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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Public Reactions to the Midterm

The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press reports:

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Nov. 4-7 among 1,255 adults, finds 48% saying they are happy that the Republican Party won control of the House while 34% are unhappy. Four years ago, 60% said they were happy the Democrats won full control of Congress, compared with just 24% who were unhappy. That mirrored the public’s reaction in December 1994 to the GOP winning control of Congress for the first time in 40 years (57% happy vs. 31% unhappy).

In the current survey, 52% of those who said they voted in the Nov. 2 election were happy with the outcome compared with 42% of non-voters. Still, more voters in 2006 – 60% – said they were happy with the Democrats’ victory.

The public has a mixed reaction to the Republican policies and plans for the future: 41% approve, while nearly as many (37%) disapprove. Approval is somewhat greater among voters (45%) than among non-voters (35%). But on balance, both the general public and voters express less positive views of the GOP’s policies than they did of the Democrats’ proposals after the 2006 election.

Other findings:
  • President Obama’s approval rating stands at 44%; an identical percentage disapproves of his job performance.
  • Roughly a third of Democrats (34%) say they would like to see other Democratic candidates challenge Obama for the party’s nomination in 2012. In December 1994, far more Democrats (66%) supported a primary challenge to President Clinton.
  • Just 16% of registered voters who attend religious services at least once a month say election information was available at their place of worship, down from 25% after the 2006 midterms.
  • The GOP continues to be seen as a leaderless party: 51% say they don’t know who leads the Republican Party while 14% volunteer that no one does. More now see John Boehner as the leader of the GOP (10%) than did so in September (4%).
  • There is no clear front-runner for the 2012 Republican nomination for president: Sarah Palin (15%), Mike Huckabee (15%), and Mitt Romney (13%) all receive about the same levels of support.