Tuesday, August 10, 2010

American Crossroads Poll: Battleground study reveals Senate could be in play

Those who listened to Karl Rove's debut as radio host yesterday on Rush were likely to have heard him mention the results of this Public Opinion Strategies poll conducted for American Crossroads. The poll was conducted using a similar structure and methodology as the June Public Opinion Strategies poll conducted for NPR radio.  Much like the June poll, this study lets the air out of the tires of the Hope and Change Express.  Moreover, voters appears to be poised to take the keys from Democrats in both the House and the Senate. Key findings of the study conducted in 13 battleground states including; Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri,New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington:
  • Independents are voting Republican by 47%-25% across the Battleground states.
  • In the four states John McCain won in 2008, the GOPer leads 46%-36%. In the nine states Barack Obama won, the GOPer still leads 47%-40%, including 50%-38% in the five states Obama won with less than 55%, and 43%-42% in the four Obama 55%+ states.
  • There is a 21 point gender gap. Men are voting GOP 52%-33%, while womensplit 42% GOP/44% Dem.
  • As seen nearly everywhere else, the Democratic candidates face a wide enthusiasm gap. The GOPer leads 52%-36% among high interest voters (rating their interest as 8-10 on a 1-10 scale, which is 74% of the sample).
Testing potential messages likely to be argued by each party, the study shows voters unlikely to buy the Blame Bush strategy Democrats have adopted since taking control of all three branches of government:
53% President Obama’s economic policies have run up a record federal deficit while failing to
end the recession or slow the record pace of job losses.


43% President Obama’s economic policies helped avert an even worse crisis, and are laying
the foundation for our eventual economic recovery.
Although when given a choice to assign blame for the economy likely voters will choose to blame Bush by a 19 point margin, voters are still more likely to reject the Democratic argument that Obama's economic policies  are steering the economy out of the ditch.  In short, voters are not all that impressed with Obama's driving skills to say the least.

Politico summarizes the big picture that may include voters mad enough to take the keys away from the Democratic House and Senate:
To American Crossroads, however, the point of the poll is the big picture: the voters who will ultimately decide the fate of the Senate campaign are mad as hell, and seem unlikely to take it anymore.

There’s a sense that while the Democratic House might be in danger, a Democratic Senate is somehow safe – but the findings here really contradict that conventional wisdom,” American Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio said. “Each of the last seven times the House changed power since 1932, the Senate fell in the same year, and there’s abundant evidence here that history will continue to repeat itself.”

That’s a possibility MSNBC’s Chuck Todd floated in late July. Asked for his prediction for the fall campaign, Todd said he’s inclined to believe “Republicans win them both or they don't win either. They win both the house and the Senate, this thing goes to 45, 50 seats and 10 in the Senate, or neither one happen.”
Dick Morris has been predicting Democrats lose the Senate for some time now based on the size of the wave of anger voters feel towards Democratic leadership.  While this may be true historically, there is still good reason to believe that this election may be an exception.  For one, there are fewer Senate seats on the ballot and Republicans would need to run the table to take the Senate.  The potential is there though as Politico points out:
In eight seats currently held by Democrats – Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Washington – Republican candidates average an edge of seven points over their Democratic opponents, leading 47 percent to 40 percent.

In five Republican-held seats – Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, New Hampshire and Ohio – GOP candidates hold an average lead of eight points, 45 percent to 37 percent.
The pollster Glen Bolger elaborates:
“Individual races may turn out okay, but the overall wave is as strong against [Democrats] as it is against Democrats in the House.”

“You’ve got independents voting Republican, two to one, just like McDonnell, Brown and Christie had,” Bolger said, referring to the 2009 victories of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and the 2010 special election win of Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown. “You have the high-interest voters much more supportive of Republicans than the overall electorate, even.”
The latest Gallup poll has Republicans leading Democrats in the Congressional Ballot by 6 points which seems to support the notion there is big wave brewing against Democrats.  As noted however, individual elections could save a Democratic seat in the Senate but that would buck the tide riding against Democrats in general.  There is much work to be done and a political lifetime between now and November.  Conditions could change in ways we can't predict.  For now, it appears voters want the keys out of the hands of Democrats.  "I'm just saying that is not a coincidence."


  1. This just keeps getting better- some now speculate that Obama's ceding the Hill to the GOP as his one best hope to re-election, sharing some of the blame and creating the appearance of moderation from the WH

    He sure doesn't seem to be fielding a viable defense... at all

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  3. It is really his only hope for re-election. I am not sure he really believes that, I think he is living in a fantasy world frankly. I think what is fascinating is the literal implosion of this presidency in record time. People just don't believe in him, no one in that inner sanctum of his will tell him this. He will spend the next two years campaigning and railing against Republicans. This is doom for his presidency IMO.


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