The luster of hope and change have worn off…
Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, is a former White House correspondent with two decades of experience covering Washington government and politics. Click here for Mr. Brown’s full bio.
(WSJ) A truism of American politics is that elections are won in the middle, and that has led to an inescapable conclusion: As independents go, so goes the nation.
A look at who independents are and what they think tells a lot about the current state of American politics and which way the winds are blowing.
At this point, independents are significantly closer to Republicans than they are to Democrats on a host of questions involving their views of President Barack Obama, the political parties and issues. This is a reversal of the situation in 2006 and 2008.
Unless the Democrats can move independents’ views closer to their own, they are likely to face the same fate Republicans met in the last two elections.
Interestingly, independents are not demographically different from their friends, family and neighbors who call themselves Democrats or Republicans when it comes to age, income or education, according to an analysis of last week’s Quinnipiac University national poll. Blacks are slightly less likely to be independents because of their historic ties to the Democratic Party.
Independents just think differently than their brethren in the two major parties.
Obviously, President Barack Obama’s low poll ratings are being driven by the views and values of independents.
Crossing Party Lines
That’s not always the case. Presidents can be so popular or unpopular that members of the two major parties are willing to cross party lines to embrace or reject them.
But at this point, according to Quinnipiac’s national poll of 2,181 voters (almost twice the size of most national surveys) released last week, Mr. Obama gets approval from roughly four in five Democrats and disapproval from a similar share of Republicans. That leaves independents holding the balance of power. http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1295.xml?ReleaseID=1345 Click here to view the full poll and the comparisons between independents, Democrats and Republicans.
A year ago, when Mr. Obama’s overall poll numbers were very positive, he was getting 90% approval from Democrats and disapproval from only 66% of Republicans, which meant the views of independents were less important.
Independents currently give the president a 52% disapproval rating. His 38% approval rating among them is 26 points better than his 12% approval rating among Republicans, but 40 points worse than his approval rating among Democrats. That tells you independents’ view of the president these days is closer to that of Republicans than Democrats.
It must be racism because nobody can be against Obama’s policies. If you are, then it has to be because of his skin color. Sounds like the defense the lefties will use when seeing this information.
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