Independents turn thumbs down on Democrats

Independents who embraced President Barack Obama‘s call for change in 2008 are ready for a shift again, and that’s worrisome news for Democrats.

Only 32 percent of those citing no allegiance to either major party say they want Democrats to keep control of Congress in this November’s elections, according to combined results of recent Associated Press-GfK polls. That’s way down from the 52 percent of independents who backed Obama over Republican Sen. John McCain two years ago, and the 49 percent to 41 percent edge by which they preferred Democratic candidates for the House in that election, according to exit polls of voters.

Independents voice especially strong concerns about the economy, with 9 in 10 calling it a top problem and no other issue coming close, the analysis of the AP-GfK polls shows. While Democrats and Republicans rank the economy the No. 1 problem in similar numbers, they are nearly as worried about their No. 2 issues, health care for Democrats and terrorism for Republicans.

Ominously for Democrats, independents trust Republicans more on the economy by a modest but telling 42 percent to 36 percent. That’s bad news for the party that controls the White House and Congress at a time of near 10 percent unemployment and the slow economic recovery.

“People are just struggling, they need a job but there’s nowhere to get a job,” said independent Leilani Buxman, 55, of Greeley, Colo. Of Obama, she said, “It seems like he talks but he doesn’t do anything about it.”

Both parties court independents for obvious reasons. Besides their sheer number — 4 in 10 describe themselves as independents in combined AP-GfK polling for April, May and June — they are a crucial swing group.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

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4 Responses to "Independents turn thumbs down on Democrats"

  1. NC-Tom  August 15, 2010 at 7:43 am

    Yipee! Well get rid of the democrats and put the republicans back in power because we were sick of how the governed just a few years ago. Then, then we can put the democrats back in power in a couple of years because we are once again sick of the republicans. Then the republicans, then the democrats…

    What a sad, sick pointless joke a two party system really is.

  2. griff  August 15, 2010 at 9:09 am

    “People are just struggling, they need a job but there’s nowhere to get a job,”

    I’m afraid they’ll just have to move to India, China, Indonesia, or the myriad of other corporate slave camps throughout the third world.

  3. Almandine  August 15, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Yeah, Griff, I was listening to a talk recently by Joe Salerno, who was waxing nostalgic for the “good old days” (not that he’s old enough to recall those he talked about personally). He reminded the audience of the time since the founding of the union, the pre-WWI era, and even the pre-WWII era, all of which remained essentially agrarian, economically. The talk rambled through life expectancy, health status, # of hrs in the workday, availability of consumer goods, type of “creature comforts” available, transportation systems, etc… all as compared with our current state of affairs. He also compared them with the current state of affairs in other countries, such as those you mention. The upshot of course is that “we’ve come a long way, baby”… mostly on the back of that capitalist monster we love to hate.

    Somewhere along the way (say 1913) we sewed the seeds of our current discontent by forming the Fed, and then in 1944 we slit our throats with Bretton Woods and finished the job in 1971, when Nixon pushed us right off the rails with Bretton Woods II.

    The free money regime that wrought has since created the criminal political class who learned to feed off the criminal corporate class, party affiliation being immaterial. Getting it back on track will not require new parties… merely sending the criminal, self-serving pols back home or to jail, as the particular case should be, without delay.

    As for the “corporate slave camps” in those other countries… they are improving the standard of living far above what those workers have experienced historically, much like what happened here over the last 2 centuries, and thus it is only by using ourselves as the frame of reference that we make it all seem so dastardly.

    Or maybe it’s just the fact that we’ve lost all those jobs that’s the issue. I can’t remember anyone ever lamenting the plight of those poor Chinese workers before they became our competitors.

  4. Bogofree  August 15, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Same thumb they used for the Republicans. We get a finger from pols but it’s not a thumb.

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