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US: National Survey (Marist 8/3-6)


Marist
8/3-6/09; 845 registered voters, 3.5% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Marist toplines)

National

Obama Job Approval
55% Approve, 35% Disapprove (chart)
Dems: 90 / 6 (chart)
Reps: 20 / 71 (chart)
inds: 47 / 37 (chart)
Economy: 52 / 41 (chart)

State of the Country
50% Right Direction, 42% Wrong Track (chart)

 

Comments
RHiraku:

These aren't bad numbers for the administration, and the right direction wrong track stats are exceptionally good, I think pretty soon those will be in the positive. Since the economies started rebounding so have Obama's numbers, albeit moderately. Still I think by the time the midterms roll around health care will have been long passed and the focus will be on the bull market, which will do good things for the democrats since they can claim responsibility wether or not the stimulus directly caused the recovery, or just aided it. Republicans cannot being that they took NO action of any kind during that period, it good political capitol

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Stillow:

When did the economy start turning around? That is news to me.....and probably news to the millions of people out of work who want work. There is no recovery, you had one month where the rate of jb loss barely dipped to edge the overall # down.......if you look at surveys employers are still planning cuts for 2009 and 2010....and many retailers are holding out thru hte holiday shopping season before starting more layoffs and store closures.

The talk about economic recovery is all media hype, I have freinds who lost there jobs back in 2007 and still cannot find work anywhere.

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JMSTiger:

RHiraku---

Two points:

1. The economy was improving quite nicely in early November of 1994 and the healthcare failure was in the rearview mirror and the Democrats still got slaughtered at the polls in the midterms. Don't automatically assume that Democrats are going to do well in the midterms because the economy won't be as terrible. More than likely, there will be growth, but it will probably be tepid and the jobless rate will still be over 9%. Take that and the fact that the party in complete power usually takes some lumps in the midterm of the first term (the exceptions were Bush in '02 and Kennedy in '62), I would expect the Democrats to lose quite a few governorships and House seats. There will be little change in the Senate.

2. How in the world can the Republicans be blamed for taking NO action during the first 6 months of the Obama administration? The Democrats have the White House and huge majorities in both houses of Congress. The Republicans are completely irrelevant. This is the Democrats' show. The midterms will be a referendum on Obama and the Congressional Democrats. It will have nothing to do with the minority party.

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RHiraku:

And because by that point the economy will have rebounded, democrats will walk away with the credit and republicans won't be able to claim anything, thereby hurting them. I can tell you that the economy is rebounding for a number of reasons, joblessness is down, and i'd be willing to bet will continue to trend down, home sales are up and real estate values are on the rise. All three components of the US stock market have risen nearly 50% since they bottomed out right before...oh yeah, the stimulus went into effect. So yes, I'd say the stimulus has been effective, I know plenty of people who have gotten these 'shovel ready jobs' in the cumberland area due to the highway revamp there that is funded with stimulus money. The best economists and global commentators in the world say that the worst is over and a rebound is coming soon, Warren Buffet, Fareed Zakaria, etc. Oh any about employers, Gallup shows employers planning to hire more than planning to lay off, for the first time in months too. So yes, our economy is on the rebound, deny it as long as you like, but it is a matter of time now.

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RHiraku:

@ JMStiger
Because if the economy does rebound by 10 and the democrats are able to take credit for it due to the stimulus, then republicans have nothing to work off of, it was a risk they took when none of them voted for it, knowingly too, which is fine, but now that it is working there will be a lashback from that. That said, you are right that dems will probably lose a number of governorships . Not because they're governorships held by democrats but because they're incumbent governors, which is a bad thing to be right now.

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JMSTiger:

The problem for Democrats in 2010 is that if the unemployment rate is still above 9% and we have 1-2% growth, people are not going to be singing "Happy Days are Here Again". Now, I agree with you, if the economy takes off like a rocket and growth is at 4% and the unemployment rate drops to 6% in a year, then, no doubt, Republicans will not make any progress. The problem is that the main economic indicator that the average voter looks at is the unemployment rate. I don't see that going under 9% by next October because companies do not want to hire. They have stopped firing, but are not hiring.

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RHiraku:

Oh and dems never had health care 'in the rearview mirror' in 94', because their health care bill never even made it past the committees, let alone to a full house vote or senate vote, which both bills will reach this time around. The major bombshell in 94' WAS healthcare reform, or the lack there of, Clinton and the dems promised it, and it didn't happen. This time around it will reach the floors and, wether or not the GOP backs it at all, will pass in one form or another, the dems have the votes, period.

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RHiraku:

Not necessarily true JMS, while the unemployement rate didn't start going up until about december/january this year, John McCain was crushed on the grounds of the economy in november. American's listen to what they're being told. If they hear the economy is rising and unemployement will soon rise, they'll listen, just like they listened it October and November when they were told that falling stocks and collapsing companies like Lehmahn bros. would mean unemployement down the road.

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Stillow:

The two big governor races this year will be an early indicator of how the country is leaning. The GOP is holding healthy leads in both states. Both states were won by Obama and both states currently have Dem governors. Yet the GOp is pretty far out in front in both races.

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ThatMarvelousApe:

The polling out of New Jersey indicates that Jersey has a problem with Corzine. Polling out of Virginia also seems to indicate that either Kaine or Warner would have little trouble beating McConnell.

Add to that the fact that a lot can change in a year and the 2009 races may not be as predictive as Stillow wants to believe. 2006 was, certainly, but that was largely due to the fact that the country was on a downward trend. The opposite will be the case in 2010.

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Stillow:

Ape, you are by far the most effective liberal spokesman on this site. Your answers seem to be cut and pastes fro mthe DNC point of view...you get kudos for doing your part.

I assure you its meaningful when two states that Obama carried are now voting for GOP governors to replace departing Democrats.

You always have clever replies, they are just not always very intelligent or accurate!

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RHiraku:

But this is largely due to the fact that an incredibly popular governor was taken out of office via appointment in Virginia, Kaine's approval ratings are through the roof, it has less to do with the state's mood and more to do with individuals, not all politics is indicative of overall or national temperament, sometimes a Virginia race really is JUST a Virginia race.

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Wong:

An enlightened discussion. Looking to 94 for an historical parallel ignores the fact that Clinton was elected with a plurality, not a 53% majority like the current President. The country has shifted to the left, partly because of demographic changes, and partly because of the perceived disaster of the Bush administration.

Having said that, it is likely that the Dems will lose 10 or so seats in the mid-terms if history is any guide. A token amount, certain to be unsatisfactory for the Repubs on this post. It has been my experience that betting on the American economy to do bad is always delusory. It has a power and rhythm all it's own, separate from any political party or personality. Rumors of it's demise have been greatly exagerrated to paraphrase Clemens

The interesting contest will be 2012. For an interesting historical parallel, I'm thinking Reagan/Mondale 1984. A president who is better liked than his policies against a lackluster opponent leading to a landslide victory for the incumbent.

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JMSTiger:

Wong-

I doubt we are headed for a massive Obama landslide in 2012. The last time we had a candidate for President win the popular vote by 10% or more was Reagan in '84 (58.8%-40.6%). The average margin for the winner since then has been 5.34%. The average margin in the three elections since 1984 that involved a candidate seeking reelection is +1.80%. Although I agree with you that the country is slowly moving to the left over time because of demographics, I don't think things are changing so fast that an 18% landslide is in the cards for the Democrats 3 years from now. This is still a very divided country politically. A Republican candidate will get 44-45% of the popular vote in '12 even if the economy is growing at 4% and unemployment is under 6%.

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Stillow:

You Dems are way to over confident. Why is the country moving left? Because a Dem got 52.9 percent of the vote? He got that much because the economy7 was in recession. Also, only one time since the end of WW2 has a party held the WH for more than 8 straight years, that was when Bush sr. won in 1988...and that was almost all due to Reagan's above average popularity.

The country goes back and forth every 8 years, its been doing it for 60 years now. There is only about 10 states or so which really determine who is president....it is very likely a GOP candidate can win OH, FL, CO, VA and other battleground states. With the economy in recession and the habit Americans have of not letting a party occupy the WH for more than 8 years it made perfect sense for a Dem to win this time. He only did 2 points better than Bush did in 2004.

The country is not moving left, its doing what it always does and always will do, keep the door at the WH a revolving one.

You guys also assume the economy will recover, Dems are already using setup phrases like jobless recovery to prepare for 2010 and 2012. While I hope the economy does recover, I don't see how it can...Obama has increased the deficit to a projected 2 trillion dollars, 4x the highest deficit Bush had. That is simply an unsustainable amount of spending.

2010 could very easily become 1994 because you have a new Dem president with a Dem congress trying to pass g'ment urn helath care, same as in 1994....the country very quickly put the GOP in control of Congress...

Its alwys funny...and both sides do it, after they win an election think the other party is dead, they will never recover. Wasn't it back in 2002 James Carville was on CNN with the paper bag on his head because the Dems just got killed in the 2002 mid terms? After Reagan's landslide in 1984 all that talk abut a permanant GOP majoirty and the Dems will never win the presidency again?

You guys are fooling yourselves if you think the GOP is dead or dying...its just the same ole politcal mumbo jumbo thats been said for 50 years. The parties go thru high and low cycles...its been that way forever.

A lot of economists are predicting hyper inflation due to Obama's over spending, if that occurs then he is simply a one term president, doesn't matter who runs against him, the vote will be a vote against Obama. If the economy is still poor or inflation is out of control that affects people finances, Obama will lose in 2012....if the economy is better and by some miracle the country avoids inflation, Obama will win.

Guys, seriously, the GOP is not dead, this u pand down stuff has been happening forever.

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RHiraku:

Neat post if you disregard the inherit lack of anyone saying the GOP is dead on this forum....oops.

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Stillow:

Do you actually read this site? For months this site and others has been filled with stuff about the GOP is dying....blah blah....I simply set the record straight.

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RHiraku:

Of course, but no one said anything to that liking in this poll discussion, which was the entire foundation of your argument. And you're right the GOP is not likely to die, however it may become a minority party, it depends on what it's leaders do. It would however be foolish to believe that there is no such thing as a realigning election, i.e. one that moves the political spectrum of the country to the left or right. It absolutely happened in 1980 with the republican revolution, and then again in 1994, both to the right. Oh yeah, 1928 was a major one as well. At any rate, the republican revolution had moved politics in this country considerably to the right, it changed the face of conservatism, abolishing the old ways of simple, traditional fiscal conservatism (which there is an excellent argument out there for) and bringing about a new, prominent kind of conservative, the ethical and fiscal conservative, this is how Karl Rove and K Street came about. At any rate, 2006, to a small extent, and 2008 were also realigning elections, to the left, not as large as any of the previously mentioned wins, but one no the less, although much of it depends on what happens over the remainder of Obama's term. Anyway, the white house does not simply have a revolving door, that is by and large true but there is a broader trend of ideological fluctuation in this country, and there is certainly a realignment occuring due to the changing demographics of this nation, the rise of latinos in this nation moves things to the left, since dems carry the latino vote by a 2 t o 1 margin, thats just a fact. You can't win a latino vote whilst having your Tancredo's spouting xenophobic hatred in your party. These are facts and while you can deny them, they will still be true. Ask any political science in the country about realignment, they'll tell you it's real.

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Stillow:

Bush carreid 44 percent of latino's in 2004. Latino's are socially conservative. Immigrants often vote for the pary that "gives" them the most free stuff. But as they become established, move up int othe middle and upper classes they will become more fiscally conservative....since its human nature to keep what you earn. Its not a racial thing, its a fiancnial thing. Younger people tend to vote for Dems because they get more free stuff for the Dems rather than the traditional GOP of message of go work for it....as they get older they become more conservative as they earn more money, start families, etc. The bulk of the GOP are middle and upper middle class people. As you say, with the latino population growing, so will the level of that ethnic group reaching middle and upper class status....

I think its actually racist of the Dems to assume minitorites will always vote for them.

The GOp has there share of wierdos in it, so do the Dems, the GOP just doesn't make a big as issue of it as the Dems do. i can list you several prominant Dems with suspicious racial views....................

I don't consider a Dem getting under 53 percent of the vote to be some sweeping sign of a permanant Dem majoirty coming into place. He won a 7 point victory in hte middle of a recession after an 8 year GOP president.....what did you expect?

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RHiraku:

It is a realigning election, not a permanent majority, there is no such thing as a permanent majority, much to Bush & Cheney's dissapointment. Something they spoke of publicly on a regular basis. Oh, i might add that the middle class vote, in terms of part ID is split on about four percent difference between parties, very marginal and able to swing between elections. The GOP isn't likely to go away, but if they want to regain the majority, they will have to relinquish there PR and policy decisions to the moderates in their party and not the neocon's that control it now, a prime example is Dick Lugar, a simple, no nonsense fiscal conservative whom i greatly respect. The GOP will probably try to buck this idea for a while and do the opposite (as they are now doing) but they'll become more centrist, the dems had the same problems in the 80's. After 94 dems temporarily grew much more centrist, hell in the 90's blue dog democrats WERE democrats. This is likely to happen now, for a time, if it doesn't then the GOP could face becoming a regional party, but i strongly doubt this.

And as far as racism goes, knowing that a majority minority country bodes well for progressives is a simple acknowledgment of demographics, which can change overtime, but for now they look good for dems. If it is racist for dems to acknowledge this then it is equally racist for the GOP not to campaign in black neighborhoods because they know it wont work at all. But in reality, neither is racist.

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JMSTiger:

Stillow---

You are flipping out for no reason. Just because some hyper-partisan Democrats say the Republican Party is dead does not make it so. Many declared the Democratic Party irrelevant after the '02 and '04 elections and looked what happened in '06 and '08. You are correct that things change in politics all the time, but I do believe strongly that if the GOP does not start to really make inroads with Latinos, things look pretty bleak for them. Blacks will never vote for the Republican Party in any significant amount. For the GOP to have a chance at getting to 49% or 50% in a Presidential election, they have to get 40-45% of the Hispanic vote. In 50 years, Latinos will be approaching the white population in size because of immigration and their large birth rates compared to the white population's tiny birth rates. To keep the conservative movement alive, conservatives have to start kissing up bigtime to the Hispanic voter.

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Stillow:

I don't mean the mddle class as a whole, I mean the majoirty of GOP party members are middle and upper middle class voters.

I disagree on what the Dems did and what the GOP did. After 2002 and the 2004 losses, the Dems moved left. They increased there liberal rehtoric to provide contrast against what Bush was doing. Since Bush was a fiscal liberal, the Dems had to move very far to the left to contrast. Obama is a liberal, not a moderate and he won.

What the GOP needs to do is return to its Reagan-like conservatism that won them election. Reagan conservatism domianted the 80's because it was genuine conservatism...and polls show us conservatives are the largest demographic group i nthe country. The 94 GOP wave was a conservative agenda for America. Newt came in and talked about nothing but fiscal responsibility, low taxes, smaller g'ment, things like welfare reform, etc....and they won elections with that. Bush won in 2000 running as a fiscal conservative. By 2004 it was clear he was a fiscal liberal, but in 2004 I think the country more voted against Kerry than they actually voted for Bush.

The GOP need a genuine leader like a Reagan...Obama to his credit is a leader...he can motivate his side and articulate very well...the GOP has no leader at the moment like that. If they can find a leader and return to real conservatism they will win elections again.

Under Bush, the GOP become big spending, big g'ment people...that is whythey lost. They fell in love with big g'ment, big spending, etc. The Dems have moved far to the left and because the nation is ticked off at the GOp and Bush htey won for doing that. I remember Carville after the 2002 losses said we dems hav eto move left and hammer home our message.

I am not sure where you Dems ge thtis idea that the GOP has moved right, they have moved left. I left the GOP and became an Indy in 2004 and iI did not support Bush in 2004. Many many people left the party because they became no different than Dems.....if I want a party to spend spend spend, and run up huge deficits and give away my mone to anyone with a hand out, then I would just vote for a Dem.

Now that the GOP has lost power, I see signs of them returnign to conservative values again...as a result they have early leads in NJ and VA, the two big races this year. If they return to there small g'ment conservative ideaology and away from this Bush nonsense, they will win again.

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JMSTiger:

It's pretty simple, Stillow.

2006 was a disaster for Republicans because of 1) Iraq, 2) scandals in Congress, 3) Republicans crapping all over their principles and 4) Bush fatigue.

2008 was a disaster for Republicans because of 1) Bush fatigue and 2) the financial collapse that began on September 15, 2008.

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Stillow:

Right...and none of those things you mention indicate a realignment....the Dems already have there scandales going in Congress now....and Obama's approval is slipping...

The process is doing what it always has and always will.

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