Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Worse Than 1994

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | September 24, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Democrats, midterm elections, midterms, MSNBC, Republicans, VCI

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:

(If your web browser doesn't show it, you can see 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.


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I believe the US Senate will be split almost evenly by Dems+Ind and Republicans. But, party affiliation doesn't tell the whole story.

After the mid-terms there will likely be an increase of anti-LGBT politicians in the House and the Senate. The Senate continues to be our "dead end" and unfortunately that's about to get worse. We will go from 45 Anti-LGBT Senators to 47 or 48.

More "politics," anyone?

It's not a foregone conclusion that the Democrats will lose both Houses although by any honest measure they deserve to lose both. And it's likely.

In Nevada, where I live, the race is between Reid, a right centrist who's intervened on several occasions to save floundering gambling properties with federal largesse. Reid and Eisenhower would have agreed on most everything except curbing the military industry complex. Reid's in bed with them.

Opposed to Reid is a genuine political lunatic, Sharon Angle, a right centrist who's slightly to the right of Herbert Hoover. She wants to dismantle Medicare and Social Security and says so. Out loud. In Public.

The Senate race has remained neck and neck since it began. That's because people hate what Congress has done (make the rich much, much richer and the poor much, much poorer) but are confused about who to blame because both are to blame.

That confusion, combined with deep seated rage about job export, TARP, union busting, mass unemployment, homelessness and soaring poverty rates are driving this election but none of the polls I've seen delve into those questions. (The real rates for unemployment (1) and poverty(2) are far larger than the 'official' rates and both are well within the range of conditions during the depression of 1929-1941.)

In the absence of a left alternative the election results will be as meaningless as ever as people dejectedly shuffle from one lesser evil to another. That will begin to change as the shock of mass unemployment and poverty begin to translate into rage.
(1)http://portalseven.com/employment/unemployment_rate_u6.jsp

(2)http://www.alternet.org/economy/148255/that_%27official%27_poverty_rate_it%27s_much_worse_than_you_think/

Projected isn't for sure. Honestly, I think the Dem's will squeek and squeek loudly.

With Palin stumping for tea baggers one day and Republican's the next she alone is splitting the party and driving it right. But I don't see the Tea Bagers being effective or leading legislation. Jr congress members never are. I do see them getting in to hot water constantly if not out right violating the laws and rules surrounding the office's of congress.

If anything, the independants may gain ground. But in the end, I think the status quo will remain with both the house and senate being split nearly 50/50 with a bare majority held and members constantly voting as if they belong to the opposite party.

Oh, and I don't see Obama getting the DNC nod for running a second term at all.

See Jillian, nobody really cares about the truth.