The big question for me is whether the dampening numbers are the result of too much Democratic success, or too little ["Giddy Republicans Foresee Bigger House Gains in 2010 Than in 1994," usnews.com]. Let's say Democrats succeed in passing health care reform, cap and trade, and a new unemployment-targeted stimulus package. Let's say the GDP continues to grow and that unemployment declines. Will this hurt Democratic chances in moderate districts (due to fears of the Democratic agenda), or will it improve their chances by showing that Democrats have what it takes to get important legislation passed? I have no idea. But I do know this. I will be exceedingly grateful if Democrats stay the course and get the job done.
Comment by Mark H. Moulton of CA
Well the Democrats haven't made any change so what do they expect? Voters are grasping at straws. I would definitely prefer left-wing change over right-wing change, but Democrats are blowing their chance by allowing the banks to control their every move. They aren't standing up to unelected power. Working-class people are headed straight for the poor house no matter who's in "power" because the people with real authority are private interests and aren't subject to the will of the electorate anyway.
Comment by Hilary of CA
I'm a staunch independent. I believe that by being an independent I (along with other independents) make a candidate 'work' for the vote as oppose to simply 'expect' it because I'm a member of a certain party. After going through the Bush years, it is very doubtful I'll be voting for any GOP candidates until they show they can think and speak for themselves. Currently, the vast majority of Republicans simply regurgitate the party line, which doesn't cut it for me.
Comment by Mark of MA
Forget healthcare and cap and trade. Everything comes down to how the economy is doing next year. If unemployment is still close to 10 percent, the Democrats will suffer losses to the Republicans. Remember Obama promised that the stimulus package would limit unemployment to a max of 8 percent. Soon we will hear "Obama Lied" just as we heard "Bush Lied" when no WMD's were found in Iraq. Clinton beat the first Bush due to the economy. That Bush was very popular a year before the election due to the success of the Gulf War. But the economy tanked and then Bush lost. The sad thing is that we have no viable alternatives to the Democrats or Republicans. So we blame whomever is in power, especially when one party controls the presidency, house and senate. The last time we had balance in the federal government was from 1994 to 2000 when Clinton was president and the Republicans controlled the House and Senate. This arrangement forced more centrist policies to be adopted. The public is never comfortable when one party controls everything because policies then move either too far right or too far left for many of the voters.
Comment by Bob of TX
Voters' (especially independents) political opinions can change very often depending on the "big" issues at the present time. Right now, many people disagree with the healthcare reform issue for example. A lot can happen between now and next November, and these polls may look completely different. Obama hasn't even been in office for a full year. Polls are bound to be both in favor and against Democrats many more times during his term.
Comment by Sally S. of DE