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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Bad Poll News for Democrats

Less than one-in-four (23%) young Americans under the age of 30 say that they will “definitely be voting” in the fall, a sharp decrease of 11 percentage points since November 2013 IOP polling (34%) and eight percentage points lower than seen during a similar time period prior to the 2010 midterm elections (31%: Feb. 2010). In addition, traditional Republican constituencies seem to be showing more enthusiasm than Democratic ones for participating in the upcoming midterm elections and are statistically more likely to say they will “definitely be voting.” For example, 44 percent of those who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 say they will “definitely be voting,” a statistically significant difference compared to the 35 percent of 2012 Barack Obama voters who say the same. Additionally, self-identified conservatives (32%) are 10 points more likely to vote than liberals (22%); men (28%) are 9 points more likely to vote than women (19%); and young Whites (27%) are more likely to vote than African Americans (19%) and Hispanics (19%).
Scott Clement writes at The Washington Post:
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll offers fresh evidence that Democrats are facing major enthusiasm problems within their base that make it difficult -- if not impossible -- for them to rebuild the winning coalition put together by President Obama in 2012.
While nearly seven in 10 of all registered voters say they are "absolutely certain" to vote in November, several key Democratic constituencies are much less committed to voting. Barely half of voters ages 18 to 39 are certain about voting (53 percent) and 55 percent of non-whites describe themselves as certain to cast a ballot. By contrast, more than seven in 10 whites and voters older than 40 say they will definitely cast ballots -- both groups that have favored Republicans in the past two elections.
Dan Balz and Peyton Craighill have more on the poll:
The Affordable Care Act is expected to be a major issue in the midterm elections. Obama recently urged Democrats to defend the law energetically, particularly after the administration announced that 8 million people signed up for it during the initial enrollment period. Republicans are confident that opposition to the new law will energize their supporters.
The Post-ABC poll found that 44 percent say they support the law while 48 percent say they oppose it, which is about where it was at the end of last year and in January. Half of all Americans also say they think implementation is worse than expected.
Last month, a Post-ABC poll found 49 percent of Americans saying they supported the new law compared with 48 percent who opposed it. That finding was more positive for the administration than most other polls at the time. Democrats saw it as a possible leading indicator of a shift in public opinion, but that has not materialized.
A 58 percent majority say the new law is causing higher costs overall, and 47 percent say it will make the health-care system worse. While a majority say the quality of the health care they receive will remain the same, a plurality expect it to result in higher personal costs for that care. 
At National Journal, Charles Cook writes of a Democrcy Corps memo urging Democrats to avoid any mention of economic recovery:
Technically speaking, the recession lasted 18 months, starting in December 2007 and ending in June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the official arbiter of when business cycles and recessions begin and end. That 18-month duration is not quite twice as long as the 11.1-month average length of economic retraction in the 11 business cycles since 1945. From a political perspective, what a cross section of American voters think of the economy matters more than a panel of the top economists. Last month's NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed that 57 percent of Americans believe we are still in a recession; just 41 percent say we are not, with pessimism just gradually diminishing over the last few years. It is what average people think that's important, not what economists say.
But back to the Greenberg/Carville memo. If voters flip out at the mere suggestion that a recovery is underway, that reaction is very telling. In fact, it may help explain why nonconservative voters are so down on President Obama and, inferentially, his party. Sure, the Affordable Care Act is an element, but maybe it isn't all of the equation.