Articles and Analysis


US: National Survey (IPSOS 10/1-5)

Ipsos / McClatchy
10/1-5/09; 1,296 adults. +/- 2.7% margin of error
628 Democrats/Lean Democrats, +/- 3.0% margin of error
456 Republicans/:Lean Republicans, +/- 4.6% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(McClatchy story, results, IPSOS release; )


State of the Country
40% Right direction, 56% Wrong track (chart)

Obama Job Approval
56% Approve, 40% Disapprove (chart)
Democrats: 86 /12 (chart)
Independents: 47 / 41 (chart)
Republicans: 18 / 80 (chart)

2010 House National Ballot
42% Democrat, 34% Republican (chart)

As of right now, do you favor or oppose the healthcare reform proposals presently being discussed?
40% Favor, 42% Oppose (chart)

Party ID
33% Democrat, 19% Republican, 48% independent (chart)



It would appear that the Republican brand has become so damaged that more and more Republicans are refusing to self identify as such. Does not bode well for the GOP in 2010.



You said it, Wong. But if Republicans turn out in huge numbers while Democrats who elected the Democratic Congress and Obama don't, all bets are off. Still, I think comparisons to 1994 are way off--particularly if any kind of health-care reform passes this time.



Repubs were able to Nationalize the '94 cycle. They'll try this time; however, unlike '94 the 2010 cycle comes at a time when Repubs have put forth no positive agenda of their own and are seen in poll after poll as actively blocking Democratic bills for purely political reasons. Obama consistently out-polls Senate Repubs on HCR, for example, by large margins, even though his plan isn't even getting to 50% in most surveys. It makes no difference if the Republican non-plan is garnering 26% support. This is going to really hurt them if they keep it up.

It's one thing to make the case that Dems are mortgaging our kids future with their wasteful "Socialist" spending bills; that has resonance; that will attract independents; however the '94 Repubs DID have an agenda, thanks to Newt Gingrich---the "Contract With America" put forward actualand rather sweeping proposals; there's nothing similar to that coming from Republicans right now.

So what we see is both parties with strong messages directed against each other:

The Party of NO---ideas
The Party of Wasteful & Socialist Spending that's driving the country bankrupt

In the final analysis, being perceived a having "NO IDEAS" gives people no reason to vote for you, even if they generally agree that the other folks are spending too much on massive government social welfare (socialist) programs. They might just want to stay home or vote 3rd party or...they might even actually want what those big spenders are paying for...because it might help them short term (e.g. health care)

It's particularly inane the Repubs didn't manage to submit their own HCR bil. Blunt promised to do it and failed. It's inane because there are many aspects to Finance's bill that Repubs could sign onto. They could have actually crafted a bill they could support which had a lot of insurance reform and didn't spend much. As a Dem I'm very thankful for this.

I think we'll lose 1-2 Senate seats and 15 House seats. Fortunately many Senate seats up this cycle will be Republican ones or we'd lose more. These are incredibly good results for Dems at a time when our economy is still in horrific shape, we have back-breaking deficits, and unemployment will be hovering around 10% for much of next year. Yes I can see it being much worse if Republicans get their act together or if there's a second dip in the economy or if jobs don't start materializing in the 3rd Q of 2010. I'm hoping those things don't happen. I imagine many Repubs are hoping things get much worse.

I'll happily take that (best scenario) result , especially since many of the House seats we do lose will be Blue Dog seats. For example looks like we'll lose Blanche Lincoln; good. Not having the possibility of passing bills with 60 we'll just use reconciliation more like our Republican friends did for both Bush tax cuts.




I am a conservative and I can't argue with much of what you said. If the GOP doesn't start putting forth ideas, they are not going to get much traction. You have to be putting forth solutions to the things people are talking about around the dinner table. Things like capital gains cuts won't get you much.

We can't just sit around and hope the economy gets so bad that people will vote out the Dems. I find it morally repugnant that the current GOP leadership is counting on enough people suffering so much that they will consider voting for the GOP.



I'm not convinced with the 94 comparisons either. Then, there were something like 30+ democratic retirements that republicans took advantage of. So far, only 9 democrats are retiring that I know of. Then, Republicans had also been out of power in congress for most of 40 years and had a good argument that they should be given another chance. They gave off a an aura of competence. Today, they don't. Boehner's approval is something like 12%.

Republicans seem to be taking the democrats strategy from the early 80s and early 2000's that was mostly unsuccessful - complain loudly about the same stuff that voters rejected not long ago and hope the other side screws up and/or things get worse. Dislike of the other side only gets you so far. I personally didn't like the strategy of counting Iraq War deaths and not-too-subtly hoping it got worse. Republicans are taking a similar tactic by trupeting every rise in the unemployment rate.

I'll also note that at this point in 2005, most observers didn't foresee a democratic takeover of either chamber, and in 2007, many predicted stronger Dem gains in 2008...so what looks prescient in 2009 may look foolish in 2010.



While conservatives do need to artiuclte ideas...that doe snot win elections in this country. What wins is continually bashing the living heck out of your opponent. This type of politics really took shapre in the 1980's with the personal attacks on Reagan, calling him stupid, bafood, war monger, etc and it was a constant bombardment. It got taken to antoher level with Clinton as the right did nothing but attack Clinton 24/7. On personal levels....then it really got out of hand with the lefts treatment of Bush.

Elections are wong by talking down the econ9omy when you don't hold the WH....How many times did the Dems say worst economy in 40 years....During hte 00's the Dems were constantly talking down the economy and the war in iraq and it ultimatly worked. Politics has become a game of perosnally destorying your opponent. Sarah Palin is a good example of what a destoryed politican looks like who was totally destoryed on a personal level.

Fact is negative politics work. Look at Corzine, he has gone extrmeely negative in NJ and he is catching up.

A battel of ideas no longer takes place, its about destorying your opponent on a personal level. 2006 and 2008 saw Dems winning on one thing and one thing only, hating Bush.

So just as the Dems talked the economy down for years, the GOP will do the same because it works. Its a sad state of affairs, but that is where we are.



"the personal attacks on Reagan, calling him stupid, bafood, war monger, etc and it was a constant bombardment. It got taken to antoher level with Clinton as the right did nothing but attack Clinton 24/7. "

Those politicians won their re-elections handily. George W. Bush also won. Don't know what you're trying to prove, Stillow, other than the fact that personal attacks don't get you to 50%.




My point is they are now working. In the past they didn't get you more than 40 percent. But Bush was destoryed on a personal lvl in his second term....then the emergence of palin, which she was quickly destoryed on apersonal level...now if you look at the far right now they are going to attack Obama on a personal level. Combined with constantly talking down the economy and everything else, its now a winning combo. Bush's second term as I said this really got taken to its highest level and it now works. I actually like Sarah palin, she seems to be a real nice lady with a nice family, and the left not only went after her, but her kids. That is where we are now in 2009. If you see someone as a danger, you slaughter them on a personal level.

I attack obama on policy on this site, but others on the right attack him personally, they think he is racist..etc, etc.

Not really that hard to get...so not sure what your stuck on.

Both parties become the party of no when they are out of office, but the perosnal poltics has been taken to its worst and most effective level ever.



If I recall correctly, the business with Sarah Palin's kids was mostly covered by tabloid media. I assume you mean Bristol. She was the only one I remember getting coverage.

In any case, none of it would have been a big deal if it didn't expose the inconsistency in her positions. Someone who campaigned and governed on ethics issues turns out to engage in personal vendettas against former in-laws and RNC-funded shopping sprees. Someone who advocates abstinence-only education looks pretty bad when her high-school daughter gets pregnant and her parents force the young man into a shotgun marriage. She had a tabloid-worthy family, it's no wonder the media treated her that way.

Republicans' holier-than-thou positions back them into a corner. If they don't live up to them, it looks twice as bad.

Sarah Palin was introduced as a media sensation and you shouldn't be shocked she was treated like one. If anything, you should be glad. All media outlets, liberal and conservative, LOVE to show her. Her book is #1 in presales. She seems to have done pretty well with all the attention.



Maybe you do not have kids, I do. And no matter what I teach them they will screw up...that is what kids do. As parents all we can do is teach them, but they still utliamtely make their own decisions and yes, they will screw up...we have all been there....stupid and young. It is lame to hold a parent responsible for a mistake their kids make. Kids rebel against heir parents, its part of growing up. typically kids were left out of politics. Bristol was a teen, she shoud have been left alone.

i guess you did not watch CNN or msnbc, hell olberman was a one man wrecking ball on sarah palin's perosnal life. There are polls ut to review this topic and even a lot of Dems think the negative personal attacks went to far on her............but, they worked. I am not sure where you get this gop having a holier than thou approach...do Dems not beleive in your mairage voews meaning anything so its ok when they cheat? Dems don't have kids that screw up? Wasn't gore's son busted for cocain use? Does that means al is a failure as a father? Of course not, but the Dems have perfected the poltics of personal destruction. Now the GOP is finally figuring out that it works and you can see the far right going after obama on perosnal levels. I attack him on policy.

We are both partisans here, but we ccan both agree parties become the party of no when they dont hold the WH. The opposition party also has to hope things go bad in the economy to regain power.The Dems constantly tlked down the economy under Bush...who by the way inheireted a recession himself...The 2000 stock bubble pop helped elect him.

Go google some of corzines latest ads...they are nasty nasty....cus it works...going dirty hard works. I thought palin going after obama on that ayers stuff, blah blah was effective to an extent...she probably did 1 or 2 points of damage.

Palin obviously was not ready for prime time politics, but that was no excuse to destory her, but that is where we are in 2009. You wait and see, as the dems did to bush, the gop will do to obama and they will wear him down with a bombardment of perosnal slanders. Its always been done to an extent, but the Dems really did take it to a new level in bush's 2nd term and the palin stuff.

Since the media has a left wing bias, I understand its harder on the gop on a personal level, but there is such thing as going to far....but to your sides credit, it worked.



Stillow, the media didn't destroy her. If you ask me, it made her stronger.

If the media is so liberal, why are conservative voices so prominent? If trends continue, conservative news will outweigh all others and liberals will start complaining about conservative bias in the media.

I don't watch Olbermann much. I don't consider that news. He is about as credible as Rush Limbaugh to me.

I'll agree personal attacks will help your cause, but on it's own, that is not enough to win. You have to attack and then present a positive image. Republicans are only doing the 1st part.



What conservative coies are prominant? Outside talk radio? Fox has hannity, etc, but thats it. CNN, msnbc, abc, cbs, nbc, WP, NY Times, LA times are totally dominated by liberal ideaology.

We will disagree on Palin. I do not remember a time in american politics when a candidate along with her fmaily was so attacked by the media.


Post a comment

Please be patient while your comment posts - sometimes it takes a minute or two. To check your comment, please wait 60 seconds and click your browser's refresh button. Note that comments with three or more hyperlinks will be held for approval.