Wednesday, February 10, 2010


If you look at the numbers in the new Washington Post/ABC poll, you'll see that Democrats now have a 6-point lead over Republicans on the question "which party ... do you trust to do a better job in coping with the main problems the nation faces over the next few years?" That's a huge drop -- it was a 16-point Democratic lead less than two months ago, and a 20-point lead in September.

And it's worse than it looks, because when a lot of wingnuts these days are asked about the GOP, they express wariness, but their implicit message is "I don't trust the GOP -- the GOP has betrayed true conservative principles." But, come November, they'll absolutely vote GOP, especially if, at some point, the GOP candidate's stump speech includes an applause line that focuses on the word "tea."

And while the Democrats may have still have a slight lead on the "trust" question, their lead on the generic ballot question has been wiped out:

Asked how they would vote in the November House elections, Americans split evenly -- 46 percent siding with the Democrats, 46 percent with the Republicans. As recently as four months ago, Democrats held a 51 to 39 percent advantage on this question.

Want to know how bad that is? If you go back to the numbers, Democrats actually led in the generic ballot question by 10 points in February 1994 -- and they still got wiped out in November. In fact, Democrats led in all but one WaPo poll in 1994. I suppose that may mean Republicans are peaking too soon -- hey, if we all clap louder, the economy could recover by fall, right? -- but to me it says that Democrats are in worse shape than they were the year Gingrich & Co. ran the table.

I want a respectable polling operation to run a generic ballot question positing a Democrat vs. a tea party Republican. After all, every Republican this year is going to run as a tea party Republican -- and Democrats and liberals have done a godawful job of discrediting the movement. I suspect the results would be even worse for the Dems than the results in this poll.

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