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OpenLeft: Still A Zero Sum, Two-Party Game

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:33 AM
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OpenLeft: Still A Zero Sum, Two-Party Game
Still A Zero Sum, Two-Party Game
by: Chris Bowers

Thu Aug 06, 2009 at 14:40

President Obama's approval ratings are, as was probably inevitable in this type of economic climate, declining. The Democratic advantage in the generic congressional ballot is eroding (I see no reason to exclude Rasmussen from that average). Job rating for congressional Democrats are also going down. Fewer Americans are self-identifying as Democrats, too.

At the same time, Republicans are not showing an increase in support. Fewer Americans are also self-identifying as Republicans, who have made up no ground in partisan self-identification. Republicans have not increased their numbers in the generic congressional ballot, even though the margin has closed on Democrats has shrunk. The Republican Party is viewed as, or more, unfavorably than it was in late 2008. Congressional Republicans have not seen any increase in their job approval during 2009.

Overall, what we are seeing so far is not a shift toward Republicans from Democrats, but rather an increase in the number of people who dislike both parties and have become "undecided" as a result. As such, if 2010 was a presidential election year, I would say this environment was ripe for a Perot-style, third-party challenge to once again break into the double-digits of popular support. The best bet for such a challenge would be an anti-Wall Street General, given the extremely low popularity of Wall Street and the high favorability maintained by the military.

For such a challenge to reach 15%-20% national support, the American exceptionalist, Perot line of anti-trade, anti-immigrant, anti-war, and now, in our own era, pro-coal is probably the best bet. It wouldn't win, but it would temporarily shake a lot of voters loose. Such voters would mainly come from the Republican coalition. ............(more)

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