There has been more than enough bad news for Democrats lately. The other day, a new Gallup poll gave Republicans a historical 10 point lead over Democrats in the generic ballot for Congress.
Today Gallup released more dire news. “Americans saying the Republicans in Congress would do a better job than the Democrats in Congress of handling seven of nine key election issues. The parties are essentially tied on healthcare, with the environment being the lone Democratic strength.”
After spending more than a year (and a fair amount of political capital) on health care (remember the “big f’ing deal,” to quote the vice president), the Democrats’ lead on the issue is 44 to 43 percent.
Those of us who remember the circumstances surrounding entry into Iraq, might find it interesting that the GOP holds a thundering lead over Dems (55 to 33 percent) on the issue of terrorism. Those of us who remember the dramatic post-2000 expansion of federal spending and the introduction of Medicare Part D might find it odd that the GOP also leads on the issue of controlling spending (50 to 35 percent).
Do voters suffer from amnesia or is the recession-induced hatred of incumbents and the controlling party so great that they are hoping that this time will be different?
Unless there has been something of a conversion experience in the past few years, can we reasonably expect the GOP to exhibit a level of responsibility and a fidelity to foundational principles that was sorely lacking when they held the reigns of power?
If the November midterms go the GOP’s way and there has not been some serious reflection on the mistakes of the past, my guess is that many of these numbers will quickly flip by 2012.