The Numbers Are Looking Good For Republicans

 

Some encouraging news for Republicans from the newest Gallup poll:

Republicans lead by 51% to 41% among registered voters in Gallup weekly tracking of 2010 congressional voting preferences. The 10-percentage-point lead is the GOP’s largest so far this year and is its largest in Gallup’s history of tracking the midterm generic ballot for Congress.

Gallup’s poll comes on the heels of last week’s Rasmussen poll showing that voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats on all ten key issues.

The million dollar question: will pro-GOP sentiment reach its crescendo too early, or will the numbers continue to improve leading into November?

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  1. Profile Photo Member
    @

    Please let us note that the “social issues” appear nowhere among Rasmussen’s top ten.

    Ever since the Clinton era, I’ve noted that Democrats pretty consistently scored better than Republicans when pollsters asked who voters trusted to manage the economy. That made no sense to me.

    Finally, I concluded that the Democrats – and the social conservatives – had done such a great job of baiting Republican politicians into being breast-beating culture warriors that they rarely had time to talk about the economy.

    And it was convenient to be a culture warrior. Explaining economics is hard – and boring. But, by God, Protecting Traditional Marriage! is just three words and an exclamation point. Matters not that there’s not a darn thing a Senator or Congressman can do about it – it brings out the base, come primary season.

    So voters, hearing little but abortion/gay marriage/stem cells from the GOP, apparently assumed they hadn’t an economic clue, while the Dems had one – hare-brained though it might be.

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  2. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MelFoil

    One thing that could happen is, the Left could figure out how to competently infiltrate and sabotage conservative events. It’s something to keep an eye on, because if something ugly happens, the media are going to want to say it’s not fake, it’s genuine.

    Crash course: Your illustrated guide to the Tea Party saboteurs, by Michelle Malkin, 4/12/10

    http://michellemalkin.com/2010/04/12/crash-course-your-illustrated-guide-to-the-tea-party-saboteurs/

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  3. Profile Photo Contributor
    @DianeEllis

    This has always puzzled me too, Kenneth. The GOP would surely do a lot better if they focused on the issues that matter to everyone: jobs, the economy, national security. Explain the problems and challenges that we face, define the overarching principles Republicans will adhere to in addressing them, and lay out common sense solutions, all the while demonstrating the absurd, harebrained ideas of the other side. And yet, I’m always disappointed because Republicans never adhere to this simple strategy. (Maybe the GOP should hire the two of us as strategists!)

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    @MelFoil

    By not vetoing huge spending bills, President Bush thought, maybe, he was buying some congressional goodwill, but in fact he was just confusing voters about the fiscal policy differences between Republicans and Democrats. But Obama, bless his soul, has done his best to reestablish a clearer difference, and thereby helped reclaim the Republican brand.

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    @HumzaAhmad

    I’m not as afraid of the Republican Congressional crescendo ending too early as I am of Obama’s approval ratings picking up in 2011 and 2012. The Democrats can’t stay unpopular forever and Obama winning a second term in 2012 would fit the Clinton-era model with a mid-term Republican Congressional coup followed by a Democratic Presidential win. Maybe I’m looking too far into the future and worrying about outcomes that it is simply too early too make educated guesses on, but especially after a Republican rout this November, it will be difficult for Republicans to keep the public unhappy over the Democrats (including Obama), especially if the economy does not pick up significantly in the next 1-2 years.

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  6. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MatthewGilley

    I feel much better about Republicans’ electoral prospects than I do about any legislative agenda they may follow beyond November. It’s easy to be excited about reclaiming the House; it’s not so easy to get excited over the words “Speaker Boehner” (for me, at least). If things all fall into place and Republicans take the Senate, too, I can’t imagine the excitement. If that happens, however, expect to see an immediate battle between seniority (McConnell, Hatch, McCain, et al.) and movement conservatives (DeMint, Coburn, hopefully Rubio, et al.). It may shake out well but, if not, that battle could get rough. Senator DeMint in particular has been very effective this cycle recruiting viable conservative candidates. I don’t sense any desire on his part to stand on ceremony and cede control to longer-serving members, nor should he. The old guard’s somnolent ’08 performance played a big part in getting us in this mess in the first place.

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  7. Profile Photo Member
    @
    Matthew Gilley: I feel much better about Republicans’ electoral prospects than I do about any legislative agenda they may follow beyond November. It’s easy to be excited about reclaiming the House; it’s not so easy to get excited over the words “Speaker Boehner” (for me, at least). If things all fall into place and Republicans take the Senate, too, I can’t imagine the excitement. If that happens, however, expect to see an immediate battle between seniority (McConnell, Hatch, McCain, et al.) and movement conservatives (DeMint, Coburn, hopefully Rubio, et al.). It may shake out well but, if not, that battle could get rough. Senator DeMint in particular has been very effective this cycle recruiting viable conservative candidates. I don’t sense any desire on his part to stand on ceremony and cede control to longer-serving members, nor should he. The old guard’s somnolent ’08 performance played a big part in getting us in this mess in the first place. · Aug 30 at 5:29pm

    I don’t trust Boehner’s hair. Or his tan.

    I want a Speaker who has “Repeal Obamacare” tattooed on his forehead.

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  8. Profile Photo Contributor
    @DianeEllis

    Matthew Gilley: I feel much better about Republicans’ electoral prospects than I do about any legislative agenda they may follow beyond November.

    For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a fan of the San Jose Sharks. In the past decade, the Sharks have generally been one of the strongest teams during regular season, but somehow they always manage to choke during playoffs. Sadly, fans have come to expect this abysmal performance when it really counts.

    Seems as though the Republicans have a similar track record: they can win elections, but when it’s time to enact good, conservative legislation, they drop the ball. And we expect this of them. But as with any new season, we can always hope that our team will exceed expectations this time.

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  9. Profile Photo Member
    @

    Following on my earlier comment, I would speculate that the sudden ascendancy of the GOP over the Dems may be precisely because the GOP has recently learned that it really is all about financial discipline for the electorate, while the Dems, floundering, have launched an all-out culture war.

    Calling Americans bigots, Islamophobes, racists and homophobes apparently is no more popular in a time of economic uncertainty than calling your opponents baby-killers was in a time of unbridled spending.

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  10. Profile Photo Contributor
    @MatthewContinetti

    I agree with all of these observations! When we talk about the GOP peaking “too early,” though, we need to remember to take all polling with a grain of salt. Revealed preference — the election — is far more important than stated preference — the polls. The RCP average has the GOP advantage in the generic ballot at about 5 points, which is still good for the Republicans, but not quite as whopping as the Gallup number.

    The main challenge for the Republicans in 2011 will be not to over-interpret the election results, as the Democrats did in 2008. They will also have to remember that you cannot govern from Capitol Hill, as Newt Gingrich attempted in 1995. And they will have to be prepared for the possibility that Obama will shift to the center (Obama told Brian Williams on Sunday that his focus will be the deficit, debt, and the economy in 2011/2012).

    And of course, starting November 3, the Republicans will have to start thinking of how they’ll answer Robert Redford’s famous question at the end of The Candidate: “What do I do now?”

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  11. Profile Photo Inactive
    @heathermc

    (As a foreign observer, but that never stops any foreigner, does it?) I wish the GOP DOESN’T get control of Congress. Why? I don’t think the Old Hacks have learned enough to do a good job.

    The best thing to happen would be a hammerlock of GOP power at the state level, people like that NJ guy. It would be nice to see Education, etc, devolve to the state level. Much healthier for the Union, I think.

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  12. Profile Photo Contributor
    @JamesPoulos
    Diane Ellis, Ed.

    Matthew Gilley: I feel much better about Republicans’ electoral prospects than I do about any legislative agenda they may follow beyond November.

    For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a fan of the San Jose Sharks. In the past decade, the Sharks have generally been one of the strongest teams during regular season, but somehow they always manage to choke during playoffs. Sadly, fans have come to expect this abysmal performance when it really counts.

    Seems as though the Republicans have a similar track record: they can win elections, but when it’s time to enact good, conservative legislation, they drop the ball. And we expect this of them. But as with any new season, we can always hope that our team will exceed expectations this time. · Aug 30 at 6:35pm

    The only thing worse than the cold nachos I once ate while the Sharks lost yet again to the Red Wings will be another Republican Congress sweeping in like a herd of valkyries only to suck big league wind. Previous failures can be laughed off, especially on a booze-fueled victory night celebration, but this time, the margin for error is gone.

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  13. Profile Photo Member
    @
    James Poulos, Ed.

    The only thing worse than the cold nachos I once ate while the Sharks lost yet again to the Red Wings will be another Republican Congress sweeping in like a herd of valkyries only to suck big league wind. Previous failures can be laughed off, especially on a booze-fueled victory night celebration, but this time, the margin for error is gone. · Aug 30 at 8:21pm

    Well said.

    And somehow, the thought of Boehner and McConnell leading us to the barricades does not give me great confidence.

    Sometimes I think the Left gets it right: lunatics at least bring zealotry and demonic energy to the battle.

    The GOP? We’re stuck with constipated hacks.

    • #13

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