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It was clear in 2009 that Democrats were headed into a world of hurt, and the warning indicator was the growing intensity gap between Republicans and Democratic partisan voters. So, as we look toward 2012, it bears watching what those numbers look like today.

From this week's Daily Kos-SEIU State of the Nation Poll:

Are you very excited, somewhat excited, or not  at all excited about voting in the 2012 election for President?

            Very  Somewhat  Not at all

Democrat      52       31       17
Republican    61       25       14
Ind/Other     48       24       28

These numbers have tracked closely the last several months (4/7-10, 3/25-27, 3/10-13), and they don't point to a very encouraging picture–reversing a trend from earlier this year, it looks like Republicans have opened up a small intensity gap once again.

Now, the wording of the question is tied to the presidential election, and it's clear that conservatives want nothing short of defeating the Kenyan socialist godless communist Muslim in the White House (who is half-white, so it's not racism!). Meanwhile, progressives are more or less resigned that Obama is about as good as it'll get for us. But would we crawl over hot coals or broken glass for him? Eh. For many, it'll depend on who the GOP puts up. (My fearless prediction? Someone crazy.)

On the other hand, there's palpable impatience in progressive circles for election day to arrive, not because of the top of the ticket, but because we want to beat back conservatives in the House, Senate, and state- and local-level elections. In other words, it's the bottom of the ticket that may provide coattails to Obama among certain progressive voters.

Nothing wrong with that. In fact, one of the greatest accomplishments we've made as a movement this year is moving beyond the White House and realizing that we don't need Obama to make change happen. Look at what happened in Wisconsin. That's a good thing, whether you're in the Obama Rox or Obama Sux camps (and the most-rational everyone else who realizes that the question isn't a binary one). We've stopped looking for a savior, and started realizing that if things are to get better, it'll have to come from ourselves.

That said, if I'm Obama's team, I'm not particularly enthused about voter intensity numbers showing your base voters less engaged than the opposition, with the reelection season already upon us.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Republicans have a target (21+ / 0-)

    Right now Democracts have the status quo.  Give progressives a target to run agaisnt (example Scott Walker) and that will change things.

    That being said 83% to 86% in the top to boxes isn't much of a gap.

    High turnout favors Democracts, always has.  Last time it was high GOP turnout, not high turnout in general.

    Okay. I'm thoroughly confused, but it's cool.

    by Edge PA on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 08:48:32 AM PDT

  •  I do not like saying this but (15+ / 0-)

    Having an exciting president would help.

    Regardless of anything - he is certianly not exciting.

    FYI - the bluedog thing is about my dog ... I'm a liberal left winger and proud of it.

    by bluedogsd on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 08:49:18 AM PDT

    •  Certainly (0+ / 0-)

      Aack - I don't know how to edit my comment and I have a clear typo.  Sorry.

      FYI - the bluedog thing is about my dog ... I'm a liberal left winger and proud of it.

      by bluedogsd on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 08:51:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  People tire of "exciting Presidents," (14+ / 0-)

      as well as "exciting Governors," and "exciting candidates,"
      like, well, Chris Christie and DONALD TRUMP, for Chrissakes.

      What they want is jobs, the government working, and the government delivering.

      Sometimes "exciting" people deliver that, and sometimes they don't.

      O, it is excellent to have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant." --Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

      by Wildthumb on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 08:54:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  but 'exciting' candidates (3+ / 0-)

        always make for a good race. Which is why they get all the press.

        When it comes to the actual job, they suck. They're salesmen.

        They don't always have a product, but they're salesmen.

        I'm sure the media types would love a race with nothing but Vince the Sham-Wow guy. Fast talkers who have a great line, and never at a loss for words.

        Making sense, selling a good product, having integrity or principles - those are all unnecessary.

      •  People might "tire of it" (10+ / 0-)

        But they always tend to vote for the bright shiny object at the end of the day.

        Kennedy (rock star) vs Nixon (boring)
        Reagan (rock star) vs Carter (boring, sweaters)
        Clinton (rock star) vs Bush I (boring, old)
        Bush vs Gore (even, neither of them a rock star)
        Bush vs Kerry (again relatively even, neither of them a rock star)
        Obama vs McCain (Clinton vs Bush I redux)

        To beat Obama, the Repub needs to be a rock star who communicates well and energizes his (her?) base. Beyond that, the actual policies can be piss poor (see Reagan for that). Relatively few people vote rationally based on policies (I think).

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:15:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ivins on Obama: (5+ / 0-)

          “Yes, he should run. He’s the only Democrat with any ‘Elvis’ to him.”

          "Hey Tony"--new recording up at da web site.

          by Crashing Vor on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:22:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, if Molly Ivins were still with us, (0+ / 0-)

            no doubt she'd be singing the praises of the Bush tax cuts and the Democrats' willingness to extend them four times the length of the unemployment benefits.  

            Not.

            Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

            by Big River Bandido on Sun May 01, 2011 at 07:38:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Gas prices might have something to do with it.. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LordMike

          Hell.. Spiro Agnew could have beaten Jimmy Carter.  By the time the elections rolled around, the country was hurting big time.

          I disagree that the GOP needs a rock star.  Someone steady and boring like Romney would do the trick if things continue to go as badly as they are right now - high gas prices - inflation - etc.  The problem for them is they are going to self-destruct with all the in-fighting well before the elections.

        •  I agree (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LordMike, Sparhawk, scott5js, Odysseus

          but I also think there's more to it than just shiny object.

          Americans tend to pick a quality lacking in the last president and vote in a candidate with lots of it.  Nixon/Ford were crooks so they voted in the nice guy.  Carter was a wimp, so they voted in the tough cold warrior.  Bush was out of touch so they voted in the feel-your-pain guy.  Clinton was immoral so they voted in the 'good' Christian.  W was stupid so they voted in the smart guy.

        •  Bush was a rock star (0+ / 0-)

          compared to Gore or Kerry.  Remember who you'd want to have a beer with?

          That said, I've always argued in favor of your point.  If you go all the way back to 1900, the more charismatic candidate always wins, except perhaps for Nixon.  And, he was the most "experienced" presidential candidate ever, and he beat two guys who were too liberal even for their time.

          Using this logic:  I don't see any potential republican with more charisma than Obama, so I guess he's a lock.  Let's focus on down-ticket.

    •  Don't need exciting. Effective would certainly (6+ / 0-)

      help, however.

      If there is no accountability for those who authorized torture, we can no longer say that we are a nation of laws, not men.

      by MikePhoenix on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:20:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Governing is hard work and makes for boring (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, Matt Z, tuma

      conversation.  But we all know how good a campaigner Obama is.  When he finally switches from President back to Presidential candidate, we will see the old spark again.  And whoever they run, will be, comparatively speaking, very dull.  Unless it's the Donald, then we'll have a race.  One they can't win, but an interesting, heart pumping race nonetheless.

      Got Social Security? Thank a Democrat!

      by Fury on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:37:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeesh... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      milton333

      ...I can see from all the "Obama doesn't need to be exciting" comments that a lot of people on this site Still Do Not Get It.  A candidate HAS to be exciting.  People have to WANT not just to vote for him, but to send him money, stump for him, canvass for him, etc.  And that excitement ultimately has to come from the candidate Himself.

      To believe otherwise is to put yourself in the position of a used car salesman out on the lot, leaning on cars, wondering why no one is stopping in for a test drive.  The cars might be perfectly serviceable, but if you don't create exciteme, you don't close any deals.

      Stupid is as stupid elects.

      by TheOrchid on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:55:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No. (0+ / 0-)

      I'm excited because the sort of candidate that excites me is the intellectual, thoughtful kind. That's the kind of guy I want in the Oval Office.

      If I wanted exciting I'd vote for Dennis Kucinich.

      So... for some of anyways exciting president does not = being excited about election.

    •  bluedogsd, I don't know who you're lookin' (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      savvyspy

      at!  President Obama excites the hell out of me and everyone else I know.  You should have been in L.A. at his fundraiser with 2500 screaming, excited Democrats yelling 5 1/2 MORE YEARS at the top of their collective lungs.

      OBAMA 2012!!!!!!  Can't wait!!!!

      Best. President. Ever.

      by Little Lulu on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 10:32:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lulu - I'm truly very glad (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Odysseus, smeesq

        I was wildy enthusiastic about Obama in 2008.   I still find him to be excellent but there have been so many let downs - frequently in places where concession was not needed - and the numbers show - it's not just me.  That's really all I care about.  I am just a statistic.  I am  a slightly less motivated supporter and I am a fact as a statistic.

        And that's the problem.  

        Your energy can drive the vote - but your energy is a lower statistic than it was in 2008 and that's the concern.

        FYI - the bluedog thing is about my dog ... I'm a liberal left winger and proud of it.

        by bluedogsd on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 10:49:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  If Obama is not exciting I don't know what (0+ / 0-)

      president ever was...
      However, until the GOP comes up with a a frontman and we laser on him/her and start constrasting stances as  they lay out their vision for a 15th America.....our "excitement" would always be tempered...if this was like 3 months to go, I would be very worried..
      -As one posted already said, The GOP already have their target....Obama. What is ours? None ,so far...so what are we expected to be so excited about? Who is ever that excited in preserving the status-quo?

      "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis, 1935 --Talk of foresight--

      by tuma on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 12:02:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Target the Right Wing (0+ / 0-)

        They dominate the GOP. Do you want the kind of Supreme Court they want?
        I have no problem supporting Obama's re-election.
        Last year's election showed that the Right Wing is not dead just because of 2008.

    •  In 2008 could you have imagined saying that? (0+ / 0-)
    •  Which President in the past 30 years did you (0+ / 0-)

      find "exciting"? What does excitement have to do with governing?  Inquiring minds want to know.

      Are we looking for governance or entertainment?  I'm confused.

      President of the United States of America. The best man for the job is in the job right now!

      by Blogvirgin on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 03:49:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think it's pretty common for the (10+ / 0-)

    incubates party to be less exited about an election than the challenger's party.

    I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.

    by Futuristic Dreamer on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 08:50:18 AM PDT

  •  2012 Is For The GOP Cultural Revolution Times 100 (22+ / 0-)

    2010 election was their "mandate" to attack medicare. If they get majorities in 2012, you can kiss it all goodbye: Social Security, minimum wage, public education, unions, choice. It'll be their flabby thousand year reich, a clean slate reengineering of society of the kind that leads to general collapse.

    It's all so clear to me now. I'm the keeper of the cheese. And you're the lemon merchant. Get it? And he knows it.

    by bernardpliers on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 08:50:46 AM PDT

  •  Enthusiastic to oppose Republicans (11+ / 0-)

    I get that it is hard to be enthusiastic in favor of the spineless and inept Democrats.

    How can one not be enthusiastic to oppose the Republican politicians who are so dedicated to harming  the middle class?

  •  Ignorance is Bliss! (0+ / 0-)

    They all really believe that the GOP is going to finish taking the House, get the Senate and that Pres Obama is GONE!  I can't believe how much they seem to "know" that...

    Oh and.. They think America loves Paul Ryan's Plan!

    Duhhhhhhhhhhh!

  •  The poll Above (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Samer, Little Lulu

    should have Democratic listed instead of Democrat.

  •  Their mythical candidate is teh awesome! (9+ / 0-)

    Wait until reality sinks in.

  •  Not sure how I would (13+ / 0-)

    answer this poll because the question doesn't seem to address how I feel at this time:  Obama is the Dem. candidate; and the Republicans have the field from hell.  I can't get excited at this point because I already know how I'm voting -- not out of "whoo-hoo!" but because I wouldn't vote otherwise.  I'm more excited about the first Republican primary debates.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 08:51:19 AM PDT

    •  Why I wonder if there's polls on this from 2003 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gchaucer2, SLKRR

      The situation was analogous—Bush was guaranteed to run, and the Dems hated him.

      What did the intensity gap look like then?

      We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

      by Samer on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:07:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, I guess we'll see what we learned (23+ / 0-)

    from 2010. Did we learn that inaction leads us down the road of destruction? Or did we learn that inaction makes a statement (albeit a really bad one when it begins to impact us personally?)

    I was active in 2010. I will be active in 2012. There is no alternative except more Republicans in office. And more Republicans in office leads to the dismantling of Medicaid, Medicare, education, the environment and the middle class.

    I can just about forgive the Brits for starting our revolutionary war and burning DC to the ground during the war of 1812 for giving us Led Zeppelin.

    by Pager on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 08:51:23 AM PDT

    •  I want our current president... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pager

      To continue to be able to mind "the store"...and I clearly don't want anyone among his opposition allowed anywhere NEAR "the store".

      It's pretty bad, indeed, when "ineptitude" is a condition to strive for as a major improvement for those folks, but it is. They make Newt's crowd going up against Clinton in 1995 look positively like a well-oiled machine by comparison.

      "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it."--George Santayana

      by GainesT1958 on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:01:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hummm (14+ / 0-)

    Maybe losing medicare, medicaid and privatizing social security if the republicans win could get a few people worked up.

    Just another day in Oceania.

    by drshatterhand on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 08:51:34 AM PDT

  •  Did they poll on the subject of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Edge PA, Aquarius40

    The Excitement of Watching
                 Bread Bake
                 Grass Grow
                 Concrete Dry
                 Jello Set

    I'm the terror that blogs in the Night,. and the daytime too.

    by JML9999 on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 08:51:59 AM PDT

  •  Gop hates losing more! (0+ / 0-)

    The Republicans hate losing more then the Democrats because they less elections left in their lives. The political chess match of re-election calculus begins for 2012.

  •  Obama 2012 (16+ / 0-)

    I just received an e-mail solicitation from Obama's 2012 campaign team.  Here is my response to them:

    "When Barack Obama begins to fulfill some of the promises he made in 2008, then maybe I'll be a supporter again. I'm not falling for another phony grassroots campaign in 2012. You don't put a bunch of ex-Goldman Sachs guys in your administration if you're serious about change. You don't appoint rightwing cranks like Alan Simpson to chair your deficit commission. You don't crank up a horrendously expensive war in Afghanistan that we can't win. You don't turn a blind eye to torture and human rights abuses committed by our own national security personnel. Just being better than the Republicans isn't good enough. I took Obama seriously when he was selling 'Hope & Change" and the "Fierce Urgency of Now." When he starts taking his own slogans seriously, let me know."

    Regulate banks, not bedrooms

    by Eagleye on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 08:53:33 AM PDT

  •  It'll Go Same as 2010. Critique of the Party (4+ / 0-)

    means you're a purity lefty, and they won't reach out to the left because the left has no place else to go.

    Cool down the tone, let the Republicans demonstrate how crazy they are, move right and reach out to the persuadable moderates. That's what they'll do --with the exception that they are at least using social networking to bring out youth-- and it'll work the same as it worked in 2010.

    There isn't a voice outside the village that could reach them with the facts of their trends.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 08:54:16 AM PDT

  •  Well not be a contrarian (17+ / 0-)

    but I am damn enthused and plan on doing some hot coal and broken glass crawling for Obama.

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 08:54:51 AM PDT

  •  This is so sad (0+ / 0-)

    And scary

  •  Paul Ryan please come to the rescue !!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sherri in TX

    Nutty GOP will certainly unit and energize progressives and Democrats.

  •  Well, DUH!!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    edwardssl, Imhotepsings, Matt Z

    The Republican side of the race is where all the excitement is.  They have so many candidates to choose from.  On the other hand, Obama is a lock for the Democratic nomination.  So of course the Republicans have more reason to be excited.

    I'll bet that the glorified drug pushers called tobacco industry executives are disappointed that Haley Barbour isn't running.  Now they'll have to settle for a nominee who merely sold his/her soul to Satan instead of having Satan himself.

    You might be a Rethug if you join forces with the tobacco lobbyists but condemn abortion, birth control, and gay marriage as crimes against humanity.

    by jhsu on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 08:56:49 AM PDT

  •  It is also true that polls show (8+ / 0-)

    that 44% of the electorate have already decided they will not vote for Obama under any circumstances.

    That forces Obama to keep 51% of 56%, or 91% of those who haven't already decided they hate him.

    Those are the sort of numbers that make a politician cautions and lead to endless triangulation.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 08:57:43 AM PDT

    •  I like your line of thinking (7+ / 0-)

      But between 35-45% of the electorate isn't going to vote for the Republican candidate once they are named.

      This means you are competing for 10-20% of the remaining electorate.  This 10-20% is why politicains move to the middle.

      Karl Rove's genius was realizing if you could get 100% of your base and sling enough mud to keep the middle 20% at home, you can still win.

      This is why a high turnout, positive election favors Democracts.

      Okay. I'm thoroughly confused, but it's cool.

      by Edge PA on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:04:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This election won't be positive (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Edge PA, janinsanfran

        The GOP, I hereby predict, will nominate someone ostensibly sane at the top of the ticket.

        And the VP nominee will bring the crazy in ways that Sarah Palin never dreamt.

        In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

        by blue aardvark on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:20:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I tend to agree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blue aardvark

          But who is a potential sane person to lead the Republican ticket.  I can't for the life of me see Mittens winning the Republican nomination.

          Not with two strikes (Health Care / Morman) agaisnt him.

          None of the other moderate potential candidates can raise enough money to battle him for the sane republican primary vote.  (There aren't that many of them.)

          Okay. I'm thoroughly confused, but it's cool.

          by Edge PA on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:41:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  One thing the GOP has is money to burn (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Edge PA

            The hedge fund managers are ready to anoint anyone who will do their bidding with all necessary funds.

            When you make $1B / year, you can get a candidate through the early primaries on the interest on your interest.

            In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

            by blue aardvark on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:45:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But there is rich (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blue aardvark

              and RICH

              and REALLY RICH

              then the Koch brothers ...

              All that money eventually cancels each other out.

              I think we end up with a wing nut who the money guys thinks can appear sane for the election.

              Okay. I'm thoroughly confused, but it's cool.

              by Edge PA on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 10:29:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Jeb Bush (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Edge PA

            He can at least ACT sane.   Bet they'll draft him at the convention.  Lots of drama.  And he will avoid all the primary birther craziness by coming into it late in the game. Bet his Daddy and the oil companies are already stashing the bucks away for the general campaign.

  •  Two words to get us motivated: Speaker Pelosi (15+ / 0-)

    She was incredible.  I want her back; how about you?

    •  I don't know about that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sherri in TX

      The last election suggests that she (and Reid) were not effective in convincing Americans that their control of Congress was a good thing.  I'd like to see another Democratic House member move to the forefront - and I don't mean Hoyer.

      •  Careful what you wish for. (0+ / 0-)

        Hoyer is a bought and paid Corporatocrat.  He is absolutely a tool of Wall Street.

        He may do other things that are good, but he has deep and serious flaws.

        -7.75 -4.67

        "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

        There are no Christians in foxholes.

        by Odysseus on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 05:29:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Pelosi was far more effective than Reid (0+ / 0-)

        partly because the rules of her chamber allow for more control by leadership, and partly because she's more of a natural leader.  The House passed a great deal of the Democratic agenda — and then set it down in front of the Senators, whose response was to grunt and walk away.  Had the Senate instead passed all the bills that Pelosi shepherded through the House, Democrats in Washington would have done much better at the polls in 2010 than they did.  They might have even held their own.

        If the political system itself (which is designed to make the House more responsive to short-term trends in the electorate) left Senators closer to the electorate than the extremely isolated potentates they are, Harry Reid would have lost his leadership position last fall along with Pelosi.  As it is, he's almost certain to lose it next year, as the Senate chessboard for Dems is almost completely defensive and contains no room for error, and hardly any for pickups.

        While you are correct that a party which can explain its principles and fight for them in the public discourse will do better at the polls, it's also true that this has rarely been a particular talent of legislators, who mostly play the inside game. Setting agendas and explaining priorities?  That's the kind of leadership we usually expect from executives.  

        Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

        by Big River Bandido on Sun May 01, 2011 at 08:03:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  to early to worry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE

    When people looks at a country run by republicans in all three branches of governor they will show up or end up as serfs.

  •  Not a surprise at all (6+ / 0-)

    The last 2 years of gridlock in the Senate and poor compromises in the White House are tough to get excited about.  Two years ago, I thought things would turn out better than that - and I still think they could have and should have.

    Every time the DNC asks for money, I tell them that my campaign contributions will go to someone who shows they will take a stand and fight for it - and right now, that's not the President or the DNC.

    I may feel differently if a clean bill passes to raise the debt ceiling and if it looks like Obama will hold the line on Medicare, Social Security and tax policy.   If not, I'll still vote democratic and not republican, but not with any great excitement.

    •  I feel exactly as you do about the last 2 years (0+ / 0-)

      But what discourages me about your statement is that it reflects the broad sense of lowered expectations that the Democrats have cultivated.  A raise in the debt ceiling, and the survival of Medicare, Social Security, and the status quo of a regressive tax policy.  All common-sense ideas, but so routine, so...hopeless, bereft of any sense of pride in the country.  

      I'm not at all criticizing you for this or ascribing these views as your complete opinion.  I'm merely pointing out that there are an awful lot of Democrats who are willing to accept the terms you laid out as a "victory".  But it is no victory, if anything it is a grave defeat.  Gone is any sense of...urgency, desire for progress, moving forward — solving the deep-seated problems that plague our country, our economy, our planet.  Our public discourse has become completely visionless.  

      This is no basis on which to build a party, or even win an election.

      Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

      by Big River Bandido on Sun May 01, 2011 at 08:12:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  2012 election (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Heart of the Rockies

    I don't think the race for the Presidency is going to be the big story of 2012.  IMHO, the Democrats are going to get pounded in the Congressional elections because the base is so discouraged about Obama, and to a lesser extent Reid and the Senate Democrats.  All those newly energized voters that turned out to support Obama in 2008 are not coming back to the polls.

    Regulate banks, not bedrooms

    by Eagleye on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 08:59:25 AM PDT

  •  These numbers do stink (4+ / 0-)

    However, the recent protests in WI and other midwestern states do make it seem like the left does seem motivated. The recalls show more intensity among Democrats in WI than Republicans. Also the townhalls, where constituents are complaining about the Medicare plan, mirror the ones where right-wing activists showed up to complain about HCR. So, while the polling numbers stink, there does seem to be more organizing going on.

  •  I would think the competitive primary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Imhotepsings

    race on the GOP would lead to more excitement. Wonder how this compares to similar election cycles(2003, 1995).

  •  If you want a repeat of 2010, then (13+ / 0-)

    by all means stay home, but don't complain if the Conservatives take the White house and the Senate while keeping a majority in the House.  Will that make you happy?

    I for one believe that scenario will be the Death Warrant for the Middle class.  I for one refuse to sit back and let a group worse than Reagan and his crew take the country down the path of Plutocracy. Even the Tea party will respond with a OMG, what the hell have we done?

    "Now watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, a fanatical criminal" -- Logical Song -- Rick Davies & Roger Hodgson

    by Over50Lib on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:03:12 AM PDT

  •  Chuck Todd Political Calculus (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, Seneca Doane

    3 groups of swing states

    Group 1- WI, IOWA, OHIO
    Group 2- VA, NC, FL
    Group 3- NV, COLORADO, NM
    New Hampshire ---

    Most favorable to Obama in order
    1. Nevada
    2. Wisconsin
    3. New Hampshire
    4. Iowa
    5. New Mexico
    6. Colorado
    7. Virgnia
    8. Florida -
    9. Ohio
    10. NC

  •  It'll be Romney (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40, milton333, janinsanfran

    Hard to imagine Mittens stirring up much intensity among anyone, but he's the one the Chamber of Commerce is going to get behind. It'll be over before Super Tuesday. We need to start focusing on him and forget about the crazies. They're just a distraction and not a very amusing one any more.

    I think Obama will beat him just because he's not going to get indies off their butts. I am far more worried about the Senate. We lose that, we're screwed.

    It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness - Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Fish in Illinois on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:05:53 AM PDT

    •  Always thought it would be Romney (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      farbuska

      Romney is the one that Wall Street will get behind. In 2008, McCain lost a lot of voters because of Palin; Romney will not have that problem. Lots of people who usually vote Republican held their noses and voted for Obama because they would not vote for the crazy. Romney will be more palatable to those people so Obama will clearly lose those who voted for him only to avoid Palin. (I know a lot of people who would never vote Democratic and would never vote for a black man but did so due to Palin.)

      The GOP have given us the KEY issue: Abolishing Medicare. IMO this trumps everything else. They need to pound this over and over again in the media - at rallies - etc... Abolishing Medicare is an issue which the ordinary person can easily understand and relate to. Draw it out in very stark ways, etc....

  •  What did the numbers look like in April 2007? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, jalenth, amk for obama, Matt Z

    I think that many dems will be there when it counts.  Do you what SS and medicare?  The other guys what to get rid of these programs.  That will be a great rally cause.

  •  It's too early (8+ / 0-)

    to decide what this means. Also, if the economy starts growing more quickly, none of this will matter.

    And both sides are still excited. 52% of Democrats being "very excited" is a lot higher than in 2010. And adding in the "somewhat" makes the two close to equal.

    I think your overanalysis of numbers is causing panic when it shouldn't.

    People panic too much on this site.

    by thematt523 on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:16:38 AM PDT

    •  True, but (0+ / 0-)

      OTOH if the economy worsens in 2012, which is quite possible, things could get really ugly.

      If there is no accountability for those who authorized torture, we can no longer say that we are a nation of laws, not men.

      by MikePhoenix on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:38:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse, MikePhoenix, Odysseus

        but my point remains valid. What matters is the economy, not enthusiasm. Political scientists debate over whether enthusiasm even matters.

        If the economy is good, we win. If it gets worse, we lose, despite all the GOP's faults and all our attempts to prevent it.

        People panic too much on this site.

        by thematt523 on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 10:17:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree totally. (0+ / 0-)

          Which is why, if Obama continues to refuse to do what is necessary to improve the economy, he deserves the majority of the blame for the defeat that follows.

          If there is no accountability for those who authorized torture, we can no longer say that we are a nation of laws, not men.

          by MikePhoenix on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 12:50:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Mostly, this is not a problem (0+ / 0-)

    The prospect of President Santorum or President Bachmann will take care of it.  However, if partially is a problem, and we do Obama no favor by pretending otherwise.  He needs a better messaging strategy -- and part of that is picking better policies to promote in some areas.

    Unplug the Koch machine! It's swallowing people's money!

    by Seneca Doane on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:19:26 AM PDT

  •  Republicans just know how to psyche Dems out. We (3+ / 0-)

    are just not ready when it comes to influencing the media and other voters. Democrats love to go out and yell how we hate our candidates and how we are failures, but Republicans, even after enduring one of the greatest thumpings any political party has ever received, such as the '08 campaign,  they still yell, we are winners! Democrats? Sigh....

  •  Primaries Are Always More Exciting (0+ / 0-)

    to participate in.   Democrats will go out and vote in 2012 because it is a presidential year.  President Obama does need to give us some red meat to get out there and participate.  We need something that will motivate his base.  I can think of many things.  Immigration reform, union rights, single payer, deficit reduction not going to get democrats to the polls.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:25:59 AM PDT

  •  It'll come from ourselves (0+ / 0-)

    Love it!!

  •  Republicans appease their (crazy) base (0+ / 0-)

    Obama and the majority of Dems ignore it and sometimes even insult it (I still cannot get over the "sanctimonious" comment).  Simlpe as that.

  •  the "excitement" numbers - very & somewhat: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SLKRR
    dems 83%

    repubs 86%

    indies 72%


    little or no difference between dems and repubs - dems outnumber repubs, so no worries here, imo

    indies (like myself) are a lot less enthused, but, in my opinion, much more likely to vote democratic due to sustained republican idiocy (the T-holes have worn out their welcome w/ indies), lack of compelling republican candidate, and egregious missteps on medicare and other meat & potato issues

    "From Medicare to Manslaughter: Paul Ryan's Road to A Ruined America"

    by memofromturner on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:27:37 AM PDT

  •  I have a holistic view. (6+ / 0-)

    I was telling my husband just yesterday that my volunteer activities (and time) would soon begin to shift to the upcoming election season and would ramp down somewhat on the animal rescue front.  I fully intend to get out there, knock doors, train others to knock doors, and put in the time and shoe-mileage as I've done going back to 2004.

    I have a pretty holistic and pragmatic POV on this, and I can only articulate it via example.  

    First - Do I heart Jim Webb?  Nope.  Never really did.  I always thought him much more moderate than I and thought he was dull as doorknobs to boot.  But I burned up the sidewalks on his behalf - because that damned seat had been Republican for too long and because the damned Republican who held it was none other than George Allen, Jr., a person who is odious in the extreme.  I also beleived that any Democrat - even a moderate one - represented a step in the right direction for often fickle Virginia.

    I'm likewise not overly thrilled with (is this confirmed yet?  I don't remember) Tim Kaine being the Democratic candidate for Senator.  I see him as being at least less hawkish than Webb, and also a bit more dynamic on the personality front.  But make no mistake - he's a moderate (at least in the way I would define it).

    Yet I will still knock those damned doors for both Tim Kaine and Barack Obama in the upcoming election season.  My reasons are myriad.

    First, how "enthusiastic" I am when I've clearly stated that my reaction to my likely Senate candidate is "meh" is wholly dependent on who he's running against.  And, it looks like he'll be running against none other George Allen Jr., Macaca-Messiah and most likely to embrace Tea Party memes and the racism that seems to underlie so many of those memes.  That pushes up a whole lotta enthuasiasm on part.

    Second, there's something to be said for "holding the line".  Webb's is a Democratic seat right now.  I want it to remain Democratic.  And, I'm realistic enough to know  (and abhor) that the very fickle, woefully underinformed, "blow this way, no that way" independent vote is a necessity here in Virginia.  We're too divided a state - deepest blue in the DC Metro areas, bloodiest red in the more rural areas.  The only way to win here is to be straight-on purple; because that's the dynamics of this state and until and unless the blue areas grow to outpace the aggregate of the red areas, that's how it's going to stay.  Sucks - but it's truth.

    I think that the "enthusiasm gap" poll right now is pretty unreliable.  For one, the most recent is two weeks old.  The President's speech, denying and defying the rationale, logic and intelligence of the Ryan plan was given on April 13, 2011.  The most recent poll concluded on April 10, 2011.  For another, the most recent poll date doesn't include for the impact (if any) of the increasingly effective (and true) message that Republicans want to kick seniors off of Medicare and give them a voucher for some awesome private insurance that won't begin to cover what they actually need.  That message is definitely getting out there - a rare instance of a coordinated and effective Democratic message machine - and I would imagine that enthusiasm could change on that basis.  Finally, there's no Republican challenger right now.  It's all a big yawn.  Pawlenty forms an exploratory committee?  Yawn.  Ron Paul too?  Double-yawn.  I can't imagine that these two represent the cream rising to the top.  So, if there's a less sleepy Republican challenger who's all in at some point, enthusiasm will likely change as well.

    As to the general point - I am actually surprised that the small but well organized contingent of Republican haters (aka The Tea Party) hasn't pushed that gap even wider.  After all - they're driven by visceral hatred and distrust tied to race (imo, and generally).  With the way the Republican party has been trending these days, it seems to me that to win a Republican nomination, you need to be pretty danged odious, which will help with our own most active, progressive 20% to muster their own visceral hatred.

    Finally - I wonder how many people who were disaffected in the 2009/2010 polling would do it differently today now that they've appreciated the totality fo the outcome?

  •  After two yelling years, finally the shoe drops (5+ / 0-)
    we don't need Obama to make change happen.

    And kos, it's kinda lame, deceitful even, for the bloggers to take credit for what happened and what is happening in WI. It's insulting for the actual people who stomped the grounds and the volunteers who did the grunge work.

    One bitter fact is two bit hacks populate the third rate fourth estate who are truly the fifth columnists.
    A No-Drama Obama Site & Some Straight Talkin'

    by amk for obama on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:29:18 AM PDT

    •  Credit goes to Scott Walker. (0+ / 0-)

      After all, what happened in Wisconsin is directly attributable to him more than anyone else.

      Unless i missed the two years of protests at the Capital?

      •  Way to double down on insult to the (0+ / 0-)

        actual people, who got the incredible things achieved in WI.

        Way to go bbb.

        One bitter fact is two bit hacks populate the third rate fourth estate who are truly the fifth columnists.
        A No-Drama Obama Site & Some Straight Talkin'

        by amk for obama on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 11:57:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  LOL (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          janinsanfran

          There was the Wisconsin 14 who took a strong stand. Then the bill was passed anyway. Then a judge stepped in. And now Democrats are running a successful recall petition. And at the center of it? Those awful liberal union activists! Professional leftists!

          The point is that Republican overreach is about the only thing that gets Democrats going...because it certainly is not the policies or politics of the Democratic leaders.

          •  Exactly. So why are you and markos (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SLKRR

            claiming any credit for it ?

            And PL on blogosphere, aka keyboard warriors (self included), has got dipsquat anything to do with the real life Professional leftists and what they have achieved. So stop stealing the credit without any shame.

            Did kos send you down here because I called him out ? I see over 160 comments in this piece. Did you bother to "engage" with any other poster ? Just curious.

            One bitter fact is two bit hacks populate the third rate fourth estate who are truly the fifth columnists.
            A No-Drama Obama Site & Some Straight Talkin'

            by amk for obama on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 12:11:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Of Course GOP Voters are Excited . . . (0+ / 0-)

    They have about 12 flavors to choose from right now. Wait until it narrows down to one and you'll see that excitement wane.

    Bluewavenews.com - a fresh alternative.

    by kefauver on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:29:29 AM PDT

    •  They'll still be excited. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike

      They have a propaganda outfit. And that outfit could get them excited about a candidate named 'Shit on a Stick', if it were so inclined.

      Where the excitement will wane is among independent voters.

      Regards,
      Corporate Dog

      -----
      We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

      by Corporate Dog on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 11:01:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Could the Democrats for once stand for something? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, LordMike

    The idea is that we represent something that is better than what the Republicans represent. They appear to be experts at simply being the non-Democrats. Are we going to be stuck at just being the non-Republicans forever?

    We need to unite, damn it. We need to have an identifiable Democratic identity, a meaningful one. Or else we might as well just stay home.

    I don't even know what our ideology is! Who founded it? What are the most important figures in its history? What is its underlying political philosophy? I don't know!

    That's just completely unacceptable, and we will lose because the Republicans know who they are (even though they try to hide it).

    Both parties have very confused historical and ideological roots. Republicans were once the radicals, now they're the conservatives. Democrats once protected slavery and anti-federalism, now we are the party of the American minorities and the Republicans are the anti-federalists.

    Meanwhile, great political and economic theories have swept by: capitalism, fascism, socialism, communism. Both US parties have cherry-picked ideas from all of them, but not enough to really define themselves ideologically, until the conservative movement took over the Republican party toward the end of the 20th Century.

    I'm tired of being the non-Repug.

    Personally, I identify with democratic socialism. But we can't say that because “socialism” is a magic, taboo word. That's just silly.

    We have embraced the word “liberal” to some extent, in spite of the fact that outside the US, it means, basically, laissez-faire government policies toward businesses, in other words, classical liberal Republicanism. Because of this dramatic meaning shift, when we call ourselves liberals, what we are really doing is responding the the stupid, Newt Gingrich-initiated campaign to demonize certain words that didn't fit in with his subgroup of Republican zealots. But there was a time when the main use of the word was in “liberal Republican”, meaning one who focused on creating profit for big business, but who was relatively progressive otherwise.

    It just makes me crazy that we don't have an identifiable ideology to unite around.

    Greg Shenaut

  •  Democrats primary problem (0+ / 0-)

    the Democratic base is smaller than the republican base and democrats have to make much more of an effort to win even 53% of the vote. It's much easier for the Republicans to build a winning coalition.

    •  If that were so, how come (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, ILDem

      no republican has gotten 300+ electoral votes since the 1980s?

      Of the last 5 presidential elections held, the three democratic wins were landslides (1992, 1996, 2008) and the two republican victories (2000, 2004) were extremely close to the point that one swing state (2000 Florida, 2004 Ohio) going the Dems' way means 20 straight years of control on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave

      It's easier for the Dems to build the coalition, we're not in the 1980s anymore; only 70% of the voters are white; not 80+% like in the 80s, and with the electoral map as it is, Dems can run a ham sandwich and get 200 EVs

  •  This lines up with Steve Sinsinger's poll (8+ / 0-)

    it's why the Democratic Party MUST excite and invigorate their base to get out to vote. Hectoring, blaming, and finger-pointing doesn't work.

    I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

    by slinkerwink on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:35:42 AM PDT

    •  Don't you realize this is all your fault? (4+ / 0-)

      You and Eve and Jane and Glenn!

      ;)

      I'm gay and I'm pissed. I'm not giving up, I'm not giving in, I'm not backing down, and I'm not going away. I'm one of the Angry Gays. Deal with it.

      by psychodrew on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:40:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We have to get all parts (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Curt Matlock, Hedwig, katesmom

      of the Democratic coalition out, whether of not one identifies a specific part as the "base."

      The Obama rox, Obama sux wars hurt us all.  Hectoring, blaming, and finger-pointing from either side harms the overall cause.

      WWRHD? What Would Robin Hood Do?

      by TomP on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:44:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's why it's so important that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        milton333, janinsanfran

        enthusiasm is kept up, and not depressed by the actions the WH takes. It'll be very hard for local Dems to defeat Repubs in statewide and local races if the Dem Party brand keeps being tarnished by those in D.C.

        I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

        by slinkerwink on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:46:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Depends upon the action. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mightymouse

          For example, I'd take Barack Obama any day of the week over McCaskill, my turncoat Dem senator.  She depresses turnout.

          But, yes, Obama sets the tone. He has done well lately, in my view, after the compromises of December which hurt.

          WWRHD? What Would Robin Hood Do?

          by TomP on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:51:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Nahh. The base will be there. (0+ / 0-)

      The problem isn't with the base. It's actually with the "Obama voters." All those politically apathetic voters who turned out for the first time. First time they ever gave a shit about politics.

      There's only one thing that will get them out again, and that's a robust economy. Otherwise, they stay home and Obama will barely cross the electoral line and probably win only a plurality popular vote. That's assuming the Republicans nominate someone crazy, and I assume they will since all they people they have running are nuts.

  •  The problem is Obama sucks... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wbgonne

    He had large majorities in both houses of Congress and didn't manage to get much of anything done.  All we got was a health care reform bill that no one likes, and a bunch of other half assed measures that are essentially ineffective, like the weak Wall Street reform.  

    So Obama got jack done with large majorities and now we're looking at the rest of his term with a Republican Congress?  We might as well have a Republican President.  Obama can't stand up to the Republicans in any way, and instead promotes Republican tax cut bills.  So what would really be different if we had Romney instead?  

    I really don't give a shit whether Obama is reelected or not.  Without Congress he's just a moderate Republican with a D next to his name on the ballot.  I'd rather just give Republicans full control again so the American public will recoil in horror again and throw them out on their asses.  

    •  Ridiculous (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sherri in TX, Matt Z, The BigotBasher

      I must say I'm a little disappointed with Obama as a liberal, but it's important to remember that Obama is not President of the Liberals. He's President of the United States.

      There has probably never been a US President who has accomplished more in only two years. You're just wrong.

      And you'll vote for him. Stop lying.

      "An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war." -Mark Twain

      by humanistique on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 10:01:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  how about FDR or Lyndon Johnson (0+ / 0-)

        even Clinton managed to passs a tax increase.  I am sorry, Obama does suck. . .even though I will still vote for him - I will just take a shower afterwards.

        •  Some of Obama's Accomplishments (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The BigotBasher

          REBUILDING OUR ECONOMY
          The Recovery Act – This landmark legislation represented the largest infrastructure investment since President Eisenhower, the largest education investment since President Johnson, and the largest clean-energy bill ever. It has saved or created as many as 3.7 million jobs across America while creating a foundation for future growth.

          Wall Street Reform – New legislation empowered consumers and investors, put a stop to predatory lending practices, brought shadowy wall street trades into the light, and ended taxpayer-funded bailouts.

          Middle Class Tax Cuts – The Recovery Act reduced taxes for 95 percent of working families, putting more money in the pockets of Americans who need it most. President Obama also worked to prevent a middle-class tax increase, while extending vital unemployment benefits for Americans who lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

          Credit Card Reforms - This initiative put a stop to unfair credit card practices, banned retroactive rate hikes, implemented new protections for students and young people, and required credit card companies to explain their terms in plain language.

          Building a Clean-Energy Economy – New emissions and fuel efficiency standards for American cars and historic investments in clean-energy technologies are helping pave the way to a more sustainable future, creating new jobs and entire industries here in America.

          Rebuilding the American Auto Industry – The Obama Administration acted decisively to invest in America’s auto industry, preventing hundreds of thousands of job losses across the country and revitalizing the backbone of America’s manufacturing sector.

          HISTORIC HEALTH CARE REFORM
          The Affordable Care Act provides stability and security to Americans who have insurance and provides affordable options for those who don’t. it lowers costs for families, businesses, and America as a whole, provides the largest middle-class tax cut for health care in our history, and puts an end to the worst insurance industry abuses.

          Children’s Health Insurance – The expansion of the state children’s health insurance Program (SCHIP) extended coverage to another 4 million low-income children, increasing the total number of children covered by the program to more than 11 million.

          NATIONAL SECURITY
          Ending combat Operations in Iraq -  The Obama Administration has ended our combat mission in Iraq and removed nearly 100,000 troops so that we can focus on fighting al Qaeda and rebuilding our nation at home.

          Toward a World Without Nuclear Weapons – The President reached the most important arms control agreement with Russia in two decades. new start will reduce our nuclear arsenals, put inspectors on the ground in Russia, and renew America’s leadership in pursuit of a world without nuclear weapons. President Obama also rallied the world behind a plan to secure all nuclear material from terrorists within four years, fulfilling a key campaign promise.

          EDUCATION
          Reforming Student Lending – President Obama signed into law student loan reform that makes college more affordable for students and families and will save American taxpayers roughly $68 billion over the next 10 years.

          Spurring Innovation – Programs like “race to the top” and “educate to innovate” are giving american schools and states the tools and resources they need to be successful.

          A New GI Bill – The implementation of the Post-9/11 GI bill increased educational opportunities for veterans by making college more affordable for returning service members.

          CIVIL RIGHTS
          Repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” – President Obama signed legislation that will bring an end to “don’t ask, don’t tell,” strengthening our national security and ending this discriminatory law.

          Protecting Against Hate Crimes – The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate crimes Prevention Act gives law enforcement officials new tools to prosecute those who commit hate crimes.

          Fair Pay For Women – The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act makes it easier for women to challenge unequal pay practices, which helps all Americans earn a fair wage.

          This is admittedly a cut-and-paste job and only a fraction of Obama's accomplishments. He is incredibly productive as President. Now you can surely argue that these measures don't go far enough or that these were not the right actions. Fine. But to say he has accomplished nothing is embarrassingly obtuse. My God, just ending Iraq combat and repealing DADT ALONE were huge accomplishments.

          "An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war." -Mark Twain

          by humanistique on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 11:19:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Well, that's the kind of stuff... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The BigotBasher

      ...that got Scott Walker elected, and look at how much damage he's inflicted already in a few months!

      Yeah, it sucks voting for the lesser of two evils, but the greater evil is really, really bad!

      GODSPEED TO THE WISCONSIN FOURTEEN!

      by LordMike on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 11:18:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  From where I'm sitting (4+ / 0-)

    the bottom of the ticket doesn't look any better than the top of the ticket. Obama is hardly the only Democrat to blame for the current state of play.

    AKA Big Tex *** If Barack Obama is the only adult in the room, then it must be his fault that the drapes are on fire and the cat's been shaved.

    by Maikeru Ronin on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:37:14 AM PDT

  •  Agree with much of what you said. (0+ / 0-)

    Especially this:

    We've stopped looking for a savior, and started realizing that if things are to get better, it'll have to come from ourselves.

    That said, if I'm Obama's team,

    WWRHD? What Would Robin Hood Do?

    by TomP on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 09:42:34 AM PDT

  •  How many T-bag does it take to change a light bulb (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, Matt Z

    14....One to change the bulb...

    Two to hold up signs of the President photo-shopped as the Joker in "Batman Returns"...

    One to carry the "Don't Tread on Me" flag...

    One to go on Fox News and challenge the President's birth...

    Four to donate millions of dollars to purchase fear-mongering TV commercials.....

    And five more to shout down political town halls...

  •  The independents decide national elections.... (0+ / 0-)

    and it doesn't take that many...

  •  rcp generic ballot is interesting; (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    a few weeks ago it had the repelicans up by nine points, now they are up by half a point.

  •  Remember 2000? (4+ / 0-)

    I supported Al Gore in 2000. When George W. Bush won (?... was selected) I was disappointed, but thought "how much damage could he do?"
    Now we know the answer to that question, so we should just get over the fact that the rorschach test is not really the bunny we'd hoped for, but it is actually an ink blot. Don't let your drive for idealistic purity get in the way of real (if incremental) progress.
    If the measure of this administration is whether or not the progressives got everything they wanted (even if there were a way to answer "what do we want" monolithically) then those using that measure are as immature and destructive as the Republicans holding their breath (and all legislation) until they get to their Ayn Rand utopia.

  •  Obama campaign already begininng (6+ / 0-)

    The Obama campaign knows 2012 will be much different than 2008 and expect it to be harder. They have already laid out the goals for those who have volunteered. Many on my 2008 neighborhood team have already said they will volunteer again.
    Meanwhile the Republicans have no candidate, while Obama rebuilds a new volunteer base.

    Obama not having primary challenger has it's disadvantages and advantages. This time the primary Obama does not have to compete with Hillary for the big D donors. However if he does not have a challenger he will get no visibility from primary debates. In 2008 we had a very competitive primary which fired up volunteers for both Hillary ad Obama, and they came together in the general to form a large fired up volunteer base. Now we have an incumbent, not a new face.

    However the stakes are even higher in this election, so I suggest you all get out and volunteer for Obama.
    Look what happened in 2010 when younger progressives did not vote.

  •  Any poll that claims republicans are excited (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Little Lulu

    about any of the present crop of candidates in the current circumstances is to be taken with a pinch of salt.

    One bitter fact is two bit hacks populate the third rate fourth estate who are truly the fifth columnists.
    A No-Drama Obama Site & Some Straight Talkin'

    by amk for obama on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 10:13:33 AM PDT

    •  Why? They ARE excited about their lineup. (0+ / 0-)

      A full week on vacation with my conservative parents, and I couldn't get their goat even once with my refrains of, "Trump? Really? C'mon."

      Speaking of refrains that don't seem to penetrate: It's. All. About. The. Independents.

      Deciphering their intent from these polls is like reading tea leaves. They don't approve of Obama. They don't approve of Reid. They don't approve of McConnell. They don't approve of either the Democratic OR Republican parties.

      But the chances that they'll vote for either Obama or his opponent are within 5 percentage points of each other, with 13% undecided.

      They're the ones you need to sway if you want a second term.

      Regards,
      Corporate Dog

      -----
      We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

      by Corporate Dog on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 10:56:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not sure kos is making the right conclusion (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, katesmom

    1. This poll is a measure of intensity for Obama versus a generic Republican. A known candidate always polls more poorly against a generic challenger than they do against a known candidate. Let's see how that "very excited" response changes with a Romney or a T.Paw.

    2. When you look at the very interested plus somewhat interested, the numbers match almost the same. That does not imply an intensity gap to me, yet. Especially in light of point #1.

  •  (My fearless prediction? Someone crazy.) LOL true (0+ / 0-)

    and scary

  •  This: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    katesmom
    In fact, one of the greatest accomplishments we've made as a movement this year is moving beyond the White House and realizing that we don't need Obama to make change happen.

    A thousand times this.

    THIS is what Obama's message was on election night.  This is the message he was talking about all during the campaign.

    We do it all on the local level and the National level will follow.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 10:24:13 AM PDT

  •  Seeing all the negative bullshit here on a... (4+ / 0-)

    ... supposedly liberal site dedicated to electing more and better Democrats you can color me the most unfucking surprised person in this fascist police state masquerading as a democracy.

    If I had a half-penny for every bourgeois rich upper middle class fool on this site who's posted an ignorant comment about how all the parties are the same and we're so doomed and how "they'd rather die then vote for Obama [again]" (that's a real quote from Kos by the way, 10+ rec's, zero hides) I could buy myself a house (or four) in the hamptons and charter a private yacht to burma.

    Fuck that attitude.

    Rant end.

  •  Sorry. I don't buy this for one second. The (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tchrldy

    polls for their possible candidates show they have very little interest in anyone who may be on their ticket.  So how and for whom are they excited?

    OTOH, my on the ground experience shows a decidedly different picture.  I attended an Obama fundraiser in L.A. with 2500 totally enthusiastic, cheering supporters who are FIRED UP AND READY TO REELECT.  Many of those attendees I spoke with agreed with me:  Obama's getting a bum rap from the media every day.  He can't do ANYTHING right and he gets no credit for anything he's done to help average Americans.  The focus is on birther racism or what pants he's wearing or some other meaningless "problem" and it's crickets when he WINS HCR or on DADT or anything else.  But, come election time and DEBATES, I think the electorate will wake from their induced slumber and head to the polls in droves to take America out of the hands of the corporate prostitutes aka Rethuglicans in the House and keep the Senate and the White House.

    OBAMA 2012!!!!  Get FIRED UP or get ready to BE FIRED with more more Rethuglicans in control of our government.

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 10:30:15 AM PDT

  •  lol - clearly Kos, you're not on the team (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hopeful human
    That said, if I'm Obama's team, I'm not particularly enthused about voter intensity numbers showing your base voters less engaged than the opposition, with the reelection season already upon us.

    Not "if I'm on Obama's team".  s/b "since I'm not on Obama's team"

    Like someone said upthread, this website clearly is not for electing more and better democrats.  False advertisement.

  •  I know why Republicans are excited! (0+ / 0-)

    It's pretty evident that Republicans are excited because they intend to nominate their own minority candidate as a response to President Obama. No, not Michael Steele, although he was an unqualified success, or maybe he was just unqualified and a success for Democrats. No, Republicans intend to nominate a Crazy-American. Hell, they might even nominate 2 of them for their ticket. I can see their bumper sticker now:

                 Palin/Bachman 2012
    You ain't seen crazy like this before!

  •  Not following your logic (0+ / 0-)

    If he is not important, then it also is not important to vote for  him.  Furthermore the Wisconsin protesters will not be successful till those policies are actually reversed and they will not be reversed by republicans or obamacrats.  Only members of the progressive team will reverse policies.  We know this from our Obama experience.  I will only vote for progressive dems.  

    BTW Ezra Klein admitted today that Obama is basically a moderate republican.  Why cant you?

  •  Don't forget the appeal of No-Drama Obama. (0+ / 0-)

    Rumsfeld and Cheney and Bush yielded the wrong sort of excitement, and we cleaned their clocks in 2008. The 2010 vote was like having a bunch of over-reacting adolescents, seduced by electoral dollars, voting against their own interests.

    Now we have a lackluster 'recovery', runaway stock markets and commodities, and war creating massive profits for the already entitled.

    Obama's calm exterior has garnered mixed reviews. Some still want him to turn into the charismatic champion of the electorate he was on the campaign trail. Others decry his apparent lack of engagement with voters on hot topics like the bailout and Afghanistan.

    When the range of issues that need addressing is considered, the low-key Obama manner of coping gains appeal. No Republican can equal his accomplishments for the electorate. When the electorate realizes what, in fact, Republicans plan to dissemble in our economy, I think Obama's appeal will be greatly strengthened. He'll override any competitor in the debates, and given the Tea Party influence on all Republican candidates, Obama will sound like the still, calm voice of reason in a storm of generally unpopular Republican positions.

    I think that Democrats are strongly positioned for a presidential win in 2012. And the head of the ticket is a big plus for the Party, as the Tea Party has almost irreparably damaged any Republican claim to policy reason and moderation.

    We will not forget Wisconsin, and Ohio, and Michigan, and the other states were Republicans have trashed unions, including one of our nation's most valuable assets, our teachers. I think this will be so despite the many hundreds of millions people like the Koch brothers will spend to, once again, attempt to bamboozle the electorate.

    As we now know, fool me once......shame on.....shame on you......If fooled, you can't get fooled again.

    Oh yes.

    Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. - Abraham Lincoln

    by 4Freedom on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 10:46:55 AM PDT

  •  A party's excited base pulls in independents (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    Independents are not the sage and rational arbiters of  American elections. This reputation is largely unearned. They are often disinterested in public policy, lack historical understanding of American politics, and vote for the same reason they pay the electric bill. It's an expected obligation, not an important and powerful right of citizenship. But because they only pay attention at election time they too often don't have the facts to think about how to vote. As a result they tend to vote for whatever candidate or party seems to have the most energy or press. They get pulled along like foam on a riptide.

    More independent votes can be garnered by having an involved excited base than by trying to appeal to voters with confused, uninformed, and lightly held opinions.

    Hello Obama Team!

  •  If Obama wants Democrats to get excited... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wbgonne

    he has to govern like a Democrat.  Wall street insiders in the cabinet, no public option health care, expanded off shore drilling, Gitmo still going strong, catfood commission, etc.  I realize it's all complicated and he hasn't been a disaster, but I can't help feeling Obama cares more about Wall St. and CEOs than he does about me.

    •  where do you want him to send the prisoners (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, hopeful human

      Gitmo is still open because congress cut off the money to move the prisoners and started threatening to do it even when there was a democratic majority?

    •  Obam did 95 % of what he laid out (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike

      Not sure why these talking points about Wall street keep coming up. Why wouldn't a president hire the bright test and the best to his financial team? By the way Geihtner  NEVER worked for Wall Street. Health Care Reform is EXACTLY a she laid it out in his campaign. GITMO has very few prisoners left; No new prisoners have bee put in there, and congress tied Obam's hand on that issue.

      It is not just about you, the president represent all the people.

  •  Why are republicans excited? (0+ / 0-)

    They don't even have a candidate. Most of the people the MSM is discussing or polling on the republicans side have no even signed on to run.

  •  Republican excitement will cool when (0+ / 0-)

    they go through months of punishing primaries, calling each other names (if you thought Obama/Clinton was bad), and their particular brand of "crazy" doesn't win.

    If the Republicans end up with a "less crazy" nominee, most of the base will declare that he is "McCain" or a RINO.  The only question will be how many of them are so disgusted that they refuse to come to the polls.

    These people are going to eat each other alive.

    Join us at the Amateur Radio Group. Serving the Left Side of the Dial since 2011.

    by briefer on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 11:28:20 AM PDT

  •  Who Could Have Imagined ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Russycle

    that ignoring, disappointing, betraying and insulting your supporters would cause them to lose enthusiasm? And it is equally perplexing that bowing before and capitulating to your sworn enemies doesn't convert them into supporters. Who coulda guessed?

  •  the diary is a bit misleading (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    equern

    There will not be a contested Dem primary this year so one would expect the very excited column to be lower than the GOP.  However if you add the 'very' +
    'somewhat' columns, it's GOP 86, Dem 83...which is negligble.

    Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

    by khyber900 on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 12:00:30 PM PDT

    •  Still not GOOD news (0+ / 0-)

      I agree...lots that is unsaid that could reflect these figures, but STILL...I'd be much happier if somehow the Dems were more excited than the Reps.

      I would be interesting to see the question asked just for VOTING, regardless of which office it is for.

      I, for one, am VERY EXCITED to be voting in 2012, yet I am only SOMEWHAT excited to be voting for Obama. As someone else mentioned, there were just too many CRITICALLY IMPORTANT moments when he gave in to the GOP, they hung him to dry for it, and it wasn't even necessary in the first place. It was like baking a pie for someone and then having them paste it all over your face. And it took MONTHS for him to understand that no matter how many pies he baked, or how sweet they were, they were going to wind up on his face.

      I'm sure in 2012 we'll see Super-Obama, and maybe like Kos says, the GOP will nominate someone so looney that we'll work as hard as we can to get him elected, but EXCITED about him...sorry, not so much.

      What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

      by equern on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 12:29:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The way I look at it (0+ / 0-)

        the GOP is starting too late to beat Obama.  He has a big head start on money and is going to be able to raise a lot more than his opponents.  The prospect of Trump getting in with all his money will also force the GOP candidates to scramble and deplete resources.  It is also not at all clear that Huckabee is running.  A lot of signs suggest that he is not.

        Mitt Romney has polled fairly well but we all know he is a flawed candidate who won't stand up to the intensity or scrutiny of a campaign.  After all, he lost New Hampshire last time around against McCain.

        A net 3 point difference in voter intensity when one party does not have a contested primary is negligble.  Once the gas prices start going down (which will happen), Obama's numbers will recover over the 50% mark.

        Alternative rock with something to say: http://www.myspace.com/globalshakedown

        by khyber900 on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 12:52:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I need historical context beyond 2010 please (0+ / 0-)

    There seems to be an expectation that there should never, ever be an enthusiasm gap. Do we have a baseline for modern presidents? I'd like to see if enthusiasm waxed and waned during previous administrations as well.

    Without that context, this is just more dog whistling.

    We're going to win in 2012 folks.

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

    by sebastianguy99 on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 12:31:10 PM PDT

  •  It's 86-83 cons in the first two categories. (0+ / 0-)

    That is if you take the first two categories.  That's fine, unions may have to do the heavy lifting in terms of volunteering and GOTV but they don't want a national Scott Walker moment.  So it'll be fine.  My guess is the finer grain to the polls, the more likely things will show up in more encouraging numbers.

    When Repubs get that into it, they get crazy.  True enough, anonymous teabaggers won but in the Senate, they lost high profile race after high profile race because voters don't like teh crazy.

    So don't portray the gap as that big a deal two years out.

    "Raise your hand if you think Social Security and Medicare are Socialism."-Lawerence O'Donnell

    by AZphilosopher on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 12:41:28 PM PDT

  •  I vote in every election (0+ / 0-)

    whether I am excited or not.

  •  Whoever said this had Obama nailed! (0+ / 0-)
    Let's show Washington one more time change doesn't come from the top. It doesn't come from millions of dollars of attack ads funded by special interests. Change happens from the bottom up. Change happens because of you
  •  2012 (0+ / 0-)

    Will democrats be allowed to vote for a democrat candidate by the Democratic Party?

    Remember those in prison as though you were there with them. -8.88,-9.69

    by Kujo AAR on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 03:24:40 PM PDT

  •  Romney (0+ / 0-)

    gets nominated and the evangelicals get less excited. Nominate Huckabee and secular Republicans get less excited. Nominate Gingrich and no one is excited.

    Next summer they have to nominate someone and at that point a big chunk of their voters loses its enthusiasm. The enthusiasm gap reappears, to our advantage.

    It takes a lot of time to be a genius, you have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing. - Gertrude Stein

    by Red Bean on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 07:48:27 AM PDT

  •  I'll vote, but I'm not excited. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mayfly

    As a died in the wool Dem, I'll vote for every Dem on the ticket.

    However, my desire to contribute or work for any Dem is nil.

    The reason is that progressive/liberal Dems are no longer valued by the Democratic party.  It really stung when Rahm told Pres. Obama...and it appears very much that Obama agreed...not to worry about liberal Democrats because they had no place to go with regard to voting.  He was right, but don't dis-respect me and then ask for my financial or other help.  Ain't going to happen.  It also didn't help when Rahm said F the UAW when the auto bailout was being formulated.  You can only piss on the base so much.

    Icing on the cake for me was when Robert Gibbs, Pres. Obama's former Press Secretary spoke derisively of the "professional left".  Since I agree with much of what Maddow, Schultz, et. al. espouse, then I guess Gibbs was speaking derisively of my politics as well.

    Here's a free tip to all Dem politicians.  If you dis-respect, demean or otherwise speak poorly of anyone, don't turn around at election time and expect their enthusiastic support.  I say again, ain't gonna happen.

    After all, for progressives, taking one for the team is desirable, but all too often at present, we are taking one from the team.

    by El Tomaso on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 05:50:37 PM PDT

    •  Well, you know, Obama said "you are the change (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      El Tomaso

      you are waiting for."  Progressives are pushing back--mostly because the Corporate Tools and Nobles stopped pretending just a little too soon.  (Over-confidence it'll get you every time.) I agree with diary that down-ticket races will be the ones to watch.

      But as far as "excited" about the presidential race, it is never as exciting to bet on the favorite as it is to bet on the long shot. That factor would account for at least some of the "enthusiasm gap."  

      I'll vote for Obama, of course.

      US energy corporations realize that both solar and wind power share one big drawback--they are free.

      by Mayfly on Thu Apr 28, 2011 at 12:46:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Elections matter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mayfly

    really

    Poor government comes about when good citizens sit on their hands instead of standing on their feet.' -- Robert Baker

    by jaysunb on Wed Apr 27, 2011 at 10:56:05 PM PDT

  •  Since I'll be living in ND... (0+ / 0-)

    ...I can vote my conscience with a clean conscience.

  •  I'm In again on the Obama volunteer team (0+ / 0-)

    I just went to our first volunteer meeting for  OFA 2012. When I went to the first Obama meeting in 2008, there were about 20 people. Last night there were 50, a much bigger turnout for the first meeting, and most were who  helped organize our volunteers in our CA district in 2008. OFA has of list of over 5000 volunteers in our district from 2008/2010, and we are starting to call them this week to get them active.

    Go the Obama2012.com and say you in.

    Republican's strategy includes Voter registration surpression and big corp $$$$$$$$. Of those states Obama turned Blue in 2008, most turned back red in 2010. We msut get them back.

    In the 2010 CA election in the central Valley, republican used big corp money to put anti Boxer, Brown & Pelosi billboards in Spanish on highway 5. When OFA made calls in 201o to Spanish speaking voters (citizens), who vote in 2008 in the central Valley many reported, they had been called and told they could not vote. We will see an increase in this kind of voter surpression in 2012.

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