Jillian Bandes
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As the 2010 mid-term elections cycle swings into gear, Democrat pollster Fred Yang admits that the outlook for his party isn’t so rosy.

“I think Mr. T said it best for the Democrats in 2010, ‘prediction: pain,’” he said, making a reference to the character that Mr. T played in the 1980s television series The A-Team.

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Yang, who heads the Garin Hart Yang Research Group, explained his position alongside Republican Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies at forum hosted by National Journal. Both men agreed that Democrats had an uphill battle ahead of them, but that the situation wasn’t hopeless – for two reasons.

First, there’s a lot of time between now and November 2010. Currently, he said, the election isn’t on the radar of anyone outside of Washington, D.C.

Second, they said that the Republican brand isn’t at its peak. The tea party movement hasn’t yet filled in the holes of the GOP’s establishment political organizations, and stand-alone conservative candidates could split tickets, siphon off campaign money, and wreak havoc on solidified Republican presence.

“You can’t beat something with nothing,” explained McInturff. He did admit that he expected the tea party movement to eventually work in the Republican Party’s favor. But it hasn’t happened yet.

Furthermore, the anger transcends party lines, meaning that tea partiers might not translate into Republican electoral success.

“I think this anger out there is so big, so pervasive, that it could be turned against anyone,” said McInturff. Yang made a similar point.

Yang placed a lot of the current dissatisfaction with Congress on the economy. Asked where Congress’ record low approval ratings were coming from, Yang replied: “12.5% at Democrats, 12.5% At Republicans, and 75% at the economy.”

McInturff snorted.

“The first step in self-help groups is to take responsibility,” he said.

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Jillian Bandes

Jillian Bandes is the National Political Reporter for Townhall.com