2012 election pregame

Unfavorable Ratings for Both Major Parties Near Record Highs

A new CNN poll finds that 55 percent of voters have a negative view of the Republican Party, tied for their second-highest unfavorable score since CNN began asking this question in 1992. The Republicans also achieved a 55 percent unfavorable rating in a poll conducted in April 2009, although the party’s all-time high, 57 percent, was recorded as the House of Representatives was in the process of impeaching Bill Clinton in December, 1998.

The news for Democrats is not any better. Some 49 percent of voters now hold a negative view of the party, according to the poll. Although this figure is slightly better than for Republicans, it matches the Democrats’ record high unfavorable rating of September 2010 and is part of an upward trajectory that has persisted for the past three years.

The combined unfavorable score for both parties — 104 percent — is also a record, and represents the first time that the figure has been above 100.

If you look through 538’s twitter feed, there’s a bunch of stuff about how the GOP governors have atrocious approval ratings, based on this. GOP governers are really, really conservative now, only very weekly correlated to state ideology. As a result, they have atrocious approval ratings in moderate states.

Dem governors in McCain states average 53% approval. GOP governors in McCain states average 46%.

Finally, there’s this. 538’s related tweet:

Another wave coming? Just 30% say they’d vote to re-elect their member of Congress. Figures comparable to 1994, 2010.

Finally, an entertaining guest post on Atrios.

Looking forward to 2012, with Romney in the White House, and the House and Senate with Democratic majorities. (Being a Republican Senate incumbent in 2012 doesn’t look like much fun at the moment.)


Voters have been throwing them out since 2006. It’s really all they can do. Hasn’t worked yet.

Summary: I have no fucking idea what will happen next year.

Rather Romney than Perry if Obama doesn’t get re-elected.

Definitely. The fact that Romney openly says that because the vast majority of scientists believe in global warming, he believes it is happening, gives me hope that he’s not a typical 2010 Republican who has lost touch with reality.

Unfortunately, it also means he’s gonna be hard-pressed to win the nomination. You add the global warming thing on top of the Mormonism and the Mass. health care thing, and now he’s alienated libertarians, dittoheads and hardcore Christians. How can you win the republican nomination without those three groups?

It’ll be Romney vs. Obama. The election will hinge on whether Obama can duck the economy or Romney can duck his centrism. To be honest as far as presidents go, this will be a pretty good election for me as a centrist, IF IT WASN’T FOR THE FUCKTARD GOP IN CONGRESS. Centrism just means the most extreme half of Congress gets to call the tune, and dear lord do I fear losing the veto.


Well no matter who wins the presidency it is important that their party also does not get control of congress. One party rule has been shown to be a disaster in this country, no matter which party has it.

This would be as opposed to the wonderful benefits the country has seen once the Republicans took the House, I take it.

There is actually little difference thanks to the state of the respective parties. The Democrats had a 60-40 supermajority in the Senate in 2008, which ordinarily should mean they could literally do whatever they wanted with no input from the other party at all, and still could not get legislation passed thanks to defections on their side and rock-solid party unity on the Republican side. Once a few seats changed hands it became a parody of government as Republicans made passing any legislation impossible.

Yeah, I don’t like the Democrats in general, for various reasons, and favor a balance in Congress/White House, but the idiots who are apparently running the GOP right now, the ones who blithely state that a default is really no big deal and they will not budge to avoid it, have me thinking that the GOP needs as little power as possible until they get their house (no pun intended) in order.

Jason I hope those polls and numbers mean one thing: major election changes. And if we keep having to do this every election cycle, so be it. Until we can get some people willing to act like adults and not stomp off when they don’t get their way and cry to the news about it, this country will suffer, and I’m talking about both parties here. I can clearly identify with the folks who had negative views in those polls.

Saw this and thought of your thread, Jason:

Those on the far left would rather risk default than give ground on what is anathema to most liberals: reducing entitlements.

This is bullshit, as best I can tell. The debt ceiling and entitlements are intertwined only because the GOP controls the house. Previously the majority party would do the responsible thing and vote to raise the ceiling but that’s not happening now, thus the bargaining.


Another piece on the moderate independent voters - the vast bloc of voters the media always refer to who have no allegiance to either party, but who swing back and forth from election to election, providing the critical votes needed to push the country one way or another.

Washington loves this story, and politicians love to trot it out as a cudgel to wave at their opponents - if you don’t change your ways, all those independent voter will turn against you!

There’s only one problem with this story. It’s not really true.

There are a couple of problems with it. One is that independents aren’t necessarily the determining factor in extremely close elections – in 2004, more independents backed Kerry than Bush. Other factors like voter turnout or long-term trends in party identification, can be more important in determining the outcome.

The second is that most people who call themselves independent aren’t really when it comes down to it. They actually have a clear and consistent preference for one of the party or the other, and vote that way. They are in fact Democrats or Republicans … they just don’t like to be labeled as such.

And a third issue is that independents are actually a very heterogeneous group. As the Abramowitz article linked above points out, there’s a bloc of independents out there that are more liberal than the average Democrat.

That goes completely against the DC notion of independents being moderates who flit back and forth from one party to another. It is, however, exactly what you’d expect in a normal, stable two party system - if both parties stake out positions in the middle, you’ll end up with disaffected minorities on either side of the spectrum. That’s what you’re seeing on the Democratic side.

But not on the Republican side. Instead, the Republican-leaning independents are uniformly more moderate than the core Republicans. The strongest Republican identification, in fact, comes from those who occupy the far right of the spectrum.

The problem with Washington today is not that the Democratic Party is ignoring the center and needs to move right. The problem is that the Republicans have completely gone off the rails and have been captured by the radical fringe.

That article is a hilarious content-free example of Washington “both sides are at fault” bullshit, combined with “non-partisan” elite fetishism that pretends everyone agrees with them. Obama offered and Congress would have went along with big entitlement cuts, for example.

I was going to post something on the pretend-independents, but HumanTon already did. :P

I kind of agree with the sentiment; there’s lots of issues, like, say, the middle class getting no raises and high unemployment for 20 years - that aren’t really being targeted by the left/right DC arguments. The answer to that isn’t independents and non-voters, though; it’s that the parties are captured by the super-rich.

This is the thread where start drinking heavily early, right?

Other then the current president of course, who made what was then had to be a courageous and heroic vote against raising it when he had a vote to cast on the issue.

And what is your point? That he should now oppose raising it and let the country default? That the Tea Party is right to let the country default rather than raise it? That people who feel that the GOP doing all they can do to put us into default are wrong? Other than nyah nyah-ing at Obama (and I have some serious problems with some things he has done while President) what is your point?

The point is that im so tired of both parties excusing one of their own for doing something they attack the other party for. So I will point out when that occurs.

If you want to do that, it would be more effective if you go after Obama on things like his pushing the Patriot Act extension for an even longer period of time than what the GOP requested, after making an eloquent, articulate, intelligent argument on why the Patriot Act is unacceptable as written and how it must be modified to be acceptable. In that case, his actions went against the principles he stood for and it effects the nation in a very negative fashion. In this case the only people threatening to harm the nation are those playing politics to the point of letting the nation default to make their political point.

Ive also done that here, but the appologists continue to defend him even on that issue.

Citation needed.