Democratic percentages among both Democrats and liberals went up from 2008. The size of the liberal vote was nearly identical to '08 and '06. Democrats and liberals strongly approve of Obama's job performance. Liberals voted, and those that did were supportive of Obama.
There is almost no evidence that shows widespread disenchantment with Obama among ranik and file Democrats.
The PUMA's get lots of traffic. Doesn't mean they matter.
The numbers are silly. There are part of the quantative easing prgram of the Fed, and are secured.
I frankly don't pay attention to Jerome about this stuff. Jerome doesn't know much about this it: just ask the SEC .That the TARP helped avert a Depression was averted is also pretty much beyond argument. We got paid back, though you can make a serious argument that we should have gotten more back than we have given.
a number of GOP Senators were able to hold on despite a President more unpopular than Obama and a generic ballot worse than today's.
Look at the list in Wikipedia at the GOP members who survived:
Caiifornia - Wilson won by 7 as a moderate pro-choice Republican
CT: Weicker won by running as a liberal Republican
PA: Heinz won by running as a moderate
RI: Chaffee ran as a moderate
VT: Stafford won attacking Reagonomics (I worked for his opponent in that race, I remember it well, especially the wrong call ABC made on election night)
Everyone of the Senators were on tough ground, in a tough economy. I well remember Democrats thinking they could win all of these races. They won by doing what the blue dogs did: by putting distance betweent themselves and the President.
to the question of a primary challenge. If Obama holds to the Iraq withdrawl timetable - which he has done and which this article omits - there will be little challenge to him from the rank and file in the party on foreign policy.
Frankly whether there is a challenge or not depends on the unemployment rate. In January of 1983 Ronald Reagan had an approval rating of 36%. By the end of the year he was at 54-36 positive, and unemployment had gone from 10.8% to 8.3%. Conversely in 1991 Bush was at an average of 82% in Gallup. By the end of the year he was at 51, and in February he was at 41. In that time unemployment went up 1.3%. Bush continued to decline all through 1992 even though GDP grew at over 3%. The problem for Bush was that GDP growth did not translate into unemployment reductions.
Is Obama more like Bush or Reagan? It will depend on the direction unemployment takes during the course of 2011. If we double dip, my guess is that he may not even run again. If unemployment gets below saw 8.5% there will be no primary challenge, and the surprise will be how formidable he appears. In between those two extremes you may see a primary challenge. It wouldn't take much: I have written here before on how Iowa and New Hampshire make National Polling irrelevent, and you can mount a challenge in both states with a reasonably small budget.
If that happens, it won't be because of Afghanistan or tax cuts. To believe that is to seriously misjudge our political environment. It will be because unemployment remains too high. And it is just as likely to come from the right as from the left.
I have about politics is this: people are far more likely to underestimate rather than overestimate the volatility in a given cycle. The model I developed, crude in some ways, reminds us of the fact that the generic ballot is showing an average of a <b>16 point swing from 2008</b>, and that if it were to hold the size of the lanslide will exceed 1994.
we will struggle greatly to hold the Senate. This cycle bears some resemblance to 2006 in the sense that there a large number of Democratic incumbents below 50, but with the lead. In 2006 virtually everyone of the Republican incumbents went on to lose who were below 50.
If that holds for '10, we will lose the following:
It is tempting to note that with respect to Wisconsin and California that the seats are being fought on favorable ground to the Democrats. This didn't save Brown, and my guess is the race is going to get worse for Democrats if the economy continues to struggle. Another incumbent, Murray in Washington, is flirting with 50%, and I would rate as a tossup right now given the strange SUSA polling.
In addition to these 5, there are a number of open seats. The Democratic seats in play are Indiana (almost a certain loss), Illinois (a true tossup) , Delaware and Pennsylvania. Delaware and PA are moving in opposite directions, but my guess is both seats are losses.
The only Democratic pickup that looks like a reasonable shot is Kentucky, and Paul just might lose the race. The others are trending badly (Ohio, Missouri, NH), though we may have a shot in NC.
And then there is Florida - a wild race if ever there was one. Assuming Meek wins the nomination, the real question is whether Crist can hold onto enough GOP support to overcome the almost certain loss of African American votes. I think predicting Florida at this point is next to impossible - but three way races are inherintly unstable.
BTW - my house model predicts the Democrats will lose 63 seats in the House. The model is based on the models used to predict swings in British elections, and doesn't account for things like underfunded challengers. In this sense it is almost high given the predicted 5 point advantage in the generic ballot. But then there is no reason to think this advantage won't grow.
The model is here (I use the Cooke PVI if the incumbent isn't running)
This election is most similar to 1992. In 1992 the Recession technically ended well before November, and yet Bush's approval rating continued to fall as unemployment remained high. The lesson to learn is that GDP is irrelevent in politics, and if people view unemployment as likely to say high for a significant period, that view will steadily erode Democratic support. Reagn's approval rating reached 36% in the depth of the '82 Recession, and I would be surprised not to see Obama's fall in that range.
Lastly, I will say that there is huge volatility in these races.
As of this writing, it appears the deadline set in 2009 may be missed by a couple of months.
The number of troops in Iraq has declined significantly, and the idea that he has betrayed his promises on Iraq at this point is hysterical nonsense - and says more about the person making the charge than it does about Obama on Iraq.
I really doubt this is fraud. R2K has been around for a long time, and it seems inconceivable to me that they would risk their reputation in the manner described.
The article that alledges fraud compares R2K to Gallup, but Gallup is laughable in their swings. I wrote about this in '08 at Openleft. The Gallup voter screens produce large voter swings which are simply indefensible, and have been for a number of cycles (in 2000 they were laughable). Gallup is hardly the gold standard in polling.
Bottom line, what we know about the electorate is based on data from a few pollsters until September and that should everyone hesitate leaping to conclusions.