Poll: Obama’s Coalition Fraying

October 29th, 2010 at 2:01 am | 1 Comment |

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The New York Times reports:

Critical parts of the coalition that delivered President Obama to the White House in 2008 and gave Democrats control of Congress in 2006 are switching their allegiance to the Republicans in the final phase of the midterm Congressional elections, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

Republicans have wiped out the advantage held by Democrats in recent election cycles among women, Roman Catholics, less affluent Americans and independents. All of those groups broke for Mr. Obama in 2008 and for Congressional Democrats when they grabbed both chambers from the Republicans four years ago, according to exit polls.

If women choose Republicans over Democrats in House races on Tuesday, it will be the first time they have done so since exit polls began tracking the breakdown in 1982.

The poll provides a pre-Election Day glimpse of a nation so politically disquieted and disappointed in its current trajectory that 57 percent of the registered voters surveyed said they were more willing to take a chance this year on a candidate with little previous political experience. More than a quarter of them said they were even willing to back a candidate who holds some views that “seem extreme.”

On the issue most driving the campaign, the economy, Republicans have erased the traditional advantage held by Democrats as the party seen as better able to create jobs; the parties are now even on that measure. By a wide margin, Republicans continue to be seen as the party better able to reduce the federal budget deficit.

The public wants compromise from both sides, though it thinks Mr. Obama will try to do so more than Republicans will. Yet for all of its general unhappiness, the electorate does not seem to be offering any clear guidance for Mr. Obama and the incoming Congress — whoever controls it — on the big issues.

While almost 9 in 10 respondents said they considered government spending to be an important issue, and more than half said they favored smaller government offering fewer services, there was no consensus on what programs should be cut. There was clear opposition to addressing one of the government’s biggest long-term challenges — the growing costs of paying Social Security benefits — by raising the retirement age or reducing benefits for future retirees. Support for one of Mr. Obama’s main economic proposals — raising taxes on income above $250,000 a year — has declined substantially over the course of this year.

Though Republicans have managed to keep Democrats on the defensive over the health care plan they enacted this year, the poll also shows Americans remain divided over Republican promises to repeal it. Forty-five percent said the law should stand, and 41 percent said it should go.

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One Comment so far ↓

  • CD-Host

    This 50/50 nation is so destructive. We need to do one of:

    1) Federalism
    2) Get a social conservative / economic liberal party
    3) Devolve power to unelected hard to replace bureaucracies like the Fed
    4) Secret votes / confusing votes
    etc…

    We need something to break this deadlock. I think (2) is far and away the least traumatic answer but it might take too much time. I think the internet is going to make (4) much more difficult. I hate the idea of (3), I like having a meaningful democracy. And so if we can’t do (2), (1) looks pretty good.

    The only plus is the Republican has been so short term that we might effectively get an option (5)

    5) Run such racist campaigns in so many states that a huge percentage of ethnic minorities even when they are conservative simply won’t consider the Republican party thus allow the Democrats to be a governing party, with very divisive primaries but the primary determining the general election most all of the time.