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.
Voters Rate Political Parties’ Ideologies
In broad terms, voters view the Democratic Party’s ideology as the opposite of the Republican Party’s: 58% say the Democratic Party is either very liberal or liberal while 56% say the GOP is either very conservative or conservative.
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.
Pessimistic Public Doubts Effectiveness of Stimulus, TARP
As has been the case for most of the past two years, about nine-in-ten rate national economic conditions as only fair or poor. As a political consequence, the Democratic Party has lost ground to the Republican Party on a wide range of issues, including the job situation.
Distrust, Discontent, Anger and Partisan Rancor
By almost every conceivable measure Americans are less positive and more critical of government these days.
The Tea Party’s Effect on the Midterms?
If you are a Republican, what’s not to like about the Tea Party movement? From this vantage point, a number of risks seem possible, if not probable.
Democrats’ Gloom and Doom Is Premature
While there is every reason to believe that the party is in trouble and will lose seats this year, there are no solid data that would justify a view shared by many here in Washington that the Democrats are destined to lose control of the House.
Democrats’ Edge Among Millennials Slips
The “Millennial Generation” of young voters played a big role in the resurgence of the Democratic Party in the 2006 and 2008 elections, but their attachment to the Democratic Party weakened markedly over the course of 2009.
Midterm Election Challenges for Both Parties
Opinions of the Republican Party have improved significantly but still far more people blame the GOP for the poor economy than blame the Democrats. Anti-incumbent sentiment runs high: three-in-ten don’t want to see their current representative reelected. Financial institutions remain a major target of public anger.
Inviting Centrists to the Tea Party
The Tea Party movement may well attract more supporters as it becomes better known although divisions among Republicans and independents’ wariness of political extremes may limit its growth.