Democrats have every reason to be worried:
Anger among independent voters about the economy and the direction the nation is taking offer Republicans a significant opportunity to reclaim power in the 2010 midterm congressional elections, according to the results of the bipartisan Battleground Poll released today.
A lack of passion among President Obama’s core supporters and an absence of confidence that the administration’s policies and congressional spending are producing sorely needed new jobs also pose a serious challenge to the president’s party in 2010.
Those are among the findings of a long-established team of Republican and Democratic pollsters, sponsored by George Washington University, which has measured the president’s public job-approval rating at a low point for any first-year president in December.
“What a difference a year makes,” said Christopher Arterton, dean of the graduate school of political management at GWU.
The president’s job-approval rating has slipped to 49%, Republican pollster Ed Goeas and Democratic pollster Celinda Lake say. And the percentage of people who strongly disapprove of the president’s performance, 41%, outweighs the 37% who strongly approve.
Disapproval of the job that Congress is doing has risen to 68%, “an all-time high,” and 77% among independent voters.
The problem for the president’s party, the pollsters say, is that the most passionate supporters of the Democratic president appear less likely to turn out to vote in congressional elections next year. And the most angry of the independent voters — a swing-voting bloc that supported Obama in 2008 — appear heavily motivated to vote against Democrats.
The usual caveats about polls, and elections that are still months away, apply. But these attitudes are hardening.