Skip to main content

Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 8/17-20/2009. All adults. MoE 2% (8/10-13/2009 results):

PRESIDENT OBAMA58 (60)38 (36)-4
PELOSI:34 (36)57 (56)-3
REID:33 (34)56 (55)-2
McCONNELL:17 (16)65 (66)+2
BOEHNER:13 (11)65 (66)+3
CONGRESSIONAL DEMS:41 (43)53 (51)-4
CONGRESSIONAL GOPS:12 (10)75 (76)+3
DEMOCRATIC PARTY:44 (45)49 (48)-2
REPUBLICAN PARTY:18 (17)72 (74)+3

Full crosstabs here. This poll is updated every Friday morning, and you can see trendline graphs here.

This week's edition of the Daily Kos Weekly National Tracking Poll tends to fly in the face of conventional wisdom, even as it mirrors other national pollsters. We see Obama's favorabilities drop into the 50s for the first time this year in our survey (remember that there is a marked distinction between "job approval" and "favorability" ratings, with favorability ratings usually being several points higher). This drop, as well as drops across the board for Democrats this week, have been witnessed in other surveys, as well.

The conventional wisdom, however, has been that the Democrats are suffering from some sort of political Icarus syndrome. They are flying too high and too soon, and the public disapproval will send them crashing back to earth.

The problem with that rationale, at least in our numbers this week, is that it doesn't match with the data.

Across the board, the drops among Obama and the Democratic Party have come not from the loyal opposition, nor have they come from dismayed Independents.

They have come from Democrats.

A cursory look at the graph for Obama's favorability, broken down by party, shows that after a long period of relative stability among Democrats, there was a sharp drop this week:

Looking at the raw numbers, the drop in Democratic support is even more notable:

Net Favorability Ratings For President Obama, By Party (Last Week in Parens)
DEMOCRATS: +72 (+78)
REPUBLICANS: - 86 (- 84)

As you can see, the needle barely moved among Republicans (with 6% favorability, there wasn't a whole lot of ground to concede). Independents moved, but it was Democrats that saw the sharpest drop.

This effect was even more magnified when looking at the perception of the electorate towards Congressional Democrats:

Net Favorability Ratings For Congressional Democrats, By Party (Last Week in Parens)
DEMOCRATS: +55 (+65)
REPUBLICANS: - 90 (- 90)
INDEPENDENTS: - 20 (- 15)

Anyone who thinks the protracted arguments over health care aren't frustrating the Democratic base need look no further. A ten-point dip in net favorability, in a single week, is a pretty solid statement.

A quick look at the generic Congressional ballot confirms that the Democrats have shed a great deal of soft supporters over the last few weeks. The margin between the Democrats and Republicans now rests at six points (35-29), the closest we have seen on that question since the item was inserted into the poll a couple of months back. Interestingly, the Republicans have gained virtually nothing over that time. The steady stream of voters no longer willing to commit to the Democrats on the ballot test have almost uniformly gone into the ranks of the undecided.

This is the first evidence we have seen that the Democratic base is starting to get impatient. The disgruntled Democratic base is also paying dividends the other way. The GOP sees rebounding numbers across the board. A quick look at the internals tells us that this is being driven, in no small part, by a boost from their own base.

Yet another piece of evidence to bolster the long-held maxim that who is on offense, and who is on defense, matters a great deal in American politics.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Aug 21, 2009 at 09:36 AM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site