John Feehery: Speaking Engagements

Header

Things Looking Up for Congressional GOP

Posted on September 2, 2009
Things Looking Up for Congressional GOPers

According to a story that appeared in today’s Wall Street Journal, new polls show that the bottom is falling out for President Obama’s team in Congress: “If congressional Democrats needed more warning signs about a potential drubbing in next year’s midterm elections, the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press just provided them.
Opinions of Congress have taken a 13-point nosedive since April and are now at one of the lowest points in more than two decades, according to a new poll by the nonpartisan outfit. Currently, 37% feel favorably toward the men and women on Capitol Hill; 52% feel unfavorably. And while Democrats still maintain a narrow advantage over Republicans, it is now well within the margin of error. Of those polled, 45% said they would vote for the Democratic candidate in their district or lean that way, compared with 44% who lean to the GOP. At this point four years ago, Democrats led the so-called generic ballot 52% to 40%. Independents, which recently backed Democrats by a wide margin, now support Republicans in their district, 43% to 38%. And though Democrats still hold advantages on most issues, two issues that Democrats recently dominated – the budget deficit and managing the federal government – are now neck and neck. By a 46% to 39% margin, Americans say they generally oppose the health care proposals under consideration in Congress.”


Last week, the noted political analyst Charlie Cook made a stark prediction that it was just as likely that the Democrats would lose more than 20 seats as it is that they would lose less than 20 seats. No big surprise there in that the average mid-term loss for a party in power is around 20 seats.

This is no average year, though. President Obama was elevated by irrational exuberance during his election and the American people had irrationally high expectations about what he could accomplish.

What is clear now is that the Obama bubble has burst, and that Democrats are facing an electorate that is disappointed, scared, angry, disgusted and vengeful. That does not bode well for their electoral prospects next year.

Republicans haven’t done much to win the affection of voters thus far, but they probably don’t need to yet. The Democrats have done an excellent job of branding themselves as a bunch of incompetent spendaholics who want the government to take over most major industries. And right now, that is enough to put the House up for grabs next year.