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An interesting graph, via the Hotline's Steven Shepard, from this report (PDF). Buried in the new ABC/Washington Post poll (conducted by Abt-SRBI) that mostly focuses on the presidential race is this question:

Thinking about the next election in November 2012, right now, are you inclined to vote to re-elect your representative in Congress, or are you inclined to look around for someone else to vote for?

This question has been asked since 1989, and check this out (click for a larger version):

As you can see, this metric is at an all-time, two-decade high. Though we don't have access to the cross-tabs on this question, the author of the report, Gary Langer, says: "It’s up especially among Democrats, a possible sign they’re stirring as they did not in 2010." We can only hope.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 03:32 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is interesting (19+ / 0-)

    One thing it shows is that even in "status quo" elections, Americans really are never thrilled with Congress.  That said, "look around for someone else" is a much lower level of committment than "I'm definately re-electing my Congressman/woman."

    As I talk to some of my more apolitical (or at least not committed Dems) friends this summer, they are angry about what is happening in Washington, don't fully understand what all is happening, and don't fully blame the President or Congress.  I think that shows the narrative of this story hasn't been clearly written -- and the side who does first is going to win.

  •  Observation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen, blue aardvark, HoundDog

    Just a very general and meta observation and opinion, but this nation can't survive with these violent mood swings we've been having nearly every other year since 2008.  The cycles are getting shorter, and the swings more severe, and that ultimately leads to breaks in continuity and kind of making permanent the gridlock we've been seeing.  I'm scared where we all end up in this.  America can't even be workably dysfunctional when every year the electorate is voting on pure, unadulterated emotion on the issue flavor of the year issue.

    •  Eh. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike, tietack, drobertson, MichaelNY, wwmiv

       Italy survives somehow. Students for a New American Politics!

      by redrelic17 on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 07:31:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is nothing compared (0+ / 0-)

      to american history. Even recent american history. In fact washington is tepid. The US now is divided between unthinking wingnuts, leftists and mindless sheep. The wingnuts are winning because the top echelons of ur party (barring nancy pelosi) are corporate owned and going along with the plan

      A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

      by cdreid on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 06:20:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree MetroGnome-- would have (0+ / 0-)

      rec'd your comment, but there is no recommend button attached to it, nor to your subsequent comment.
      Some kinda weird glitch, I suppose...

      •  This nation survived the Civil War (0+ / 0-)

        It survived the Great Depression. It survived the assassination of four presidents (I admit I had to look that up: I didn't remember James Garfield). It survived genocidal campaigns against the Native Americans, slavery, and segregation. And we are to think it can't survive some Republican bullheaded contrarianism? This is nothing compared to the troubles we've had!

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 07:13:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  True. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Most Americans living today remember the US as more successful than perhaps they should.

          Most grew up in a relative high point of US history. They were raised in times of general abundance. In the last 65 years the US has "saved the world" in WWII, made great strides in civil rights, put a human on the moon, beaten those damned commies in the USSR, completely dominated the world economy, and was the unquestioned global center of technology. Sure, we had stupid failures like the Vietnam war, but the successes generally outweighed those.

          These "successes" are declining in frequency and magnitude now. This is inevitable of course as the developing countries improve their education and economic systems and have/will begin to dominate in many sectors.

          So, yep, it will survive -- just not in the condition that most Americans recall from their lifetime. We are 4.5% of the world population. People living in other countries are not genetically "dumber" than Americans, so we should be surprised in the long term if we enjoy more than 4.5% of the world's bounty, attention, and respect.

          At some point, America will have to wind down its dominate military -- the last area that we remain the undisputed world leader. We just can't afford to be the world's policeman any more -- let the other powers (including China) take more leadership in that.

  •  This metric doesn't surprise me (6+ / 0-)

    Face it, the past 3 years has been a political roller coaster in our nation.  The American people are still trying to get their hands around on (a) who is responsible for this crisis and (b) who is able to build a consensus within Congress to resolve these issues.  I think the Democratic voters who didn't vote in 2010 plus the Indies who drifted to the GOP are really considering their option for 2012.  

    •  More than that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, wishingwell, dkosdan

      When you take into account voter up close and personal encounters with Republican rule in Florida, Ohio, Maine, Michigan, and Wisconsin, I think the up ticket speaks to Democrats more than baggers. The real proof will be the recalls in Wisconsin and the SB recall in Ohio. Not sure about the recall in Michigan though. I think we'll have a better picture of the battle themes by this Nov (assuming we survive the debt ceiling and then the FY2012 budget process.

      Try not to let your mind wander... It's too small and fragile to be out by itself.

      by mjcc1987 on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 06:30:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a sword that could cut both ways (10+ / 0-)

    especially as the Presidential election takes prominence, as it inevitably will.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 06:47:47 PM PDT

  •  House GOP helping Obama bigtime (21+ / 0-)

    I can't help but think that one thing helping Obama politically all year has been how extreme the GOP House has been.  The swing voters who voted for them last November are not happy with them.

    When recent reports talk about how Obama's job approvals are actually stronger than they "should" be given the country's condition and sentiments, I think they omit this as an important factor.  Obama looks a lot better than the Republican Party.  That was irrelevant when Democrats had one-party rule the previous couple years.  But now it matters and is an implicit help to Obama and also an implicit drag on GOP Presidential candidates.

    People are going to think long and hard about voting Republican for President next year knowing that they could be giving the crazies full control of the asylum.

    And at the same time, they're going to have a much harder time than last time stomaching voting Republican in House races.

    43, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and a boy, Democrat, VA-10

    by DCCyclone on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 08:02:41 PM PDT

    •  I hope your analysis is correct. (2+ / 0-)

      I don't know, however, whether it is or not.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 10:46:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One thing's for sure (0+ / 0-)

        This doesn't just affect Republican incumbents.  

        You can't get to 63% of all Democrats without including a lot of Democrats who unhappy with their representation even though they are in a Democratic district.  Most people I talk to are unhappy with everybody in Washington.  Me too.

        The Republicans have more of the swing districts in the House right now, so they have more to lose from anti-incumbent fever.  But the Democrats have 23 of 33 Senate incumbents in 2012.

        I agree with the pollsters who said this week that President Obama is more popular than he should be given the economic picture.  We'll see how long he can keep that up with the economic charts all going the wrong way for another 18 months while Obama slashes away at the safety net.  

        I expect President Obama to be a giant concrete block tied around the congressional Democrats' necks in 2012, and they are going straight to the bottom of the harbor unless they cut the rope.  

    •  A CNN Poll (9+ / 0-)

      Recently showed that while 52% of Americans thought Obama handled the debt ceiling issue responsibly, only 33% of Americans thought the Republicans did too.

      For more election analysis and redistricting maps, check out my blog

      by Alibguy on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 06:11:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree with this to a point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There's no question the extremism of Obama's opponents is helping the President (not just House Republicans, Republican governoros as well). The question is, if someone like Romney gets the nomination (and he's still my odd-on-favorite to win), can he plausibly fight the "crazies" meme?

      I think Romney actually might be able to, though I'm hard pressed to think of a single other declared candidate (with the possible exception of the almost dead Pawlenty) who could do so.

    •  Agree (0+ / 0-)

      very much agree

      Try not to let your mind wander... It's too small and fragile to be out by itself.

      by mjcc1987 on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 06:32:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is anyone else bugged by the chart not being (7+ / 0-)

    (for lack of a better word) equitemporal?

    I know this is kinda missing the point, but i was interested in trends.  But it seems like the last several data points are from 2010 but then you have just a few points from the mid-noughties and then back to 1998.

  •  We need a 50-State Strategy for 2012 (14+ / 0-)

    with 435 House candidates. Who knows which GOP blowhard voters may have seen and heard enough of lately to try someone new.

    "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves." — Abraham Lincoln

    by bear83 on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 10:22:19 PM PDT

    •  YAY! And there are some Senators on my list. (0+ / 0-)

      Unfortunately, some of those Senators are supposed Democrats, and there really isn't enough time left in those states to mount an effective primary. Too much money needed, too much ground to cover.

      But I have a list, and there's a "Senator" list for 2014, too.

  •  This is what buyer's remorse looks like (6+ / 0-)

    Unfortunately, the Constitution does not provide for recall elections on members of Congress.

    It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness - Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Fish in Illinois on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 06:37:36 AM PDT

  •  Its like asking someone on the titanic if they'd (6+ / 0-)

    prefer to be on another ship

    "I smoke. If this bothers anyone, I suggest you look around at the world in which we live and shut your fuckin' mouth." --- Bill Hicks

    by voroki on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 06:17:25 PM PDT

  •  The way I read that is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pine, mightymouse

    any politician who treats 2012 like it's 2010 or 2008 or any other election in recent history may come to regret it.

    The country is ready for change. No Obama - level change, and certainly not Romney level change.

    This might be the election where a self-financed billionaire wins the 3rd party run.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 06:17:30 PM PDT

  •  So where are the Democrats? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cdreid, David Kaib, wishingwell, pine, dkosdan

    I can't speak to any other part of the States, but PA-7 and PA-8 were handed back to the Republicans. We lost Joe Sestak (near miss in Senate run) and Pat Murphy (stupity in Bucks County).  I have not seen article one in any local paper about any Dem looking to win back those seats. Pat Murphy is trying to become our state AG and Sestak has been MIA. The guy who lost Sestak's seat, Bryan Lentz, has been MIA as well. In PA-6 we can't seem to get a decent Democrat to knock off Jim Gerlach. Manan Trevidi got smoked in 2010 and is talking about running again. Slim pickings down here in the Philly burbs.

  •  I am hearing this in my office, a lot. (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats want a change, and the Republicans want anyone who can win in 2010, which they don't see right now.  

    Live for friendship, live for love, For truth's and harmony's behoof; The state may follow how it can

    by SpamNunn on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 06:22:06 PM PDT

  •  LANDSLIDE! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, wishingwell, 417els

    I hope....

    These teabaggers have proved they're jokers who are incapable of governing. I remember Charlie Cook on Election Day 2010 saying voters were so mad that if the GOP didn't deliver, the tide could turn even harder the other way in 2012.

    I don't think the voters have simmered down since then and the Rs have done exactly nothing to impress.

  •  Senate Rules (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A re-take of the House means squat if we don't reform the Senate. A 51 vote Senate would have given us a public option, cram down, seated judges, Employee Free Choice Act, etc.

  •  it could be an amazin flip (6+ / 0-)

    after their historic victory the teabaggers thought they could rule and get crazy as hell. They overreached all across the nation and exposed their nutty agenda for all to see.

    It's now up to us to take advantage of their mistakes.

    America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

    by cacamp on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 06:28:52 PM PDT

  •  I "inherited" Jackie Speir from Tom Lantos, and (0+ / 0-)

    I'm definitely looking. Is there no Barbara Lee in this whole bleeping district? But the local Democratic Party is a bunch of whine-and-brie, KQED, pseudo liberals. "He who has the gold makes the rules."

    As far as Diane Feinstein, I've been for replacing her since her stupid, pointless, costly war against the Mitchell Brothers when she was mayor. But it's amazing how, when you're "safe" in a blue district/state, you can be a total asshole. That's why I drive to Reno/Sparks to work precincts. I'd rather deal with purple to outright red precincts, than have to deal with the smarmy, "Oh, but Diane has been so good for us" shit.

  •  I really love how Dems expressed the populist (3+ / 0-)

    message these passed two years....

    Damn, sorry... I bumped my head on the wall again.

    This is a crisis I knew had to come, Destroying the balance I'd kept. Doubting, unsettling and turning around, Wondering what will come next.
    --Ian Curtis

    by jethrock on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 06:33:26 PM PDT

  •  That's why the President (6+ / 0-)

    has played this really well. People have made a decision about this Congress. And the President can now run against them. He is compromising them to death. 2012 will be a big year for our side, I think.

  •  NC-08 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Yes I would like to replace Larry Kissell with someone to the left of Larry.
    Could that person get elected?? I don't have a clue.
    I hope there is someone willing to challenge Larry in a Primary.

    •  One-word answer (0+ / 0-)
      Yes I would like to replace Larry Kissell with someone to the left of Larry.
      Could that person get elected??


      Longer answer: Not even if the districts in NC had remained the same, but definitely not now. A Republican will win that district.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 06:43:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Larry Kissel was to the left of Larry Kissel... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David Kaib

      When he ran his first successful campaign.  Remember, he was once a netroots candidate.  So, yes, such a person could get elected.  Larry Kissel himself proved that fact.


      by LordMike on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 07:20:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even if he broke promises (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        And I don't want to get into that here, because it's not relevant to the particular focus of DKE (but you could point me to a link if it covers any specific promises he broke), the district is very different now.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 08:02:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is not a surprise (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Gryffin, MichaelNY, 417els

    This "Freshman Class" is composed of total amateurs, many of whom are your average joe schmoe angry crazy Republican neighbor. They have no business in any position of authority, let alone the House of Representatives.

  •  this goes with more saying "things getting worse" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    dissatisfaction is rising.

    I guess it's a function of the economy.

    Here I am! I'm up here! Where are you? - the Red-eyed Vireo

    by mightymouse on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 07:41:35 PM PDT

  •  The question is, which party are the whigs? n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Unfortunately (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YellerDog, dkosdan

    Unfortunately I feel that Democrats are stirring because they are mad, and their representatives do not represent them or the values they stand for.  They don't have the guts or the common sense, even, to stand up for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, overwhelmingly popular programs to people of all political persuasions.

    Yes, Democrats are stirring.  But that does not mean they will vote for Democrats or available Democrats.  

    They just are looking for someone who will stand up and truly represent them.  Seems like such an easy equation, but Democratic representatives these days seem to think their easier bargain is to play golf and other games with the other side.

  •  Fat and Mean revisited (0+ / 0-)

    Economist David M. Gordon boiled it down to just that in a book by the same name from 1996 (congress changed hands by big swings back then too) -- the fat and mean corporate culture in the US squeezes the worker, makes us less productive and more miserable, all to over compensate upper management. Fact is more cathartic than comedy, here are his remedies, the high road, that all should have been legislated yesterday: 1) increase minimum wage based on price index; 2) Automatic union certification with 55% signature cards; 3) Amend Fair Labor Standards Act to expand protections and mandate vacations; 4) Investment subsidies for cooperative and democratic firms; 5) Training assistance for cooperation (labor and management). Perhaps, a 6th recommendation ought to be universal health care as he mentions it plenty. It is embarrassing to know firms playing by more worker friendly rules are thriving elsewhere with much lower "overhead", while our touted Dream, looks more like a Nightmare. He notes Rush hates the federal government for taking in 1.3 trillion, but has no bile to spare for the 1.34 trillion sucked down by the corporate hierarchy, again that was 1996!

    "O you can't scare me, I'm sticking to the union" - Woody Guthrie from Union Maid

    by dkosdan on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 02:31:32 AM PDT

    •  Interesting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But this has nothing to do with campaigns and elections. Maybe it should, but it doesn't.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 03:02:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  voter economic frustration drives elections (0+ / 0-)

        especially the flip flops of the 90's and more recent times. The legislative means to boost prosperity has been within our reach, but not grasped. Unless applied, there is little solace in knowing there are legislative means to corral corporate management that may be even more effective than raising taxes.

        "O you can't scare me, I'm sticking to the union" - Woody Guthrie from Union Maid

        by dkosdan on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 09:19:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Constitutional Amendment (0+ / 0-)

    I would love to see President Obama and Congressional Democrats (House/Senate) propose on Monday a Constitutional Amendment that states that if a default takes place at any time all memebers of Congress will be forced to resign after a special election held in one month, those memebers not allowed ever again to run for Federal Elective Office  and a special election called immediately. Think the GOP might be called back to their senses then?

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