-04-08 09:05AM | 0 recs
RE: enthusiam chasm, not a gao

You're right nothing is inevitable, but none of what you sited would have narrowed the enthusiasm gap. There are two components to 'the anger' - one is conservative/GOP fear-mongering which would exist regardless, and the other is the economy.

by vecky 2010-04-08 12:54PM | 1 recs
RE: enthusiam chasm, not a gap

It won't surprise you that I agree with vecky here. I don't deny the merit of your opinion. There has been a failure to indict and distinguish fromt he failures of the past.

But I do caution you in separating what you want from what the democrats need to do.

Take Afghanistan, for example.

Would not having surged in Afghanistan yesterday narrowed the enthusiasm gap today? I couldn't locate any recent poll numbers, but I seem to recall that Obama receives the highest approval from Independents on his handling of Afghanistan.

Would the boost in democratic support minus the boost in republican enthusiasm minus the loss of independents create a net positive? I don't know.

I do suspect that if had Obama not surged in Afghanistan, and there was a terror incident, 2010 would already be written off.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-04-08 04:28PM | 0 recs
Populism does not work, sorry

The wars aren't a big issue to anyone in particular and castigating those who caused the recession isn't gonna cheer anyone up if unemployment is still high and the economy is still struggling, which putting bankers in jail won't solve. 

Populism also requires a lot of right wing initiatives too in law & order and national security issues. Populism leaves the door open for everyone to be pissed about something. 

by ND22 2010-04-08 04:35PM | 0 recs
If Republicans win Congress, its over

They will control Congress and the government for the rest of our lives.  They will gerrymander themselves a majority that will last a lifetime.  Just look how long it took for Democrats to finally win it back after losing in 1994 and that took a major sex scandal blowing up four weeks before the elections and Democrats could still only get 233 seats in the House and 51 in the Senate.  Republicans will be the kings of the world for the rest of our lives. 

by Kent 2010-04-07 10:42PM | 0 recs
The country is hopelessly conservative

it's a right wing country and we're going to get our asses kicked for trying to move the overton window to the center. We did the right thing and we're going to lose because of it.

Deal with it and move on.

by ND22 2010-04-07 11:19PM | 1 recs
Don't believe the hype

The country is changing. There simply won't be enough white people to vote Republican after a while :)

Don't let these stories get you down.

Nate Silver is still projecting 54 D Senate seats. I think we can beat it.

Don't forget there was a tremendous local aspect to Scott Brown's victory at the nadir of Obama and Congressional approval.

Let's wait for the individual House races to start polling before we throw in the towel on Congress.

Republicans have no positive message, or any message whatsoever. While there is tremendous populist anger and anti-incumbant sentiment... in April..., the GOP is not functioning on all cylinders. There is no coherent message of change. I don't know if it is going to be enough for them.

Sure we're going to lose seats. As you note, there are just too many Democrats in Republican districts. But the battle is far from over, and we have Obama on our side.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-04-08 04:44PM | 0 recs
In the long term, yes

but in the short term, having no positive message works when the media gets the public into a negative angry frenzy

by ND22 2010-04-08 04:54PM | 1 recs
I'm not sure this frenzy is sustainable...

...and it seems too easy to attack them on lack of message as you get closer to election day. We're still over 6 months away.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-04-08 06:07PM | 0 recs
RE: I'm not sure this frenzy is sustainable...

You're right re timing and not attacking this early, but this is the Blog Birch society and if there's one thing the Gimmie-a-Pony-Sports talk Left does well, it's cry abut how tough the climate is for progressives and how wimpy their leadership is.

I guess Jerome, jonathan singer, desmoinesdem, Nate Silver and our boy kent can all pat themselves on the back now.

I acknowledge that I used unkind language--now when are you going to chasitise Kent?

by spirowasright 2010-04-09 12:20PM | 0 recs
In the long term, yes

but in the short term, having no positive message works when the media gets the public into a negative angry frenzy

by ND22 2010-04-08 04:54PM | 0 recs
RE: If Republicans win Congress, its over

The redistricting is turning out to be a big problem; 28-29 Republican Governors isn't out of the question.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-04-07 11:28PM | 0 recs
They got 31 in 1994

It could happen again.  If things go bad enough, Democrats may control redistricting in just a single state:  Maryland.  And even that could be taken away if Martin O'Malley loses to Ehrlich.  Republicans would be able to draw themselves a House majority that would last for decades. 

by Kent 2010-04-07 11:43PM | 0 recs
Yes, healthcare was the right thing to do

But we are going to have to fight like hell to keep the law intact.  We will have to use the filbuster and veto over and over again.

by Kent 2010-04-07 11:29PM | 0 recs
That's what happens in a fascist right wing country like America

Democrats are damn lucky to have gotten what they got...equal pay, credit card reform, student loan reform, auto bailout, hate crimes expansion, tougher talk on Israel, nuke treaty, etc. We've been pushing it for a while. Of course there's going to be reflexive retaliation from the mostly right wing population.

BTW, do you still think the stimulus is "Obama's legacy." I noticed you disappeared over the few weeks during/after healthcare passed, which you repeatedly said would never pass.  

by ND22 2010-04-07 11:33PM | 0 recs
This is silly

Anyone who's read Almanac of American Politics knows that Barone is a completely biased Republican flack.  Even in a book that's supposed to be "just the facts" his bias is in every page.  It's APRIL, people, not October.  The passage of health insurance reform was an important victory.  The economy is starting to recover--in large part because of the imperfect, but necessary bailout.  The dynamic will be shifting in Dems favor over the summer.  Let's work for Dem victories instead of playing Chicken Little.



by Thaddeus 2010-04-07 11:33PM | 1 recs
Maybe, I don't know

turn on the TV, read a newspaper, the common theme in every story/editorial is "government sucks, OUTRAGE!"

Outrage over the government not functioning, outrage over the government actually functioning but passing legislation through "abuse of power" and without bipartisan support. Outrage at budget cuts aimed at preventing tax hikes, outrage at tax hikes aimed at preventing budget cuts.

Basically, there is literally nothing the government can do that won't get media outlets to spark outrage and create a movement of faux outrage among people. Poll after poll everyday "How do you feel about X, Y"

The economy can get better, we could pass legislation like an assembly line, and the media would still build up outrage that the economy isn't getting better fast enough or Democrats are ramming legislation through.

In the end, all of the Democratic successes are getting squashed by a never ending media outrage movement aimed at creating horseraces for people like chris matthews to talk about.

The only way you're gonna get them to shutup is govern like a Republican.

by ND22 2010-04-07 11:46PM | 0 recs
oh yea,

just a day in the park type of silly:

Voters’ anti-incumbent mood is like nothing Gallup has seen in the past four midterm election cycles. While that could have a negative impact on incumbents from both parties, the greater exposure of the Democrats by virtue of their majority status means greater risk for their candidates. Additionally, both parties have seen their majority control of Congress wiped out in midterm elections with less anti-incumbent fervor than is seen today.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-04-08 08:53AM | 0 recs
RE: oh yea,

That sounds like a pretty dumb poll question, since no one votes for "most members of Congress."  But let's look at the historical trend to see if we can learn anything here.

The most striking thing about this graph is that the Republicans enjoy a long period of support through 2004, and then during 2005 and 2006 there's a sharp dropoff.  Okay, then we have the Democratic takeover in 2006, so far so good.  But then what happens?

The amazing thing about this graph is that the public, having grown extremely dissatisfied with the Republicans and having successfully turned Congress over to the opposition party, then shows no change whatsoever in their attitude towards Congress after the change in parties.  Having successfully turned control over to the Democrats, they now want to get rid of the Democrats.  Pardon?

Is it plausible to believe that following the 2006 election, the public wanted to throw out most members of Congress by a 52-38 margin?  If that's the case, how the heck did the Democrats get voted in?

There's a further dropoff in 2008 corresponding with the decline in the economy.  That's an indicator of the current political climate and it's a basis for concern.  But rather than looking at the raw numbers of 28-65 and saying good gravy, it's important to remember that the baseline was already pretty negative.  Democrats added to their majority in a major way in 2008 even though a large majority of the public was saying that most members of Congress deserved to be thrown out.

I think it's very difficult to learn anything from this poll.  I also feel quite confident that no matter how unprecedented and historic and blah blah blah this anti-incumbent sentiment is, a lot less than 65% of the voters will be voting against their incumbent.

by Steve M 2010-04-08 07:10PM | 0 recs
RE: oh yea,

The graph showed up in preview but not in the final post.  Let me try this again.

If it doesn't work I blame the dysfunctional new site.


by Steve M 2010-04-08 07:13PM | 0 recs
RE: oh yea,

"If that's the case, how the heck did the Democrats get voted in?"

Attracting the libertarian democrats, from Dean's opposition that drew new energy in and from anti-bush military expansionism, along with depressed conservatives due to Bushs "big government" bills.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-04-09 09:35AM | 0 recs
RE: oh yea,

Are the libertarian Democrats invisible to pollsters or something?  Because the fact remains, the Democrats significantly increased their majority in 2008 even though the exact question you cite showed that voters felt "most members of Congress don't deserve re-election" by a whopping 52-38 margin.

by Steve M 2010-04-09 10:13AM | 0 recs
It's a figment of the imagination

of a guy who wants to be convinced the Democrats are losing because we didn't let banks and auto companies fail and immediately pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq. 

by ND22 2010-04-09 10:45AM | 0 recs
It's caffeteria popuism.

Markos identified himself as a "libertarian democrat" in 2006. Markos tends to be spot on in his analysis. But in this case, I think the term is misapplied.

Frankly, there's no such thing.

It's a neologism, and the very concept is an oxymoron. Being a democrat means believing that government has a constructive role to play. Libertarianism means reducing the role of the government as much as possible.

What Markos might have meant is that he's an anti-corporatist democrat. He indicated when applying the definition that he meant to extend libertarianism to freedom from corporations. That is a completely different definition, though, and anti-corporatist democrat doesn't sound as sexy.

I think when people claim they are a populist democrat, they also mean they are an anti-corporatist democrat. You see this with Arianna Hiffington, who has seized the "populist" mantle. But she only adopts certain elements of populism, and then conflates not populist messages with her populism. It's caffeteria populism, and the entrees selected are anti-corporatist. Fair enough, but don't call it populism. Call it an anti-corporatist democratic.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-04-09 02:06PM | 0 recs
RE: It's caffeteria popuism.

Libertarian Democrat means keeping the government out of social issues, but keeping some role in economic issues - to level the playing feild and ensure a safety net.

Markos used to be a Republican. I never had that opportunity because my first 'experience' with the GOP was their impeachment of Clinton.

by vecky 2010-04-09 02:20PM | 0 recs
It sounds like plain old democrat to me.

The democrats have been the party of social freedom for years now.

Yes, Markos used to be a Republican, but I trust him as a democrat. Markos, moreso than any other blogger, has achieved tangible results for democrats. Take Arianna Huffington, in contrast. Here is someone who also used to be a Republican, but was instrumental in the Grey Davis recall so she could get her Hollywood buddy Arnold in the Governor's Mansion.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-04-09 03:10PM | 0 recs
Libertarian Democrats, eh?

So since libertarian means individual freedom, I suppose that means we need to pass more tax cuts and privatize social security and Medicare to keep them in the party, seeing as libertarians hate stuff like, oh, universal health care and labor union laws, the healthcare bill was a mistake and we'd better not even think about EFCA

Oh, and since libertarians hate regulations, we'd better drop financial reform fast! 

by ND22 2010-04-09 10:36AM | 0 recs
RE: Libertarian Democrats, eh?

There are libertarians and there are nut-jobs. You just described the latter!

My own experience with 'Libertarians' (actual one's not conservatives pretending) is that they are more concerned with red-tape than anything else. Medicaid for example tends to be unpopular not because they don't want health-care for the poor (and themselves) but becasue you have to jump through hoops to get it.

by vecky 2010-04-09 02:24PM | 0 recs
All government programs are like that

red tape is a staple of government programs, it's like that all over the world, even in countries with nationalized healthcare. It's a part of life, that's why libertarians think Medicaid is better if managed privately. 

by ND22 2010-04-09 04:58PM | 0 recs
RE: All government programs are like that

Well, I don't think so. Government services are sometimes over-ladded with red-tape, but it's not necessarily true.

And private services aren't much better - i'm currently trying to deal with three different home insurance companies over some small water damage in my flat (mine, the landlords/buildings, and the guy's who had the leak). They don't make it easy...

by vecky 2010-04-09 06:44PM | 0 recs
No that's true

but a libertarian is by nature anti-government, so a Democratic Libertarian is really an oxymoron. What Jerome means by libertarian Democrat is essentially a socially liberal Republican, and they've since gone back to the GOP.

So what Jerome is admitting is Democrats won by winning the votes of Republicans, which means in order to keep power, we have to appeal to the most liberal Republicans...essentially govern "moderate"




by ND22 2010-04-09 06:49PM | 0 recs

This describes a socially liberal Republican?

"Dean's opposition that drew new energy in and from anti-bush military expansionism, along with depressed conservatives due to Bushs "big government" bills."

Nah. The former are those that are pretty checked out of the equation (the unethused) of the Obama Democrat program, and the latter are the Tea Party fanatics.

Socially liberal Republicans are going extinct; sorta like New Democrats during the Bush years.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-04-09 08:36PM | 0 recs

there is nobody and I mean nobody who is sitting around piping mad refusing to vote because of Afghanistan. Obama's Democratic base did not have a huge amount of anti-Afghan war supporters, because he was in favor of expanding the war, no matter how much you want to believe it.

We're losing because people are buying the Republican crap.

Afghanistan is literally an issue for like 5% of the population tops.

and are you admitting that there are people who helped deliver Democratic victories who are in the tea party now?

Well, we'd better move right and FAST!

by ND22 2010-04-10 12:19AM | 0 recs
RE: Jerome

There are a number of 5 percenter groups out there that voted about 90% for Democrats in '06, that are tipping the scales now through their uninvolvement. I suggest you travel to sites like commondreams/democracynow, and the like for getting a different viewpoint if you really believe there is no one out there.

And some too that voted heavily for Obama in '08, among which I'd count Latinos for non-action on immigration to date, and being especially hard-hit with economic hardship, whom are uninvolved for the mid-terms.

Your arguement seems to boil down to, because we have a number of groups that are uninvolved fully, whom usually vote dem, but are not likely to vote in those same numbers in '10, its time to move right fast.

I guess you don't recall the reason about how Democrats never could win the House back from '96- '04 thing, because that's pretty much the playbook that was used.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-04-11 12:09PM | 0 recs
RE: Jerome

Those 5 percenter groups that vote 90% dem will still vote 90% dem. The problem is with people who have never heard of sites like commondreams/democracynow, which is most people. They aren't politicaly engaged and with Obama not on the ballot and it being a mid-term they are not going to vote in the same numbers as '08.

by vecky 2010-04-11 01:54PM | 0 recs
Will they be involved if we tackle immigration?

Maybe, maybe not.

Or will it turn off working class voters who will buy the Republican spin that Democrats are playing to the Latino vote in a time when unemployment is high?

For every other group we aim to please, we lose another one...and thats assuming immigration drives out Latinos at all, which isn't certain.

the main reason the Democrats couldn't take back Congress from 1996-2004 is that they didn't even try until 2000 and not again until 2004...and in 2000 we can within five seats of taking control. 

by ND22 2010-04-12 04:32PM | 0 recs
RE: No that's true

Well we'll have to agree to disagree. I'm not terribly fond of government bureaucracy myself. And there are Libertarians who see a role for government in preventing complete corporate control (see libertarian support for net neutrality). Indeed some "anti-government" sentiment exists because government is viewed (by them) as being on the side of the corporations rather than the citizens.

by vecky 2010-04-09 08:56PM | 0 recs
uh no

There are no libertarians who are anti-government because they see government on the side of corporations and not citizens, those people are not libertarians, they're liberals

by ND22 2010-04-10 12:20AM | 0 recs
RE: This is silly

I agree with the premise of your statement. Even before the 2006 election, many in the media were talking about how Republicans were going to gain seats even in the lowest point of Republican credibility. If these people vote the Republicans into power, it is what they deserve. Personally, I've lost all hope on what people state should be an individual's social responsibility (to how empathy for others), for those talking heads' actions are louder than their words in contradiction of such statements. Going forward, I'm thinking about injecting myself with a strong dose of selfism. Let the populance drink its own poison if they so choose.

by Check077 2010-04-08 02:49PM | 0 recs
RE: This is silly

Good idea, but it'll fall on deaf ears here among the little old lefties in tennis shoes (see the post below).

Some people at thiese sites  are better at whining than they are at anything else.

By the way, these things usually don't turn out as dire as they're made out to be. The country is shifitn inyour direction, but it will take time and when you finally reach that point, things will shift back in the other direction.

by spirowasright 2010-04-09 12:25PM | 0 recs
the new "independents"

I'll believe there's a new "independent" voter... when voters do something independent; so far, they've backed incumbents in Texas, and no high profile race - even Scott Brown this year - represents a result that really fell outside predictable expectations (and I don't mean they picked a Republican or a Democrat; I mean that, in nearly every election in the past 12 months... we pretty much knew how they'd shake out well beforehand). Conservatives will point to Marco Rubio besting Charlie Crist, but Crist barely fits the pattern and brings plenty of additional baggage to the discussion (and Rubio, more pointedly, brings none). And regardless, Rubio is himself an outlier - no other race seems to have a similar dynamic, or a candidate with the personable qualities and hustle Rubio's shown. Democrats may not have a Rubio (how's that hope-y change-y idea of Joe Sestak as an alternative to Arlen Specter - ! - working out for ya?)... it's not clear they'll need one (including Specter, who still at least seems able to give pat Toomey enough of a run to make that race not an absolute given). The bottom line, I think, is that voter anger - which has been pretty much a constant since the financial meltdown - has yet to find an articulation in political terms that change voter behavior. A new independence? As I said, that seems yet to materialize in action. But if there's a groundswell for massive change in the New York state Senate, hey, sign me up. As it stands, I sense that, like many places, we'll be getting more of the same... and not much in the way of fresh faces or interesting new ideas. I wish we were. And I suspect others do, as well.


by nycweboy1 2010-04-07 11:44PM | 0 recs
No one, and I mean no one

thought Scott Brown had a shot in hell at winning until about 12 days before that election.

by ND22 2010-04-07 11:49PM | 0 recs
The DSCC and White House should have been polling

And should have launched an all out assault on Brown starting in December.  That is what the DCCC is doing in the May 22nd Hawaii election.

by Kent 2010-04-07 11:52PM | 0 recs
They were polling

Coakley was up 9 points 14 days out.



by ND22 2010-04-08 12:13AM | 0 recs
RE: No one, and I mean no one

Not so. It was all over the rightwing blogoshere throughout December; they even did their own poll. Anyone reading memorandum saw it happening. Looks like the NRSC knew about it too in December:

That December poll, the existence of which was first reported by Politico, showed Brown trailing Coakley by 13 points but running neck and neck among the voters most likely to turn out for the special election. Cornyn shared the news with his fellow GOP leaders but asked them to keep the information under wraps.

The NRSC quietly started sending staff into Massachusetts in the first week of the year and sent $500,000 on Jan. 7. The potential closeness of the contest didn't become national news until days after those steps.

Having been on the side at a time when those sort of moves were being done by our side, it wasn't that difficult to see the telling signs of what could obviously be a potential, mostly through the blogosphere rumblings; confirmed by a committee on the ball.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-04-08 09:00AM | 0 recs
RE: No one, and I mean no one

I love reading the right-wing blogosphere.


And here's where the mammoth significance of playing in MA-SEN comes into the discussion: if Brown wins, Obamacare is dead.


by vecky 2010-04-08 01:03PM | 0 recs
Most people would balk

at an NRSC poll that shows a Republican down 13 points in Massachusetts a month before an election.



by ND22 2010-04-08 02:53PM | 0 recs
I'm not so sure.

Here in MA, people were growing increasingly alarmed by the inaction of the Coakley campaign. Losers always seem to run poor campaigns, but Coakley ran one of the worst in my recent memory. Brown's victory was totally avoidable.

Brown's victory was the result of many factors, and amounted to a sneak attack campaign. Such an ambush is no longer possible except on democratic safe seats in individual races. And I don't think anyone is as foolish to fall asleep this year.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-04-08 06:16PM | 0 recs
RE: the new "independents"

Am not seeing it manifest in something different than an R or D, if that's what you mean; but the energy is definetly going in that direction.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-04-07 11:53PM | 0 recs
Healthcare is his legacy

But he must be willing to fight to protect it.  This means vetoing any attempt to repeal or change it, even if it means a government shutdown(which the GOP would be blamed for) until Republicans agree to restore the funding for it.

by Kent 2010-04-07 11:48PM | 0 recs
RE: Healthcare is his legacy

Which he will probably do if it gets to that point, don't you think?


Hey Kent, when the inevitable happens and a liberal version of George W. Bush becomes President, try and support them for I don't know, 30 seconds or so. That would be a new record.

by spirowasright 2010-04-09 02:16PM | 0 recs
the cliche is true

If this election is a referendum on whether people are better off than they were before Democrats were in power, we are going to get slaughtered.

If we can make it a choice between the Democratic approach and the failed Republican approach to dealing with the economy, health care, whatever, we have a fighting chance.

I am also hopeful that the GOP will leave some seats on the table because they won't have as large a money edge as they have had in some previous cycles.

I remember in 1994 some people were saying it was just "anti-incumbent" sentiment, but the only incumbents who ended up losing were Democrats.

by desmoinesdem 2010-04-08 01:01PM | 1 recs
Then we're going to get slaughtered

because elections are almost always held on whether or not they were better now than before the party in power was in power, they're almost never referendums on the opposition party's leadership last time they were in power.

Having said that, I can imagine anyone saying they're not better off even now than they were in late 2008. 

by ND22 2010-04-08 02:55PM | 0 recs
RE: Then we're going to get slaughtered

No, sometimes incumbents are able to make elections a choice between them and the challenger (what the challenger has done/will do), rather than a referendum on the president/what's happening now. Republicans held some seats we should have won in 2006 and 2008 by doing this. We are going to need to do that in some of our vulnerable districts.

by desmoinesdem 2010-04-08 03:41PM | 0 recs
In a year this anti-incubment

that will only exacerbate the problem. 

by ND22 2010-04-08 04:16PM | 0 recs
RE: the cliche is true

The stakes for either side are different. Democrats take comfort that Obama will still be President, this lowers their stake in the election. Republicans know that Obama is President, this increases their stake in the election. Add that conservatives have a viscreal reaction to being out-of-power and out-of-control, compared to liberals or progressives who largely accept it, and that's a fundamental dynamic that can't be changed.

by vecky 2010-04-08 03:30PM | 0 recs
Obama will not be President

John Boehner will run this country right out of the Speaker's chair if Republicans take control, just as Newt Gingrich did.  Obama will be completely powerless. 

by Kent 2010-04-08 05:25PM | 0 recs
You made your point

now shutup

by ND22 2010-04-08 06:25PM | 0 recs
I like how you hid after HCR passed

You ran away from here and hid.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-04-08 07:16PM | 1 recs
RE: I like how you hid after HCR passed

I like how knuckhead Kent hid, too.

I'd like to take that defeatist little jerk's keyboard and smash him over the head with it.

I acknowledge that I called Kent a bad name and I will continue to do so as long as the little socialist freeper  gets to post anything he wants.

by spirowasright 2010-04-09 12:32PM | 0 recs
RE: I like how you hid after HCR passed

Anybody chekc the results from FL-19 tonight? that should send KEnt back underground fro another couple of weeks.

by spirowasright 2010-04-13 11:18PM | 0 recs

He can still concern troll over the upcoming general.And we're not out of the woods yet, but a strong showing in a strong D district kind of gives pause to the tidal wave theory.

But how he ran away and hid after HCR passed was hysterical.

by NoFortunateSon 2010-04-13 11:20PM | 0 recs
what do you see?

Yea, nothing to get excited about, an easy win of 62% in a CD that Obama won with 66% and in which Wexler never took less than 66% in all his races.

The special elections in PA and HI will be much more telling.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-04-13 11:34PM | 0 recs
RE: what do you see?

And if PA aand HI both go Democratic Jerome, what then?

There are some indications that while this won't be a baner years for the Democrats, ithere may not be a Republican tidal waive, either.

At some point, that has to dawn on you.

by spirowasright 2010-04-14 01:23PM | 0 recs
RE: what do you see?

What exactly has to dawn on me before it dawns in the elections itself?  Your comment makes no sense. If there's some polls, that would be great to look at for those special elections; otherwise I'll wait and see.

To bank on that election meaning anything, given the results, is just wishful thinking.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-04-14 02:32PM | 0 recs
RE: what do you see?

What has to dawn on you is that while this may be a Republican year, it may not necessarily be 1994 all over again.

It seems that a lot of people, especially at MyDD right now, have joined in on calling the election seven months early and if something doesn't fit the mem (like the Fl-19 results), they're dismissed as irrelevant. Had the election been closer or gone Republican, then there may have been a lot more noise about national implications.

Lynch was on Fox Business Channel during the campaign, bragging about his post-HCR fundraising and touting some information the was supposed to have given hm the lead in the race. Also, the M$M decided to gin this up as a referendum on Obama and healthcare,

Those arethe things which apparently made the victory margn significant.


P.S-You didn't answer my question. What happens if PA and HI stay Democratic.

by spirowasright 2010-04-14 03:01PM | 0 recs
RE: what do you see?

Well, PA might be indicative, but HI is neither here nor there since it's a 3-way race and the only chance the GOP has is of sneaking in with ~30% of the vote.

Obviously it depends on the margins - if the GOP candidate polls 40% or over in HI I would be worried. But that doesn't seem to be the case.

by vecky 2010-04-14 03:23PM | 0 recs
RE: what do you see?

Well, I've written that it's nonsense about calling the elections this far out. But the point is, there was nothing spectacular about the win in FL; in fact it was underwhelming by about 4-6% from the base of what we could expect. Who cares what Lynch said; those are the numbers.

What about PA and HI?  I would say that if the Dems win in PA, its going to shake up the narrative quite a bit-- most expect to lose that one. HI, as vecky points out, is a bit of an anomaly, and I'd agree with her over/under at 40 percent.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-04-14 04:11PM | 0 recs
RE: A Gallup landslide

Which Repubs are going to "win"?  The populist Tea-baggers or the pro-corporate hacks?  THAT will make all the difference as well.

And where is the survey that talks about how people feel locally?  I feel like throwing out almost all congress critters...except those from MN, who I think are doing well (Except extreem lunatic Bachmann).  Politics is local...how are the candidates doing locally?

Oh, and I am willing to loose the ND Senate seat if it means that "anti-incumbant" sentiments also chuck out that boot-lick Thune from SD...but somehow, I don't see anyone making THOSE arguments...only Dem's will suffer this year.



by Hammer1001 2010-04-08 06:46PM | 0 recs
RE: A Gallup landslide

Interesting point.

Nobody like Congress, but everybody likes their Congressperson.

by spirowasright 2010-04-09 12:33PM | 0 recs


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