By Peter Roff, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
There are a number of interesting things about Resurgent Republic’s one-year anniversary poll, conducted at the end of April among 1,000 registered voters nationwide, but none more so than the clear evidence it provides that independent voters are deserting the Democrats in droves.
By a margin of better than 2 to 1, self-identified independents agreed that an increase in the number of Republicans in Congress is necessary in order to bring about “a check and balance on runaway Washington government.” Independents also agreed that the country is on “the wrong track” by a 65 to 25 percent margin.
Most surveys, including this one from Resurgent Republic, show the GOP electorate approaches the upcoming election with much greater intensity than the Democrats. Sixty-four percent of Republicans now say they are “absolutely certain to vote” in November.
It is sui generis that if Republican voters turn out in waves while Democratic turnout is down, it will not be helpful to the party in power, which is infected with a severe case of Obama-fatigue coupled with buyer’s remorse.
The impact of all this could be staggering. The party in power, which, in 2010 is the Democrats, suffers an average loss of 41 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives when the president’s job approval rating is below 50 percent, where Obama’s seems to have, for the moment, settled.
“After posting a lofty 61 to 32 percent approval rating last April (59 to 32 percent among Independents), the President now draws a 48 to 48 percent split,” Resurgent Republic’s analysis says, “including a 52 to 41 percent disapproval margin among Independents.”
Congressional Democrats don’t fare any better--in fact, they do worse, posting a 50 to 41 percent unfavorable image among the general population and with independents seeing them unfavorably by a 55 to 31 percent margin, a 10 point shift in downward from last year. It is important to note that independents are different than they were ten or even five years ago and now include a number of soft, non-ideological Republicans rather than just well-educated liberals who eschewed party affiliations. But even if independents are now more GOP in their native inclinations, it is undeniable that, in the last election, they were largely with Obama.
It is axiomatic that the party with the stronger appeal to independents is more likely to win national elections. According to this latest survey the Democrats are in real trouble.