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.
Obama Image Unscathed By Terrorism Controversy
The government’s ratings for reducing the threat of terrorism have slipped, and Americans are increasingly more concerned with safety than civil liberties. Domestically, few see an upside to health care reform, and the national mood remains grim. Yet President Obama’s political standing is little affected, and his personal image remains positive.
Obama’s 2010 Challenge: Wake Up Liberals, Calm Down Independents
His approval has slipped, but is not much different from where Reagan stood at this point in his term. But the public’s conservative shift could be trouble for the president.
GOP Seen as Friendlier to Religion than Democrats
The Democrats’ image with respect to religion fell sharply among groups inclined to dislike their party’s politics. Obama, though, is seen as friendlier to religion than is his party. Both fare better than do Hollywood, the media and scientists.
A Year Out, Widespread Anti-Incumbent Sentiment
The mood of America is glum. Most are dissatisfied with the state of the nation, economic conditions, personal finances and an increasing number say the war in Afghanistan is not going well. Still, a majority continues to approve of Obama’s job as president.
Partisanship and Cable News Audiences
In recent years, Republican viewers have migrated increasingly to Fox News but Democrats comprise a larger share of the Fox News audience than Republicans do of CNN’s audience.