Some recent numbers from the well-respected pollsters at IBD-TIPP provide Republicans with two particular data sets that will be vital to the 2010 midterms.
But, before I get into that, let me set these numbers up with some background on why they are important.
According to Rasmussen, since October of 2007, the economy has dominated the polls as the number one issue among Americans.
The Stimulus, being the only major piece of legislation which has focused on fixing the economy, was passed by the Democratic Congress and lobbied for by the President. It is, by default, the only way Americans can judge how Democrats have managed the #1 issue in their minds.
Therefore, how Americans judge the success of the stimulus becomes extremely important, as midterms are largely referendums on the Party in power.
When the stimulus was passed, no Republicans in the House voted for it. As I mentioned back then, that was extremely important. It gave ownership of the issue to Democrats.
Now, there is lots of good news in the answer to this poll question.
But there are two numbers of particular importance – how Independents and Democrats answered the question.
73% of Indepedents believe it fell short.
48% of Democrats believe it fell short.
For 3/4 of Independents, the single major effort by Democrats to solve the number one issue in their lives – failed. This, obviously, makes them unhappy. And it makes them want to change things.
And half of all Democrats are left disappointed that this issue of such massive importance wasn’t dealt with adequately by their Party. And this makes them want to stay home.
The difficult question is how these numbers will change when/if the economy rebounds in 2010 and job numbers start to improve. Well, for arguments sake let’s say that the unemployment rate begins to turn around at an absolutely unheard of rate – 0.3% per month, over each of the next nine months (i.e. next August, when campaign season starts in full swing). If that happens, unemployment will only be down to 7.5%, or almost 3 full points higher than when Democrats took over the House in 2006.
Now, take into consideration that nearly all serious predictors indicate unemployment will continue to suffer and you start to see what kind of trouble the Democrats are in.
As usual, Get Out the Vote efforts will be massively important in the 2010 election, and especially so for Democrats – as they’ll have to convince their base to go vote, despite their massive failure.