The Pew Research poll has some sobering news for the Democratic Congress:
About half (52%) of registered voters would like to see their own representative re-elected next year, while 34% say that most members of Congress should be re-elected. Both measures are among the most negative in two decades of Pew Research surveys. Other low points were during the 1994 and 2006 election cycles, when the party in power suffered large losses in midterm elections.
Support for congressional incumbents is particularly low among political independents. Only 42% of independent voters want to see their own representative re-elected and just 25% would like to see most members of Congress re-elected. Both measures are near all-time lows in Pew Research surveys.
The voters are watching and don’t like what they see. They also don’t like how Obama is handling Afghanistan: “A majority (57%) now says the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan is going not too well or not at all well, up from 45% in January.” And they don’t like ObamCare either: “47% say they generally oppose the proposals being discussed in Congress, while 38% say they favor these proposals. About a third (34%) says they oppose the legislation very strongly while 24% favor it very strongly.”
Democrats in Congress can read these polls as well; unlike Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, they may decide to do something about it. That would entail attending to what concerns voters most (jobs), dumping what voters don’t like (PelosiCare), and moderating the tax-and-spend bonanza that has turned off independents.
Or they can keep on doing what their leaders ask of them and hope the voters learn to love it. Maybe New Jersey and Virginia were flukes — that’s what David Axelrod and Ruth Marcus keep telling them. Sure, that’s it. Give the voters PelosiCare as a “present” for Christmas. And then we’ll see just how serious the voters are about jettisoning lawmakers who persist in doing things they really don’t like.