Independents Oppose Party in Power … Again
For the third national election in a row, independent voters may be poised to vote out the party in power. Political independents now favor GOP candidates by about as large a margin as they backed Barack Obama in 2008. The “independent vote,” however, is in no way monolithic; this is not surprising given that most independents are recent refugees from the two major parties.
How You Feel About Midterms Depends on Your Party
Republicans are more likely to say this year’s election is more important than most and that news coverage of politics makes them angry. They are also more upbeat about their preferred candidates’ chances in November than are Democrats or independents.
Midterms Top News Agenda
Christine O’Donnell, the week’s leading newsmaker, fueled the biggest week yet for coverage of the midterms. The elections were the top story in all five of the media sectors studied.
Religious Beliefs and Political Issues
Religious beliefs continue to be influential in shaping some Americans’ views about social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Far fewer cite religion as a top influence on issues such as immigration, the environment and poverty.
Campaign Coverage Heats Up
The midterm elections led the news last week. For the first time since the crisis began in late April the Gulf oil spill was not among the top three topics reported on in the media.
The Vote for Congress: GOP Fares Better with Whites, Men, Independents and Seniors
While voter preferences for the midterm elections remain closely divided, Republicans now enjoy advantages among typically loyal voting blocs that wavered in 2006 and are doing better with key swing groups. Americans who intend to vote GOP this fall are also far more engaged in the campaign this year.
Earmarks Could Help Candidates in Midterms; Palin and Tea Party Connections Could Hurt
Across party lines, the public sees earmarking by their congressional candidates as more of an asset than a liability. Americans are divided on the value of Obama in November, while both Palin’s support and Tea Party affiliation are seen by more as negative than positive. On energy, public backs a wide range of goals and policies.
Voting Intentions Even, Turnout Indicators Favor GOP
Voters younger than age 30 favor the Democratic candidate in their district by a wide margin (57% to 32%), yet only half of young voters say they are absolutely certain to vote. Voters ages 50 and older favor the Republican candidate in their district by double digits (11 points) and roughly eight-in-ten (79%) say they are absolutely certain to vote.
Seniors are Strongest Advocates for Change in 2010
Older Americans have a more negative view of incumbents, are more likely to vote for a candidate with no elective experience and less likely to support those who compromise than are Americans younger than age 65.
What Kind of Candidates are Voters Looking for in November?
Americans are less likely to vote for a candidate who supported TARP, more likely to back one who compromises, and split on health care supporters. Neither party has an advantage on the economy, but the GOP has improved on several issues. Sharp rise in BP criticism over the oil spill.