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Dems alarmed as Independents bolt party [voters see dems as a party of high spending]
Politico ^ | 11/18/09 12:11 AM EST | ALEX ISENSTADT

Posted on 11/18/2009 2:12:52 AM PST by Former Military Chick

Mounting evidence that independent voters have soured on the Democrats is prompting a debate among party officials about what rhetorical and substantive changes are needed to halt the damage.

Following serious setbacks with independents in off-year elections earlier this month, White House officials attributed the defeats to local factors and said President Barack Obama sees no need to reposition his own image or the Democratic message.

Since then, however, a flurry of new polls makes clear that Democrats are facing deeper problems with independents—the swing voters who swung dramatically toward the party in 2006 and 2008 but who now are registering deep unease with the amount of spending and debt called for under Obama's agenda in an era of one-party rule in Washington.

A Gallup Poll released last week offered a disturbing glimpse about the state of play: just 14 percent of independents approve of the job Congress is doing, the lowest figure all year. In just the past few days alone, surveys have shown Democratic incumbents trailing Republicans among independent voters by double-digit margins in competitive statewide contests in places as varied as Connecticut, Ohio and Iowa.

Obama’s own popularity among independents has fallen significantly, too. A CBS News poll Tuesday showed the president’s approval rating among unaligned voters falling to 45 percent — down from 63 percent in April.

“We withdrew from the accounts of voters and now we need to pay them back,” said Nathan Daschle, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association. “We are having these conversations right now about what independents need to see and hear.”

Pat Waak, the chairwoman of the Colorado Democratic Party, said the party had so far failed to convince independent voters of the steps it had taken to improve the economy.

“I think the economy is at the base of the tension,” she said. “Quite frankly, we’ve got to do a better job of messaging. There’s a lot of work to be done to get independents more comfortable with what we’re doing.”

“Listen, it hasn’t been an easy time,” said T.J. Rooney, a former state legislator and the chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. “It’s almost like we’re a victim of our own success. When you’re governing, that changes the political dynamic.”

Andrew Myers, who polled for Democrats in Virginia House of Delegates races this year, said his analysis of exit polls indicated that voters had come to see Democrats as a party of high spending — too willing to make a rush for the pocketbooks and unable to effectively articulate how their health care reform push benefited independents, many of whom already have insurance plans.

“This is what’s particularly heartbreaking: There is a real sense that no one in Congress is standing up for them,” said Myers. “It’s a real problem for messaging for us.”

Nowhere was that more obvious than in Virginia and New Jersey, where GOP candidates captured governorships on Nov. 3 on the strength of landslide margins among independent voters.

In Virginia, Republican Bob McDonnell won a 65 percent to 34 percent victory over Democrat Creigh Deeds among independents in a state where President Barack Obama split the independent vote 49 percent to 48 percent against Republican John McCain just one year earlier.

In New Jersey, Republican Chris Christie won a 58 percent to 31 percent victory over Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine among independents — a stark contrast to Obama’s 51 percent to 47 percent win among independents in 2008.

“The perception of what’s happening in Congress is polluting what’s happening down below,” Myers said.

Michael Dimock, a pollster for the Pew Research Center — which reported in a new survey that only 45 percent of independents want their own representative to return to Congress — also believes Democrats have suffered for their inability to move the ball on key agenda items such as health care.

“I think it’s about action and not about words right now. The public wants to see action,” said Dimock. “I’m not sure words are going to help Democrats at this point. They’ve got to achieve some successes.”

“Independents are typically more frustrated with the political process,” noted Dimock. “They tend to have a real distaste for partisanship and ideology, and that’s about all they’re hearing right now.”

Some strategists, however, attribute the party’s weak Election Day showing among independent voters to changes in the composition of the independents who showed up at the polls.

“What we saw are more independents who are like Republicans and fewer independents who are like Democrats,” said Brad Lawrence, a veteran Democratic media consultant in New Jersey who worked for Corzine. “I think there was an enthusiasm gap.”

“This was not the same group of independents who showed up in 2008,” noted Larry Sabato, a University of Virginia political scientist. “For Obama’s election, the participating independents were more moderate; for Christie and McDonnell, the composition of the independents that came to the polls was more conservative. It’s this self-selection among the independent voter pool that helped the Democrats in 2008 and hurt them in 2009.”

Democrats also argue that with polls showing fewer voters identifying themselves as Republicans, the pool of independent voters is simply becoming more conservative than in the past, as those formerly Republican voters move into that camp. An October Washington Post/ABC News survey, for example, found just 20 percent of those polled identifying themselves as Republican.

“It looks a lot worse than it really is,” said John Anzalone, a veteran Democratic pollster. “Independents aren’t just falling away from Democrats.”

Still, Anzalone cautioned that with the party’s agenda under fire from Republicans and allied conservative groups, Democrats in conservative Southern and Western states need to be aware of the potential peril in alienating independent voters.

An automated survey released Monday by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling underscored that message with its finding that Democratic Rep. Vic Snyder, a seven-term Arkansas congressman, was only narrowly leading his little-known Republican challengers and held just a 30 percent approval rating among independents.

The erosion among independents, however, isn’t simply a regional problem. Democrats are anxious about the prospects of five-term Sen. Chris Dodd in Connecticut, who trails one of his GOP opponents by 28 percentage points among independents in a prospective head-to-head matchup, and Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and Iowa Gov. Chet Culver, two Democratic incumbents with shrinking approval ratings among independent voters. A Des Moines Register poll released this weekend showed the first-term Culver trailing the GOP front-runner among independents by nearly 30 percentage points.

“It’s a challenge,” said Chris Redfern, the chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, referring to the current election environment. But, he added, “we don’t need all of them back. We just need a majority.”

Sen. Robert Menendez, the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, acknowledged that the recent polls constituted “red flags” for Democrats. But he said voters remained unsatisfied with a Republican Party that, he said, had yet to demonstrate an ability to prove it has answers to the problems facing the country.

“I take this data with a grain of salt,” Menendez told POLITICO. “At this moment in time, we may not be doing as well with independents as I’d like, but Republicans aren’t doing well, either.”


TOPICS: Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 2009polls; democrats; idependents; independentvote; mcdonnell; swingvote; trends; va2009
One could say you get what you pay, oops vote for!!

I actually do not think it is as simple as it is about independents, I think many voted to make "history", now that they have done that, they have to find a way to garner their support and I just do not see it.

They have lost the youth, and seniors and Obama isn't on the ballot next November.

1 posted on 11/18/2009 2:12:54 AM PST by Former Military Chick
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To: Former Military Chick

They can try to rationalize declining support any way they want but in the end it’s OBAMA’S fault!


2 posted on 11/18/2009 2:38:53 AM PST by muddler
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To: muddler
They can try to rationalize declining support any way they want but in the end it’s OBAMA’S fault!

The irony strikes me...the dem's loss of independent voters may be the only thing the dems can't blame on Bush.

3 posted on 11/18/2009 2:50:55 AM PST by highlander_UW (To anger a conservative tell him a lie. To anger a liberal tell him the truth.)
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To: Former Military Chick
White House officials attributed the defeats to local factors and said President Barack Obama sees no need to reposition his own image or the Democratic message.

The republican's biggest asset is going to be these people's delusions!

4 posted on 11/18/2009 3:00:05 AM PST by sirchtruth (Gravity Of The Situation...)
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To: Former Military Chick

In other words, “independents” are slow to catch on—pathologically slow. That’s where the half whose IQ is less than 100 are. The 14% who approve of the job Congress is doing must be the ones whose IQ is less than 75.


5 posted on 11/18/2009 3:07:46 AM PST by Savage Beast (If you throw a rock over a fence, itÂ’s the hit dog that hollers. -Mike Huckabee)
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To: Former Military Chick

The swing voter or as I like to call them the lazy voter who is always late to the event.


6 posted on 11/18/2009 3:13:32 AM PST by bmwcyle (When do they collect and jail the homeless when they don't buy their health care?)
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To: Former Military Chick

Spending is bad enough, it’s the wasted spending with NO results at all.

It was spending to get the governor’s of NJ and VA elected and not about jobs jobs jobs.

All the spinning in the world cannot hide the fact that another half a million jobs were lost.


7 posted on 11/18/2009 3:14:13 AM PST by Carley (OBAMA IS A MALEVOLENT FORCE IN THE WORLD)
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To: muddler

“They can try to rationalize declining support any way they want but in the end it’s OBAMA’S fault!”

It’s true. The predominant Socialist attitude, and direction was apparent, has been apparent eminating from the soul of the Democrat Party since the seventies, yet even during and after Clinton they managed to maintain an appearance of Americanism until 2006. It seems to me it was with Pelosi and Reid that their Leftist attitude spilled over the levee, and then with the election of Obama it became a flood.

Obama was elected because of his race. The man had no qualifications to be POTUS. None.


8 posted on 11/18/2009 3:45:29 AM PST by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists...Call 'em What you Will, They ALL have Fairies Living In Their Trees.)
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To: Former Military Chick

Obama and his minions are oblivious to the electoral disaster that is heading their way. A key indicator is what happened in state and local elections. Here in Pennsylvania, the GOP won across the board, electing four new high-level Republican judges, and back home in Southwest Virginia, typically a democrat stronghold, the GOP cleaned house, electing a Republican delegate the the state legislature for the first time in 60 years.


9 posted on 11/18/2009 4:11:05 AM PST by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin has crossed the Rubicon!)
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To: Former Military Chick

and to prove how out of touch they are.....they think this is about “messaging” that ain’t the problem Bro.....we got the message and we HATE it


10 posted on 11/18/2009 4:24:56 AM PST by The Wizard (I support Madame President, the only President in America today)
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To: Former Military Chick
FOLLOW THE MONEY Recovery.org (the stimulus reporting website financed with $18 million tax dollars) lists phantom districts as having received millions of stim dollars to create phantom jobs.

Who's kidding who? This was no reporting error. This was money laundering and government fraud....purposefully done to get the stim to "insiders." The stim is nothing more than a slush fund----to be used for campaigns and for personal purposes.

STIMULUS SCAM---A DEM SLUSH FUND Keep in mind, some 85% of Obama's stimulus is still in Washington. Ohaha's saving it for imperiled Dems' 2010-12 elections.

Americans are awakening to the fact that govt insiders are mishandling trillions in stimulus------that federal monies are being illegally directed to Democrat campaign coffers, or wire-transferred offshore into personal accounts......or being laundered in the states.

$17.5 BILLION STIM WAS HIDDEN IN NJ News reports indicated that it dusappeared, that there was no trace of the stim. Some of it was supposed to reelect Corzine....but Corzine flopped via voters' backlash. Anyway, Obama and the Biden family have a nice stash in the Garden State. Luckily, Corzne once headed Goldman Sachs and knows "the ropes" for looting and pillaging piles of money that is not his.

REFERENCE On June 9, 2009 Ohaha called a press conference to announce, "Several financial institutions are set to pay back $68B to taxpayers." Resonable people (taxpayers) assumed that any money or profit would be returned to the general funds from whence it had come .......in order to pay down the debt. The truth, however, is that the money returned by the banks is finding new life as part of what amounts to a Treasury Dept-controlled slush fund.

Obama's pork-laden stimulus, and other wasteful spending, isn't doing much good. US unemployment keep rising to levels not seen in decades, w/ scant hope of a rebound. We can safely conclude that creating jobs was NOT the reason for Ohaha's trillion dollar stimulus.

REFERENCE We kept reading and hearing anout Ohaha rushing Congress to approve $787 billion stimulus package" early this year. Now uber-Lobbyist Thomas Hale Boggs, Esq interviewed by nightly network news said, "there's $2 TRILLION federal stimulus waiting to be distributed". Boggs said he is getting unprecedented numbers of calls from all over the US......from those who want a piece of it. (Boggs is the son of former Cong Hale Boggs and brother of former ABC-TV commentator Cokie Roberts).

We need audits, WH cell phone records, computer links, wire-transfers, and bank records to get an accurate accounting of the stimulus (our tax dollars).

11 posted on 11/18/2009 5:10:33 AM PST by Liz (Obama's the best thing that happened to the Republican Party in a long time.)
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To: Former Military Chick
From what I've seen, a lot of Independents are people who are too conservative for the current incarnation of the Republican Party. The 'Rats have a snowball's chance in Heck with those folks. Now it's just a question of whether or not they bail on the Pubbies, too.
12 posted on 11/18/2009 5:16:09 AM PST by mewzilla (Voter fraud is treason.)
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To: All
The recent New Jersey race was the shape of things to come for dumbo Dems.
>> Incumbent Dem Jon Corzine (the wealthy loser) outspent the Repub winner Chris Chirstie about 4-1.
>> New Jersey has a huge Democratic registration.
>> Corzine bragged he had 20,000 paid union helpers on the ground election day to get out the vote.
>> There was a third party candidate siphoning off Republican votes.
>> Ohaha hid $17.5 BILLION stimlulus in New Jersey.....for Corzine's reelection campaign.

==========================================

>> Some 80% of the federal stim (read slush fund) remains unspent. Ohaha is saving it to finance 2010 Dem candidates.

>> Ohaha placed Biden in charge of the stim disbursement.

======================================

CLEARLY OBAMA WAS DESPERATE FOR CORZINE TO WIN Ohaha campaigned in the state three times, saying Corzine was his "partner." Biden was there twice. Reinforcing the Dem disaster, Corzine had the Obama machine behind him. The NY Times reported:
(a) every TV ad Corzine put on the air was being screened by Obama's WH team.
(b) Corzine's aides gave the WH daily briefings.
(c) Obama’s pollsters took over for Corzine’s polling team, and,
(d) White House operatives were on the ground for internal strategy sessions,
(e) White House operatives were orchestrating obscure pep rallies with Latinos (kept secret from voters),
(f) Corzine had a "Peruvian Pac" endorsing him.

13 posted on 11/18/2009 5:19:12 AM PST by Liz (Obama's the best thing that happened to the Republican Party in a long time.)
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To: Virginia Ridgerunner

The more important election for PA (and everywhere else) is next year. Those state legislators will be the ones that perform redistricting. I hope we can see Patrick Murphy redistricted out of existence and a GOP majority firmed up.


14 posted on 11/18/2009 6:44:21 AM PST by MSF BU (++)
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To: Former Military Chick
Democrats .. prompting a debate among party officials about what rhetorical and substantive changes are needed

Keep it rhetorical. I want to see a Republican Congress in 2010.

15 posted on 11/18/2009 7:07:43 AM PST by Nonstatist
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To: Former Military Chick
We withdrew from the accounts of voters and now we need to pay them back,” said Nathan Daschle, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association. “We are having these conversations right now about what independents need to see and hear.”

There you go! Theyre going to shovel them some BS bread and circuses!! Is that perfect or what?!

How about the lapdog media do a big expose on Sarah Palin ? Or Glenn Beck? Yea, yea, thats the ticket!!

16 posted on 11/18/2009 7:18:45 AM PST by Nonstatist
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To: bmwcyle

Lazy and disinterested is the key. Their knowledge of civics is typically FAR less than their knowledge of the inner workings of the Patriots (or Mets or Lakers or North Stars, etc.). They are a large part of why this nation has problems.


17 posted on 11/18/2009 7:20:08 AM PST by MSF BU (++)
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To: Former Military Chick
America's Independent Party
18 posted on 11/18/2009 7:25:00 AM PST by EternalVigilance (We're witnessing the slow strangulation death of American republican self-government and liberty.)
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To: MSF BU

They know nothing about civics and they are so surprised when the court system sucks them in and spits them out.


19 posted on 11/18/2009 7:25:40 AM PST by bmwcyle (When do they collect and jail the homeless when they don't buy their health care?)
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To: Former Military Chick
“It looks a lot worse than it really is,” said John Anzalone, a veteran Democratic pollster. the ex Captain of the Titanic.
20 posted on 11/18/2009 7:31:05 AM PST by Condor51 (The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits)
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To: Former Military Chick
“Listen, it hasn’t been an easy time,” said T.J. Rooney, a former state legislator and the chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. “It’s almost like we’re a victim of our own success.

QUICK!
Someone take this guy's bong away. He's delusional.

21 posted on 11/18/2009 7:39:21 AM PST by Condor51 (The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits)
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To: highlander_UW
The irony strikes me...the dem's loss of independent voters may be the only thing the dems can't blame on Bush.

Ye of little faith. There is NOTHING the (BBC) Blame Bush Czar can't do.

22 posted on 11/18/2009 7:43:29 AM PST by listenhillary (A "cult of personality" arises when a leader uses mass media creating idealized/heroic public image)
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To: listenhillary
Ye of little faith. There is NOTHING the (BBC) Blame Bush Czar can't do.

Well, it seems to me that if they blame Bush for the democrats loss of independents then it'd sound like he attracted them away from the dems...something I can't imagine them wanting to admit or say. Typically, liberals insult the intelligence of anyone who differs from them, so they're more likely to call independents idiots, forgetting that they may want to try to lure them back.

23 posted on 11/18/2009 7:50:36 AM PST by highlander_UW (To anger a conservative tell him a lie. To anger a liberal tell him the truth.)
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To: muddler

Why do you think Obama and his thuggery are now talking about ‘helping small businesses’? Putting out headlines that Goldman Sachs will be giving 500 million to small businesses (such a pittance compared to the Billions they took from us) Congressional elections are coming, and they know we are going to Flip The House!.


24 posted on 11/18/2009 8:47:43 AM PST by Freddd (CNN is not credible.)
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To: Former Military Chick
[voters see dems as a party of high spending]

Where would they get such an idea? Certainly not from the drive-by media.

25 posted on 11/18/2009 9:14:32 AM PST by VRWCmember
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To: Former Military Chick
“It’s almost like we’re a victim of our own success. When you’re governing, that changes the political dynamic.”

Success? At What? The destruction of western capitalism?

26 posted on 11/18/2009 9:17:00 AM PST by VRWCmember
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