Democrats in worst shape in the last 50 years 

In my Examiner column today I try to answer the question: how could a team that produced such a successful presidential campaign have produced such an unsuccessful policy agenda? The metrics are pretty clear: Barack Obama got the highest percentage of the vote for a Democratic candidate for president since 1964 and now he has plunged his party into its weakest position in the polls since that time.

For confirmation, look at the Real Clear Politics average of recent polls on the generic vote for Congress: 45% Republican and 42% Democratic. Rasmussen Reports, which interviews only those who pass a screen as likely voters, has it 44%-36% Republican, ABC/Washington Poll has it 45%-42% Republican, NPR’s bipartisan poll has it 44%-39% Republican and Gallup has a 45%-45% tie. Democracy Corps, a Democratic outfit which has earned respect for its results, has Democrats ahead 46%-41%.

ABC’s Gary Langer does a good job of putting these numbers into perspective. He writes, “It should be noted that vote preferences today don’t predict those in November, and generic congressional preferences, in particular, don’t reflect the idiosyncracies of individual races across the country. That said, the current 48-45 split in favor of Republican candidates among registered voters, while not a statistically significant advantage, is unusual. Republicans have held a numerical advantage just six times in scores of ABC/Post polls since 1981.”

At this moment, Democrats look to be in worse shape with the voters than they have been at any time in the last 50 years.

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Michael Barone

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