Articles and Analysis


US: Generic Ballot (CNN 3/25-28)

Topics: pol

CNN / Opinion Research Corporation
3/25-28/10; 1,009 adults, 3% margin of error
935 registered voters, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(CNN release)


2010 Congress: Generic Ballot (chart)
Registered voters: 49% Republican, 45% Democrat
All respondents: 48% Republican, 46% Democrat

Job Approval / Disapproval
Dem leaders in Congress: 42 / 57
Rep leaders in Congress: 36 / 63
Nancy Pelosi: 43 / 54



I am glad you provide this service. I hope you find it financially rewarding, in addition to other satisfactions it may provide.

One suggestion: Please always put D or R besides names of those polled. In this case it was not necessary, but I don't always know who's who in congressional, senate, and governor's races, especially when there are multiple candidates prior to primaries.




Again, I have to poitn out that Dems repeatedly said once HCR was passed the numbers would shift and swing in favor of Dems....because of some nonsense about how it was there base that was holding there numbers down.

Even CNN, an obvious ally to the Dem party has the GOP with a pretty good lead on the generic ballot. And that is registered voters, LV would have been much worse for Dems.

I hope all those Dems who fell on the sword for O are happy being unemployed next year.

GOP will pick up no less than 45 House seats. Take that to the bank.......unless that bank is owned by Obama, then take it to the nearest offshore bank.



BWAHAA HA HA HA!!! You obviously haven't watched CNN lately... They are all about the GOP at the moment!! They've been hired conservative bloggers to be "pundits".... what a joke... Fox Lite...

Anyways, it's only been a week.... the lies are still fresh in people's minds... Amazing that people are willing to believe lies and then question the truth... Still, the truth will win in the end.

Anyways, I've recorded your prediction. We'll see what happens...



Yes, political views are truth, not opinion. Jeez. Honestly LordMike, about a good three quarters of your posts don't fit the "intelligent and civil comment" requirement of this site. I wish there was more moderation.

Oh and Stillow, sorry, you're wrong. CNN's anchors may be more liberal than conservative, but their polling has been as solid as it ever has been. This poll is just more evidence of how static public opinion is right now. It's not fluid whatsoever, despite what the pundits are saying.

You'll always get some statistical noise, but let's look at the facts. The only area where the numbers have changed over the last few months is Dem approval of Obama on healthcare. That's it. Everything else has been more or less static. GOP has consistently led on the generic ballot by a couple of points. Obama has been upside down on the economy and right-side up on foreign policy. Straight up approve/disapprove is dead even and below 50%. Just look at how long that straight line on Pollster's graph is! It's been months since you've seen Obama consistently over 50%, but he's not dipping below 45% or so. That screams static opinion and it will take a major event to make it break quickly in one direction or the other. Economic conditions over the next two quarters will determine if there is a longer slow slide or a slow upward tick.



Big positive jobs report expected late this week... could that be the "big event" that moves things forward?



"They are all about the GOP at the moment!! They've been hired conservative bloggers to be "pundits".... what a joke... Fox Lite..."

LM, I'd say this comment says a lot more about you, than it does CNN.

Push back from the punchbowl, bud.


Field Marshal:

"Big positive jobs report expected late this week... could that be the "big event" that moves things forward?"

The jobs report will be interesting to see how its portrayed in the media. I'm sure NBC/MSNBC/CBS/ABC will be all over how Obama is creating jobs, etc.

Remember, between now and the end of June, the census will be hiring 971,000 temporary workers for it. It will be interesting to see how this affects the report. In addition, many are saying that the bad weather in Feb in the east will add another 50,000-100,000 jobs to his report.

Thus, these next few reports could look surprisingly good but will most likely be smoke and mirrors.

As for CNN, they are a dinosaur. They refused to adapt to the new standards of the day and are just ANOTHER left wing news medium. It would be a great business decision to go to the right heavily since there is only one network providing that angle while there are so many on the left.

Check out the article below.




Yeah, I'm sure a single month's job reports will really change the underlying political dynamic. I'm talking terrorist attack, big scandal (for either side), declaration of war by an ally. Something like that. Not a single jobs report.

And besides, you'd need many months of way above trend job growth to make a dent in the unemployment rate, especially when the number of folks coming back into the workforce will increase substantially once jobs are really getting created in earnest. Oh, and unlike many of the lefties back in '02-'06, I'm not rooting against a recovery. I hope desperately that we get one and that Obama gets zero credit. Because he didn't do anything to facilitate said recovery, though to be fair, I don't believe politicians can do much, if anything, to affect markets so greatly that they can create recovery or plunge us all into recession save for Volcker's massive interest rate increases of the early 80s.



GOP has consistently led on the generic ballot by a couple of points

The average Republican lead for the last few months has been one point, and there has been plenty of variation.

As for CNN, they did just hire Erick Erickson to be their "voice of the people". If that's liberal then the word has lost all meaning.



The democrats only need one simple, powerful image for the 2010 midterms.


You drill that chart into the electorates head, and we could see another anti-republican wave.



FM is correct. Until towards the end of summer the jobs reports will be skewed due to temporary census hiring....it may lead to a short term rosey picture, but when the nearly 1 million temp census workers starting getting let go at the end of summer, the unemployment rate will start to rise just in time for elections.

S. Varney on fox business has written many articles on this subject and how the census will affect jobs both positively short term and negatively long term.

Speaking of jobs, any of you nutty libs a sql DBA? I am having the hardest time finding a good qualified dba...........



"As for CNN, they are a dinosaur. They refused to adapt to the new standards of the day and are just ANOTHER left wing news medium."

That is the flaw in CNN's strategy.... no matter how far right they go (and they've gone very right in the last 6 months), it's never enough for the righties...

Since they are going to be called "liberal" anyways, they might as well mean it and do it right, instead of considering the GOP talking point as the default, then apologizing for even considering a different point of view (that's CNN's new MO).

ABC News the same thing.... Jake Tapper has not had one positive report on Obama. Mark Halperin molded ABC in the image of Fox, and yet they are still accused of being "liberal". Please...

The MSM needs to stop trying to please conservatives... As Obama found out last year, kissing their behinds does very little...


Field Marshal:

Getting the jobs losses back to zero is not good enough. It will be getting them above 200,000 per month which is slightly above the break-even of 150,000 to make a dent in the unemployment rate. The 20% of the population that is underemployed or unemployed aren't going to care if Obama has stemmed the bleeding, they are going to care about job CREATION.


Field Marshal:


When 40% of the electorate is conservative, and 20% are liberals, what sense does it make to have 6 liberals news stations and one conservative news station?

The reason Fox does so well is that even a large percentage of left-wingers watch it for a different perspective. The problem the other stations have is that the righties who do the same, are then dispersed among MANY stations.

ABC and CNN have moved to the right but are still left-of-center overall. They are much more tolerable but have a lot of work to do. NBC is just hopeless as the station is in general. How Jeff Zucker still has a job is beyond me!



FM, you have stated that you are working on an MBA, which suggests some understanding of mathematics. Where does that line appear to be headed to you?


Field Marshal:

"Where does that line appear to be headed to you?"

What line are you referring?

I finished my MBA 6 years ago.


Field Marshal:

Oh, you are referring to the jobs graph. I thought you were referring to my other post.

I would say that it will head above water for about 6-9 months and then turn back towards zero. I think we are going through a square-root shaped recovery and given that the administration has been very anti-jobs and anti-entrepreneurial, i think the rebound will be short lived. Couple that with the largest impending tax increase in history in January along with the increased costs due to the HCR along with cap and trade and possibly even card check. All these things are spooking a lot of businesses, especially small ones which are the engines for job growth.

I think, come November, the unemployment rate will still be around 9.0-9.3% with job creation around the 100,000 mark. Avg job creation for the year will be between 75,000 and 125,000 which is less than enough to keep up with the population growth.



To regular contributors,
I read this blog every day but haven't contributed, myself. I thought you might find some observations from a lurker mildly interesting:
(1) The level of knowledge and thought here is often boringly tit-for-tat, but it is sometimes high enough to be interesting and the liberal contributors are several cuts above the Kosacks in civilty and tone.
(2) You act like a large family of bickering brothers. Stillow and Field Marshall are the older brothers (regardless of age) who condescend to the liberal contributors. The latter generally present heartfelt feelings and yearnings more than relevant facts or strong arguments.
(3) The partisanship level reminds me that "fan" is short for "fanatic."

The rest of this will be really annoying to liberals, but it pleases me to include it.

My own views reflect my movement from McGovern to Reagan, which was precipitated by my belated realization that Reagan was vastly superior to Jimmy Carter, a president I first strongly supported but grew to despise. I had bought the daily drumbeat by the press that Reagan was ignorant, slow-thinking, lazy, empty, cowboy (etc.).

I reacted by reading extensively and thinking long and often about what good government really is (I finally came back to Democracy in America by deTocqueville). I was shocked when I read Reagan's old newspaper columns at how well-developed but clearly and simply stated his political philosophy was. I realized then just how biased the press was to present this man as an empty-headed fool.

The myth of the intelligent liberal and the not-very intelligent conservative is important. Despite routine denunciations of IQ testing, liberals make claims based on IQ far more often than conservatives. That is because they feel competitive with other whites. The moderate to low intelligence liberals love to be reassured of their superior virtue and intelligence and will believe incredible malarky, including outright hoaxes, that support their egos.

This posturing and preening extends to democratic politicians who, unlike Republican politicians, let their paid and unpaid mouthpieces make meritless claims of high intelligence for them. This started with Adlai Stevenson and reached farcical levels with the very unintelligent Kerry and the brain-damaged Biden.

Interestingly, Truman was reviled by liberal democrats almost as viciously as Sarah Palin, and for the same reason: both present themselves as common people. Such people have no business getting uppidity and acting they are as good as those who are priviledged enough to have Ivy League eductations and the right backgrounds (i.e., inherited wealth).

Like the rest, Obama conveniently is not pressured by the press to release records showing his SAT or IQ(he also had his senior thesis pulled from the library). He is clearly bright but probably not the superior being he is pleased to present to his adoring fans. I suspect the truth would be devastating for the gullible because he has set expectations so high.

I am a professor in an engineering school. According to the US Army, my IQ is below genius, so I will make no claims of vast superiority. I am a political junky and have read at least one newspaper a day since early grade school. I started reading college history textbooks in the 9th grade and read at least one per month to this day. In the past I read at least 3 newspapers per day as elections approached. These days I read roughly 20 political blogs (from Cato to The Nation) and the WSJ every day. From all this I have gained an intimate, long-term view of the flow of history and political thought.

Despite my hard-won knowledge, I do not believe that differences in opinion can be settled by exposition of facts (which are always in dispute, anyway). This country is divided by philosophies (world views), not the ignorance of one side or the other (though there is always a super-abundance of ignorance and misinformation to go around).

We argue past each other because our differences in philosophy are rooted in personality, where our bread is buttered, and differences in the lessons we learned from life. Conservatives, whether rich or poor, libertarians or traditionalists, mostly want government to leave them alone. For every income level, they give more generously to charity than do liberals, but they fear government power and wastefulness, fearing quite rightly that they will get the bill.

Liberals want either to be dependent on government or to BE government, mostly for the joy of doing very well by doing good at no expense to themselves. The latter group is in for a very rude awakening when they find all too soon that not only the rich will pay for their virtuous acts.

To any who made it this far, I admire your persistence. If you are a liberal, I am impressed!



Nice, Seg!

I was just gonna say, until I got to your last sentence, that I bet the libs got headaches and quit by the third paragraph.

But what the heck, I said it anyway.

The fear of bickering, or arguing past the other side notwithstanding.



Thanks, seg. Nice of you to throw in your congratulations after hurling your condescencions.

In rebuttal, my own liberal opinion is that I would like the government to help everyone get the opportunities I was born with. I have no need for the government to help me, though I always appreciate it when it does.

As for IQ, I think most liberals prefer those in government to be the best and brightest of its citizens, while most conservatives are concerned that those people are too different from the average American to have his best interests in mind. In other words, most liberals want to look up to their politicians, while most conservatives want to identify with theirs.



Meanwhile, back to the regularly scheduled program of bickering and arguing:

Whoever posted about the enthusiasm gap yesterday.. and I said that was just one poll, and outlier at that..

Here we have Extremely and Very
enthusiastic reg Dems - 36%, reg Reps - 55%

On Nov 1, 2008 Dems were 79, Reps were 60.

Big changes.


Field Marshal:

"In other words, most liberals want to look up to their politicians, while most conservatives want to identify with theirs."

I would agree with this to some extent. However, i would say that conservatives want someone who they not only identify with but also trust and know have THEIR (the voter) best interests at heart.

I think this stems from the fact that the majority of conservatives believe that government is more of a problem than a solution to problems while liberals feel that government is the great equalizer to make all that is unjust become fair.


Thanks for the post. While i am appreciative that i am seen as a big brother among certain 'outsiders', i would say that i'm more of a realist and am experienced with the real world. Though i'm only in my thirties, i have been blessed to have been all over the world and experienced many different cultures, belief systems, and traditions. I think the openness to that has helped me become more tolerant and rounded as opposed to some who bemoan and deride things that are different from their beliefs and experiences.



It's hard for me to reconcile the approval/disapproval numbers for party congressional leaders, which seems to favor Democrats, to the generic ballot that favors Republicans. Any theories on this (seeming) discrepancy?



Pelosi's approval is stunning for a Speaker.



@Field Marshal

"I think, come November, the unemployment rate will still be around 9.0-9.3% with job creation around the 100,000 mark. Avg job creation for the year will be between 75,000 and 125,000 which is less than enough to keep up with the population growth."

I highly doubt that unemployment will drop to 9% this year. Be that as it may, private forecasters, the FED and the IMF see unemployment dropping slowing in the next 2 years. They expect unemployment to dip below 8% in 2012. This is very similar to the unemployment picture in Reagan's first-term. The bad news for the Repubs in 2012 is that so far, the economy and the equity markets have been outperforming 2010 forecasts made last summer..

In January 2009 when the Obama team predicted 8% unemployment in 2009 and 3.2% GDP growth in 2010, they were ridiculed for underestimating the depth of job cuts (a mistake that the private sector also made). Now, the FED and the IMF are both agreeing with the Obama administration's 3.2% GDP growth estimates for this year.

After being burnt on their unemployment estimates last year, Romer and Summers are being very conservative in their new economic forecasts. I, however, think they are being too conservative. Markets tend to be good leading indicators and the markets have been bullish of late.


Field Marshal:


I am being optimistic that unemployment will drop to 9% t his year for two reasons 1) the census hiring which will skew it up slightly even though a significant amount of those fall off this autumn and 2) there is an inventory rebuild going on that will increase temp workers and even some manufacturing over the next few quarters.

However, if i had to predict what it would be at the end of 2011, i would say around 9% still as a multitude of headwinds hit the economy at the same time, most importantly is the Bush tax cuts expiring.

In the recovery phase of a business cycle, 3.2% growth is very tepid and weak. In the first two quarters after the recession ends, normal gdp growth is in the 7-8% annualized range.

I agree with the market being a leading indicator and they have been roaring as of late. Personally, i'm hedging my portfolio through options and raising cash. I think we are definitely a little toppy here.



Seg your description of a liberal is not independent of the neo-conservatives.

Yes there were Republicans that favored Segregation as well as Southern Democrats to some extent. Boiling down the issues that both Republicans and Democrats have been behind in the past 6 decades is an impossible task.

Less we remember the neoconservative movements that involved the Federal Government MORE into education (No Child Left Behind), privacy (Wire Tapping), marriage (DOMA), the list goes on...

This is the big thing. You can't buy the house without the garage. Republicans tout their conservatism to not involve themselves more into our daily lives yet as history has shown us, that is simply not true. The religious right wing of the party and the agenda driven neoconservatives control the Republican party and they want to control facets of your life. They call themselves conservatives. They tout they are like Ronnie Regan and shook his hand.

So this is the rub. Until the modern day Republicans jettison the religious right and neoconservatives that control the party you're buying both the house and the garage.

Most liberals recognize the fringe crazies of the Democratic Party, but simply put they have limited leverage in the party. The Obama administration is really an extension of the Clinton administration. Most will recognize that many in his cabinet are ex-Clinton officials. The Obama HCR plan was significantly more conservative than the Clinton one. The branding of socialism, marxism, ect. are all misuses of the word. People fail to recognize that the private medical exchanges program is not government single payer, yet Obama and liberals get labeled to be incredible crazy leftists.

People have lost their objective barometer of what is liberal and what is conservative. Liberals today really stand for nothing other than continuing a Clintonesque style of governance... conservative progressivism that would make Teddy Roosevelt proud. You really are a libertarian conspiracy theory nut if you think Liberals are all about controlling your life, its more like they want to control the government and stay in power. Our parties, Democrats and Republicans are one in the same. Democrats have found a system to get elected by copying Clinton and Republicans are recovering from a devastating presidency that cost them numbers. Its not Uncle Sam trying to control you people... sheesh.




So you think the Dem party is run by moderates and the Rep party is run by the lunatic fringe? I gotta respectfully disagree. You are basically saying the pro-life christian conservatives are fringe loonys but pro-choice fanatics are mainstream. Those who are against bigger govt are nuts and those for bigger govt are sane. I and many others can make the opposite arguments and mean them just as much as you do.

This is no way a continuation of the Clinton administration. Of course they have Clinton people on hand. Where else are they going to find people with experience? The only other choices would be from the Carter years or pick Republicans. I think most of LBJ's old aides are gone. Every administration has to have some number of experienced people. But the direction comes from the top. And you don't get much farther left than BO.

If it's not about control how come the IRS now has the right to know my health care situation? Why do I have to go to the govt for a school loan?



I think there's a clear delineation going on between the fiscal Reganites and the neoconservative religious segment of the party. I made no comment on pro-lifers. I'm making a comment of values voters vs. fiscal voters. Value voters own the Republican Party and until you jettison off the value voters. They will want to impose their values in the government and on you. Its that simple.

The very far left segment of the Democratic Party is fairly benign. Kennedy is dead. Carter has little pull in the party.

And let me mention that HCR bill is PRIVATE PEOPLE! The IRS doesn't know your "situation" they know if you're paying for it or not... Even so the details have not been hammered out yet so you wouldn't be able to make that conclusion.

You can purchase a private loan for your education... you'd be an idiot to do so though since the govt offers it a rock bottom interest rates.

This is a perfect example of the fear mongering that runs these things. You don't know what Communism is baby. You wouldn't get a say, you wouldn't get a choice.

People forget every "socalistic" that Obama has been accused of has been done or attempted by another president. The bailouts were started out by Bush, HCR started by Clinton. So don't go around making wild accusations of what's left and right till you give me a reason and some facts to back it up.


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