Wednesday, July 14, 2010
A friend sent a link for the Clusterstock Chart of the Day depicting the per cent of voter enthusiasm by party.
Based on the Pew data, it is not a pretty picture for the Democratic Party in the upcoming November mid-term elections. No wonder Speaker Pelosi was so upset with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs for saying "no doubt there's enough seats in play" to allow for a Republican takeover of the House. The election is four months away, and much can happen between now and then. I continue to think that the best thing that could happen to President Obama is for the Republicans to take the House, and that a more difficult path for his re-election in 2012 is created if the Democrats maintain numerical control of the House and Senate (albeit without effective control, lacking large majorities).
Another interpretation of the graph is that astute political prognosticators might want to go long on volatility on the Republican side (it is a Clusterstock graph, so the jargon fits). Who would have thought the more "conservative" party would be more volatile?
Since we have to assume that they are measuring Democratic voters vs. Republican voters by party registration on primary ballots, and since registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans 72 million to 55 million, looks can be deceiving.
As one of the 44 million registered "independents", I will remind everyone that size does matter, especially when it comes to sample populations.
In other words, if all the registered democrats show up for every election, and none of the independents vote, the democrats win every election.
Fortunately for all of us, all the registered democrats seldom show up for any election (unless you are from Chicago, where deceased democrats have been known to show up for elections...)
I believe this graph as regards the big dip in 2006 reflects the vast dissatisfaction of bedrock fiscal conservative Republicans with the Bush administration and their taxpayer funded vendetta in Iraq. Abandonment of sound fiscal policy was the downfall of the Republican party, and will be so in the future again. As a nation, we should also avoid foreign adventuring and nation building on a vast scale as this seldom turns out well and we always get stuck with the bill. It killed the Roman empire, it killed the British empire, and the financial strain will kill our democracy unless we wise up. Guns, butter, healthcare and earmarks, as econ 101 will tell you, you can't have it all.
One of the things that really helped the big O huckster is that he was able to inspire a lot of independents to vote for him. That is probably pretty much gone. Also, he was able to get a lot of democratic voters (blacks and young people) to show up for the election who usually don't.
My best guess is that we won't see as many motivated dems showing up, so it really depends on how excited the republicans and independents are about the budget/tax issue. I think a lot of us, at least in NJ, are pretty motivated.
Don't over-rely on party identification. Many (though not most, I think; not anymore) Democrats are moderate or conservative in their overall political views. My entire Texas family has until recently been registered and loyal Democrats for decades... in local elections. But they haven't voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since the 70s. And since Obama took over, they and most local politicians there (judges, sheriffs, mayors, etc.) have switched parties.
Point being, that simply because one is registered as a Democrat does not mean that they will vote Democratic in a presidential election, and that the Democratic party is currently bleeding out so any old numbers of party identification are now suspect.
Gallup, 25 June 2010: "Conservatives have maintained their leading position among U.S. ideological groups in the first half of 2010. Gallup finds 42% of Americans describing themselves as conservative; 35% are moderate and 20% are liberal."
Seems to me that even if the GOP doesn't quite take control of one or both houses in the fall, the Donks will still find themselves in the same spot the Japanese did after Iwo Jima and Okinawa: still in control of the "home islands," but slowly bleeding to death and facing a full-scale invasion sooner rather than later...and being unable to do a damn thing about it.