Brutal: Another Day, Another Polling Debacle for Democrats

Posted: Oct 15, 2014 12:01 PM

The good news from a conservative perspective is that Republicans appear to be on the precipice of a very solid election cycle. But that comes with a troubling thought: If they can't win in this environment, their long-term problems are even worse than advertised. Conn summarized today's new Washington Post/ABC News poll, which shows a majority of American voters viewing the Democratic Party unfavorably for the first time in 30 years: 

Just 39 percent of respondents told pollsters they have a favorable opinion of the Democratic Party, compared to 51 percent of respondents who view the Democrats unfavorably. No poll, including Gallup, New York Times, and CBS News numbers (with data going back to 1984), has ever shown the Democrats so disliked. Republicans are even more unpopular, with just 33 percent of adults admitting to liking the party, but they have been lower and the narrow six-point gap between the two parties is close to the smallest it has been in years.

GOP favorability has consistently lagged behind the Democrats in recent years because, in part, Republican voters are much more likely to disapprove of their own party than Democrats.  That gap has narrowed in this survey, as many GOP-leaning voters appear to have "come home." Among likely voters in this survey, Democrats' image is in even worse shape at (38/56), slightly behind the GOP's (39/54). Voters remain very cool on President Obama's job performance, both overall (39/57) and regarding specific issues -- on which Republicans maintain significant advantages:

Within the crucial 'likely voter' subgroup, the GOP leads Democrats by seven points (50/43) on which party should control Congress.  Possibly the most worrisome sentence for Barack Obama's party in the ABC News write-up of the numbers is this assessment of voter preference trends in the data: "Each of these is almost identical to results of the 2010 national exit poll."  We all remember what happened in 2010, don't we?  Though Republicans have far less room to grow in the House this year, that's not true of the Senate.  Speaking of which, national Democrats seem to have abandoned Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky, Scott Brown is keeping things competitive in New Hampshire, Thom Tillis is gaining on Kay Hagan in North Carolina, heavy polling trajectories look scary for Mark Pryor in Arkansas and Mark Begich in Alaska, and then there are these latest surveys out of Iowa and Colorado:

And this is an important indicator that additional trouble lurks in those numbers for Democrats Bruce Braley and Mark Udall, respectively:

Lest you get overconfident, the Iowa race has tightened a bit in the last few weeks (with Ernst's lead shrinking in several polls), while Democrats shift additional resources to Georgia -- where a few recent polls have Michelle Nunn hanging close to Republican David Perdue. A brand new Survey USA set actually shows Nunn slightly ahead. If Republicans are really leading in Iowa and Colorado, a Nunn victory in Georgia seems far-fetched, but one never knows. Three weeks. I'll leave you with Gardner going for the kill, with a smile, in Rocky Mountain country: