A new USA Today/Gallup poll finds 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 health care, with the environment being the lone Democratic strength.
As Gallup points out, “The Democrats’ advantage on the issue of the environment is likely not something the party can leverage to improve its 2010 electoral fortunes, as Americans rank it at the bottom of the list in terms of its importance to their vote. Rather, economic concerns are paramount, with a majority of Americans rating the economy, jobs, and federal spending (along with government corruption) as extremely important.”
Meanwhile, Charlie Cook is ready to pronounce the last rites over the Democrats’ House majority:
There are few signs of any meaningful recovery, and indeed there is more talk of a double-dip recession, plunging the country back into economic trouble between now and the end of the year. Unemployment seems stuck at 9.5 percent, reinforcing the view that last year would have been better spent focusing on the economy than on health care reform. …
Simply put, Democrats find themselves heading into a midterm election that looks as grisly as any the party has faced in decades. It isn’t hard to find Democratic pollsters who privately concede that the numbers they are looking at now are worse than what they saw in 1994.
Yes, it really is that grim for the Democrats. The recriminations will be fierce.