Pink Slips…

There has been a lot said about the upcoming mid-term elections, most of it not good for Dems. Some, like Michael Barone, have likened the upcoming mid-terms to 1894, when the GOP picked up 130 seats in what is the greatest mid-term electoral victory in U.S. history.

I’m not yet convinced that we’ll see that happen again, though some similarities bear mention. 1894 was defined by voter frustration at the government’s inability to deal with the economic issues of the day (sound familiar?). The election followed the Panic of 1873, which up and until the Great Depression of the 1930’s, was considered the worst depression in U.S. history. The Panic came about as the result of the collapse of the railroad, which had overbuilt on shaky financing. This resulted in a series of bank failures and a run on gold and silver. The estimated unemployment for the country in 1894 is 12.3%.

This is eerily similar to today, a collapsed housing market as a result of overbuilding on shaky financing, followed by a series bank failures. Today’s jobs numbers- a loss of 95,000 jobs and an unemployment rate of 9.6%– were not good for the party in power. And the Labor Department’s rate of 9.6% is slightly less than Gallop’s 10.1% estimation.

But more importantly, the voters are angry. Polling shows that 63% of voters now say they are angry at the policies of the federal government, with 43% who are Very Angry. And why are they angry? Priorities. 33% say the economy is the biggest problem for the country today, followed closely by jobs at 28%. But here is the kicker, third and fourth on the list is government dissatisfaction and the federal deficit, 11% and 7% respectively.

This is why we have a Tea Party movement.


So, what can we expect from November 2nd? I think it is important to examine some interesting numbers on who’ll be voting and why. Gallop’s latest Generic Ballot poll shows the GOP leading Dems among registered voters 46/43. However, Gallop furthered their poll into likely voters based on both a high voter turnout and a low voter turnout. A high turnout showed the GOP ahead of Dems 53/40, but in a low voter turnout scenario, which is the most likely, the GOP leads the Dems 56/38. Gallop also looked at the composition of the voter turnout, with high turnout being composed of 36% Republican, 30% Independent and 31% Dem, but a low turnout would garner a 38% Republican, 31% Independent and 29% Dem showing.

When political ideology is introduced to the equation, it becomes very clear on what is happening. While the party composition of likely voters is relatively even, the political profile is not. 54% of likely voters on November 2nd will be Conservative. 27% identify themselves as Moderate but only 18% of Liberals will likely be voting in this mid-term. Now, some are calling this the Enthusiasm Gap, but I think it is closer to a reflection of the Ascendency of Conservatism, which I’ve documented here, here, and here. This is a conservative nation and the radical left policies of the Obama-Reid-Pelosi agenda have served to awaken a sleeping giant.

So we know who’ll be voting- conservatives- but why?

Gallop has another interesting poll, which questions whether or not a lot of thought has gone into the upcoming mid-term elections. In it, they found that 54% of Republicans have given quite a lot of thought while only 32% of Dems have thought about the election. When Gallop delved deeper, they found that based on party identification and political ideology, 63% of Conservative Republicans had thought about the election versus only 32% of Liberal Dems- nearly a two to one margin.

But this is the icing on the cake.

Gallop asked why a likely voter for either party would vote that way. What they found was astonishing- 30% of likely voters for Dem candidates will vote that way because they always vote Dem. This was followed by 15% who favored the candidate’s agenda or policies, 13% who simply dislike the GOP, and 12% who felt the incumbent was doing a good job. Only 3% or less were voting to support the President, favored a liberal agenda or were more supportive of unions.

Contrast this with likely voters for the GOP. 16% were voting based on the candidate’s agenda or policies. 15% always voted for the GOP and 11% didn’t like Dems in general. But 11% were voting either in favor or, or against, the incumbent and 10% were voting for change.

Likely GOP voters are voting on the issues, mostly on the national level. What we are seeing is that Conservative voters are thinking about the issues and are looking to hold their elected representatives accountable. I wouldn’t predict a 100 seat swing, but there is little reason to think that an informed Conservative voting bloc is going to be merciful to the current regime.

Walk the Plank…