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Beware the echo chamber

Answer quickly: How will the Democrats do in the midterm elections in 2010? If your answer included words such as "devastatingly bad" or "historic failure" then you might want to check to see if you are inside an echo chamber.

Currently it is very popular on conservative blogs for people to quote some polling numbers that are quite encouraging. Today's Rasmussen daily presidential tracking poll shows Obama with a 29% strongly approve and 39% strongly disapprove, giving him an approval index rating of -10. The trend of his approval rating certainly looks bad.

obama_approval_index_october_17_2009.jpg

On Thursday this week, Fox News released a poll that said only 43% would vote to re-elect President Obama if the election were held today. When Gateway Pundit commented on this, they added an "Obama Tanks" to the headline and ended with the following.

Wait until Americans realize that the trillion dollar stimulus plan failed and that Obama and the democrats set all kinds of ugly spending records along the way.
The hits keep coming. Real Clear Politics has the congressional approval rating at a staggering -41.8, with only 25% approving. With all this negative data flowing in isn't a huge Democratic defeat in 2010 inevitable? Maybe, maybe not. You have to be careful, for two reasons.

While aggregate numbers may say one thing, individual races are always driven by the actual candidates, their histories, their personalities, and their ability to campaign. As an example, let's take a look at the U.S senate race in Pennsylvania. The Democratic primary polling shows Specter leading Sestak by 4%. This is the same Specter who switched parties in April to avoid being crushed in the Republican primary. Additional polling shows that Republican candidate Toomey leads Specter by 5% but runs even with Sestak. This race is anything but a done deal. If Specter looses the Democratic primary--and remember he's only been a Democrat for a few months--then Toomey is in for a tough fight. The picture in Pennsylvania isn't what one might expect from looking at the national trends.

The other reason for concern is what I will term the Tea Party Effect. The discontent with the Obama administration and the Democratic conference stems mainly from the complete lack of fiscal responsibility and the pushing of a socialist agenda. Republican candidates that offer an alternative to this will likely do well. Challengers that run on other issues may not. This complication is discussed in detail at the Wall Street Journal. (Hat tip: Instapundit, where it is important to note that libertarian Glenn sides with the Tea Party activists, not the Republican party.)

Do the failures of the current administration represent a fantastic opportunity for the Republican party come 2010? Absolutely. Is it a done deal? Not until the votes are counted just over a year from now. And a year in the political arena is an eternity.


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Comments (26)

What echo chamber ? I seen... (Below threshold)

What echo chamber ? I seen alot of negative quotes from liberals over the last couple of months about their chances in 2010. The polls are not echo chambers, they are the real world samples, not GOP only echo chambers. Of course the polls can turn around but given the choices the Obama Admin has made and plans on making it is hard to see how the polls can be reversed.
Yes, the GOP needs to field true conservative candidates to take advantage of this. I think Hoffman in the NY23 special election is a way to show the GOP the correct type of candidate to field. Also Rubio in Florida is another example that the GOP can be shown is the right way to go with.
Alot of work ahead, but there is a clear conservative, fiscally responsible game plan to follow vs. the hope and change nonsense that is all the Dems have to offer. The dems have no defense against it so lets keep pounding it up the middle and grinding them down plus let us play good defense against their hope and change hail mary passes down field.

NY23 holds no lessons for t... (Below threshold)
jim m:

NY23 holds no lessons for the GOP EVEN if Hoffman wins. They simply do not get it. The GOP is more interested in promoting party insiders and rewarding party seniority than it is on encouraging conservative ideas.

The GOP needs to be gutted and it needs to see that ideas and ability should trump seniority and time served. The GOP has nominated presidential candidates more frequently on the basis of "It's their turn" than actual worthiness.

The problem is that there are a lot of time servers in the party who will resist any reformation of this sort to the bitter end. For many in the party it is not about doing what's right but instead it is about advancing their careers. Until the GOP promotes merit first it will continue to be the party that failed in the last elections.

jim m has it right. <... (Below threshold)
davidt:

jim m has it right.

The way to address the GOP seniority system and reform that party into one which serves the people rather than the politicians is through the primaries.

Polls are fine, let's wait ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Polls are fine, let's wait and see what happens in the gubernatorial races next month.

Problem for the Repubs is t... (Below threshold)
glenn:

Problem for the Repubs is they sold out their base when they had the wheel 94-06. And we remember. All those repub placekeepers are just going to have to die in place.

If you think the 9/12 Tea P... (Below threshold)
Independent:

If you think the 9/12 Tea Party demonstration (& I was one of them that day) is over....then you need to read that new book out, A Time To Stand by Oliver, cause Americans are just getting started on their protest against federal tyranny.

It's a modern day version of Americans compared to colonist who had to stand up to King George III. It's insightful cause it's, in part, about real Americans/events & the story could be your hometown or mine. Maybe, history is once again calling on us to make our own history/legacy. Just read it...its real.
www.booksbyoliver.com

I'm furious about the econo... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

I'm furious about the economic carnage visited on America by Obama and Congress, but I see nothing but weakness in the Republican party. Is Mike Huckabee the best we can do for a presidential candidate? Really? Nice guy and all, but Jeezus.

In Illinois, where I live, the Republican party has no effective candidates and in fact typically doesn't even bother to slate candidates for most public offices. Instead, we get Democrat candidates running unopposed in many races, year after year, giving us such political giants as Barack Obama, Dick Durbin, Roland Burris, ex-Panther racist Bobby Rush, Jethee Jackthon Junior, Jan Schakowsky, Richard Daley, and worse. The best Republican Illinois can throw up is Mike Kirk, who was one of six Republicans in the House to clinch the vote for Cap and Trade. Two weeks later, after conferring with Pelosi and Reid, he announces he's resigning from the House to run for the Senate.

It's true enough that Democrats deserve to lose - big time - in 2010. The open question is whether the Republican party deserves to win.

What we need is another Ronald Reagan; an outsider who places his country above his party in his value system, and didn't give a damn about what Washington thinks of him. Sarah Palin is the closest thing to Reagan we have, which is why liberals destroyed her.

I worry about our future.

Bobdog - I sympathize with ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Bobdog - I sympathize with you. Illinois has the 6th highest sales tax in the nation and if you live in Chicago you get tagged for 10.25% on sales. It's insane.

They are looking to raise the state income tax to 4.5% and to my lasting amazement cannot figure out why businesses are fleeing the state.

The GOP in Illinois seems incapable of fielding a conservative candidate. The State GOP leadership actively works against conservative candidates. The ones they do put on the ballot are virtually indistinguishable from the Dems.

I'll do my part. I move out next week. One less taxpayer to steal from.

Republicans will no doubt r... (Below threshold)
OLDPUPPYMAX:

Republicans will no doubt rush to accomplish the same sort of political suicide which cost them the house and senate AND the White House over the past decade--running as limp-wristed, spineless, opinionless moderates. They became money stealing, vote-buying democrats in congress and threw away their majorities. Look at Newt the traitor Gingrich and his endorsement of a radical leftist RINO in the NY 23rd! Conservatives are simply not welcome in the party of McCain, Steele and Grahamnesty. And neither is victory. RINOS are thrilled to sell out their country and their constituents for a kind word from the NY Times. Juan McCain proved that. Add in the fact that 30 million new American "citizens"--formerly Mexicans--will be voting LEGALLY next year, while the Black Panthers make certain seniors stay at home in fear of their lives and 2010 will probably allow democrats to pick up a few more seats.

Well, look on the bright si... (Below threshold)
glenn:

Well, look on the bright side guys and gals. The underground economy is going to grow by leaps and bounds. the Chinese are going to quit lending us money and at some point in the future we're going to have to re-learn manufacturing.

My point about Hoffman and ... (Below threshold)

My point about Hoffman and Rubio is that WE HAVE THE POWER, not the GOP DC insiders ... If the grassroots can push Hoffman and Rubio to the top we will see alot more conservative candidates step forward for the primaries in 2010 and then the GOP establishment will be forced to support our guys/gals ...

Dunno if anyone else here r... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Dunno if anyone else here reads Redstate but what Jeff just stated is exactly what needs to happen at the state and local levels and is being advocated there by Eric.

Take over the party controls and put real conservatives in office rather than the current crop of ass kissing pussies that get their feelings hurt if their Democrat buddies disapprove of which way they vote.

Tell the NSRC in return letters to their donation requests why you aren't donating to them and are supporting the true conservative in the race rather than the person hand picked by them.

I remember 1980 very clearly, the electorate was pissed off, but this time the electorate is pissed off and very engaged in a way I have never seen before. Witness the Town Hall meetings, march on Washington and I think I can safely say you will see a turnover of historic proportions in 2010.

Bah, I also meant to add th... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Bah, I also meant to add that if it's an echo chamber it seems to have affected the entire country.

I don't know Jeff. The his... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I don't know Jeff. The history in Illinois is that while the base wants and openly calls for more conservative candidates, the party claims that they need more moderate candidates to win and yet they keep on losing. Meanwhile, There are conservative Dems downstate who could be peeled away from the Dem party if we would only run a candidate who was different. Back in 2006 the GOP ran a candidate for governor who was so liberal that my parents who haven't voted for a republican since Eisenhower voted for her. I actually voted or the Dem because I figured that if they had the same platform I would vote for the candidate least likely to enact it. I was right.

Many good points. I even ag... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Many good points. I even agree with Jim M. If Republican can get back to their conservative message and Govern that way they would win then again if they done that they wouldn't have lost so badly recently if they done that in the first place. Granted there are up and down cycle but the Reps got caught trying to be Dem-lite and being concern about only winning that they made matters much worse than it should have been. Unfortunately we have many who still care more about winning at all cost and not the message.

I like Huckabee O.K. but think we can do much better with a Governor along the line of Haley Barbour. Huck does well in the polls because he still out there and has name recognition but a good conservative Governor should have no problem defeating him the primary.

Barbour is probably the bes... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Barbour is probably the best governor in the country right now. Mississippi was every bit as badly hit as Louisiana by Katrina but he did a spectacular job of getting the state back in order. The secret was that he didn't wait to call out the national guard and he didn't wait for the federal government to act. He called on business and charitable organizations to step it up and help out. I know of over a dozen churches that sent short term mission teams to Mississippi but none that went to Louisiana.

But I have also heard him asked about running for president and he rejects it very unequivocally. That tells me that he's too smart to run. His ego isn't so big that he needs to fulfill himself that way.

Unfortunately the Republica... (Below threshold)
Maxwell Jump:

Unfortunately the Republican Party knows they have us by the short hairs. They're betting we won't try to form a third party because that'll just throw any election to the Dims. So the Republicans throw us enough bones to keep us on the plantation, so to speak, and still vote for them. And it works! Dammit!

Well, it's stopped working ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Well, it's stopped working because the GOP has the smallest number of congressional seats in a generation. The problem is that they have so sought the approval of the media that it has become difficult to distinguish the GOP candidates from the Dems at times (pace Illinois). The result is that conservatives stay home and the GOP loses.

When the GOP decides that it wants to be relevant again it will seek out the conservative vote and do more than pay lip service to it.

What makes you think republ... (Below threshold)
Carol_Herman Author Profile Page:

What makes you think republican politicians are happy to see you?

I think lots of politicians, today, are trying to find out how to survive the firestorm. They're like animals. And, they can't outrace the fire. Most aren't particularly conservative!

That's why democraps actually have warm republican bodies to talk to. Something they don't quite have among their own blue dogs.

The blue dogs brought to congress the phenomenal opportunity to take over 'both houses.' But it's not worth much if you can't have cronies. And, definitely, Reid & Pelosi don't look like great party throwers! They don't seem to own a popular bone in their bodies. Just 'opportunities.' And, then comes the fears.

You'd want to vote for a republican that gave Jay Rockefeller more powers?

Well, there are rules in place that those people who enjoy re-elections without effort, are eating everybody else's lunches.

Among democraps, not that I care, it looks like Obama swims alone. And, can't help anyone raise money. Or get elected in lots of the places commonly referred to as "fly over country."

The only people actually looking forward to the 2010 races are the media. (Heck, it's like the NFL. If you've got audience, you've got advertising dollars to spread around.)

But things can change on a dime. Or on bad weather. And, there's fears breaking out, again, in DC. LBJ did it to the donks. Nixon did it to the pubbies. And, Carter? It seems he did it to himself. (There was a time just voting for the nicest person WORKED.) That's how we got Reagan.

The Bush's, however, are elites. And, none of the elites are your friends. Similar to the time Henry Clay thought of himself as "the boss." And, then he did dirty business. And, the WHIGS faded from view. Remember this. Lincoln was a WHIG. Till he jumped ship.

The other reason for con... (Below threshold)

The other reason for concern is what I will term the Tea Party Effect. The discontent with the Obama administration and the Democratic conference stems mainly from the complete lack of fiscal responsibility and the pushing of a socialist agenda. Republican candidates that offer an alternative to this will likely do well.

Actually, the "partiers" don't have the numbers to be anything but spoilers for the GOP in tight races. Most of them probably already live in deep red districts, so the most they could do is knock off a RINO-ish type for either the Democrat or perhaps a strong fiscal conservative.

And, fiscal conservatism isn't exactly a popular position: a majority of Republicans support New Deal programs.

Not only that, but some of the tea party leaders support a policy (massive immigration) that will greatly increase the taxes of their charges. Most of the tea partiers are useful idiots for those who are in some cases paid to support things that would cost them money.

In case anyone wants to oppose BHO in a smarter, much more effective way than the tea partiers and their leaders are capable of, help me push the plan at my name's link. If you want to oppose BHO in a smart, grown-up way, ditch your incompetent leaders and help push that plan.

In the 1850's the Whig part... (Below threshold)
Deke:

In the 1850's the Whig party was placating the Southern Democratic party, trying to keep the country together. The Whigs were controlled by Northeast business interest and were totally ignorant to the needs of Northern farmers, desperate to keep slavery out of their territories knowing they could not compete with free labor.

I know a 3rd party, or more correctly a 2nd party to replace the Republicans, seems far fetched, but there is a lot of anology between the 2 movements. The Whigs were controlled by limp-wristed, placating, North Eastern individuals, especially after the death of Daniel Webster, much like the modern Republican party. They had no care for the desires of the majority of their constituents and assumed their support.

Today there is a true battle, much like the 1850's, whether or not were going to becoome a European, Socialist/Facist society, or whether or not were going to remain a free enterprise society based on individual liberties. Unfort., like the Whigs, the modern Republican party is more interested in power and placation than they are the true issues facing America. If the R's take over in 2010 what are we gonna get? John "Tanning Booth" Boehner as speaker? Olympia, "I vote with the Democrats 98% of the time" Snowe as Finance Committee chairman?

The Republicans are not the answer, imo they are part of the disease, and until the American sheeple stand up and demand a return to more conservative government principals, starting on the state and local level, we are doomed to continue down the path we are on. I just hope it's not to late.

Deke

I agree Deke. Something ne... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I agree Deke. Something needs to be done.

I think this post from Bill Quick (via Instapundit) states my thoughts pretty well:

Here's the nut of it: The GOP establishment sees their problem as being that they are out of power. People like me see the problem as being that they are out of power because they have turned their backs on the principles those who once voted for them believe in.

So the establishment backs anybody, no matter how faithless they are to Republican principles, if they think there is a chance for victory and a return to power. Unfortunately, those of us who see the lack of principle as the main problem don't want to vote for such people, and so they lose, because they can't answer the question "Power to do what?" to our satisfaction.

All of this springs from a basic misperception: the GOP establishment believes that conservative principles are not a winning platform. They ignore that America is a conservative nation, and they ignore that their own biggest winner and most effective standard bearer of the past hundred years was an avowed conservative who ran on conservative principles, and never stopped espousing them during or after his presidency.

http://dailypundit.com/?p=36620

Given his position on NY23 I don't think that even Gingrich gets it. I'm definitely up for a new 2nd party.

I agree, jim m. The problem... (Below threshold)
Clay:

I agree, jim m. The problem is that you'll find many compromisers who equate us 'purists' with advocating party suicide. Unfortunately, they've compromised the GOP to death. I don't care if the Republicans ever win another damned election. Suicide? Maybe. But they went out and bought their own rope.

What happens when you compromise pure water with poison? I'm not sure, but I sure as hell won't drink it.

absolutely correct.<p... (Below threshold)
Marty:

absolutely correct.

1. way too early

2. It's about 468 separate races at the Federal evel, plus thousands of state and local offices. In many places it'll be a Governor's race at the top of the ticket. Way more going on than just Obama's approval rating, which he has 12+ months to address, anyway (see above).

3. The Repubs haven't given good reasons for people to vote for them... Steele sometimes looks good, then does or says something really lame. In gnneral, GOP in Congress don't show much sign that they "get it," and one has to suspect that if they got back in power it would just be Hastert and DeLay and Frist and the K-Street strategy redux. People may dislike Obama and the Dems enough to stay home, but little reason for them to go all the way and vote GOP.

Well the argument that hold... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Well the argument that holding to conservative ideas is a recipe for failure isn't going o go very far. They tried to go the compromise your principles route and it has lead them straight into irrelevance.

They can cry that conservatism won't work, but heck, it can't work any worse than what they've been trying.

And Steele doesn't get it. He is completely sold out to some fake conservative facade and as soon as he finds it convenient he will attack conservatives in order to get media accolades. When the GOP finally stops sucking up to the liberal media and liberals in general and stops apologizing for conservatism, only then will they finally have gotten it.

Don't wait until next fall ... (Below threshold)
George B:

Don't wait until next fall to vote for the (R) candidate the establishment picks. I bet there are some good primary opponents among the millions of people between jobs right now. While the NRCC focuses on trying to defeat a short list of red state (D)s, lets go white haired RINO hunting in the primaries. There are lots of retirement ready RINOs occupying safe seats that could be represented by conservatives with a little effort next spring.




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