It’s become a common refrain to say that the November elections were more of a rejection of Democrats than an endorsement for the Republicans. Two pollsters from opposite sides of the political spectrum have proven it.
RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie and GOP pollster Whit Ayres of Resurgent Republic released a poll earlier this month along with Stan Greenberg and James Carville, of Friends of Democracy Corps and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. In it, they found that Independent voters side with Republicans in placing blame on the Democratic Congress for the current state of affairs, but that approval for Republicans is no greater than in 2008 and 2006.
The GOP has seemingly taken those sentiments to heart, muting their post-election victory celebrations and doing everything they can to convey the seriousness with which they are approaching the upcoming session.
“There’s a definite sense that voters will be watching to see if the changes that took place this November affect their stance on the economy,” said Luke Frans, of Resurgent Republic. “This wasn’t a free pass.”
In the memo, Carville and Greenberg had similar thoughts.
“To begin, we should note how discerning these voters are about the Republicans. Much like the new Senator from West Virginia, they aimed their weapons at the Democrats, not the Republicans for whom they have little regard for,” they wrote. “This election was about Democratic governance, not a new regard for the Republican agenda and philosophy.”
The poll found that Republicans think the country is on the wrong track by a whopping 92 percent, and Independents think the same at 79 percent. That was similar to the numbers of voters who opposed the health care bill, according to the survey. Republicans disapproved of Obamacare 93 to 3 percent, and independents opposed it 51 to 39 percent.
Dissapproval of the health care bill was reiterated by a McClatchy-Marist poll just yesterday. Overall, the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner / Resurgent Republic poll found that respondents favored health care repeal by a margin of 42 to 51 percent. Just yesterday, the McClatchy Marist poll found that 65 percent were not in favor of the individual mandate, with 29 percent saying it should be kept.
Strangely, fifty-one percent of respondents wanted to keep all or most of the health care bill – apparently, “most” did not include the mandate.
Frans points out that regardless of the level of support, one of the clearest issues that voters were angry about after the election was the health care bill, according to his poll.
“There’s a thermometer scale in the survey for a variety of issues… for independent voters, the only thing they rated worse than the health care bill was Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi,” he said.
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