Tick Tock

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 7, 2010 | Go to article overview

Tick Tock


Byline: Jennifer Harper, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

TICK TOCK

The midterm elections are exactly eight weeks away. That's 56 days. Or 1,344 hours. Or 80,640 minutes. Or 4,838,400 seconds. Batten down the hatches, folks, the real season has begun.

UNTHINKABLE

Alas. There are more uncomfortable dynamics at work for Democratic candidates. Bedrock supporters who buoyed the party up two years ago have gone all squishy.

Earlier this year, President Obama identified women, blacks and young voters among the groups he highlighted as critical to a voter mobilization effort designed to help the Democrats hold their congressional majority. These groups made up a good portion of the 'new voters' who propelled Obama to victory in 2008, says Gallup Poll analyst Lydia Saad.

However, Gallup data suggest they are not poised to provide the same kind of boost for Democratic candidates this fall. As a result, and because of the extraordinarily keen interest in the elections that conservative Republicans currently display, Republicans overall currently enjoy a 54 percent to 30 percent lead over Democrats in 'thought given to the election,'" she continues.

The numbers are stark. Two years ago, three fourths of the 18-to-29-year-old crowd were giving quite a lot of thought to the election, previous Gallup research found. Now, that figure has dropped to 19 percent, with the preservation of the Democratic majority in Congress now dependent on the party increasing appeal to voters at large, rather than counting on heightened turnout from their strongest backers, Ms. Saad says.

UNPALATABLE

Hey, a vote is a vote, no matter how odious things seem. Voters are vexed with both parties for complicated reasons. But given a choice of the two evils, they'll pick Republicans.

Independents and voters who dislike both parties are starting to break toward the GOP, says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. In a year when anger at incumbents is a dominant political force, the key to the election lies among those who aren't rooting for either side.

Forty-nine percent of all Americans have an unfavorable view of the Democrats, with the same percentage feeling that way about Republicans as well, says a poll released by the network Monday. But who cares? The survey also found that the Grand Old Party leads the Democrats by 7 points on the generic ballot, - 52 percent to 45 percent - up from a 3-point margin last month.

AND IN SUMMATION

"The election's just two months away,

But it's hard to endure the delay:

How we long for a rout

And the bums all thrown out!

How we wish we were voting today!"

- Limerick by Politickles editor and friend-of- Inside-the-Beltway F. …

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