Democrats

Why Democrats Are Losing Voter Trust

Republicans may be unpopular, but Democrats also lose as a record number of Americans identify as political independents.

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tsmyther/Flickr

According to many experts, Republicans are expected to hold the House and could even take the U.S. Senate. This seems to be a perplexing turn of events for many in the media. 

"Poll: Democrats' advantage on key issues is not translating to a midterm-election edge," reads the headline of a piece in The Washington Post by Dan Balz and Scott Clement, examining the guts of a Washington Post-ABC News poll—which, in turn, is titled "Democrats hold issue advantage, but not on 2014 midterm vote."

Take health care. The authors explain that despite "the problems with the health-care law's implementation"—because only the "implementation" has been problematic, right?—"Democrats maintain an edge over Republicans on which party Americans trust to deal with the issue, by a margin of 44 percent to 36 percent."

In hypothetical terms, Democrats do hold a lead on "trust" over Republicans—a lead that has significantly contracted since Barack Obama held 20-point leads on a Republican challenger back in 2008. More significantly, though, what the authors left out of the story was that 15 percent of extraordinarily sensible voters say they don't trust either party to handle their health care choices.

Once we recalculate, adding in those numbers, here's what the poll actually tells us:

  • Americans who want Democrats running their health care: 44 percent.
  • Americans who do not want Democrats running their health care: 51 percent.

In fact, the very same Washington Post ran a post titled "Don't trust either political party? Then you've probably thought about voting Republican in 2014," which makes the case that disgruntled and independent voters are breaking toward the GOP. Why does it matter? Not long ago, Gallup found that 42 percent of Americans identified as political independents in 2013. It's the highest percentage the pollster has recorded since it began asking the question.

And the Washington Post-ABC News poll breakdown finds that independents—largely ignored in stories—make up the largest bloc of its polling (30 percent Democrats, 22 percent Republicans, and 40 percent independents). So ignoring independents can trigger wishful thinking.

Republicans may be unpopular, but when it comes to quantifiable, real-world health care policy, Democrats are, at the very least, also losing. When those polled were asked whether they approve or disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling "implementation" of the new health care law, 38 percent said they approve, and 57 percent said they disapprove. (One wonders what the numbers would look like if those polled were asked whether they approve or disapprove of the law itself rather than just its execution.)

But even if we concede that the GOP has a baffling inability to articulate a meaningful reform platform—or, even if it had the ability, would offer a policy that is unpopular—it's quite a jump to assume that Americans approve of the technocratic misery they've been subjected to thus far.

Almost every issue (save some social issues) break similarly in polls. Even with that said, not all issues are equally significant. Obama is attempting to transform the minimum wage into a "key" issue, because it's not. In Gallup's "most important" issues poll, the minimum wage issue shows up nowhere, with even "the gap between rich and poor" pulling a 2 percent showing. Immigration is similarly unimportant to most voters.

That's not to say that, broadly speaking, these aren't useful political strikes on the GOP. But if we're to believe polls, the most vital issues to voters are the economy, jobs and deficits/debt. And when asked which political party they trust to do a better job handling the economy, voters in the Washington Post-ABC News poll split evenly at 41 percent—with 12 percent saying neither. That seems to reflect the nation's preference more than any cherry-picked poll numbers.

NEXT: Judge: FAA Can't Fine Drone Pilot for "Reckless" Flying

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  1. Gee, think maybe some leftards are figuring out that Obama is just Nixon with a new coat of paint?

    -jcr

    1. Could you explain the chocolate Nixon thing to me? I don’t get how they compare. I’m guessing it has to do with bullshit chain email conspiracy theories of petty corruption? Because otherwise Obama doesn’t share that much in common with Nixon except maybe that they’re roughly equally liberal.

      Considering how morons like you have made your political worldview entirely about how much you hate Obama, it’s almost a compliment. Better than when you’re comparing him to the greatest fuckup of all time Bush the lesser.

      You don’t need to explain the racism part, I get that.

      1. BOOOOSSSSHH…what a fucking broken record you are.

        1. Yup. Every time I think Tony has a point, I just remember that I can’t hear him over all the “Fuck You All!!!!” that he’s secretly screaming in his own head.

      2. I’m no fan of Mr. Bush but he’s only the greatest fuckup of all time if you begin time in about 1998.

      3. Tony–

        1. The IRS parallel

        Nixon used the IRS to intimidate his enemies.

        Obama’s interest were served by the IRS’ politically motivated action during the last election. So far no evidence has been offered indicating Obama directly instigating actions against conservative groups, but he benefited none the less. One must consider the possibility that he is just more politically astute than Nixon.

        2. NSA parallel

        Nixon used the FBI to spy on and collect information that he then used for political purposes. Under Obama’s watch the NSA has been shown to be massively involved in domestic spying. Obama can hardly be credited with reining in the NSA. Given Obama’s acute sensitivity to political issues, do you seriously believe that if push came to shove, he would not use the NSA to gain political advantage?

        3. Phone & Pen Parallel

        Nixon attempted to use all manner of established governmental bureaucracies to further his political aims irregardless of approval of the legislative branch–e.g., wage and price controls for instance. So do you deny Obama is NOT doing the same thing?

        Set aside racism and politics for a sec and just look at the facts. JCR may have a point.

        1. I think Obama has been far from ruthless in his politics. Not nearly enough for my taste. There’s no evidence of any of this. Until there is, it’s desperate partisan grasping.

          Raising the minimum wage for contractors is part of a sincere policy goal of Democrats and if they consider a minimum wage push good election year strategy, that’s hardly a crime.

          1. Come on Tony. Are you saying your man is not dictatorial enough? More force must be imposed upon the citizenry to get them to do the “right” thing?

            Them damn evil employers, they must pay their workers more, or else…

            1. No I do not think raising the minimum wage, as we’ve done many times before, counts as dictatorial.

              1. Easy for you to say, since you don’t run a business or have any money.

              2. “Not nearly enough for my taste.”

                Spoken like a true, hardcore liberals who loves to take a dictatorial dildo up the ass.

                You’re such a cocksucker.

            2. Look, there’s plenty of room to cede the ‘Black Nixon’ label and still win.

              Personally, Nixon was more intelligent, more ruthless, and more honest (mostly because he was so thoroughly exposed) than BarryO.

              And given the fucked up energy policies, horrible foreign relations record, and the tumble in popularity. I’d pin the ‘Black Carter’ label on our fearless leader too. He still has plenty of presidency and Russian animosity to potentially earn a ‘Black Kennedy’ as well.

          2. Tony,

            With all sincerity. FUCK YOU. That is all you deserve as you are a slaver and a worthless piece of flesh. So just fuck you.

            The rest of the world that doesn’t appreciate a boot on our neck for our own “good”.

          3. I think Obama has been far from ruthless

            Tell it to the kids he ordered killed in drone strikes. Oh wait, you can’t. They’re DEAD.

            -jcr

          4. Way to not answer the fucking question T Dog. The fuck is wrong with you?

          5. Tony|3.7.14 @ 5:36PM|#
            “I think Obama has been far from ruthless in his politics.”

            Of course you do, fuckwit. You lick his ass.

          6. Tony,

            Since Bush is the worst President ever according to you, specifically how was Bush more ruthless in his politics than Obama?

            1. Are you kidding? He didn’t even win his first election! What could be more ruthless than a coup?

              1. He didn’t even win his first election!

                Yeah, he did. It was a squeaker, but I blame Gore for fucking up Ralph Nader’s chances.

                -jcr

              2. “He didn’t even win his first election!”

                Recounts in Florida show that Bush won that state.

          7. tony go back to the daily KOS – your left wing screed isn’t fooling or convincing anybody. You are not a libertarian or anything close- you are a pernicious liberal/socialist shit.

      4. I don’t get how they compare.

        Nixon tried to get the IRS to attack his opponents. Starting to get the picture, rent-boy?

        morons like you

        Gee, that would hurt if I had any reason to value your judgement.

        -jcr

      5. Step 1: Find a woodchipper
        Step 2: Insert yourself into said woodchipper
        Step 3: The world rejoices.

      6. Tony|3.7.14 @ 4:54PM|#
        “Could you explain the chocolate Nixon thing to me? I don’t get how they compare”

        You’re a laugh riot, Tony!
        Wouldn’t have anything to do with using the federal agencies to dick with opponents. Nope, nor constantly lying. Nothing like that and the unconstitutional power grabs? Nah. General sleaze factor? Got a LOCK there.

      7. Better than when you’re comparing him to the greatest fuckup of all time Bush the lesser.

        Correction oh fellator of undergrads…..Obama has done what seemingly all presidents do….make their predecessors look cool, reasoned, and competant….that should have been an impossibility with Bush. Yet Obama has managed it!

        1. You’re delusional.

          1. and you are a socialist who should leave this website. If I wanted to read socialist propaganda I wouldn’t be on this website.

        2. No, they’re both pretty damn worthless.

  2. oh, look, the GOP drones are invading reason.com. How cute.

    1. I have no favor for the GOP. They are stupid and often wrong. With that said the DNC is an absolute disaster that must be stopped. They favor statism and government control as the solution to every problem. It may be only because I have only lived in blue states, but those in the GOP that favor state control seem week and non-threatening to me while DNC’ers that crave state control seem very threatening in a very real way.

      1. weak not week.

      2. Neither party is going to shrink government to any meaningful extent. It’s just a matter of if you want it in women’s vaginas and building a war machine, or if you can tolerate a single-digit tax hike on millionaires to pay for social program obligations.

        Do the rest of us a favor and learn about fucking reality.

        1. “Neither party is going to shrink government to any meaningful extent.”

          No, but the more libertarianish part of the GOP won’t go out of their way to ban plastic bottles, e-cigs, circumcision, school choice, fatty foods, or otherwise impose their own brand of morality.

          Who’s the Republican equivalent of Bernie Sanders, Bill de Blasio, and Eric Holder? The Republicans are lukewarm libertarians, but the democrats are openly HOSTILE to any advocacy to limit the size of government.

          Isn’t it conservative to say “We have to spend something for the sake of morality, even if the program has not yielded long term results”? Because that’s essentially your position on spending on social programs.

          1. Republicans lie about their intentions, Democrats don’t.

            And most of you seem to buy into their lies wholeheartedly despite ample evidence that they never intend to do anything about government as a share of GDP.

            They do sincerely want to shit on poor people just like libertarians, though.

            1. more bullshit from socialist tony – no Dems dont lie!!! like if you like your healthcare you can keep it?
              Or that obama would eliminate the national debt? or that theyc are about kids when the end up closing charter schools to appease teacher unions that got them elected.

            2. Republicans lie about their intentions, Democrats don’t.

              Obama signed an extension of the PATRIOT act, rent-boy. That makes him a liar just like you.

              -jcr

            3. Tony|3.8.14 @ 10:56AM|#
              “Republicans lie about their intentions, Democrats don’t….”

              “You can keep your insurance…”
              Barak O-lying Bastard.

            4. Democrats don’t lie?

              You and your fellow liberals are the biggest fans of The Big Lie since your fellow liberal, the author of Mein Kampf invented it.

              And even before Obama’s bald faced lie about “keep your health insurance”, anyone with a shred of intellectual honesty observed that for Democrats, even felony perjury is not just acceptable, but something to be publicly admired and celebrated. As was done in 1998 by every single Democrat in the U.S. Senate.

              But for you liberal fascists, the Big Lie is one of your core values.

        2. Do the rest of us a favor and learn about fucking reality.

          Stupid idiot. The country is in debt up to its ears. A debt that hurts everyone, especially the least advantaged. Yet you want to tax more for more PROGRAMZ.

          The republicans got blamed for the great depression. They lost control of the government for four decades. What do you think will happen to the tax-and-spend democrats when the economy crashes? Huh?

          Were it not for the suffering this will bring, I’d be waiting with bated breath so I could watch your party writhe in its own stupidity.

        3. Is it even remotely possible that you could make a post without numerous logical fallacies?

        4. there are no social obligations bozo. only vote buying schemes by politicians you like asshole

    2. unperson|3.7.14 @ 5:21PM|#
      “oh, look, the GOP drones are invading reason.com. How cute.”

      Did you bring that with you, or find a special on strawmen on the way over?

  3. I argue with people online that say Obamacare is what’s going to win the Dems the House this year.

    1. Heh.. That’s why Nixon 2.0 keeps delaying it, eh?

      -jcr

      1. Don’t talk to it, shithead is paid to post here.

      2. No really. They delay the pain so they can run on the idea of Obamacare helping people get coverage they either couldn’t qualify for or couldn’t afford. They have to delay the reality because they certainly will lose when it becomes plain to see that it is just theft and lies.

  4. “Why Democrats Are Losing Voter Trust”

    You can only stick it in even the dumbest blonds ass so many times before she figures out it was not a mistake.

  5. Why Democrats Are Losing Voter Trust

    Obviously, because they don’t think Democrats can be trusted.

    Next!

  6. besides the lying and cheating in order to achieve their state-ist goals, dems have never had me due to their inability and/or unwillingness to debate. straw men, demagoguery, “racism!” is all I usually hear from those folks. lots of strong opinions on class and the economy without hardly any understanding of the fundamentals of economics, either. no sense wasting time with a party that has such an angry, ignorant base. unless I see a net gain for liberty, no vote from me. dems consistently are a net loss. GOP hardly better, but some with a head start due to their willingness to cut taxes. no real change happening on the donkey side, a handful of serious folks on the elephant team, trying to break up the elites and the establishment. coupled with a base that has better understanding of economics, that’s where the only real action is, so for now, caucusing with the GOP. fortunately, in my county, it’s a very libertarian leaning GOP, not the heavily theocratic kind, so made easier.

  7. It would be more interesting to have a poll asking whether you are D/R/I. Then ask do you trust D/R. Then ask the real questions… which media organizations do you get your news from. And do you trust them. I would expect to find a correlation between trust of the media and trust of politicians.

    I find that when news reporters don’t challenge a politician (or worse, a set of politicians), you eventually begin to distrust the politician. No (responsible) person believes that their politician is perfect.

    It’s much better to open the doors to the closet and start exposing the skeletons rather than keep the closet closed and let the politician keep adding more bones.

  8. Democrats (nor Republicans) run your health care–the insurance companies do.

    It’s not only Dems who are losing constituents (and people are leaving Dems because Dems are incoherent wusses). Loony Republicans talking about legitimate rape and instituting vaginal probes while desperate out-of-work folks lose their homes are no good either.

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