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Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 12/14/2009-12/17/2009. All adults. MoE 2% (Last weeks results in parentheses):

PRESIDENT OBAMA54 (53)42 (42)+1
PELOSI:41 (40)49 (50)+2
REID:30 (29)60 (60)+1
McCONNELL:18 (17)64 (65)+2
BOEHNER:16 (15)64 (65)+2
CONGRESSIONAL DEMS:38 (39)56 (55)-2
CONGRESSIONAL GOPS:16 (16)69 (68)-1
DEMOCRATIC PARTY:40 (41)54 (54)-1
REPUBLICAN PARTY:27 (26)63 (64)+2

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

As we move headlong into the holiday season, there is some stability in this week's incarnation of the Daily Kos "State of the Nation" tracking poll. All of the individuals tested in the poll see gains in their net favorability of a point or two. After a couple of rough weeks in late November and early December, President Obama's numbers have levelled off. Nancy Pelosi's climb during that same time frame has also plateaued.

In this week's edition of the tracker, there is also a small lump of coal in the stocking of Congress, as both Congressional Republicans and Congressional Democrats see incremental dips in their numbers.

The only item of note in what is otherwise a pretty unspectacular edition of the tracking poll is that the GOP has now come as close as they have come all year in our interpretation of the "Generic Ballot Test" for Congress. What was, during the summer, a double-digit Democratic advantage has now, at the close of 2009, been whittled down to just two points:

QUESTION: Would you like to see more Democrats or Republicans elected to Congress in 2010?

Democrats 36
Republicans 34
Not Sure 30

Bear in mind, that a lead does not mean a continuation of the status quo. To maintain the sizeable House majorities that they have post-2008, the Democrats would probably need a vote edge of closer to 6-8%. A two-point edge would almost certainly equate to a double-digit net loss of House seats for the Democrats.

This has to generate some alarm for Democrats, as does the fact that the already weak voter intensity numbers for Democrats in our tracking poll have actually gotten worse over the last week. Whereas the likely/unlikely participation spread two weeks ago stood at a mediocre 56/37 ratio, it now dips to 53/41. Republicans have seen a bit of a drop in intensity, as well, but their level of voter intensity (78/18) is still far superior to that of the Democrats.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:30 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The status-quo just will not do. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deaniac83, flubber, farbuska

    When will elected Dems get that?

    It's not a campaign anymore, Mr. Obama.

    by huntergeo on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:31:42 PM PST

    •  We Need a Progressive Hero in the Senate (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      huntergeo, peacemaker33
      Tell Bernie Sanders to stand up for progressives in the Senate at this most crucial of moments.

      One progressive Senator can save the Obama Presidency.

      One progressive Senator can save the Democratic Party.

      One progressive Senator can save the American people.

    •  A question I'd like to see asked (6+ / 0-)

      is something like

      QUESTION: Would you like to see more

      a) Liberal Democrats
      b) DLC Democrats
      c) Moderate Republicans
      d) Teabag Republicans

      elected to Congress in 2010?

      American democracy broke /renewed my heart -- and I /still don't have health care.

      by LindaR on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:44:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even better to stick with the policy questions, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and we completely pound them to bits. There are a lot of centrists and even mild conservatives out there that would be in the process of recognizing conservatism as a dead religion, if progressives just got something done that changes their situation.

        Here's a brilliant idea: "It's the economy, stupid."

        It's not a campaign anymore, Mr. Obama.

        by huntergeo on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:47:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, that's too politically wonky for most (0+ / 0-)

        It might be better to ask:

        Would you like to see more conservatives or more progressives elected to Congress?

        You might have to give examples like more conservatives like John Beohner (sp) or Mitch McConnell, lead conservative Republicans in House and Senate, or like Nancy Pelosi and Russ Feingold, lead progressives in the House (I personally like Da Fazio of Oregon as a better House progressive, but its hard to find progressives with a national reputation).  

        Or you could ask:

        Would you like your Congressman or Senator to legislate more conservatively, like Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck advises, or instead more progressive, like Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann support?  This might be a bit more accurate to getting the meaning of these terms across.

        Then follow up with questions on issues they support or oppose, such as do your strongly support, support, oppose, strongly oppose, or dont' know/have no opinion on

        prosecuting those who broke guidelines on interrogation
        restoring the barriers between banks and investment firms abolished in 1999
        breaking up firms supposedly "too big to fail"
        having a public option for healthcare
        having a single payer healthcare system

        That way, you would have info about a general trend with some meaning to it, and then specific issues as follow up tied to the general trend to provide substance to those conservative or progressive terms.

    •  In a word: Never (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I've become very disillusioned.  I'm worried that the Beltway Bozos simply don't read polls like this, or websites like Kos.  For them, the dirtiest word in the English language is "liberal"; for them, the reason why they're suffering at the polls or why their base voters are sunk in apathy is because they haven't been conservative enough, because they've been too distracted by the "leftist agenda" of health care and jobs instead of the "real American" agenda of deficit-control-at-all-costs.  They're going to get their asses handed to them next fall, and they won't have a clue as to why.  They'll double-down on being Republican Lite and be even more clueless in 2012.

      It's an old problem with Democrats.  There are plenty of progressives in the House and even in the Senate, and they get it, but I'm sure you've all noticed how the Obama WH always does its best to neuter them.  It'd be fun to have the Blue Dogs and LieberDems be the ones to write legislation, and then have the liberals tear it apart and force them to make concessions.

      In my dreams ...

  •  Republican numbers are staying the same (8+ / 0-)

    Democratic numbers are plummeting.  And you can bet it's not because the public is suddenly turning back to favoring conservative policies.  It is because the public is being turned off at the Democratic inability to get good health care done with what 6 in 10 Americans support - a public option.

  •  with everyone saying how the polls are tanking (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sja, jj32, Wildthumb, JC from IA

    due to the healthcare 'monstrosity' senate bill, i was expecting Obama's approval to drop even further, not improve.

  •  Obama's 1 point improvement is interesting (6+ / 0-)

    given the outraged directed at him this week. Does that suggest that progressives are holding on to their support of him despite hcr, or that the feelings on this site arent really in the majority of his supporters?

    •  I'd say the latter. Many here think that this pl (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, jj32, JC from IA

      some sort of bellwether, or trendsetter. It may not be.

      It is, after all, one little corner of the political universe.

      •  Yeah, my theory is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        askew, Wildthumb

        for many here, hcr is the number one issue, in a much higher percentages than for most Americans or even most Democrats. So the stronger reaction here doesnt necessarily show in national polls.

        •  I looked all over recent polls about what (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sja, jj32

          Americans were most concerned about, and healthcare is down the list. It's jobs, jobs, jobs, and the economy.

          When things are in recession or depression, that is what Americans obsess about, and with good reason.

          Your comment is right on, I think.

          •  HCR is not on some other planet (0+ / 0-)

            from the economy. I think Democratic voters understand that no pols can wave a magic wand and put everybody back to work tomorrow. The HCR mess, though, is going on now. It's about all we have to judge by, and it doesn't give confidence that the other issues will evolve any more happily than HCR. So it makes perfect sense that Democrats are withholding their support of the party on the basis of the perceived failure of the congressional Dems to really fight for this crucial part of economic change.

            Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

            by DaveW on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 06:05:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  so what did he do this week that would have (0+ / 0-)

          bumped up his approval this week?

      •  I'm sure your brain followed the words, even (0+ / 0-)

        though they weren't there, but it should have been
        "this place is..."

    •  Research 2000 is taking a legit sample from (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the country as a whole, even though some would try to place the blame on the commissioner of the poll.

      It's not a campaign anymore, Mr. Obama.

      by huntergeo on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:40:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Have you read the questions they asked? (0+ / 0-)

        If you did, you might not want to get too far out ahead. It doesn't matter how great your sample is if you ask leading questions.

        My personal favorite:

        Would you favor or oppose requiring all Americans to buy health insurance — the so-called mandate — even if they find insurance too expensive or do not want it?

              FAVOR 38%
              OPPOSE 51%
              NOT SURE 11%

        I don't know how in the world they found 38% to agree with that 38% should be a wakeup call to Progressives about just how far people are willing to go for coverage and why trying to kill this bill is political unwise and not going to happen.

        "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." ...Bertrand Russell

        by sebastianguy99 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 06:31:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  There's a tendency for people to be supportive (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      huntergeo, Ezekial 23 20

      of presidents facing extremely difficult circumstances, and I see no reason why he would be denied that protectiveness from most sensible people.

      Obama's numbers seem to climb whenever the public hears him speak, too, if memory serves.

      I'm not surprised to see his numbers hover in this territory. I think it's appropriate, all in all.

    •  Reid went up one point, also. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There's little value in small poll-to-poll changes inside the MoE.

      They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin, Feb 17, 1755.

      by Wayward Son on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 06:08:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Questioning the premise of this series: (5+ / 0-)

    These diaries by their nature look at one or two point shifts and See Portents.

    When the MoE itself is 2.

  •  its not 1994, its different and worse (5+ / 0-)

    its different because this isn't some huge regional change of democrats...we lost charlie-wilson type democrats who ran in increasingly conservative districts yet they'd proudly say they were was a reality that could not be maintained

    2010 will be much more tragic, because we will lose people in Obama districts because tea-party like voters are going to turn out in droves, and liberals are going to sit home because its cold outside and really their senator has done shit for them the 2008-2010

    •  I think that's a really safe bet (0+ / 0-)

      Liberal political activists will have a hard time justifying not voting, at least, but everyday liberals feeling disenfranchised and hopeless about the Democratic Party will probably beg off in 2010. I think a lot of indies with split loyalties will probably stay home too.

    •  Only if nothing gets done by then. (0+ / 0-)

      I think we'll have sellable HCR, real steps toward closing Guantanamo, strong movement on the environment, and, in the State of the Naion, a powerful reminder of how far we've come since the dark days of Bush. We're pretty much all pissed at the Dems now, but we'll wake up enough to remember where the country has come from. Unless the Dems do their special thing of royally screwing everything up for another year, of course. People want somebody to fight for them. I have to think the Dems will get that before it's too late.

      Everybody talkin' 'bout Heaven ain't goin' there -- Mahalia Jackson

      by DaveW on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 06:12:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I plan on buying a 5000 pc jigsaw puzzle (0+ / 0-)

      and making hot toddy's on election day.  

      I keep getting these solicitations every week from the Dem Party, or various individual Dems that I contributed to last cycle.  No matter how caustic, how downright insulting my responses to these requests have been...they just keep on coming.

      What part of FU do they not get?

      Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them. H. L. Mencken

      by Keith930 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 06:34:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We could see a watershed election (0+ / 0-)

      The kind of election that demotes Democrats to a weak minority for a generation.  

  •  And lower Democratic voter interest (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dems 2008

    Is exactly what Joe The Schmuck wants.

  •  All of t=our worst numbers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaveW, Tuba Les

    are still from the South. So since there aren't many/any elected Democrats down there doesn't that mean our potential losses are somewhat negated?

  •  Still wondering where the Republican leadership (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kimberley, huntergeo

    in Congress is getting these bumps.  Have they actually done anything?

  •  Hey, can ya'll start doing a weekly poll of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, peacemaker33

    LIEberman? It'd be interesting to see how his antics are playing with the public

    Free advice: Never argue with a Right Winger, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience

    by Muzikal203 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:42:38 PM PST

  •  John Kerry on liberals, Howard Dean (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kimberley, Minerva, gatorbot, beltane, echatwa

    Some of our liberal friends have suggested we should kill the health care reform bill because it doesn't have a public option.

    This week, for example, Howard Dean wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that real health care reform needed a public option that would '...give all Americans a meaningful choice of coverage.' I was surprised to read that because back in 1993, then-Governor Howard Dean called Medicare ' of the worst federal programs ever and a living advertisement for why the federal government should never administer a national health care program.'

    Well, I am a strong supporter of the public option and I've fought to see it included. But if it cannot be included, I'm not willing to walk away.

    Beltway Dems are the problem. Note the patronizing tone of the entire release.

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:44:58 PM PST

    •  Did Dean really say this though? (0+ / 0-)

      one of the worst federal programs ever and a living advertisement for why the federal government should never administer a national health care program.'

      Even out of context, it doesnt sound great.

      •  Taken out of context, of course (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kimberley, gatorbot, beltane

        Dean: It is a bureaucratic disaster, and I don't make any apologies for that. I--when my father passed away two years ago, I couldn't figure out what was in his--in his bill. And many other Americans face the same problem. Small town doctors, which I was before I got into politics, are harassed by the folks who run Medicare and Medicaid. That doesn't mean it's--the program is a bad program. It's a terrific program for seniors . . . . It's not very well run. And one of the things I promise is that somebody who's actually taking care of patients is going to run Medicare and Medicaid should I become president of the United States.

        Dick DLC Gephardt used it in an ad against Howard Dean.

        The 2004 Democratic primary wars continue.

        Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

        by Scarce on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:49:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Strong supporter"... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Well, I am a strong supporter of the public option and I've fought to see it included. But if it cannot be included, I'm not willing to walk away.

          Love the passive voice...

          Kerry is such a chump sometimes, driving Gibbs' shit.  Christ, this'll really change us liberals' minds.  Surprised he didn't replace "walk away" with "cut and run." I'm sure that's coming soon.

          y el canto de todos que es mi propio canto

          by gatorbot on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 06:05:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for the link. Interesting. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I read the whole article, and it is not pretty even in context.

          Here's another quote from Dean:

          Dean: I think the Medicare system is one of the worst things that ever happened . . . . It demonstrates the notion that the federal government ought not to be allowed to run a national health care system. It's a bureaucratic disaster.

          Yes, he was talking about the bureaucracy involved, and not the benefits directly. How does that that make it any better? It's right-wing framing about how the government can't run it well, and therefore should not be in the business of administering or running health care reimbursement or payment system. The quotes are damning and it makes me wonder what Dean is really thinking, because he seems to have radically changed his mind.

          But at any rate I'm not surprised that those who want to pass the bill are fighting back against Dean's efforts to kill the bill.

          People here complain that Obama and the administration are weak, not fighters, etc. but in fact they are fighting -- for what they want. And Dean and others are fighting against them getting it. Of course there is going to be sniping on both sides. I think Kerry using that quote is fair game.

          •  Certainly is odd (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CS in AZ

            considering the fantastic job Dean did in Vermont setting up gov't run healthcare for kids.

            Maybe he believes there's something a state does better than the feds?  That a one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work as well as a state by state approach?


            Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

            by Ezekial 23 20 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 06:09:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Good questions. I'd love to know what he meant (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ezekial 23 20

              but it seems pretty straight forward. He had some bad experiences with Medicare with his father (just as many people do) and he was pissed off that it was so messed up. Not hard to understand, I think... but as a politician it does not make a lot of sense for him to make these statements.

          •  Context is debatable... (0+ / 0-)

            It demonstrates the notion that the federal government ought not to be allowed to run a national health care system.

            Where does Dean ever say that it's HIS notion?  Could it be that he's pointing out that unchecked bureaucratic or administrative inefficiencies play into GOP hands re govt programs generally? He's actually pointing out the "right wing framing" and how the Medicare program was being run at the time was buttressing the Gop frame -- not embracing that framing as his personal take on Medicare in the abstract.

            Having said all that, maybe he said it the way kerry and gephardt have conveniently used it to attack him and did change his mind later on. (Shrugs)

            y el canto de todos que es mi propio canto

            by gatorbot on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 06:16:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Here's the creepy Gephardt ad from 2003 (0+ / 0-)

          Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

          by Scarce on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 06:19:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  a small lump of coal? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    a sleigh full

  •  Thanks Steve........ (0+ / 0-)

    This poll update made me re-think my idea of building a bunker in the backyard.

    We're right on schedule though. The bunker will be finished 3 days before the midterms.

  •  There's no way that poll is right (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There's just no way that poll is accurate. The President's approval rating is at least 5 points lower than that in every other poll.

    Crank up the crazy and rip off the knob! Stephen Colbert

    by Dugits on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:57:30 PM PST

  •  the boner is now the same size as lebron james' (0+ / 0-)


    "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit." Edward Abbey

    by timbuck on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 05:58:10 PM PST

  •  I'm sorry, I call BS on these numbers? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dems 2008

    Real Clear Politics, which averages 15 polls has Obama at 49/44 approve/disapprove; their generic midterm ballot has republicans 43 over the Dems 41.

    Oh, they also have health care at 38 in favor and 51 percent in opposition, but by all means trust one poll over.

  •  I think this poll is another reminder that... (0+ / 0-)

    ...the netroots is in danger of falling further out of of touch with the mainstream. While many here breathlessly await the mass exodus of people away from the President, it just hasn't happen yet.

    Many have become emotionally invested in the idea that the party and the President have fallen out of favor with the public and major defeat awaits in 2010 and 2012. Despite data to the contrary, they continue to beat the purity drums loudly and information contrary to their doom scenario is quickly disregarded as suspect, if not completely bogus.

    I would not be surprised if this poll will be questioned and bias found...somewhere, somehow.

    Yet a poll that held out to be proof of "revolt" asks questions such as:

    If the government requires 30 million uninsured Americans to buy health insurance, and gives subsidies to some Americans to help them afford this insurance, would it be accurate to say this plan, quote, "PROVIDES" 30 million Americans with health insurance?
           YES NO NOT SURE
    ALL        36% 48% 16%
    Men        35% 50% 15%
    Women        37% 46% 17%
    Democrats 42% 40% 18%
    Republicans 32% 53% 15%
    Independents 34% 50% 16%



    Would you favor or oppose requiring all Americans to buy health insurance — the so-called mandate — even if they find insurance too expensive or do not want it?

          FAVOR 38%
          OPPOSE 51%
          NOT SURE 11%

    I think we should all accept we aren't going to reach consensus on this bill, but we can stop with the defeatism, stop soiling the reputation of this site by being associated with crappy polls and start planning on how to come together, netroots, grassroots, and otherwise and elect a better Congress. Clearly we thought any 60 votes would do in the Senate and that has turned out to be a major miscalculation.

    "Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." ...Bertrand Russell

    by sebastianguy99 on Fri Dec 18, 2009 at 06:26:00 PM PST

  •  It's kind of amazing (0+ / 0-)

    every time I've seen this feature recently, Boehner and McConnell have gained a couple of points in their overall rating....and yet, they're still in the mid teens as far as approval goes...and yet...they're still, essentially, in control, with the ability to stop the Dems from getting anything accomplished.

    How does this work again?

  •  Why Democrats suck at politics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dems 2008

    Democrats are concerned about inclusiveness, hearing and considering all points of views, and value diversity.  This makes them good people and bad politicians.  Because they care about others, they don't want to ram their ideas down their throats, and play true hardball with the troops when they don't toe the line.

    Republicans on the other hand are the party of self-interest.  They understand that by working together, they can more effectively screw others.  They don't give a crap about other people's feelings, or really fundamentally other people at all.  This makes them shitty people, and devastatingly effective politicians.

    We need a new breed of democrat that doesn't give a shit what other people think, and are willing to ram their agenda down the oppositions throats.  This new doesn't care about tradition, isn't wed to the status quo, and will steamroll anyone who stands in their way.  Someone who thinks like a progressive, and acts like a conservative.  What we hoped Obama would be, but really someone like Kos or Grayson.  

    Democrats fucking suck at politics, and I am sick of watching them flail whenever they get power.  With numbers like these, they should be kicking the Republican's asses all over the playground.  Instead it's the other way around.  

  •  Will there be a poll next week? (0+ / 0-)

    Since the results come out on a Friday, ie a holiday, will there be an early poll, will it be left for a week, or does someone have to work on Christmas Day? The effects of the healthcare bill and Copenhagen would be interesting.

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