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Democrats Favored in All Issues


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from the Washington Post:

 

WASHINGTON - Public confidence in GOP governance has plunged to the lowest levels of the Bush presidency, with Americans saying by wide margins that they now trust Democrats more than Republicans to deal with Iraq, the economy, immigration and other issues, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll that underscores the GOP's fragile grip on power six months before the midterm elections.

 

Dissatisfaction with the administration's policies in Iraq has overwhelmed other issues as the source of problems for President Bush and the Republicans. The survey suggests that pessimism about the direction of the country -- 69 percent said the nation is now off track -- and disaffection with Republicans has dramatically improved Democrats' chances to make gains in November.

 

Democrats are now favored to handle all 10 issues measured in the Post-ABC News poll. The survey shows a majority of the public, 56 percent, saying they would prefer to see Democrats in control of Congress after the elections.

 

The poll offers two cautions for the Democrats, however. One is a growing disaffection with incumbents generally. When asked whether they were inclined to reelect their current representative to Congress or look around for someone new, 55 percent said they were open to someone else, the highest since just before Republicans captured control of Congress in 1994. That suggests that some Democratic incumbents could feel the voters' wrath, although as the party in power, Republicans have more at risk.

 

The second warning for Democrats is that their improved prospects for November appear driven primarily by dissatisfaction with Republicans rather than by positive impressions of their own party. Congressional Democrats are rating only slightly more favorably than congressional Republicans, and 52 percent of those surveyed said the Democrats have not offered a sharp contrast to Bush and the Republicans.

 

Only a third want the GOP to remain in the majority in Congress. Nearly three times as many Americans say they will use the elections to express opposition to the president (30 percent) than to show support for him (12 percent).

 

Based on the public mood, the midterm elections are likely to be a referendum on the president and his party. The poll suggests that, if Republicans can turn the election into a choice between the two parties, as they are attempting to do, they could frustrate Democratic hopes of capturing control of one or both houses of Congress. Some Democratic leaders already are warning against overconfidence, given how quickly conditions could change by November.

 

Bush's job approval rating now stands at 33 percent, down five percentage points in barely a month and a new low in Post-ABC polls. His current standing with the public is identical to his father's worst showing in the Post-ABC poll before he lost his reelection bid to Bill Clinton in 1992. Bush's father fell below 30 percent in some other independent polls that year.

 

The current president's decline has been particularly steep among Republicans, who until last month had remained generally loyal while independents and Democrats grew increasingly critical. According to the survey, Bush's disapproval rating among Republicans has nearly doubled in the past month, from 16 percent to 30 percent, while his approval rating dipped below 70 percent for the first time. Nearly nine in 10 Democrats and seven in 10 independents do not like the job Bush is doing as president.

 

Public dissatisfaction with Bush has grown in lock step with opposition to the conflict in Iraq. Not quite a third -- 32 percent -- said they approve of the way Bush is handling Iraq, down five points in the past month and a new low in Post-ABC polling. Fewer than four in 10 -- 37 percent -- say Iraq has been worth the cost, the lowest level of support recorded in Post-ABC polls. Nearly two in three Americans believe the war has not been worth it, a view shared by eight in 10 Democrats, seven in 10 independents and a third of all Republicans.

 

The clearest sign of how Iraq dominates the public mood came in answer to another question, which asked those who disapprove of Bush's performance to cite a reason. Nearly half, 46 percent, said Iraq, easily the most frequently mentioned reason. In equal proportions, Republicans as well as Democrats who disapprove of Bush cite his performance in Iraq as the principal reason.

 

The findings buttress comments Monday by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove, who said Iraq "looms over everything," although he said he remains confident about Republican prospects in November.

 

Bush's fading popularity is matched by waning popular support for the Republican-held Congress. A third of the country approves of the job Congress is doing -- identical to the president's poor job performance rating -- and a 10-year low. Even Republicans are divided over the performance of the Republican-controlled Congress: 49 percent approved while 47 disapproved, a view shared by seven in 10 Democrats and political independents.

 

The survey suggests that dissatisfaction with Congress extends to members of both parties. Only 39 percent approve of the job Democrats in Congress are doing, while 58 percent disapprove -- slightly higher than the level of disapproval registered before the 1994 midterm elections, when Republicans evicted Democrats from power on Capitol Hill.

 

On one other measure, incumbents look slightly less threatened. More than three in five, 62 percent, said they approve of the way their own representative is doing his or her job, up from 59 percent last month. At this point in 1994, an equal percentage gave good ratings to their representatives, but by October that number had plunged to 49 percent.

 

A total of 1,103 randomly selected adults were interviewed by telephone May 11-15. Margin of sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

 

Democrats hold an advantage of 52 percent to 40 percent when voters are asked whether they plan to vote for the Republican or Democratic candidate in their House district, a margin that didn't narrow when the preferences of only those most likely to cast ballots were analyzed. That 12-point Democratic margin is slightly smaller than in several previous polls.

 

The survey also found Democrats also had double-digit lead over Republicans on nine of the 10 issues when respondents were asked which party they favored to deal with the problem and a smaller lead on the 10th.

 

By 2 to 1 or better, the public preferred Democrats to handle gas prices and health care. And by double-digit margins, they preferred Democrats to deal with education (23 percentage points), the budget (20 points), the economy (18 points) and protecting privacy (15 points). Democrats also had a 14-point edge on handling Iraq, immigration and taxes.

 

Only on terrorism did Republicans come close -- though, by 46 to 41 percent, the public still preferred the Democrats.

 

The economy, followed by Iraq and immigration, lead a long and wide-ranging list of issues that voters say are most important to them at the ballot box this year. Among those who say the economy is their top issue -- about 17 percent of the public -- 56 percent say they will vote for the Democratic candidate in House races. Eleven percent named Iraq as their priority, and 79 percent of these plan to vote Democratic.

 

On one issue, Americans were less pessimistic than a month ago. In April, 70 percent said higher gasoline prices were causing financial hardship. In the latest poll, 57 percent said that was the case.

 

Now is the perfect time for Democrats to propose an official agenda to the public, which should have been done a long time ago. Right now the DNC has the momentum going into the midterm elections. As a party, they need to oppose the war, and call for a draw-down of troops if they win control of one or both Houses of Congress. I have been annoyed with the inaction of this party during this period where the President is getting the lowest approval ratings of his presidency, and his party has been in constant trouble with scandals and criminal investigations. It's actually too bad that Tom DeLay quit Congress, as he was a clear symbol of the corrupt majority in Washington, and an easy target for Dems.

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dems have the lead now but there is another 5 whole months and then some to go.

 

between now and then it all be decided by:

-how things go in iraq

-how well republicans can convince their base they will fix up what bush caused

-how well dems are able to convey ideas other than "we arent bush"

-what happens in relations to any more nsa/cia stories

 

but all this all gets thrown out the window if osama is ever caught or saddam is executed (unlikely in the next 5/6 months but would sway things.)

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Sure, Dems always have the lead......

 

Thats what the Democrat media always tells you.

 

No matter what you left wingers think....its always about 50-50 or 51-49.

 

Repubs win again.

 

As long as Hillary doesn't win in '08...I'll be ok.

 

 

I disagree, the Dems will win in '08, and they would have won in '04 if they hadn't run Kerry. I don't know about you but I have run across far more people that voted Bush and wouldn't do it again, than would.

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Sure, Dems always have the lead......

 

Thats what the Democrat media always tells you.

 

No matter what you left wingers think....its always about 50-50 or 51-49.

 

Repubs win again.

 

As long as Hillary doesn't win in '08...I'll be ok.

 

 

I disagree, the Dems will win in '08, and they would have won in '04 if they hadn't run Kerry. I don't know about you but I have run across far more people that voted Bush and wouldn't do it again, than would.

who could they have won with in 04? hillary wouldn't win then and she won't win in 08. people will see through her posturing and change of heart on all sorts of issues.

 

edwards, who did win an electoral vote in 2004 for you trivia buffs, was too young to win, good speaker and energy there was a reason he was kerry's veep candidate.

 

do we even need to discuss dean?

 

kerry won the primaries handedly and the dems were behind him. did he win any moderates over? probably not but then again none of the other people who ran in 04 would have except maybe edwards, but he was on the ticket with kerry.

 

and to win in 08 and this year dems need to actually talk about issues. democrats talk more about how they are "not x" then what their ideas and plans are. they need to change that. the "we are not the big bad republicans who want to take everything away" platform hasn't won recently and won't win in the future. people will vote for what they know and understand versus a mystery.

 

also bush isnt running in 08. and republicans are moving away from him. even rush limbaugh is not supporting bush all the time anymore.

 

don't be surprised if the electoral map in 2008 looks a lot like the 2004 one. what the dems need to do is find someone who can just win them one extra state. i doubt any major states swing one way or the other unless a major shakeup occurs.

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Right now this is beginning to look similar to 1994's midterm election, except the parties are in reversed roles.

 

I'm much more concerned about the White House battle in 2008. If Hilary runs, Dems are dead.

 

Remember, Bush only won 51% to 48% in 2004. It was not the 'mandate' that he claimed shortly after his victory. If Dems had nominated someone easier to stand than Kerry, they might have been able to take the White House. In the end it all came down to Ohio.

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Right now this is beginning to look similar to 1994's midterm election, except the parties are in reversed roles.

 

dems are far from making a "contract with america".

 

dems are not unified that is a problem. they get all the groups bunched together. you get the peta people who don't care a thing about abortion, but they are crammed right in next to pro-choice people. but then again neither of them might not care much about immigrants either way but the immigrants and their famalies get mashed in too. republicans tend to share their beliefs on most issues even if it is because of religion.

 

i haven't heard any dem leadership come out yet and lay out a plan to win the elections this year. i realize there are still 5/6 months to go but they better start working on this and not celebrate too soon.

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Guest CrimsonCane

Sure, Dems always have the lead......

 

Thats what the Democrat media always tells you.

 

No matter what you left wingers think....its always about 50-50 or 51-49.

 

Repubs win again.

 

As long as Hillary doesn't win in '08...I'll be ok.

 

 

I disagree, the Dems will win in '08, and they would have won in '04 if they hadn't run Kerry. I don't know about you but I have run across far more people that voted Bush and wouldn't do it again, than would.

 

Thing is, it's not Bush who's running again in '08. While he'd have no chance whatsoever of winning an election in 2008, the Republicans will have a new candidate whose fate won't be tied to Bush's approval ratings. There are plenty of Republicans who are still viewed very highly among their constituents and the nation despite the decline in popular support for Bush.

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I mean running on "Have you had enough of this yet???" would do it for me, but then again I'm not most people.

 

Congress currently has an 18% approval rating, while Bush has a 29/33% approval rating, depending on who you believe. There is a major dislike of the Republican party right now, mostly because Bush is the leader. I would also be surprised if voters forget all of the Republican corruption scandals, like the Jack Abramoff thing.

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Guest Festa

I mean running on "Have you had enough of this yet???" would do it for me, but then again I'm not most people.

 

Congress currently has an 18% approval rating, while Bush has a 29/33% approval rating, depending on who you believe. There is a major dislike of the Republican party right now, mostly because Bush is the leader. I would also be surprised if voters forget all of the Republican corruption scandals, like the Jack Abramoff thing.

 

Ask the average voter who Jack Abramoff is and a majority will give you a big 'WTF'.

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I mean running on "Have you had enough of this yet???" would do it for me, but then again I'm not most people.

 

Congress currently has an 18% approval rating, while Bush has a 29/33% approval rating, depending on who you believe. There is a major dislike of the Republican party right now, mostly because Bush is the leader. I would also be surprised if voters forget all of the Republican corruption scandals, like the Jack Abramoff thing.

last i checked more than 18% of the congress is democratic. republican controlled, yes, but doesn't mean everyone is only unhappy with the republicans.

 

and just because people disapprove it does not mean they think the other party can do any better. immigration is the hot botton issue right now and most hard right voters won't change their vote over this issue. nor will democrats get extra votes from the staunchly religious.

 

like i said the democrats do not have a unified message or voice aside from "we aren't republicans". and in the world of soundbytes you need to be unified. maybe republicans are not going in the direction people want but they are unified and stick together as a party, not neccessarily with the president.

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By this point in time, if you have watched the news in ANY form, you will have heard about one or more of the scandals involving Republicans in Congress. Whether it's Jack Abramoff, Duke Cunningham, or Tom DeLay, you're living in a hole in the ground if you don't know one of those three people and their problems. I just hope the American electorate will be smart enough this time around to kick the corrupt Republican party to the curb, and give Democrats a chance to fix the mess in Washington.

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