Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Anti-Incumbent or Anti-Democrat?

I first touched on the debate of whether or not 2010 is more likely to be anti-incumbent or anti-Democrat back in November. Then I argued that all signs were pointing towards the election being much more difficult on Democrats than incumbents in general.

I contest that it's less about a national sense of anti-incumbency, and instead a simple growing rejection of left wing policy.

What have been the major policy issues over the past ten months?

A massive, pork-laden stimulus bill, a national job crisis, and Obamacare.

These are two liberal-led policy initiatives and a job crisis firmly in the hands of the Party in power.
Then on the night of the Massachusetts Miracle I got into a very interesting debate on Twitter with Jim Heath of ONN where he pushed the meme that these elections are all about being anti-incumbent. We seemed to agree to disagree....but now I have Stu Rothenberg on my side.

Rothenberg argues that some of the most difficult races will be in Republican primaries, not general elections.
But if those incumbents (and establishment-backed nonincumbents) get past their primaries, they will then benefit from the public mood, which currently looks likely to punish Democrats at the ballot box.

A rash of recent polling, much of it paid for by liberal Web sites Daily Kos and Firedoglake, show Democratic incumbents in horrible shape — about where Republicans were in 2006 and 2008.


Even if only most of these results are close to being accurate, they suggest that other Democratic House incumbents are seeing significant erosion in their numbers from what those same numbers were even a year ago.

Over in the Senate, Democratic numbers are equally terrible.


...when the general election rolls around, unless there is a significant change in the national mood, voter dissatisfaction will be aimed overwhelmingly at the candidates of one party. And that is why Democratic insiders are privately raising their own estimates of party losses.
Sounds about right to me.

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