Articles and Analysis


US: Congress (Marist 6/17-24)

Topics: National , poll

6/17-24/10; 1,004 adults, 3% margin of error
813 registered voters, 3.5% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Marist release)


If November's election for congress were held today, would you support your current congress person who represents your district in Washington D.C. or would you vote for someone else?
Registered voters: 42% Current congress person, 43% Someone else

State of the Country
37% Right Direction, 56% Wrong Track (chart)



A solid majority thinks we are headed in the wrong direction. This was 54/43 in March, a 10% gap. Now it is a 19% gap.

Who is setting the direction of this country? Who do you think those 56% will vote for in November.

But go ahead, dems. Spin away. Tell us why this is fantastic news for dems and how Biden is a genius for claiming that the dems are going to do great in November.



Oh gary gary gary.... its amazing to me how you can selectively read charts.



Not a whole lot in this chart to read. But feel free to show me how this is anything but still another trend down for democrats.

Let's see: 56% think that the country is headed in the wrong direction so they are going to vote against republicans - who don't have any control over the direction.

That makes about as much sense as anything else Joe Doofus Biden says.

60% of voters want Obamacare repealed. Will they vote for democrats?

60% support the AZ immigration laws. Will they vote for democrats?

60% say the stimulus did not help the economy. Will they vote for democrats?

60% say that deficit spending has to stop.
Will they vote for democrats?

60% oppose cap and tax. Will they vote for democrats?



Gary, Gary, quite contrary to your partisan beliefs if you were to follow this "direction of the country" poll for the past 5 years... while downward trending, for you to put sole responsibility to one party for it makes us all chuckle. You don't need to spin this, you just need to have read a newspaper in the past 5 years. Hey I mean wrong direction was at 88% in October of 2008. Guess what happened there?


The good news for Dems here is that the two regions of the country where they have their greatest strength is the Northeast and the Midwest. In those two regions, the poll shows support for the incumbent at the highest levels.

It's worst in the South and almost as bad in the West. Republicans have the most strength in the South and the West is pretty well split. However, most of the Western seats, by far, are in safe districts for either Dems or GOP reps, so the poll results are largely meaningless. As for the South, the bulk of the seats still held by Dems are in pretty safe, mostly minority, districts. The danger points are in the swing districts there, but that's probably less than a dozen seats held by Dems, altogether.



The last Marist Poll in March had 45% wanting to replace their representative and 41% saying they would vote for their current representative. This poll has it 43% for someone else and 42% for current. So no real support for the idea that this is worse for incumbents than the last Marist poll.

I still say the key to this type of poll is to break it down by whether their representative is a Democrat or Republican. I wish someone would release a poll with that cross-tabulation.




Just what polls are you seeing where the midwest are supporting democrats? Not here in Indiana. The senate seat is lost for sure and possibly 3 out of the 5 congressional seats. Illinois is even in trouble. Wisconsin is in trouble. Pennsylvania is in trouble. So is Ohio. Michigan is about to elect any republican to replace Granholm as governor.

There are 29 congressional seats where McCain won and a democrat won for congress. All of those are in trouble.

Take a look at realclearpolitics. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2010/house/2010_elections_house_map.html

There are 150 seats considered safe for democrats. 165 safe for republicans. That leaves 121 seats in play.

Only 6 of those 121 seats are held by republicans. That means that there are only 6 republican seats in play but 115 democrat seats in play.

Let's say the republicans only win half of the seats in play. That would be 60 seats plus the 165 safe seats - total of 225. That puts them in control of congress.

What is the minimum the republicans have to do to take over the house? They have to win 53 of the 121 seats - 44%. That's it. If they win 44% of the seats in play - they control the house.

All the republicans have to do is be mediocre in November and they control the house.

Things might change. The republicans are only marginally smarter than the democrats which means they are still pretty stupid. But there are no signs left that show the democrats reversing or even stopping the trend toward republicans in November.


Mike E:

Man, this is GREAT news for the dems. Despite the fact that they control all three branches of government, despite the fact they blew the oil spill response, forced the unpopular Obamacare reform down our throats, bungled the stimulus, wasted 787 billion USD, have allowed Afghanistan to go to hell and failed to compromise with the reps to get unemployment benefits extended, despite all that everyone just knows they are smart, and the POTUS reads a teleprompter well, and hes black and super awesome.

Mmmmm-mmmmm-mmmm Barak Hussein Obama.



@Mike E:

Do we still have first-grade teachers forcing students to sing songs of praise to Obama like with the mmm-mmm-mmm song?

According to Biden, Obama is clean too.

According to Harry Reid, Obama is light skinned so that makes him better than those "whole-blacks".


Mike E:


It still creeps me out.




The Republicans dont have a clue what their going to do if they get back in power,the only thing you hear from their mouths is tax cuts tax cuts. You cant name 1 social program the Republicans have created to help people in this country the past 125 years? The Democrats have created Social Security,Student loans,Low Income Housing,GI Bill,Medicare,Medicaid,Unemployment Insurance,Tax Refunds,Welfare,Food Stamps.I bet 99% of Republicans have used one of these programs in their lives"So why is the Republicans calling these programs Socialism?


Field Marshal:


The GOP not knowing what to do is better than the Dems KNOWING what they are going to do any day of the week.

The Republicans don't create spending programs, they just fund them by growing the economy. The Reps are the workers, the Dems are the moochers.



If you Republicans dont like these Social Programs, then dont use them,it would save this Country Billions of dollars every year.Tell the IRS you dont want your tax refund,tell the Fed Govt you dont want a Student loan, all you Republican Seniors tell the Govt you dont want Social Security or Low Income Housing, also Republicans tell the Fed Govt you dont want Unemployment if you lose your job.Am so tired of all these Republicans bitching about the Social programs they benefit from,so once again if you dont like them Republicans please dont use them.


Field Marshal:

I would happily not use them if i didn't have to pay into them. That's the catch-22. SS is the largest scam in history. Take any financial compounding calculator and multiply your salary times 12.4% at just 5% annual return for 43 years and see what you come out with and tell me its not a HUGE scam.

Medicare is the same. You artificially suppress prices while forcing people to pay into the system their entire lives and then whine when the Reps actually want to honor the commitment. Its laughable.

I am tired of Dems wasting BILLION and TRILLIONS on social programs that help create dependency and only keep people enslaved to government.

People should have a choice to opt out of these programs when they wish and get the money they put into them back.

I fail to understand the tax refund. A tax refund results when you overpay your withholding. Its the taxpayers money, not the governments. Why would someone tell the gov't not to give it back? You're insinuating that it some sort of gov't charity to give a refund. Maybe in this administration, but not in any other. If you and other Dems actually contributed to society and paid taxes, you would know this.




"Only 6 of those 121 seats are held by republicans. That means that there are only 6 republican seats in play but 115 democrat seats in play."

Actually there are 15 in the link. Also the headline prediction number in the link is 200 safe/likely/lean democrat and 199 safe/likely/lean republican with 36 toss-ups. Which would suggest a 50/50 chance of a republican take-over. This sounds about right given the polling at the moment.

@Mike E

"Despite the fact that they control all three branches of government"

Erm, really?



Crisis Economics:
Mankiw has an excellent article in National Affars:

He cites a strong body of research demonstrating the wisdom of the popular belief (see Gallup) that tax cuts do more to stimulate the economy than government spending and transfer payments.

According to him, published studies support the multiplier for government spending and transfer payments of 1.4 (though there are good arguments that that figure is inflated because it ignores losses elsewhere in the economy).

Interestingly, the multiplier for supply side tax cuts seems to be 3-4. This is based on multiple analyses of government interventions in Europe and the US. The studies were done by economists at most of the elite economics programs in the US and England.

One Christine Romer, lately a key economist for Obama, found a multiplier of 3 for supply side tax cuts in her research published just before joining the administration. Naturally, she has never brought this fact up in any of the debates about the optimum economic policy and instead tirelessly supported government "stimulus." So much for the professionalism of economists who work for the government, assuming that anyone not a college student is naive enough to believe such a thing,



Ms. Romer is a great cheerleader. She spews spin with a smile.

Meanwhile, Krugman's been on a lot of shows this past week trying to convince us that more stimulus is good and that unicorns exist. :-)




Yes, I got a few of those numbers wrong (but they have also changed this chart a little since yesterday). While that chart shows 200 likely dems and 199 likely reps, it also shows 150 safe dems and 165 safe reps. That's 315 seats safe which puts 121 seats in play.

Yes, there are 15 rep seats in those 121. I was just counting those in "leans dem", "tossup", and "leans gop". My mistake.

That doesn't change the dynamics much. There are 106 unsafe dem seats and only 15 unsafe rep seats.


Mike E:


Oh Phuleeeze. You know what I mean.


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