The 11 September 2014 Gallup Poll report shows that Americans are turning against the Democratic Party just months before the upcoming November elections. The answers to the survey question that has always correlated the most with which Party gained or lost how many House seats, in mid-term congressional elections, now overwhelmingly favor the Republicans. This question is: ‘Looking ahead for the next few years, which political party do you think will do a better job of keeping the country prosperous?’ In 2010, when Republicans gained a record 63 House seats, they enjoyed an 8% edge on this question. Their edge now is one point higher than that, 9%.
This Gallup report also finds that there is a record-breaking 55% to 32% margin, or a net 23% advantage, favoring the Republican Party, on their other key question: ‘Looking ahead for the next few years, which political party do you think will do a better job of protecting the country from international terrorism and military threats?’ That question also correlates highly (though not as highly) with each Party’s gain or loss of House seats. In 2010, Republicans had a 7% edge on that. So, Republicans gained 63 seats when the public favored their Party by 8% on the economy and by 7% on defense; and now Republicans are favored by 9% on the economy and by 23% on defense.
Both the economy and defense are actually primarily the responsibility of the President, rather than primarily of Congress. But (and other polls also confirm this fact) the mid-term congressional elections are largely determined by the rub-off of the President’s Party-label onto the congressional members of his Party. The reason Americans don’t like congressional Democrats is mainly that they don’t like what Barack Obama has been doing as President.
In other words: on both the economy and defense, Republican candidates now enjoy the far better brand after 6 years of the ‘Democrat’ Obama occupying the White House. The albatross dragging down the fortunes of congressional Democrats is ‘Democratic’ President Barack Obama himself.
This post was published at Washingtons Blog on September 11, 2014.