A new msnbc.com Voter Confidence Index tracks midterm trends, and what it shows is "nisht gut" for the Dems, as my Yiddishe grandma used to say.
The index measures the country's mood as shown by three poll questions from major national pollsters: the president's job approval rating, the direction of the country, and the generic congressional ballot.
WASHINGTON -- With the midterm elections less than six weeks away, President Obama and the Democratic Party are suffering from a lack of voter optimism, according to a new Voter Confidence Index created by NBC News and msnbc.com.
"Lack of voter optimism" sounds like a euphemism for "mad as hell." msnbc.com also has a neato interactive graphic that shows the VCI monthly since February 2009, and the VCI for President Gerald Ford and subsequent Presidents.
Bottom line: A positive (+) VCI is good for the president's party; a negative (-) one is bad. Generally, the lower the number, the worse the president's party performs in the midterms.
Currently, the VCI shows Obama and the Democratic Party in negative territory, with a -38 VCI average for the month of September. I've embedded it here:
That's eight points worse than where President Clinton and the Democrats stood in 1994, when Democrats lost 54 seats in the House and eight in the Senate. MSNBC says that there were other factors at play in the past, but whatever they were, this is still bad news for the Democrats.
Of course, MSNBC also notes that the current VCI is 17 points better than where George W. Bush and Republicans stood in 2006, when Republicans lost 30 House seats and six in the Senate. And it's three points worse than where Ronald Reagan and the GOP stood in 1982. But Republicans then lost 26 House seats and when unemployment was at 10 percent, like it nearly is today.
The bottom line is: The current political environment is bad for Democrats, and that forecasts major losses in November.