Mother Jones: ….. A recent poll conducted by Brigham Young University’s Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy shows that overall support for the tea party in Utah has dropped from 53 percent during last year’s elections to 46 percent in April. A closer look at the numbers, though, shows that while overall and independent support for the movement has eroded, diehard Republicans are even more committed than before….
….Among independent voters, support for the tea party has plummeted by nearly fifty percent, potentially helping moderate Democrats. But for “strong Republicans,” support for the tea party climbed from 76 to 82 percent…
The takeaway: as the tea party continues to consolidate its support among Republicans, independents (i.e., the voters who end up deciding elections) are drifting away in increasing numbers. Whether this trend continues taking hold in Utah – the heart of the conservative heartland – could be a bellwether for its national viability.
Public Policy Polling: PPP’s newest national poll finds that after a little more than 3 months in charge House Republicans have fallen so far out of favor with the American public that it’s entirely possible Democrats could take control of the House back next year.
43% of voters think that House Republicans are doing a worse job now than the Democrats did, compared to only 36% who think the GOP has brought an improvement. 19% think things are about the same. 62% of voters thinking that the Republicans have either made things worse or brought no improvement to an already unpopular Congress does not bode particularly well for the party.
46% of voters say that if there was an election for Congress today they would vote Democratic, compared to only 41% who would vote Republican. That five point advantage for Democrats is only a hair below the margin Republicans won by in the national popular vote last year. A victory of that magnitude for the Democrats next year would at the very least result in the party taking back a large number of the seats it lost last year, and it could be enough to take back the outright majority…
….These poll numbers also point to the reality that Republicans taking control of the House may have been one of the best things that could possibly have happened for Obama’s reelection prospects … voters may not love Obama as once they did but they’re finding him to be more reasonable than the alternative and that means it will be hard for the GOP to knock him off next year without a top notch nominee.
One thing is very much for certain – it’s not 2010 anymore.
Political Wire: … Stunningly, independent voters now say they’d vote Democratic for the House by a 42% to 33% margin, representing a 28 point reversal in a span of just five months.
Greg Sargent (Washington Post): …. Democrats have spent an awful lot of time lately hammering John Boehner for taking his marching orders in the budget fight from the Tea Party…
This strategy is all about exploiting the division between the GOP base and independents, who are sharply at odds over whether GOP leaders should shut down the government or reach a budget compromise.
The new Pew poll (see here) adds a crucial data point in understanding this dynanmic – independents have swung sharply against the Tea Party in recent days:
“The rise in negative views of the Tea Party has occurred largely among political independents and Democrats … Today, as many independents disagree as agree with the Tea Party (27% each); the percentage disagreeing with the Tea Party has risen 13 points.”
….the problem for the GOP leadership is that the budget war is forcing them to navigate a sharp divide between the GOP base and indys. Polls show that majorities of Republicans want a shutdown rather than a compromise. By contrast; strong majorities of independents – who helped the GOP’s gains in 2010 and will be crucial to the party heading into 2012 – want a compromise.
The constant invocation of the Tea Party by Schumer and others is a shorthand effort to exacerbate this division — it’s a bid to paint the GOP as hostage to extremists with the explicit goal of wining back independents. And it’s facilitated by the fact that the more independents learn about the Tea Party, the less they like it.
The headline? “Obama Shows Alarming Loss of Ground with Independents, Poll Indicates.”
Okay, that didn’t sound good.
“A new Reuters/Ipsos Poll shows President Barack Obama’s job approval rating among independents (37%) dropped sharply when compared to last month’s rating. According to the poll, the president’s approval rating fell a precipitous 10 percent. Could it spell trouble for his re-election?”
But wait. Buried right at the bottom of the article were the findings of two other polls, by Gallup and Rasmussen, which put the President’s approval rating among independents at, respectively, 43% and 47%. Yes, 47% – a whole 10% higher than the Reuters/Ipsos poll. That’s just 4% lower than he got in the 2008 election.
“The numbers might be more worrisome for the president … if other polls corroborated the fall in approval ratings … Gallup, which daily tracks the president’s approval rating, showed Obama at 43 percent approval among independents during the same time frame, down only 2 percent from a month ago (and still up by a point over January).”
But it was the Reuters/Ipsos Poll that Yahoo chose to highlight, and feature in their headline.
I dunno, if you had three polls showing wildly different findings, wouldn’t you focus on the middle one?
Or mention that two of the three polls were rather positive for the President?
Then again, “Independent support for Obama down only 2 percent from a month ago (and still up by a point over January)” doesn’t quite fit that narrative, eh?