The polls, they are a changin'
Bad news for Dems...
We've had plenty of time to observe Obama's slowly but surely declining national poll numbers over the course of this year, as well as the generic congressional ballot numbers that are consistently showing Republicans with a big advantage over Democrats in the "which party woud you vote for" question, (currently up by 7%). But today we've got a few interesting state polls to take a look at...
Bad news in the KeyStone State
Despite the fact that he won Pennsylvania by ten points last year (after campaigning there 45 times), Barack Obama is finding the state to be a little less hospitable lately. The latest poll from that state shows Obama with only a 40% approval rating. Longtime Senator (and newly minted, up-for-re-election Democrat) Arlen Specter is at an amazingly low 29%, (66% say it's time for a new senator). It should also be noted that the Keystone State's unemployment numbers (at 8.4%) are two full points LOWER than the national average.
When you add this to the fact that voters in that just elected Republican judges in 6 out of 7 statewide races a few weeks ago, and the GOP victories in next-door New Jersey, it looks like trouble on the 2010 horizon for Democrats there. And even though he's not on the ballot next year, it might be enough to give pro-life Democrat Senator Bob Casey something to think twice about when it comes to abortion and Obamacare...and how he votes.
More bad news in Nevada
And then there's the current keeper of Obamacare, otherwise known as Nevada US Senator Harry Reid, who's currently down by about ten points in the latest polls concerning next year's re-election bid. Mason-Dixon found Reid's "favorable / unfavorable" numbers are 38% and 49% respectively. Not good for a multi-term incumbent US Senator...who also happens to be the Majority Leader of
his party. Especially one that has been hitting TV and radio hard lately trying to shore up his numbers.
Reid is currently trying to thread the needle of passing Obamacare without making his re-election prospects worse. No idea if it will occur to him that he could do himself some political good by scrapping the bill and starting over with something really reforms the system (like tort reform, buying insurance across state lines, etc..). But doubtful.
Bad news from Arkansas...
Yet another Democrat that's "on the fense" and crucial to the hops of Obamacare is Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln. Currently, she's stuck at about 40% and is bested by all four potential GOP challengers. To make things even more interesting for her, 56% of Arkansas voters oppose Obamacare...only 18% support it.
And if things weren't complicated enough, former DNC Chairman Howard Dean is calling for her to be challenged in the primary, (one assumes by a "real" liberal?). One would guess this is Dean's way of trying to keep her on the Obamacare reservation.
The Religion Issue
And when it comes to which party voters perceive as being more friendly to religion, it's more bad news for Democrats. Currently, 48% see the Republicans as "more friendly", while only 29% say the same about the Dems. And it get's worse...
From the Pew poll:
After peaking at 38% in mid-2008 during Obama's presidential election campaign, the number of Americans describing the Democratic Party as friendly toward religion returned in mid-2009 to levels similar to those seen in 2005 through 2007. About one-in-five say Democrats are unfriendly toward religion (22%), up from 15% who felt that way last year but about the same as in surveys conducted in 2005 and 2006.
Views of the Democrats' stance toward religion have soured sharply among groups that were already inclined to view the Democratic Party negatively, such as Republicans and white evangelical Protestants. But they have also turned more negative among both independents as well as Democrats who are ideologically moderate or conservative. ...
Call me crazy, but if they Democrats want to improve their standing in this area, maybe they should spend less time attacking values and institutions that are important to people of faith.
Just a thought.