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US: Generic Ballot (PPP 12/4-7)


Public Policy Polling (D)
12/4-7/09; 1,253 registered voters, 2.8% margin of error
Mode: Automated phone
PPP release)

National

2010 House: Generic Ballot
44% Democrat, 42% Republican (chart)

Job Approval / Disapproval
Dems in Congress: 28 / 59
Reps in Congress: 24 / 61

Do you think Democrats in Washington have too much power right now?
50% Yes, 40% No

 

Comments
Mark in LA:

All right Stillow and Field Marshall, I have been duly authorized to trade Lieberman to the GOP, the Tea Party, or any conservative political organization that will take him off our hands.
What or whom, if anything, is your counter-offer?

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Field Marshal:

Olympia Snowe is all we got.

I think its interesting to note the job approval among both Dems and Reps are both in the toilet. I think we will see a huge movement to vote the incumbents out in 2010.

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Mark in LA:

Your offer (Snowe) is accepted.
According to this poll, there doesn't appear to be a significant difference in popularity or negativity between the two major parties.
I blog at Daily Kos and many progressives at that site are unhappy with their Democratic Reps, Senators, and President. If that dynamic does not change, there will be a blood-letting.

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Xenobion:

Its a general race to the bottom. Democrats really haven't stood for much other than an environmental movement in the past decade. Republicans have sort of lost their fiscal responsibility ways. Really with 2 wars both parties have lost their bread and butter issues. And with bipartisanship dead in a recession I can see most people unhappy that there can be no consensus because it gives points to the administration that is in power.

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CUWriter:

Totally unsurprising. GOP has an uphill climb to rebuild its image with many disaffected conservatives and independents because of how far off track it got when it held power. At the same time, the people are getting weary of the Dems at a really rapid pace. I daresay folks of all stripes think the current leadership in Congress is incapable of governing (it's one area where conservative and liberal bloggers agree) and plenty of folks who just plain don't like the policies being put forth. The greater economic atmosphere is also no friend for the party in power.

I think Xenobion is spot on here. It's a race to the bottom, but one I think the Dems end up winning. While the Republican image is not repairing rapidly, it has slowly started to improve whereas the trends for the Dems is a total nosedive. There is time to turn it around, but given the economic and budgetary situation, it's going to be hard for the Dems to play defense, especially when every move they can make to fire up their base will potentially hurt them with the independents. They need to make a decision, and quickly, who they want to appeal to. The dithering on HCR over the entire second half of this year has really damaged them, especially when voters are focused on the economy.

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StatyPolly:

Waitaminute Mark LA

Truth be told, I can survive the rest of my life without ever playing in the Snowe, but Lieberman is just a payback for Specter.

We are now all settled up.

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StatyPolly:
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Field Marshal:

Statypolly,

I saw that article this morning on CQ. That makes 4 or 5 blue dog dems that are retiring this year in districts that went 5+ for McCain. Could it be 1994 all over again. I don't remember that exact figure, but i seem to recall about a dozen swing district Dems retiring that year helping to bring the Reps into power.

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Xenobion:

Most reps will pick next year to retire becuase of Census redistricting. 12 Republican reps are retiring next year as well. 10 Democrats so far. But its all ebb and flow. 24 Republican representitives retired last election cycle.

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StatyPolly:

FM, (and Z)

The biggest story, of course, will be the story of voter turnout. 08 saw throngs of not only first time voters, but I believe, First and ONLY time voters pulling the lever for Dems down the ticket, since they've already shown up for Barack. This was combined with a well below normal turnout for GOP by their lethargic at the time base.

Pretty sure we'll see the reverse in 2010. Dem base enthusiasm level is back from all-time-high to about normal or below, and conservatives and moderates are all riled up like probably never before. Should be a HUGE turnaround in the balance of power in the House at least, is my guess.

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StatyPolly:

I meant (and X), not (and Z).

Sorry, X.

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Xenobion:

Its historical for a 1st term pres to always lose numbers in the house in the 2 year cycle. Its just a question of how many.

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Alan Abramowitz:

The result here is not surprising and similar to several other recent polls. What is odd is that the age distribution has changed pretty dramatically from the previous PPP survey only one month ago. 18-29 year-olds are down from 16% to 10% while the 65 and older age group is up from 15% to 19%. It doesn't seem likely that the age composition of registered voters would change in such a short time. And this could account for at least part of the decline in Dem lead on generic ballot.

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CUWriter:

Even as a strident GOPer, I don't see my party winning back the House. That would require all the stars to align and thensome.

More likely you'll see a 25-30 seat gain by Republicans and a net of 3-4 in the Senate. (I think DE, NV, CO and CT are the pickups with no GOP losses or just one in MO. IL and PA could go red too). Then you'll have just massive trench warfare in Congress as Pelosi will have a smaller majority but fewer Blue Dogs and the GOP will have enough to filibuster and lose Snowe, Collins and Castle and still have 40. On the other hand, a new Senate majority leader could be worse for the GOP since Reid is pretty incompetent.

What happens to the agenda is up to Obama at that point. Could go Clinton, could try to bully everything through. Who knows.

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StatyPolly:

No signs of Obama going Clinton so far at all. Barack is not the poll ho Bubba was. (can I say "Bubba" on this site?;-) The two latest omnibus spending bills just go to prove the point. Huge year-over-year spending hikes with no legit or any excuses offered.

GOP gained 54 seats in 94. Of course lots of stars did align back then. I sense the level of anger towards the ruling party is far greater now than it was then. Let's just look at Virginia and Jersey again. Obama won Jersey by 15, a year later Christie won by 4, a 19 point switch. In Virginia it was a 24 point switch. I imagine the size of those turnarounds is unprecedented.

It's huge, baby, HUGE, I tell ya:-)

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StatyPolly:

Just looked it up:

Bush Sr. beat Clinton in Virginia by 4% in 92, and George Allen beat the Dem by 18% in 93, a 14% net GOP gain.


Clinton beat Bush in Jersey by only 2% in 92 and in 93 Christine Todd Whitman beat the Dem by only 1 single point, for only a 3 point GOP gain.

08 to 09 GOP gains in VA and NJ are far greater.

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Field Marshal:

Interesting. Thanks for that Staty...

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Farleftandproud:

Throw Lieberman out of the Democratic Caucus. If the GOP will take him, great!. Obama needs to have common sense talks and mean business with the 59 Democrats and make sure he talks tough with them. He needs to work with reid, as well as Nelson for the Dems and Olympia Snowe and perhaps we can still get something passed before the end of the year. Lieberman is a disgrace to politics and a disgrace to the Human race. His wife has turned into a greedy woman, and whore for the health insurance companies. I wouldn't give Joe anymore chances. He is a political dead man in 2012.

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Farleftandproud:

Snowe and Collins can support a revised health care plan and not have to worry about hurting their future with the GOP. Maine is not a hardline partisan state like Ohio and PA. People like a good honest leader. Obama won by double digits in Maine. It has not gone Republican since 1988. Snowe and Collins clearly would only lose a senate re-election if they fillibuster health care reform. Dems don't typically put strong candidates to run against them, but I am sure that would change if they don't support this reform.

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Field Marshal:

See, and i like Lieberman. I think he is one of the few Dems with any standards and independent thought. Go figure.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"any standards and independent thought."

If by independence you mean self-aggrandizement and blatant attention-seeking, yeah Lieberman's great. It's not like he used to speak out in favor of health care, or just a week ago favor the medicare expansion that he is now against.

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Field Marshal:

"If by independence you mean self-aggrandizement and blatant attention-seeking, yeah Lieberman's great. It's not like he used to speak out in favor of health care, or just a week ago favor the medicare expansion that he is now against."

So, you mean he's like the other 99 senators? Shocking!

And in regards to medicare expansion, maybe he just came to his senses.

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LordMike:

"And in regards to medicare expansion, maybe he just came to his senses. "

No, he just wanted to punish liberals who tried to oust him and the Democratic party as a whole. Medicare expansion would have been hugely popular, ergo, the people can't have it. The house of lords simply won't have it!

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LordMike:

@StatyPolly,

Virginia and New Jersey are poor examples. For one, they always go against the party in power. Secondly, Jon Corzine was incredibly loathed. For a politician with a 36% approval rating to get 46% of the vote is quite an accomplishment.

As for Virginia, Creigh Deeds ran away from the Obama agenda and told Democratic voters to stay home. They obliged. Unfortunately, much of congress is following the same failed strategy. There will be lots of lost seats... mostly from dems who voted no on health care and other issues.

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Field Marshal:

"No, he just wanted to punish liberals who tried to oust him and the Democratic party as a whole. Medicare expansion would have been hugely popular, ergo, the people can't have it. The house of lords simply won't have it!"

You mean a piece of legislation that would force a provider (doctor) to charge patients below cost for their products would be popular. Thats as sensible as a program that would force Best Buy to charge below cost for their LCDs to customers as being popular! LOL.

And good for him for punishing the liberals. I mean, God forbid if a senator has a different viewpoint on foreign
policy. Again, finally some independent though from a Dem.

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Field Marshal:

Dems mull dropping Medicare expansion in overhaul

Liberals sought the Medicare expansion as a last-minute substitute for a full-blown, government-run insurance program that moderates earlier insisted be jettisoned. But it drew strong opposition from Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and quieter concerns from a dozen Democrats — all of whose votes are essential for Democrats to overcome implacable Republican opposition.

"Put me down tonight as encouraged about the direction these talks are going," Lieberman said less than 24 hours after he rattled Democrats with his threat to join side with Republican opponents unless he got his way.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091215/ap_on_go_co/us_health_care_overhaul

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Aaron_in_TX:

"finally some independent though from a Dem"

Did you say the same about Lincoln Chafee, Christopher Shays, or Arlen Specter (when he was a republican)? There were a lot of democrats who liked them when it suited their purposes. Or what about John McCain when he was advocating for immigration reform, or otherwise sticking his finger in republicans' eyes? He was an "independent republican." Or Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins when they voted for the stimulus? I recall a lot of republicans wishing they would leave the party. Those were RINOs. But when it's a democrat agreeing with your position, oh, he's an independent thinker.

"you mean he's like the other 99 senators?" I can't name a lot of the senators, but I can name those who are "moderate" because they get all the attention. They are in it for themselves.

Personally I don't like people that are moderate for moderation's sake. I prefer it when people stand for some principles.

But I especially don't like arrogant hypocritical turncoats like Lieberman. Remember his rhetoric from 2000 or his short-lived 2004 primary run?. Hearing him now, you'd think he was a different person, particularly on domestic policy.

Nor do I like Specter. I hope he gets primaried.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"You mean a piece of legislation that would force a provider (doctor) to charge patients below cost for their products would be popular."

It was only going to be expanded for those people aged 55-64 who were UNINSURED. So likely not that many people. Most uninsured are younger than 55.

The last I checked, the compensation doctors or hospitals get from the indigent is significantly below cost. In fact, I think it's $0.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"Bush Sr. beat Clinton in Virginia by 4% in 92, and George Allen beat the Dem by 18% in 93, a 14% net GOP gain.


Clinton beat Bush in Jersey by only 2% in 92 and in 93 Christine Todd Whitman beat the Dem by only 1 single point, for only a 3 point GOP gain.

08 to 09 GOP gains in VA and NJ are far greater."

There is little to no correlation between 92/93 and 08/09. The NJ and VA gubernatorials are poor predictors of the following midterms, ie: 1997 or 2001. Saying that the 1993 results foreshadowed the 1994 midterms is selectively choosing evidence and an example of a post-hoc fallacy.

One problem is that in 1992, Ross Perot got 14% of the vote in VA and 16% in NJ. The swing you talk about from 92 to 93 in VA and NJ doesn't take Perot's voters into account. There was no major 3rd party contender in 2008. Thus, there's no comparison and the predictive value is low.

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Bigmike:

Great discussion today. Kudos to all!

I am with Field Marshall and Mark in LA. A lot of rascals on both sides are going to get tossed out. I don't see it as 94 all over again. There will be plenty of Dem losses but there will also be GOP losses to offset them. If I had to make a guess, and it is a guess, I would say GOP gains in 2010 will be roughly half of the 1994.

Here is an example. Count Blanche Lincoln out in AR. But I am hearing Kit Bond's MO seat may turn to the Dems. So in the end those two may well be a wash.

Personally, I am good with tossing them all out. Lets start fresh with 435 new Reps and 30 some new Senators. They can't do any worse than the incumbents have done in the last 10 years.

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