Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Last Call

Tom Jensen at PPP finds out some interesting things about the voters in the middle.
The voters who will determine the balance of control for the next Congress are a pretty Democratic leaning group- 62% voted for Barack Obama last year while 36% voted for John McCain. They only approve of Obama by a 52/37 margin though. The fact that his disapproval and the support McCain received from them is basically the same indicates that Obama hasn't really lost any of these voters yet. But the drop from 62% who voted for him to 52% who now approve of him does suggest a lot of them haven't really decided whether they think he's a good President or not.

They're pretty divided on their feelings about health care with 45% opposed to Obama's plan and 41% in support. That suggests the issue is pretty much a wash with these voters- some are more likely to vote Democratic if the party makes progress on it but others will be turned off. There's little such division when it comes to repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell though- 64% of the swing voters supporting letting gays serve openly in the military with only 31% opposed.

Although this has little immediate relevance the divide between how these voters see Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee vs. Sarah Palin is pretty remarkable. Romney has a positive 39/24 favorability spread and Huckabee's is 32/22. But Palin's is 27/57! Republican candidates are going to be a lot better off coming across as Romney like than Palinesque this fall.
Voters in the center are still siding with the Dems.  For the most part, they remember the last eight year and they're not happy with them.  But Obama and company have to produce some high profile legislation, and dragging their feet on health care and DADT's repeal will only continue to hurt them in the fall.   If they don't, they're going to start looking at moderate Republicans to get the job done again.

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