Why 2010 Will Not Be Like 1994

Why 2010 Will Not Be Like 1994


It’s pretty easy…the only people that voters like less than Congressional Democrats and Congressional Republicans.

Add in the facts that Republicans have no coherent plan, no definitive leadership and are allowing right wing pundits to organize and promote this Tea Party movement and you have a reality where Dems might actually pick up seats next year.

Personally I think it’ll be a wash, but let’s take a look at what the Independents in a recent Research 2000 poll had to say about Dems and Repubs.

  • Nancy Pelosi
    22 Favorable, 71 Unfavorable
  • Harry Reid
    27 Fav, 65 Un
  • Mitch McConnell
    10 Fav, 73 Un
  • John Boehner
    3 Fav, 70 Un
  • Congressional Dems
    32 Fav, 65 Un
  • Congressional Repubs
    9 Fav, 76 Un

And before you say this is just one poll…here’s another one from Gallup…

Last, and I think this fact sometimes gets lost in the shuffle, Americans remember who was at the helm when the train derailed. Also, it’s not like Dems are running Congress in some woefully inept manner. Are they bipartisan? For the most part, no. But, again, the only people voters think are less bipartisan than Congressional Dems are…you guessed it.

So to all of my fellow politicos who claim that Dems are in for historic defeats next year…you might want to pay less attention to the Tea Partiers and more attention to the swing voters.

  • the Word

    3% for Boner? Pelosi is 7 times + more popular? Those are suicide numbers. Is that a modern day record? I can’t remember anyone in low single digits.

  • rachel

    It’s odd how this poll echoes my own feelings: I dislike and mistrust the Congressional Dems, but I detest the Congressional Repubs. If any Republican picks up a new seat, it won’t be from my vote. (Unless I hear of one who hasn’t been tainted by politics yet and has a real-world reputation for courage, competence and honesty–and I don’t think any of those people will be signing up as long as the requirement to kiss Rush’s ring is in effect.)

  • Trescml

    Don’t underestimate the desire by many people to have Congress and the President be from different parties.

    On the positive side for the Democrats Obama’s approval ratings have been overall higher than Clinton’s during the same period, and an overhaul in health care is more popular than in 93/94. Also, so far the Republican’s don’t have a unified strategy like “Contract with America”.

    The Republicans will benefit from lower ratings for Obama, a Democratic base which is not as energized as in the last 8 years, and they do have an energized base.

    Although I don’t think it will be a slaughter like 1994, but I think the Republicans will do fairly well (20 or so house seats). I think the Republican Party’s bigger problem will be taking any gains as an endorsement of their policies instead of a unease with all Democratic rule.

  • Chris

    “Congressional Democrats and Congressional Republicans.”
    You mean “are”?

  • http://centristcoalition.com/blog/ kranky kritter

    Meh. Politics is local. Period.

    The only predictions about 2010 that I’ll give ANY credence to are ones that look at who is running for re-election and see what the polls are saying in each spot.

    So what if democrats may not be regarded quite as poorly as republicans as a whole. There’s no way that this helps congresscritter x get re-elected. He or she still has to be more appealing than the alternative option in the eyes of the relevant constituents.

    The alternative that you seem to be suggesting is that folks might employ the following logic:

    Well even though I like gop candidate x slightly better than democratic incumbent y, I am going to vote for x because democrats are a tiny bit less objectionable on the whole.

    Really? I mean really, Justin? Really?

    Look I know you just can’t stop yourself from getting all geeked up about the next election before the corpses have gone cold from the last one. I understand that. But you’re just jumping the gun here. The candidates are not close to firm. There are no polls. And most important, we’re 9 months shy of knowing what the US economy will be looking like next summer. I know you are eager to declare that we are out of the woods. For everyone’s sake, I hope you are right. But you might be wrong. By next summer we could be looking at a job and real estate market that has failed to rebound, and we might have been asked to swallow a 2nd Obama budget with stupifying levels of overspending in another attempt to boost the economy.

    If that’s the case, which it well could be, then democrats will be on the defensive at that point. They’ll be busy blaming the GOP for causing the problems that democrats haven’t been able to fix, and promising that rosy times are just around the corner.

    And who knows whether folks will buy it? Will california if unemployment is still over 15% It’s anyone’s guees.

    Now, I’ll happily agree that the GOP has in general failed dismally in making any sort of affirmative case for boosting their ranks in congress. But depending on the economic circumstances come next summer, they could be in a good spot to bolster their ranks simply by making the negative case against democrats.

  • blackoutyears

    I don’t know how easy it will be to pin the economy on the Dems — should be a fascinating case to make — but I do believe we’ll continue to see high unemployment numbers. Strictly from an anecdotal perspective, the number of my 401(k) clients who have been forced into layoffs or closing their doors is alarming. And in an underrported trend (Ann Warren pointed to this as a looming problem months ago) I’ve had two banks shut down by the FDIC for failing to meet standards of liquidity. Small banks, especially those started in the last few years, are in imminent danger.

  • http://centristcoalition.com/blog/ kranky kritter

    I don’t know how easy it will be to pin the economy on the Dems — should be a fascinating case to make

    Me neither, BY. I think it’s a question of lengthy a mulligan the people grant the democrats. Right or wrong, it seems indisputable that the people largely blame the GOp for the collapse. But at some indeterminate point, focus can shift to blaming the democrats for failing to fix things.

    At this point, I think democrats haver failed to make the sale that they know what they are doing and that things are really turning around. My guess is that the doubts will be taking hold by next fall’s elections, and it’s anyone’s guess how much of an effect these doubts will have.

    “We’re still cleaning up the other sides’s mess” seems to me like a plausible argument for democrats to make for 2010. But by 2012, an anemic and bumpy recovery (if that’s what we’re seeing) will be a huge problem for democrats.