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With 2009 now in the rear-view mirror, the weekly tracking poll offered to the readers of Daily Kos allows for an interesting graphical look at the political winds of the year that was.

One thing becomes evident almost immediately: the pivotal month of the year in the realm of politics was the month of August. This is perhaps most evident in the favorability ratings for President Barack Obama:

While the graph shows downward movement throughout the first eight months of the year, it is worth noting that the initial slide was predictable, and in line with pretty much every president as their inaugural honeymoon dissipates.

No one (not even Obama, one presumes) believed his favorabilities would stay north of 65% forever.

But, in the heat of the August recess, that downward shift became more sharp. The president's net favorability went from +26 on July 30th (62/36) to a mere +9 on September 3rd (52/43).

While his well-received address on health care the following week (and the absurd GOP flap over his speech to the schoolchildren of America) staunched the bleeding, the President's numbers have basically plateaued since then. He has never recovered the favorability that he had before the month of August.

What might be most alarming for Obama, and by extension the Democratic Party, is that while the President has recovered the adoration of his base (his favorables have actually ticked up a few points since July with Democrats, from 88% to 90%), his numbers with Independents have dipped palpably. What was 70% favorability prior to the August recess now sits at just 54%.

There could be a couple of reasons for this. The right-wing analysis, predictably, is that Independents are appalled by the super-scary socialist stuff, and are repelled by it. That would not explain, however, why only 26% of Independents want a Republican Congress, while the majority are still on the fence about their voting intentions for 2010.

A second explanation is that Independents, since they are not married to either political party, are more about results than they are about particular political positions. The remedy, in that scenario, is simple for Democrats: get things done.

As it stands, Independents have consistently expressed a lower degree of favorability for Republicans in Congress and in the Congressional leadership, which is why the GOP's Congressional entities have consistently polled lower than their Democratic counterparts this year:

What was once a wide gap has tightened somewhat (helped especially by a surge of support for the GOP from its Republican base in that pivotal month of August), but there is still a pretty substantial gap between the two parties.

There is one other unique trend in these numbers. Notice how, as the health care fight escalated through the latter half of the year, the numbers for Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid diverged noticeably.

Reid, it must be noted, did make something of a comeback in the final few weeks of 2009.

Does this divergence between the two parties mean that the conventional wisdom forecasting gloomy 2010 prospects for Democrats are unjustified? The simple answer, unfortunately for Democrats, is: no.

For one thing, as we have tracked over the last month, there is a substantial gap in the relative levels of voting enthusiasm in 2010. This reached an alarming level at the close of the year, where the final tracking poll of the year showed that 45% of Democrats now say that they are either unlikely to vote or certain not to do it.

For another thing, Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling said in November that he suspects that people who hold neither political party in esteem will be more likely to vote Republican. His logic: if they are dissatisfied with the course of the country, they'll vote for the party that offers the greatest likelihood of change from the present circumstance.

This might explain the relatively narrow advantage for Democrats over the last few months of the year on our variation of the Generic Ballot test for the 2010 elections (note: this question did not make its debut in our tracking poll until May):

When the Democrats swept to their large majority in November of 2008, they led the GOP by just over seven percentage points in the aggregate national House vote. More often than not, Democrats have led the GOP by margins less than seven points since the late summer. This would imply, at least on the surface, that the goal for Democrats will be to minimize the number of seats they shed in the 2010 midterms.

Of course, there are still more than ten months to go in the 2010 campaign cycle. Anyone interested in the predictive value of polling might want to look at one statistic that is highlighted weekly in the Daily Kos tracking poll:

It is worth noting that the right track/wrong track metric is not an inviolable predictor of political fortune. After all, Democrats padded their majorities in 2008, despite that particular metric resting at its most pessimistic point in recent history.

The difference between then and now, however, is that there were several places for voters to direct their anger. By virtue of having a deeply unpopular President in the White House, the Republican Party bore the overwhelming brunt of voter disdain.

In 2010, of course, voter anger is likely to be concentrated on the party-in-power. And, unlike 2008, there is only one party in power.

Therefore, Democrats need to see a dramatic shift in the right track/wrong track metric. And the sooner, the better. If they can succeed in raising voter optimism about the state of the nation, their majority will be considerably more comfortable than it is at present.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 08:00 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  My 2010 Congressional Election Predictions (7+ / 0-)

    We will lose about 5 Senate seats to include Reid and Dodd but still hold a majority.

    We will lose about 20 House seats but Speaker Pelosi will still be there and the tea-baggers will be livid because they absolutely convinced themselves that they would have won back both houses

    The Right-Wing circular firing squad will rip apart the Republican Party just in time for their presidential primary

  •  The SOTU must be the catalyst. (11+ / 0-)

    It will probably be be Obama's greatest opportunity to shape public opinion prior to the elections.

    He's got to go full bore on employment.

  •  Without anything solid--I'm an optimist---2010 (7+ / 0-)

    will see a decent comeback for the president and a breakeven deal for Dems in Congress.

    •  Yeah, I think we pick up Voinovich's seat in OH (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew

      and grab a few others (MO, possibly FL).  We'll still hold 54-55 seats in the Senate and get a bunch more in the House.

      I think the "getting things done" meme is key.  The GOP has been totally uncooperative and it pisses people off.

      "It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses." - CS Lewis, Weight of Glory

      by Benintn on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 08:18:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  fear (6+ / 0-)

    Fear is the Republican's friend.  Terrorism is their friend.  If the US has more "incidents," the Dems will be holding the short end of the stick.  Somehow, I keep thinking about the fireman that commits arson--and worry about devious Glenn Beck types.

  •  Excellent! (0+ / 0-)

    [Steve, one spelling nitpick, though, "stanch" the bleeding, plskthx.

    Grab a MOP, you GOPpers,
    Or getTF out of our way!

    by OleHippieChick on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 08:12:05 AM PST

  •  Since August: mostly statistical noise. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citizenx, aaraujo, annieli, lighttheway

    Since August, President Obama's tracking numbers have been 54% plus or minus the margin of error. That same pattern holds for most of the other results from this polling data. What this suggests (to me) is that by mid-summer the post-election enthusiasm was gone - not surprisingly - and the poll responses returned to driven by people's real life conditions and events.

    So I agree, for Democrats to do well in 2010, those real life conditions and events need to change for the better: more people getting jobs, fewer people losing homes to foreclosure, fewer bankruptcies from medical bills, etc.

    Messaging can only do so much massaging on events. Ultimately, people expect government to help them solve real life problems, or at least not make those problems worse. Democrats will succeed, or fail, on how well they accomplish that.

  •  Great write up Steve (2+ / 0-)

    and I have nothing but contempt for Independents. :)

    I can understand wingnuts, god bless 'em, sticking by their guns and fighting like hell for what they wrongly believe in but to not have a preference between the two vastly different outlooks?

    Trying to figure out what is going to happen in Nov. is like trying to guess the winner of next year's Kentucky Derby.

    •  Many independents are completely apolitical. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      citizenx

      I have a sister that decides after watching one debate.  That's it.  One freaking debate.  Fortunately she has liked Clinton, Kerry, and Obama.  Her one failure was liking Bush in 2000.

      Many people out there don't care, and that's sad.  At least my sister votes and clues in for at least one debate.  Just think about how many American's could care less and never vote.

      Expose the lies. Fight for the truth. Push progressive politics. Save our planet. Health care is a right, not a privilege.

      by lighttheway on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 11:03:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tim Kaine got caught napping. (9+ / 0-)

    That's one of the big stories of the year.

    Kaine, in the midst of 3 busy jobs - helping with his succession plan (failed), running the new DNC and getting OFA up and running under the DNC umbrella, and trying to govern Virginia during an election year and a terrible recession - was unable to turn Obama's favorability and the hope surge into serious results that everyone wants and needs (except the GOP, which is like 20% of the country).

    "It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses." - CS Lewis, Weight of Glory

    by Benintn on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 08:16:31 AM PST

    •  Correct--he should have passed on DNC job; failed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      farbuska

      miserably at it---fr the reasons you list.

      Cost Dems a lot.

    •   The role of the DNC (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew

      when a Dem. is in the White House needs to be defined. I wasn't paying attention to that kind of minutia when Clinton was president. Doesn't the DNC & RNC get louder when they do not occupy the WHite House and do not have a designated leader of the party? I don't know and I'm ready to learn.

    •  I was looking for Kaine (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      farbuska

      I actually had to google the DNC to see who was the DNC chair, he has been so quiet. I did this to see why whoever the DNC chair was why he wasn't taking on the right-wing crazies over health care or this latest terror incident.

      When the right wing goes crazy, our side is silent. What gives? Don't we have any politicians on our side? We need more Grayson's on our side. It's depressing.

      "As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It's Alaska" -- Gov. Sarah Palin

      by makemefree on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 09:07:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Seems a bit surreal that early voting begins (0+ / 0-)

    here in IL only 7 days from now. No campaign ads, commercials or yard signs so far?

    " It's shocking what Republicans will do to avoid being the 2012 presidential nominee."

    by jwinIL14 on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 08:20:54 AM PST

  •  Like they said in the 90s (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, jamfan, aaraujo, skillet

    "it the economy, stupid"

    All of these polling numbers will change dramatically if we can get people back to work. Republicans will suffer, as they will be [and should mercilessly be] painted as obstructionists.

    I hate to say this, because it sounds Machiavellian, but I can see how if I were a President thinking strictly politically, knowing I had a 20 month span to cover, and knowing the inability of the American public to focus on anything but the short term, I'd delay any strong economic for the latter part of that span.

    I believe we will see strong efforts to cover jobs and wages in the next 10 months - very strong efforts.

    'The work goes on, the cause endures.'

    by shpilk on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 08:25:16 AM PST

    •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

      I also think he knew the stimulus was too small back in early '09 but to (a) avoid the screeching brouhaha that would've resulted if he'd crossed the psychological threshold and asked for a trillion dollars in stimulus at once, and (2) save for the election year a package that could more correctly be called a jobs bill -- he split the stimulus package concept in two, and 2010's portion will be jobs.

      The braying sheep on my TV screen make this boy shout -- make this boy scream -- I'm going underground...

      by jamfan on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 08:57:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Two things I see: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, citizenx, aaraujo

    First of all, if you're right about this:

    A second explanation is that Independents, since they are not married to either political party, are more about results than they are about particular political positions. The remedy, in that scenario, is simple for Democrats: get things done.

    getting the HCR bill passed is essential.

    And secondly, since I think the right track/wrong track results reflect mostly on the economy, interpreting those could be influenced by who folks blame for the current problems.

    Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by NLinStPaul on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 08:33:47 AM PST

  •  A lot more research needed on indies (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    delver, gereiztkind, isabelle hayes

    The circumstantial evidence from this polling would suggest to me that there's a large reservoir of center-left independent voters who all too easily subscribe to the Naderite "Tweedledum-Tweedledee" analysis of the two parties.  Despite their fickleness and their politics of purity, this ought to be a much more promising avenue for new Democratic voters -- but their votes will be off the table if we continue with a lot of Blue Dog corporate whoring on Capital, er, Capitol Hill.  Identifying these voters, confirming whether or not there's a systemic center-left tilt among them, and then recruiting them ought to be a top priority for Democrats -- this slice of the electorate has been left fallow for too long.

  •  Speaking as a left-leaning independent... (6+ / 0-)

    I have to say my opinion of the Democratic Party went down several notches during the second half of 2009, as it become abundantly clear that they are as much slaves to corporate campaign dollars and lobbying as the Republicans.  That said, I will never, ever vote again for a GOPer, given the wholesale damage they've done to our country.

    We must rein-in corporate power and enact true (not pseudo) campaign finance reform. Otherwise, our democracy is a joke.

    Joe the Plumber, Andy Warhol called. He wants your fifteen minutes back!

    by shaf on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 08:39:18 AM PST

    •  I quite agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      farbuska

      Only progressive Dems will get my vote.  And since there are none of those in Florida, that means I'll just sit at home and watch the Dem Party get the ass-kicking they deserve in 2010.

      It might wake them up.

      And you'all can spare me all the "lesser of two evils" and "the Repugs are EVEN WORSE !!!!!!!" bullshit.

      Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 08:44:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Isn't this sort of a "screaming girl" response? (0+ / 0-)

        Expose the lies. Fight for the truth. Push progressive politics. Save our planet. Health care is a right, not a privilege.

        by lighttheway on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 11:12:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  nope. It's reality. (0+ / 0-)

          There's a word we use for people who reward the people that hurt them.  That word is "chumps".

          I'm not a chump.

          Why the hell would I want to vote for someone who hurts me? What good does electing Lieberman or Nelson, do for any of us?

          It just makes us "chumps".

          Want me to vote for a progressive instead of Bill Nelson?  Then GIVE ME ONE TO VOTE FOR.

          Until then, STFU.  (shrug)

          Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

          by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 11:29:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I understand where you are coming from. (0+ / 0-)

            I was there too about a month ago, so you to might change your mind.  

            I don't follow Florida all that closely, but some feel Christ may be the Dem nominee against Rubio for the "R"'s.  If you don't vote, then you  shouldn't complain about what Rubio does should he win.  Now if you vote for Christ and he's a disappointment, you have every right to complain.  Keep that in mind.  IF you are OK with all that, then fine, don't vote.

            Expose the lies. Fight for the truth. Push progressive politics. Save our planet. Health care is a right, not a privilege.

            by lighttheway on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 11:43:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Crist? CRIST ??????????? (0+ / 0-)

              Your solution is CRIST ????????????????????????  Crist already IS a goddamn disappointment.  I find it utterly amazing that you think putting a "D" after his name instead of an "R" will suddenly turn him into a "good guy". If your "solution" is simply to switch all the R's to D's, then . . . wow. Just . . .  wow. No WONDER Dems can't win here.  (shrug)

              But you still have not told me how voting for Nelson is better than not voting at all . . . ?

              Or, after all the Dem screaming and bitching and yelling and moaning and groaning about how awful Nelson and Lieberman are blah blah blah and how they sold us all out blah blah blah. . .  are you just a bunch of chumps, after all?

              Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

              by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 11:52:26 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I didn't say he was the solution, and certainly (0+ / 0-)

                didn't say he was MY solution.  So be carefully what inferences you draw.  What I said was, he might end up on the Democratic ticket, as least from the limited reading I have done concerning Florida.  

                As for voting for Nelson, or staying home, if I lived in that state, I'd have to look at his voting record.  If he votes with the Republican's all the time or nearly all the time, then I'd stay home.  If he votes with the Democratic agenda on the balance of issues, I'd vote for him in a general election.  

                You sound angry.  Do something constructive.  Just bitching and saying you won't vote isn't going to help your anger.  

                Expose the lies. Fight for the truth. Push progressive politics. Save our planet. Health care is a right, not a privilege.

                by lighttheway on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 12:19:34 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  so Crist becomes a D. BFD. (0+ / 0-)

                  So what?  What good does that do anyone?

                  Yes, I am angry.  I am angry not only that the fucking Dems have sold us out for the last decade, but now they are idiotic enough to not only ask me to VOTE for one of the guys who fucked us over, but have the sheer idiocy to declare that something is wrong with ME if I don't vote for the guy who fucked us over.

                  The Dems remind me of a battered girlfriend who continually gets the shit smacked out of her, but continually goes back to the same guys who smack her, again and again and again and again because "but . . . but . . . I love him!!!!!!!!!!!!!".

                  (sigh)

                  Chumps.

                  By the way, you should have stopped right here:

                  I don't follow Florida all that closely

                  Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

                  by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 12:41:18 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  my question to shaf is (0+ / 0-)

      you write that you won't vote for a gop'er again, but the big question is would you vote for a third-party candidate, and let the gop win, again?
      the only hope for progress is that that doesn't happen again

      •  would you vote for Lieberman or Nelson over a (0+ / 0-)

        Repug? Lesser of two evils, and all that?

        If so, thanks for nothing.

        Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

        by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 10:12:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  that is not a rhetorical question . . . (0+ / 0-)

          I'd like an answer.

          I find it amazingly bone-crushingly mind-numbingly funny that all the die-hard blue-pennant-waving Dems who spent the entire last year bitching and moaning and whining and griping and crying and screaming about the Blue Dog Dems like Nelson who were ruining everything and were the entire reason why the Dems can't get anything done --------now want me to vote for the fucking son of a bitch because "the Repugs are even WORSE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

          Chumps.

          Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

          by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 11:58:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Confusing your Nelsons? (0+ / 0-)

            I know that Bill Nelson is a Conservadem, but he's not the main Nelson that people have been bitching about here this past year.

            Ben Nelson is the guy who has been the source of most of the ire towards the conservative Democrats.  I'm not saying Bill Nelson is a great progressive (he's not), but he's been a lot better than Ben Nelson this year.

            Did Bill Nelson vote for the key Democratic initiaves this past year?  Yes.

            Did he hold those issues up by threatening filibusters in the way that his colleagues Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson did?  No.

            You say it makes no difference whether you have Bill Nelson or a Republican in that Senate seat.  Well, here's the difference.  No Bill Nelson, and the stimulus bill possibly doesn't pass, and HCR (crappy as it is) probably doesn't pass.

            You're right, it does suck having to settle for "the lesser of two evils"... but keep in mind, "the lesser of two evils" still is always objectively better than "the greater of two evils".

            95,000 Florida Naderites refused to vote for Al Gore in 2000 because they considered him to be "the lesser of two evils".  And because of their vote, we wound up with an outcome that was so close that it had to be thrown to SCOTUS to determine a winner, and SCOTUS fucked it up, and we got 8 years of Dubya out of the deal.  Now while I will always place the principal blame for that outcome on SCOTUS, the fact is, if those Naderites would have voted pragmatically instead of protesting Gore by voting for Nader, SCOTUS never would have even had a say in the outcome, because Al Gore would have been declared president-elect on Election Night 2000, and no recount would ever have been necessary.

            So yes, voting for the lesser of two evils, while hardly ideal, still provides a substantially better result than refusing to vote and allowing the greater of two evils to come out the winner.  I am fairly disappointed by Obama's first year in office, and was hoping for much more than what we got.  But as disappointed as I might be, I will never question my decision to vote last year, or my choice of Obama as POTUS.  If you think things suck right now, trust that they would be a hundred times worse if President John Sidney McCain was leading the country today.

            Anyway, I'm not sure why you are even focusing on Bill Nelson in regard to the 2010 elections... his seat is not up for re-election this year, it's your other U.S. Senate seat that is being decided in 2010.

      •  I didn't say I'd vote for a third party candidate (0+ / 0-)

        did I?  I am keenly aware of the 'spoiler effect' caused by voting for a third party candidate.  Until there is Instant Runoff Voting (IVR) or in the case of Presidential balloting, proportional awarding of electors in most states, the two-party system will dominate and will work to limit the positive effects of diverse voices in the marketplace of ideas.

        I chose to not label myself as with a party affiliation because I feel that political parties frequently serve their own interests ahead of the citizens.  This doesn't mean that I am not aware and engaged in the political process.  It does mean I will emphasize my vote at the ballot box and communication with my elected officials (regardless of their party) as my means of expressing my happiness/unhappiness with their performance.

        Joe the Plumber, Andy Warhol called. He wants your fifteen minutes back!

        by shaf on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 11:15:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  but then what DO you do? (0+ / 0-)

          My Senator is Bill Nelson.  Yes, THE Bill Nelson.  The Blue Dog Dem who the blue-pennant-wavers all blame for all the evils of the poor Dem Party. It's all his fault, he's gotta go, kick the bastard out --- that whole song and dance.

          So what do I do . . . do I vote for Nelson?  That, of course, is what the blue-pennant-wavers seem to want me to do.  They apparently don't see the sheer idiocy of it.  Or maybe they just LIKE voting for people who fuck them over.

          Do I vote for a Repug?  Puh-leeze.

          Do I vote third party? All the blue-pennant-wavers would go apeshit. Helps the Repugs win, throws away my vote, blah blah blah blah.

          Or do I stay home and not vote at all?

          Gee, I'd sure like some advice from some of the self-righteous blue-pennant wavers.  Who do I vote for?  Who, oh, who . . . ?

          Chumps.

          Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

          by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 12:47:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You are confusing your Nelsons... (0+ / 0-)

            BEN NELSON, not Bill Nelson, is the Conservadem that people have been bitching about most of this past year.

            You've got your Nelsons confused.  Yes, Bill Nelson is also a Blue Dog who progressives complain about, but it is BEN Nelson who held up the healthcare bill last month, not Bill Nelson.

            As far as I know, Bill Nelson hasn't really been a big obstructionist this year on key Democratic legislation.  That isn't to say that we wouldn't be better off with a more progressive person in his seat, but he's hardly at the top of the list of Democratic caucusing politicians people have been compalining about this year.

            •  no, I got the right one . . . (0+ / 0-)

              For YEARS now the Dems here have been bitching and griping and moaning and complaining about the Blue Dogs, how bad they are, how they wreck the party, how we can't get anything done because of them, blah blah blah yada yada yada. Nelson is a Blue Dog in good standing.

              So my question still stands --- do y'all want me to VOTE for the son of a bitch?

              Really?

              Really and truly?

              Like I said before, there's a name for people who vote for someone who fucks them over.  That name is "chumps".

              But  how about a deal --- I'll go ahead and vote for Nelson (because the Repugs are EVEN WORSE !!!!!!!!), and in exchange, YOU all agree never to ever again say one bad word anywhere at any time about any of the Blue Dogs that you are now encouraging people to VOTE for. I don't want to hear anymore about how they are crippling the party, I don't want to hear anymore about how the Dems can't get anything done because of the Blue Dogs, I don't want to hear any bitching about kissing their ass to get even shitty bills passed -- I don't want to hear ANY of it.  Instead, every one of you will active defend the Blue Dogs and everything they do, because you wanted me to vote for them when I didn't want to.

              Deal?

              Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

              by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 03:41:09 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Put the sanctimonious crackpipe down. (0+ / 0-)

                Guess what, dipshit... Bill Nelson's seat isn't up for re-election this year.  Nobody is telling you to vote for Bill Nelson.  Even if you wanted to, you couldn't vote for Bill Nelson in 2010, because he' not a fucking candidate.

                Florida, like all of the other 49 states, has two United States Senate seats.  One of those seats is in contention this year.  Guess which one that is... not BILL FUCKING NELSON'S seat, moron!

                The seat that is up for grabs is the seat currently occupied by George Lemieux... your other U.S. Senator.  He's the placeholder finishing up Mel Martinz' term.

                The GOP will field either Charlie Crist or Marco Rubio, and the Democrats likely candidate is going to be Kendrick Meek.

                So if it winds up being Meek for the Democrats, guess what?  You don't have to vote for BILL FUCKING NELSON.  You can vote for Kendrick Meek.

                Jesus Christ that was exhausting.

  •  the Repugs will definitely not win in 2010 (0+ / 0-)

    But the Dems will definitely lose.

    There's a big difference.

    Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

    by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 08:41:07 AM PST

    •  We can avoid losing. (0+ / 0-)

      We can build upon the popularity of HCR (as shown in the DK polls) by moving quickly and surely to comprehensive immigration reform and civil rights for all americans. We need to build upon the positive momentum we have built with HCR and the stimulus/job creation.

      •  what planet are you living on? -nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        farbuska

        Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

        by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 09:12:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Look at the DK polls. (0+ / 0-)

          While we are not at the 65%+ that we started from, we are still in great shape. As I said, the only poll I consider legitimate is the DK poll and that clearly shows we have the momentum. Yes, the HCR we got was not what we wanted (single payer) and yes the stimulus was not as large as we wanted it (jobs will be created very soon, and chiefly green jobs). But the reason independents are souring a bit (54% or so support still) is that we have not moved quickly enough on comprehensive immigration reform and civil rights for all americans. Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Reid must move on that quickly in 2010.

  •  the wrong message (5+ / 0-)

    i still contend, particularly looking at the wrong track/right track data, many in this country - most notably those all important independents - are most frustrated not by what has been done but rather by what has not! regardless of what the good ol' gop and their merry band of haters would have you believe, it is in doing too little, not doing too much, that has caused the most downturn in the democrats, including our president, poll numbers.

    congress and this administration, most notably rahm emanuel, have misread the mood of the public and listen instead to the loud, vociferous vitriol from a minority of voters who did not vote nor would ever vote democrat.

    dissatisfaction has come not from campaign promises that were too politically unfavorable once in office, but rather from campaign promises not kept!

    •  indeed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      farbuska

      If the Dems ever grow a damn spine and fight for some good progressive things, they will have my full support in any way I can.

      If they are just going to give us Republican-Lite, and sell us out to the corporados at every opportunity, then they will get neither my vote nor my support.

      What's the point in electing Dems who act just like Repugs?

      Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 08:47:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly. (0+ / 0-)

      We need to keep our campaign promises of comprehensive immigration reform and civil rights for all americans. Our message was clear in '06 and '08. Elect progressive democrats and we will give you robust HCR, create millions of new jobs with the stimulus, comprehensive immigration reform and civil rights for All Americans. Those were the four corners of our promise. We have delivered on 1/2, we need to deliver on the second 1/2 in 2010.

      •  huh? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        farbuska

        We have delivered on 1/2,

        (looks around)

        Where?

        The Dems have demonstrated pretty clearly that they are just as beholden to the lobbyists as the Repugs are, just as internally dysfunctional, and just as utterly incapable of governing effectively.

        It is why they will get their asses kicked in 2010.  The Repugs will not WIN, it is the Dems who will LOSE.

        That result, of course, COULD be a good thing for progressives, IF it forces the Dems to finally grow some balls and do the things that people actually want them to do (whether the lobbyists like it or not).

        Or of course, it could lead to permanent disaster for  progressives, if the Dems are stupid and spineless, and decide that their ass-whuppin' was the result of not compromising and capitulating ENOUGH -- in which case any hope of a progressive agenda vanishes.

        Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

        by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 09:19:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  While the HCR is not what we wanted. (0+ / 0-)

          As progressive, we want single payer. We did get HCR and we did get the stimulus with its coming job creation, particularly green jobs. Now we must move to comprehensive immigration reform and civil rights for all Americans. Promises we made to the voters in ;06 and ;08 in particular in the clearest possible terms. We told them we would give them HCR, stimulus/jobs, CIR and civil rights for all americans. We need to deliver all 4. The voters are demanding it.

          •  For every green job created... (0+ / 0-)

            Many other jobs were simultaneously lost.

            While this is certainly better than it would have been with no stimulus, it's just plain disingenuous to claim that the stimulus created jobs while ignoring the greater number of jobs that were lost in that time period.

            A true jobs creation bill means that you end up with more people employed after its passage than you had before.  The opposite happened in 2009.  More people were unemployed after ARRA passed than were unemployed before it passed.  Now I'm not saying that ARRA caused that net job loss, and I agree that it was better that it passed than if it hadn't... but the idea that we're better off after it passed than we were before is just bullshit.  You can say we are better off than we would have been without it, and I would agree.  But overall, we have not seen a net improvement in the nation's job situation since the stimulus bill passed, but rather a net downturn.  ARRA helped slow the bleeding down, but it didn't make a bad situation turn into a good situation, it just prevented it from being a lot worse.

            The job situation is objectively worse today than it was one year ago today.  That isn't because of the stimulus bill, but rather in spite of it.  No stimulus and I agree, we would be even worse off... but it is untrue to claim that it has improved our job situation.  It just kept it from being a lot worse.  But it is still unsustainably bad.

            If Democrats start hanging a "Mission Accomplished" banner on the plank of jobs creation, it will be greatly to their own detriment.  Mission is most certainly not accomplished, and more than ten percent of Americans will tell you so on firsthand experience.

      •  More like 1/8... (0+ / 0-)

        We've delivered on one half of one of those planks - healthcare reform.  What we're getting is not robust, but it is a foot in the door.  If you are happy with the legislation we're gonna get and think nothing more needs to be done to improve on it, I think you have a pretty weak idea of what you consider "robust".

        I assume that the other plank you consider already accomplished is "millions of jobs created"... and all I can is HAHAHAHAHA.  Look at the unemployment numbers.  Not seeing the millions of jobs created.  I do see that we've lost a ton of jobs this year, however.  I agree that the stimulus likely prevented the job losses from being worse, but that still doesn't mean that it has created millions of jobs.  Or more accurately, what good is it if a bill creates ten jobs if twenty other jobs will be lost simultaneously?  Sure, it's better that only ten are unemployed than twenty, but it's still not a net gain.

        The Democrats have delivered on one-half of one of the four promises made... not two of those four as you state.

    •  This. (0+ / 0-)

      100% this.

      The huge downturn in the popularity of the Senate healthcare reform bill as it was getting ready for passage was not because the bill was seen as going too far and doing too much, but rather an expression of disappointment that the bill wasn't going to do nearly enough.

      You're right... the disappointment and downturn in polls isn't because of the absurdly stupid teabagger meme that we have a socialist in the White House, but rather because our president is not nearly progressive enough, and our huge victories last November aren't producing more progressive results.

      The funny thing is, while I think the drive towards party purification will prove quite detrimental to the GOP (and already has, in the case of NY-23, a race they would have easily won had Scozzafava not been teabagged out of the race), I think in the case of the Democrats, it is absolutely vital to our long term success as a party to get more pure Democrats into office.

      •  then why vote for Dems who just act like Repugs? (0+ / 0-)

        Like Nelson. Or Lieberman.

        How does that help us.

        Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

        by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 03:16:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Neither of those candidates... (0+ / 0-)

          Are on the ballot in 2010, so I have no idea what you are talking about.

          You don't have to vote for Nelson or Lieberman, since neither one of them is running for anything this year.

          But I would suggest voting for the Democrat in your state's U.S. Senate race (newsflash - you have two U.S. Senators, like every other state.  One of them isn't Bill Nelson.  Quit talking about Bill Nelson, for fuck's sake).

  •  Early in 2010... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    createpeace, isabelle hayes

    Obama should fulfill his campaign promise to eliminate income tax for seniors who make less than $50K. Support should be bipartisan...I'd dare the GOP to oppose a tax cut...and it could only help in winning some seniors back.

  •  Senate numbers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    farbuska
    You're right, conservatives got everything they wanted for the last decade and they did it with only about 50-something or so senators.

    So how come we can't get anything done with less than 60?

  •  The DK tracking poll is my only poll. (0+ / 0-)

    I don't even look at any other polls. The DK poll is the only one that is accurate.

    •  Based on what? (0+ / 0-)
      On what scientific grounds do you contend that the DK Poll is the only one that is accurate?

      The only way to note whether or not a poll is accurate is basing it on election results.  I don't know how accurate the DK Poll was in the 2008 election or 2009 elections, but those are the only elections that we have to look at...

      I'm too lazy to look up R2K numbers for 2008 (R2K is the firm used for the DK Poll), but here's what the last polls showed for 2009...

      VA Governor's Race - R2K Final Poll:
      McDonnell 54
      Deeds 44

      VA Governor's Race - Actual Results:
      McDonnell 59
      Deeds 41

      NJ Governor's Race - R2K Final Poll:
      Christie 42
      Corzine 41
      Daggett 14

      NJ Governor's Race - Actual Results:
      Christie 49
      Corzine 45
      Daggett 6

      Maine Question 1 - R2K Final Poll:
      Yes 47
      No 48

      Maine Question 1 - Actual Results:
      Yes 53
      No 47

      I didn't include NY-23 because the last R2K poll was taken before Scozzafava dropped out, so of course the results were going to be pretty far off.  But if you look at the difference between the R2K polls and the actual results in all three of the races I included, you'll note that the R2K poll shows a better performance for the Democrat/progressive position than what actually occurred.  In the case of Maine, R2K actually indicated a tiny victory for same-sex marriage, but the actual result was a 6 point defeat.

      I think the DKos poll is a good one, but I'd hardly say that it is the only reliable poll available, or even necessarily the most accurate poll available.  I tend to take Rasmussen with a pretty big grain of salt (though they have been fairly accurate in the past), but I think Gallup and Pew tend to be among the better polls out there.

      Anyway, I don't rely to heavily on any one poll, because otherwise I'll just look for the one poll that is most likely to tell me what I want to hear.  Instead, I look at the analysis provided by people like Nate Silver and Pollster.com, because those sites take into account all of the polls available, and tend to get a lot closer to probable results than any single poll usually will.

  •  45% (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    delver, CalliopeIrjaPearl

    of Democrats probably won't vote?

    Someone should give them a hint, get them a clue:
    If you don't vote - you really have no right to complain.

    They're real, and they're spectacular - Me, the other day commenting on Yosemite's waterfalls

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 09:23:41 AM PST

    •  I plan on being one of them (0+ / 0-)

      I see no purpose served in voting for Dems who act just like Repugs.

      Perhaps you could explain the purpose of it, to me . . . ?

      So I will sit home and watch the Dems get the ass-kicking they deserve, and hope that it wakes them up and forces them to grow a damn spine.

      Would you vote for Lieberman or Nelson over any Repug, on the "lesser of two evils" theory that "the Repugs are EVEN WORSE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

      If so, then the whole HCR fiasco was your fault.  You elected the guys who sold us out.  Thanks for nothing.

      Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 09:32:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, we need even more Democrats! (3+ / 0-)

        As I said below: Both parties have flaws, but Republicans are worse. The idiotic equivalency argument lost the 2000 Election. Really, can you imagine that President Gore at the helm would have been as bad as GW Bush?! The answer is to elect even more Democrats so they don't have to compromise with Blue Dogs and Repubs.

      •  Neother one would be fun (0+ / 0-)

        But my thinking is that it's probably better to get shot in the arm than in the head.

        The Republican Party with their lock-step obstructionism and ideology that is growing crazier every year need disillusioned Democrats to stay home in order to grow their ranks.

        My decision is to not help them, but obviously it's just that. My decision. My congresscritter is a smarmy Republican ***** in a slightly gerrymandered district but I'll still vote against him, if only to be able to sleep a little better at night. If the polls show his opponant having something resembling a a shot at unseating him? - Here I am! Put me to work.

        They're real, and they're spectacular - Me, the other day commenting on Yosemite's waterfalls

        by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 10:01:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Like The Man Said...You Should Get A Damn Clue (0+ / 0-)
        •  so you'd vote for Nelson . . . . (0+ / 0-)

          over a Repug?  

          How does that help us, again . . . ?

          Isn't that how we got into this mess in the FIRST goddamn place?

          Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

          by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 10:05:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  that is not a rhetorical question. I'd like (0+ / 0-)

            an answer.  Should I vote for Nelson because the Repugs are EVEN WORSE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ?  How does that help us, again . . . ?

            Do you have any idea how utterly funny I find it when the same diehard blue-pennant-waving Dems who bitched and moaned and griped and complained about the Blue Dog Dems who were ruining the party and preventing the good guys from accomplishing anything ---- now want me to  vote for the son of a bitch instead of just staying home, because "the Repugs are even WORSE !!!!!!!!" ?

            Any idea?

            Chumps.

            Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

            by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 12:04:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  BS (0+ / 0-)

      your choices boil down to:

      1. vote to continue (the bullshit we've gotten so far).
      1. don't vote
      1. vote for a Republican/fascist/nutbag/likely criminal
      1. vote for some third party who has no chance of winning.

      Not voting can be a statement in itself.  And that whole "if you dont vote you have no right to X" has always been crap in my book.  I'm a citizen either way.  I'll do what I like.  No one "gives" me my rights, and no one takes them away.  

      Choosing to withhold your vote can be a position of substance, or a position of laziness.  Its a matter of intent.  Just like killing someone can be ok if you are helping them die with dignity when they are terminally ill.  See how that works?  Either way you are killing someone, but one is quite different from the other.  

  •  Nailed it (0+ / 0-)

    One of the best analysis of 09 poll tracking heading into 2010 elections that I have seen.

    Proves to me, once again, why DK is so much more valuable and has gained credibility over the past year while similar sites in FDL and HuffPo have become filled with inflamatory rants and lack of objective analysis.

    This was excellent, Steve.

    The thing that worries me the most is the "Right Track/Wrong Track" index. Particularly because that is where, IMO, the right-wing attacks of Socialist, wanting America to fail, etc. was most effective against Obama.

    I don't worry too much about "Independents" because when polling, people will sometimes say Independenet even if they associate with Rep or Dem just because they consider themselves "independent" from the political party machinery. In other words, they are not truly "Independent" voters.

    •  I think not (0+ / 0-)

      he thing that worries me the most is the "Right Track/Wrong Track" index. Particularly because that is where, IMO, the right-wing attacks of Socialist, wanting America to fail, etc. was most effective against Obama.

      If the Repugs were really scoring with this, they'd have won the last elections.

      I think the Dems brought this on themselves, by capitulating on every major issue in the last ten years, by failing to distinguish themselves in any noticeable way from the same old Repug policies (often even bringing in the same people to run them), and by demonstrating that they are just as dysfunctional, just as incapable of effectively governing, and just as beholden to the lobbyists as the Repugs are.

      People think the DEMS are on the wrong track, and are simply not doing what we elected them to do

      And those people are correct.

      Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 09:41:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Simpler analysis for voting GOP in 2010, (1+ / 0-)

    and it requires neither love of nor respect for Republicans:

    The people in charge are paying more attention to lobbyists and to their personal legacies than they are to the needs of the nation's people (distinct from the nation itself).

    The only way to address that problem is to make ignoring us hurt.  

    That logic, btw, would also support voting against incumbent Republicans.  Whoever the incumbent is, vote for the other guy, or a credible third party if there is one.

    Democrats have been every bit as guilty as Republicans of putting their attention inside the beltway while we poor little fly-over members of the masses suffer.

    Vote for a party that does well. Vote against a party that does badly.  When politicians take your vote for granted, we all get screwed.

    Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

    by dinotrac on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 09:44:05 AM PST

    •  No, the parties are not the same! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lighttheway, littlebird33

      They both have flaws, but Republicans are worse. The idiotic equivalency argument lost the 2000 Election. Really, can you imagine that President Gore at the helm would have been as bad as GW Bush?! The answer is to elect even more Democrats so they don't have to compromise with Blue Dogs and Repubs.

      •  Didn't read very carefully. (0+ / 0-)

        I never claimed both parties were the same.  I'm an independent because I don't like either one very much, but I know they are not the same, though better or worse are not terms I would apply.  Bad in different ways, perhaps.

        One thing has surprised me about the current crop of Democrats.  I had always considered Democrats the party most likely to care about the welfare of working people.

        No more.

        Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

        by dinotrac on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 09:55:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  alas, the blue-pennant-wavers tend to froth at (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dinotrac

          the mouth a little bit when they see their heros getting poked at.

          Odd, in a party that likes to condemn "partisanship" in the other party . . . . .

          Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

          by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 10:11:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  um, what happens when . . . . (0+ / 0-)

        The answer is to elect even more Democrats so they don't have to compromise with Blue Dogs

        the Dems we elect ARE Blue Dogs . . . . . . .

        How does that help us?

        Would you vote for Lieberman or Nelson over a Repug, because the Repugs are "even worse !!!!!!!!!"?

        If so, thanks for nothing.

        Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

        by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 10:08:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, not for *those* but what about the rest ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          littlebird33

            No, I don't advocate a straw-man purist approach either. And, maybe I misunderstood the original comment, but it did vaguely promote equivalence in some ways. I can agree with the sentiment here, don't vote then for someone really awful like Lieberman or "I voted with GWB 90%" [or whatever it was] Landrieu. But the stay at home, punish them all approach is wrong and will (as it did!) lead to disaster not just a crappy muddle.

            Above all, IMHO it doesn't teach the weakened Democratic Party any lessons - it just forces them to compromise even more due to having less strength advantage. But they surely do need reforming. The answer is the work done before the elections, not to blow off election day.

          •  what *rest* ????? if not *those*, then WHO ????? (0+ / 0-)

            I live in Florida, dude. Nelson is my fucking Senator. There hasn't been a progressive in this state since . . . well . . . never.

            Want me to vote for progressives?  Then give me some to vote for.

            Or else shut the fuck up, and stuff your self-righteousness up your ass.

            I mean that in the nicest way possible.

            Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

            by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 10:29:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Is it my job to provide you with someone in FL? (0+ / 0-)

              Like I said, the work to get better candidates is what matters. It's too late by election day. There's been  those tip jars around here and helped get some better Democrats elected AFAICT, and Dean's work did lots of good (in distinction from Rahm and the like. I don't like Rahm, Geithner, Summers any more than you likely do.) Little old me can't "give" you someone, there needs to be lots of people doing that, especially in your own State.

              OK, I have my gauntlet too for critics here: try hard to get better candidates on the ballot, or you STFU. If you already do, then thanks and you know damn well: the best you can do is try to run the best, but vote for the best you've got. And as a commenter at WaMo PA said, you have to have "skin in the game" meaning actually showing up at things like the teabaggers do. I can't brag, just bringing up the principle.

              BTW Lenny, I think you're crabby but I like your Diaries, they're interesting. See my latest comment about the Thorium issue.

              •  (K S LaVida on Th, but (0+ / 0-)

                your material is interesting. The overproduction thing is a good point, there is too much stuff running around and the bourgeois economists falsely say that high level of production is required for a "good" economy.)

              •  yes (0+ / 0-)

                It is the party's job to give voters someone they will vote for.

                Do that, and you have my vote happily.

                Do it not, and you don't get my vote.

                And if the best you can give me to vote for is Nelson or Lieberman or some other Repug-Lite, then voting is a waste of my time.  I'll stay home instead.

                See how easy that is?

                Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

                by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 11:32:23 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I disagree... (0+ / 0-)
                  It is not the party's job to give us people worth voting for.  It is our job to give the party people worth voting for.

                  If you sit around waiting for the party to present good progressive candidates, you're wasting time.  Organizing rallies for particular causes is a very good and useful activity, but it's not the only thing we average citizens can be doing to get progressive candidates on the ballots.

                  Look at the smaller-level politicos in your state, be they state senators or state reps or state delegates.  Look at U.S. Representatives.  Look at larger city mayors.  Look at activists and organizers who seem like they might make for good officeholders.  Look at their records, and when you see one that looks like a good progressive, cll them, e-mail them, write them a letter and say, "Hey, you look like someone who shares my values.  Have you considered running for (governor, U.S. Senator, U.S. Represenatative)?  I think you should, and so do a bunch of my firends.  Seriously, consider it... you'll have our support."

                  If you are sitting around waiting for good candidates to magically appear without getting directly involved in actively recruiting them, of course it's going to be tougher getting good progressives on the ballot.

                  Or hell, here's one better.  Why don't you run for office?  Sure, you can't go from having no political experience to winning the governor's race or a U.S. Senate seat, but you can become an alderman or alderwoman, a state rep, or a mayor of a smaller city your first time out.  Do that for a bit, and you can move up the chain. And then eventually, you can be that great progressive candidate for U.S. Senate or the governor's mansion.

                  •  alas, my friend, I live in St Pete (0+ / 0-)

                    We have a creationist mayor.  Think about that for a minute.

                    We have a city council that passes city ordinances outlawing demonstrations on city sidewalks, and when the ACLU successfully sues, sells the sidewalk to private businesses so nobody can demonstrate there anyway.

                    Any non-kook has about as much chance of getting elected here as a snowball has of surviving midsummer in Death Valley.

                    Every vote I cast from statewide level on down --- every single solitary one -- can be nothing other than a protest vote.  My only decision each year is what it is I want to protest by throwing away my vote. So don't lecture me about "the lesser of two evils" -- everyone who runs around here, everyone, from both parties, is an evil.

                    Progressives?  Never had any. Never seen one. I may be the only one in the whole city.

                    Find someone new to run?  You're more than welcome to come on down and try. You certainly can't fail any worse than everyone else already has.  (shrug)

                    Me?  I'm a commie.  Literally.  I couldn't get elected dogcatcher.

                    Nope, I'm sitting this one out.  There's simply no one worth voting for. No one even worth a protest vote.

                    So I'll stay at home, and watch the Dems get the thrashing of their lives across the country.  Deservedly so.

                    Feel free to blame it all on me, if that makes you feel better.  (shrug)

                    Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

                    by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 03:09:31 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  with all due respect . . . (0+ / 0-)

                And as a commenter at WaMo PA said, you have to have "skin in the game" meaning actually showing up at things like the teabaggers do. I can't brag, just bringing up the principle.

                It is unfortunate that you have no way of knowing how utterly funny this is.

                When it comes to real live on-the-ground political organizing and activism, I'll put my resume up against anybody's, anywhere, any day.  I strongly suspect I was organizing anti-contra rallies before you even started shitting your diapers.

                So take the rest of your silly self-righteousness, and stuff that up your ass too.

                Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

                by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 11:44:34 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  amen, brother (0+ / 0-)

      When the Dems grow some balls and start acting like Dems, I'd be happy to vote for them.

      If they are just going to act like Repugs, then I won't waste my time.  

      Voting for Dems who just act like Repugs, doesn't help us.

      Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 10:07:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama had tough circumstances to deal with. (0+ / 0-)

    I understand disappointment in Obama, and he may well not have tried hard enough to be progressive. Do keep in mind, he had about the worst possible facts-on-the-ground regarding the Senate, with just 60 "Democrats" and bad rules. I wanted to see more resistance to the filibuster tradition, but there are pros and cons of various maneuvers.

  •  Polls.....so what? (0+ / 0-)

    I certainly appreciate Daily Kos polling, especially during election seasons, I feel more confident in the questions and methodology. But, I really think that "the media" and I include the blogs in there, are way too obsessed with the results of polls. As if the elections are held daily, who's up, who's down, who's leading the horse race. It also gives permission for the media to make statements like "the American people don't want this", even it it's like 51% of the American people. All of a sudden, the 49% minority doesn't count. Anyone else see a problem with this sort of use of polls? It happens all the freakin time, sometimes on this blog. The other tendency is to combine the neutral responses with either of the other two extremes to pronounce "70% don't support this", when it may be 40 don't and 30 are neutral.

    What good does it serve to know what the fickle public wants from day to day anyway? Non-election time polls are really not predictive of what will happen a year away, go back and look at tracking polls in the year leading up to Clinton's win in 1992, they were all over the place. Bush Sr. had a near 90% approval rating less than a year from the election, he lost. Lazy journalists also use polls as a crutch to write stories instead of doing a little investigating or having an original idea for a story. And since it is so easy to bend the polls to fit the opinion that they want to get out, it is a tool to mislead people.

    Having said all that, I'm still glad Daily Kos is doing it, but stick to election time, that's when it MIGHT matter.

  •  2010 in a film clip (0+ / 0-)

    Just about every day, I am in awe of the tactical mind of our President.  I think the long-term strategy has been in place for over a year now.  And that's why I still feel confident that 2010 is going to look something like this...

    I'll let the bright people of Daily Kos figure out the analogy.  :)

  •  Dems need to make health care reforms start (0+ / 0-)

    as early as possible.  Changes that have immediate benefits will inoculate the public against Republican lies and fear-mongering about health reform.
    Personally, I'm looking forward to the "on your parents' insurance 'til age 26" provision which means my daughter, aging out of our insurance in just 5 months, could continue to be covered (without paying the exorbitant cost of individually purchased coverage).  
    There are other provisions like that one, that benefit various groups of people.  We need to see those happen.  And soon!

    If, in our efforts to win, we become as dishonest as our opponents on the right, we don't deserve to triumph.

    by Tamar on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 09:50:44 AM PST

    •  not sure that's a good idea . . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      delver

      Once the mandates kick in, people will get very pissed, very quickly. And the Dems will pay heavily for it.

      It's probably best to delay that shitbomb for as looooooong as possible . . . . .

      Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 10:42:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You Don't Get It, Do You? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    delver

    If they can succeed in raising voter optimism about the state of the nation, their majority will be considerably more comfortable than it is at present.

    You still think it's all about perception.  Voters are long past that point.  The only thing that will raise voter optimism now is results.  

    Pretty words aren't cutting it any more.

    •  Ever heard the expression "perception is reality" (0+ / 0-)

      Its true when it comes to the mind of the voter.  And its why we can't let Republican's win with crazy "socialist" talk.  And its why we need to frame the economy in terms of who caused it, how bad it is/was, and how Obama's plan has helped and is moving us in the right direction.  Perception is always important in politics.

      Expose the lies. Fight for the truth. Push progressive politics. Save our planet. Health care is a right, not a privilege.

      by lighttheway on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 11:28:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just got Rasmussen polled (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lighttheway

    No wonder those polls end up being so biased.  The questions are ridiculous.

    Governor Schwarzenegger has said that an $8B bailout is required for California or he will be forced to cut services.

    Do you:

    1. Support an $8B Federal Bailout for California
    1. Support cutting services in California
    1. Don't know.

    WTF.  How about getting rid of Prop 13 and raising the taxes needed to run the state.  Talk about frigging push polling.

    The other questions are almost equally biased.  No wonder you cannot believe Rasmussen.  You have to push "don't know" in order not to be suckered into voting Hobson's choices.  What a bunch of dicks they have at Rasmussen.

    "Progress" is the core of progressive. Two steps forward. One step back.

    by captainlaser on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 10:39:42 AM PST

  •  I love politic analysis with all these (0+ / 0-)

    charts and graphs.  I guess that's part of the reason I'm here.

    We can turn things around before the election.  We need to hit back twice as hard.  The truth always wins, but the truth must be told.  We need to shut Cheney and his ilk down hard.  We can still do this.  

    Expose the lies. Fight for the truth. Push progressive politics. Save our planet. Health care is a right, not a privilege.

    by lighttheway on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 10:52:23 AM PST

    •  Cheney and his ilk are not the problem (0+ / 0-)

      They are chattering on the sidelines, utterly powerless and impotent, while all the policy debates that actually matter go on without them.

      The Dems are making all the decisions.  The Dems are making all the capitulations and compromises. The Dems are the problem.

      Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 10:55:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I thought the tea bagger crowd was endless, (0+ / 0-)

        crazy, side line chatter, and that's when all tracking polls turned south.  I do agree with you as well, but I think the negatives for the Dems are multi-factorial.  They do need to start acting like Dems, as you say, but they also need to hit back hard against the crazy.

        Expose the lies. Fight for the truth. Push progressive politics. Save our planet. Health care is a right, not a privilege.

        by lighttheway on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 11:32:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  If the Democrats want a dramatic shift in the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    delver, lighttheway

    right track / wrong track they can start by

    1. Hammering "too big to fail" banks (esp. the Fed)
    1. Creating a massive Green Jobs program
    1. actually get out of Iraq

    all of this can be summed up by the axiom "govern well".

    America: our highest paid profession is thief.

    by Paul Goodman on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 10:55:34 AM PST

    •  uh, some problems . . . (0+ / 0-)

      Hammering "too big to fail" banks (esp. the Fed)

      First, we'd have to explain why we not only bailed those banks out, but appointed the very people who ran the banks into the ground to, uh, run the bailout . . . .

      I suspect the reason for that might be similar to the reason why they passed a massive welfare program for the health insurance industry -- and we're probably gonna have to explain that, too.

      Creating a massive Green Jobs program

      Sounds great.  How many BJ's will we have to give to Lieberman and Nelson first to pass it?--we're running our of things to bribe them with.  And what stops our massive jobs program, like our massive health care reform, from turning, via compromise and capitulation with ourselves, into a weak shell, especially since we won't have the 60-vote majority that we have now? If we can't pass shit with 60, we'd better be able to explain how we CAN pass shit with fewer than 60.  Got any ideas?

      actually get out of Iraq

      So we can get even deeper into Afghanistan.  And maybe Yemen.

      "govern well"

      Alas, we've already demonstrated pretty clearly that, even with once-in-a-lifetime supermajorities in both chambers, we still can't manage to govern effectively, much less "well".

      Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 11:06:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some of these initiatives are more amenable to (0+ / 0-)

        reconciliation than HCR.  If they go that route and get some things done, it will do a lot to draw back Dems like yourself as well as independents.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

        Expose the lies. Fight for the truth. Push progressive politics. Save our planet. Health care is a right, not a privilege.

        by lighttheway on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 11:36:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  AND, it can all be done in 2010! (0+ / 0-)

      Expose the lies. Fight for the truth. Push progressive politics. Save our planet. Health care is a right, not a privilege.

      by lighttheway on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 11:33:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama didn't dance with ones that brought him (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lighttheway

    The independents who gave up on Bush because of the economy and wars have also given up on Obama.

    A cabinet overloaded with dolts has been of no help. Produce or perish. It's the priorities, 'stupid'.

  •  once health care is signed (0+ / 0-)

    the numbers will improve. If the jobs picture and economy improves, the numbers will go up as well.

    •  I have less faith than you do (0+ / 0-)

      I think the health care trainwreck will be a disaster for the Dems. Especially when everyone starts getting their "mandates" and says "what the hell is THIS ??????"

      Dem Party Motto: "Hey, at least we're better than nothing!"

      by Lenny Flank on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 11:46:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I understand that (0+ / 0-)

    it's usually done this way, shrinking the image down so it fits in the column. I know it's a PITA to link to a full-size image. But I am never able to make out the data on these degraded reduced-size images, despite my perfect vision correction. They may as well not even have been there, from my perspective.

    If wanting the country to succeed is wrong, I don't want to be right.

    by Angela Quattrano on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 11:50:31 AM PST

  •  If President Obama wins the votes... (0+ / 0-)

    of 54% of Indies in 2012, he will landslide whoever the rethugs put up against him.

    "There is no red America, or blue America, there is the United States of America." 2004 DNC Speech

    by BarackStarObama on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 11:59:12 AM PST

  •  Independents Want No Part of Massive Statism (0+ / 0-)

    The right-wing analysis, predictably, is that Independents are appalled by the super-scary socialist stuff, and are repelled by it. That would not explain, however, why only 26% of Independents want a Republican Congress, while the majority are still on the fence about their voting intentions for 2010.

    The explanation is that the latest crop of majority (and White House) Republicans completely forgot that they were elected to govern without exploding government. They delivered just the opposite and Independents have no idea at this moment what's worse, Dems who openly and aggressively advocate for massive statism or Repubs who preach restraint but govern with anything but. The end result, as in '06 and '08, will likely be to throw the incumbents out, regardless of party.

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