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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Associated Press-GfK Poll Finds Voters Most Interested In Issues Lean Toward GOP

Bad news today for Democrats and Democratic politicians, all around.

First we saw Gallup showing the GOP doubling Democrats in enthusiasm 50 percent to 25 percent and the GOP leading the Generic Congressional Ballot by 10 points to which Gallup calls "unprecedented".

Then we see the general public continues to sour on Obamacare. (Latest poll from Kaiser found here.)

Now the latest Associated Press-GfK Poll shows that voters who take the most interest in issues, those most "attuned" are tilting toward the GOP.

In nine of 15 issues examined in an Associated Press-GfK Poll this month, more Americans who expressed intense interest in a problem voiced strong opposition to Obama's work on it, including the economy, unemployment, federal deficits and terrorism. They were about evenly split over the president's efforts on five issues and strongly approved of his direction on just one: U.S. relationships with other countries.

In another danger sign for Democrats, most Americans extremely concerned about 10 of the issues say they will vote for the Republican candidate in their local House race. Only those highly interested in the environment lean toward the Democrats.

The findings are troubling for Democrats struggling to protect their House and Senate majorities on Election Day. They suggest that many of the most involved voters — those with the deepest feelings about issues high on the nation's agenda — are furious with the party in power and will take out their wrath at the polls.

Is it any wonder that vulnerable Democratic politicians are scrambling to separate themselves from Obama's agenda and distancing themselves from Nancy Pelosi?

The roster of Democrats currently playing six degrees of separation from Pelosi spans the map, from the Northeast to the South and across the Midwest to South Dakota.

The GOP has used Pelosi, who represents a liberal San Francisco congressional district, as a wedge against vulnerable Democrats for almost as long as she has been in Democratic leadership. But with Election Day just nine weeks away, the sprint away from the House speaker highlights the increasing urgency with which the party’s most vulnerable legislators are trying to prove their independence from Democratic leaders and the Capitol Hill agenda that has defined President Barack Obama’s first term in office

Midterms are generally the area where voters take out their dissatisfaction with the ruling party, especially if the ruling party holds majorities in all three houses as the Democrats do now.

The level of dissatisfaction though is hitting a point never seen before and while handicappers predict big GOP gains and Democratic losses, it is beginning to look like "big" is an understatement for what we all may see happen in November, just nine weeks from now.