Dem Poll: Obama Dragging Down His Own Party
One of the Democratic party's leading pollsters released a survey of 60 battleground districts today painting an ominous picture for Congressional Democrats in 2012. The poll shows Democratic House candidates faring worse than they did in the 2010 midterms, being dragged down by an unpopular president who would lose to both Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.
Pollster Stan Greenberg released the poll with some sugary spin for Democrats, downplaying the results by arguing that the president's jobs plan will improve the party's fortunes.
"This is obviously not the best moment to judge the Democrats' eventual fortunes--with fewer voters identifying as Democrats, with Democrats themselves less enthusiastic about the president, and with his overall approval rating down 7 points and losing independents in these districts," Greenberg wrote in his memo. "We do not yet know the public's reaction to the president's latest initiatives, but there is reason to believe they can help him and the Democrats here."
But the numbers - at least right now -- are ominous for Democrats, and echoed some of the takeaways from the GOP special election upset in New York City last week. Instead of an overall anti-incumbent sentiment impacting members of both parties, voters are taking more of their anger out on Democrats. When voters were asked whether they're supporting the Republican incumbent or a Democratic candidate, 50 percent preferred the Republican and just 41 percent backed the Democrat.
Voters in these districts are more supportive of Republicans than they were during the 2010 midterms, when 48 percent backed the Republican candidate and 42 percent backing the Democrat. In 2010, Republicans netted 63 House seats - their best showing since 1948.
Respondents were lukewarm about their current Republican representatives - 39 percent approved, while 33 percent disapproved, and 28 percent were undecided.