Skip to main content

Voters are angry. How will that impact 2012?

Of all the data that could be mined from the exit polls from the 2010 election cycle, to my eyes the most extraordinary is this singular stat:

Opinion of Democratic Party: 44% Favorable 52% Unfavorable
Opinion of Republican Party: 41% Favorable 53% Unfavorable

Amid the wreckage that was strewn over the political landscape from one of the most calamitous electoral outcomes in Democratic Party history, the electorate that turned them out of the majority in the House actually disliked their opposition more.

A number of analysts (myself included) openly wondered if the GOP's designs on reclaiming the House might be hamstrung by the fact that the Republican Party brand name might be as damaged as the Democrats had become. In fact, on Election Day 2010, the GOP brand name was held in even higher disregard than the Democrats.

And, of course, it ultimately did not matter. The unpopularity of the GOP did not prevent it from picking up over five dozen House seats, to say nothing of a half-dozen Senate seats, several governors' mansions, and an alarming number of state legislatures.

As it happened, voter discontent trumped all other considerations. It was a phenomenon that our polling partners at PPP discovered ... way back in 2009. Check out this analysis from November of 2009, as it related to some polling PPP had done in Arkansas:

It's a commonly accepted fact that Congressional Democrats are unpopular but Congressional Republicans are even more unpopular.

That's true but it shouldn't be taken as an indication that Democrats are going to be fine in 2010 because there's a pretty significant group of the electorate that dislikes both parties and they're overwhelmingly planning to vote Republican next year because they think it at least provides an opportunity for change.

Arkansas' 2nd Congressional District is a good example of this. 16% of voters there don't like the Democrats or the Republicans. But they give all three of Democratic Congressman Vic Snyder's potential opponents leads of 37-40 points and they give the possible Blanche Lincoln foes we tested leads of 42-43 points.

Indeed, that was a big part of the story in 2010. Of the majority of Americans who disapproved of the GOP, nearly a quarter of them wound up voting Republican anyway.

The moral of the story: an angry electorate does not behave predictably.

If anything, the 2012 electorate is shaping up to be even angrier than the one that confronted us in 2010. The right track/wrong track metric right now is nearing historic lows, as you can see above. The numbers for 2010, by comparison, were markedly more optimistic. They were still lousy, of course (34 percent right track/61 percent wrong track), but not nearly as bad as today.

Just as voter discontent in 2010 led to some counterintuitive results on Election Day, the same might hold true in 2012.

Here's one notion a lot of good Democrats take as an article of faith: the GOP field is such an array of unpopular, unelectable ne'er-do-wells that they will cement President Obama's re-election.

There is no question that, as presently configured, the GOP field has no juggernaut in the mix that strikes fear into the hearts of all. All of them have middling favorability numbers, at best. All of them have some policy position that stands to be an albatross around their necks come November of 2012.

Furthermore, there can be no doubt that the inherent weakness of the GOP field is an aid to the president. The fact that he is still at parity in national trial heats, despite weak approval numbers, is evidence enough of that. Only one president in the modern era (Harry Truman—1948) was able to earn re-election with approval numbers like this.

But the potentially terrifying bottom line is that if voters are pissed enough, and they take it out on the president, virtually none of the Republicans in the field are totally unelectable.

Don't believe me? Consider two points of data.

Consider three ideological train wrecks from 2010. Thanks to them, the Democrats maintained their Senate majority. I'm speaking, of course, of Ken Buck (Colorado), Sharron Angle (Nevada) and Christine O'Donnell (Delaware).

All three share four things in common. All of them were considered faithfully right-wing consdervative firebrands. All of them defeated more moderate alternatives in Republican primaries. All of them lost to Democrats in what were once considered GOP pickup opportunities.

And all of them, without exception, took a higher percentage of the vote than a considerably more sane Republican (John McCain) had done in 2008. Even O'Donnell, a batshit crazy Republican in a reliably blue state, took over 40 percent of the vote. Buck came within an eyelash of emerging victorious in purple Colorado.

The second data point comes, again, courtesy of our pals at PPP. In the majority of their presidential polling (an example can be found here), there have been far more Republicans and Indies undecided than there have been Democrats. Therefore, a 45-42 Obama lead is actually a bit less than it seems. One has to assume that Republicans will coalesce around their candidate once his/her name is known. A similar polling trend happened in 2008, when John McCain briefly had an artificially high lead in the latter stages of the Democratic primary.

The Iowa Electronic Markets, as of Saturday, had the president as a very slight underdog for 2012, as does Intrade. In August, right here on Sunday Kos, I did a microanalysis of the president's job approval in the 50 states, which was perhaps a bit more optimistic about Obama's prospects.

However, if the president's job approval ratings remain in the low 40s, and the right track/wrong track metric remains mired in the teens, his re-election is going to hinge on having an especially bad performance from an especially undesirable Republican nominee. That could happen, but a betting man would not like the odds. Angry voters tend to vote retroactively.

That's why I suspect we are finally seeing a more aggressive tone from the president. Part of it may well be playing "to the base." A reemergence of the 2010 enthusiasm gap would spell the end of the Obama presidency. But an equal part of it might be owed to the fact that the president could seriously bolster his chances with both Democrats and persuadable Independents by giving voters the sense that he is trying to inspire major changes. When nearly 80 percent of Americans think the country is off on the right track, bold prescriptions could be the cure for what ails the president's re-election campaign.

Continued voter anger, however, could inflict collateral damage in a place that many pundits (and both IEM and Intrade) don't see it coming: the House.

What gave Republicans the House in 2010, as their abysmal approval ratings at the time should have made clear, was not any public affection for their candidates or their policies. Rather, it was the fact that voter anger was concentrated entirely in one direction. Republicans could uniformly run "against Washington," and they could pull it off, since they weren't formally in control of anything.

That won't be the case in 2012. Voter anger could be directed at a Democratic president, but it can also be directed at a Republican House. It's no accident that Republican performances in a generic congressional ballot test have slid noticeably this year (well, when you factor Rasmussen out of the equation). In addition, the presumption that Republicans would be heavily bolstered by redistricting seems less likely than originally thought. GOP plans to their benefit have been offset by gains for Democrats elsewhere, leading to what has amounted, basically, to a wash.

Furthermore, my suspicion is that potential Republican woes in the House will only be enhanced by the presidential campaign, especially if there becomes a widespread sense that a Republican president is a better-than-average possibility.

Much like in 1996, when the Republicans very cleverly closed the general election campaign with their "don't hand Bill Clinton a blank check" ad campaign, the thought of unified Republican rule will probably not sit well with American voters.

Based on the unique dynamics of the Senate campaign picture, virtually everyone agrees that the Senate will be a tough hold for the Democrats. A narrow majority, coupled with being burdened with twice as many seats to defend, means that the Democrats will essentially have to draw an inside straight to keep the Senate. Therefore, if voters desire partisan balance (which, with both parties having pretty lousy numbers right now, would seem to be more likely than not), their vehicle of choice will necessarily be the House.

As often as they've sparred, it is a bit strange to consider the fact that Barack Obama and John Boehner may well have their political fates intertwined. An angry electorate could lead to a Republican White House. But, if it does, it makes it considerably more likely that there will be a Democratic House of Representatives to accompany it.

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

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


More Tagging tips:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comment Preferences

  •  Americans Elect (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bluesee, JGibson

    Despite denials, it appears to be the Bloomberg for President effort.

    It appears likely to be on the ballot in all fifty states.

    If Bloomberg wants, he can outspend his two opponents.

    In states where I have seen petitioning data, the target is party status, not single candidate status, i.e., he might show up with a large slate of Congressional candidates.

    This may be an interesting year for various other party efforts.

    We can have change for the better.

    by phillies on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 07:04:21 PM PDT

      •  i don't know about that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It's so innovative, and he's got so much money, that Bloomberg may actually have a shot if this is true.
        Not that I would back him. His record on labor issues sucks. But he is the American version of the connsumate centrist. He could pull it off.

        Catch St. Louis' progressive talk show, The Murdock Report, every Tuesday @ noon! Stream or download it: I do the twit thing too @Smokin'JoeWGNU

        by Da Rat Bastid on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 07:35:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You do remember (0+ / 0-)

          that he is a Jewish, pro-gay, pro-choice Republican, right?  He may indeed be a spoiler for Obama, but it would be truly earth-shattering for him to actually win the Presidency.  What states would you predict him to actually carry and get to the necessary electoral votes to win outright?

        •  I Say... (0+ / 0-)

          ...Hang the cops brutality on the Wall Street occupiers around his neck and he's toast.  Start with the cops, then move on up the rotten apple to the core.  Tieing him to that - and we can, obviously, he's the mayor - ties him to the Wall Street thieves.

          They say that natural disasters are the best economic stimulus packages.  While that may have been true before Eric Cantor, I say just see what rioting and violence in the street does for an economy.  Real shot in the arm there!

          Elizabeth Warren's warning was not lost on me.  Hordes descending on factories, razing them to the ground!  Actually, those images are part of America's past...

          This brutality on YouTube, and the censorship of it by the media is pretty unsettling as well.

          •  How many people really care about what's (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mightymouse, Bluesee

            going on at the Wall Street demonstration - if they even know about it.

            They care about their pocketbooks and do not necessarily care about some "long haired hippies."

            Republicans like demonstrations being broken up. They like strong police action.

            The marauding hordes isn't going to happen in this country and if they ever do, they will be quickly subdued. And if they are not subdued, you won't want to live with the results, if you do live through them.

            They did a lot of good in England didn't they?

            Progressives will win when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

            by auapplemac on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 11:02:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  How is this scenario for Bloomberg (0+ / 0-)

          He pulls enough electoral votes (say NY, NJ, CT, RI, Florida) that neither of the other candidates gets to 270.

          Election gets thrown to the House delegations.  Assume for a moment those delegations have a narrow Democratic majority, but that includes some pretty conservative Democrats who run their campaigns as anti-Obama.

          The Republican gets a plurality of electoral and popular votes.  They also win the Senate and will be picking the VP.

          Compromise is reached by both parties- hand the Presidency to Bloomberg, and then both can run against him in four years.  Without any backers in Congress, there can be no big new inititatives, and Bloomberg becomes a caretaker.

          VP also goes to whoever was running with Bloomberg, or some sufficiently moderate elder statesman (Lieberman?  Probably not.)

          The best pizza comes from New York.

          by JakeC on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 10:10:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  God is not running (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Barack Obama for President '08

        by v2aggie2 on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 08:25:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Isn't he more likely to split the Republicant vote (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Had Enough Right Wing BS

        on the basis of being a "moderate" GOPer without being tied to the Tea Party brand?

    •  Interesting notion (0+ / 0-)

      What kind of evidence do you have to back this claim up?

      Catch St. Louis' progressive talk show, The Murdock Report, every Tuesday @ noon! Stream or download it: I do the twit thing too @Smokin'JoeWGNU

      by Da Rat Bastid on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 07:27:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Often (0+ / 0-)

        Rec them just because they are interesting, but I agree.  First I've heard of it.

        This Americans Elect Movement is a youth movement, do we think it's a grassroots movement?  Had a young co-worker tell me about it, looked at the website, felt emotions of confusion, frustration, anger...

        •  Americans Elect is not a youth movement (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          It is a very well run Citizens United Decision-based create ballot access in every state movement.

          They are I gather paying good money for signatures, and know what they are doing.

          We can have change for the better.

          by phillies on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 09:00:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  He is a pos. (0+ / 0-)

      He has ruined nyc.  I’m not just talking about the school system.  He couldn’t get elected anyway...he pretends to be socially liberal...pretending is enough to keep the wrong wing from voting for him.

    •  I think Bloomberg (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      accepts the truth of global warming and probably believes we should actually do something about it.
      Not a formula for electoral success.  Unless, of course, he just whips the electorate into a frenzy and they just overlook his positions on issues such as this, which could happen.  

  •  I'm becoming more and more convinced... (15+ / 0-)

    that America's unique form of Democracy no longer works.  

    We could do much better if, rather than having elections, we simply chose our Representatives by lottery to serve for 1 term.

    •  Can't remember if I read it here or elsewhere (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MikePhoenix, auapplemac

      But I was reading an analysis of redistricting in various states, and the point was made that Democrats are disadvantaged simply by geography, and not so much by Republican redistricting schemes so much.

      The Boston Globe created a program that randomly drew districts up in several states, only adhering to the rule that they have equal numbers of voters and be geographically contiguous.  In several states the GOP still ended up with more safe districts than the Dems simply due to the rural/urban split in party affiliation.

      Does anyone else remember seeing this?

      "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upwardly mobile." Hunter S. Thompson

      by Keith930 on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 07:18:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  When they wrote (0+ / 0-)

        the Constitution, they took that into account.  But the GOP is very good at finding and building loopholes.

        We need to get some fighters (and some reporters) on our side.

        I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

        by trumpeter on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 08:14:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The National Journal released a poll several (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          days ago showing that many of the political pundits in both parties are predicting the republicans will regain control of the Senate and the House in 2012 (they give a list of the pundits interviewed for the poll at the end of the article).

          If that prediction comes true, then we might be looking at a repeat of Clinton's second term, with a lot more negative variables.  

          I can't see Obama losing to Perry, and probably not to Romney, but if the republicans bring in a more powerful candidate for the 2012 election, then I think Obama will be defeated, and then we could end up with a total republican sweep...even though the republicans are very unpopular.

          Both scenarios would be devastating to our country.

          •  I know Dem voters who feel that Obama is so (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            incompetent that the would consider voting for Romney or any R that appears sane.

            These are people who voted for Obama in 08 and always vote D. However they are not liberal on financial matters and do have some underlying racial feelings. Not for him, but for Mexicans who have invaded the SW.

            These people are middle class and were liberal in their younger days.

            I'm hoping that if they still won't vote D next year, I can at least convince them not to vote.

            Progressives will win when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

            by auapplemac on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 11:11:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The ground swell of anger against Obama is (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TheUnknown285, JustinBinFL

              too big to ignore, but I know a lot of Democrats who have their fingers stuck in their ears...and they are willing to drive all of us over the cliff in 2012.

              I will never vote for a republican, but I can't bring myself to vote for Obama in many ways, he is worse to me than a republican, and I think there are a lot of people who feel the, what do the democrats do?  Go on pretending that those of us who feel betrayed don't matter?  Wasn't that the real mistake of 2010?

              One thing that won't be the same in 2012...the blue dog meme - "where else can they go?"

              I think they are about to find out...

              •  The Argument from Tribalism is more (0+ / 0-)

                compelling than that, I think. There are a lot of Democrats who don't look past the box checked on a person's registration when determining what box to mark on the ballot.

                I think we'd be in agreement that that's unfortunate. If Obama is a democrat then the DNC needs to re-write the platform to reflect the socially somewhat liberal, economically very conservative policies he's advocated for and be done with it.

                •  Interesting thought, but it would mean (0+ / 0-)

                  the Democratic Party would split...but we're in danger of that happening anyway.

                  One of the reasons I said I can't force myself to vote for Obama is because he has done so much damage to the Democratic Party.  I don't think many of us will remain with the party if he wins in 2012.  I just don't want to go down that path again.

                  And since I would rather have my teeth pulled than vote for a republican, you can see what a quandary that presents for me and for the people who believe he has betrayed the Democratic Party...

                  •  It would not be the first time for a split (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Just check out the history of the Democratic Party in the 1820's. They were the only party for a few brief years - then shattered and re-formed, and we had two parties again.

                    If it's
                    Not your body
                    Then it's
                    Not your choice
                    AND it's
                    None of your damn business!

                    by TheOtherMaven on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 05:41:32 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Then don't (0+ / 0-)

                vote for Obama - vote against his opponent.  Should be easy enough.

                But don't saddle us with another Bush.

                I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

                by trumpeter on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 08:41:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I keep pounding against Obama because I (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  think there is time for him to be defeated in a primary, or because I think he needs to move in a populist direction that will ensure that if he is re-elected he will keep his promises this time...(I don't have much faith in the latter and not many of the people who are angry with him do either).

                  As far as saddling us with another Bush: that is the problem: Obama is too much of another Bush.  As I mentioned in another comment, a new poll released on Sunday shows that the majority of Americans think Obama was equal to or worse than Bush.

                  If he wants to really prove that he is a populist candidate, then he should purge his administration of all the Bush and Clinton holdovers and replace them with traditional Democrats (not connected to Wall Street), repeal his decision to undo the new standards for the Ozone layer, veto the tar sands pipeline, puts some teeth into his rhetoric about the millionaires and billionaires tax hike, start prosecuting the white collar criminals in this country, have his justice department go after all of the police brutality that is turning our nation into a third world country, start pushing for single payer healthcare insurance, haul BP's executives into court and start prosecuting them for their crimes, start supporting our unions, prosecute the Bush war criminals, quit taking vacations and start working to feed the almost 100 million children under five in our nation that are going hungry, and the list goes on and on...

                  But he won't...and that is why we need to replace him with someone who will make a real difference.

          •  They don't have (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            a more powerful candidate.  That's our only advantage, because in Congress, most of all of the candidates are weaker that watered-down bleah.

            And many are guano crazy.

            I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

            by trumpeter on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 08:39:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  General rule of thumb (19+ / 0-)

    Is that if you have an unpopular challenger AND an unpopular incumbent, the challenger will win because at least people see them as an opportunity for change.  

    •  We've had two sequential "change" elections, (12+ / 0-)

      though.  When people feel neither alternative works for them, they tend to drop out of the voting process.  GOTV is everything in this upcoming election, I think.

      •  And good luck with that (4+ / 0-)

        GOTV is likely to be severely depressed. I wish that wasn't so, but then again, I don't plan on GOTV myself, so I suppose I can blame myself as well...

      •  actually... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dharmafarmer has been 3 consecutive "change" elections:  2006, 2008, 2010.

        But the real deal here is that the people who were clamoring for change probably are different groups of people in those years.

        For Democrats, liberals, and Democratic-leaning Independents, the elections for change were 2006 & 2008.  And it seems like most of them were just tired in 2010 and may still be for 2012.  Fortunately for them, 2012 is a presidential election year which will naturally help turnout.

        For Republicans, Conservatives, and Republican-leaning Independents, the election for change was just 2010- and I think we have to assume that it will also include 2012.

        And for that small subset of Independents who truly do not lean towards one pary or another, I do not think they fall into any general pattern except that they hate to hear about politics and will be grossly turned-off by the coming election which promises to be highly negative.

        I think this election will end up looking more like 2000 and 2004 than 2008- and we have to factor in that the republican party is still on an upswing.

        The Senate becomes Republican.

        The House remains Republican with a smaller Republican majority.

        The Presidency, I think, is a toss-up- no matter who the republican candidate.

    •  Cheesemanswife is a troll! (0+ / 0-)

      He/she has derailed many weekend threads over at DKos elections!  Ignore his/her words at all costs!

      'An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.' -Mahatma Gandhi

      by KingofSpades on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 08:59:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  i can also imagine (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that if the presidential election looks like a sure thing for the republicans (impossible as that was to imagine 3 years ago) that the plea will be to give him a unified congress that can implement his 'hope and change'

    •  No way. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bythesea, seriously70

      First of all, the election is FAR from a sure thing for the republicans.  Second, the GOP of today is too extreme to nail down the presidency, the house and the senate.  In fact, unless they run Romney, I don't care what intrade says today, I'd bet against them.  

    •  One of the reasons that we're where we are... (3+ / 0-) that far too many Democrats in 2009 thought a GOP revival in 2012 would be "impossible."

      We are a very closely divided country facing profound social, economic, environmental, and foreign policy challenges.

      Though one of our two major parties offers significantly less awful responses to many of these challenges, neither has offered real solutions.

      Under these circumstances, we should expect fairly regular transfers of power between the two parties...especially when both parties seem willing to convince themselves that every win is a sign that they're about to forge a permanent majority.

      "[S]ince Obama keeps talking nonsense about economics, at what point do we stop giving him credit for actually knowing better? Maybe at some point we have to accept that he believes what he’s saying." --Paul Krugman

      by GreenSooner on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 12:43:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No One is Listening Any More (14+ / 0-)

    I wish it weren't true, but people have a head of steam up, and their anger is mounting. All the pretty words in the world aren't going to make a difference. I simply don't know what the hell we do.

    "Whenever a fellow tells me he's bipartisan, I know he's going to vote against me."-- Harry S. Truman

    by irmaly on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 07:12:06 PM PDT

    •  Until their is an Egypt like moment (7+ / 0-)

      where people just say to both parties we have had enough- you both need to change now- there is nothing to do. This is now on the American public- will they continue to be conned into voting for two bad choices by being told that the other choice is worse? I honestly don't know the answer to that. My gut, based on talking to a friend , is that we are faced with a similar situation to Great Britain when it started to lose power as an empire. The general population remained in a collective delusion for years until after the fall of the British empire had already begun. Indeed, I asked a question- would anyone looking at the USSR in the 1970s have known that it would fall a part by the late 80s? I think we are the start of a similar crisis of whether we can continue as a super power, and whether our collective delusion (e.g., people believe we are the best in health care in the world for example although we are 39th and that we have the best upward mobility although we are falling behind Europe) can come undone long enough to actually fight back against the elites. My sense is that the prospects, historically speaking, for a country like this- are not good.

    •  Disagree with the gloom and doom. (9+ / 0-)

      Lots of people are listening.  The presidents state of the union address delivered stronger numbers than the football game that followed it---over 30 million, and those 30 million are the ones who are going to be active next year.

      I do agree that anger is mounting, but it's a real toss up these days as to say where that anger will land.

      The president and the democrats are starting to fight back, big time, and I think that's only going to grow.  We've got 13 months till 2012, there's plenty we can do.

      •  Three years late. (6+ / 0-)
        The president and the democrats are starting to fight back

        How far to the right do the Dems have to move before you stop calling them Dems?

        by Diebold Hacker on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 08:35:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't see (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          v2aggie2, Odysseus, auapplemac, andrewj54

          it the way you do. I don't share your idea that no headway was made by the president and the democrats in the first two years.  In fact, I think enough was accomplished and pushed through to set the GOP's ass on fire.

          You know, it's funny.  Tonight I had my very dear but very republican mom for dinner, as we do every Sunday night.  Needless to say, she and I don't agree on anything political, and I try to avoid those conversations.  Not always successful.  

          Tonight she was telling me that she'd watched MTP this morning, and that she'd enjoyed it, but she noted "that of course, that David Gregory is to the left."  

          Hahahahahahahahahahahhahahahha. I share my laugh with you, but with my mother, my jaw just dropped.  Not only that she thought Gregory was to the left, but that she added that "of course" part.

          But I think it's instructive to see that we all live in a bubble of our own beliefs, and there is NOTHING we strain through those beliefs that is fact when it comes to politics.

          So I say to you Diebold, that there is NO factual basis for your idea that it's "three years too late." You can cling to your anger and your disappointment.  That's your right.

          Not me. I'm pressing forward with the best chances for what I believe in, and I'll make the best choices presented to me, and I'm not bitter about it.  Many in this world have and do suffer so many worse decisions.  

          •  Love this post! Thanks. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            How far to the right do the Dems have to move before you stop calling them Dems?

            by Diebold Hacker on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 10:41:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Timing is everything (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Fighting during the governing phase can equal real change and results... or a stronger case for re-election.

            Fighting during the campaign phase is just hot air.

            NOW SHOWING
            Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
            Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

            by The Dead Man on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 04:34:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Diebold Hacker said "late", not "too late" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              ONE year of dithering and "making nice" and reaching across the aisle only to draw back a bloody stump, was more than enough. Two was rank idiocy. Now FINALLY the talk starts getting tough - but the walk better show some signs of matching it or no one's going to buy it.

              If it's
              Not your body
              Then it's
              Not your choice
              AND it's
              None of your damn business!

              by TheOtherMaven on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 05:45:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  StellaRay, while the speech was good and people (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AverageJoe42, demway, The Dead Man

        watched, his numbers did not improve and they are actually going down even with his current fighting stance and the exposure of the R lineup.

        They just don't believe him anymore. It's all just words to them.

        The message is coming too late. This should have been his message since the 2010 election.

        Progressives will win when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

        by auapplemac on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 11:17:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Late on my response here, (0+ / 0-)

          perhaps you will miss it, but I'll take that chance.

          Couple of questions.  Who is the "they" you refer to when you tell us "they just don't believe him anymore?"  Is it you?  Is it other progressives and democrats who have given up?  Is it those who think we'll somehow benefit from another lesson in GOP governance after 30 years of such?

          No sir.  Democrats gave up on Carter and we got Regan.
          Then Daddy Bush. Then finally, Clinton, who can be proved to the right of Obama in his policies and yet who still holds the party in some kind of idolizing trance I just don't get.

          But I'll tell you one thing. The ONLY way the democrats can lose in 2012, is if they believe, like you, that their disappointments are precious enough to throw their hands up and say "it's too late!" Whoas fucking me.

          Sorry, but I've got no time for those who have no time to fight, despite their disappointments, those who think a GOP administration is due punishment for not having their personal agendas executed in the way they see fit.

      •  Fighting back is ok. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        demway, mightymouse

        It's certainly better than the alternative.

        But people want results. And I'm afraid they're not going to get them anytime soon.

        If a party delivers positive goods to the American people, it will be rewarded with reelection.

        The best the Democrats can probably hope for next year is to win the blame game.

        "[S]ince Obama keeps talking nonsense about economics, at what point do we stop giving him credit for actually knowing better? Maybe at some point we have to accept that he believes what he’s saying." --Paul Krugman

        by GreenSooner on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 12:45:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yep (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, mightymouse

      I am not sure that the GOP House and Obama are tied to one another.

      I DO think the GOP Governors and Obama are tied together.  If the economy recovers, both are likely to win.  A double dip will be the end for both.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 09:15:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  #occupywallstreet (0+ / 0-)

      Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
      Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

      by The Dead Man on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 04:30:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's anybody's guess (12+ / 0-)

    I wouldn't place more than a $5.00 bet on this upcoming election.  Very unpredictable times we're living in, and people are fearful and hurting.  That usually doesn't facilitate reasoned decisions.  

    The GOP field is weak, but the economy is just crab-walking along, and may be on the verge of sliding back into recession.  Europe is a wild card.  If things actually get worse, all bets are off on how the electorate reacts.

    Districts are so gerry mandered that it wouldn't surprise me to see incredibly high turnover at the Congressional level without altering the basic numbers that much...just different faces.

    "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upwardly mobile." Hunter S. Thompson

    by Keith930 on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 07:12:28 PM PDT

  •  It's Romney vs everyone else (9+ / 0-)

    If Mitt Romney is the nominee, then it's a tough race for Obama because he will run as a moderate.

    Obama running against any of the other candidates is a very different calculus. In the polling averages, he leads everyone except Romney by anywhere from 10 to 20 points.

    •  Yep. (4+ / 0-)

      Romney, imo, is the hardest one to run against.  But not unbeatable.  Not at all.  Particularly when you consider that although if he's nominated the GOP will fall in line behind him, as they did McCain, it won't be a happy thing for many of them. For the Tea Party, it will be like chewing on glass to cheer for Romney.  Although they'll never fess up to it, there's a real good chance that the GOP will be facing its own enthusiasm gap, no matter who takes the nomination.  

      That's why they're still floating the idea that their saviour just hasn't jumped in yet.  That's why that silly Marist Mclatchy poll had Palin within the MOE of Obama.  That's why they're still on bended knee to Christy, as if he wouldn't disappoint and divide too.  Because the truth is the GOP is, imo, more confused and divided at this point than the dems by far. Funny how so many progressives don't see this and eat their "lock step" meme whole.

      But the fact is, the GOP has a much bigger struggle between the Tea Party, the conventional beltway republicans and the moderate republicans---and yes, they are out there, they're the same moderate republicans who couldn't vote for McCain because of Palin and there were PLENTY OF THEM. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that Palin gave Obama his majorities, along with an assist from GWB.

      We can only hope the GOP shoots itself in the foot again, and nominates Perry. I thought for awhile they would, but then Perry had to go and prove so early what a buffoon he is, and no one wants to have a beer with him.

      Who knows.  Herbert Cain?  Nothing so promising as a candidate that hasn't imploded yet

  •  thus repeating the Bush43 era (0+ / 0-)
    But, if it does, it makes it considerably more likely that there will be a Democratic House of Representatives to accompany it.

    I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

    by annieli on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 07:19:35 PM PDT

  •  Public opinion of congress is a terrible indicator (5+ / 0-)

    and does fuck-all to help us predict what will happen. Its not the opinion of the public that decides elections, its the people that show up on voting day..

    Socialist Fuckstick No. 308273

    by culturejammer on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 07:20:24 PM PDT

  •  Obama should have taken bolder action on the (12+ / 0-)

    economy in the first 2 years of his presidency. If he continues with the economic populist message he has adopted in recent weeks, he still has a chance, especially if the Republicans continue to play into his hands by obstructing job creation. But it is going to be tough.

    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 Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 07:24:00 PM PDT

  •  Gotta love American voter logic . . . (16+ / 0-)

    We hate giving all the power to one party, and we hate it when the government can't get anything done.

    And if the Blue Sky Mining Company won't come to my rescue, if the sugar refining company won't save me, who's gonna save me?

    by Geenius at Wrok on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 07:24:58 PM PDT

  •  Republican Senate, Democratic House? (0+ / 0-)

    Presidential Reelection looks OK now (especially after the Perry self-immolation) but you never know.

    Number 1 thing I do not want to hear: "Are you satisfied" (uttered by Chuck Todd).

    by AZphilosopher on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 07:26:38 PM PDT

    •  I want some of what you're smoking! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Presidential Reelection looks OK now


      I'd say that presidential reelection is not yet impossible.

      "[S]ince Obama keeps talking nonsense about economics, at what point do we stop giving him credit for actually knowing better? Maybe at some point we have to accept that he believes what he’s saying." --Paul Krugman

      by GreenSooner on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 12:47:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  RE: redistricting link (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    In addition, the presumption that Republicans would be heavily bolstered by redistricting seems less likely than originally thought. GOP plans to their benefit have been offset by gains for Democrats elsewhere, leading to what has amounted, basically, to a wash.

    Sure there won't be many net seat flips to one party or the other from redistricting, but isn't the main goal for them to maintain the existing partisan distribution (a Republican house)?

    They're going to try and lock in the 2010 results rather than the 2008 results (see the Ohio and Pennsylvania maps).

    •  There have been (0+ / 0-)

      no PA maps yet. And actually, a few districts in Ohio were made more Democratic. We could win them in the right year.

      The only big changes happening in PA is getting rid of Critz's district, and that's pretty much it. They can shore up the Philly sburbs, but they're already so Democratic on the presidential level that they can only do so much.

      People panic too much on this site.

      by thematt523 on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 07:44:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In 2010 a lot of winning candidates were Tea Party (3+ / 0-)

    and those voters distinguished the Tea Party as being different than the Republican Party. I think that's why we had a situation where Republicans were less popular than Democrats, yet the Democrats suffered major losses.

    This time around the Tea Party has lost a lot of its support, but whether that will translate to big wins for the Democrats remains to be seen.

    I do think that the Teapublicans are vulnerable because of their broad support for the Ryan budget bill that would privatize Medicare and their penchant for calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme and demanding that it be tampered with. Democrats need to be champions of these important programs.

  •  If Arizona gets into play, all bets are off forGOP (4+ / 0-)

    Check out the polls ins Arizona by googling them. Obama beats everyone except Romney, but only loses to Romney by about 3. If Arizona goes blue, Obama gets reelected in my opinion, unless it is Romney as nominee and he flips michigan to red.

    Even if Obama can't take Arizona, he is solid on New Mexico and Colorado is leaning to him. This is because of the Hispanic vote, which the GOP continues to alienate. For the GOP to win despite losing Colorado and New Mexico, they would need to win ALL of Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. (Assuming they lose Michigan and Pennsylvania but take Iowa)

    Of course, if the GOP gets its way in Pennsylvania and splits the vote up by districts, Obama could be in trouble. Some would argue it would end up helping Obama, because he would get electoral votes even if he lost Pennsylvania. Maybe thats true, but if he loses Pennsylvania he probably will also lose those other four states.

    Visit my page,

    by kmoros on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 07:38:02 PM PDT

    •  I'd care more about AZ-SEN than AZ-PRES (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, mightymouse

      Obama doesn't need Arizona to win, but flipping the Senate seat would help us greatly.

      Obama's best red-to-blue chance is probably Georgia.

      Also, I think NC and VA will stay in Obama's court. But that's just me.

      •  As for NC (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not sure how Obama is managing to keep his numbers within winnable range here, but I'm glad for it. I wonder if it's because our Republican legislature is so out of whack and the people so disgusted with their "progress," Obama is benefiting.

        "Whenever a fellow tells me he's bipartisan, I know he's going to vote against me."-- Harry S. Truman

        by irmaly on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 06:26:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The problem in that scenario is the size of the (4+ / 0-)

    majority in the House.  Unless we have FDR numbers in the House, the Blue Dogs will screw everything up.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 07:39:20 PM PDT

  •  Voter flipping will continue for a decade (13+ / 0-)

    The voters do not have a choice at the ballot that represents the voters' interest. So, they desperately swing back and forth to try in vain to break through the fog of electoral two-party politics in America. This is not unique to America. Right now, all of the west, including Europe, is captured by similar dynamics. You see it in Germany with recent elections there where none of the major parties represented the interest of the public so the public decided to vote for the few parties that did. The so-called Socialist of France were about to nominate a Neo-liberal to lead them. In the UK, we see a coalition of conservatives and neoliberalism.

    (a)  We differ in the U.S. because we are given two choices so the control over the electoral politics to prevent reform is more stark.

    Voters are given two choices at the ballot (which this site supports to the point of banning anyone who questions the wisdom of the two party system), and indeed, "two" choices are often how debates on policy are framed. The problem is that neither choice really represents the American public. Not really.

     Those two choices are pushed on them by the structure of the laws in most states, the media  (as discussed by Glenn Greenwald amongst others, but often ignored here) and by the passivity of the American public.

    We are left then with a Sophie's choice at the ballot box with two non-choices: Kill your child now (the GOP)  or kill your child later (the Democratic Party). In short, we are given artificial choices at the ballot box that says vote for that goes like the following: Vote for the Democrats, Neol-liberalism lite in which your jobs are shipped abroad and austerity is the game of the day with weak reforms (e.g., the Vocker rule is now faced for example with regulatory capture) or vote for the Republicans, Neo-liberal hard core, in which Social Security is privatized. Its a shell game in which there is no choice other than Neo-liberalism.

    Then, we are suprised, shocked, amazed at the outcome- that voters are angry with both parties because the result of the policies being pushed are not far enough a part to matter. Indeed, slowing down a train wreck of a policy still leads to a train wreck. Many of the policies, pushed by say Bill Clinton, and furthered by Bush II, came home to roost in 2008. Rather than reversing this trend, the current Democratic Leadership when it was in control of all branches pushed for a continuation of it.

    Does anyone think if we had addressed the jobs issue there would be a problem now? Of course, at this advanced stage of the disease, to address the jobs problem would fundamentally move the country to policies that the elite needs in order to stay in power. The little secret is that although they are making more money than ever, they also faced with a threat to their long term survival in the form of systemic instability because of a lack of demand.

    (b) Essentially, both parties in the last 25-years, as sites like Naked Capitalism, have diligently reported, are captured. Neither represents a real third way- that of the American public. Indeed, if you line up the shell game of the electoral process (as far as stated positions of candidates of both parties) and those of the American public, the fact is that the American public view is represented by neither party.

    (c) So this is why I am amused. There is nothing shocking or surprising about what's happening. The two electoral choices do not represent the American public because the policies being endorsed do not help the American public. THey help, for the most part, established entrenched elites in DC.

    •  Agreed, so? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I don't know what we are supposed to do, short of discussing things that could get us banned on this site. I'd be out in the street, but I have a very young child.

      •  You can not even get most to admit to this truth (8+ / 0-)

        They cling desperately to the delusion that we are going to change either party rather than admit  we are increasingly faced with a rigged, banana republic electoral structure. If you had asked me even as late as 2008, would either party accept the fraud that's coming out of the mortgage industry - I may have thought the GOP capable of it, but not willing to do it, and I certainly would not have expected the Democratic leadership to aid and abed the corrupt actors will absurd "deals"

        Add to that fact that sites like this are designed, in my opinion, to channel emotions about the electoral process into accepting the status quo by pretending that it wants to "do something about it so long as that something is the same thing as before" and frankly, I don't have solutions. Sorry.

        The only thing I can do is to be honest, which seems to be in short supply politics, and may be a premium in it and of itself for those who aren't quite ready to accept the reality as you are.

        At the end of the day this isn't about third parties, the Democratic Partie or Republicans. Its about whether or not one really gets what's going on, and what kind of radical change is necessary to shift the trajectory.

        I see a lot of nostalgia and/or delusion on this site- and that more than anything says to me that a lot  people aren't even ready to admit where we are right now. So, I do the smallest thing i can do- I tell foclks what I am seeing. Like you, that's all the time I got since i got my own problems to deal with.

        •  Welcome! (0+ / 0-)

          It's fun to hear when people stopped buying the product.

          If you had asked me even as late as 2008..

          How far to the right do the Dems have to move before you stop calling them Dems?

          by Diebold Hacker on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 08:56:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well until 2008, one could say (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Odysseus, mightymouse

            on foreign policy that the parties had jumped the shark with Iraq, but on the domestic economic policies, there was an argument to be made, even if it was a strained one, that the two parties were not taking us over a cliff because 2008 had not happened yet. But after 2008, the excuses went out the window. It was as clear an example of market failure and the instability of capitalism, as it is practiced in the west, that one was going to get barring complete collapse. And yet, still it was seen as a chance to continue the same policies as before (e.g., as I mentioned the Vocker rule pushed as "reform" is turning out to have been structured by the neoliberals to fail through the process of regulatory capture so that no one notices the  effect of the policy makers until its too late).

        •  Well, the Rs have changed their party thanks (2+ / 0-)

          partially to the Tea Party. It's been going this way for years, but now the TP has put and exclamation point on the whole direction.

          Not so the Ds. When it was tried to shift left in the late 60s and 70s we got crushed. We did not lay the ground work like the Rs have done over the past 50 years.

          They began when Goldwater got crushed slowly building their rightward move.

          We want everything right now. The world doesn't work like that. People can't be whiplashed.

          Progressives will win when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

          by auapplemac on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 12:06:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't know who this "we" is you are talking abou (0+ / 0-)

            I am on record as not giving a fuck about 2012 or any other election cycle because I don't think any of it matters until we are willing to lose in the short term to build a long term movement.

            WHich means- I don't care about Obama, Pelosi or any of the present leadership because I see them as a part of the problem rather than a reflecton of the solution. It doesn't mean I want to lose. It is just the reality that this whole crop of Democrats are a product of Reaganism, and they are all quite comfortable with the status quo.

            I am on record as saying activist should be primarying even so-called liberal/progressive Congressional Districts because if you want to create a movement, you take out the most liberal and replace them with even more liberal candidates, and you move even further to the left, including punishing those who voted with the President on conservative bills. That's how you promote movement discipline. Not by making excuses for those liberals who stray becuase these people are the line in the sand for us. They are there to prevent the right ward lurch in the short term by being uncompromising.

            So, I am not "we." I don't think 2012, 2014, 2016 or any of other scare tactics matter. I am thinking of th elong haul. Winning the battle to lose the war is not my goal anymore. That's the goal of the Front page of this site and the vast, vast bulk of the people who either support the President or are on the recommend list for some other reason such the moment. Are you talking about them? because to me- that's an American public thing. We are taught to think in the short term from the way our media cycle and educational system works. We are taught to think the short term as consumers-instant gratification.

            As you said- it took decades for us to get into this mess, and it will take time, that we likely don't have by the way, to get out of it, but that there is likely no other way.

            Saying that does not excuse the present bad actors in the Democratic leadership. It says that they need to be understood as lost causes that are at best in the way.

    •  People vote flip (0+ / 0-)

      because this is a democracy with two parties, that each win 50% of all elections in the long run. There is no magic way for the Democrats to stay in power forever.

      One day, maybe in 2012, maybe in 2016, maybe in 2020, who knows, but one day, Republicans will have full power. It is sadly inevitable.

      People panic too much on this site.

      by thematt523 on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 08:21:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If your comment had anything to do (0+ / 0-)

        with what I was saying, I might actually bother to respond. As it is, its just rationalization that I could dismantle, but frankly am not going to because it would imply you had kept on point as to what I said in my post, which you didn't. I think its important if to respond to what someone is actually saying to you. That's the fair thing to do. I am not discussing party identity. I am discussing whether that branding has anything whatsoever to do with policy anymore. If you think it does, all power to you. I think its just collective delusion and passivity.

        •  That's assuming we have the same 2 parties (0+ / 0-)

          which is not guaranteed. The Democratic Party has been more-or-less a constant ever since coalescing in opposition to the Federalist Party (they were originally "Anti-Federalists"), though they have switched back and forth between being the party of the people and the party of the elites.

          The Republican Party, on the other hand, is the third major opposition party to emerge in US history, and its continuance is not guaranteed. They are firmly and deeply branded as the party of the elites and have made very little effort, ever, to change this. Under the right conditions they could go the same way as the Federalists and the Whigs.

          If it's
          Not your body
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          AND it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 06:00:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Who Votes Causes the Flip (0+ / 0-)

      I agree we are likely to keep flipping from one side to the other because elections are determined by who chooses to vote. Everybody is unhappy, but how that unhappiness is expressed depends on whether or not the party you favor is currently in power. If their party is out of power then many Americans express their unhappiness by coming out to vote for their preferred party. If the party they voted for is in power they express their unhappiness by staying home.

      This is the central dynamic. Poll after poll has shown that there hardly any people who are actually flipping their votes between the two parties. It is not about convincing people to vote for a specific party but about convincing people who favor your party to actually come out and vote. The electorate is not changing their mind about which party they prefer but whether they feel it is worth voting at all.

      With the Democrats controlling the Presidency and the Senate and the Republicans the House, it is hard to predicate who the electorate is going to consider to be in control. Under normal circumstances it would clearly be the Democrats. If the Republicans had just let the Democrats do what they wanted and whined about it they would be shoe-ins. However the Republicans have done such a stellar job at placing themselves front and center at every turn, even to the point of nearly causing a default by turning a routine vote to raise the debt ceiling into a political showdown, I think they may very well have convinced typical voters that they are the ones in charge and and so deserve to be kicked out of office this time around.

      •  Missing the point (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse, Diebold Hacker, Odysseus

        The polls reflect what is being offered. not what could be offered. That's like dropping into 1970s USSR to say what people really thought of the system. Its a misirection. The polls reflect the disconnect between party identity rhectoric and policy positions. Many confuse the two. This site certainly does its part to ensure the confusion.

        To illustrate what i mean, this article by Glenn Greenwald sums it up and a comic strip:

        The comic strip first

        See in the stirp they don't confuse rhetoric for substance. And because the American public feels the pain of the policies of both policies, they don't either. Not being sophisticated, or perhaps, because of all the stress passivity is easier, they vote the two choices they are presented. That does not mean their voting has anything to do with their beliefs. The system guarantees in fact hat it doesn't.

        You can keep pointing me to the irrelevant polls, but I am not longer interested in the shell game. That's all the polls are about, the shell game.

        What I would like to see in polling is the following- asking voters first what they believe in, then identifying whether the politician or the party they believe in represents that interest.

        When that's asked- the outcomes aren't 50/50.

  •  It is all about Jobs, Jobs, Jobs (4+ / 0-)

    Obama has finally gotten the message, but the Cons still think that voters want to reduce the deficit with spending cuts.

    If the Cons defeat Obama's jobs bill, they simply hand him the election on a silver platter.  Obama knows this and therefore he doesn't want a "deal" with the GOP on the jobs bill.  He would be just as happy if they defeat it completely so he can blame them during the 2012 campaign.

    Obama is already in full force campaign mode and will be through the election.  If the Cons don't "get religion" and pass a jobs bill, they are dead because Obama is not going to help them out with any "Grand Bargains" now.

    •  I'd so like to believe this, but it seems (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      auapplemac, mightymouse, irmaly

      too simplistic.

      I bet most people don't even really understand Obama's job plan and read conservative commentary on it (negative on it) over most the nation.

      Here in Orange County, that's all that's really available given the LA Times circulation doesn't begin to touch the Libertarian Orange County Register.

      It is important to remember that most people really don't make up their own minds let alone do they do their own research.

      That is why rags are so important and why Fox is so freaking dastardly.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

      by cany on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 09:05:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't Discount Obama's Campaign Ability (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Nobody does it better, and certainly not Romney or Perry.  Repubs are running scared that they will be blamed if no jobs bill passes, which it probably won't.  Obama can ride that horse right back into the White House.

        •  I don't doubt his campaign ability. (0+ / 0-)

          But I am concerned about anger and the low info voter blocking it.

          I hope your assumptions are correct and I hope he kicks the living shit out of those bastards.  Figuratively, of course.

          202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

          by cany on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 07:04:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Throw The Bums Out..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Truer words were never spoken, especially now.  The Blue Dogs were severely hit in 2010.  They had 54 in their caucus.  After the election they lost more than 50% & have now been whittled down to 26 yapping Dogs.

    People voted for the real Republicans, rather than the semi-Democratic Blue Dogs.  Hasta La Vista, Baby.

    The Blue Dogs have reason to worry.  They may not be as pivotal as they think after November, 2012.

  •  They need to start NOW (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We need to start running pre-emptive ads against everything they could throw at us. FIRST and foremost we need to start running ads about how the repubicans want to cut SS and Medicare....BEFORE they do it to us. NOW. And we don't let up until November2012.

  •  Democract candidates need to be more democrat (5+ / 0-)

    The main lesson the DNC and Obama as the top of the party ticket should have learned from 2010 midterms is this:

    Democratic candidates need to be MORE democrat and less repbulican-lite.

    Thanks to the half stepping and "compromise" policy stances in 2008 and 2009, a vast segment of the Democratic electorate stayed home in 2010.

    Exit polls of that election are not surprising to show 52% unfavorable.  These are the hard core, true blue democratic voters who turned out anyway and held their noses and voted.  

    Obama's recent stumping for a reasonable, democratic approach to tax policty is a huge step in the right direction.  His speech at the birdge in Ohio is EXACTLY was is needed more of - in quadruplicate!

    The Elizabeth Warren video where she clearly says what every Democrat knows - the rich are rich because of everyone in society and the common good provided by government.  Roads, schools, health, security, research, vision - all are major community values supported by REAL democratic policy.

    Continuing to talk about policy in the framework of neo-con corporatism - abolish entitlement programs increase tax cuts, downsizing services - is absolutely certain to increase the UNFAVORABLE numbers for Democratic candidates with the Democractic electorate.


    That is the way to get voter turnout, high approval and elected office.

    •  No (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the only way is a recovering economy. It is idiotic to assume that Obama will instantly become more popular if he does what YOU want.

      People panic too much on this site.

      by thematt523 on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 08:19:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  its not what HE wants (0+ / 0-)

        Its what a significant portion of the party wants.  and watch your mouth.  There was no call to call his view idiotic.  

      •  So, Obama wins if he keeps on with the neolib (0+ / 0-)


        One might consider it idiotic to assume that the same bullshit neolib policies from the last several decades will eventually work.

        Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
        Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

        by The Dead Man on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 04:53:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The road to recovering economy (0+ / 0-)

        runs straight through "INVEST IN THE PEOPLE AND THE COUNTRY".

        Corporations have clearly shown they are not going to be the "job creators".  They are sitting on record amounts of capital and continue to off-shore operations.  Which is a classic vicious cycle - off shore jobs, lay off middle class, increase domestic unemployment, decrease domestic demand, decrease domestic investment for expansion, and back around.

        In the current economic climate of spiralling negative conditions, the government should and must step in and get people working by investing in the infrastructure and our future.

        Roads, Bridges, High Speed networking, transportation, education, etc. major spending in these areas will result in an economic recovery.

        Taking a clear stand for that positive, direct action policy will motivate the deomcratic base, it will motivate high voter turnout, and it will make a huge difference in November 2012.

    •  The problem is (5+ / 0-)

      You are taking our elected Democrats on good faith. I no longer believe this, and I am a registered Dem and have only voted Dem for my entire voting life. I wouldn't vote R. But I no longer believe the Dems are good faith actors, or earnestly need to finally get with our program. That's just never going to work with them.

  •  Y/N? thoughts? BUSHCO stil in charge? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think BUSHCO is in charge of teh GOP > same as I think the CLINTONISTAS they are and are in the "shadows" all over the place. I think they still will "save the day" and "rescue their "beloved GOP" from all these HACKS...serious...I think the GOP ticket is still WAY IN PLAY....all the way to the convention...Y/ me crazy...there are so many x-BUSH, x-BUSH SR, x-REAGAN all over the place and most still I think THINK they are in charge...they will not let a repeat of 2008 happen...

    My 2 cents....

    oh and nice little shake-quake just now 8:08pm p.s.t. in East Oakland (whoo HOO) I'll be back for any comments > heading to USGS for the moment...

    DEMOCRAT PARTY ELECTED CLASS - got/get your message loud and clear > "Progressives not welcome here". Faithful DEM no more. My Time, Energy, and Money$ best spent 2 ya...

    by AustinSF on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 08:09:51 PM PDT

    •  3.5 near SL/CV/EOAK (0+ / 0-)


          Monday, September 26, 2011 at 03:08:09 UTC
          Sunday, September 25, 2011 at 08:08:09 PM at epicenter

      Location    37.755°N, 122.140°W
      Depth    9 km (5.6 miles)

          5 km (3 miles) NNE (13°) from San Leandro, CA
          8 km (5 miles) NW (317°) from Castro Valley, CA
          9 km (6 miles) ESE (120°) from Oakland, CA

      DEMOCRAT PARTY ELECTED CLASS - got/get your message loud and clear > "Progressives not welcome here". Faithful DEM no more. My Time, Energy, and Money$ best spent 2 ya...

      by AustinSF on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 08:18:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting, but when was the last time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    historically that this sort of outcome (a party losing the Presidency while also taking over the House from the opposition party of the new President elect) actually occurred?

    •  In 2000 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bythesea, Odysseus, auapplemac

      the Dems took the Senate but lost the White House (though they won  the popular vote).

      In 1916 the emocrats lost a majority of the House but kept control by cutting deals with a third party (Wilson won the Presidency).

      In 1888 Cleveland won more votes that Harrison, but lost because of the electoral vote.  Harrison's Party took control of the House despite the fact that he received fewer popular votes.  Interestingly the election of 1888 was fought over the issue of tarrifs and the need to protect US manufacturing.

      The only real instance I can see of what Steve is suggesting is the election of 1848.  In that election no one party had a majority in the House.  As Wikipedia notes:

      The Mexican–American War, which ended with an American victory several months before the election, was a big factor in the election. Zachary Taylor, a general in the war, was elected president as a Whig, but the Democrats, who instigated the war, were rewarded for their victory by regaining their House majority. The fiercely abolitionist Free Soil Party was a huge spoiler in this election, earning 9 seats in districts that generally supported Whig politicians.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 09:35:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Let's face it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The Senate and House are tied to Obama's prospects.

      "Whenever a fellow tells me he's bipartisan, I know he's going to vote against me."-- Harry S. Truman

      by irmaly on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 06:33:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is not (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AustinSF, v2aggie2, Odysseus

    a big surprise.

    The whole Bloomberg thing is linked to the rest - the bad numbers of the Democratic party, the surprisingly good numbers of the Republicans and all the rest are in many ways (no, not all) due to the manipulation of the media.  They make the GOP look better than they are, the Dems even more ineffectual than they are, and Bloomberg competent.  And none of these are true, as we all know here at DKos.

    The media makes every GOP candidate (except Ron Paul) look at least marginally competent, and generally cheer-leads for them all.

    The media never mentions the things the Democrats are doing right.

    The media plays the whole Wall Street debacle as either business as usual, minor aberrations, or somehow the fault of the President.

    The media treats Dominionism as a non-story.  Same for the Wall Street Protests.

    And those who own the media are ... dominionists, republicans, wall street, big business... all of the same crowd.  Bloomberg.

    The web is our best tool to fight this.  But we can't be lazy about it.

    When it comes to the "direction" graphs, where do you stand?  I do not have much hope in the direction of the country because I see a good chance of the GOP gaining more control.  How about you?  And what can we do about it?

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 08:12:25 PM PDT

  •  Deep crisis of legitimacy (11+ / 0-)

    While the economy may be the proximate cause for voter anger, I believe there are deeper issues that are related to the economy but .   I think many in 2008 finally and collectively reached the conclusion that the  policies of the past decade or three decades had been exposed as ruinous and fraudulent, and that it was time for fundamental change.   While not every voter could enunciate what, exactly, was wrong, there was enough of a powerful and underlying sense that we had to turn away from the past.

    Then, we saw the government print up trillions of dollars to pay off the bonuses of people who were making more in a year than most people in a whole lifetime of work, the same people who had crashed the economy and made bank at the same time. The Fed, Obama and Congress, chose to enable yet another  round of looting by the banksters, one more round of engorging corporate profits at the expense of the public, and then have colossal and incredible gall to claim that the public must bear the brunt of austerity!

    This is the cancer that lies at the heart of American body politic, a sense of lawlessness and anarchy at the highest levels of government and industry (and the national security state, but that is for another diary.)   The anger that is out there and cannot be measured by polls.  Since this rage cannot be vented through the dysfunctional political system, it is being channeled in strange and unpredictable ways.  Many might have eventually, grudgingly accepted it, if it had truly rescued the economy.  People were and are able to give Obama a lot of slack on the economy, since they assess that he did not cause the collapse.

    But when the economy goes back into recession without employment and income ever having recovered, it will be hard to predict what might happen.

    •  Wow. Nice! (0+ / 0-)

      How far to the right do the Dems have to move before you stop calling them Dems?

      by Diebold Hacker on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 09:17:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bottom Line (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, andrewj54, mightymouse, irmaly

      My view is that the effects of globalization are effectively enforcing a wage cut on everyone not in the top 10% of the country.

      Neither party is discussing the issue - even though most people sense that free trade is hollowing out the country.  Polls before the state of the union showed great unease with the rise of China and the sense of American decline.

      Neither party is addressing that sense of decline.

      Obama is better than the GOP by miles - but is a free trader.  As long as companies can offshore with inpunity and in so doing render unions toothless, the decline of the middle class will continue.

      Unfortunately, often in times of scarcity people move right for fear that they can't afford government.  While this is a tragic misread of their interests, it is behind much of what happened in 2010.  

      It may continue in 2012.  I have argued for a primary effort against Obama because we simply have to put on the table the issue that is not being addressed.  I don't think it will win, but I also don't think it would hurt Obama much.

      You have to start somewhere.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 09:42:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Americans vote against their interests (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    v2aggie2, Devsd, cany

    over and over and over. For a generation and longer. Made easier by a dishonest corporate media and a extremely lazy, dull electorate.

    Relative to the voters in other western democracies, Americans are complete idiots.

  •  You have to know (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that the popular vote for Congress party-wise closely parallels the popular vote for the President of that party, so don't you think that makes this outcome unlikely historically speaking?  Turnout may be depressed, but how many will really vote for Democrats for Congress while voting for the Republican nominee for POTUS?  Sure it's conceivable, but hardly seems likely given how polarized this country is politically.  If people are that discouraged I think it likely that they don't bother to vote, rather than splitting their votes this way.   If I had to put money down it would be on either POTUS pulls off reelection and picks up/makes gains in the House, or the GOP takes it all.

  •  Obama screwed-the-pooch on jobs and it will ... (3+ / 3-)
    Recommended by:
    sorval, TheUnknown285, The Dead Man
    Hidden by:
    andrewj54, zizi, bryduck

    come back to bite him. His being Wall Streets' buttboy while not doing much for Main Street is the cause of most of the Democrat problems.

  •  I will never be that angry (0+ / 0-)
  •  in an anti-incumbent year (0+ / 0-)

    the party with the majority suffers most since they obviously have more incumbents.

    that bodes well for a possibility of taking back the House.

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    I am a volunteer for Bob Massie for MA-Sen

    by TrueBlueMajority on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 08:41:12 PM PDT

  •  Well Let's Not Make Today the Day We Begin to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, irmaly

    listen to those who have been correct about the rightwing FOR HALF A FUCKING CENTURY.

    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 Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 08:52:48 PM PDT

  •  I'm more or less resigned to the fact that Obama (0+ / 0-)

    is toast.

    The jobs speech was too little too late and most people have by now tuned him out.

    I'll still do my best to help him but it's not looking good.

    Divide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one. ::Goethe::

    by Jeremy10036 on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 08:53:35 PM PDT

  •  Reality often gives me a headache. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But this potential reality gave me a migraine.

    If it is true that a low information voter is likely to be reactive (not the terms used above, but gee, isn't that the case?) then we are in trouble.  I barely know anyone that keeps up with things.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them.

    by cany on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 08:54:21 PM PDT

  •  I'd feel happier about Democratic chances IF (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Republicans hadn't been working so hard to discourage likely Democratic voters.

    And, the Republicans hadn't been working the media machine so hard to blame the Democrats for everything going so badly.

    And, most of the issues hadn't been framed to promote Republican talking points.

    Obama's made a change in the message he's putting out, but the rest of the Democratic party is still in a holding pattern. So long as the Democrats are just reacting, they'll still end up dancing to the GOP tune - and so will the voters..

    The Republicans got the boot in 2008 because by that point they couldn't hide from the voters on their record. As bad as things are now, that's not quite the problem for them that it was.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 09:01:41 PM PDT

  •  Money makes the world go crazy (0+ / 0-)

    Obama's in Seattle today for a $38,500 per couple with 100 attending.  

    I think if the Democratic Party makes this a race to regain the House & dump Boehner Obama will get re-elected and with a Dem House maybe learn that we expect change now not later like we're getting.

    Bloomberg is toast after what's taking place with Wall Street Protests.  This is the most significant event I've seen since Wisconsin Recall Efforts and shows a growing movement is addressing real issues that will effect positive change.

    •  And sharing will make the world sane (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      After Seattle, Obama is heading down to Los Angeles and La Jolla for more of the same type money raising.  Do not know if he is meeting with any little people.

      "President Barack Obama will raise cash and attempt to re-energize supporters when he discusses his jobs plan this week during a West Coast visit that includes fundraisers in Los Angeles.
      His three-day trip, which began Sunday, includes a stop in Los Angeles. He will attend two fundraisers Sunday in Seattle and San Francisco before traveling Monday to San Diego and Los Angeles, where he plans to attend two more fundraisers."
      - Source: President to Talk Jobs on West Coast Trip | NBC San Diego

      "Money is not the priority; sufficiency is the priority. When sufficiency becomes the priority, it orders society in a different way, creating stability. In this regard, sharing is both a moral value and a method of implementation.
      This will create a more peaceful atmosphere, in which people will not struggle to make millions. They will fulfill their duties, care for their families, and children will be able to evolve."
      - World Teacher Maitreya through an associate

  •  I think the key factor is whether (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats feel like the election is important enough to show up.  Lack of Democratic intensity is what led to the GOP victories in 2010.  In 2012, I think most Democrats and Dem-leaners will be very worried by the prospect of the GOP taking full control of government.  A strategy that focuses on the Dem base can give them the  best chance of victory, especially on issues where the base's view intersects with that of indie voters or low info voters.  That's why we've seen some of the welcome changes in Obama's rhetoric on the stump.

    Alternative rock with something to say:

    by khyber900 on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 09:29:06 PM PDT

  •  Very little tolerance for this type of analysis (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    v2aggie2, Egalitare, Cornelius

    I respect the wonkiness here.  I understand some people thrive on it.  Yet, we are approaching an election where a extreme right-wing hoard financed primarily by flat-earthers and religious zealots is attempting to secure complete control of our government and alter life as we know it in this country.  All of our efforts, in every regard, should be dedicated to defeating these fanatics.  At this time, I care little about about this type of general prognostication and pre-election analysis.  

    Trust-Fund Kids of America Unite... save the Bush tax cuts!

    by JCPOK on Sun Sep 25, 2011 at 09:31:45 PM PDT

  •  Romney is ONLY POTUS chance for GOP (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NyteByrd1954, ukit

    Voters won't elect obviously extreme candidate for President.

    They assign more weight to that job than a local congress person.

    If anyone but Romney is the nom then it will be far easier for the President to win in 2012.

  •  My Advice to 3rd Party Advocates (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If you think America needs a third party candidate next year and you are a conservative who thinks this year's field are too soft so it's time to go for broke, then I'm with you. Woo hoo! I promise I will vote for your candidate in the CA presidential primary next June.

    But if you are a progressive that thinks we need a new party to represent our priorities-- see you in the 23rd century, after we cure old age and death. I'll be with you then. Sucker.

  •  Un-re-electable (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Democratic Party faces not only an enormous competitive challenge from without it faces major obstacles to electoral success from within.

    As the reality of the numbers and district-by-district threats to incumbent Dems becomes clear, "down-ticket" Dems will begin to run away from (even against) the President.  Facing an electoral war on 4 fronts - GOP Presidential opponent, GOP Congressional candidates, Dems seeking re-election (all levels) and liquidity abundant "Citizens United" funders fueling the right - Obama/Plouffe/Axelrod will further impair the electoral chances of "down-ticket" campaigns by vacuuming-up all easily "picked" and hard-to-get donor conduits effectively driving the cost of Democrats' campaign capital to levels that will hamstring too many of them.

    When the calendar turns to October 2011, that crucial 4/5 weeks before election day, "headline" unemployment will be at or above today's rate.  As bad as that number is, it pales in comparison to the ~30,000,000 working age Americans who will be un- or under-employed on election day.  Add to that the increasing likelihood of a repeat of the "debt ceiling" fiasco in the same timeframe.

    There's still time to primary Obama and nominate an electable candidate for the generals.  Short of that, 2012 looks to be an unmitigated disaster for left-politics.

    $1 billion is a terrible sum to waste on a loss.

    •  I just wish he'd step down (0+ / 0-)

      It makes me sick but I don't see any other way out of this thing. If we could run a "new" candidate, someone not associated with Washington and the bad economy, I am beginning to believe the voters, who are not enamored of the Republicans, would jump on our ship. I also believe it would help us hold the Senate and take the House or at least get back some seats.

      The country is at stake on this one. I am fearful at this point of a complete takeover by the Republicans.

      "Whenever a fellow tells me he's bipartisan, I know he's going to vote against me."-- Harry S. Truman

      by irmaly on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 06:49:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Senate's a Goner, White House Too (0+ / 0-)

        Given the campaign funding "needs" of the President and the class of Senators up for re-election, there will be a vicious battle within the Democratic Party over fund raising and - more importantly - funds allocation.  Unions, for one, have already deduced the heightened importance of funding and are acting upon it.  Apparently, repeat "small sum" donors have arrived at a similar conclusion - so suggests of an analysis of "small sum" donors by the NYTimes.

        Looking over the field of Senate races, the Democrats face a challenge that is equal to that of retaining White House - if not harder.  There are 25 Dem seat in play (incl'd Sanders and Lieberman) where the GOP has only 10 - of which only 2 are truly "competitive".  I believe it's an axiomatic truth that races in VA, CT, MA, CA, OH, WA, NE, MO, MT, WI, FL, NJ, PA will be competitive and massively expensive.  Among those, the fact that DiFi's broke, the victim of apparent embezzlement, and the potential of a Warren/Brown show-down in MA (both among the most expensive ad buy markets) brings into sharp relief the the newly defined role for money in this first Presidential cycle of the post-CU era.

        In parallel, the political landscape and mood of the electorate bodes disastrous for incumbents - especially those whose needs are great and whose time is finite.

  •  When you only have two parties and the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Dead Man, mightymouse, irmaly

    hero you just elected lets you down, you vote for the goat.   That is what they did in 2010 and will do again in 2012 if Obama doesn't nail the banks, shut up about cutting Medicare and Social Security, and raises taxes on corporations and the rich.

    Yes we can, but he won't.

    by dkmich on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 02:08:57 AM PDT

  •  It's not going to make a difference (0+ / 0-)

    The GOP is making sure to they rig the elections from every corner. Electronic voting machines owned by conservative-leaning companies with no paper trail, strict voter ID laws and the abolition of voting activism (groups helping people register to vote, for example), rearranging districts to favor the GOP, and on and on. The GOP will ultimately have the elections decided and locked-in by next Spring.

  •  Unpredictable? (0+ / 0-)

    "The moral of the story: an angry electorate does not behave predictably."

    But you said PPP predicted it.

    a republican president and a democratic house with even democratic senate does not bode well for America.  Look what happened the last time.  Democrats go all bipartisany and keep their powder dry.  

  •  Problem is that a majority of Americans (0+ / 0-)

    are ignorant and incredibly unsophisticated in their understanding American politics and government and they vote stupidly.

  •  An interesting note about the disapproval (0+ / 0-)

    numbers re: re-election.

    It's a testament to the stranglehold the two party system has when a majority disapprove of both of them, yet still one (or the other) is consistently returned to majority power status.

    This is the reason I continue to believe that people who criticize, but still promise to vote (or, worse, work) for a candidate are part of that problem. Criticism without a credible threat behind it is meaningless.

    •  but every one criticizes for a different reason (0+ / 0-)

      so your way would nee 500 parties like in Iraq.

      I hope you don't deal with your kids like that.

      Oh and this: Most people do not react well to threats. They tend to ignore you after threats or act defensively.  It is definitely not a good negotiating method.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 04:33:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Crticism of politicians in an attempt to persuade (0+ / 0-)

        them to one's point of view is only so much rhetoric unless one can credibly convince the politician that his (re-)election chances will be diminished by a non-trivial amount if the politician doesn't change his behavior.

        One requirement to have such credibility is to be able to demonstrate that one's vote, one's money and one's volunteer time isn't something the politician can take for granted. Promising one's vote, money, or time no matter what, while offering crticism, isn't going to cause the politician to do anything (except maybe laugh at the person doing the criticising--off record, of course).

        That's what I meant.

        And I'm not sure you get where I've advocated for any particular way or other, and most especially that I'm interested in having '500 parties like in Iraq.' The comment about my kids seems irrelevant and non-responsive.

    •  Anyone remember the Simpson's episode? (0+ / 0-)

      It would have been the Halloween 1996 episode- two aliens determined to take over the earth kidnapped Dole and Clinton and took their places- the aliens and their plan were revealed before Election Day, but they just laughed and said "It doesn't matter, it's a two party system, you have to vote for one of us".  Someone shouted out,"we'll vote for a 3rd party candidate", but the aliens just lauged and said, go ahead, throw away your vote.

      The aliens won.

      The best pizza comes from New York.

      by JakeC on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 10:01:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ask this Question in the next DK poll (0+ / 0-)

    The Republicans to over the house in 2011. Since then do you think the country has been doing better, doing worse, or staying about the same.

    Perhaps another Q like  Since the Republicans took over the house in 2011 has the country been on the right track, wrong track or ?

    We need to break up the monolithic disapproval stats.

    I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

    by samddobermann on Mon Sep 26, 2011 at 04:27:43 AM PDT

  •  Turnout Differences (0+ / 0-)

    I don't see any mention of this anywhere.  2008 was a Presidential year with  a record turnout.  2010 was an off year election with about 42% turnout overall.  Lots of people only vote in Presidential elections.  That could skew the results, only I'm not sure how that will play out next year.

  •  highly unlikely that both the presidency and house (0+ / 0-)

    ...will switch party control.  Is there even a precedent for an incumbant losing the presidency while his party wins back control of the House from the other party?  This just seems too nuanced to me to be even remotely possible; the president and his party are more intertwined than that.

    What is possible is that the president loses and the Democratic Party makes a gain of around a dozen seats.  If the president wins, the Democrats might have a chance to win the house, but I would not count on it.

    I agree that the Senate is going to be controlled by the Republicans after 2012- we can only vaguely hope that they will learn how to use the 60 vote cloture rule- however, I fully expect that the Republican Senate will change those rules and they will be left with having to using a real filibuster.

  •  Palin will run as a third party (0+ / 0-)

    I really think that is what she has intended. She has the fundraising apparatus to do it.
    I am not saying she will run to win, but there is a tremendous profit motive for her to run, even if she loses. She can go write a book or go on speaking tours about how she was the first major female Third Party candidate for The Presidency.
    This woman loves money, and running for President can make her a lot of it after all is said and done. Especially if she manages to win a crazy state or two, which would be a serious possibility with Romney as The GOP candidate.
    Otherwise a Romney/Obama matchup can lead to some very interesting state flips. For example I think Romney could give Obama a hard time in certain rustbelt & northeast states (PA, IA, etc.)
    Yet Obama might be able to take some Southern, Southwest states from Romney (AZ, GA, etc.)
    Regardless of whether it's distasteful, the Mormon card hasn't been played yet and it will. If not by The Republicans, then I imagine subversively by The Democrats (and I expect them too.)

  •  Glummest diary and thread i can remember. (0+ / 0-)

    Too much of it rings true. Further discussion needed.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site