Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Democrats' Chances in the 2010 Midterms

As voting day approaches for this year's midterm elections, Democrats are trending in the right direction. However, the momentum leading up to the midterms favors the Republicans who are fueled by rabid hatred of Democratic policies if not Obama himself.

The conventional wisdom suggests that the Republicans will fare well because they have an energized base of support. However, according to new surveys, the black vote may break with tradition and turnout in greater numbers for midterm elections. Surveys found that 80 percent of black Democrats are as interested, or more interested, in the midterm elections as they were in the 2008 presidential election.

Also, 62 percent of all black Democrats polled said they are likely to encourage others to support certain candidates, compared with 47 percent of white Democrats and 57 percent of all Republicans.

A month ago, a Washington Post/ABC News poll indicated that Republicans had an enormous 53% to 40% lead among likely voters. A month later, polls showed the Republican advantage slipping, and the Washington Post/ABC News poll in early October offers similar evidence. On the generic ballot, a month ago, the GOP lead was 13 points, (53 percent to 40 percent). More recent polls indicate that the Republican advantage has shrunk to six points, (49 percent to 43 percent).

An October 17th NPR article reports that polls are showing the GOP's advantage in many key Congressional races is indeed narrowing. President Obama’s approval rating has also improved to 50 percent, and support for the president’s handling of the economy is up four points to 45 percent.

Republicans may have peaked in late August and early September and the Democrat's fortunes are improving as we enter the final stretch.

Midterm elections are rarely harbingers of presidential elections. Remember the success that Republican's had in the midterms in 1994 and subsequent Clinton victory in 1996. However, the six point spread may yet prove devastating to Democrats particularly when you consider that at this point in 1994, the GOP had a two point lead and they went on to make significant gains.

Perhaps Americans will wake up to the fact that this midterm election is not about checks and balances, or even venting frustrations, it is about a choice between progress and two long years of legislative stagnation.

People are voting Democrat so that the US can be competive with the rest of the world, others are voting Democrat to protect the planet for future generations, still others are voting Democrat to keep the wolves out of Washington.

Next: Election 2010 Midterm Predictions

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