ObamaCare Bounce? What ObamaCare Bounce?

Perhaps a sign of public discontent with the passage of ObamaCare, the Republicans now lead by four points, 48-44, on the Gallup Generic Congressional ballot among registered  voters.  It is rare for Republicans to take the lead in this poll as Gallup notes:

The trend based on registered voters shows how rare it is for the Republicans to lead on this “generic ballot” measure among all registered voters, as they do today. Other recent exceptions were recorded in 1994 — when Republicans wrested majority control from the Democrats for the first time in 40 years — and 2002, when the GOP achieved seat gains, a rarity for the president’s party in midterm elections.

On the other hand, the Democrats are not performing in the poll as they have in years when they have won Congress:

In midterm years when Democrats prevailed at the polls (such as 2006, 1990, and 1986), their net support among registered voters typically extended into double digits at several points during the year — something that has yet to happen in 2010.

Gallup notes the enthusiasm gap that currently exists between the parties:

Gallup will not begin identifying likely voters for the 2010 midterms until later in the year. However, at this early stage, Republicans show much greater enthusiasm than Democrats about voting in the elections.

In other poll news, the Republicans retain a nine point lead, 45-36, over the Democrats on the Rasmussen Generic Congressional ballot of likely votersRasmussen also reports that in his latest poll on repeal of ObamaCare, 58% of voters support repeal.  Nate Silver at 538, a site which leans left politically, states the following in regard to current generic ballots:

Their bad news is that the House popular vote (a tabulation of the actual votes all around the country) and the generic ballot (an abstraction in the form of a poll) are not the same thing — and the difference usually tends to work to Democrats’ detriment. Although analysts debate the precise magnitude of the difference, on average the generic ballot has overestimated the Democrats’ performance in the popular vote by 3.4 points since 1992. If the pattern holds, that means that a 2.3-point deficit in generic ballot polls would translate to a 5.7 point deficit in the popular vote — which works out to a loss of 51 seats, according to our regression model.

These sorts of questions have been the subject of many, many academic studies, almost all of which involve far more rigor than what I’ve applied here. This is just meant to establish a benchmark. But that benchmark is a really bad one for Democrats. One reasonably well-informed translation of the generic ballot polls is that the Democrats would lose 51 House seats if the election were held today.

Some Democrat strategists predicted that Democrats would gain strength for the November election by passing ObamaCare.  Thus far, that prediction, to say the least, has not come to pass.

Update:  Sean Trende at Real Clear Politics has a detailed look here at just how bad it could get for the Democrats in November.  His bottom line:

That said, I think those who suggest that the House is barely in play, or that we are a long way from a 1994-style scenario are missing the mark. A 1994-style scenario is probably the most likely outcome at this point. Moreover, it is well within the realm of possibility – not merely a far-fetched scenario – that Democratic losses could climb into the 80 or 90-seat range. The Democrats are sailing into a perfect storm of factors influencing a midterm election, and if the situation declines for them in the ensuing months, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Democratic losses eclipse 100 seats.

 

 

20 Responses to ObamaCare Bounce? What ObamaCare Bounce?

  • Anthony says:

    Not to crap in the cornflakes, but I really do think this is not a Republican surge. Its a anti-Obama/Pelosi/Reid, anti-government surge that will probably be greatly disappointed when STILL nothing changes after the GOP is back with increased power.

  • Big Tex says:

    This is the same sort of surge that brought Obama/Pelosi/Reid to power. They greatly misinterpreted their victories as a mandate from the American public as “Yes! Democrats!” as opposed to “No, not Bush & Co.” As the GOP is set to make gains this November, my hope is that they do a better job of reading the public’s sentiments than did their opponents.

  • Todd says:

    If the Dems allow themselves to be caught without a response, they deserve to lose the mid-terms.

    That said, it was the Republicans who gave us two immoral and ludicrously expensive wars, plus half the bank bailout. They have no cred on the economy, and truly, the other party isn’t much better. Eighteen months out of the meltdown and we still have no meaningful reform, only the promise of more money.

    If we had a multi-party system, the GOP would already be down the drain and the Dems would be circling it.

  • Art Deco says:

    That said, it was the Republicans who gave us two immoral and ludicrously expensive wars

    The Taliban and al-Qaeda mount an unprovoked attack on a trio of office buildings, kill nearly 3,000 civilians, and a war to expunge them is ‘immoral’; we devote < 5% of our military manpower to the task and it counts as 'ludicrously expensive'.

  • Todd says:

    You’ve pretty much nailed it, Art. But I forgot to mention “incompetent” in my description of GOP Adventurism. The Taliban is still going strong. We still don’t have the Al Qaeda head. And we took out a non-aligned dictator instead. Good work, Mr Bush.

    Maybe Mr Obama should have asked for another trillion to lay waste to Southwest Asia.

    On the other hand, when other presidents have prosecuted a war against unjust enemies, people were asked to make sacrifices. Our previous president: just go shopping.

  • Todd says:

    Well, if you insist on being dense, Saddam was unaligned with the 9/11 attacks. If the Al Qaeda and the Taliban were such significant threats, why did the Bush administration allow itself to get distracted by Iraq? The war was incompetently waged. Enemy prisoners were tortured and killed. Whatever the initial motivation for protecting the nation after 2001 was lost in a neo-con jungle of ends justifying the means. Plus it was a hideously expensive adventure, one in which US citizens were not called to sacrifice. Only our military. And their loved ones.

    The GOP has learned no lessons from its recent tail whuppings. The Dems are little better. We need new parties and new ideas. Not the same old protectionism disguised as deregulation as an excuse for lawlessness.

  • Donald R. McClarey says:

    “Well, if you insist on being dense, Saddam was unaligned with the 9/11 attacks.”

    As Hitler had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor Todd which made him no less an enemy of the United States. Why we went to war with Saddam is set forth below in the Congressional resolution authorizing the use of force:

    “Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq
    Whereas in 1990 in response to Iraq’s war of aggression against and illegal occupation of Kuwait, the United States forged a coalition of nations to liberate Kuwait and its people in order to defend the national security of the United States and enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq;

    Whereas after the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Iraq entered into a United Nations sponsored cease-fire agreement pursuant to which Iraq unequivocally agreed, among other things, to eliminate its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs and the means to deliver and develop them, and to end its support for international terrorism;

    Whereas the efforts of international weapons inspectors, United States intelligence agencies, and Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program that was much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated;

    Whereas Iraq, in direct and flagrant violation of the cease-fire, attempted to thwart the efforts of weapons inspectors to identify and destroy Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction stockpiles and development capabilities, which finally resulted in the withdrawal of inspectors from Iraq on October 31, 1998;

    Whereas in 1998 Congress concluded that Iraq’s continuing weapons of mass destruction programs threatened vital United States interests and international peace and security, declared Iraq to be in “material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations” and urged the President “to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations” (Public Law 105-235);

    Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations;

    Whereas Iraq persists in violating resolutions of the United Nations Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population thereby threatening international peace and security in the region, by refusing to release, repatriate, or account for non-Iraqi citizens wrongfully detained by Iraq, including an American serviceman, and by failing to return property wrongfully seized by Iraq from Kuwait;

    Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people;

    Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States, including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council;

    Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;

    Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of American citizens;

    Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001 underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations;

    Whereas Iraq’s demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify action by the United States to defend itself;

    Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 authorizes the use of all necessary means to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 660 and subsequent relevant resolutions and to compel Iraq to cease certain activities that threaten international peace and security, including the development of weapons of mass destruction and refusal or obstruction of United Nations weapons inspections in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687, repression of its civilian population in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688, and threatening its neighbors or United Nations operations in Iraq in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 949;

    Whereas Congress in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) has authorized the President “to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve implementation of Security Council Resolutions 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677″;

    Whereas in December 1991, Congress expressed its sense that it “supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 as being consistent with the Authorization of Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1),” that Iraq’s repression of its civilian population violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 and “constitutes a continuing threat to the peace, security, and stability of the Persian Gulf region,” and that Congress, “supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688″;

    Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;

    Whereas on September 12, 2002, President Bush committed the United States to “work with the United Nations Security Council to meet our common challenge” posed by Iraq and to “work for the necessary resolutions,” while also making clear that “the Security Council resolutions will be enforced, and the just demands of peace and security will be met, or action will be unavoidable”;

    Whereas the United States is determined to prosecute the war on terrorism and Iraq’s ongoing support for international terrorist groups combined with its development of weapons of mass destruction in direct violation of its obligations under the 1991 cease-fire and other United Nations Security Council resolutions make clear that it is in the national security interests of the United States and in furtherance of the war on terrorism that all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions be enforced, including through the use of force if necessary;

    Whereas Congress has taken steps to pursue vigorously the war on terrorism through the provision of authorities and funding requested by the President to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 or harbored such persons or organizations;

    Whereas the President and Congress are determined to continue to take all appropriate actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;

    Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to take action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States, as Congress recognized in the joint resolution on Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40); and

    Whereas it is in the national security of the United States to restore international peace and security to the Persian Gulf region;

    Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

    SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This joint resolution may be cited as the “Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq”.

    SEC. 2. SUPPORT FOR UNITED STATES DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS

    The Congress of the United States supports the efforts by the President to–

    (a) strictly enforce through the United Nations Security Council all relevant Security Council resolutions applicable to Iraq and encourages him in those efforts; and

    (b) obtain prompt and decisive action by the Security Council to ensure that Iraq abandons its strategy of delay, evasion and noncompliance and promptly and strictly complies with all relevant Security Council resolutions.

    SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

    (a) AUTHORIZATION. The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to

    (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and

    (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq.

    (b) PRESIDENTIAL DETERMINATION.

    In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon there after as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that

    (1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq, and

    (2) acting pursuant to this resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorists attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

    (c) WAR POWERS RESOLUTION REQUIREMENTS. –

    (1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION. — Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.

    (2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS. — Nothing in this resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.

    SEC. 4. REPORTS TO CONGRESS

    (a) The President shall, at least once every 60 days, submit to the Congress a report on matters relevant to this joint resolution, including actions taken pursuant to the exercise of authority granted in section 2 and the status of planning for efforts that are expected to be required after such actions are completed, including those actions described in section 7 of Public Law 105-338 (the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998).

    (b) To the extent that the submission of any report described in subsection (a) coincides with the submission of any other report on matters relevant to this joint resolution otherwise required to be submitted to Congress pursuant to the reporting requirements of Public Law 93-148 (the War Powers Resolution), all such reports may be submitted as a single consolidated report to the Congress.

    (c) To the extent that the information required by section 3 of Public Law 102-1 is included in the report required by this section, such report shall be considered as meeting the requirements of section 3 of Public Law 102-1.”

    “If the Al Qaeda and the Taliban were such significant threats, why did the Bush administration allow itself to get distracted by Iraq? The war was incompetently waged. Enemy prisoners were tortured and killed.”

    The US Todd had more than enough power to wage war in both Afghanistan and Iraq. The initial campaign in Iraq was a masterpiece of how to topple a regime with few casualties to your side. The insurgency was a problem which, far too late it is true, the surge countered. As for enemy prisoners being tortured and killed, unfortunately that is something that occurs in all wars. Unlike most nations, the US does try individuals guilty of those offenses. If the administration you voted for wishes, it could bring charges against Bush administration officials for such offenses. Why they have not, I will leave to your musings.

    “We need new parties and new ideas. Not the same old protectionism disguised as deregulation as an excuse for lawlessness.”

    You do love Mother State don’t you Todd? I think the big lesson of the Obama debacle that you helped curse the nation with, is that most Americans now realize what a sham Nanny State truly is. We shall see.

  • Todd says:

    Donald, either you are a super fast typist, or you have totally mastered Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V. Good work. And again, I think Mr Bush contributed far more to your so-called debacle than I did. The GOP couldn’t conduct a war, and couldn’t protect a homeland from disaster. They were bounced for good reason in ’06 and ’08. 2010 would be too soon for a comeback, I would think. But I never discount the short memory of angry citizenry. Good thing we’re not a parliamentary democracy, eh?

  • Donald R. McClarey says:

    Copy and Paste were made for comboxes Todd. :)

    “The GOP couldn’t conduct a war, and couldn’t protect a homeland from disaster.”

    I missed the other 9-11s Todd. Keeping the US safe from a repetition of that attack was a major achievement of the Bush administration. We will see how Obama does on that score by the end of his term.

  • Art Deco says:

    You’ve pretty much nailed it, Art.

    Irony is dead.

    Mr. Bush’s critics might consider the following:

    1. Decisions in war and diplomacy are commonly made under conditions of uncertainty;

    2. The Bush Administration and the Clinton Administration faced a disagreeable trilemma concering the Iraqi regime: take the sanctions off and live with the consequences, leave the sanctions on and live with the consequences (were not the humanitarian aid hucksters assuring us that there were six figures worth of excess deaths in Iraq every year?), or eject the government and live with the consequences.

    3. Institutions have skill sets useful for some purposes and not others. The measure of them is how adaptable they are to circumstances. That includes learning techniques of counter-insurgency in novel terrain.

    4. People of integrity keep their hands off the goalposts.

    5. People with a lively sense of who they are and what they amount to generally need not be reminded that if they are vociferious in their judgment that others are small, they had better be big.

    6. Self-aggrandizement is a common purpose of political discourse. It shouldn’t be, but it is.

    http://www.amazon.com/Vision-Anointed-Self-Congratulation-Social-Policy/dp/046508995X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1271336185&sr=1-1

  • Phillip says:

    “John Paul II said in his address, sanctions are “an act of force,” and current experience demonstrates that a policy of sanctions “inflicts grave hardships upon the people of the countries at which it is aimed.” Indeed, after a March 1995 meeting with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister,Tariq Azi, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican secretary of state, said that sanctions “must not be used as a means of war or to punish a population.” For all of these reasons, the criterion for sanctions cannot be reduced to the one of effectiveness.”

    The end of sanctions were being pushed for, Saddam continued to defy the conditions for the end of the Gulf War and diplomacy was (as is often the case) ineffective.

    The longer I think on it the more the Iraq War does seem just.

  • Todd says:

    “Keeping the US safe from a repetition of that attack was a major achievement of the Bush administration.”

    Except they didn’t. The anthrax attacks ended, but were never solved. And despite a beefed up Homeland Security, Katrina was a disaster after the disaster. Political cronyism, including defense contractors, dogged the Republicans for years.

    That’s not to say the Dems would have fared better. In nearly every way, they’re just as bad.

    But hey, on the bright side, with $700B a year, at least some of that says stateside to enrich the coffers of warmongers. The alternative is to clean up health insurance. That will certainly ship American money overseas to good use, eh?

    Take the last word, gents; you’ve earned it on this thread.

  • Donald R. McClarey says:

    The Anthrax attacks Todd I suspect were domestic loon based and had no overseas terrorist involvement. Katrina was mishandled, but unless I missed something had no terrorist affiliation. Political cronyism and corruption indeed helped bring down the GOP Congress.

    As always I will happily take the last word until you come back for more. :)

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