By all media accounts, Democrats are in for a drubbing in the November elections, despite polls showing congressional Republicans and Democrats are held in near equal low esteem by most Americans — and now, in spite of the fact solid majorities reject GOP policies.
For example, only a third of those polled support repealing health care reform, with similarly anemic results for Republicans’ plans to extend the Bush tax cuts for all and replace Medicare with a voucher scheme.
The ironic findings emerged in a Pew Research Center survey, the Society for Human Resource Management/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, which queried 1,001 adults last Thursday through Sunday.
Of no surprise among the findings was that Republican policies get strongest support from white males age 30-49. (It would be interesting to know how many of those had a southern drawl.)
Republicans hit a wall when they try to peddle their nonsense to senior citizens. That’s especially so when the nonsense involves messing with Social Security and Medicare. Those 18-29 years old, who haven’t been through GOP-generated hard times with a shredded safety net before and whose retirement horizon is decades away, “overwhelmingly supported the Social Security changes.”
The survey did turn up one surprising result.
Perhaps more jarringly for Republican leaders, fewer than half of Republican respondents favored extending all the Bush tax cuts or replacing Medicare benefits with vouchers.
Maybe there’s hope for some of these folks after all.
The survey results strike us as a reasonably accurate snapshot of where a recession-rattled, politically disgusted American public is right now. There’s little good news here either for Democrats on track to lose a bunch of seats in Congress, maybe even control of the House, or for Republicans whose ideas are going over like lead balloons.
The picture that comes through is one of people prepared to vote their dissatisfaction, anxiety and resentment. That will be a bitter pill for many Democrats to swallow. After all, they have worked hard the past two years to clean up after the orgy of reckless, selfish excess President Bush, congressional Republicans, Wall Street and corporate America indulged in at the expense of the rest of us.
Democrats are also about to get kicked in the teeth for having delivered on desperately needed, long overdue health care reform — a task that so far is proving to be as thankless as it was difficult to accomplish.
If there’s a message in these poll results, and from the looming election, it is this:
Republicans will get the better of this election not because people particularly like or trust them, or want their agenda passed. It’s all about voters taking their displeasure out on the party that last time won the White House, the Congress and with that got left holding the bag.